Bloggy Friends! I've been eatin' and instagrammin' -- but I haven't been very diligent about blogging some of my everyday eats here on the good ol' VE&T. So, what follows is a long display of various culinary delights -- some made for special occasions, and some made for everyday weeknights.
winter squash stuffed shells
For our annual Friends Thanksgiving Potluck, this year I decided to make a version of stuffed shells with a winter squash sauce. They turned out so well, and I was very delighted with myself, because I pretty much ad-libbed the whole thing, which I rarely do. I used a few sources for reference (the Mexican Casserole from The Abundance Diet, and the tofu ricotta from Voluptuous Vegan), and then I took it from there. The filling inside the giant shells had pureed cinderella squash, tofu ricotta, caramelized onions, a pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper, and dash (or two) of sherry. The sauce on top was cashew-based, with lots more pureed cinderella squash mixed in, plus a healthy dose of nutritional yeast. It was really good. This isn't the most beautiful picture, because I forgot to take a photo on the night of the party. Instead... this is my big bowl of leftovers for lunch the next day!
giant green salad
We had a nice family Thanksgiving this year, smaller than in many previous years, but still festive. I made more than I needed to, including a giant green salad stuffed to the rim with every veggie I could procure at the farmers market. In the end, it only got a little bit eaten... which meant we had excellent leftovers the next day. The salad was a little wilted, so I used the extra dressing and massaged a bunch of kale, and it was a great way to freshen up some old salad. I kinda like old salad, y'know.
my Thanksgiving Day plate
Mmmm. Here's what we've got: My mom's rice pilaf, vegan stuffing, the mushroom pie from VegNews (with a wild rice crust), mashed potatoes, green salad, creamed onions (with cashew creme and nutmeg), and roasted Brussels. Not bad! Plus a little pitcher of homemade gravy, loosely based on Kristy's recipe here. I never make gravy from scratch and I loved this so much!
Happy Thanksgiving! (ex post facto)
I love the vegan pumpkin pie recipe from Voluptuous Vegan (it's the same one in Vegan Pie In The Sky). For some reason, this year I was REALLY looking forward to pumpkin pie, and this didn't disappoint. Except that just looking at this picture has me wanting to make another one. It's so good. I also appreciate that it's soy-free, because we have a soy-freebie in our family (and she also loves pumpkin pie!). My family is pretty darned cool about letting me make the vegan dessert, so that we can all share and enjoy it together. I really appreciate that!
At the end of the evening, right before people started to leave to go home, we adjourned to the living room, in front of a nice big fire, and we all sat in a circle and said a little about what we were thankful for this year. It was my favorite part of the whole evening. The big things and the little things all add up, and it was so nice to have a chance to express my gratitude to my family, and also to hear their reflections. Thanksgiving can be pretty good, when you get lucky.
the bright pink pudla
You know about Kittee's Pudla scene, right? Lately I have been seriously tearing through these pudlas. I make a big batch and make one every day. I like to stuff them full of veggies and do crazy things like add a big scoop of ajvar too. Damn that's good. Plus, my new favorite is to add a giant roasted beet (all diced up). It turns the whole batter bright red and it's so pretty and tasty.
Plus fuyu persimmons, which I love like a fool, and which I have been consuming at the rate of at least one per day. So good. So crunchy. So orange.
I didn't actually eat Footiekins, I just thought I'd share a picture of him. Pretty much every single thing he does is adorable. Sometimes I really trip out on the fact that animals don't even know about the concept of "cute," and yet they so fully embody it. He is such a great cat. After a long time of being solely interested in Mr. VE&T, Footie has finally taken a (slight) interest in me, and at least once a day he comes and sits on my lap and purrs for a while. I love it so much!
soupy soup soup!
Generally, Mr VE&T and I have "Giant Salad" every Tuesday and Wednesday night. This is because I teach late on those nights and don't often get home before 9:15 or so. For years I found it so stressful to try to think of quick and healthy dinners that I could throw together at that hour, only with rare success. At some point, we settled on giant green salads on those nights. It's a nice solution because I don't have to think about it and it's quick and easy to prepare.
All that said, it's been cold and wintery lately... and Mr. VE&T suggested that it wasn't really "green salad for dinner" weather, and he was right. So, I opened the fridge and threw all sorts of random veggies and greens and beans into a pot and made this totally delicious soup... quite akin to minestrone. This was another proud moment for me, since I almost never wing-it without a recipe ( and when I do, the results are not always that tasty, ha ha!). Plus I got to use these amazing little pastas in our soup. I got them at a fancy food shop when we were in NYC. When they cook, they sorta turn into mini-gnocchi or something. They are so fun and tasty in the soup! I'll have to hunt down more when we run out of this baggie.
roasted sunchoke and cauliflower soup
Oh my gosh, this recipe. I blogged about it once a couple of years ago, and I was so happy to make it again. Have you ever had sunchokes? They are so delicious, and I especially love them roasted. This soup is so fantastic because it's basically just a bunch of roasted sunchokes, a whole head of roasted cauliflower, some roasted onions & garlic -- all blended up with some broth and a little seasoning. Somehow the result is so rich and so bursting with umami. It's amazing. I especially love her suggestion of garnishing with roasted hazelnuts for a little crunch. The first night we had this with some sliced apples from our tree... but the second night we went out and got a loaf of fresh whole wheat bread and had toast with it. Soup and toast is a match made in heaven.
~~~~~~ Annual Holiday Cookbooklette Giveaway! ~~~~~~~
If you've made it this far, you really deserve a prize. And guess what?? I've got something to give away! It's that time of year, and I've got a piping-hot-off-the-press edition of this year's homemade, hand-drawn cookbooklette featuring my favorite recipe discoveries of 2015, and oodles of doodles of yours truly and my gang.
This year I'm going to pick 15 winners -- and this giveaway is open to everyone all around the whole wide world. Just leave a nice comment here on this post -- tell me about holiday crafts, holiday traditions, what you like for breakfast, or really, whatever you feel like telling me. And make sure to include an email or I'll skip over you and pick a different winner instead! (holiday threats!)
Thanks for reading my blog after all these years! I really enjoy blogging -- especially the opportunity to make and sustain friendships with all of you. So it's fun to offer my annual giveaway and have so many winners.