Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday in the kitchen

I was trying to remember what I did this weekend, and then realized, right, I spent most of Saturday cooking. I felt sorta gipped - I didn't end up with a lot of leftover food in my fridge to show for all of it - but everything was very good.

The day started off with my new favorite pancakes - banana-berry breakfast cakes from Ricki. These are everything I've been looking for in a vegan pancake. They're super big and fluffy (my picture doesn't do them justice), really flavorful, AND healthy. I was just blown away by them, I'll definitely be trying out more of Ricki's recipes (and the cookbook when it comes out).
Next, I ended up making a mini-Thanksgiving dinner. Woops. This will be my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, and my mom and sister banded together and created a menu to please everyone. I have been assigned to make the stuffing, and was given a recipe to follow. I feel like I've been given marching orders! Since everyone is taking this meal so seriously, I wanted to test out the recipe in advance. I hate when I make something for company and end up thinking "next time I'll put more of (whatever) in and it'll be even better." Turns out the recipe is great on its own, I just need to chop up everything a little smaller next time! My mom got it from Prevention, I think. It's a basic whole-wheat, low-fat stuffing with chopped hazelnuts, dried cherries, and dried apricots.

Since I didn't want to have stuffing by itself for dinner, I figured I'd finally try my hand at making seitan. I really don't like the stuff that comes in a box, and I've had mixed reactions to seitan entrees at restaurants, but I like the idea of another non-soy protein source. I made V'con's simple seitan, and I really like it! After the simmering I baked it for 20 minutes with some orange juice and agave nectar (that's how my mom always cooked chicken, except with honey). Quite good. While it certainly is simple, it ain't fast - the hour of simmering means I probably won't be making seitan very often, but I plan to make a double batch sometime soon and freeze it.

So now we've got orange "chicken," stuffing, why not add some steamed green beans?
None of this was particularly hard to make, but the stuffing and seitan were time consuming. Also dish consuming - think I used every pot and pan and baking dish about three times.

I didn't get a picture of it, but I went even further with the T-day theme and made Susan V's double-layer pumpkin cheesecake. I've been wanting to try out this recipe for a long time and I'm so glad I did, it's yummy! I brought it to a birthday party and didn't tell anyone it was vegan until they started asking me for the recipe. Hee.


Ricki said...

Ooh, you're so tricky with that "cheesecake"! But what's great is that no one knew before you told them!

I'm so glad you liked the pancakes. And yours certainly do look fluffy! The rest of that Thanksgiving meal looks phenomenal, too. I'm sure everyone will love it!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Come on Ricki, publish that cookbook already!!!