In celebration of Vegan MoFo, I’m doing a month of themed dinner party ideas! For the beginning of this week, I’m continuing the holiday mash-up theme!
I’ve heard this theory that in whichever season you celebrate your birthday, that will be your favorite. So if you spend your birthday sledding snowy hills, you’ll have an affinity for winter. If your birthday means going to the beach and wearing cotton sundresses, then summer will be your favorite. If you spend your birthday skipping in puddles and smelling budding flowers, spring will have your allegiances. And if your birthday is spent raking crisp autumn leaves and sitting by an outdoor fire pit, fall will warm the cockles of your heart.
I doubt this is true across the board, but it certainly rings true for me. Summer holds the deck on my birthday, wedding anniversary, dating anniversary, and vegan anniversary. July is laden with joy and celebrations and is easily my favorite month of the year. Added to that, the beginning of the month starts with a bang – firecrackers lighting the night sky and flame-licked skewers on the grill.
Once the temperatures begin to drop and sweaters come out of storage, I begrudgingly accept it but not happily. The only thing that makes the bitter cold go down easier is thoughts of crackling Christmas records, festive lit-up houses, and plans of gathering together with family and friends to play an annual game of backyard football on Thanksgiving. On that fourth Thursday of November, I watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, read the newspaper, and settle in to a cup of hot apple cider. It may not be summer’s jubilance, but fall does have a few perks.
Today’s recipe is a true holiday mash-up representing both Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Thanksgiving is all about hearty fall foods – sourdough stuffing with carrots, celery, and bell pepper, potatoes, seitan, and sweet potatoes with vegan marshmallows. And the Fourth of July? Of course, that means sunny days by the grill, soaking in the heat off the barbie.
For this combo I’ve taken all of those holiday favorites, briefly marinated them in a tangy lemon marinade, skewered them and popped them on the grill until they were toasty and brown. After they were done, a marshmallow was added (ideally after a slice of sweet potato) and given a final toast, reminiscent of that standard Thanksgiving dish.
The chicken-style seitan from Vegan Diner is my favorite seitan for this recipe (or any fall holiday needs). The recipe is available to view now on Google Books, but I heartily recommend buying the book. It has so many wonderful recipes, including lots of comfort food that is so warming this time of year.
So what do you think? Is your birthday smack dab in the middle of your favorite season? Or are you a winter baby who abhors the cold? Tell me in the comments!
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon each rubbed sage, dried savory, dried herbs de Provence, and dried thyme
Combine marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- 1 cup seitan (or two seitan sausages), cut into medium-sized chunks
- ½ yellow, red, or orange bell pepper, cut into medium-sized pieces
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch long pieces
- 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 small to medium-sized sweet potato, cut into ¾ inch thick slices
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch long pieces
- 1 heaping cup stale sourdough bread, cut into medium-sized chunks
- 4 vegan marshmallows (I used Sweet & Sara)
Put the seitan and bell pepper into the large mixing bowl with marinade and briefly combine. Let it marinate while the vegetables steam. Fill a pot (that can hold a steamer basket insert) with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Put the carrots, potatoes, and sweet potato slices into the insert and steam for 5 minutes. Add the celery to the steamer basket and continue steaming all of it for an additional five minutes. Test the doneness of the potatoes with a fork. If fork tines can go in easily and remove easily but without the potatoes or sweet potatoes seeming like they’ll fall apart, the potatoes are ready. (If the potatoes aren’t quite soft enough, remove the other vegetables but continue steaming until soft enough.)
Add the carrot pieces, potatoes, sweet potato slices, and celery pieces to the mixing bowl with marinade and toss to combine. Marinate for 10 minutes. Heat the outdoor grill to 450 to 500 degrees. Quickly toss the sourdough chunks with the marinade and put all of the ingredients onto long metal skewers. (Slice the Yukon gold potatoes in half just before putting onto skewers, if desired. Ideally finish the top of each skewer with a sweet potato, so that it can be next to a marshmallow when all is said and done for maximum kitsch-effect. Don’t put the marshmallows on yet, however.)
Grill the Thanksgiving kebabs for 10 minutes, rotating a couple of times to evenly brown all sides. When the kebabs are done, carefully top each skewer with a vegan marshmallow. Toast the marshmallow in the fire on the grill or with a match, being careful not to burn yourself on the fire or metal skewer, and serve.
Want to see more theme party ideas? Check out all of the ideas for the month here!
Disclosure: Links to cookbooks are connected to the Amazon Affiliate program. When you buy products through my site, I make a few cents.