To my North American readers, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving last week! I’m still working on a couple of longer posts, and so I thought I’d pop in to say hi and show some odds and ends, things I’ve been eating and doing.
In the spirit of the season, several days before Thanksgiving I got hooked on the above “leftover” sandwiches. (I know, I was way ahead of myself!)
They were filled with sliced seitan turkey from Herbivorous Butcher, cranberry sauce, avocado, and steamed kale on toasted bread. (I’d picked up the seitan from HB last summer and then froze it in smaller portions. It freezes really well, and it’s a great way to make it last. I’d specifically saved the vegan turkey just for this purpose!) Obviously, these sandwiches would also work well with actual leftovers. 🙂
Our friend, Ashley, is an avid baker who loves projects. She’s not vegan, but she decided to try her hand at making vegan macarons. Instead of eggs, they are made with aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas). She invited us over for macarons and tea, along with a spread of Treeline cheese and hummus.
The little macarons were the perfect size for popping in your mouth with a little bit of give and the light flavor of lemon. (She used this recipe from Morsels & Moonshine.) I’d never had macarons before. The big macaron craze came on after I went vegan, and I don’t know of anywhere in the state of Iowa to get vegan ones (unless you know Ashley, which lucky for me, I do.)
Ashley gave the plate some color by also adding peppermint Little Secrets. (They kind of remind me of vegan Junior Mints, but with a crisp shell like M&M’s.)
So Delicious had sent me a bunch of non-dairy yogurt, and so I used some of the unsweetened plain coconut yogurt to make chickpea shawarma from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day. It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes and easily the recipe we make most from the book. In fact, I really need to dip my toe into more of them, but whenever I pull that cookbook out, it pops right open to chickpea shawarma, making resistance futile.
The chickpeas are cooked in a mixture of yogurt, curry powder, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and garlic. Then after they’re cooked, they’re topped with green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and a tahini yogurt sauce. I always double the chickpea part of the recipe to insure there are leftovers. (The tahini yogurt sauce makes plenty on its own without needing to be doubled.)
As I mentioned in my homemade hummus post earlier this month, I’m going through my older recipes on Cadry’s Kitchen, taking new photos, and giving them a makeover. That continues with this green pumpkin smoothie.
If you need to use up the end of a can of pumpkin, check out this recipe. Because of the pumpkin inside, it’s surprisingly filling, and the dash of cinnamon gives it a little taste of fall. Plus, it gave me an excuse to buy a cute new glass straw. I love that little pumpkin detail!
We were having some unusually warm weather, and so I was able to update this post on Thanksgiving kebabs. The kebabs include everything that typically goes into a Thanksgiving meal, but all on a skewer in deconstructed form.
You’ll find lemony seitan, potatoes, stuffing, and even sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I know Thanksgiving is behind us, but they’d also work for any holiday dinner party.
For Thanksgiving this year, we went to my big, extended family gathering. It’s almost like a family reunion. Food-wise, I kept it very low key. For our main dish, I picked up a couple of batches of seitan Krunk rice from Krunkwich and put that into a crock-pot to stay warm. (Addicted? What?) It made such an easy Thanksgiving prep, especially when there’s some travel involved for us. I still had vegan marshmallows left over from my Thanksgiving kebabs, and so I made a batch of rice crispy treats along with kale & artichoke hummus from Kristy Turner’s new book, But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan. (I’ll have a review and giveaway sometime soon!)
David made one of his signature cherry pies, as is tradition. He plays with a couple of different recipes from Vegan Pie in the Sky, and then uses dark sweet cherries and a dash of almond extract to amp up the cherry-ness. As always, it was one seriously delicious pie.
My mom treated us to vegan mashed potatoes, and she made gravy too using Better Than Bouillon. My sister-in-law also surprised us by making all vegan dishes. She made a couple of salads, cranberries, and my niece made vegan Oreo’s from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.
I’d given her the book five years ago, because she loves baking. Now she’s made them several times over, which is a wonderful treat. Over the years, her cookies have gotten more and more refined. Look how pretty they are!
The day after Thanksgiving, David and I left our kitties in the capable hands of my parents and headed to Minneapolis for a couple of days, just for fun. We hit up IKEA, the Mall of America, and of course, ate loads of good vegan meals. I just wrote about Minneapolis this past summer, and we visited a lot of the same places. So you can check out my full posts there on Herbivorous Butcher, Pizza Nea, Glam Doll Donuts, and Reverie, which we re-visited.
We also met up with some vegan blogging friends at Reverie for dinner one night and brunch the next day at Pizza Luce. (I had no idea that they offered brunch, but Laura recommended it.)
It was my first time getting to hang out with Valerie from Kale & Ale, Casey from Two City Vegans, and Laura from One Girl, Two Cities. However, I’ve been following all of their blogs for a long while. Laura also does social media for Herbivorous Butcher, and Casey does social media for the upcoming vegan restaurant, J. Selby’s. It’s slated to open in January.
It’s always so fun getting to gab with other vegans & bloggers, as we’re usually only interacting online. There was lots of talk on the Minneapolis food scene, and Casey even shared some of his PB & J pie with us, which was divine.
Care Package from Australia
Speaking of blogging friends, a long while back Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil and I decided to do a vegan goodies swap. Susan and I met in person at Vida Vegan Con in Austin. However, she lives in Australia, and so her supply of vegan treats is entirely different than what’s offered here in the States. We emailed with each other about our particular food preferences and then packed up special packages for each other. You can check out all of the things I sent Susan in this post on her blog.
And here’s what she sent me!
Look at all of that stuff!
It was like the clown car of boxes. I just kept unpacking and unpacking. Dukkah, pesto, crackers, coconut chips, jerky, roasted fava beans, peanut slabs… The rosemary & thyme potato chips would have been absolutely perfect with my Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. (Although, the chips were long gone by then.)
My very favorite item in the box? The Choculence cookies. The chocolate coated cookies were crisp on the inside and creamy on the outside. Apparently, there’s a whole thing in Australia where people bite off the ends of a cookie and then drink a hot beverage through it to make the perfect melty treat. I kept planning to do that, but somehow all of the cookies vanished before I had the opportunity. How that happened is a mystery.
It was so fun swapping presents with Susan, since we could both be assured that everything inside would be 100% vegan. She did a great job of picking out things I’d like.