I recently recommitted to a fully vegetarian lifestyle so this was my first Thanksgiving where I didn't eat ANY Turkey. After making my decision to forgo meat this year I knew I wanted to add a few new creative veggie dishes to our holiday menu. It took some convincing, but my Mom eventually agreed to share the reigns on Thanksgiving this year. Our compromise: she got to make her classic dishes and I got to replace the plain old peas and corn sides with some new vegetarian friendly dishes.
My parents made their classics: the turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole. I made raspberry baked brie, rosemary roasted acorn squash, poblano corn pudding, stuffed portobello mushrooms, roasted vegetable medley, mushroom and fall squash barley risotto, brussel sprouts, and fresh cranberry sauce. I was so excited that I may have gone a bit overboard, but then again you can never really have too much food for the holidays...right?
Everything turned out delicious and even though we had a whopping 12 people at our dinner this year we have plenty of leftovers! I'm so glad to have been able to share this wonderful meal with my family. In addition to me, my brother, and my parents, we had both Grandmas, Aunt Kathleen, My cousins Jessica and James (in from Gainesville), Aunt Sue (drove all the way from Pennsylvania!) and, Julie and Donnie (in from Minnesota). Our Thanksgiving feast was made complete with the addition of everyone's signature dishes: Grandma Valente made green bean casserole, and Aunt Kathleen made a pecan cranberry salad and, Julie made pumpkin and apple pies.
I loved introducing everyone to new vegetables and creative ways of cooking them. Overall my new dishes were well received by vegetarians and carnivores alike. I particularly enjoyed the brussel sprouts and the stuffed mushrooms. We'll definitely be making them again! This vegetarian friendly Thanksgiving feast was truly one for the record books.
|Check out that beautiful Thanksgiving spread! Featured here: Grandma's Green Bean Casserole, Mom's Stuffing (made with leeks, raisins, apple and sage), Dad's Sweet Potato Casserole (made with Jamaican rum), my Raspberry Baked Brie appetizer, and Aunt Kathleen's Pecan and Cranraisin Salad.|
|We had a cornucopia of side dishes! From top left: Rosemary Roasted Acorn Squash, Brussel Sprouts in a Lemon Butter Parmesan Sauce, Mushroom and Fall Squash Barley Risotto, and Italian Roasted Vegetables!|
|I made a whole recipe of Poblano Pepper and Sweet Corn Pudding and cooked half per recipe specifications. The other half went into my Portabello Stuffing. I added 4T cream cheese, 3 extra slices sharp cheddar cheese, 1T diced green pepper, 1C cooked spinach leaves, the chopped mushroom stems, 1T chopped scallions, 2T chopped cilantro, 1T copped parsley and 1/4 cup crushed crackers. I stuffed the mushrooms and baked them on 350 for 20 minutes. They turned out amazing!|
|Mom's fresh mashed potatoes. They turned out so creamy and fresh chopped parsley made them one of my favorite dishes of the day.|
|My first vegetarian Thanksgiving was delicious! I didn't miss the meat one bit.|
This year is the smallest Thanksgiving I've ever had (in terms of people, that is. The food was abundant). It was just my mom, my dad, my sister, and me. Oh, and the begging pups of course! We had turkey (of course), dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole from scratch, rolls, mini apple pies, and pumpkin pie cheesecake. Did I happen to mention there were only four of us? Yeah... Leftovers!
Traditional green bean casserole is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, but my mom is not a fan. I decided to find a recipe to make a from-scratch version, instead of using cream of mushroom soup and cans of green beans and mushrooms. I searched one of my favorite blogs, Closet Cooking, and found just the recipe I was looking for. I doubled the amount of cream sauce and skipped the almond slivers. Perfection.
Closet Cooking is also where I found the pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe. Unfortunately, it didn't go so well. Long story short, a smoke disaster ruined the cheesecake. It still made for some good pictures! I'd make it again, sans smoke disaster. Rebecca came through with mini apple pies and homemade poptarts from Smitten Kitchen.