Monday, January 16, 2012

Holiday Meal 2011

I realize it has been weeks since the holiday season so this may not be the most timely of posts, but I have a good excuse -- I've been on vacation and haven't had much time to blog during my exciting adventures! But, I still wanted to share my Christmas meal. Zach and I went to visit my family, who, I should mention, are not vegetarian, and we cooked the entire dinner. My family is actually very open to vegan meals since I've been vegan for quite a while. I cooked last year and although everyone loved my casserole, I decided to do something different this year. Here is what was on the menu:

Holiday Meal 2011
  • Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast
  • Shallot Mushroom Gravy
  • Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • Multigrain rolls with Earth Balance
  • Salad 
  • Vegan pumpkin pie (cooked by my mother)

Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast
I was a little hesitant to bring store-bought meat substitutes into this home, but I'd seen a lot of good feedback about the the hazelnut cranberry roast so I decided to try it. We actually bought two, but only needed one for a meal for 6 people.

The roast couldn't have been easier to make. You just thaw it overnight (which I didn't realize and ended up just thawing it in the morning), then put it on a sheet pan and bake it for 45 minutes. Seriously, that is it. It is much easier than the Tofurkey roast, but a totally different flavor. My family loved it so it was a hit! It tasted like sausage wrapped in puff pastry and was very filling.

I made a shallot mushroom gravy from the Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook by Tanya Petrovna to go with the roast, which was okay, but not as balanced as I would have liked. There was way too much soy sauce and too many sliced mushrooms.

I also made Chloe Coscarelli's Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, which I've made before and loved! Here is the recipe:

Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Serves 6

  • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 cup cashews (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 T olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed (I used dry lentils, cooked)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
  • 6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • 1 fresh vine-ripe tomato, sliced in thin rounds
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, saute the onions and cashews with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil, and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil. I used a pastry brush, but if you don't have one, you can just do this with your hands. Place them top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of stuffing.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Lastly, I also made Shaved Brussels Sprouts from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I wanted to try this recipe, but I wasn't sure how it would go over so I asked Zach to make regular roasted Brussels sprouts as well. It turned out that everyone, including me, preferred the whole Brussels sprouts just roasted with olive oil and garlic over these, but I'll share the recipe anyway. Everyone liked these too, they just preferred the others.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4
Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (see instructions)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
First, to shave the Brussels sprouts, just trim the nub off the bottom and slice the sprout in half lengthwise. Then, just slice the sprouts into thin lengthwise strips.

Preheat a large heavy skillet (cast iron works best) over medium-high heat. Saute the onion in oil for about 3 minutes, until just starting to brown. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper.

Saute for about 7 minutes, until the leaves are browned and crisped.
For dessert, my mother made a vegan pumpkin pie, which was scrumptious along with her famous chocolate chip cookies -- veganized!

So, there you have it -- a well-balanced holiday meal. It includes grains, protein, and veggies...and most importantly, no cruelty! That's what I call a great holiday meal!


  1. Thanks for the recipes and pics... it all looks delicious. I may have to try those mushrooms.

  2. I love the mushrooms - they are pretty hearty. You could also chop the cashews in half - some people like them better that way. Enjoy!

  3. Wow - what a spread. Looks amazing!