Well, my Thanksgiving didn’t turn out to be lonely–David came by to spend the day since he was unable to travel such a long distance to see his family during the short period of time that he had off from work. So the two of us cooked a vegetarian feast and watched The Godfather films. (Wow. They were much longer than I remembered.) Plus two neato things happened: I came up with more recipes and I got to pet a wild bird.
First, the recipes. David can’t do soy, so this posed a problem with the Tofurky Roast. But I did have a bag of Quorn Meatless Meatballs in the freezer and a container of mushrooms in the fridge. Score! He would have some protein at least. Here’s what I made for him:
Mushroom Gravy “Meatballs”
This is a very savory, hardy dish. Even carnivores won’t realize it’s totally vegetarian. When I tried the gravy, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Holy crap—this is good.” I had to refrain from licking the iron skillet, which would have landed me in the ER.
8 oz. sliced baby bellas
¼ c. sliced Vidalia onion
1 ½ Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ c. unbleached organic flour
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance Whipped (or margarine of choice)
4 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 bag of Quorn Meatless Meatballs, thawed
1. Lightly sauté the mushrooms and onions in 1 ½ Tbsp. vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. In an iron skillet over low heat, melt down 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil plus 2 Tbsp. Earth Balance. Then add flour and stir with a fork, flattening the flour balls as you go. (You want a “sandy” texture.)
3. Whisk in stock and cook until thickened, whisking out any lumps. Stir in mushrooms and onions. Add water to if it’s too thick for your liking.
4. Add “meatballs” and cover for a few minutes until ready to serve hot.
Long after we gorged, we wanted pie, but not the traditional pumpkin variety, so we decided on cranberry using our leftover cranberry sauce. It’s great with coffee, by the way.
We used leftover homemade cranberry sauce. So you may want to prepare it ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator so it thickens up. I made the Double Buttery Crust recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky, but you may use whatever crust you like.
1 c. water
1 c. organic sugar or Sucanat
1-12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil.
2. Add cranberries and reduce heat.
3. Gently boil for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour into bowl, cover, and let it cool at room temperature.
5. Store in the refrigerator.
Additional ingredients you will need:
¾-1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
3 Tbsp. organic sugar or Sucanat
2 small apples, peeled and sliced
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Roll out your dough and line your pie pan with it.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the leftover cranberry sauce, blueberries, and sugar. (If it’s still too tart for your taste, you can increase sugar by tablespoons.)
4. Pour filling into the pie pan and top with slices of apple.
5. Fasten on your top crust, and with a sharp knife, cut slits for venting.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 40 more minutes.
Now, about the bird. As I was taking scraps off to the compost pile, I saw a chirpy goldfinch at my feeder. I slowly sidled up to him and got close enough to carefully raise my finger to stroke his back. I was amazed that he didn’t immediately fly away. He was eating seed and seemed to recognize that I was more of an annoyance than a threat. David caught it on camera so now people will believe me.