Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Very Vegan Christmas

Here is today's menu:
  • Garlic bread
  • Old Fashioned Bread and Celery Stuffing
  • Jellied Cranberries (from a can)
  • Spinach Salad 
  • Honey-Mustard Poppy Seed Dressing
  • Brussels Sprouts with Melty Cheese
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Brown Gravy
  • Gluten Nuggets
  • Special T Loaf
  • Buttercup Squash Casserole
  • Carrot Pudding with Sweet Cream Sauce
The Spinach Salad and the Special T Loaf are from this cookbook:

I have to admit that I didn't really like the smell when I finished the Special T Loaf. It smelled like leftover meatloaf. That's why I decided to make the Gluten Nuggets as well, in case it tasted like it smelled. Gluten Nuggets are my "old standby" for holiday meals. However, the Special T Loaf did end up being rather tasty (better than it smelled), especially with the brown gravy on top. However, it is a rather expensive entrĂ©e: walnuts, pecans and two packages of Mori-Nu tofu go into this recipe. It's a mock-up of the Special K Loaf that used to be well known in Adventist vegetarian circles, though I have to admit that I'm not sure why the Special K Loaf recipe ever saw the light of day. It might have tasted good (it was my ex-husband's one major cooking accomplishment), but with all the eggs and cottage cheese, I certainly wouldn't consider it healthy vegetarian fare. You can see a sample of the original recipe here.
The Honey-Mustard Poppy Seed Dressing was from this cookbook:

Don't be deceived by the title  - there's no honey in this salad dressing.
The Melty Cheese recipe is found in this cookbook:


The Brown Gravy is from this cookbook:

I found the carrot pudding recipe here, though I modified it somewhat, and will continue to do so as I wasn't entirely satisfied with the end product. I added the seasonings found in this recipe, but I think I'll switch the cloves to nutmeg next time and cut back on all three spices as it was too strong. Instead of the margarine, I used apple sauce. I replaced the 1 cup of brown sugar with 3/4 cup of Sucanat and used whole wheat flour in place of white flour. Next time, I think I'll try whole wheat pastry flour or maybe spelt flour as it was a little too heavy. Maybe steaming it for 3 hours is not necessary either as a couple of the other recipes I looked at only called for 2 hours. I also forgot the dates. The cream sauce that I used to top the carrot pudding was a conglomeration of some leftover Silk Creamer I had in the fridge, some raw cashews, a little honey (yes, I do use some honey occasionally, though I could just as easily have used brown rice syrup or agave nectar), water, vanilla and cornstarch whizzed in the blender and then heated on the stove till thickened. I've got to look for a proper recipe for this for next year.
The Gluten Nuggets are from Recipes of Friendship by Katie van Petten. I wasn't able to find this one on Amazon, nor was I able to find the Atco Blue Flame 2011 Holiday Collection, from which the Buttercup Squash Casserole was taken. But I don't know if that one was worth repeating. The apple cider vinegar made it just too tangy and this recipe just can't compare to the deliciousness of the Sweet Potato and Caramelized Apple dish that I've made previously from this same cookbook.
So that was Christmas dinner 2014. There were only 6 of us for dinner and unfortunately, there was probably enough food to feed three times that many. I should have sent food home with my guests. I guess I won't be cooking for the next week or so. :-)