I'm not sure how I did it, but I think I'm mostly ready for Christmas. Not entirely, as I have a good bit of food shopping and prepping to do. But, otherwise, not doing too bad. The house is a bit upside-down in places, and we're still missing some things in boxes. But, I don't care! It's okay. I've come to see that our children are so happy and enjoying the simple things of Christmas, like making our Gingerbread Folks, playing with friends in our house, and decorating the tree all on their own... that that's what the holidays are about. Not having the house in tip-top order and decorated in some immaculate fashion as if Martha is coming for dinner. Because she ain't!
My menu is based on flavors and ingredients that were (somewhat) traditional from my childhood. I say somewhat because there are parts of my Newfoundland food heritage that I didn't care for and don't try to preserve (salt beef, boiled cabbage). But, the elements I loved - like dried savory in a moist breadcrumb based 'dressing' I did love. So, I have reinvented some dishes in more compassionate, healthy - and flavorful ways, plus added my own menu components. Indeed, both my mom and my parents-in-law have said that our vegan dinner is tastier than their traditional turkey dinners (and that they feel better after eating it).
Our parents are both in Newfoundland while we live in BC. It's too bad, because I always enjoyed sharing this big feast with them. But, we do share the meal with my older sister, her husband, and their (now grown) son. So, the tradition continues. Our menu includes:
|Phyllo Rolls w/ Rawesome Nut Dip|
First off, we don't do Tofurky. I'm not criticizing Tofurky. It's a good alternative for people that want something that resembles that main dish on Christmas. But for us, we became vegan before these alternatives were available. We didn't try to replicate meat in the beginning, and so now we don't look for those meaty replacements. Our main dish uses phyllo pastry (and you can buy whole-wheat and spelt-based versions). Either a layered phyllo casserole (which looks so pretty!) or phyllo rolls. I've played with fillings, originally I used the Spiced Mushroom Phyllo Pie recipe from TEV. More recently, I've made my Rawesome Nut Dip from ed&bv, and tucked that inside the phyllo. It is very easy to prepare, and tastes delicious inside those flaky pastry layers. This year, I'm thinking of making the filling from my Festive Chickpea Tart to layer in the phyllo. Might double the batch to make extra rolls!
I know there are regional differences whether you call it stuffing or dressing. We called it dressing growing up, and it will always be that for me. But, why stuff a bird-bum when you can stuff a gorgeous, fresh winter squash? Butternut, kabocha, red kuri... take your pick, then stuff it silly! (Plus, you can always make extra stuffing and bake in a covered dish. I double the recipe, because my lot are dressing-hoovers and it becomes the 'main dish' for some!)
For years I made my Mushroom Gravy from TEV. Last year I used my new recipe, Rosemary Gravy, that will be LTEV. It is SO easy. Not that the mushroom gravy is difficult, just requires some chopping. But, it's still delicious, and worth making... until you get the Rosemary Gravy for next year!
Greens: I either to a fresh mixed greens salad, kept very simple with some thinly sliced red pepper, cucumber, green onions, and pomegranate seeds, and topped with a sprightly dressing (like Lemon Zinger Dressing from Vive), or some sauteed kale or collards. I tend to prefer the mixed greens for this meal, just to add some fresh, non-cooked veggeis to the menu.
Roasted Pureed Sweet Potatoes
Can't forget the cranberry sauce. Forget ocean spray, it takes mere minutes to make your own fresh cranberry sauce using the simplest of ingredients. My Traditional Cranberry Sauce is easy and excellent, try it!
|Egg-Nog Ice Cream Pie|
w/ Butter Rum Sauce
Missing out with a vegan Christmas dinner? I think not! Get the recipes here. I hope you make some (or all)! and enjoy with your loved ones.
Merry Christmas everybody! xo