A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Has everyone recovered from their Thanksgiving weekend?  We love a good four day weekend (hopefully you got one too), who doesn’t?  But we definitely appreciate them even more now that we have Simon.  Two days just isn’t enough time to catch up on sleep.  Four days though?  That’s perfect.  So now the family has come and gone, good food has been made and eaten, and we are well rested and ready for another week.  Well, maybe that last one is still a bit of wishful thinking.

Simon's recovery snack from our Thanksgiving run. He worked really hard.

Onto the Thanksgiving recap!  I was so happy to have my family visit, this year my parents, both of my brothers, my brother’s wife, and her brother, were all able to come spend the day with us.  All of the prep was worth it, for sure.  We were able to enjoy our Thanksgiving day run, which went pretty well despite it being a bit chilly.  Prepping ahead of time also provided me adequate time for cleaning the oven in the middle of making the cornbread because I spilled melted butter in the oven and filled the kitchen with smoke. I also broke my teakettle. But the day went smoothly enough that we were able to sit down soon after everyone arrived, and I wasn’t pulling out my hair.

The Menu
Appetizer:
Sweet Potato Hummus with Carrots, Celery, and Cauliflower

Soup:
Miso French Onion Soup with
Swiss Cheese Shortbread Cookies

Salad:
Apple, walnut, dried cranberries, and blue cheese

Family...and Lasagna.

Lasagna:
Butternut Squash Lasagna

Main Dish:
The Best Vegetarian Nutloaf (see below) with
Vegetarian Gravy and
Cranberry Sauce*

Side Dishes:
Perfect Potatoes and Green Beans
Wild Rice Dressing with Raisins and Pecans
Crockpot Glazed Carrots
Gluten Free Cornbread

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Dessert:
Pumpkin Pie (courtesy of my sister in law)
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (also courtesy of my sister in law)
Apple Cider Cookies
Mom’s Cheesecake (maybe she will post the recipe? guest post?)

*Yes, the kind from a can that splats out in a can shape and you cut into slices. Laugh at me, but it was always one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving.

Not to be full of myself, but everything was really especially good. The French Onion Miso soup was so good, the miso really made it taste like a traditional french onion soup with beef broth. The shortbread went with it perfectly, either dipped in or just on the side.

The salad was simple, but yummy, the lasagna was fabulous. I didn’t even bother with the fresh basil, and just added a heaping tablespoon of dried basil, and it was still really delicious. In fact, I was asked multiple times (from the same people though, so I’m not sure how that counts) for
the recipe, so, there it is. If you’ve been wary about using no-boil noodles, they are great. They come out really tender, and these were whole wheat noodles I randomly found at Target a few weeks ago.

My favorite thing though, was the Nutloaf. This nutloaf out nutloafs any other nutloaf. I promise. I had made the recipe before as it is intended for: Meatballs. I tried to modify it (I tested a few times) before I just turned the same recipe into a loaf, and that was the end of the testing. This is so good my dad even liked it, and he can be hard to please when it comes to anything that might be remotely trying to resemble a meat product. I made three of them for Thanksgiving, and sent one home with my brother.  We don’t have enough leftovers though, so I will probably be making another tomorrow to finish off my cranberry sauce with!  So, with adjusted loaf cooking times, this is the Best Nutloaf in the World:

The Best Vegetarian Nutloaf

Prior to second bakin

You Need:
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts
2 cups vegetable broth (for cooking, not mixed in)

You Will:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients, from the egg to the walnuts, together in a large bowl.
Pack the mixture together into a loaf shape, and place in a greased 8×8 baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and add two cups of vegetable broth, then enough water so that the loaf is at least half submerged in broth.
Cover tightly with foil, and bake for another hour.
Remove from oven, remove from broth, enjoy.

I have made this many times, as meatballs and as the loaf now. A few words of advice: Use cheddar cheese, mozzarella just doesn’t cut it. Also, you will probably taste it before you bake it in the broth, and it’ll taste okay, and you will think “Hm, do I really need to wait another hour for this to bake again?” The answer is yes. Its good before its baked. It is amazing after it is baked that second time.  And don’t be scared if you taste the mix before

Simon had a little bit of everything, from Swiss Cheese Shortbreads to Brussels Sprouts!

it is baked (although you shouldn’t, raw eggs and all), it is extremely salty.  It mellows out by the time it is done.

It doesn’t taste like turkey, I’m sure, but it is moist and delicious.  Goes perfectly with gravy and cranberry sauce.  It even slices beautifully.  In short, a perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving (or Christmas, or anytime) main dish.

So with Thanksgiving over, around here it is time to set our sights on Christmas!  Who is done shopping already?  I have been working on ideas for awhile, but I have to actually go ahead and start buying things!  Not to mention the yearly decision of what to make for cookie exchanges, edible gifts, crafty gifts, etc.  There is nothing like Christmas time!

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5 thoughts on “A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

  1. Everything was delicious!! So glad you posted the recipes. And very happy that you found
    a vegetarian “meat” item that Dad actually liked. I will definitely be making that and the absolutely amazing butternut squash lasagna.
    Btw…..broken teakettle….sounds like you need to add something to your Christmas wishlist.

  2. sounds like a great thanksgiving dinner – love that you had a nut roast at the centre of it all because I love them for these sort of occasions (well I love them for any occasion). Great to see simon eating brussels sprouts too – sounds like an adventurous eater!

  3. Pingback: A New Year: Dinner and a Resolution | Oats and Beans and Baby Grow

  4. Pingback: Miso Roasted Veggies | Oats and Beans and Baby Grow

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