Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pass the Tofurky?

Recipe: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Ok. I have to be honest. I probably will have a little turkey on Thanksgiving. In fact I will probably be the one cooking it. But, my plate will be about 10% turkey and 90% delicious veggies and vegetarian. Honest! I have been doing a lot of thinking about what dishes I can cook for my family that doesn't involve meat. I know Thanksgiving is all about gluttony (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and that eating a ton of meat is what American gluttony is all about, but I think I can convince them that there is happiness to be found in veggies too.

The New York Time's Well Blog has a great article on Vegetarian Thanksgivings. They will be adding new recipes every day until Thanksgiving, and they have beautiful photographs. Using that site as inspiration, I have a few menu ideas of my own to bring to the table (so to speak). I have a lot of links and recipes in this post, s
o I'll keep my thoughts short and let the food speak for its self.

The Menu


Curried Cashews
1 pound unsalted raw cashews
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Mix spices together. Heat canola oil in a small skillet. Add spices to pan and toast for one to two minutes until fragrant.
3. Toss spice mixture over cashews. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and toast nuts in oven for ten to fifteen minutes until nuts are golden brown.

Salads and Sides:

Simple Mixed Green Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1 bag spring mix
1 red onion, julienned
3 ripe bosc pears, thinly sliced
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled

For Vinaigrette:
1/2 gallon apple cider, reduced to 1 cup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
3 cups olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk reduced cider, vinegar, honey, and mustard together. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Dress salad with 1/4 cup vinaigrette just before serving. Reserve the rest of the vinaigrette for later.

Green Beans with Almonds and Lemon (VEGAN)
2 pounds green beans
1 cup almonds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch green beans for 6-7 minutes until just tender. Drain and shock beans in ice water.
2. Heat oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic and saute one to two minutes. Add green beans almonds. Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Main Dishes:

Goat Cheese Macaroni Gratin
1 pound macaroni
5 cups whole milk
5 oz flour
5 oz butter
1 cup creamy goat cheese (try Capriole's Fresh or if you're in the Chicago area Prairie Fruits Farm has some great goat cheeses)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cayenne
1/2 baguette, small diced and toasted
1 bunch parsley, minced
1/2 cup parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni until al dente about 7-8 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Bring milk to a boil. In the meantime, melt butter in a large pot. Add flour to make a roux and cook for three to four minutes stirring constantly. Carefully whisk in hot milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Add nutmeg and cayenne and cook for twenty minutes stirring occasionally. When stirring, be sure to get the sides and the bottoms of the pot, as this sauce is prone to burning.
3. Whisk in goat cheese and season sauce with salt and pepper. Add noodles to sauce and put in a large casserole dish.
4. Mix together baguette toast bits, parsley, and parmesan. Sprinkle on top
of macaroni mixture and bake in oven for 30 - 40 minutes until dish is golden on top.


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