A Very Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Squash Dumplings

In every sense of the word, Thanksgiving means family, football and food…specficially turkey. Personally, I don’t have any problem with eating meat/dairy/whatever every once in a while, especially when it’s difficult to accommodate a special diet, but my problem is that I don’t like turkey (or chicken or pork). Since I’ve moved to PA two years ago, I’m kind of on my own for Thanksgiving (edit: my mom will be visiting for Thanksgiving this year) and I can make whatever I want. Last year I made a vegetarian meal and it was pretty good. I basically made all the classic Thanksgiving sides that were my favorites. This year I want to take it a little further and make a solid entree with some kick butt side dishes.

It took a while to figure out, but I’ve decided to go with an avocado mango salad, roasted corn curry soup, (fried?) root vegetables, (gluten free) pumpkin dumplings with radicchio, harvest stuffed portabello mushrooms, and strawberries with raw chocolates.

I chose the avocado mango salad because I’ve made it before and while it’s different, it’s hearty and delicious. For the roasted corn curry soup, I’m going to use curry paste and lite coconut milk to make a warm, but light soup. I’m either going to roast or fry some root vegetables. Mom doesn’t want beets or carrots, so I’m thinking sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, and whatever other roots I can find at the grocery store. I’m going to use a Mediterrtanian blend of spices on them.

The got the recipes (and ideas) for the dumplings and stuffed portobellos from this New York Times article. For dessert, I’ll make the raw chocolates that I’ve been practicing with fresh strawberries (maybe I can get mom to make some of her awesome chocolate covered strawberries with raw chocolate).

I didn’t really plan it out, but almost everything is vegan and gluten free. The dumplings have eggs and the mushrooms have breadcrumbs. I thought about finding alternatives for them but I’m going to leave them simple. Also, the salad and dessert are raw, so I have a nice mixture of vegan, raw and gluten free meals.

Update: The meal came out delicious. Mom (and I) really liked the spicy curry soup. I used gluten-free breadcrumbs in the mushrooms and made (st)rawberry pie for dessert (mom also really liked). Unfortunately I couldn’t find any of my SD cards

Raw Chocolates Round Two

I had written a post a while ago about making raw chocolates and I inadvertently deleted it (and didn’t have a backup). Instead of rewriting it, I thought it was an excellent excuse to make chocolates again and this time make them even better.

Ingredients

Last time I bought a chocolate making kit that came with cacao butter, cacao powder, and goji berries. It was about $10 and made 12 chocolates. This time I decided to buy the ingredients myself. I got butter and powder from NutsOnline. The cacao butter was $14.99/lb and the cacao powder was $12.99/lb. I also used agave nectar which I already had in my kitchen (<$5). I ordered the butter and powder, along with maca powder, at about 2pm on a Wednesday, and I received the package (standard shipping and with a free sample of chia seeds) the following morning, so big props to NutsOnline.com. I wanted to buy actual candy molds this time but never got around to it, oh well.

I wasn’t sure of the proportions since last time they were measured out for me, so I took an educated guess:

  • 3/4 cup  cacao butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp agave

The instructions on my kit had said to shred the cacao butter, which I started to do, but shaving it with a knife was easier and produced the same results.

Grating
Shaving

Put hot water in a large bowl and place the bowl of cacao butter inside of it. Stir it occasionally.

Melting Cacao Butter

After the butter is completely melted, mix in the cacao powder and agave nectar. Last time I used too much agave, and it didn’t mix well in some of the candies so this time I only used a tsp, but you could use more if you want them sweeter.

Mixing Cacao Powder
Just About Mixed

I added some goji berries and cacao nibs to some of them.

Fancy Candy Molds

Pour the chocolate into the molds and pop into the freezer.

Melted Chocolate

It doesn’t take long for the chocolate to harden, I usually leave them in for a few hours just to be safe.

If you’re interested in raw chocolate making I’d recommend getting this chocolate making kit from iHerb. They have different types of add-ins, and you can get $5 off your order with coupon code INE500. If you want to buy your ingredients in bulk, I’d recommend NutsOnline because they have very reasonable pricing and their shipping rocked.

Recycle!
Breakfast
Yum