1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil plus more if needed
1 large loaf of white sandwich bread
1 carton of vegetable stock
Rip up the loaf of bread into small pieces (roughly 1 inch or so).
Heat a very large skillet (cast iron or heavy weight stainless) to medium heat. Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (about 3 tbsp). Saute the onion and celery until the onion is slightly golden brown
Add half of the bread pieces, about 1/4 tsp salt, several grinds of black pepper, and 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme, sage, and rosemary. Pour enough stock evenly over the bread to moisten the it, but not make it soggy (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to start with). Stir until mixed well.
Add remaining bread cubes and mix well. Add more stock, a little at a time, until it is all blended and moist, but again not soggy. The stuffing will be in clumps, not sticky or wet.
Continue to brown the stuffing, adding a little more oil if necessary to keep it from sticking to the pan. Scrape the browned bits from the bottom and turn the stuffing to brown it some more. Taste and add more thyme, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper as needed. If it gets too dry, add more stock a little at a time.
The stuffing is finished when it’s browned and looks a little drier. You can serve it right away, or if you need to keep it warm, turn it into a casserole dish or baking pan. Cover it with a lid or foil and keep it in the oven to stay warm. If you make it ahead of time you can cool it and refrigerate it until you are ready to reheat. Reheat the stuffing in the oven with the cover or foil on until warm, then take the cover off and let the top brown a bit before serving.
If you want, you can use the leftover stock to make a vegan gravy to put on top of the stuffing. Mix a little bit of cornstarch or flour with cold water to dissolve it. Bring the stock to a boil and add the flour/cornstarch and water mixture until it reaches your desired thickness. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a minute or two.
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Posted in Holidays, tagged Celebration Roast, cooking, dinner, Field Roast, food, holidays, Thanksgiving, Tofurky, turkey, vegan on November 16, 2011 |
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With Thanksgiving only a week away it’s time for vegan Thanksgiving recipes! Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday for vegans. I’m lucky to have a vegan friendly family and most of the food we make for the holiday is vegan. But more traditional Thanksgiving dinners aren’t usually particularly vegan friendly.
Leading up to the holiday, I’m going to dedicate my next few blog posts to sharing some of my ideas about how to have a vegan Thanksgiving. If you need to bring a dish with you to a family dinner or if your relatives are asking what they can make you for Thanksgiving, try out some of these suggestions. Or, if you’re not vegan, but need to feed a vegan on Thanksgiving, you’ll know just what to make! I’m curious to hear about your Thanksgiving ideas and traditions as well. How do you celebrate a vegan Thanksgiving?
Okay, let’s start with the Turkey. I don’t think you necessarily have to have a fake meat replacement for the turkey. It’s not my favorite part of the meal, and I wouldn’t miss it. But if you or your family want to have a vegan alternative to turkey, I would suggest the Celebration Roast by Field Roast.
The Celebration Roast has a layer of vegan roast/meat with stuffing in the middle made with butternut squash, apples, and mushrooms. All you have to do is slice and pan fry it with a little bit of oil so it’s gets a little crispy. They also have Original Field Roast loaves in various flavors, which I haven’t tried, but are essentially the roast without the stuffing. You can pick up Field Roast products at Whole Foods.
I have also tried Tofurky Thanksgiving roasts, but I don’t think they’re as good as the Field Roast brand. They also have a vegan roast/meat exterior with stuffing in the middle. It’s not as convenient to cook. You have to baste it and it cooks in the oven for 1 hour and 35 minutes thawed, or 2 hours and 35 minutes frozen. I don’t think the taste and texture are as good as the Celebration Roast, and the Celebration Roast only takes 10 minutes at most to slice and cook.
Try out the Celebration Roast for yourself! It’s a tasty vegan alternative to turkey and not much hassle to prepare. And check back for more vegan Thanksgiving ideas over the next week. Up next is Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice. Yum!
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Posted in Recipes, tagged cooking, dinner, food, Italian food, party food, pasta, potluck, recipe, tomato sauce, vegan stuffed shells on November 14, 2011 |
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With the holiday season coming up, get-togethers with family and friends start to pick up. As a vegan, it can sometimes be a challenge to know what to bring to a potluck or party to share with vegans and non-vegans. Or if you’re not vegan, but are having vegan guests over, you may need to come up with a meal for them. What can you make that everyone will eat? Here’s an easy and tasty recipe that’s great to share. You can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and heat it up later, so it’s perfect if you need to travel.
Vegan Stuffed Shells
1 box of pasta shells
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 14 oz pack of firm or extra firm tofu
1 yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 cups of frozen spinach (defrosted)
- Boil the shells according to the directions on the box.
- Chop the onions and shallots. Peel and press (or finely chop) the garlic. Saute the onion, shallots, and garlic, in a little bit of olive oil.
- Drain and press the water out of the tofu with a paper towel. Crumble the tofu with your hands into a mixing bowl and then use a fork to crumble it more.
- In the bowl, combine the tofu, onion, shallots, garlic, and defrosted spinach. Mix well.
- Add the salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, powdered garlic, and paprika to taste. Mix well. I usually start by sprinkling a little of each spice in, then tasting the mixture and adding more as needed rather than measuring out each one.
- Drain shells after boiling and rinse under cool water so you can handle them without burning yourself.
- Put a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13×9 inch cake pan. Stuff each shell with a spoonful of filling and layer the shells in the pan. Top them with the rest of the sauce.
- Bake at 375° for about 35 minutes. If cooking from frozen, cook the shells longer with tinfoil covering the top, so the top doesn’t burn. For the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, uncover them so the top gets crispy.
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Posted in Restaurants, tagged Asian food, Chinese food, desert, dinner, food, New York City, NYC, restaurant, Soy and Sake, vegan, vegetarian on November 9, 2011 |
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My sister visited from California to go on a quilting retreat with my mom and me this past weekend. Afterwards, she came back to NYC with me, and we spent the past two days visiting art museums in New York. It was my first time at the MoMA and The Met. They are both great, but they’re so big it’s impossible to see everything in one go! After a good dose of art, I’m left feeling creatively inspired! I really want to paint, draw, take photos, and quilt (though that’s not so different from my usual state of mind)!
During our excursions, we also tried out a vegetarian restaurant I’d never been to before. It’s in West Village, and it’s called Soy and Sake. It’s completely vegetarian and mostly vegan. They describe themselves as “a unique blend of soy products with traditional styles of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian cuisine.” It has a nice ambience. There are a ton of windows for people watching, and a large fish tank in the middle. It’s nice without being overly fancy or stuffy and the prices are decent for dinner in NYC.
There were a lot of tempting appetizers and soups to choose from. We decided to try the veggie Roast Pork Buns, which were fluffy and tasty. We also got the steamed Japanese Vegetable Gyoza, which were also pretty tasty, but I must say I like homemade ones better. They had a Tom Yam Soup, which I didn’t get to try this trip, but I’m looking forward to trying it the next time I go.
As entrees we tried the Sesame Chicken and the Sweet and Sour Chicken. The “chicken” they use was battered and fried and had a seitan-like texture. There are some types of veggie chicken that I’m not fond of, but this was good. Sweet and Sour Chicken was one of my favorites as a kid, so it was nice to find a vegan version. For desert we shared fried bananas with a scoop of vegan pistachio ice cream. Both were yummy!
Overall, nothing was a real standout for me, but everything we had was good. There were no duds. I would definitely go back. There are a lot of menu options that look really tasty that I’d like to try. It’s definitely worth eating here if you’re in West Village and looking for a good vegan option! Thanks to my sister Jean for taking photos!
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