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.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I like cranberry orange as a flavor combo. There’s something about these flavors together that just tastes like fall and Thanksgiving. Add chocolate into that mix and it’s even better! If you’re looking for a vegan dessert to make for Thanksgiving this year, try out these Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Sure, apple, pecan, or pumpkin pie might be more traditional, but if you have to travel to your Thanksgiving destination, pies aren’t the easiest thing to transport. These cookies are easy to pack up and take with you. You can even make them a couple days ahead of time so you have less to prepare on Thanksgiving day. They’ll keep well if you can keep yourself from snacking on them, which I must say is pretty difficult.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of vegan butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
1 Tbsp EnerG egg replacer powder mixed with 4 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange extract
zest of one orange
3/4 cup of dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375°.
- In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Zest the orange into a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened vegan butter with the sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Use a whisk if by hand or medium speed if using an electric mixer.
- Mix 1 tbsp of egg replacer powder with 4 tbsp of water and stir well until there aren’t lumps.
- Add the vanilla, orange extract, orange zest and egg replacer mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Stir until well combined. Use low speed if using an electric mixer.
- Blend in the dry ingredients adding a little at a time and stirring in between. Once all of the dry ingredients are combined with the wet ingredients, stir in the chocolate chips and cranberries with a wooden spoon.
- Drop evenly sized balls of dough (about 1-2 tbsp per cookie) onto ungreased nonstick cookie sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes and check. Bake longer if needed. Mine needed to be in for about 15 minutes, but all ovens vary.
I apologize, I have been remiss in posting this week! It’s been a busy week. I am currently entranced in kitten-proofing my apartment. I’ve been thinking about getting a cat for a little while now, and finally went and looked at a few over the weekend. I was originally thinking of getting a young to middle aged cat, not a kitten, but man those kittens are too cute to resist! I really fell for two cats (of course) and contemplated whether I could fit two into my little apartment, but sense won out and I had to choose only one. I’ll be welcoming this little guy home on Saturday 🙂
Sorry for the blurry photo. Kittens don’t really like to sit still for very long.
Kitten distractions aside, I do have another recipe in the works, and it’s a tasty one, I promise! In the meantime, check out this Vegan Recipe Journal I found at Barnes and Noble. I couldn’t resist buying it. I’ve found it’s really useful to jot down my recipes as I’m cooking. Oftentimes I make up or change recipes as I go, and then don’t remember exactly what I did. This helps me keep track of everything I’m using as I go so I can replicate things that come out well. I know I could just write it down in a regular journal, but I kind of like the way this one is organized. There’s even a glossary so you can keep track of what pages your recipes are on. It also has some basic info about veganizing recipes with milk, butter, cheese, and egg alternatives. Definitely handy!
This past weekend the fall weather really settled in. It seemed like the perfect time to make a big pot of soup. This is one of my generic vegan soup recipes that changes a little bit each time I make it. It’s good for using up any leftover veggies from other meals or frozen veggies you might have in the freezer. Feel free to add your own favorites! It’s a very thick chunky soup, more like a stew. It’s really filling and stands on it’s own as a meal on a chilly day.
1 quart of vegetable stock
3 cups of water
2 – 3 potatoes depending on size
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 – 3 carrots
1 yellow squash or zucchini
2 cups green beans
2 cups uncooked pasta
1 can of kidney beans (interesting blog post about kidney bean toxicity)
1 can of Great Northern beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
- Bring vegetable stock and 3 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. I recommend using a bigger one than I used in the photo, because mine was almost overflowing by the end!
- Chop the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery and add them to the boiling stock. You can saute the onions ahead of time if you want, but I didn’t. The potatoes take the longest to cook, so I try to get them in first.
- While that boils, chop the yellow squash or zucchini, and the leek, and snap the green beans in half or thirds. Set these ingredients aside.
- Add 2 cups of uncooked pasta to the boiling stock.
- Drain and rinse the kidney beans and Great Northern beans and add to the pot.
- Once the potatoes have started to soften a bit, add the leeks, squash, greens beans, peas, and corn. Reduce to a simmer.
- Let it simmer until the potatoes and squash are fully cooked. The entire boil/simmer time from adding the potatoes until it’s finished is about 1 – 1.5 hours. I know it’s done when the potatoes are soft enough to easily stick a fork into and the squash is fully cooked.
- Add garlic powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, and ground sea salt to taste. I don’t have specific amounts because I add a little, then taste the broth, then add a little more until I like it.
- Remove from the heat, let it cool a little bit, and enjoy!