Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Like most holidays, I have mixed feelings on Thanksgiving. Ignoring the abhorrent historical roots, I like the concept of sharing the bounty of the harvest and recognizing everything you have to be thankful for. Unfortunately, that doesn't often happen in practice. I imagine Thanksgiving in my family is pretty typical: frayed nerves from worrying that the turkey won't be done in time + exhaustion from waking up at 4am to bake pies + alcohol = intense passive-aggressive tension. Maybe I'd be more willing to deal with it as an omnivore, but to sit at a meal where I will eat cranberry relish and frozen rolls? Nope. Not going to happen. After the above described scenario unfolded in 2006, I started planning trips to avoid being home for Thanksgiving. I was successful until this year. I went to Iceland a few weeks ago, so going out of town again wasn't really an option. Despite a ton of stress and anxiety, I decided to go to my parents' house for the ominous dinner feast.

This time I was prepared. Fortunately, my mother and sister were more willing to accomodate me this year than in the past as well. I bought a Gardein Holiday Roast, complete with stuffing and gravy and a pre-made pumpkin pie for myself. I also brought the fantastic green bean casserole from Fat Free Vegan. My sister made candied sweet potatoes with Earth Balance instead of butter and Dandies marshmallows on top, made sure the rolls were vegan, and made a delicious cranberry relish. I grabbed some potatoes before they were mashed and made my own with EB and soy milk. I had been anxious about this meal for weeks, but guess what? All my anxiety was for naught. I had a plate full of delicious food and a great evening with the people I care about. And that's what I'm thankful for.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

V'con Extra Vegan Tamarind Lentils

As I've mentioned before, cooking all the recipes in Veganomicon was on my list of things to do before I turned 30. That item has since been usurped by less time consuming things like going to China and walking across the Grand Canyon. Occasionally, though, I pull out the book and decide that I'm going to get through it (not necessarily by May 16, 2015, though).
Today was one of those days. I decided to try the Tamarind Lentils. Lentils and rice seems extra-vegan, but I'd read rave reviews of this dish on the PPK Forums, so I figured I'd give it a try. To make the dish a little more photogenic, I added some color with Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes. (Recipes are available on Google Books).
This was really easy to make. It was a bit time consuming, but that's because I only have one medium pot and needed it to cook both the rice and the lentils. If I had a second pot, or a rice cooker, the whole dish could have been done in 40 minutes. As you can see from the ingredients picture, I started making it at 10pm, so it was all getting packed up for future meals anyway.

Update: As with every V'con recipe I've ever made, this turned out great. It reheated well and had the added benefit of not being liquid, i.e., it didn't spill all over my purse when I threw one in there in the morning to take to work.