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Vegan Thanksgiving: Prep

This is our first 100% plant-based Thanksgiving, and I was a bit nervous but at the same time quite excited.

We were invited to my brother-in-law’s house for their 3 o’clock dinner, and I volunteered to bring a few vegetable dishes.

One of the dishes I wanted to bring was this Japanese Soy Braised Kabocha Squash.

This is so easy to make and tasty.

One of my favorite squash dishes for sure.

I also decided to bring roasted Brussels sprouts and sauteed asparagus.

My initial plan was to bring just these dishes, but then I realized that we would not have anything else to eat!

Our family is NOT on the same diet as we are, and I was pretty sure all the other dishes were going to be non-vegan based on my past experience.

So I decided to cook a few more things so that we would be able to fill our plates.

This is probably my first attempt to make stuffing (or possibly the second time as I may have made it several years ago), and this dish is so foreign to someone like me who did not grow up in the U.S., and I was a bit nervous making this.

I’m pretty adventurous and cooking something new does not typically scare me, but it does make me nervous when I don’t know what I should expect for the final result, specifically the texture of the bread in this case.

So I studied several different recipes and I cooked my bread at a low temperature first to make them dry.

I wanted my stuffing hearty but I didn’t want it to be just mushy-gooey stuff.

So I decided to add a few extra ingredients to make the dish a bit more interesting taste- and texture-wise, and one of them was this Bunapi mushroom, one of my favorite kinds of mushrooms.

Also a lot of herbs went into my stuffing.

The aroma of the mixture of fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary is just so wonderful, and it instantly makes the kitchen smell like “Thanksgiving”.

This is where I was going to stop, but then, I thought, “Hmmmm, what if they only have non-vegan rolls?”

So my cooking (or baking I should say) continued…

Last night I was watching one of my favorite Foodnetwork shows, “Pioneer Woman” that had been recorded, and when I saw her making these rolls, I thought these rolls would be perfect!

I though making the dough in a pot was very cool.

And this is how you form these rolls to make them look like cloverleaves.

I really enjoyed the process of making these rolls.

So here was what I made for our Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner…

Japanese Soy Braised Kabocha Squash
– Garlic Mashed Potato
– Roasted Brussels Sprouts
– Sauteed Asparagus
– Lentil Bunapi Mushroom Stuffing (recipe: below)
– Vegan Gravy (recipe: below)
– Herb Cloberleaf Rolls: I used this recipe as a base, but used whole wheat flour for the 1/4 of flour and added chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.

Come back to check out my next post to see the final results!

Lentil Bunapi Mushroom Stuffing

4~5 cups sourdough day old bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
olive oil for greasing a pan and cooking veggies
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3~4 stalks celery, chopped
2 packages (about 2 cups) Bunapi mushrooms, torn into bite size pieces
salt and pepper
1~2 cups cooked lentils
a mixture of 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal and 2 and half tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/3~1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1~1.5 cups vegetable broth
1. Preheat oven to 250F. Place bread pieces on a cooking sheet and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes until dried out. Put the bread in a large bowl.
2. Grease a pan with olive oil and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
4. Sautee garlic, onion, celery, and mushrooms with oil. Salt and pepper.
5. Add the vegetables to the bread.
6. Add cooked lentils, the flaxseed/water mixture, herbs, and broth. Salt and pepper if needed.
7. Pour into the greased pan, and cooked in the oven for 45 minutes covered with foil.
8. Turn the temperature to 400F and cook uncovered for another 10~15 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

Vegan Gravy – adapted from this recipe

canola oil
4~5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
about 1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2~4 tablespoons soy sauce
about 2 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
a pinch sugar
salt and pepper

1. Sautee garlic and onion in oil.
2. Add flour and coo for a few minutes while stirring.
3. Add nutritional yeast, soy sauce, broth, and herbs. Whisk constantly while cooking. Boil and then turn down to low heat.
4. Add sugar, salt, and pepper.

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