What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for tofu and mock meats. I am also supremely thankful for Vegemite, canned lentils, sweet-thai chili sauce, vegan bloggers, low-sodium instant soups, bulk-food stores, and instant brown rice.

I am also thankful that the Canadian election was so haplessly predictable (so much so that even my lampshade called the Conservative minority weeks before the election), allowing my holiday baking experiments to play out unimpeded by chatterbox political ruminations. Now that all the election hubbub is all said and done, we Canucks can go back to being the poltical equivalent of beige, and focus on the important issues; namely, the Leafs making it to the playoffs this year. Oh, and food and beer.

I, for one, had a GREAT Thanksgiving, on account of finally being able to see my extended family on this holiday (the last time was 5 years ago). As the only veg-inclined member of the clan, I opted to bring a)  my own vegan gravy b) a tofurky-based serving for me alone and c) a communal surprise vegan dish (as in, “surprise.. it’s vegan!”).

I agonized over c) because I was really into the idea of bringing Vegan Lovlie’s Sweet Potato Stuffed Rolls, but I was worried they would be too cookie-ish. As O.B. (Omnivore Boyfriend) was down in Toronto for the weekend, I tried out the recipe on him the night before.

Cutting out the circle

All rolled up and cooked! (sorry for the lighting)

Cross-sectional analysis (i.e. one bite left)

We actually really, really liked these rolls, but they were a bit dessert-y, and also didn’t look very presentable (although VeganLovlie’s batch were, so it must be my uncoordinated rolling skills that mucked it up). I ended up making a double batch again to send up with O.B., with half the margarine and double the sweet-potato filling–these turned out PERFECT. Right after making these on Saturday night, I whipped up a Cranberry Cashew Stir-Fry. I wasn’t sure how this would taste, but the idea popped into my head one day. I sauteed a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of crushed cashews in oil for a few minutes, added frozen veggies and stir-fry sauce, and served over wild rice. Voila!

The cranberries and walnuts were a nice addition, I thought. Especially in this season.

For my second trial attempt at making a surprise-vegan communal dish, I picked Vegan Dad’s Lemon Dijon Tofu and Potatoes, and subbed sweet potatoes in for the white. This dish turned out GREAT, although I wasn’t a fan of all the leeks, but I ended up making it in a larger scale the next morning for Thanksgiving dinner:

Haha, I just realized that this looks like one homogeous material. The tofu and sweet potatoes are actually the same colour. Anyway, it shocked the pants off me to see my uncle, a long-time heckler of my hippie stick-and-twigs menu, eating this from his dinner plate. Point!

So, I couldn’t find any Tofurky, in the end, which caused me an explosive bout of irritation in the mock-meats aisle. Do I not live in the largest city in the country? Argh… Pete’s Szechwan tofu played the part instead, and I followed the “Seitan Veggie Kabobs” recipe from The Garden of Vegan, using zucchini, sweet potato, garlic, Pete’s tofu, and yellow pepper.

There were a couple other vegan options at Thanksgiving dinner, and I managed to pile my plate to the brim:

Sorry for the blurriness! Clockwise from green salad: mandarin-almond salad, cranberry sauce on whole-wheat bread, beet salad, corn, butternut squash, tofu-kebab contents. Center: Lemon-Dijon Tofu with Potatoes. I was stuffed!

Before leaving my mother’s house for the weekend, I made a batch of my fave broccoli soup. I immediately poured it into Tupperware so the picture isn’t all that fancy. Points to anyone who can spot the IMPENDING DOOM about to occur:

Broccoli Soup

  • 4 cups vegetable soup broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli crowns and stems, chopped into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot on medium high. Heat olive oil, add the onion and bay leaves, stirring to coat. Cook until onions begin to soften and turn brown, stirring often.

Add broccoli, stirring to coat with oil and onion flavor. Let cook, turning occasionally for 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in hot broth. Cover and cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Remove the bay leaves.

Transfer a third of the hot mixture to a blender. Puree until smooth while continuing to cook the rest. Repeat with another third, then the final third. Careful not to burn your hand like this genius.


Finally, I was flipping through the paper on my coffee break at work and landed on the comics page. I read a comic in which an adorable little cow knocks on a a door and says to a man “Sir, did you know that baby calves are taken from their mothers and put in crates too narrow to… mooove?” My Google-Fu is the best! I found the the comic:

Turns out that www.humancalifornia.org is advocating a “YES ON PROP 2” message. Prop 2 appears to be a measure that would mandate farmers to keep their animals in more humane conditions. Many vegans (and non-vegans!), myself included, feel very strongly about this issue, so please take the time to check out that website. And if you live in California, speak with your vote and let politicians know that it’s wrong to cage animals in cramped, unsanitary conditions.

Back to more pleasant commentary… happy belated Thanksgiving, Canadians!



22 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    What a fantabulous assortment of deliciousness! The sweet potato rolls look amazing. I really have uncoordinated rolling skills, but you rocked those rolls!!
    Looks like kitty is up to no good there! I love that comic!!

  2. 2

    Ricki said,

    Ah, yes, what a shame our politicians are so predictable. . . and boring. *yawn*

    Much more exciting is your feast! And loved the kitty photo ;) (that little dickens!)

  3. 3

    claire said,

    ok I had to ask…did the fish make it?

  4. 4

    Maureen said,

    Haha, yes, the fish made it! It’s a little thing they do. Apparently they have an “understanding”. I’m not sure what the fish gets out of it though.

  5. 5

    Shelby said,

    Wow, those rolls look delish! And the stir-fry…mmm.

    I love the use of cranberries in your dishes, they are so good, especially in fall =)

  6. 6

    melisser said,

    Those rolls look awesome to me! Happy belated Thanksgiving!

  7. 7

    VeggieGirl said,

    Happy belated Thanksgiving!!

    I NEEEEED those sweet potato stuffed rolls – yum!!

  8. 8

    Sounds like you had a really great holiday! The lemon dijon tofu sounds so good.

  9. 9

    shellyfish said,

    I LOVE that kitty photo!! It really puts all that great food in the back ground, and the food is so awesome…
    I am thankful for wonderful vegan bloggers like you who share so many lovely dishes, stories and photos – thank you!

  10. 10

    Rural Vegan said,

    Happy Thanksgiving! Those rolls do indeed look great!

  11. 11

    mihl said,

    So much food to be thankful for, glad to hear that you had a nice thanksgiving!

  12. 12

    jen molica said,

    happy belated thanksgiving, the rolls look great–great blog! i’ve added you on my roll! i’m grateful for choices. it’s funny–in my pregan days i thought my omni lifestyle offered more choices, but now that i’m vegan i think i have more to choose from than ever!

  13. 13

    jen molica said,

    happy belated thanksgiving, the rolls look great–great blog! i’ve added you on my roll! i’m grateful for choices. it’s funny–in my pregan days i thought my omni lifestyle offered more choices, but now that i’m vegan i think i have more to choose from than ever!

  14. 14

    jen molica said,

    sorry that posted twice!

  15. 15

    […] – What I am thankful for Today Aly and Maureen over at Mad About Udon asked, “What are you thankful for?”. Well I am thankful for my fellow food bloggers. […]

  16. 16

    What I am thankful is that I was born on this earth and have the chance to experience what life is. I know there are lots of problems but the best thing to do is, to learn to deal with them no matter no matter how unpleasant life is.

    PS: the picture of the food you posted makes me wanna eat. Well isn’t that great reason for us to be thankful? To be able to eat the food we want?

  17. 17

    Andrea said,

    Happy (belated) Thanksgiving. You’re so fortunate to have shared the holiday with your extended family. And THEY were indeed fortunate to have shared it with you.

    As for politicians, I can’t speak for Canada, but we in the U.S. have endured the worst … Oh, I find I can write no more and remain civil.

  18. 18

    julieannef said,

    Looks like you ate well this Thanksgiving!

    I gotta try that soup-the simplest meals are always the best.

    Julie’s Kind Kitchen

  19. 19

    I think we should start celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany too… All of your food looks so great! I specially like the sweet potato rolls, they’re pretty (I really think they are!).
    The stir-fry also looks amazing and I’m in love with cashews :-)

  20. 20

    I am definitely thankful for my blender, which is perfect for whipping up blended grains, homemade ice cream, soups, etc.

    I am also thankful for chocolate… and peanut butter!

  21. 21

    Vegannifer said,

    Seems like you had a really great Thanksgiving! I totally agree that it is best to bring your own vegan meals to holiday dinners. How great that your family was willing to try some of your vegan dishes! Congrats!

    By the way, did kitty’s tail make it into the soup? :-)

  22. 22

    Jen said,

    Which cat is that?
    How’s Sasha? Mrow!

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