Butternuts

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Howdy.  I’m a mad woman ’round these parts lately, busy with so many time-sucking things!  The approaching holidays and final exams seem to make time go by even more quickly, but I’ll have a much-needed break in just a few short weeks, during which I hope to get back to near-daily posting.  Lucky lucky you!  ;)

I just finalized the menu and printed all the recipes for Thanksgiving, and now I need to compile a shopping list.  I’m doubling just about every recipe, but thankfully I’ve been at this vegan cooking thing long enough to have all the basic essentials on hand.  I’ve really built up quite the healthy vegan pantry over the last few months!  Things like flax seed, vital wheat gluten, brown rice syrup, Bragg liquid aminos, vegan Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, raw cane sugar, agave nectar and chia seeds all have a regular spot in my kitchen now.  Not six months ago I didn’t even know what some of that stuff was.

Anyway, when do most of you do your holiday meal shopping?  I plan on going tomorrow afternoon, and I’m really hoping that the rest of the country doesn’t have the same idea.  I figure if I can just knock it out tomorrow, I can spend most of Wednesday making things ahead of time and have it easy on Thanksgiving day.  That’s the plan, anyway.

Here’s what I’ve been grubbing on lately…

*Breakfasts*

Banana, Oat & Chia Seed Muffin + nanner with peanut butter and cinnamon

Whole-wheat Pumpkin pancakes!

(I veganized this recipe and used pumpkin puree instead of butternut squash- delish.)

*Lunches*

Salad with homemade garlic hummus, shelled hemp seeds and lemon-tahini dressing (from this recipe).

(That dressing is absolutely amazing- I am seriously hooked.  I’m now making double batches at a time because I go through it so fast!)

Leftover tofu stir-fry from a nearby Thai restaurant + brown rice

It didn’t suck.  :)

Eggplant Parmesan salad!  This was sooo good.

I used the last two eggplant rounds from this meal and layered them with crisp mixed veggies, chunky tomato sauce and the last of the vegan cheeze sauce…

Ridiculously good.

*Dinners*

Friday night I made OSG’s Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos with my best buds.

And then had the leftovers last night for dinner…

(First it was pumpkin, but now I can’t seem to get enough butternut squash.  If I turn orange, you’ll know why.)

Tonight I made OSG’s Ultimate Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf!

This was so good that I actually just typed ‘bomb diggity’ in the title of that photo.  Yup.

I wanted to take step-by-step pics of how this loaf came together, but I got started a little late in the day and was racing to beat the clock.  (Go check out Angela’s pics instead!)

You know what this loaf tasted like?  Old-fashioned Thanksgiving stuffing!  Seriously, the mix of sautéed onion with apple, carrot, raisins, toasted walnuts and thyme tasted just like the holidays.  I ate a slice with some roasted butternut squash (again with the squash!) and brussels sprouts:

It’s pitch black when I eat dinner at 8pm these days, which really mucks up the pic quality.  Oh well.  This was such a good meal!  It was cold, damp and downright dreary today, and this was total comfort food at it’s finest.  Notice how half of my slice of lentil loaf is destroyed.  That’s because I am the most impatient (read: HUNGRY!) cook in the world and refused to let the loaf rest when it was done.  And then of course I burned half my taste buds off with the first heaping, steamy bite, but even then it was still delicious!  Now THAT’S saying something.   :D

(I’m such a dork.)

Anyway, this was my first attempt at making any kind of vegan loaf and it was a great success.  I froze half and will definitely be feasting on the leftovers throughout the week!  Lentil loaf + Vegenaise sandwiches are in my very near future, oh yes

All hail the mighty loaf!

Tomorrow night I’m making Creamy Coconut Parsnip Rice with Caramelized Butternut Squash.  See?  I need an intervention of the butternut variety.

(That just sounded wrong.)

What have you been feasting on lately?

Ok!  I’m off to make my shopping list, and then I have a hot date with a Mr. Donald Draper.

(Don’t be jealous.)

Have a great night!

xo,

Sara

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5 responses »

  1. I want vegan walnut lentil loaf! Sounds divine! I too have been going crazy with pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash lately. The store sells segments of fairy tale pumpkin for under $2 a piece. I find I can make 2 or 3 good things with one.

    Often, I start out with a cream soup. It’s usually a blend of something from the onion family, some pumpkin and some nut milk. Seal and brown the squash and onions in oil and cook with almond milk and spices, sometimes a whole hot pepper too for contrast. When done, blend for a creamy soup.

    I also like to cook up pumpkin, onion and garlic with one of the pseudo grain seeds like quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat for a tasty pilaf. Food process some pumpkin with onion and garlic and cook it with a bit of oil. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil and reduce to simmer until done. Yum!

    Then, it’s always good sauteed with other vegetables, especially root vegetables.

    I made a seitan slow cooker pot roast recently with a blend of root vegetables, mushrooms, squash and pumpkin cooked in. I blended some of the vegetables with the cooking vegetable stock for a nice gravy for the remaining vegetables and seitan. Awesome!

    • Wow, that all sounds incredible! I am in love with fall produce and definitely plan on making some soups after Thanksgiving! :D You sound like you know your way around the (vegan) kitchen.

  2. Yum! I don’t think I’ll ever be vegan or vegetarian, but I admire the amount of veggies and lentils you seem to sneak into your meals. I may have to start adding a vegan flare to my meals with extra veggies and beans! I need to get hopping on my Thanksgiving recipes, too! You’re ahead of the game! :)

    So glad you’re liking Mad Men — we’re obsesseed with that show! If you’re looking for more shows when you’re all caught up, we’re huge fans of Californication, Breaking Bad, and How To Make It In America!! Love.

    • Hi Amber! Definitely try some of the recipes that I link to on the blog! I am amazed at how tasty my meals have become since going veg. And Breaking Bad is on my list of shows to watch! Nurse Jackie, too… Happy Thanksgiving!!! :)

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