Well, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Belgium. I guess this isn't all that incredibly strange, since nothing about the colonist/Native American encounter has any real parallels in Belgian history, but still, I'm a bit disappointed. Its even a school day! Apparently an ex-pat club is having a big thanksgiving dinner at this fancy night-club with a menu including "pumpkin mashed potatoes." What? Come on Europeans, you're doing it wrong.
Anyways, here's what would have been on the menu at MY dream Thanksgiving.
A favorite in Christmas Markets in Germany, this is basically mulled wine: hot wine with spices and a little rum. Its totally delicious and a great start to the meal. My boyfriend's famous recipe is HERE. (Incidentally, hope to be enjoying that in Berlin in a few weeks!)
Another holiday cocktail? The Zombie, a trashy tiki classic with lots of holiday elements (cinnamon! citrus! rum!).
2. Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Beet Happening Dressing
Thinly sliced golden beets tossed in a simple marinade and roasted in the oven, then served over spinach salad with pecans with the leftover marinade as a dressing. Delicious, seasonal and gorgeous.
The dressing/ marinade:
Combine in a food processor: 2 chopped shallots, 1/3 C. Balsamic vinegar, 3 T. maple syrup, pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle in 1/3 C. Olive oil until blended.
3. Aunt Mary's Sweet Potatoes
A vegan version of my Aunt Mary's sweet potatoes have been my thanksgiving favorite since... oh, forever? So simple and delicious, and a great alternative to the marshmellow covered southern-style dish.
Apple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes
2 (big) Cans Sweet potatoes in syrup
1. Preheat oven to 375. Pour out your sweet potatoes, reserving a few tablespoons of the syrup. Mash them in a medium casserole dish with the syrup, a little soymilk, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. (Whip 'em if you feel like it.) Next, slice your apples into thin, lengthwise slices, and cover the sweet potato mixture. Last, roughly chop the pecans and mix them with a fork with about 2 tablespoons earth balance and 1 1/2 tbs brown sugar. When this mixture is crumbly and the pecans are fairly coated, sprinkle this evenly over top of the apples. Bake until brown and bubbly on top.
4. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy
People are devoted to their own mashed potato recipes, so all I have to contribute is that, to fancy things up, I like to add a whole head of roasted garlic into the mix when I blend the potatoes with earth balance and soymilk. And it just wouldn't be the same without Dreena Burton's mushroom gravy recipe, although I have to say I can't find the recipe online. I suspect it wouldn't matter, because like meat gravy, everyone is convinced that THEIR mushroom gravy is the best. (Dreena's really is though!)
5. Veganomicon Seitan Pot Pies
An instant classic from Isa and Terry, these pot pies are perfect for when there are just a few vegetarians at the table, and you want to make all the turkey-eaters incredibly jealous.
So no Thanksgiving for me, but at least I will be home over winter break and cooking up a storm with my vegetarian brother. Hope everyone has an amazing holiday week, with a minimum of relatives asking you if you've "given up on this whole vay-gun thing yet." I'll be looking forward to drooling (/sobbing) over delicious pictures in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, here are a few more places to look for vegetarian Thanksgiving guides, just to get even more excited:
The Epicurious Guide
The Times has been super veg-friendly this season, and has a zillion recipes.
Vegan.com's Thanksgiving Feast
Bryanna Clark Grogan's Holiday Recipes