#VashtieVitals: Here’s What Vashties Whipping Up For Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving is upon us and we’re all ready to grub! This time of year is always joyous because we get to stuff our faces and spend time with our family and friends. This year is extra special because Vashtie will be hosting Thanksgiving at her crib for her Danish friends who have never celebrated the American holiday before. The meal will be filled with delicious vegan dishes, red wine, and hot toddies. Here’s what she’s whipping up:

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

6-8 medium yukon gold potatoes (if large, cut in half)*

1 1/2 tsp sea salt (divided)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

5-6 cloves roasted garlic (or sub minced garlic sautéed for 3 minutes in olive oil)*

3-4 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // melted/softened)

1/4 cup fresh chives (for topping)

Instructions:

  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp of sea salt (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until very tender. They should effortlessly slide off a knife when pierced with a knife. While the potatoes are cooking, chop up your chives and measure your butter.
  • Once tender, drain your potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 1 minute to evaporate any additional water. Then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Mash your potatoes using either a potato masher or a hand mixer until fluffy. Note: Be careful using a hand mixer as you can overmix the potatoes and they can become gluey. It’s personally the method I prefer as I don’t own a potato masher. I just make sure not to overmix.
  • Add in butter, garlic, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Lastly top with chives, stir and serve as is or with your favorite gravy (or mushroom gravy). Leftovers will keep in the fridge covered for up to a few days.

Simple Vegan Stuffing 

Ingredients:

1 large loaf whole-grain bread* (cubed & set out to dry overnight // 1 large loaf yields ~9 cups loosely packed cubes)

3/4 cup uncooked green lentils

3 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter (I used a mix of both)

1/2 cup white onions (diced)

3/4 cup celery (diced)

Salt & pepper

3 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (plus more for cooking lentils // DIY or store-bought)

1 batch flax egg (1 Tbsp (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 1/2 Tbsp (37 ml) water as original recipe is written)

3/4 tsp dried sage

Instructions:

  • The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out – you want it to be the texture of day old bread – noticeably dry but not rock hard.
  • The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing 3/4 cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a 9×13 pan (or comparable sized dish // as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) with foil or spray with nonstick spray. Also prepare flax egg and set aside.
  • Sauté onion and celery in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked veggies, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread.
  • Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh.
  • This dish would be awesome with vegan mashed potatoes and vegan mushroom gravy!

 Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie

Ingredients:

SWEET POTATOES

3 large large organic sweet potatoes (thoroughly washed + peeled and roughly chopped into big chunks)

2 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegan butter // if avoiding oil, omit or sub vegetable broth)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional // depending on sweetness of potatoes)

FILLING

1 Tbsp coconut or avocado oil (if avoiding oil, sub water or vegetable broth)

1 medium onion (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)

4 cups vegetable stock (DIY or store-bought)

2 tsp fresh thyme

1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn

MUSHROOMS optional

2 whole portobello mushrooms (stems removed and sliced in 1/4-inch slices)

4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil (sub water if avoiding oil)

Pinch each sea salt and black pepper

1 clove garlic minced

Instructions:

  • Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to medium-high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
  • Once cooked, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use a masher or fork to mash until smooth (see photo). Add coconut oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the sweetness of sweet potatoes, add a bit of maple syrup to taste (optional). Loosely cover and set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (246 C) and lightly grease a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish (or more baking dishes, as needed, if altering batch size).
  • If adding (optional), add portobello mushrooms to a shallow dish or large Ziploc bag. Top with balsamic vinegar, oil (optional), salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss to combine and let marinate for 5 minutes.
  • Next heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onions, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned and caramelized – about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, vegetable broth, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (20-30 minutes).
  • (If adding mushrooms) while lentils cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add a dash of oil and the mushrooms with their marinade. Spread into an even layer and cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Then carefully flip and cook on other side for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking the lentils, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together. Drain off any extra vegetable stock (there shouldn’t be much). Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper for overall flavor.
  • Transfer the lentil mixture to your oven-safe baking dish and top with portobello mushrooms (optional) then mashed sweet potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt (and more thyme if desired).
  • Set on a baking sheet to catch any overflow and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned on top and the edges are bubbling.
  • Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken.
  • Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge up to 4-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheats well in the microwave or in the oven.
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