Cooking with Friends: Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my lovely friend, Jasmine Briones, and I want to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!  We created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds scream in delight.  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!

Since we are both obsessed with delicious and nutritious food, we thought it would be a great idea to collaborate on a holiday feast.  What better time to combine our vegan talents and get inspired than in the Fall—just in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays!

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Thanksgiving is a special holiday that I hold dear to my heart.  Every household carries on their own unique family traditions.

Jasmine grew up in an Ecuadorian/Filipino household, where it has been a long-standing tradition for her Ecuadorian grandmother to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Her grandmother uses a Cuban marinade for the turkey (Jasmine being vegan does not partake, of course) and the rest of the meal consists of Equadorean dishes.  It was not until Jasmine and I joined forces in the kitchen that she had her first taste of cranberry sauce and candied yams. She loved the cranberry so much that she ate it by the spoonful!  I was surprised because I only have about 2 tablespoons at most during my holiday meals!

I grew up in a Filipino-American household.  My Grandpa Floyd, who was born and bred in the Midwest (Missouri), started my family’s tradition of enjoying the standard American Thanksgiving feast.  For as long as I can remember, we always had elaborate feasts.  It was always my mom and me who prepared the family’s Thanksgiving meal, consisting of a savory, flavorful protein, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, green beans (and/or corn), and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  We sometimes have the same meal for Christmas because it’s so good!  Meals like these are so comforting for the soul. Seriously, eating my Thanksgiving meal is like eating a hug.  It brings back so many good memories growing up.  These days it brings my loved ones together, where we sit around the table, share what we are grateful for, reminisce, and discuss our game plans for Black Friday.

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This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my good health, family and friends, and for the amazingly supportive readers and followers on my blog and social media.  Being able to do what I love for a living is a wonderful thing.  I feel so blessed and am incredibly grateful.

Vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food has a bad rap for tasting like cardboard. With my recipes, I hope to transform the general public’s view of these foods. I want people to keep using my recipes, I want that food to be shared (with vegans and non-vegans alike), I want to shock and amaze people, and let them know that vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food can be absolutely delicious, not to mention nourishing, can promote longevity, is harmless to animals, and is good for the environment and our planet.  Through this blog and through the My Eclectic Kitchen app, I think I’ve been able to do that more and more each day.

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Also, by partnering up with friends, like Jasmine, I am able to spread this message (my mission) even further.  I want to thank Jasmine for doing her part with her blog and with her own recipe development. 

Thanksgiving does not have to be the same every year.  Although I like to carry on my family’s traditions, I add my own little nuances to everything every year.  A vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving is definitely a huge nuance.  Even so, I hear no complaints.  Although my family is predominantly omnivorous, my vegan holiday food and sweets are foods they actually request I make.  It warms my heart to see them enjoy my food and especially when they get seconds and thirds.

Hopefully you and your family will be as enthusiastic about our recipes.  We hope to see some of our recipes on your holiday table!

 Here are the 13 Vegan and Gluten-, and Soy-free Thanksgiving recipes!  

_MG_2421Cranberry Glaze

Sweet, tangy, perfectly spreadable for Holiday “Meat”loaf, and fantastic to serve as a side!  Made with fresh cranberries, dates, a little coconut sugar, a touch of orange and holiday spices, this Cranberry Glaze is so delicious, you might even want to eat it by the spoonful, like Jasmine did! Ha!

_MG_2360Garlicky Cauliflower Puree

A client-favorite, this is a healthy vegan alternative to garlic mashed potatoes.  Garlicky Cauliflower Puree with Mushroom Gravy is a wonderful, oil-free, low-fat, and delicious side dish.  It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!

IMG_7788Mushroom Gravy

This easy and flavorful mushroom gravy goes perfectly with Garlicky Cauliflower Puree and Holiday “Meat”loaf.  The caramelized mushrooms and port give this gravy a nice richness, the herbs bring it to life, and the arrowroot thickens the gravy while giving it a glossy sheen.

_MG_2321Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)

These candied yams are so simple to make and yet they are so delicious!  Spiced with vanilla and cinnamon and sweetened only with dates and oranges, these are my all-time favorite candied yams, not to be mistaken with the recipe in my app.  These are new and improved!  A must-try!

IMG_7688Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Every table needs a pop of green!  Ours was these crisp green beans with garlic and lemon.  The little kick of spice chile and hint of citrus make these a perfect side dish for the holidays!

_MG_2241Creamy Mushroom Rice

Infused brown rice with an assortment of herbs and vegetables, meaty mushrooms, and a decadent cream sauce make this a hearty side dish.

_MG_2207Quinoa Stuffing

A clean and high protein alternative to traditional stuffing.

_MG_2344Raw Stuffing

This tastes just like Stove Stop Stuffing, except this is raw and is actually beneficial to your health.  I know you’ll LOVE it!

_MG_2359Holiday “Meat”loaf

This high-protein “meat”loaf looks and tastes like the real thing, only it’s better for you, is cruelty-free, and great for the environment.  I fool my non-vegan family and friends every time!  Top this holiday loaf with our Cranberry Glaze or with traditional “meat”loaf glaze.

_MG_2379Savory Pumpkin Pie

We wanted to include pumpkin in our Thanksgiving menu, and since we already have pumpkin pie recipes in our respective recipe arsenals, we decided to make a savory pumpkin pie.  The best way to describe this savory pie is to say it is basically a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free quiche with pumpkin!

_MG_2236Cranberry Pomegranate Cider

This ruby red (my favorite color) beverage tastes like a lovely tea and can be made bubbly and sparkling with a sparkling kombucha or champagne.

_MG_2323Raw Pumpkin-Spiced Mamey “Cheese”cake

Oh, I love this dessert!  Find out what Mamey is the recipe post.  If you can’t find mamey, substitute with pumpkin or sweet potato!  The combination of vanilla bean “cheese”cake, pumpkin-spiced mamey, and a fig/date/ nut crust is just heavenly.

_MG_2272Chocolate Mousse Pecan Tart

This easy-to-make chocolate (sweet potato) mousse pecan tart is really easy to make and is just so pretty to look at!

Our collaboration required a lot of hard work, but it was so worth being able to spend time together, getting to know one another better, with the intention of sharing the fruits of our labor with our readers!  To add to the list of things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful that Instagram, veganism, the desire to eat delicious yet nutritious food and to share it with others brought me to meet so many amazing people, like Jasmine!  It’s been fun learning from and about one another, and I look forward to many years of friendship!

 

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Make sure to check out more details on our fun-filled day in the kitchen by reading my previous post!  We also thought it would be fun to interview each other so you can learn a little more about us.  My interview is on Jasmine’s blog, and Jasmine’s interview is here.  

 

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

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May you and your loved ones enjoy a

 

 

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 With Love,

Yvonne and Jasmine <3

Photo Credit: Many of the photos in this post were photographed by Jasmine Briones.

 

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Quinoa Stuffing

_MG_2207When Jasmine and I first discussed putting together a Thanksgiving feast to share with you all, the first thing she said was, “I have a quinoa stuffing and mushroom rice recipe!”  She made this stuffing last year for her family and everyone enjoyed it.  I’m not surprised since I know she’s a great cook!

Interestingly, as we were cooking away in the kitchen, Jasmine’s aunt stopped by, tasted the stuffing and said, “this tastes like fried rice!”  Since I like to use quinoa as a rice substitute, I thought maybe the quinoa just reminded her aunt of rice.  Finally, when I tasted the stuffing myself, I actually agreed with her aunt.  However, this dish has a holiday flair with the dried fruit, sweet potato, herbs, and pecans.  It is delicious!

My husband doesn’t typically like quinoa, but with all of the different flavors in this quinoa stuffing, he really enjoyed it!  This oil-free, high protein, and nutrient-dense stuffing is sure to please!

Jasmine and I created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes!  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration.  We hope you add this dish, as well as many of our other recipes, to your holiday tables!

 

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

Quinoa Stuffing
Servings: 4-6
Time: 40 mins
Diet: V, GF, SF, SRF
By: Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan

Ingredients
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups quinoa
1 bay leaf
2 cups diced sweet potato
2 small zucchinis, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 medium white onion, diced
¼ cup diced dried apricots
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
¼ cup toasted pecans
sea salt, as needed
freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions
Quinoa:
In a medium saucepot bring 1¼ cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat (do not lift lid!) and allow the quinoa to steam for 10 minutes.

Vegetables:
Heat ¼ cup vegetable broth in a pan over low heat. Add in the celery, white onion, garlic and sage. When fragrant, add in the sweet potato and zucchinis and cook covered for 5 minutes. Then remove cover and cook until slightly browned. If necessary, add more broth, but you want it to cook until almost dry (but avoid burning!).

Assemble:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the quinoa with the veggie mixture together and the last ½ cup of vegetable broth. Place into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Add in the green onions, apricots, cranberries, pecans, parsley and lemon. Toss to combine.

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Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

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Every holiday table should have a pop of green! I’ve never had kale during a holiday meal (maybe next year), but I’ve always had green beans or broccolini. These green beans are crisp, a little spicy, a little tangy, and full of flavor.  They’re a snap to make, too!

Hope this finds its way to your table this holiday season!

My friend, Jasmine, and I want to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!  We created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds dance for joy!  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Vegan and Gluten-free Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!

Please make sure to tag us on 

Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan

 Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

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Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Servings: 6-8

Time: 15 minutes

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, CFNF, NF

 

Ingredients

1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed

1 tsp cold-pressed olive oil

½ large shallot, sliced thin

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1-2 arbol chiles, sliced thin diagonally (can substitute ¼-1/2 tsp red chili flakes)

2 Tbsp vegetable stock

1 Tbsp lemon zest

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

1. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Blanch green beans in the boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock the green beans in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.

2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant and a little browned, about a minute or two. Add the beans, vegetable stock, and continue to sauté until coated in the oil and heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to overcook–they’re great with a bit of a bite, crispiness. Add lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and toss.

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Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)

_MG_2321Last year I made a good candied sweet potato recipe.  However, I wanted to make an easier and better-for-you version of the side dish I grew up loving during the holidays.  This new recipe is so much simpler and contains far less sugar.  I even like the flavor better.  It’s still sweet, has a hint of orange and cinnamon flavor.  I love it. Although I prefer yams, feel free to use either yams or sweet potatoes in this recipe.  Also, this recipe can be made oil-free.  I added the oil just to give these sweet potatoes a glossy sheen.

My friend, Jasmine, and I created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds dance for joy! We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration! We hope you and your family love it!

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)
Servings: 6-8
Time: 1 hour
Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF

 Ingredients

4 cups sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

3/4 cup orange juice, fresh

1 ½ cup filtered water

1 cup medjool dates, pitted

¼ tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)

 

Directions

Note: Best made a day or a few hours in advance.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes or yams. Place them in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” casserole dish, and place the casserole dish in the center of a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

3. In a blender, add the remaining ingredients: orange juice, filtered water, pitted medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and oil. Blend well, until the dates are pulverized. If the mixture is a little chunky, that’s fine.

4. Pour the wet mixture over the sweet potatoes or yams and toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 45-55 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, and cook until the sweet potatoes or yams are fork tender.

5. If made a day in advance, remove from the refrigerator and place in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

 

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Garlicky Cauliflower Puree

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my lovely friend, Jasmine Briones, and I want to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!  We created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds dance for joy!  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!

This recipe is a great healthy vegan take on garlic mashed potatoes.  Garlicky Cauliflower Puree dressed with Mushroom Gravy is a wonderful side dish for any holiday meal.  It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!

When trying to eliminate or reduce carbs like rice or potatoes from your diet, using cauliflower is a perfect substitute.  I use cauliflower to make cauliflower “rice”, a couscous substitute, and to make cauliflower puree or mash.

This garlicky cauliflower puree feels and tastes very similar to mashed potatoes, but is so much better for you.  This recipe contains no cream, butter, fake butter, or oil.  Roasted garlic gives this a lovely full flavor.  I enjoy my garlicky cauliflower puree with “Meat”loaf and Mushroom Gravy.

What are some benefits of eating cauliflower?  This cruciferous vegetable is naturally high in both fiber and B-vitamins.  One cup of cooked cauliflower equals 2.28 grams of protein.  It also contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer, fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory, omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, as well as many other important nutrients.

We hope you enjoy this recipe during the holidays and throughout the year!

Note: This recipe has already been shared on my blog and is a client favorite. Hope it will be one of your favorites, too!

 

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on 

Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan

 Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

Garlicky Cauliflower Puree

Servings: 6-8

Time: 40 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 large head of garlic

1 head of cauliflower

2+ cups vegetable stock

½ tsp sea salt

 

Garnish

¼ bunch chives

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Slice off the top of a large head of garlic to expose the cloves inside. Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil, cut side up. Drizzle about 2-3 Tbsp vegetable stock and wrap it tightly in the foil. Roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 30-35 minutes.

3. Clean the cauliflower, removing the outer leaves and base. In a medium saucepot, add 2 cups of vegetable stock, ¼ tsp sea salt, and the cauliflower. Set the pot over medium heat.  Bring it to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

4. Once the garlic has roasted, let it rest for at least 5 minutes.  It will be hot.  Carefully open the foil, pick up the bulb, and push the garlic cloves from the skin (peel), starting from the bottom up, pushing the roasted cloves out and into a blender.

5.  Strain the cauliflower and reserve the vegetable stock.  Transfer the cauliflower to the blender.  Add the remaining ¼ tsp sea salt. Add ½ of the reserved liquid. Blend and adjust the consistency. If the cauliflower is too thick, add more stock. If it’s too thin, try cooking the liquid out on the stovetop.

6. Season to taste and top with chopped chives.

 

Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on 

Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan

 Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

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