Sorry the post is so late today, but today IS Thanksgiving in Canada so it’s been a bit hectic around the house this morning. All of the side dishes look lovely and I am thrilled at the results. Although it might seem overwhelming to make your own condensed mushroom soup or fried onions in the end it is all worth the small about of time and effort involved. While a bit labour intensive with all the chopping and slicing involved, other than that I didn’t find these dishes to be much more work or take much more time than the traditional versions I have been making for years.
I hope you had a great day if you too are celebrating the harvest today and if you are still looking forward to your own Thanksgiving weekend, I hope you have a wonderful day as well!
Green Bean Casserole
This is the second conversion for the holiday’s. I love this dish in the original form and the vegan/gf version turned out great. The texture was almost exactly the same and the addition of coconut oil and applesauce added a new dimension to the flavour. All in all, I am very happy with the results and will be serving this sweet potato dish often.
The taste testers all loved it and one added coconut sorbet and ate it for dessert. I am looking forward to serving this yummy sweet potato dish at my holiday table, I`m certain it will be a hit!
Sweet Potato Soufflé
Since moving to Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving twice each year! Canadian Thanksgiving is in October so I am already getting my menu ideas lined up. I have attempted vegan and/or Gluten-free side dishes in the past, but I am confident that this year will be the best so far. I found a great recipe for a vegan replacement for cream of mushroom soup that is outstanding, that ingredient has always been the stumbling block for me. Two of our favourite Thanksgiving side dishes require that gloppy goo that comes out of a can for optimal results and most substitutions I have tried in the past just don’t cut it.
I will be posting my experiments this month as I get ready to serve a great vegan and Gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner. I plan to have not only the Broccoli Rice dish but that traditional Green Bean casserole with those yummy fried onions as well as a version of my family’s favourite Sweet Potato Soufflé as side dishes this year. Once I get these perfected I suppose I will have to think about the desserts. I have already perfected a vegan pecan pie so I will just have to decide what other traditional Thanksgiving dessert to serve.
Broccoli Rice Casserole
The temperatures are not quite cooling down for fall yet, but I am getting that fall feeling anyway. This time of year I start thinking of hearty soups and homemade bread and when I found this recipe in the September issue of Alive Magazine I knew it would be perfect for crisp Autumn mornings.
Turns out I was right! We enjoyed our first morning of these delicious steel cut oats and found that with a splash of almond milk they microwaved quite nicely over the next few days so we were able to have them several times over the course of the week. It’s great to wake up to the aroma of pumpkin pie oatmeal and simply serve it up, no muss no fuss.
Pumpkin Pie Steel-cut Oatmeal
As summer is winding down in its bounty and fall produce is beginning to appear, it was a fantastic treat when a colleague brought in some tomatillos, peppers, swiss chard and kale from her garden.
I knew right away that I would be making some salsa verde with those gorgeous tomatillos! They are not often available in my area in the markets so it was a surprise that I knew someone who was growing them and was willing to share.
Now I just need to set aside some time to make some TexMex so I have even more reasons to enjoy this lovely salsa.
Growing up in Texas where beef is king, I was raised on a beef brisket and beef ribs dinner as the premier plate at our local BBQ spots. I can remember as a child going with my dad to pick up a couple of sides of ribs from a guy who cooked them over a wood fire in an open-pit, those were some delicious ribs! Of course, I had eaten pork ribs once in a while but they were never a favourite and then, I discovered Memphis style pulled pork and was a goner.
Once I moved to Canada, good BBQ and good TexMex were the only foods I truly missed. I could make my own TexMex so that became a non-issue since any ingredients I couldn’t get I could always have friends and family mail to me. The BBQ was a completely different problem, you could not find beef ribs ANYWHERE and attempting to locate a beef brisket was like looking for the Holy Grail. I remember one time taking an old cookbook with me to the butchers and showing him a photo in the book of what part of the cow I was looking for, he just shook his head and told me they didn’t cut or sell beef “that way”. At least I was able to solve my dilemma for decent chili meat by purchasing a grinder attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer so I would no longer get those strange looks when asking a butcher to grind up a nice roast with his largest grinding disk! These days you can find beef brisket occasionally but I still rarely find beef ribs, I suppose if I were to buy a side of beef I could get the cuts I want, but that seems a bit over the top just to get some ribs and brisket.
One Christmas our friends gave me a lovely crock pot cookbook that included a recipe for Southern Style Pulled Pork and I have been in heaven since then. This recipe is so simple and so delicious that I make it very often and is a standby when we have large gatherings. I hope you enjoy this one as much as our family has over the years.
Blueberry season just passed and there were fresh blueberries available at the local farmers markets that were simply gorgeous. I have had the recipe for this fabulous coffee cake for years and always make it during the berry season with fresh, plump blueberries. The recipe was shared with me by a dear friend who is a brilliant baker, but the original recipe was the 1954 Pillsbury $100,000 Recipe & Baking Contest winner by Renny Powell, it has become one of the standards for many a Southern household.
Late summer has always been one of my favourite times of the year, so many fruits and vegetables are in season. The bounty is fabulous but also makes quite a bit of work with all the canning and freezing. I had a rare weekend off and spent it happily baking Blueberry Boy Bait and canning applesauce. One of my colleagues brought her early apples to work and I greedily took an entire box of them home with me. I now have jars of unsweetened applesauce and jars of applesauce with the Apple Pie Spice blend I made last week. I still have enough blueberries to make some blueberry jam and I noticed at the grocery today that concord grapes are on sale so I will be making some grape jelly sometime this week as well. There were some dill cucumbers at the same shop so hopefully I have the time to can some garlic dill pickles and some of my great grandmother’s bread and butter pickles too.
I ended up making 4 cakes, the original version was perfect and the Gluten-free version came out perfect on the first go, the vegan version required 2 attempts to get it right but in the end, I was successful! I hope you enjoy the recipe and please, let me know if it’s mystical powers happen to work for you!
Blueberry Boy Bait