After S and I spent five glorious days tooling around Maryland and eating delicious foodz, I took a super-cheap, super-fast Southwest flight up to Rhode Island to spend Christmas proper with my family. I had three pre-Christmas days to spend with my family and friends, and I spent a healthy amount of that time helping to plan Christmas dinner (and dessert, duh). I’m always grateful that my parents usually host holidays at their house, because it means that we can limit the amount of meat that’s served. Of course, this doesn’t always work out as expected – last year, due to some miscommunications and mis…understandings… we only had one vegan main dish instead of the smorgasbord of vegan delights I’d imagined. Live and learn.
This year, our vegan options were plentiful. In fact, except for a giant pot o’ meat my grandmother brought, all of our main dinner was vegan. Hellz yeah. Mom decided to serve a casual three-course dinner – we served the salad and soup courses while the family was socializing, so they could eat and chat wherever they were most comfortable. We then all sat down at the table[s] for the main course. I liked this approach – it was comfortable and casual, yet structured. And it allowed the fish-eaters to munch sushi as a sort of pre-salad first course without the vegheads in the mix feeling left out; we were busy preparing the salad and soup bowls.
Anyway, enough backstory – to the food!
Instead of serving a regular ol’ lettuce-based salad, Mum decided we should serve kale salad. I was a little dubious – I didn’t want our omni guests to roll their eyes and comment on “that weird stuff vegans eat,” but I wasn’t giving the kale (and Mom!) enough credit. Mom bought a package of baby kale, something I’d never seen before, and I made a simple salad – kale, carrots, and tomatoes tossed in a double batch of Angela’s amazing Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing. So good! And everyone seemed to enjoy it. My uncle was particularly vocal about it, praising the kale’s crisp crunchiness. Success!
Next, we served a Spiced Squash Bisque, made by mi madre. As you can see, it was still a little chunky, and not pureed into a true bisque. She used a hot curry powder instead of the milder recommended spices, rendering our soup a bit spicy and very tasty. While I enjoyed the gentle kick of heat, I know Grammy wasn’t so fond of it!
Mum also prepared most of our main meal. She put together a really tasty Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Saute, along with a scrumptious Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries. The pilaf had a bit of curry in it, making it a great companion piece to the soup. Both of these dishes were delicious, and we almost didn’t need the meat analogue Mom had picked up for the vegetarians among us – Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y.
I’d never tried this particular Gardein variety, but I had high hopes – I’m a big fan of Gardein; their products are great in a time crunch. The turk’y was no exception. Each piece was small, but filling, and stuffed with a yummy cranberry-based stuffing. I was glad I shared my piece with my brother, because I was already so full from the soup and salad courses that I could barely finish my plate o’ real food! But finish it I did, and of course I also left room for dessert. More about that in another post. ;)
How was your holiday? Did you enjoy a mostly-vegan meal?