As promised, here is the Christmas blog post with pictures! I’m not going to bother putting up stuff I’ve made before, so feel free to click over to my Vegan Mac-n-Cheese or Sweet Potato Salsa posts for pictures and recipes of those.
Overall, dinner went well. Everything was completely vegan and made by myself, as I seem to have a masochistic tendency to commit to cooking massive holiday dinners. Ah well, works for me as I get to eat everything. On to the pictures!
The main course! I made the Seitan chops smothered in apples and ginger from the Post Punk Kitchen website, which calls for the simple seitan recipe from Veganomicon with chickpea flour subbed for the nutritional yeast called for. I was really nervous about serving seitan to your average Standard American Diet-ers, but it went over really well and most of my family even had seconds. I don’t think my brother or Nana even realized it wasn’t meat at first, until my Dad asked, “So this isn’t meat, but it has the texture of meat?” and my brother looked perturbed, asked what it was made of then and promptly stopped eating it. Whatever, everyone else seemed to enjoy it.
Besides checking for allergens, I hate telling people immediately what’s in my food for this reason. Half the time people will gobble up everything happily, having no idea it wasn’t made of the usual crap until they find out I’m vegan later on. Anyway, my Mom liked these better than the chickpea cutlets I made for Thanksgiving, also from Veganomicon. However, I think this is more my fault than Veganomicon’s, as I took a recipe that usually made 4 cutlets and something-tupled it until there were about 30, so every cutlet did not get the amount of tender love and care that it should’ve, plus they sat in the fridge for an entire day before I cooked and served them.
Besides the seitan chops and other recipes mentioned above, I roasted three types of potatoes (red, white and purple!) with some carrots, olive oil, salt and spices. It came out okay, pretty basic and no picture, though. Having purple potatoes was kinda cool, however.
The first dessert was the agave nectar cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World with the Super Natural Agave Icing from the same book. I know I made this last time in the form of the cake, but I opted for a sort-of lame but satisfying to tear apart cupcake cake this time. As in, I made cupcakes, grouped them all together and then frosted them all as one. I altered both recipes a bit, as I only had dark agave nectar and they called for light. Additionally, I had a soy powder that tasted especially beany (are they all like this?) so the frosting tasted way too soy-like based on the recipe as written. I ended up adding some cocoa powder, more agave nectar, a splash of vanilla and a bit of powdered sugar to make it better. It worked, more or less. Sort of defeated the purpose of a diabetic-friendly dessert, but at least it wasn’t ALL powdered sugar.
A picture of how I decorated the cupcake-cake! I sprinkled powdered sugar all over ’em and then crushed up a sugar-free candy cane for the top. I had no idea candy canes were so difficult to crush. My method was to bludgeon them with a large wooden spoon in a bowl, but most of them ended up projectile shooting across the kitchen instead. Oops! The result was very pretty and Christmas-appropriate, however.
Last, but not least, was the Eggnog Cheesecake recipe from the FatFree Vegan Kitchen blog. This was my favorite and the leftovers taste even better after sitting in the fridge. My parents’ friends had NO idea it wasn’t real cheesecake until they were told, so that’s a good sign. I still like FFV’s Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake the best, but this gave me an excuse to try Silk’s Soy Nog at last. Now I just have to figure out how to use up the rest of it…any ideas? It’s good, but pretty rich so I can’t drink a lot of it at once. Here’s a picture of the inside of the “cheese”cake:
Yum! It was a good dinner. It was only my immediate family and my Nana, so five less people to cook for this time. Plus, I have some vegan butterscotch and white chocolate chips heading my way, a candy mold and some food-grade cocoa butter to play around with. Not to mention my two new cookbooks: Alternative Vegan: International Vegan Fare Straight From The Produce Aisle and The Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again! I’m excited for the culinary adventures ahead with these new items! Now what to make?!