Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Vegan Holiday Dinner

One of the best ways to share holiday cheer with friends is by hosting the most fabulous dinner party ever! Since my friend and I have been cooking up a storm the past few weeks and finding tons of great recipes, we decided to do just that :) We made the meal completely vegan so that everyone could enjoy everything we made (we had 2 vegans, 4 vegetarians, and 5 omnis in the group). It turned out better than expected, and everyone was thoroughly impressed!

Here's the menu for our five-course dinner. I've already posted many of the recipes for the dishes that were featured. Vegan substitutions were made when necessary. I've also noted any other changes. For the ones that I haven't blogged about yet, stay tuned; I'll post those recipes soon!

Holiday Cheer in a Mug!
We used a modified version of the recipe we did for the Holiday Challenge. From the original recipe, we doubled the wine and brandy; halved the almonds and raisins; and quartered the orange peel. The recipe turned out perfect, and it was a hit!

Poached Pear Salad
A tried-and-true salad that's simple and elegant.
My friend's mom has been using this recipe for years to entertain guests. It's light, fruity, and refreshing--a great way to start off the meal!

Velvety Squash Soup
Rich, smooth, and warm.
We served a modified version of the soup we had done for the Cooking Light Challenge. Instead of using fresh squashes, we used canned puree. Unfortunately they didn't have canned acorn squash, so we used pumpkin instead. It turned our fairly well, though we did tweak the spices slightly since the pumpkin is so much more flavorful than acorn squash.

Main Course
Marshall Field's Chik'n Pot Pie
A Chicago Classic.
We used the same veganized version of the recipe that we did for the Holiday Challenge. We just omitted the first part where we had to boil the chik'n to make stock. Instead, we just used some of the liquid that came with the seitan and some veggie stock.

Mustard & Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Popular, even among Brussels sprouts-haters!
I followed the directions as written, and it took forever to reduce the sauce. The sprouts ended up a bit overcooked, but it was still very good. Next time, I'd skip the step that says to cover and cook for 10 minutes. I'll just allow it to cook uncovered until the sauce is reduced.

Acorn Squash with Apple, Sage, and Quinoa Stuffing
My new go-to dish for potlucks and guests.
For this one, we added some apple sage seitan sausages to the stuffing to increase the protein content. It went really well with the recipe! I may make this a permanent addition to the recipe from now on :)

Roasted Vegetables
Simple yet delicious.
Asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, and kohlrabi drizzled in olive oil and tossed with garlic, salt, and pepper.

Sweet Potato Pie & Pumpkin Pie
The sweet potato pie is a veganized version of the pie we learned to make at the Vegetarian Thanksgiving Class we took at the Chopping Block. It turned out just as good as the original version! For the pumpkin pie, we used the same recipe was the sweet potato pie, substituting pumpkin for sweet potato. It was very good, but we may add different spices next time to go better with the pumpkin.

Chocolate Tofu Mousse with fresh fruit
Rich Ghirardhelli's dark chocolate blended with silken tofu to create a decadent dip for our fruit platter. Also good eaten alone with a spoon ;)

Gingerbread Landscapes
The results of Lake's Ultimate Gingerbread House Challenge!

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