Thanksgiving Post: Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

HUGE bowl of stuffing with glimpses of tofurkey, brussel sprouts and apples & squash. Happy Thanksgiving!!

This Thanksgiving was a really great one! It has been quite the amazing year!

I am so thankful for my life and what this last year has brought. Although I have taught just a few yoga classes, cooked just a few meals and had literally just brief moments alone with myself (things that I always valued and still do) I am brimming with happiness and joy! There are not words to express how much I love these two angels, being their mama, how much I love my husband and how much I love being present to him being the world’s greatest and most loving father!
SO much has gone on this year with birthing and loving twins as well as buying and renovating a house all while the 4 of us live in a small 1 bedroom apartment and still this has been the best year ever. It has come with its frustrations and tensions but at the same time has brought such an overwhelming love between us and our children as well. I feel so blessed to have the amazing experience of raising and being raised by my children. Each and every moment has been amazing, even when I don’t have any free seconds, (Like right now as I type this I am still the “mama jungle gym” with the babies climbing all over me!)

This Thanksgiving we all gathered at my Sister-in-Laws apartment. Lots of great food and great family fun! (imagine her 4 year old twin girls running around everywhere and my twins crawling in every direction!)

I made enough brussel sprouts and stuffing as if there were 3x as many people but believe me, the leftovers did not disappoint us 🙂 I made my go-to brussel sprouts recipe, with 3 pounds of brussels.

Last year during my pregnancy when I was finally feeling well enough to cook again the first thing I made was Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing. So it only felt right to make stuffing again after another long departure from the kitchen! This year though I asked my mom for her amazing recipe and we were very happy with the results 🙂 (you can always halve or third the recipe if you don’t feel like you need enough stuffing for an army!)

The best thing (besides the stuffing of course!) is that this mixture can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use. It can also be used at a vegan/vegetarian side dish, a condiment or a bread spread. We have used it for spreads on sandwiches, a relish for vegan hot dogs, an easy tofu scramble recipe and in a pasta sauce so far this last week alone!

Also a great thanksgiving leftover idea (Inspired by the Thanksgiving sandwich as Terri’s): take a wrap, spread cranberry sauce all over, and add tofurkey and stuffing. ENJOY!! We loved these!

Whole Lotta Stuffing!

Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

  • 1/2 cup oil (your choice)(I used olive)
  • 3-4 lbs of chopped onions
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3-4 peppers, chopped (assorted colors, if possible)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basic recipe for 3 boxes or bags of bread stuffing (I used some corn and some multi-grain) (I used about 1.5 cups of margarine & a 32 ounce box of veggie broth. My mom says to use slightly less broth and butter than specified on the package to compensate for liquid in vegetable mixture.)
  1. Saute onions until soft – about 15 minutes.
  2. Add celery and garlic and continue to cook another 15 minutes.
  3. Drain mixture into a large colander or strainer, reserving liquid.  Pour liquid back into pot, add peppers and saute for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add onion mixture back into pot and cook for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Day of serving stuffing, prepare according to box/package with broth and margarine. (see my notes above) Add onion mixture and bake in a casserole dish (or several) according to the package. (Mine was 350 degrees for 30 minutes)

the onion mixture! fyi: my mom makes hers finer which is better for using it as a spread

Stuffing: Pre-baking

Figgy Brussel Sprouts with Grapes and Walnuts

My friend Lisa Dawn, the inspiration behind the amazing Coconut Lentil Soup, recently told me about this amazing brussel sprout dish she made. We L-O-V-E brussel sprouts here, so we are always up for a new recipe with them.

She adapted this from ilili’s brussel sprout recipe. It was really sweet, very fresh, quick and super deelish.

Also see her guest post with the most deelish looking Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

Figgy Brussel Sprouts with Grapes and Walnuts

1 lb Brussel sprout, quartered
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 cup grapes, halved
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fig jam
2 tablespoons water

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Toss Brussel Sprouts with olive oil and Salt and Pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small pot, melt fig jam with water.
  4. Mix roasted brussel sprouts with grapes, walnuts and fig mixture.
  5. Enjoy!!

Love the Super Bright Green Brussels!

Caramelized Tofu and Brussel Sprouts

We love all things Brussel Sprouts and this one was a real winner 🙂 definitely on the sweet side, so you may want to tone down the brown sugar, but it was very tasty the way we made it. Pecans went perfectly with the sprouts. For my go-to brussel sprouts I normally use pine nuts (although once I made with pistachios) so this was a nice change. Plus I loved using the same pan to have a great one-pot meal. Fast to make, Easy to clean up and Really yummy to eat!

Caramelized Tofu and Brussel Sprouts
adapted from 101cookbooks.com
Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

1 block extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
4-5 tablespoons fine-grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar
1 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons

Cook the tofu cubes in large hot skillet with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes. Scrape the tofu out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.

In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.

Combine and Enjoy!!

Super Bright Green Brussels 🙂

Tofu and Pecans

Brussels Sprouts and Pistachios

As much as I love my go-to brussel sprouts, I wanted to try something new. Instead of chopping up the brussel sprouts I peeled the leaves off individually. This gave them such a light a deelish texture.I really loved this dish, but then again I have never met a brussel sprout I didn’t like. 🙂 They have such an amazing nutty flavor that I love to pair with nuts. I chose pistachios this time over my usual pine nuts. Loved it! This is also an incredibly fast cooking recipe once the sprouts have been prepped.

SO Bright and Gorgeous!!

Brussels Sprouts and Pistachios

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed, and leaves peeled
1/2 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper

In a non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and saute shallot for 30 seconds. Add Brussels sprout leaves and pistachios, and sauté until leaves begin to soften but are still bright green, about 3 minutes. Drizzle lemon juice over and season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Multi-grain Crusted Chicken with Roasted Veggies

This is a super easy one to throw together. My husband loved it! I am sure this would be great for kids as well if you use chicken tenders instead of breasts, such a better version than the fried chicken fingers out there! This would be great with a sauce or on its own. You could always play with the mixture and add spices as well. I love that I mixed the mayo with mustard to cut the fat in half. Michael does not like the taste of mustard, but he said he couldn’t taste it at all, which is perfect! It adds all the moisture you need while cutting the fat.

As usual I doubled the recipe so I could freeze these in individual portions, but I wrote it out for more functional use 🙂 But feel free to do what I did, they froze perfectly!

I always make my own breadcrumbs but to keep this extra simple just buy a good store brand. But I find making them is just as simple 🙂 What I do is toast about 4 slices of multi-grain bread (we keep it in the house, so it is really convenient). I then let the slices cool a bit before cutting the edges off and tossing the pieces into the food processor. A couple of pulses and I have bread crumbs.

Multi-grain Crusted Chicken

  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups multi-grain bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with the salt and pepper.
  2. Blend together the mustard and mayonnaise and coat the chicken with the mixture.
  3. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a dinner plate, or equivalent and roll the chicken around on it to cover them.
  4. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and cook until cooked through 14-25 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken is)

I love roasted veggies! Of course, my beloved brussel sprouts found their way into this one 🙂 I could eat a dish like this all year-round but it just feels right in the fall/winter. Super simple, yet all the goodness and nutrition of the veggies. Pearl onions are one of my favorites too. I used fresh ones for this recipe, but to keep it simple and easy just buy a frozen box of them and toss it in.

As usual, I encourage you to play around with the recipe and substitute your favorites!

Roasted Veggies

1 pound baby carrots
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups pearl onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all the veggies with the olive oil in a large baking pan. (9×13 is the best for this)
  2. Place in the oven and stir half way through.  Roast are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes total.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and Enjoy!

Fabulous Pot-Luck part 2

After enjoying plenty of wine and Judith’s Amazing Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettait was time to sit and enjoy the main course. I made 3 dishes for our pot-luck; a Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte, an updated version of my Fresh Summer Bruschetta Pasta, and my go-to brussel sprout recipe. I must say, that everything turned out deelish 🙂

To see the recipe for my Fresh Summer Bruschetta Pasta click on the link. The only differences were that I used red onion instead of shallots and fresh ricotta instead of goat cheese. I also doubled this recipe which could have fed 10+ people! The fresh ricotta was an amazing addition. Mixing it with the hot, fresh pasta made the cheese melt right into it and it was soo good! Because I had doubled the recipe we had tons of leftovers! Good thing Michael really enjoys this dish 🙂

For the side dish I made my go-to brussel sprout recipe. It was inspired around my Aunt Carole and Aunt Joanne’s brussel sprouts. I am so lucky to come from an amazing family full of fabulously talented women! This dish would make a person who thought they hated brussel sprouts a true believer! They are super tasty and so good for you!

I have never written down this recipe so all my measurements are approximates.

For the other entree I made a Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte! mmmm! I first made this a few years back when Michael and I were just dating. It is still a main concern of mine to make the most scrumptious food out there, but of course when you are dating you want to really impress! This is an exceptional entree or side dish that is so deeeeelish! Yummy filling and puff pastry, how can you really go wrong? You can play with the filling, for instance if you aren’t into mushrooms just leave them out or substitue some cauliflower or cooked potatoes. This is a luscious and playful dish, have fun with it 🙂 If you want to keep it 100% vegan use soy milk to brush on top of the pastry to get that gorgeous shine instead of an egg wash. (1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water)

I had a little trouble cutting it, but it was still amazing!

Brussel Sprouts with toasted Pine Nuts

2 pints of brussel sprouts, cleaned and trimmed, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
onions (optional)
salt to taste

In a large pot saute the brussel sprouts with the olive oil and garlic for 5-10 minutes. They will turn bright green and gorgeous! Add in the pine nuts and salt to taste. Enjoy!

*the cooking time depends on if you like your brussel sprouts crispy or cooked through, taste as you cook to tell.

*sometimes I saute some onions beforehand and put them in with the brussel sprouts, always delicious!

*to toast the pine nuts; pour onto a baking sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, being careful that they do not burn.

Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte
serves 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup red wine
2 cups canned chestnuts, pureed
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb frozen puff pastry, defrosted
soy milk or egg wash

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the oil in a large pot, add onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and cook for 2-5 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced. Remove the pan from heat and add in the chestnuts, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.

Roll out the pastry dough into 2 strips. The first should be around 6x12in and the other 9x12in. Place the first strip onto a baking sheet which has been sprayed with cooking spray or water. Spread the chestnut mixture over the pastry, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge. Form the mixture into a neat loaf. Brush the edges with water and lay the 2nd piece of pastry on top. Press the edges down to seal and trim. Make a few steam holes with a fork and brush with soy milk or egg wash.

Bake for 8 minutes and reduce heat to 400degrees and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!!

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