Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, December 2, 2013

What I Ate for The Holidays

I tore the ligaments in my right ankle about three weeks ago.  It has been a slow healing process, and not at the ideal time with the holidays here.  Last week, I hosted a family Hanukkah dinner, and was a guest at two other holiday gatherings where I brought dishes.  Normally, I would be prepping all week, and cooking and baking all day in anticipation of these events.  It is my joy to make delicious food that my family and friends will enjoy.  Given my bummed ankle, I had to "adapt and overcome," as my father would say.  I modified my menus and took a little help from semi-homemade products, as well as friends and family who stepped up to cook vegan on my account.  Here's what I ate: 

Vegan Hanukkah Feast
First night of Hanukkah
Our lovely friends, the Rinslers, hosted us the first night.  We get together every year for The Festival of Lights.  They graciously took over all the cooking for the night, including this great vegan latke recipe.  I brought some marinated tempeh (Spork Fed cookbook) that I prepped in the morning in just 10 minutes, and had my friend cook it up with the rest of the meal.

Vegan turkey dinner from Trader Joe's
As you saw from a post earlier this month, I had my Thanksgiving meal all planned out.  Unfortunately, that dish will have to wait (hoping for Christmas Eve).  Instead, my mom suggested I try out the vegan "turkey" dinner at Trader Joe's.  This was a great option and I recommend it for a ready-to-serve meal.  The "turkey" was moist, tasty, and came filled with stuffing and a delicious gravy to pour on top.  I also brought a pumpkin cheesecake (click here for recipe), that was easy to prepare sitting down next to the Cuisinart.  I also had to bring the turkey veggie platter I posted earlier this month.  Thanks to my hubby, who did all the grocery shopping, I easily plated this sitting down with my foot elevated.  

Fourth night of Hanukkah
This was our big family celebration with my in-laws, nephews, and husband's aunt.  It is our annual tradition and we hosted this year.  My husband and I both wanted to keep the dinner at our home, so I changed up my originally planned menu for this one:

Butternut Squash soup - I bought one from Trader Joe's instead of making one homemade.     

Traditional and sweet potato latkes - My husband did the heavy lifting with the latkes.  Thanks to the Cuisinart, I was able to help with the prep, while he fried them up.

Field Roast Sage and Apple Sausages - I made a vegetable couscous and topped it with the sausages sliced on top.

Maple Brussels Sprouts - I used my new favorite recipe from The Lemonade Cookbook.  These are roasted, so I just needed to prepare the marinade, toss, and put in the oven.

I had my sis and mom-in-law help with appetizers and a salad.  For dessert, my daughter helped make sufganiyot cupcakes and peanut butter and gelt cookies.  (These will be a tradition on our Hanukkah menu!)

Whew.  I did it!  And the Festival of Lights continues for three more days!  I have a Field Roast Celebration Roast with a Tofurkey vegan "giblet" gravy planned for another night, along with these yummy stuffed sweet potatoes and roasted broccolini.  Then, it's tacos tomorrow (for our weekly Taco Tuesday).  Tacos are not exactly traditional, but they are fried in oil, and fried foods are a mainstay on Hanukkah menus, so I figure it counts!

Happy holidays to all of you.  I hope you are enjoying the season and eating well!