Thursday, December 03, 2015

A Plate of Classic Holiday Grub

Apparently this can happen when you leave a rutabaga on your kitchen counter for 3 weeks. A waxed one at that!

Traditional stuffing, or "dressing" as it's referred to down South, is usually vegetarian anyway so adapting it for a vegan holiday meal is no problem. Instead of copious cups of melted butter we used a more judicious amount of Earth Balance (healthy margarine, basically); olive oil works great as well. Swap out the turkey stock for vegetable broth, add lots of onions, parsley and celery and you're good!

Our baked stuffing's darker hue comes from sourdough pumpernickel bread, torn into chunks and toasted lightly before baking with veggies, stock and white wine.

Boiled rutabagas mashed with olive oil and seasoned with simply salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.

Why do holiday meals so often neglect the "acid" aspect necessary for a plate of balanced flavors? Solve the problem by baking a few tomatoes alongside whatever else is cooking in the oven. At Cafe Drake HRV we're partial to halved plum tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, honey or maple syrup, sea salt and just a dash of ground cinnamon.

We were fortunate enough to partake in a gigantic vegetarian Thanksgiving potluck this year, but the craving for classic fare wasn't satisfied until we whipped up a few side dishes at home. Clockwise, from bottom: Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Wedges, Roasted Tomatoes, Balsamic Glazed Lentil Loaf, Cucumber and Dill Salad, Braised Red Cabbage with Cranberries, Mashed Rutabagas and Vegan Pumpernickel Dressing.

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