Friday, November 23, 2012

Easy Thanksgiving Dinner

Yesterday was probably my easiest and best Thanksgiving ever.  I swore after last year that I would never spend all day (12 hours) in the and cleaning.  And as much as I love cooking--it's just not worth it.  My menu yesterday took 4 1/2 hours from start to finish (prep, cooking, eating and cleanup)!  So instead of starting to cook at 8:00am, I slept in, had a relaxing breakfast with my husband reading the paper, surfed the web, played games, went for a walk and then at 1:00pm I started my first prep!  So here's what I served:

  • Autumn Wild Rice Salad:  This salad is gluten free.  I used a combination of wild rice, brown basmati rice, red quinoa, diced butternut squash, carrots, celery, sage, thyme, pomegranate seeds and a pomegranate vinaigrette.  I made a similar salad last year using whole grain couscous.  This salad can be served at room temperature or chilled.
  • Blue Lake Green Beans with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette:  I blanched the green beans in salted boiling water for 1-1/2 minutes and then shocked in ice water, drained and set aside.  I then made a quick vinaigrette with minced garlic, shallots, thyme, whole grain mustard, freshly squeezed lemon juice, white balsamic, grapeseed oil and olive oil.  Just before serving I sauteed the beans with some of the vinaigrette to heat through.
  • Smashed Baby Fingerling Potatoes with Garlic & Chive Cream:  This couldn't be simpler--no potatoes to peel...I made a quick roasted garlic-cashew cream sauce (soaked cashews, water, 1 roasted garlic bulb, salt and pepper and blended it together).  I cooked the potatoes in salted boiling water, drained, smashed, added vegan butter, roasted garlic cream sauce and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Roasted Shallot GravyThis is a delicious gravy made in 30 minutes using no cornstarch or butter.  I thinly sliced 5 large shallots (about 3 cups), along with 6 oz of sliced cremini mushrooms.  I sauteed them in olive oil for about 10 minutes until caramelized and then added minced garlic, fresh thyme and deglazed with ruby port wine.  I cooked the wine off and added 4 cups of vegetable stock and reduced for 20 minutes.  I blended everything together along with 3 tbsp nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Field Roast (Celebration): I braised the roast for about 35-40 minutes in a small casserole dish with vegetable stock, fresh sage, fresh thyme sprigs and olive oil.  I browned the top the last few minutes of cooking, sliced to desired thickness and poured remaining broth over top upon serving.
That's pretty much it except that I purchased freshly made cranberry-orange chutney and a vegan pumpkin pie from my work.  As much as I like baking and making pies--it takes too long.  Yes, it is a little bit more expensive, but the time savings is well worth it!  Oh and I can't forget the wine to round out the meal...I served Talbott Kali Hart 2010 Pinot Noir from Monterey.  It complimented the meal beautifully!  

And tonight is another easy cooking night...can't wait to eat the leftovers! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving--I really did! 

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