A LITTLE SCHEDULE CHANGE
Usually around holiday time, my schedule falls apart as my attentions turn to decorating and shopping and eating and all those other holiday distractions. Instead of holding myself to any rigorous writing schedule, I plan to post one Thanksgiving main dish, one Thanksgiving side dish and one Thanksgiving dessert between here and–you guessed it–Thanksgiving!
I’ll do the same in December for Christmas dishes! Just three posts. I think that sounds reasonable.
A LITTLE ACTIVISM (I PROMISE)
Like many of you, I am stunned by the presidential election. Boy, am I. I’m a lifelong Democrat, so I won’t say any more about how I feel. You can go ahead and guess.
I decided, you know what, I have no control over what happens next, but I sure can join some causes that are important to me. Maybe I can make a donation. Maybe I can write letters. Maybe I can learn more about important causes so I can speak articulately about them. I won’t tell you all the causes I joined, because they don’t directly relate to vegan food. However, maybe you can choose a few issues close to YOUR heart and become involved with those.
One cause that DOES relate directly to vegan food is Global Warming (more broadly, the environment). I’d personally like to do better in this area. I’d like to do more. I’d like to become involved. If you feel the same, a good place to begin is with a documentary called Cowspiracy. You may find it easily on Netflix. This is not a film full of animals being brutally butchered. Please don’t worry. This is learning about an industry representing our greatest threat to environmental health. It’s thoughtful and well done. It’s not for shaming anyone. Here’s the trailer:
Please feel free to hit the “contact” button at the top of my blog and email me about causes you care to become involved with. I’m happy to listen to your thoughts.
A LOT OF THANKS
For now, I am thankful for my husband, my two kids, my good friends and my two puppy dogs! Here is a vegan main dish that might work well on your Thanksgiving table! Enjoy all your preparations! My best to you and your favorite causes!
- For the chickpea cutlets:
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- For the gravy:
- ½ cup onion, chopped finely
- 8 oz. mushroom slices, any variety
- ⅔ cup vegetable broth
- 1½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup plant-based milk
- ½ teaspoon white wine
- ½ teaspoon prepared, dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- salt to taste (optional)
- For the cutlets:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a food processor, pulse all the cutlet ingredients until crumbly.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Knead mixture for about 2 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
- Form the dough into a (roughly) 4x6-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half and then cut the two pieces in half again. Shape each piece into a "cutlet," flattening and stretching them as you go. No need to be perfect!
- Place the cutlets onto a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the cutlets and cook them for another 8 minutes until golden brown, checking to make sure they don't burn.
- For the gravy:
- While the cutlets are cooking, place the onions in a frying pan on medium-high heat with a couple tablespoons of water and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat in the pan to medium and add the mushrooms, cooking for an additional 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms lose their volume and become soft.
- In a small measuring cup, mix the vegetable broth and the cornstarch, whisking it with a fork and setting it aside.
- In another small measuring cup, mix the "milk," the wine and the mustard, whisking these ingredients with a fork and setting it aside.
- Add the vegetable broth mixture to the pan with the onions and the mushrooms. Mix until sauce thickens. You may turn down the heat if things are bubbling too aggressively, but medium heat should suffice.
- Add the "milk" mixture to the pan and mix thoroughly.
- Add the dry seasonings to the pan.
- When the cutlets are cooked, place them gently in the pan with the sauce and allow them to absorb some moisture (about 3 minutes).
- Serve immediately with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.