Belated Christmas Cheer

This Christmas was the best one yet. Not only did Santa get me a Camelbak backpack and an Eat More Kale t-shirt, but they joined me in eating a complete vegan meal. After reveling in my happiness, I reflected on how much my parents have opened their minds to my vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. When I first announced my decision to become vegetarian, my dad gave me a few months. And no, my dad wasn’t being a pessimistic jerk, I’ve had a tendency to pick up random things (like dancing or playing the clarinet) only to quit and move on to something else. However, here I am 4 years later embracing a vegan lifestyle! And my parents who once would wince at the foods I prepared are now eating meat free meals with me!

After opening presents, my dad and I got busy in the kitchen. He made his fabulous breakfast potatoes and I made a breakfast scramble!

And Joey stayed in this spot for most of they day…

Traditionally, our Christmas dinners would consist of ham, au gratin potatoes and green bean hotdish. This year I veganized the au gratins…

green bean hotdish…

and rather than having ham we had Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry En Croute!

Here is everything put together

My parents loved the green bean hotdish, the potatoes in the au gratins were a tad undercooked and my dad said the roast was alright, but that it needed my onion gravy. MY onion gravy! I am so grateful for such open-minded parents 🙂

Recipes…

Au Gratins were from About.com

  • 3 potatoes, sliced about 1/3 inch thick (I used a bag of Simply Potatoes, all ready to go!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1/4 cup olive oil (I’d omit most of this next time, seems like too much oil!)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (omitted this)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp paprika (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350.Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes. Drain well, then spread half the potatoes in casserole dish.In a large skillet, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and add vegan margarine and flour, stirring continuously until thickened.Add boiling water, salt, soy sauce and turmeric, stirring frequently until thickened. Add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and nutritional yeast, stirring again just until well mixed.Pour half of the sauce mixture over half of the potatoes in the casserole dish; add a layer of the remaining potatoes, then cover with remaining sauce.Cover and bake for ten minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with optional paprika.Allow to cool before servings, as sauce will thicken as it cools.

Green Bean Hotdish/Casserole was from Isa’s Post Punk Kitchen site

  • 4 cups green beans (1 lb), fresh or frozen (ends chopped if fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups creamy mushroom soup (one box)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt fresh black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 6 oz can of fried onions, divided

Bring a pot of water to boil for the green beans. When ready, boil for about 7 minutes then drain.

Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 7 minutes more.

Mix the flour into the mushroom soup until very few lumps are left. Add to the pan along with the salt, peppers, and, if using, the nutritional yeast and vegetable broth powder. Stir often for about 10 minutes, until thickened.

Preheat oven to 375. Add the green beans to the pan and use your spatula chop them up a bit into smaller pieces (roughly in half). Mix in half of the fried onions. Transfer to an oiled casserole and top with the remaining onions. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes.

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