With VeganMoFo being at a close, I decided to take a little break from my kitchen and computer to catch up on things I neglected over the month long cooking fest: the heaps of laundry, my kitchen in a constantly state of chaos just begging to be cleaned, caught up on snuggles with my overly affectionate cat who cried at my feet when I was cooking and I broke in a new book that wasn’t food related. However this break was very short lived since omg Thanksgiving is only 13 days away!! What??! Where did that come from? So my apologies for the break but I had some recipe testing to do!
Until this year, I have worked every Thanksgiving at a barbecue restaurant and it always is a real life hell since the staff is reduced but it is still crazy busy. I am literally running for 6 hours until we close but there is a silver lining to working on this holiday: the annual staff potluck dinner after the shift. All the staff, including those who aren’t working but come in help close down the restaurant: putting up chairs, the endless sorting and rolling of cutlery, bussing tables and cleaning every surface in that place. We all work hard so all of us can sit down and enjoy a meal together. You would think working in a restaurant we would be having meals together all the time but this couldn’t be further from the truth, with the exception of sharing a plate of cold fries.
The people I work with are not just coworkers, they are my friends: we help each other move, go on vacations together, drink (heavily) together and are always there for you when you need them to cover your section so you can shame eat a kid’s dessert in the bathroom before you have a mental breakdown. The last one happens a lot more than you would think.
There are a lot of funny and painfully accurate articles on BuzzFeed on how it is to be a server but my coworkers make it worth it to crack a fake smile to a rude table and speak to them with a voice 10 octaves higher than your normal voice. These people help me in so many ways and I am thankful to them every single time I punch in to start my shift.
When I said I wanted to create this site, not one of them questioned me or suggested that I may be in way over my head, even when I did. They were all supportive, offered their help when they could and have been my taste testers since I started. This post is dedicated to them, the people that make my job survivable, the people who I get silly drunk with, who make my birthday so special every year and the people who I look forward to seeing everyday, hands down my favourite part of my job. I am thankful to all of you.
I hope you are spending your holiday with your loved ones, whether family you are born into or the one you made for yourself. Happy Thanksgiving from Sprouts and Chocolate!
Vegan Thanksgiving Roundup From Blogs I Love:
Fork and Beans: Thanksgiving-themed Foods
Oh She Glows: The Best Shredded Kale Salad
Vegetarian Snob: Comforting Coconut Butternut Squash Fall Soup (Don’t forget to download their 12 Fall Favourite: Vegan Warming Comforting Seasonal Recipes E-Book! I downloaded one and LOVE it!)
This Rawsome Vegan Life: PUMPKIN CASHEW CREAM CAKE with CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Post Punk Kitchen: Stuffed Thanksgiving Burger
Lunchbox Bunch: Ginger-Maple Fall Spiced Tofu Cubes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar is a good choice too)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1 ½ cups du Puy lentils, picked through to remove any pebbles and rinsed over a fine mesh strainer (if you can’t find these pebbly French lentils, green lentils are a good substitute)
- 3 springs of thyme
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and papery skin removed
- 3-4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 delicata squashes
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of fine grain sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced onion, about ½ of a medium sized onion
- 1 cup finely diced celery, about 2 trimmed celery stalks
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 green kale leaves, de-stemmed and cut into fine pieces
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped + more for garnish
- 6 sage leaves, chopped fine
- Pinch of cracked black pepper
- Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside until the lentils are cooked and ready to be dressed.
- Put the lentils in a 3- quart pot and top with the thyme and garlic (these will be picked out later). Add the stock to cover the lentils by about 2-inches and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Immediately lower to a gentle simmer, cook uncovered until the lentils are tender (try a few lentils since they can cook unevenly depending on size), about 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep the squash for roasting and the ingredients for the stuffing. When the lentils are fully cooked, remove the garlic and the thyme and dress them with the vinaigrette while they are still hot.
- In a large pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant.
- Add the kale, herbs and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until kale is softened and bright green. Add the dressed lentils and mix until lentils are fully incorporated. Keep warm until squash is ready to be stuffed.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil. Wash, dry the squash, cut lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
- Set squash on the lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the squash with a spatula (not tongs! The skin is delicate and will tear with metal tongs) halfway through cooking time until the flesh is soft and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Transfer roasted squash to a serving platter and stuff with lentil-stuffing, garnishing with more parsley. Serve with Savoury Pear & Onion Cranberry Sauce (recipe card below).
- 1) Prep all the vegetables needed for the lentils and the stuffing
- 2) Get the lentils going and pre-heat the oven
- 3) While the lentils are cooking and cook the vegetables for the stuffing (minus the kale and herbs) 4) Roast the squash and while it is cooking finish off the stuffing
- 5) Clean as you go!
- 6) Stuff the squash and garnish with extra parsley
- 7) Serve with Savoury Pear & Onion Cranberry Sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance traditional spread (or vegan butter of your choice)
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and chopped about1/4 inch thick
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and large diced
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- 1 cup water
- ¼-1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 12 ounce bag of cranberries, picked over and rinsed
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 springs of thyme
- In a large saucepan over medium high, add the oil and vegan butter until shimmering. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Turn down heat to medium-low, adding 1 tablespoon of water to the onions. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. If your onions are browning too quickly turn down heat.
- When the onions are golden brown, add the wine; scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook wine until it is a thicker consistency (like a glaze), about 3 minutes. Add the pears and stir to coat with the oil/butter and wine mixture, cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the water, turn up the heat to medium-high heat and bring to boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil. Turn down heat to medium and allow to simmer for 6-7 minutes until most of the cranberries have burst. Remove the thyme before serving.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature with Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash.
K / Pure & Complex says
I simply love roasting squash. And this recipe is absolutely wonderful. I will definitely have to make this soon. Thanks for posting this recipe
Jessica DeMarra says
Oh it is my pleasure to! I did not think I would like lentil-stuffing as much as I did. Love when that happens
This looks AMAZING! I’ll definitely be making this when my Thanksgiving comes around. All those recipes you’ve compiled look awesome! Thank you so much for sharing my recipe and ebook! I really appreciate it! Now that Vegan MoFo has ended and now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, I can’t wait to catch up on some of these amazing recipes! Thanks so much for putting together an awesome list and congrats on such a successful Vegan MoFo! Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Jessica DeMarra says
The only reason I remember that Thanksgiving in the States is in November is that all the American T.V. networks show the movie A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Hahaha! I pass on turkey every year but I will always watch Charlie Brown.
Of course I would be sharing that ebook! I personally love it. I can’t wait to actually try some recipes from other VeganMoFo contributors since it was so busy and did not have time to make anything else but your own VeganMoFo recipe plans. How did we ever survive?? Also I need to make that tempeh bacon quiche!
Thank you for your well wishes!