Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veg Feast to Remember!

November 7th was a meeting to remember! In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, various members shared dishes that had been made vegetarian or vegan (or even raw!) for the occasion.

First up, S. shared her new skills with raw foods and delighted us with two raw apple pies! A nut base topped with honey, apples, dates and (in one case) coconut was truly delectable! S. says that it was a tasty "burden" to taste test all the variations until she came up with these winners!

We had some fun getting them out of the pan...

J.E. shared her favorite meatless loaf, consisting of nuts, grains, eggs, veggies and spices. Flavorful and delicious were the comments I heard! J.E. also shared the techniques of opening a pomegranate, and we all savored the sweet, tart seeds. (Tip: score the skin, submerse it in a large bowl of water, then open it fully and seeds will fall to the bottom while pulp and throwaway stuff floats to the top to be skimmed off!).

C. shared her story of sweet potatoes. As a Yankee visiting friends in the South, she didn't taste this veggie until college! Years later, she "veganized" a Cooking Light recipe to create her Thanksgiving favorite, Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole (follow the link for the recipe!).

Here is a link to a similar recipe that calls for the streusel to be mixed in as well...decadent!

As usual, N. didn't have a recipe to share, but more her adventure in creating this dish. She started with coconut milk and ended up adding garam masala, an Indian blend of spices, among other things to this dish of sliced sweet potatoes. Savory and yum! (She always leaves the skins on for nutrition if she can - yeah!).

After that, it was time to get to the feast! Here's what other members brought to round out the meal...

Potato salad (vegetarian) - creamy and good any time of the year!

Pasta Fazool - lots of veggies and extra gluten-free pasta!

Chili beans and sweet potatoes are a neat mix! (vegan)

N.'s other dish of brown rice, mushrooms and goodies was a hit! (vegan)

A wonderful vegan mix of eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and olives served over...

The ubiquitous brown rice...gluten-free! :)

A melange of lentils, beans and tomatoes hearty enough for the fall! (vegan)

S.'s other contribution - our favorite raw broccoli salad! (vegan)

What would a meal be without a gluten-free dessert! (vegetarian) Crustless Pumpkin Pie! Yummmm.....

And of course, what would our meeting be without Bob's Famous Rosemary Focacia Bread? We're hoping to make this baby gluten-free by the next meeting! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Our next meeting will be on Saturday, December 5th, from 11:30-1:00 (see UUFF info on the left for link and directions to our temporary building). The topic will be "Greening Your Holiday Gift-Giving." Our presenter will teach us how to use everyday things to make reusable, recycled gift wrap and packaging. This keeps with the idea that many vegetarians have a heightened awareness of the environment. Did you know that vegetarians and vegans have a smaller carbon footprint?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Really Happy Thanksgiving

For many people, Thanksgiving is a day to spend with family, eat comfort food, give thanks for the year's blessings, and watch a little football. Many also affectionately call this day, "turkey day." Vegetarians and vegans, however, see this day in a whole other light. I'm not going to make this post all about the horrible (short) lives of turkeys (although I encourage you to visit this link and this one to learn more), but I do hope that people think more about what "turkey day" means to the turkeys.
If you're having a vegan/vegetarian friend or family member over for this special day, you might worry, "what will they eat?" Well, think carefully now. The bird is only one of the many "dishes" served on this day. Most people also gorge on sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, roasted root veggies, green bean casserole, stuffing, corn bread, pie, cookies, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce and more. What will they eat? -Just about everything! If you're up for some tips and a yummy meal, join The Vegetarian Group of the UUFF (that's us! - this blog!) for our monthly potluck and a meal to remember. From a main dish that omnivores will drool over, to bundt cake, to sweet potato casserole (most are gluten-free and there will even be some raw dishes!), various members will teach us how to "veganize" our favorite holiday dishes or make them vegetarian friendly. Remember to bring a vegetarian or vegan dish to share (or a small donation!) and we will provide dishes, friendship and laughter. Saturday, November 7th at 11:30 (until about 1:00) at the temporary UUFF building on Route 3 West, Fredericksburg (see links on left for more info and directions). In the meantime, visit http://www.farmsanctuary.org, to learn about some turkeys who've survived Thanksgiving and how you can adopt one!