Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ready for the Christmas Holiday!

Merry Christmas!

What is everyone planning for their big Christmas feast? Since we are staying in Oregon this year for Christmas instead of traveling back to Texas to visit family, we are having fun planning our meal.

Here's our menu:
  • Veganomicon's Cornmeal-masala Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Creamy Tomato Soup
  • Celine's Pumpkin Yeast Bread Rolls, with added cornmeal
  • Diet Dessert and Dogs' Tofu Fritata, with lots of good veggies!
  • Homemade Agave-sweetened Cranberry Sauce
  • Italian Cornmeal Cake, sweetened with all natural date sugar
  • The Happy Veganarian's Vegan Speculaas
  • Cinnamon Roll Biscuits, this time with a cinnamon-maple-fig filling
  • "Egg" Nog Spiced Smoothie
  • Dark Chocolate Bars for sweets! :)
Yummy, lots of leftovers expected!! We are so excited this year to stay here in Oregon and savor our all vegan meal, instead of being surrounded by non-vegan food and smelling the unappetizing meats. All vegan feast galore!What are all your plans for Christmas holidays? We recently attended a wonderful "Sound of Music" musical at our local theater, which got us into the joyful spirit of Christmas. We also plan to drive around and view the beautiful Christmas lights, as well as attend a Christmas Choir concert. Of course, we wouldn't want to miss all of those great classic holiday movies, such as "It's a Wonderful Life"! What is your favorite holiday movies? What is the one thing you most look forward to for the Christmas holidays?

Christmas can be a hectic time, especially if traveling is involved. This year seems to so far be a smoother, easy-going Christmas season. We also finished our gift shopping many weeks ago, mailed them all off in time, and beat the crazy crowds in the stores. Remember to slow down if Christmas gets to stressful! Christmas is more than just gifts and shopping and planning. Christmas is a time to relax, find comfort in family and friends, celebrate Christ's birth, and reflect on all the blessings God has given us.

May Love, Joy, and Peace dwell in your homes and hearts always!
Merry Christmas and God bless,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Hi everyone,

Sorry it's been so long since we last blogged. Work keeps us way too busy, the evenings we just want to relax and read, and then the weekends seem to be just as busy with chores and cooking meals for the work week.

The fall/winter CSA veggies have been fresh and delicious - lots of salad greens, kale, root vegetables, and cabbage. We seem to eat a fresh salad every day, while during the summer we didn't seem to eat as much salad greens. Here's a pic of some huge napa cabbage - it was like 1 1/2 feet tall.
How was your Thanksgiving? Our dad visited, and we cooked him a tasty Oregon-Southern feast. Cooked garlicy greens, asparagus, butternut squash with pears, and a fancy cornbread dressing!

Our grandmother makes her annual holiday cornbread dressing, and since our Dad wouldn't be able to eat her's, we made our own vegan version for him to enjoy. The week before we made our Harvest Cornbread recipe, without the banana pepper and red bell pepper, and with 3/4 cup corn. We baked the cornbread in a rectangular pan for 40 min, cooled it completely, then cut it into squares and put in the freezer. On Thanksgiving, we defrosted the cornbread, crumbled it into a large Corningware pan, and used the crumbled cornbread pieces to make a delicious cornbread dressing, recipe below! It was a full meal in itself, filled with black-eyed peas and veggies. For leftovers, we added cooked greens and asparagus, and olive oil or avocado slices.

LK's Southern Cornbread Dressing

2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 - 1 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 vegetable bouillon (such as Rapunzel)
1 1/2 tsp store-bought Mexican seasoning (or a mixture of cumin, paprika, cayenne, whatever floats your boat)
3 cups black-eyed peas
3/4 tsp sage
1/2 - 3/4 tsp thyme
1/8 - 1/4 tsp celery seed
dashes of black pepper
salt to taste
1 batch cornbread
more cayenne or Mexican seasoning if spice is desired

Add veggies except zucchini in a large saucepan. Add some water and the vegetable bouillon, and heat veggies over medium heat until almost tender, then add zucchini and cook another 2-4 minutes until just tender. Combine the vegetable mixture in a large bowl with the black-eyed peas. Sprinkle the herbs and spices over the black-eyed pea veggie mixture, and mix until well combined.

Crumble the cornbread into the black-eyed pea mixture, and mix until thoroughly combined (may need a large bowl). Place the cornbread dressing in 2 medium or large rectangular baking dishs (it makes a lot, great to freeze for another week!). Bake for 40-50 minutes until thoroughly heated and slightly brown on top.

Delicious accompanied with gravy, olive oil, salsa, or a salad dressing. And it's always fun to change up leftovers like adding different spices or vegetables!


One question for the week - do you prefer veggie flavored dishes and meals, or do you like the meat-flavored foods? Do you like the taste of a vegan faux meat burger or sauce? At work we are experimenting with savory vegan snacks, and it was interesting to get people's opinions about vegan foods.

It was nice to not have any meat-flavored foods for Thanksgiving; our Dad raved about having a delicious meal without the meat and heavy foods!

Happy Holidays!