Holiday Delights

Blissful Happenings  2 - 31

My holiday table | Photo via Kelsey Erin Photography

Holiday food is the bombdiggity!!! It's warming and delicious and perfect and fabulous. Being vegan, I've had to make some considerable changes to the classics, but I assure you they are tasty and just as satisfying. I find inspiration everywhere! I love reading vegan and non-vegan cookbooks and blogs. I love turning a recipe into a veggie delight! It brings me such joy! Such joy!! And when it tastes so freaking good,  I'm so happy I wanna run into the streets screaming good tidings and kiss a good looking stranger right in the face. Here are 3 recipes, one created from my mind hole, one exactly as it was written, and one adapted to my plant based lifestyle! All of them are magical holiday dishes!! Enjoy!

imageGreen Beans with Shallots and Almonds Serves 4 as a side

1 pound trimmed green beans

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4-5 large shallots sliced into rings

a sprinkle or 2 of whole wheat pastry flour (any will work)

1 tablespoon olive oil for the beans and 1/2 cup or so sunflower oil to fry the shallots

a splash of veggie stock (I like to add some stock to help the beans steam)

salt and pepper

So this is super easy. I've made it twice already and I'm sharing the more naughty version. After light dredging the shallots in flour, I shallow fried them in a frying pan until golden and crispy! Once out of the pan lay them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. YUM! You might need to make more because you WILL eat them as they cook up. Then start the green beans, get a tablespoon of oil heating in the pan. Toss in the green beans with the oil and add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Toss in a splash, roughly a tablespoon, of stock and put on the lid. Check every 2-3 minutes, you want them to be soft, but still have a bit of a crunch! You definitely want them to keep their brilliant color!! Once they hit the sweet spot toss in the almonds, shallots, and another pinch of salt. Sauté for a min or so and serve!! Soooooo good!!! If you want to make the healthy version, omit the oil and sauté beans with only veggie stock and instead of frying your shallots place them on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes!! Fat free masterpiece! image_2

"Christina Hendricks's Rub All Over Your Body Stuffing" Sorta...

Serves two thousand people

day old cornbread (I use this whole recipe minus the green chilies)

day old biscuits (I use this whole recipe from The Kind Diet, but switch the oil for apple sauce)

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

4-6 cups veggie stock

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/2 cup melted Earth Balance (I use the sticks for this)

optional: Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sage "sausage" crumbled

This is so easy. I make the biscuits and cornbread the day before and try not to eat them. I actually like to chop my veggies and measure out my herbs too. Then the day of I just crumble up the biscuits and cornbread and dump everything else into a huge baking dish! Preheat the oven to 350. I pour over the earth balance and start with 4 cups of veggie stock. Bake for an hour, adding stock if it begins to dry out.

image_1This was a hit. Creamed Kale is where it's at!!! I found this recipe at Food to Glow and holy bananas!! MIND. BLOWN. I can't even believe how delicious this dish tasted. So simple. I can't wait to make it again!!! Can a person be in love with Kale? Like truly, deeply in love?? Because I am. I definitely am. Check out the recipe here and make the vegan version, DUH. Enjoy these delicious recipes!!!!!!!

 

Bridal Shower Mayhem

ShowerDecorWeddings, ahhhh, Weddings. I dig a good wedding. Heck, I wrote wedding blogs for 2+ years. I love weddings. I've been in 5 weddings as a mostly-adult, but this marks the first time as a real bridal shower host. First, I was Maid of Honor [as promised in every yearbook since kindergarten] for my bestest bud when we were barely 21. I was still in college and broke as a joke, so I sorta threw a shower with my mom and the church ladies. Then was my little sis, again, super poor... I was planning my wedding too, so I don't remember how that shower went down. I know, such a jerk. After that was my dearest friend who had a surprise wedding. Yes, it was exactly as awesome as it sounds! So yeah, no shower. This year I was in two weddings. One AH-mazing affair in beautiful Negril, Jamaica and due to all of the travel, while I ended up being able to surprise my wonderful friend for the shower, I didn't get to help plan. So this July I had the opportunity to host my first real-life-grownup shower. My lovely friend Shirk Shirley got married to her Guido Prince Frankie. We had a mostly vegan shower-- what??? If I'm buying the food you best believe it's going to be healthy of sorts. Em, the ginger, hatched most of the decor ideas and the curly haired babe, Marilyn, did the drinks and baking. I, of course, made all of the food! Here are some shots of the day.Bridal Shower Entry TableShowerDecor2Veggie Bridal Shower Buffethummus cupsCaprese SkewersBridal Shower Vegan CupcakesTheGirlsLotsaWineWine is the best! It was an absolutely lovely day! I made my famous pesto pasta!! I made enough to feed an army, we had leftovers for days. Here's the recipe. Serves 4 hungry people or 6 sorta hungry people

1 pound of pasta, I like Trader Joes brown rice fusilli

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped same length as pasta

1 pound of green beans, trimmed and chopped same length as pasta

Cook the pasta per package instructions. I like my veggies to have bite to them, so I throw them in with the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Now depending on how you like your veggies adjust this time. Strain and toss with pesto[recipe below].

For Pesto

Basil, about a 1/2 cup

Spinach, about 1/2 a cup

2 cloves of garlic, more if you are a big garlic fan

1/4 cup nutritional yeast [easily found a most markets and super high in B vitamins]

3 tablespoons of pine nuts

Veggie stock, salt, and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor. Add all ingredients then add a tablespoon of veggie stock and blend. Add veggie stock tablespoon by tablespoon until creamy. It depends on your appliance and personal taste. In my Vitamix, I find 2-3 is plenty. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta and serve with cherry tomatoes on top! YAY SHOWERS!!!!!