November 28, 2013

Quick'n'healthy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating the pilgrims, and remembering their struggles in building this great country. Not sure if we can truly understand the spirit of Thanksgiving, like how an immigrant family who has been living here for generations will feel. So, we would just be celebrating Thanksgiving with gratitude for all that this country has given us over the past 12 years - which include new friends, a broader outlook towards life (including food from around the globe and an awareness of good food), and finally material things like a good job, home and a comfortable family life. Though we can claim that we made everything with our hard work, I feel a lot of gratitude to this country for giving us the freedom to be who we are, for embracing our family as part of the community and for all the opportunities that helped us in being reasonably successful in our own way.

Since we did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving we do not have any tradition to follow. We just celebrate it in  the spirit of gratitude :). This year seems special since Hanukkah falls on the same day too. So we will also be celebrating this by wishing peace and harmony across the globe.

We as a family are completely vegetarians for this month for religious reasons. This pretty much means that we are avoiding egg and the occasional fish from our otherwise vegetarian diet. Hence I am making a vegan thanksgiving meal made with mostly organic, local and seasonal ingredients. This is also quick'n'healthy, just that I had to do a little bit of planning and prep work ahead of time.


Squash Buckwheat Loaf w/ Cranberry Jam 

Pomegranate Cacao Goji Smoothie



Thai Pumpkin Soup

Mediterranean Farro Chickpea Pilaf 

  • Black chickpeas - 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable broth - 3 cups 
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Fresh Thyme - 1 Tbs.
  • Black pepper - 10-15 (freshly crushed)
  • Farro - 1 cup
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp.
  • Coriander seeds - 1 Tbs. 
  • Cardamom - 2-3
  • Red onion - 1 (chopped fine)
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves (minced)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • EV olive oil - 4 Tbs. 
  • Mint - a small bunch
  • Cilantro - a small bunch
  • Lemon juice - from half a lemon

  • Cook chickpeas with a bay leaf, thyme, crushed black pepper, 1 cup of broth and salt.
  • Grind the spices coriander seeds and cardamom to a fine powder.
  • Switch on rice cooker (use white rice setting), heat 1 tbs. olive oil and saute, garlic and onion till translucent. 
  • Add the farro and the spices along with remaining 2 cups of broth and cook till farro is cooked half way thru. 
  • Add chickpeas along with any cooking liquid remaining. Adjust taste and let everything cook till all liquid is absorbed.
  • Coarsely grind the mint, cilantro, lemon juice and remaining 3 Tbs of olive oil. Add to this to the pilaf.
  • Serve warm. 
  • Since I am making this for Thanksgiving this time, I am topping this with butternut squash slices roasted with rosemary.

Kohlrabi Noodles w/ Spicy Cranberry-Squash Sauce

  • Kolhrabi - sliced using spirooli
  • Carrots - sliced using spirooli
  • Apple cider vinegar or Lemon juice - 1 Tbs
  • EV olive oil - 1 Tbs

  • Toss sliced veggies with Apple cider vinegar and olive oil and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, mix with the spicy sauce and serve on a bed of salad greens or a bed of steamed cabbage or collard greens.

Cranberry-Squash Sauce - Recipe here

Apple Pom Salad w/ Ginger-Honey Dressing

  • Apple - 2 chopped fine 
  • Pomegranate - 1
  • Baby collard leaves - 4-5
  • Fresh grated ginger root - 1 Tbs. 
  • Local honey - 1Tbs.
  • Lemon juice - 1Tbs.
  • Himalayan salt - a pinch

  • Toss chopped apple with lemon juice and set aside.
  • Slice collard leaves into really thin strips and add to the chopped apples. 
  • Whisk together ginger and honey in a small bowl and add to the salad.
  • Just before serving top with Pom seeds.

Pumpkin-Cacao Pie - Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free  

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