This year we had friends over for dinner. It is great to share a meal with friends, but complicates the menu a bit when some of the guest really want a traditional turkey dinner and the others prefer a vegetarian meal. The solution to this dilemma turned out to be simpler than I had feared. Instead of a whole turkey we decided to prepare some turkey thighs we picked up at a local farm that humanely raises hormone free birds. I also made vegan cornbread stuffing, a vegan sweet potato casserole and turkey and mushroom gravies. Our guests brought vegetable dumplings (Jing and her mother made a wonderful home made variety), fresh corn & pinenuts, and fresh cranberry salad. We ended the meal with a light desert of low-fat peanut butter cookies and fresh fruit.
The following are recipes for a few of the items I prepared.
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Caramelized Apples
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tbs salted vegan butter, divided
- 2 tbs olive oil, divided
- 2 tbs Mimiccream Almond & Cashew Cream (or other non-dairy cream)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- 2 sweet apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 tbs light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a 4-quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
- Prick the potatoes with a fork and wrap each in foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for an hour. Turn off the oven and let them sit in the oven for 30 minutes the finish cooking and cool slightly. Remove from oven and cool for an additional 30 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes, discarding the skins. Place the potatoes in a large bowl.
- Add 1 tbs butter, 1 tbs of olive oil, and beat until smooth.
- Mix in the applesauce, ginger, lemon zest, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine the apples and brown sugar; toss to combine.
- In a large skillet melt 1 tbs butter wit 1tbs olive oil. Add the apples and saute stirring occasionally, until caramelized and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Top the sweet potato mixture with the apples.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until warmed through (if the potatoes were prepared the day before and refrigerated bake for 30 to 40 minutes.)
Roasted Turkey Thighs
- 6 pounds turkey thighs (about 4 thighs)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of the turkey thighs with olive oil.
- Mix together salt, garlic powder, pepper, rosemary, sage, thyme and paprika. Rub seasoning mixture over both sides of the thighs.
- Drizzle with any remaining olive oil. Transfer to a roasting pan. Cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 and continue to cook for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted reaches 180 degrees. Spoon pan juices over the top every 30 minutes. Note: If you notice the skin getting too crispy, loosely cover the thighs with aluminum foil.
- Remove turkey thighs from the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.
Hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.