Thursday, November 23, 2006

What The Hell Does A Vegan Eat For Thanksgiving Anyway?

Thanksgiving 2006

Shepherdess Pies
(smoked tempeh, tofu, peas, corn, sweet potatoes, flour, veg stock, salt, pepper, topped with mashed potatoes)

Braised Carrots

Braised Brussel Sprouts

Bourbon Cranberries

Ciabatta Bread

Roasted Beets and Mixed Greens Salad
(with White Miso Garlic Dressing)

Potato Tomato Soup


Pumpkin Cheesecake

All I need to say is that no one walked away hungry from the table... and I need a two day nap...

And, if I had the choice of one dessert to eat for every Thanksgiving in the future, this would be it. Here's the preliminary recipe...

Pumpkin Cheesecake


1 3/4 cup vegan gingersnaps
2 oz. dark chocolate (vegan chocolate chips)
5 tbs. soy margarine

Grind or crush the gingersnaps. Melt the chocolate and soy margarine together in the microwave or double boiler, then combine with the gingersnaps.

Press mixture into a 9" springform pan, then bake at 350F for 10 minutes.


4 oz dark chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate
16 oz vegan cream cheese (two containers)
2 cups brown sugar
12 oz soft tofu (aseptic box)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 tbs. ground ginger
1 tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

In a mixer (or food processor), cream the cream cheese, sugar, tofu, flour and vanilla extract. Add pumpkin puree and spices and mix to combine. Reserve one cup of mixture.

Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler, combine with the reserved 1 cup of pumpkin mixture and set aside.

Pour pumpkin and cream cheese mixture into springform pan. Then place 6-8 dollops of the reserved pumpkin and chocolate mixture on the surface, and with a knife, swirl from top to bottom (being careful not to disturb the crust) until a swirl pattern emerges.

For the Bain-Marie

Cover the bottom of the springform pan completely with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil, folding the foil so it reaches about halfway up the side of the pan. This is so the water will not seep into the springform pan while baking in the bain-marie.

Place the springform pan into a roasting pan big enough to hold the spring form pan comfortably.

Carefully place 1/2" of boiling water in the roasting pan. Be sure that the water is below the aluminum foil and will not leak into the springform pan.

Place entire roasting pan into a 350F oven for 75-90 minutes (check after 75 minutes) until it just starts to pull away from the edges of the springform pan. Turn off oven, remove the cheesecake and gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the springform pan. Return the roasting pan to the oven for 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool completely (and we mean completely)*. Cover the top of the springform pan with a paper towel (don't let it touch the top of the cheesecake, this will catch any condensation that might build up) and then cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Best the next day. Can be made two days in advance.

* once we didn't let it cool completely (it was just barely warm), and the condensation that built up in the refrigerator ruined the top...

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