#Vegan Thanksgiving: New Recipe and a Reminder

Seitan Marinara with Bow Tie Pasta

Paul Graham advises his readers in Eating Vegan in Vegas to pay attention to the health reasons for becoming #vegan. Among the many resources he offers in his book is the website, Forks Over Knives. Here, one can find recipes and a supportive community of people also in the process of transitioning to a plant-based life. Thus, another thing to be thankful for at Thanksgiving time.

Being Vegan in an Omnivore’s World

It may seem crazy to many who are beginning this journey into a plant-based life that you even when traveling you can find travel all that you need. But you can and with some planning it can be a rather stress-free adventure. Having just returned from a trip that included the cities Niagara Falls, Toronto, Dublin, London and Reykjavik, I can report that with good planning and preparation of food to bring with us, we ate well and had all the nutrition we needed. Yes, the world is changing but there are always those holidays, Thanksgiving, unfortunately, is one of them, when the consumption of an animal is all that most people are thinking about no matter what city in the US you find yourself this season.

Not all vegans venturing out on Thanksgiving are going to find what it is they want to eat. So, these blog postings are offered in the spirit of trying to ease the journey while sharing resources and recipes.

Paul Graham’s groundbreaking experiment in Las Vegas, to blog for 365 days straight and to write about each vegan meal he ate, allowed many people to realize that even in a city that is known for its excesses, one can  be in a major vegan destination.

The third edition of Eating Vegan in Vegas will be launched in April, 2016 to coincide with the Vegas VegFest. The new edition will focus on the needs of a traveler–where to eat, what to do and what other community activities are happening in Las Vegas that may align with one’s own interests at home. For example, we will be including a chapter on the Animal Rights community in Las Vegas and the environmental activities that occur there. And much, much more. Paul Graham’s book has been an inspiration to me, his publisher, and I hope to carry this vision into other cities and areas of the US and beyond to help vegan travelers find the best places to eat, to buy food and to shop along with showing what the communities they are visiting are doing in the arts, what spiritual groups are up to and so on, so that if this is a place they travel to frequently, they can form relationships within these towns and cities and build the bridges Paul mentions we need to bring about a plant-based world.

Recipe for the Day from Laura Theodore

And now, as promised, here is a recipe from Laura Theodore’s kitchen, shared specifically with readers of this blog.

Seitan Marinara with Bow Tie Pasta
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

Big chunks of hearty seitan combined with meaty mushrooms makes this sauce a super satisfying choice for topping pasta of any kind. Celery adds delicious flavor without overwhelming this chunky sauce.

3 cups sliced celery, with leaves
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, chopped
2/3 cup filtered or spring water
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
½ teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
1/8 heaping teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces seitan, chopped or 8 ounces ground seitan
20 to 22 ounces vegan, low fat marinara sauce
1 pound tri-color or whole grain bow tie, fusilli or penne pasta

Put the celery, onion, 1/3 cup water, Italian seasoning, tamari, and crushed red pepper in a large skillet. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the celery and onions have softened. Add the seitan, marinara and 1/3 cup water, Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the pasta. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the pasta well.

Divide the pasta into each of four to six pasta bowls. Top with a generous portion of the seitan sauce. Serve hot.

Chef’s Note: Need to keep it gluten free? Just substitute your favorite variety of canned beans (drained and rinsed) for the seitan and use gluten free pasta.

Recipe is not from any of Laura Theodore’s books. However, I do recommend you check out her new book, Vegan-Ease, . And visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

#VeganThanksgiving–It’s November!

from Vegan-Ease

When you think of Las Vegas, the first image you have in your mind is that of the Strip. . . The Strip is the main focus for over 38 million people who visit Las Vegas each year to see the town for business or pleasure.”

Sounds like the start of a thriller, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, it’s the beginning of Paul Graham’s excellent book, Eating Vegan in Vegas. The thrill has been publishing this book and sharing with millions of people the possibilities of vegan meals in a town no one ever thought would be one of the top ten destinations for vegan food in the US.

Now we are in November and looking at our next major holiday with all the attendant family, travel and food issues rolled into one. This is a time that can drive a vegan to despair or at least to questioning how to make it through this time of year with one’s vegan needs truly met.

Search no further for support, ideas and more.

Over the next few weeks, until it is Thanksgiving Day, we are going to make sure that you have some options, some recipes and some wise words from the man who began for Sullivan Street Press the Vegan Journey.

We’ve enlisted some other folks also working on making sure that these location-focused blogs can help you to find what you need to walk away from your Thanksgiving Dinner feeling “proteinated,” as a friend of mine said after leaving one of the vegan feasts my wife, Suzanne Pyrch, had cooked.

We’ll begin this blogging holiday adventure with a recipe from the Jazzy Vegetarian, Laura Theodore, taken from her new book, Vegan-Ease. Bringing a dish to your family or friends for Thanksgiving? Why not start thinking first about the dessert? After all, that is what I certainly make space for at these scrumptious meals.

Dessert, Please!

Pumpkin Spice Cheeze-Cake
Makes 8 to 10 servings

This delicate yet rich-tasting cake makes the perfect dessert for your festive Thanksgiving table or any winter holiday event. Creamy, smooth and oh-so-pumpkiny, this pie will surely become a tradition, year after year!

CRUST
1¾ cups cookie crumbs (ginger cookies work well)
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted

FILLING
2 tablespoons rolled oats
14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu
1 can (about 16 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin purée
2⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice

TOPPING
3 tablespoons cookie crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat a 10-inch round springform pan with vegan margarine.

To make the crust, put 13⁄4 cups cookie crumbs and the melted margarine in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a fork until well combined. Pat the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.
To make the filling, put the rolled oats in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Add the tofu, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and allspice and process until smooth and creamy.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes, then carefully run a table knife around the perimeter of the cake to ensure it does not stick to the side of the pan.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of cookie crumbs evenly over the top of the cake, gently pressing them into the top, so the crumbs adhere. Release the side of the springform pan to unmold.
Cover the cake very loosely and refrigerate 3 to 24 hours before serving. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cheeze-cake will keep for about 2 days.

Recipe taken from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease. Reproduced by kind permission of Laura Theodore. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.

Amount per serving, based on 10 servings: 154 Calories; 7g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 5g Protein; 62mg Sodium; 20g Total Carbohydrate; 15g Sugars; 2g Fiber