Every year our family gets together for Christmas eve and we snack and hang out, open presents and then end the evening with Lobster rolls. This was my first time going into the holidays vegan, so I wasn't sure how it would go. In the end, I did have a lobster roll. I felt a little guilty, but I was hungry. Ah well, I will be better prepared next year and hold strong! Sorry little lobsters!
I was hoping to post all the ridiculous gifts that I got, but the family did really well this time around. All lovely gifts. I wasn't planning on getting into details, but I promised my dad I would post them. He spent the holidays storm watching; not a bad way to do it.
I got a funky apron (how domestic!), a cool piggy bank, a portable speaker for my iPod (now I can listen to music while I cook!), a couple of gift cards, a fun stocking, and a really cool lamp that I had been eyeing for almost a year now. I am so glad we didn't do the secret Santa thing. I may get talked into trying it next year... maybe.. I just really like giving and getting new stuff. Sometimes you get things that you didn't even know you wanted... Like a kobo!!
This xmas I was going to plan my Brazil trip for my present to me, but I got a little side-tracked. Instead I got myself a sweet new laptop! It weighs half as much as my old one and has lots of harddrive space. I think it was an excellent splurge.
Now back to my vegan failure.. I started out doing so well. I went prepared to Christmas with yummy snacks. I made bruschetta, empanadas and rum-nog cookies.
- 6 roma tomatoes, diced
- two green onions, thinly sliced
- olive oil, use a good one, about 1/4 - 1/3 cup
- 10-12 basil leaves, chopped
- two cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
I love bruschetta on pizza, with crackers, on bread, anything you want. I also use it with kale chips and topped it on some fried polenta.
The Empanadas were fantastic. I got the recipe from Veganomicon and while I had some learnings, and it really took a long time, these were so amazing and delicious, I would definitely make these again for a party or something. I might also make just the stuffing, and pair it up with rice or polenta. It was seriously that good.
unfortunately I do not have the recipe handy for this one. check out www.theppk.com or Veganomicon.
Day one - Prep
First thing I had to do was roast my squash and cool it. I had a squash that was hanging around my apartment for over a month. It looked fine, so I googled what the shelf life is and it seemed ok. So I roasted away... Learning - not all squash is ok after a month. Sometimes it implodes.
Now the crust was fairly straight forward I cut together the shortening and flour and then added in some corn meal. I really liked this addition. It added texture and a bit of sweetness. After rolling out the dough, everything went into the fridge to chill.
Day two - assemble
Alright so with three hours to go to get to my sister's for xmas, I get the rest of the filling together. First I added the red onion and sauteed them in some oil with the jalapeno. While it was cooking I chopped up the squash. Next add the spices and cook for a couple minutes. Next add in the squash and the black beans. Cook everything until its heated through.
Now we are ready for assembly. Another learning for me.. Invest in a rolling pin. When working with a sticky dough a can of chickpeas just does not cut it!
Alright, so I got the dough out of the fridge and started cutting into squares. Adding a couple table spoons of filling to each, I then fold the dough over and seal it with a fork.
Heat your oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes.
The filling was so pretty looking and the spices, maple, lime combo was amazing. I am already starting to think of ways I can use this combo in something else.