Merry Christmas! So how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was… very vegan.
I cooked for two days straight and the results were less than amazing. As we sat down to eat, I was exhausted, disappointed and I watched my family gamely choke down Seitan loaf (we called it Satan loaf because it was so bad, I threw it away after a single bite!), a vegananized version of my family’s traditional southern cornbread dressing (meh), green bean casserole (also meh), a non dairy version of ambrosia (so-so), homemade rolls (pretty good, but I could only have a bite due to the wheat), mashed sweet potatoes (the only really delicious thing I made), and cashew gravy. I also made traditional stuff for the rest of my family; sweet potato soufflé and Mac-n-cheese.
I took NO pictures. It wasn’t pretty. So for Christmas, I am changing my tactic. I am going to make my family all their traditional favorites and I will eat something else. I think that will work better. You live, you learn, right?
Last night I attended my favorite Christmas party of the season. Every year the amazing hostess makes huge pots of the most delicious soups; Creamy potato and and Butternut Squash. Decidedly NOT vegan, filled with butter and cream. Mmmmmm. Even though she offered to make vegan soups, she has enough on her plate hosting the BEST party, ever, so I decided to make my own and bring it.
I came up with an amazing version of Cream of Mushroom soup that is actually super creamy and amazing. I think it is also going to revolutionize my vegan green bean casserole.
I started with A Pinch of Yum’s Creamy Cauliflower Sauce:
8 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
5-6 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
1/2 cup milk of choice (more to taste)
Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the olive oil (or water if oil free) in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.
Once the sauce was finished in the blender, I chopped and sautéed 2 pounds of white organic mushrooms. 1/2 went in the blender with the sauce, to create the soup base and I stirred in the rest of the mushroom once it was done to create a chinky, delicious, super easy vegan soup that I can’t wait to make again!
As for the fact that I have been M.I.A. for so long, well, let’s just say that everything is status quo with my food. Boring, predictable and the best thing that ever happened to me. The only difference is, I have been eating a lot more soups than salads now that it is cold outside. I will try and post a couple more favorites in the coming weeks.
Weight wise, I am down 68 pounds. Woo hoo! It is now very slow and steady weight loss. I am happy with that. I have gone from a size 18 to a size 8. I feel fantastic. I am loving this whole “pain-free” living thing.
It’s worth the struggle, even during the holidays.
I hope your holidays are filled with love, joy, peace and family. 🎄