Friday, November 28, 2008


When you don't eat meat and wheat, a traditional Thanksgiving meal is nearly impossible. I'm not super bummed about this. Turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings was never high on my list of favorite meals as a youngster. In fact, as a teenager, I seemed to recall much pleading (er, whining?) to my mother that we might break with tradition and have shrimp or lobster for a Thanksgiving meal.

My voluntary and involuntary dietary restrictions have paved the way for nontraditional meals beyond my wildest imagination.

This year Erik and I embarked on vegan, gluten-free feast with a southwestern theme. The recipes were selected from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's mighty cooking tome--Veganomicon--which is something like the Joy of Cooking sans animal products.
The recipes tend to err on the complex, ingredient-intensive side, so I don't often pull it from the bookshelf for weeknight cooking. But for nights when we want to indulge in restaurant-quality food, no other cookbook will do.

Our Thanksgiving menu included chile- and cornmeal-encrusted tofu, a savory southwestern corn pudding, pumpkin seed mole, a tossed green salad, and super-duper chocolaty brownies for dessert. (The last two did not come from the cookbook.) Oh, how we enjoyed that meal! The recipes all get five stars in my book, with a bonus star for the corn pudding. It is best about 15 minutes out of the oven.

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!