Thanksgiving Hangover and Christmas Pre-Gaming


      I feel like Thanksgiving took forever to get here.  I thought about what I was going to make during the summer months, pining away for fall foods.  Now, I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me.  I’m still in my post-pumpkin reverie and eggnog is being forced down my throat.  
      Don’t get me wrong; I love the holidays.  But, I wish that our consumer culture would let these holidays speak for themselves instead of using them as a marketing tool.  That is, however, a discussion for another post!  =)  
      This post is about Thanksgiving food.  It is also about an eclectic selection of finger foods that I just served up at a little potluck party the other night.  After my binge-cook-a-thon before Thanksgiving (16 hour stretches of food prep will make you hear things), I decided to take it easy for this potluck.  I made hors d’oeuvres and small bite desserts along with some easy kettle corn for munching.  I always adore small bite foods because you can eat more of them!  I also like to eat a different variety of foods when I’m socializing.  It makes the night interesting and gives people something to talk about (with their mouths full)!
     Before I get into what I made for the potluck, I’ll go over my Thanksgiving menu.  Recipes will be posted at a later time.  This is due to the lack of photos that I took since I was running around like a maniac trying to prepare everything.  Also, I would like to try the recipes a second time =D.  You know, to ensure quality and accuracy…  I mean, who’s going to say “no” to stuffing in December?  Not I!
     Here is what the menu looked like for the big day:

  • Italian Style Lentil Loaf and Cremini Gravy
  • Sweet Potato Collard Gratin with Chopped Hazelnuts
  • Mulled Cranberry Sauce with Diced Apples
  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Biscuits
  • Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing with Vegan Sausage, Walnuts, and Apples
  • Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Apple Walnut Topping
  • Vegan Pumpkin Pie

      I also made a loaf each of Pumpkin Nut Bread and Parsnip Spice Bread as gifts for friends.  Originally, I also had a salad planned but never got around to making it.  Way too much other food!  I was a little bummed because I like to have at least one raw dish during Thanksgiving to balance all the other heavily cooked and baked foods.  Luckily, I’m making up for it now!  One way to get through a holiday food hangover is to eat as many greens as possible!  

       Moving on to the potluck, I had a more simplified menu with easy-to-eat foods that were lighter yet still flavorful.  I made a bunch of dishes that weren’t exactly tied to any theme or ethnic background.  All the dishes had in common was that i liked to eat them!  Like the Thanksgiving recipes, I will shed these out to you over time as well.  Today I give you the hummus recipe to hold you over!  It’s absolutely wonderful.  It will alleviate any pizza craving you may have.  

  • Italian “Pizza”Cannellini Bean Hummus
  • Mini Sweet Brown Rice Onigiri with Orange Soy Dipping Sauce
  • Spiced Kettle Corn 
  • Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
  • Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

      I knew I wanted to make a type of hummus or dip for people to try.  So often, dips are a vegan’s worst nightmare: cream cheese, sour cream, some other type of dairy product, mixed with delicious things that you can eat!  Take spinach and artichoke dip for instance; it could so easily be vegan.  But, alas, it isn’t.  
      Pizza flavors are synonymous with parties.  I figured that infusing hummus with pizza would only lead to approval by omnivorous taste buds.  I used white beans instead of chickpeas for a more creamy and mild backdrop.  The marinara sauce and garlic really shine this way.  

Italian “Pizza” Hummus

Serves: A crowd; About 10 people (You will probably have leftovers.  Hide them!)

  • 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup (or more to taste) prepared marinara sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tb nutritional yeast
  • pinch red pepper flakes, opt.
  • 1 Tb diced sun dried tomatoes
  • olive oil, to thin out

       Take everything except the olive oil and place in blender/food processor.  This is much easier if you have a food processor or a high speed blender.  I used a Vitamix to puree everything until very smooth.  Once the mixture is combined as much as you can get it, steam the olive oil into the machine while processing.  Mix with a tamper and/or scrape down the sides often to ensure everything gets incorporated.  Once the hummus is smooth and silky to your taste, you can plate it and enjoy.  You can use as much or as little oil as you like.  This hummus is still delicious without the oil.  But, after all, it’s the holidays.  Treat yourself.  😉  

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