I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful holiday. We hosted a gathering of family, old friends, new friends and one family we had never met before–18 in all. At our dinner there were vegans and non-vegans, and while we talked some about veganism, we ate, drank and connected around all sorts of topics. All of our guests contributed to the Thanksgiving meal, and it was a real feast. I am most grateful for the spirit of openness that each person brought to our home. It was very special.
So what’s with the Wellingtons? I wasn’t actually going to write a blog post about the Wellingtons because most people in my inner circle are probably sick to death of hearing about them. But I decided to share about them as sort of a public service announcement to vegan Thanksgiving hosts everywhere.
Here’s the thing–when David and I decided to host a vegan Thanksgiving this year I knew that while I would certainly not miss having a dead bird on my table, I still wanted a “centerpiece” dish that would elicit the oohs and aahs usually reserved for the bird. I like to think that I could fully enjoy the spirit of the holiday while eating just about anything, but I really wanted a dish would conjure pre-vegan Thanksgiving meals. I don’t usually get too caught up in that kind of thing but this time I did . Maybe it was because not everyone at the gathering was vegan. I wanted the meal to be full of traditional Thanksgiving flavors rather than “nouvelle vegan” (is that even a thing?).
As I thought about this, I remembered that my friends, Sylvia and Myo at Main Street Vegan Academy had shown me photos of their 2014 Thanksgiving and they told me about the Wellingtons–sliced seitan, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, stuffing and kale all tucked inside beautiful puff-pastry. A centerpiece dish for sure! I remembered that they bought their Wellingtons frozen from Native Foods Cafe, a vegan chain located mostly on the west coast. Unfortunately there’s no Native Foods Cafe in Arizona and they don’t ship to individuals. Undaunted, we looked at our options. Luckily there is a Native Foods Cafe in Palm Springs where my in-laws live so we decided to pay them a visit and pick up our Wellingtons there. We hauled our four frozen Wellingtons and four containers of mushroom shallot gravy back to Arizona in an ice-packed cooler.
While procuring the Wellingtons took some doing, preparing them did not. One hour in the oven and voila, the golden brown Wellingtons you see above were done. This freed me up to focus on side dishes–some I made, some I bought and some I asked others to bring. Here’s the spread…
Cornbread stuffing from Whole Foods. Surprisingly authentic (you know, too much salt) and delicious:
Mac N Cheese from The Simple Veganista (always a hit):
Freshly baked dinner rolls from Minimalist Baker (thanks Denise and George):
Mixed green salad with lemon tahini dressing (thanks Denise and George)and chopped kale salad from Oh She Glows:
We also had mashed potatoes (think there was enough starch?) and a lovely quinoa and veggie salad (thanks Bob and Lana) but I didn’t get pictures of them. I had completely forgotten to take pictures and found myself clicking away last minute as hungry guests were lining up at the buffet.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of dessert either–pumpkin pie, cranberry pumpkin oatmeal cookies, peanut butter chocolate cups and apple crisp. YUM.
We had a real Thanksgiving feast. And the Wellingtons? Divine. They did not disappoint. Maybe most people wouldn’t drive out of state to pick up their main dish but I’m so glad we did. We had a nice visit with David’s folks in Palm Springs and we got to treat our guests to something special.
I believe a new tradition has begun.