Amazing Thanksgiving Recipes

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VEGAN TURKEY

 

Are you a vegetarian that’s tired of using Tofurkey and don’t have the skills to make a fake turkey of your own?  The GARDIN, in my opinion, is the best option out there for veggie turkey.  Overall, this is the best way to do turkey because it’s pretty fast, it tastes good, and it’s an all-inclusive veggie product.

For our meal we glazed it with honey (1/4 cup), soy sauce (2 teaspoons), lemon juice of a lemon, and orange zest of an orange.  Cook it until it reduces by half.

We plated it over a thinly sliced potato and steamed carrots and green beans.

For the gravy, we used the packet sauce and cooked it in the pot where we made the glaze.  We added and handful of wild mushrooms (add your favorite), and heated until mushrooms were cooked.

 

 

 HOLIDAY TRIO

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Inspired by an article on Thanksgiving, we wanted to ensure that this year’s holiday meal had more fresh foods, healthier portions, and non-traditional components that included our Mexican and Korean backgrounds.  We made three dishes:

  1. Mock Chicken Wings in a Saffron-Pomegranate Glaze with a Mole Sauce and Jicama Kimchi on a homemade tortilla chip
  2. Mock Chicken Wings in a spicy Korean Barbecue Glaze with fresh Mexican Chayote Squash and radish
  3. Mock Turkey in a Honey-Lemon Glaze with traditional Wild Mushroom Gravy on a fried potato and steamed carrots and green beans

Mole
Growing up, Mole was one of my favorite mexican dishes.  It’s dark color, and earthy taste somehow reminds me of the Harvest Season.  I thought that pomegranate was a good fruit to use in a glaze for several reasons.  First, it reminded me of my childhood days when we used to eat them from my Aunt’s backyard tree.  Secondly, it has beautiful living color.  Lastly, it was a nice modern substitute for the more traditional Thanksgiving cranberry.  While visiting Dubai last year, I came across a small shop that sold saffron.  The nice aromatic effects of saffron blend very well with pomegranate and added a nice touch of class to the poor man’s chicken wings.

I’m a fan of kimchi.  It adds nice texture and freshness to heavy foods.  However, I don’t know how to make it; it takes a lot of time to make; and my friends who make kimchi were not in town.  One day, out of the blue, the thought occurred to me to fuse Mexican Jicama with Korean Kimchi.  Jicama is slightly sweet.  Mexicans usually eat it with salt, lime, and hot red pepper powder.  We made a quick variation of kimchi by dressing jicama and green onions in a spicy korean red paste.

Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ Chicken Wings was what started off this whole idea of making an entire Thanksgiving dinner from chicken wings instead of Tofurkey.  KBBQ is a family favorite and we typically eat this dish at home with rice, and fresh veggies.  Not all KBBQ is spicy.  For Thanksgiving, however, we used the spicy sauce and balanced it out with Chayote.  Chayote is a mexican squash that can be eaten fresh or cooked.  Honestly, my brother and I both hated it while we were growing up.  But, especially when served raw, it is a nice counterbalance to spicy foods.  Also, its crisp texture goes well with cooked foods.

Turkey
Tradition is good.  We didn’t want to get rid of it completely.  So we brought back the mock turkey last-minute.  Originally, the idea was to use chicken wings but season them in a traditional style.  In the end, we just went completely traditional with the ingredients: potatoes, cranberry sauce, carrots and string beans, and stuffed “turkey”.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this Thanksgiving dinner was the fact that things were pretty easy to make and relatively quick — for a Thanksgiving meal.  Our family enjoyed a wonderful time with our CAMPUS Residents who were “on call” this weekend.

 HOLIDAY TRIO (cont’d)

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KOREAN BBQ CHICKEN WINGS

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The easiest way to make these veggie chicken wings:

Use Gardein Chicken Wings — buy them at Meijer (for Michigan people)

The glaze:
–  Use 1/4-1/2 of the bbq packet included with the wings
–  Add the same amount of korean bbq sauce (or any other in asian section of grocery store)
–  1-3 drops of sesame oil
–  Sesame seeds for garnish after they’ve been glazed

Glaze the wings and bake according to packet instructions

Serve with thinly sliced fresh chayote and garnish with radish and a thyme.
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POMEGRANATE GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS IN MOLE SAUCE

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Mole (moh-leh) is a traditional mexican sauce usually made with chocolate, peanut butter, and chilies.  Typically, Mexicans eat it with chicken.  Variations of the sauce sometimes exclude some of the above ingredients, include other non-traditional ingredients, or substitute one ingredient for another (carob for chocolate — it works!)

Mole can be found in the world foods aisle in grocery stores.  However, most mole contains chicken stock.  My recommendation for vegetarians who have tasted mole and like it: boil 2-3 ancho chilies or other mexican dried chilies, 2-3 tomatoes — depending on how spicy you like your sauce (more tomatoes = less spicy), a tablespoon of PB, a bar of mexican chocolate (sold in most grocery stores — mexican aisle section), and a stale piece of bread and/or tortilla that has been over-heated (some burnt spots on the tortilla), your favorite veggie broth — how thick you like the sauce will determine how much broth you add.  Simmer for a few hours and it should thicken.

The pomegranate-saffron glaze: boil pomegranate juice with brown sugar or honey (amounts and type of sweetener depends on your preference — there must be enough sugar/honey to turn liquid into syrup), a spring of thyme, and a pinch of saffron.  Reduce the sauce until it becomes the consistency of a glaze.  If you don’t know how to make a basic glaze, google it.

I use this veggie meat product — the sell it in the frozen food section of grocery stores in Michigan.  To glaze the veggie wings, back them first according to packet instructions.  Then glaze them in the final 5 minutes of bake time.  Also, you don’t necessarily have to use wings — there are other veggie chicken options that could work.  Instead of backing, you can also stir-fry them.

Jicama is a yam or turnip from Mexico — typically served uncooked.  Julienned the jicama and rinse it in cold water.  Drain and dry it.  Julienned green onions.  Dress jicama and onions with a bibimbap saucekorean bbq sauce, or chili paste (some contain fish).

Homemade tortilla chips are the way to go — less salty than the ones from grocery stores.  If you use store-bought, take the saltiness into consideration.