Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas! And Vegan Christmas Dinner

Happy Christmas all. I hope everyone was able to spend it happily with the loved ones that drive you crazy. As I mentioned before, I was with my fiance and future in-laws in Santa Cruz and we had a pretty great time. 

This is what Christmas morning looked like:

To hop back a day, Christmas Eve activities included the new Sherlock Holmes movie (very entertaining) and lunch at Alfresco - the very vegan-friendly food cart in Downtown Santa Cruz. 

I got the North African Stew over couscous and John got the spinach salad with brown rice. Both were very good. 

And for dessert a Vegan Vanilla Milkshake from Saturn Cafe. 

Christmas Eve dinner took a bit of planning. It was one of those times when I felt kind of weird for my food choices, and at the same time glad it's been over a year because I'm more comfortable adapting things to my needs. We went to Clouds, which had a lot of seafood and steak options, but I had called ahead and knew that the spinach salad without dressing or meat would work for me - but would basically be oil and vegetables. I wanted to bulk it up a bit, so I went to Trader Joe's ahead of time and bought the savory tofu, then chopped up half the block and stored it in a ziplock in my purse. Yes for real. Tofu in my purse. So when it came time for dinner, I added it to my salad, and it was awesome. Worth feeling kind of odd. 

And that brings us to Christmas Dinner.

Dinner had been ordered ahead of time from Honeybaked Ham for most of the group, so I wanted to make myself something simple and inexpensive.

Roast potatoes with savory tofu, steamed broccoli and cauliflower (thanks to John), and Trader Joe's parbaked rolls. 

Simple Roasted Red Potato and Onion (+/- tofu)

Small sack red potatoes, each quartered
1 onion, cut into 1/8ths
1/2 block pre-marinated or Trader Joe's savory tofu, chopped to bite size pieces
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Fill a pot with water and boil potatoes about 5-10 minutes, until softened.
3. Drain potatoes, then return to pot and shake (with the lid) 1-2 minutes.
4. Combine potatoes with the rest of the ingredients (except tofu if using) on a roasting pan and toss until coated. (I didn't measure any of my seasoning, but give a few liberal shakes of everything, and use enough oil to coat without drowning your veggies.)
5. Roast 30 minutes in the oven. Stir every 10 minutes for even crisping.
6. Add the tofu 10 minutes before finishing if using. 
7. Remove from the oven and place in a serving dish. Or if you're like me just serve it from the roasting pan. Adjust seasoning to taste.

This made a perfect main for me, and the leftovers made a contribution as a side dish for everyone else.

This morning John and I woke up at 5 to leave early for the long drive to my home in Oregon, and here we are. We're spending the next week with my family, and I'll be up here until the end of January for my family rotation.

I missed my sisters and parents a lot even though I had a wonderful time meeting my new relatives, and it feels nice to be home.

We'll be celebrating Christmas with the extended family on Wednesday, not to mention visiting friends and New Year's coming up. 

It's the day after Christmas, but there's lots to look forward to. 

We're blessed to be safe and with our loved one. 

Happy Christmas!

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