As I mentioned before, Saturday was spent with my mom’s side of the family in So Cal. It was a really fun day with good food, good company, and of course, the adorable Finn.
I was in charge of bringing a vegan dish, so I thought why not test out a recipe that’s been on the back burner for a while now.
Harvest Grain Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Artichokes
- 16 oz Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend (I used 8 oz of the bag and added in brown rice)
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil (I omitted this and instead used the oil from the marinated artichokes)
- 12 oz. jar of marinated artichokes (I only used 1/2 the jar)
- 8.5 oz sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped (I only used ~2 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (I only used 1/4 cup)
- Trader Joe’s 21 Spice Salute (no amount was specified, but I used 1 tbsp)
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook Harvest Grain Blend with vegetable broth as per the package instructions. Once the grains are tender, stir in chopped artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, oil, balsamic vinegar, and TJ’s seasoning. Enjoy hot or cold.
And now some photos of the cooking process…
The next morning I transported it from the pot to the serving bowl.
Having the night to sit allowed all the flavors to meld together. Yummy!
It was all soft like risotto and the flavors were stellar. I’m typically not a sun dried tomato person, but with all the other flavors it was mellow enough for me to enjoy. My favorite part was how many different grains were in the blend, though. Orzo, baby chickpeas, Israeli couscous, red quinoa…so many different textures for my tongue to enjoy. And the TJ’s 21 Season Salute makes seasoning so simple, even a
caveman kitchen novice could do it. Thanks Danica for making this a no brainer meal. After all, Saturday was only my first Thanksgiving…Sunday’s round two meant my day of cooking was only half way done. You can expect another recipe coming your way soon.
The rest of Saturday’s dishes were just as delicious and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of vegan offerings. Veganism is becoming mainstream, yo!
There were veggies and dip, dried fruit and nuts, and a layered guacamole dip to start…but I only had one handful after seeing Finn take double dipping to the next level. Half-eaten slobbery cherry tomato anyone?
While I caught up with my cousins, g-ma, and other family members, my uncle was “hard at work” in the kitchen.
Or something like that? This is definitely hall of shame candidate number one
How cute are my aunt and uncle’s new tattoos? I guess after 30+ years it’s safe to make your wedding band a permanent part of your body.
And now the food…
My cousin made this cranberry jelly, and it’s probably the best home-made version I’ve ever tasted. Don’t think I’m ghetto, but I’m partial to the Ocean Spray kind complete with ribbed can marks. But this recipe from the LA Times certainly made me rethink my stance on home-made sauces. The cinnamon and orange zest were surprising twists that added a yummy zing.
Salad. Green bean casserole.
Setting the mood (this photo is for you g-ma).
Above: non vegan stuffing. Below: vegan stuffing
This. Was. Delicious.
The gracious host stirring away.
My first plate was loaded with salad, Harvest Grains, vegan mashed potatoes (made with Earth Balance & soymilk courtesy of my other cousin), vegan stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
Not amazing lighting, but you get the idea. Not an opening on the plate. That’s the goal at Thanksgiving, right?
Good gravy! (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist such a perfectly cheesy joke)
I went back for seconds after discovering there was a vegan green bean casserole that I didn’t see on the first round.
Sorry about the less-than-stellar photo, but the dish was mostly eaten when I dug in for my own serving.
If my fellow vegan chefs are reading this, please email me with the recipe, it was tasty! The mushrooms were a nice little surprise.
We left a bit early to drive down to San Clemente for Thanksgiving number two, but it was wonderful to spend the day with my family. I love them so much.
*Don’t forget to enter my vegan ice cream giveaway – both US and Canadian winners will score two pints of Coconut Bliss.