We asked the folks behind some of Chicago's best food blogs to give us their Thanksgiving philosophy and whip up a few recipes to support it. The result? Twelve recipes, three menus-and not a single whole-roasted turkey.
More recipes from Natalie Slater
Thanksgiving “Praise Be to Seitan” Roast
This recipe was given to me by a friend who made me promise not to give it to anyone else. Oh well.
1 cup shallots, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fresh sage, crushed
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the shallots in the olive oil, over low heat, for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté 2 more minutes. Remove pan from heat.
2. Transfer the shallot mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the vegetable stock, nutritional yeast flakes, soy sauce, sesame oil, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
3. Transfer half of the wet ingredients to a small bowl and set aside. Stir the wheat gluten and flour together in a large bowl. Add some of the remaining wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring well, and continue to add the remaining liquid, as needed, to form a firm dough. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes.
4. Using a little olive oil, lightly grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Stretch the dough slightly and then press it into the loaf pan. Pour the half of the reserved wet ingredients over the top of the roast. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the loaf pan from the oven and pour the remaining reserved wet ingredients over the top of the roast. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and return the roast to the oven. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the roast is very firm to the touch. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut into slices.
Cranberry Lentil Salad
This recipe is best made one day ahead.
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup French green lentils
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Israeli couscous
3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
dash salt & pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Place lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not falling apart. Drain lentils and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. While the lentils are cooking, start the couscous: Bring veggie broth to a boil in a heavy saucepan and stir in couscous. Simmer, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Spread couscous on a baking sheet to cool then transfer to the lentils. Stir in olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the green onions, vinegar, and lemon juice. Remove peel and pith of orange and cut into supremes (cut flesh of orange out from between membranes.) Cut each supreme in half. Squeeze any extra orange juice into the dressing.
5. Toss couscous with lentils, dressing mixture, oranges, walnuts, cranberries and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp dried sage
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
dash black pepper
1 cup stone-ground yellow corn meal
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pan
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 and coat muffin pan with shortening. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat; add corn, celery and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the corn and onion are softened, about 5 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, sage, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the cornmeal. Using a pastry blender (or a fork) cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles course meal. Add milk, egg and sautéed vegetables, stirring just until combined.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake about 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.