A special thank you to author Laurie Sadowski for sharing her holiday inspired post with us today!
Here in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving this past weekend. I love Thanksgiving – primarily because I love cooking and baking with fall themes, and where I live, we still have plenty of late summer produce, combined with fresh fall favourites.
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet celebrated my Canadian Thanksgiving. It proved to be a busy weekend, filled with my nephew’s 3rd birthday, recipe testing, and working on myriad of projects.
That being said, there is absolutely no way I won’t eventually have my Thanksgiving, where I load up on Brussels sprouts, gravy, and my other favourites.
These favourites, then, I thought I would share with you. They make perfect fall dinners, or, for those of you who haven’t had Thanksgiving yet, perfect to share with your family and friends.
I’ve written two posts on my own blog about prepping for Thanksgiving, and some of my must-have recipes are there. Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts offer you two easy ways to serve the little green cabbage, and I guarantee it tastes better than anything boiled or steamed. For those of you who “hate Brussels sprouts”, think again – these are creamy, sweet, and melt in your mouth delicious.
I’ve also served up a recipe for my favourite mushroom gravy, one that is truly open to adapting to your own tastes. Even those who used to love it made from turkey drippings ask if I am making this. All of the omnivorous folks in your home will love this, too, offering an excellent compromise for a Thanksgiving with meat-eaters and vegan/vegetarians.
I often host a Thanksgiving dinner, as well as a Christmas dinner, so I work on trying to cater to everyone. I’m pretty lucky in the way of gluten-free: though I’m the only celiac, another person in my family is gluten-free, and my sister and her family eat that way as often as possible. Further, we’re all pretty easy to compromise with. Everything can be vegan, except one main meat dish.
The thing is, I don’t really like just noshing on all of the sides. Well, I do, but I always feel there is something missing. That being said, I always try to make some sort of main dish, even if I am the only one who ends up eating it (which is never the case). Generally, it is a lasagna, but last year I made a delicious nut loaf, and was pleased with how it turned out. It got eaten pretty quickly.
Though the recipe doesn’t state this, I do recommend, if you want, to make it in advance, let it cool, fridge it over night, and then reheat it. This helps firm it up a little more. My favourite part of this recipe is it doesn’t include bread crumbs because, frankly, I want to eat my bread. Not grind ‘er up!
Happy Thanksgiving (belated or in advance!)
Nut and Mushroom Loaf
A simple loaf, brimming with nuts and a hint of mushroom flavor, this loaf is super simple to put together and is great with my mushroom gravy.
Serves about 6 to 8
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
1 cup almonds, chopped (see Note)
3/4 cup pecans, chopped (see Note)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and celery. Saute until softened. Add the garlic, mushrooms and nuts. Continue to cook until fragrant. Stir in the herbs. Cook for an additional minute. Whisk the arrowroot flour and sorghum flour into the apple cider. Add it to the pan. Stir until smooth. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Let stand at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Note: Finely chop the majority of the nuts, leaving a portion of them intact for a nice crunch. (This is easily done in a food processor). The finer chopping aids in a loaf that stays together when slicing. Similarly, if you unmold it too soon, it will not stay together when slicing.