Ever since Brian suggested we go to Denny’s for Thanksgiving I had been dreaming of pancakes. Not the healthy kind. But the kind topped with whipped butter, maybe sprinkled with chocolate chips, a mountain of whipped cream on top in a pool of fake maple flavored heavy corn syrup.
But. Sometimes I fall off the wagon –and I wanted to land in a pile of pancakes.
So we had pancakes for Thanksgiving. Not at Denny’s, but at one of our local favorites, Kerbey Lane Cafe, who actually has a great menu of vegan options. I admit, we opted for their traditional pancakes (in 3 different flavors: buttermilk, blueberry and pumpkin) but, you know, options. They’re important. And high five, Kerbey Lane, for having some great options.
We came home and Truly and I took a food coma nap while our eyes occasionally flickered open to see the National Dog Show (way to go Gia the Greyhound for winning Best in Show, btw.) I admit, between seeing all those nicely groomed dogs bouncing around with their trainers in sensible shoes and outfits that looked like they were running for office, and the dog food commercials with happy owners in clean houses with NOOOOO pet fur anywhere to be found, I did miss having a dog around the house. And then reality set in and I remembered why our floors are stained and how we no longer have to worry about babies and toddlers eating fists full of dog hair. I love dogs, but it’s okay not to have one now.
Despite my notion that we already had our Thanksgiving feast, I recovered from my pancake haze and had a huge hankering for something fresh and healthy. The sweet potatoes in the pantry were calling to me.
Yamma Lotta Lovin’ Recipe
3 Sweet Potatoes, roughly chopped
I used our InstantPot to pressure cook these puppies, but you can cook/bake them however you want. I don’t recommend microwaving them, unless you know how to keep them moist (like in a covered corian dish with a 1/2c water.) They usually turn out spongy and you don’t get that sweet, caramelized flavor. So try baking, slow cooking, steaming or pressure cooking for better results.
Once sweet potatoes are cooked, dish into a bowl. Then add:
Orange Juice -just pour on a bit, as desired
Sprinkle on Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Ground Clove (be sparing with the last two since they’re so potent)
Banana -thin slices
Pecans or favorite nut -roughly chopped or broken
Raisins (not pictured, but I added them afterward and it was so good I couldn’t stop eating to take a new picture. Sorry.)
Scrolling through my social media feeds and seeing all those banquets in the commercials as we watched tv, I caved: I wanted mashed potatoes and gravy, too. It’s Thanksgiving, after all.
And what resulted was a heavenly combination of potatoes and gravy too amazing not to share. The celery gravy was reminiscent of StoveTop stuffing (the WHOLE REASON for Thanksgiving dinner. That and sweet potato casserole.)
It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s delicious. Three great reasons to try this out for yourself.
Healthy Heavenly Whipped Potatoes
Gold Potatoes -washed and chopped
Boil or pressure cook these bad boys until tender. If you boil, add enough water to just cover them. Drain water, put cooked potatoes in a mixing bowl and beat. I used an electric hand mixer.
Non-dairy unsweetened milk for desired consistency. I use the organic unsweetened soy milk and probably added 1/2-3/4 cup to my 7 medium sized cooked gold potatoes.
Add Garlic powder, salt and ground pepper to taste.
Using your mixer, whip until smooth (or desired consistency -hey, who knows, you may be a fan of lumps.)
Celery Gravy Recipe
If you had told me prior to becoming plant based that you could make gravy from vegetables I would have looked at you funny. Real funny. And, obviously, not believed you. Well color me corrected, I am beyond delighted to find that I can make a killer gravy and it’s oil/fat-free while being packed with flavor.
Corn starch -1 tablespoon per 1 1/2-2 cups of veggie stock
Mix your veggie stock and corn starch together while stock is room temp or cold. Stir away any lumps. Pour in a pot or sauce pan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally to avoid goopy globs forming. No goopy globs, people. Turn down to med-low heat to simmer. Continue to still occasionally.
Celery -1 or 2 stalks depending on how much gravy you’re making, finely chopped
Season with salt, ground pepper, a daub of spicy mustard (I used course ground spicy mustard,) a dash of ground coriander and garlic powder.
If your sauce looks chalky or milky, simmer longer. It means the corn starch isn’t fully dissolved. Add more veggie stock if it’s looking too thick, add a small amount of corn starch premixed with a bit of veggie stock if your sauce is too thin. Remember, corn starch: a little goes a long way.
All this talking about food makes me want to each it all over again.
Thank goodness for Thanskgiving leftovers. Am I right or am I right?