Build Your Own Vegetarian Thanksgiving

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Society is generally supportive of vegetarianism, that is, until Thanksgiving. When discussing my family’s vegetarian Thanksgiving with others, there is always a host of mixed reactions and questions.

In yesterdays post, on Why to Have a Vegetarian ThanksgivingI explained that I love the questions people ask, becuase I love sharing the ratioinale behind this lifestyle choice, hoping that it will inspire people in some small way to think more intentionally about what in their own life they could change to better protect the environment.

Of all the questions I get, varying from specific recipe details to protein concerns, the two main questions I get boil down to:

 1) Why?, and 2) How?

Yesterday, I answered why have a Vegetarian Thanksgiving. You can check out some of those statistics and reasons here!

Today I want to focus on how to have a vegetarian Thanksgiving. 

Drum roll please!

Like any large meal, the formula for a vegetarian Thanksgiving is the same as a traditional Thanksgiving meal. You want an entrée dish, several dishes- varying from vegetable to bread options, and of course, dessert! Thus, I propose the following formula:

1-2 Entrée Dishes + 3-6 Side Dishes + 1-2 Breads + 1 Dessert = Vegetarian Thanksgiving!

From the food options below, you can select your own entrée dishes, side dishes, bread recipes, and dessert recipe, to build your own vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, which you can supplement with some of your family’s favorite dishes! Base the number of dishes and recipes off of the crowd you are anticipating, and if you have a family favorite recipe that you do not see on this list, leave a comment below! I would love to add your favorite dishes to my “To-Cook” list for my own future Thanksgiving celebrations!

Happy Celebrating, cooking, and eating. Come back soon!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

Entree Options:

Side Dishe Options:

Bread Options:

Dessert Options:

How To: Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate

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I do not know how, but it was not until two years ago that I tried my first pomegranate seed. I saw a friend of mine snacking on these little ruby-looking seeds, and was amazed at the beauty of this strange fruit! The seeds looked like little gems, and tasted just as good.

Pomegranate season in the United States usually lasts from around September to February, however they often show up in grocery stores for a brief month or so. Thus, for the last few years, whenever I have found pomegrante for sale, I have purchased at least one – both for cooking and for snacking purposes!

I hope you find this instructional helpful.  Here’s to delicious fruit, the beauty of nature, trying something new, and healthy eating!

Directions:

  1. Gather your pomegranate, a sharp knife, and a plastic cutting board. (The juice will stain a wooden cutting board). Rinse the pomegranate and remove any food stickers.

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2. Place the pomegranate flat on the cutting board, and cut the fruit directly in half. If the fruit is very wobbly, try shaving a thin layer of skin off of the bottom of the fruit to balance it, and then cut.

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3. Cut each of the halves in two, so that you have a total of four wedges. (Be careful here! The juice will stain you!)

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4. Hold each wedge over a bowl of water, and use your fingers to pull the seeds apart from the white membrane. The seeds can fall into the bowl of water, and will sink to the bottom, while any of the white membrane that falls into the bowl will float on the top.

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5. Drain the seeds of the water, and munch away!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you do use a wooden cutting board, and find that the juice has stained the board, you can use lemon juice or vinegar to remove the stain.
  • Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t forget to check out the other ‘How To’ article from A Rented Kitchen, such as How To: Cut a Butternut Squash, How To: Cut a Pineapple, and How To: Make Chocolate Curls!
  • Love pomegranate seeds? Never tried pomegranate seeds? Try these scrumptious recipes from A Rented Kitchen that use this delicious fruit! (Recipe links below):

How to Cut a Butternut Squash

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It’s fall, which means tis’ the season for butternut squash! This past Saturday I woke up early and made homemade roasted butternut squash soup. It was perfect. The leaves were blowing outside my window.  My beautiful roommates were all asleep, so I sat in silence and sipped on some tea while the squash baked, remembering all the things I am grateful for

As I prepared the soup, I remembered how last summer my post on ‘How to Cut a Pineapple’ got more views than most of my recipe posts! Therefore, I figured there was a need for how to cut specific fruits and vegetables, and thought I’d provide

Thus, here are my step-by-step photographic instructions for how to cut a butternut squash. I hope this helps, and I hope you use this post to make something delicious! I will be posting my new favorite butternut squash recipe soon, so don’t forget to subscribe or come back soon for the delicious recipe!

with love and warmth, a rented kitchen

The Play-By-Play:

Step one: Rinse the butternut squash and place on a steady clean surface.

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Step two: Using a large knife, cut both ends of the butternut squash off (very thin cuts, about ¼ of an inch), creating even surfaces on both ends.

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Step three: Skin the squash with a vegetable peeler.

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Step four: Stand the squash up on one end and cut the squash down the middle with a large knife.

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Step five: Use a spoon to scrape the seeds and additional pulp out of the squash. Save the seeds and set aside if you want to enjoy toasted seeds!

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Step six: Lay each half with the center on the cutting board, and cut each half in two.

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Step seven: Cut the quarters into long 1-inch strips, and then chop each strip into cubes, or whatever size you desire!

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The Finished Product- delicious fresh squash ready for cooking!

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Found this ‘How To’ to be helpful? Check out these other helpful tips from a rented kitchen!

How to: Cut a Pineapple

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All right, so this post is a little different than what I normally post, but considering how much I love pineapple, I thought it worthwhile. Cutting a pineapple can seem more difficult than it really is. For many people, the effort doesn’t seem worth it, so they buy canned pineapple instead. I am here to tell you though, the effort is deeefinitely worth it.  Fresh pineapple tastes dramatically different than canned pineapple, and if you know how to accurately cut it, this delicious reward will come with very little effort. (huzzah!)

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Step 1: Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, leveling both ends.

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Step 2: Shave the skin off of the pineapple. If you cut very close to the skin, you will need to go back with a paring knife and remove some of the deeper grooves. If you cut a little deeper into the flesh of the pineapple while removing the skin, you will probably avoid this step. The picture shown was after a shallow shaving of the skin, and then the removal of some of those deeper grooves.

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Step 3: Slicing from top to bottom (long ways), cut the pineapple into 4 triangles.

Step 4: The center most point of the triangle is a thick core that is too hard to chew. Slicing from top to bottom, remove this hard core from each triangle.

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Step 5: Cut the remaining 4 pillars into chunks or bite sized pieces as desired. Enjoy!

Love pineapple? Check out these recipes that utilize this delicious fruit!

 

Have some leftover fresh pineapple? You can store it in an airtight refrigerated container for several days.  Pineapple makes an excellent snack!

Year End Review (2012)

YAY! It’s 2013! Happy New Year everyone! I want to take this opportunity to thank you all again for all your support and investment in my little cooking adventure. I have had so much fun experimenting with new recipes and ingredients in the last year, and get great joy out of sharing them with you.

While I have not been blogging for a full year, I have been posting new recipes for the better part of the past year, so I thought a year-end review was in order.

After reviewing the statistics on my blog, these are the top 20 most viewed recipes on my blog. In other words, these are Your favorites. I have loved making and sharing them, and hope you have enjoyed making some of these as well.

Looking forward to a new year full of new recipes!

With love, Sarah

19). Apple Spice Cookies with Cardamom Cinnamon Frosting

19). Apple Spice Cookies with Cardamom Cinnamon Frosting