Table Talk: November 12

Meatless Thanksgiving

By
October 29, 2009

Editor’s note: Hold the turkey! This week we’re discussing meatless Thanksgiving options. Next week, November 19, is reserved for all Thanksgiving-related questions. We apologize for any confusion.

Join Kim O’Donnel for a discussion of Thanksgiving foods that don’t include meat, right here, on Thursday, November 12, at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET.

Kim, a trained chef and longtime food journalist, brings ideas, tips, and recipes to her weekly chats.

Enter your email, below, to receive a reminder of the chat. And if you can’t join on the 12th, leave a comment below, or send Kim a question at tabletalk [at] culinate [dot] com.

See you here!

 Table Talk with Kim O'Donnel - Nov. 12, 2009(11/12/2009) 
9:49
Kim ODonnel: 
Yes, Virginia, there is Thanksgiving without turkey -- oh wait, wrong holiday! But you get the idea: today's chat is all about making the most glorious holiday feast without meat, or how to mash it up in mixed company. Join us at the top of the hour -- get your forks ready.
Thursday November 12, 2009 9:49 Kim ODonnel
10:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Hello! The two-week countdown to the big feast has begun. What are you cooking up this year? We know a lot of nerves are getting frayed, so this week and next, the chat is all about helping you get thru the prep & planning (sorry not trained in dealing with crazy relatives -- I've got my own set). So for round One, we'll talk meatless -- mains, vegan desserts, a meal that doesn't feel like a bunch of sides, plus ways to mix n match in mixed company. Next week is turkey, giblets & anything else on your mind. So let's roll & hear all about it...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:02 Kim ODonnel
10:03
[Comment From Corn bread! Corn bread! : ] 
A moist corn bread eludes me. I can’t figure out to make it moist. Yesterday I used this recipe from Food&Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/corn-bread-with-scallions. Overall, it was totally fine. We spread a little butter and we're set. but what's the best way to produce a corn bread that's perfection right out of the oven? should i use buttermilk? whole milk? many many thanks!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:03 Corn bread!
10:03
Kim ODonnel: 
Cornbread, I'm a fan of using buttermilk in my corn bread. Have you ever tried melting butter in a cast iron skillet, then immediately adding batter, then allowing it to going straight into the oven? Talk to me.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:03 Kim ODonnel
10:04
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
I'm here and ready!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:04 Jeanne
10:04
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Jeanne! What's on your menu this year?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:04 Kim ODonnel
10:04
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Our contribution to the all family dinner is generally macaroni and cheese, scalloped apples, homemade bread, caramel walnut torte and sparkling or still wine.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:04 Thia
10:05
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey Thia, sounds great. Tell us more about that bread...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:05 Kim ODonnel
10:05
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
re: corn bread - I like to make it with yogurt in place of buttermilk. I use a cast iron skillet, melt the butter in the oven, pour excess into batter then pour and bake. Turns out moist.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:05 Linear Girl
10:06
Kim ODonnel: 
Nice, Linear. I haven't done corn bread w/ yogurt, but a great idea.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:06 Kim ODonnel
10:06
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Regarding cornbread, a really moist one I make involves canned creamed corn or one with sour cream
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:06 Thia
10:06
[Comment From Corn bread! Corn bread! : ] 
well i put oil in the cast-iron skillet beforehand, not butter and used the milk on hand which was 1%. what about adding corn kernels? maybe not a ton of moisture, but would it help?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:06 Corn bread!
10:06
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Well, we are doing turkey, but we have a million veggie sides that are delish. One of my favorites is Yams Louisiane from Soul and Spice. A layered dish w/ yams, spices, pecans. Yummy.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:06 Jeanne
10:07
Kim ODonnel: 
Ooh. Jeanne, is it like a gratin, perchance? A friend was telling me last night about a butternut squash gratin. Doesn't that sound fab?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:07 Kim ODonnel
10:07
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Whew - good to be back; I've missed these get-togethers. Hope everyone is well.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:07 Lizka
10:08
Kim ODonnel: 
Welcome back, Lizka! We were off last week, but we're back in holiday action. What's on your menu this year?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:08 Kim ODonnel
10:08
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Cheddar Herb biscuits as promised: http://www.culinate.com/user/chasqui/recipes/collected_wisdom/cheddar_herb_biscuits
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:08 JonClark
10:08
Kim ODonnel: 
WOW! Thanks JonClark! What a nice gift. For those who were in chat a few weeks ago, JonClark is a reader who lives in Hungary, agreed to dig up his recipe for cheddar herb biscuits. You rock!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:08 Kim ODonnel
10:09
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
Most likely not cooking for Thanksgiving this year but am happy to see people's recipes. :)
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:09 Jess
10:09
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
Thia, what are scalloped apples? I've only heard of scalloped potatoes.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:09 Jess
10:09
[Comment From Corn bread! Corn bread! : ] 
ooh sour cream in cornbread! butternut squash gratin! this is the best chat online :)
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:09 Corn bread!
10:09
Kim ODonnel: 
We think so, too, Cornbread!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:09 Kim ODonnel
10:09
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
It's a recipe from the booklet that came with the food processor so very long ago. Just your basic white bread. Sometimes I do high school cafeteria style rolls, too.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:09 Thia
10:10
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
I'm not going to make it through this chat w/o an aimless graze through my kitchen, looking for something to eat. Everything sounds awesome.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:10 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:11
Kim ODonnel: 
Hey, Tara is in the house! She's the co-author of "Almost Meatless" What are you cooking up this year? (I love hearing what folks are planning...)
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:11 Kim ODonnel
10:12
[Comment From Kristin Kristin : ] 
I'm been veg forever, but I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year - all vegan! I'm excited, but I can't decide on a main course. Turkey substitute (I would make it from scratch - a loaf or roast of some sort) or veggie focused?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:12 Kristin
10:13
Kim ODonnel: 
Wow, Kristen, way to go! What about stuffed onions? I've done those before & they are gorgeus to look at...I'm not wild about acorn squash, but stuffed dumpling squash with grain/pilaf or bread stuffing would be glorious...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:13 Kim ODonnel
10:13
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
I think think cornbread needs egg, buttermilk, and butter to be moist. I bake that one in a baking pan in the oven. I also do a Southern one in a cast iron skillet in the oven--more dry (but still yummy).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:13 Jeanne
10:13
Kim ODonnel: 
Yes indeed, I agree, a little egg action is helpful for lathering up the crumb...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:13 Kim ODonnel
10:14
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
I just tried to Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding from this month's Bon Appetit. I think it was a damn good solution for a vegetarian centerpiece.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:14 JonClark
10:14
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
I think I'm going to give Robin Asbell's Braised Garlic-Squash Tart with Aged Gouda and Hazelnuts a try. From her new book New Vegetarian. I'm a turkey lover, but I always end up cashing in a lot more calorie chips on sides.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:14 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:15
Kim ODonnel: 
I'm waiting to get my hands on a copy of Asbell's book. This sounds amazing!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:15 Kim ODonnel
10:15
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Also, can I recommend a fab recipe? The Cheese and Nut Loaf from the Greens Cookbook. It has wild mushrooms and herbs. It's moist and delicious--more like a terrine. You can serve it with a Wild Mushroom sauce.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:15 Jeanne
10:15
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Kristin - Personally, if I was coming to your house, I would look forward to enjoying your way of doing things, not expect you to cater to me - I say stick to your veggie strengths.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:15 Lizka
10:15
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
My sister makes a butternut squash lasagna often for hearty, group-friendly veggie main dish that might be good for t-day.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:15 Jess
10:16
Kim ODonnel: 
Yep, I've done Deborah Madison's butternut squash lasagna w/ walnuts & bechamel sauce, and it's killer.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:16 Kim ODonnel
10:16
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
We always have corn pudding, which is absurdly good and I always eat too much of it. And My sis-in-law and I go head to head over the mashed potatoes. I don't care what anyone says, mashed potatoes are not optional.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:16 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:17
Kim ODonnel: 
For me, bread stuffing is not optional, and neither is homemade crans. I rarely make bread stuffing, so it feels like a real treat. Are there other items that are must-haves on your table?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:17 Kim ODonnel
10:17
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Kristin - I vote for veggie focused - no fake meat. Just make a selection of veg or make a veg presentation that could serve as a focal point.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:17 Linear Girl
10:17
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Jess, my recipe uses canned apples (not apple pie filling) cream cheese, butter, some flour and sugar. My addition to the recipe is cinnamon.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:17 Thia
10:17
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Ooo those biscuits sound amazing - thanks JonClark!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:17 Lizka
10:17
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Actually what we had for dinner tonight, and last night, a mushroom paprikas is basically and three mushroom stew with onions and paprika served over a plumper version of spaetzle, and I think it would be a good addition to the feast.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:17 JonClark
10:18
Kim ODonnel: 
that would make a great entree for a meatless Tgiving, JonClark.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:18 Kim ODonnel
10:18
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Can we talk potatoes? I have to admit, I like potatoes--but they are too heavy for me--esp. for a big dinner like this one. I like rice better. Anyone else?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:18 Jeanne
10:18
Kim ODonnel: 
Do you like to do a pilaf-y kind of thing, Jeanne? Or do you wild rice to go with the rest of the stuff?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:18 Kim ODonnel
10:19
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
My favorite thing about the turkey at Thanksgiving that it goes well with chutneys. Persimmon or cranberry are my favorites. How might I incorporate these into a vegetarian meal? What could they garnish?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:19 Linear Girl
10:19
Kim ODonnel: 
I think cranberry chutney is a great partner with bread stuffing, with sweet potatoes or squash -- or straight from the spoon!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:19 Kim ODonnel
10:20
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
I keep things simple as it is just my husband and me - we cook a big (for only two of us) turkey because we love leftovers and then each of us picks a side that we want. The Giant had a really neat recipe for sweet potatoes that includes cranberries and apples that really struck a cord, so that's my main side. Love to hear others' ideas.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:20 Lizka
10:21
Kim ODonnel: 
Me, I prefer sweet potatoes with a savory, rather than a sweet angle, with garlic and chiles and pecans, and I love love love whipping up a last-minute sweet potato puree with a little chipotle...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:21 Kim ODonnel
10:21
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Hear, hear to Tara re more calories in the sides. This is ALWAYS my problem.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:21 Lizka
10:21
[Comment From Corn bread! Corn bread! : ] 
oh i made a butternut squash bread pudding the other day using rye bread instead of white bread, it was terrific! another option...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:21 Corn bread!
10:21
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, do tell...we want details!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:21 Kim ODonnel
10:22
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
It's so funny--I'm looking through my cookbooks for my fav. veggie holiday dishes--and I'm having a hard time because they are so used the pages are falling out.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:22 Jeanne
10:22
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
I'm not a potato fan either but we usually have mashed potatoes and a sweet potato dish topped with buttered/brown sugared pecans.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:22 Jess
10:23
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
The New York Times this week has three yummy sounding side dishes. Caramelized Corn With Fresh Mint, Fiery Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower With Lemon Brown Butter and Sage Salt
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:23 Thia
10:23
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
I made a pumpkin-yam soup last night that would be a good starter for a vegan meal. I cooked in the crockpot with a little veggie broth, onion, celery, garlic, allspice, nutmeg and tumeric.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:23 Linear Girl
10:24
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, LInear girl, sounds great. Make some toasts to go with and you're in business.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:24 Kim ODonnel
10:24
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
Kristin, I had this really wonderful grain napoleon at a restaurant called The Blue Spoon in Portland Maine. It was my entree and it was so satisfying. I think it was made with three different grains, all very hearty and chewy, layered. I imagine it's also baked like a loaf, lasagna or terrine and sliced. It was served with a Romesco sauce and sauteed greens, but you could make the sauce something more T-giving-ish. Maybe like a butternut squash or mushroom "gravy" with thyme or sage? There's also a recipe in my book, Almost Meatless, for barley stuffed squash with currants and pecans. It calls for sausage, but you can omit it w/no love lost. If you can find smallish butternuts, you can make individual servings of them. Would look pretty. Very satisfying.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:24 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:24
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Baked sweet potatoes! With a butter brown sugar/molasses dressing, maybe toss on a marshmallow or meringue topping and toast them for effect!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:24 JonClark
10:24
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
My preference is wild rice with cranberries and pecans.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:24 Jess
10:25
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Yeah, I like a pilaf plus one that's fairly plain. The pilaf for something savory on it's own, the plain for using with gravy. Wild mushrooms play a big role in the pilaf and gravy.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:25 Jeanne
10:25
[Comment From Kristin Kristin : ] 
I definitely agree with the veg focus, but as a longtime veggie, I'm very conscious of the protein-less selection of sides problem... I was just looking for a good, hearty centerpiece (both for myself and my omni guests).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:25 Kristin
10:26
Kim ODonnel: 
And no dairy or egg, right? Or is that fair game? I'm thinking of a wonderful eggplant timpano I've had in the past that makes a glorious presentation.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:26 Kim ODonnel
10:27
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Unfortunately, this year we are having T'giving dinner at a restaurant. My sister always hosts the meal and she just doesn't want to do it this year. I'm leery of their side dishes actually being vegetarian. Seems most places like to add chicken stock or some such thing to their sides. I'm still expected to provide the foods I mentioned earlier for us to eat the next day.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:27 Thia
10:28
Kim ODonnel: 
Don't tell anyone, but I'm not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, either! At least not on Tgiving Day. My husband and I will be giving thanks instead on the beach in Mexico. Plan to recreate a harvest meal in early December!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:28 Kim ODonnel
10:28
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
We also like to do a simple butternut squash soup as a first course. So light and delicate. And all the right flavors.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:28 Jeanne
10:29
Kim ODonnel: 
I love soup to start off Thanksgiving dinner. It doesn't seem complete without it -- and it takes such little time (and gives cook a little break) inbetween courses...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:29 Kim ODonnel
10:29
[Comment From hughes hughes : ] 
Spoon Bread goes with everything.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:29 hughes
10:29
Kim ODonnel: 
What's your spoonbread trick, Sir Hughes?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:29 Kim ODonnel
10:29
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Lizka - I love whiskey-honey glazed sweet potatoes, recipe from epicurious. Kind of traditional, but not so sweet and a little more sophisticated. Even the kids will eat because it tastes a little like butterscotch.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:29 Linear Girl
10:30
[Comment From Kristin Kristin : ] 
I also toyed with the idea of a rice-based stuffing, but my family is adamant about bread stuffing. They don't seem to mind that we're not having turkey, but I think there would be a mutiny if I took away the stuffing. Any ideas for interesting variations?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:30 Kristin
10:31
Kim ODonnel: 
I am really into turnips right now. Diced, they punch up something heavy like stuffing. Leeks and shallots instead of onions. Sage, plus oregano. A little chile... Make your own stock, something garlicky!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:31 Kim ODonnel
10:31
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
Corn bread, love the idea of squash/brown bread combo. Great partnership!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:31 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:31
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Ooo, your sweet potato ideas are awesome, Kim. Recipes soon?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:31 Jeanne
10:33
Kim ODonnel: 
Oui, madame. Also -- I usually make a sweet potato "butter" from Dana Jacobi's book -- actually I refer to it as sweet potato hummus -- roast a quartered onion and 2 sweets, then puree, with a little bit of tahini paste and some lemon, cayenne. Yowza. Great app/snack for this time of year.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:33 Kim ODonnel
10:33
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Wow, caramelized corn sounds amazing. And the roasted cauliflower. Cauliflower is an underused veggie at the holidays, I think.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:33 Jeanne
10:33
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
Oh, soup, good starter. One year I made sweet potato pear soup from Mollie Katzen's Still Life With Menu - so delicate and good!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:33 Jess
10:34
Kim ODonnel: 
Katzen's books are timeless -- just looking at Moosewood the other day and thinking how her recipes still resonate.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:34 Kim ODonnel
10:34
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Oo, yes, what spoon bread recipes do you guys like? I'm always adapting stuff to be gluten-free (and yummy).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:34 Jeanne
10:34
[Comment From hughes hughes : ] 
No trick just butter.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:34 hughes
10:34
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Thia, I have similar issues because I'm gluten intolerant. My husband's grandparents always want to go to the restaurant they've gone to for years--there is nothing gf for me to eat--I'm expected to bring my own stuff. Not fun. I would much rather cook (and I've put my foot down that I'm not going out on Thanksgiving anymore).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:34 Jeanne
10:34
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Ooo, I'm going to try that sweet potato hummus this weekend. Sounds amazing.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:34 Linear Girl
10:35
Kim ODonnel: 
Linear, happy to email you recipe details. Send me email at tabletalk@culinate
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:35 Kim ODonnel
10:35
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Here's a link to a page at The Baltimore Sun for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/sns-holiday-veggie-thanksgiving-sg,0,2589735.storygallery
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:35 Thia
10:36
Kim ODonnel: 
Thanks, Thia! I'm putting together a roundup of fun veggie-centric recipes for the holiday from various sources. Stay tuned. Also a 10 ways to make your Thanksgiving meatless.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:36 Kim ODonnel
10:36
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Yeah, Moosewood rocks. The recipes for soup are esp. good. The Gypsy Soup is a very good choice for Thanksgiving--nice spices and it has chickpeas for protein.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:36 Jeanne
10:36
[Comment From hughes hughes : ] 
I do use white cornmeal. It gives a certain lightness.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:36 hughes
10:36
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Linear Girl - Thanks! I'm definitely looking for recipes that cut the sweet a bit. I'll take a look.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:36 Lizka
10:36
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
A really good soup I've been making for years is Roasted Chestnut, which consists of jarred chestnuts (even though the jarred nut are really expensive, I don't like messing with fresh chestnuts), onion, celery, vegetable broth, salt and pepper. It sounds too simple to be good, but oh my, is it ever. I do add a lot more chesnuts that the recipe suggests.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:36 Thia
10:37
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Anyone do beans for Thanksgiving? Am thinking of doing some baked beans this year.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:37 Jeanne
10:37
Kim ODonnel: 
White beans are great, as they get so wonderfully creamy...or French lentils (ahem).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:37 Kim ODonnel
10:37
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
OK, I typed up the Gomba (mushroom) Paprikas: http://www.culinate.com/user/chasqui/recipes/collected_wisdom/gomba_paprikas
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:37 JonClark
10:38
Kim ODonnel: 
JonClark gets a serious blue ribbon Today!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:38 Kim ODonnel
10:38
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
Jeanne, gf spoon bread would be interesting. Do you post recipes anywhere like a blog..?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:38 Jess
10:38
[Comment From Lizka Lizka : ] 
Kristin - Regarding your protienless concern; is it possible to incorporate beans into anything you are planning? I think beans are so versatile.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:38 Lizka
10:39
Kim ODonnel: 
along Lizka's comment -- lentil stuffing inside dumpling squash would be lovely...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:39 Kim ODonnel
10:39
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Tara, do you think brown rice would substitute well for the barley in the stuffed squash? I'm gluten intolerant and can't use barley
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:39 Jeanne
10:39
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
I like to keep my "regular" vegetable sides pretty simple (as opposed to the starchy or fancy vegetable sides). I've noticed that when we've got a lot of rich foods, plain or lightly buttered vegetables really stand out as outstanding flavors. Eating them is almost like a palate cleanser. To be a little different from the peas or green beans I grew up with, I like to make brussels sprouts. People always think they don't like them until they have them very fresh and lightly steamed with butter. Delicious.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:39 Linear Girl
10:40
Kim ODonnel: 
OH yes to Brussels! Just had some last night -- my agent was in town and she cooked at our place -- and she seared up a bunch of brussels in butter & olive oil, then deglazed with balsamic vinegar, then finished in oven. They were simply delightful.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:40 Kim ODonnel
10:40
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
About cranberries I make as an appetizer a combination of a cranberry pepper jelly that you can get at Whole Foods which then gets poured on to cream cheese and is used as a spread for crackers.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:40 Thia
10:41
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
The crockpot is a life-saving tool for the holidays. Esp. when every single burner is taken.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:41 Jeanne
10:41
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Another main dish for a fancy veg meal could be pumpkin gnocchi with spinach sauce. The color contrast is stunning and the flavors are so simple you could still serve with anything else. It's a little labor intensive which makes it fun for a holiday.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:41 Linear Girl
10:41
Kim ODonnel: 
Yes, Linear! Very nice idea...or pumpkin-stuffed raviolis...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:41 Kim ODonnel
10:41
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
Absolutely, brown rice or any other grain would be great in those stuffed squash
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:41 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:42
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Can we talk dessert? Or how about a palate cleanser of blood orange sorbet?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:42 JonClark
10:42
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, JonClark, you're speaking to my heart with talk of blood oranges. Oh, how I love them! Will this be on your menu?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:42 Kim ODonnel
10:43
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
I just saw jarred chestnuts at my local Asian grocery for really cheap! I told myself to make a mental note for Thanksgiving since my mom always puts chestnuts in her stuffing and they really are a pain to peel.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:43 Jess
10:43
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Jeanne - I was just thinking that a white bean dish would be nice for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Simple beans, with lots of fresh parsley and garlic and olive oil.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:43 Linear Girl
10:44
Kim ODonnel: 
Or...if you wanted to forego stuffing, add sage to those white beans. Killer combo. Also love chopped rosemary w/ white beans.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:44 Kim ODonnel
10:44
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Oh, plus I'll be making a french onion gravy.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:44 JonClark
10:44
Kim ODonnel: 
YoWZA! I wanna know more about this french onion gravy. That's something I'd whip up.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:44 Kim ODonnel
10:45
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Unfortunately freezers here are very small, and I will be traveling to a potluck in Budapest from Kecskemet so I'll have bake a butternut bread pudding and finish it there.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:45 JonClark
10:45
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Oh, yes, dessert. I make a pumpkin pie that is very light on the spices (just uses cinnamon and ginger). The pumpkin flavor really shines through. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but the crowd I cook for is.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:45 Jeanne
10:45
Kim ODonnel: 
When I make pumpkin pie, I make it with silken tofu because it is so darn good & no one misses the eggs or dairy. Unbelivably tasty.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:45 Kim ODonnel
10:46
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Trader Joe's sells frozen roasted chestnuts pretty inexpensively. I don't know how they compare to the real thing because they're the only chestnuts I've ever had.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:46 Linear Girl
10:46
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Call me paranoid, but ever since those rolled pie crusts showed up in the dairy case, I'm afraid to eat anyone's pie but my own. The rolled crusts are make with animal fat -- or at least they were the last time I checked. Our desserts are generally pumpkin pie, cheesecake and the walnut tart.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:46 Thia
10:46
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
French onion gravy? Yes please, JohClark. And a simple white bean dish sounds perfect, Linear Girl
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:46 Jeanne
10:46
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Start a french onion soup by cooking down thinly sliced onions for over an hour until they are exactly what you would want for french onion soup. Then add flour and butter to start a roux. Add honey, balsamic vinegar, and freshly chopped rosemary, and broth.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:46 JonClark
10:47
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh, this is great inspiration, JonClark. I'm making my own version of this pronto!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:47 Kim ODonnel
10:47
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
I stirred a 1/4 cup or so of white beans and toasted almonds into my roasted butternut squash soup yesterday for lunch and loved it for the texture and for filling me up w/extra protein. Yeah for beans!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:47 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:47
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
That's good to know about the chestnuts from TJ's and Asian grocers. The ones are Whole Foods are $14 a jar. They go up a dollar every year.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:47 Thia
10:48
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Let's talk drinks. My family rule is that once the pies are out and the turkey (or whatever) is in the oven, it's time for Ramos Fizz.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:48 Linear Girl
10:49
Kim ODonnel: 
I love using pomegranate seeds as a drink garnish at this time of year. Much prettier than a maraschino cherry...has anyone done herby cocktails for holidays?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:49 Kim ODonnel
10:49
[Comment From Dawn Dawn : ] 
JonClark, how many biscuits does your recipe make?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:49 Dawn
10:49
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Yeah, me too JonClark! Also, as we speak I'm making the Brown Butter Pound Cake from Gourmet. It smells so good--would be an awesome dessert for Tgiving.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:49 Jeanne
10:49
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
I often make a chocolate cake on the side. I need me some chocolate! The one I make is light and has a ganache glaze instead of frosting.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:49 Jeanne
10:50
Kim ODonnel: 
For many years, I made a pumpkin bread pudding, made w/ pumpkin bread (using 1/2 of one loaf, having the rest for breakfast). Great treat, really unusual.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:50 Kim ODonnel
10:50
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Cranberry liquor anyone? http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1041106
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:50 JonClark
10:51
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
pomegranate seeds in champagne-they circulate with the bubbles
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:51 robinasbell
10:51
Kim ODonnel: 
Cookbook author Robin Asbell is in the house!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:51 Kim ODonnel
10:51
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
I make sweet potato sushi- roasted spears in a sushi roll
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:51 robinasbell
10:51
Kim ODonnel: 
Tell us more, pretty please...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:51 Kim ODonnel
10:51
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
We do the Sage Rush cocktail from the Herbal Kitchen--gin, grapefruit juice, sage. It's really good.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:51 Jeanne
10:52
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, that sounds intriguing...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:52 Kim ODonnel
10:52
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
I'm not sure exactly how many biscuits are made as I've never had the same biscuit cutter. It also depends on how close you get to the 1/2 inch thickness. So I took a guess at 20 biscuits.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:52 JonClark
10:52
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Robinasbell - thank you thank you thank you for the champagne pomegranate idea.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:52 Linear Girl
10:52
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
I love a good pecan pie. I like to make it myself to cut the sweetness and to add some whiskey (hmm, seems like I'm adding whiskey to everything).
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:52 Linear Girl
10:53
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
slice the yam like fat french fries, toss with oil and a little tamari, roast at 400 til tender, put it in sushi rolls with smoked tofu strips
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:53 robinasbell
10:53
Kim ODonnel: 
How fun, Robin!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:53 Kim ODonnel
10:54
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
We usually keep dessert light with chocolate chip meringues or chocolate chip squares (7-layer bars) and an apple pie/crisp.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:54 Jess
10:54
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
maple instead of corn syrup in the pie, and mixed nuts, mmm
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:54 robinasbell
10:54
Kim ODonnel: 
Oh yeah, I'm with you on the maple syrup in the pecan pie...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:54 Kim ODonnel
10:54
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Robin: I love the concept of the pom. seeds circulating with the champagne bubbles--so festive!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:54 Jeanne
10:55
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
We've got a meyer lemon tree so I make a Shaker Lemon pie each year. However, I've never made one in a tart pan than didn't leak all over (and I mean ALL over) the oven, so we've renamed it Lemon Nuclear Meltdown pie.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:55 Linear Girl
10:55
Kim ODonnel: 
Now that sounds fabulous and fun, even with the meltdown, LInear. What a wonderful plant to have in your yard!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:55 Kim ODonnel
10:55
[Comment From Tara Mataraza Desmond Tara Mataraza Desmond : ] 
I'm a bourbon girl. But I seem to like it unadulterated. Though the last bourbon drink I had this summer was sort of a bourbon lemonade with lemon thyme. Oh Mamma was that good.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:55 Tara Mataraza Desmond
10:56
Kim ODonnel: 
Tara, I hear you! I made bourbon lemonade with cherry nectar and it was a little scary how easily they went down...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:56 Kim ODonnel
10:56
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
A few years, I think the Wash. Post had an article about herbal cocktails. Some of the herbs used were pineapple sage, lemon verbena, cilantro, dill, purple basil, lemon thyme.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:56 Thia
10:56
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
even the lushes will get their antiox
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:56 robinasbell
10:57
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Linear Girl--that is so funny!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:57 Jeanne
10:57
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Hmm, bourbon. I will have to try bourbon lemonade...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:57 Jeanne
10:57
Kim ODonnel: 
Jeanne, you make me one of those gin herby things & I'll reciprocate with a bourbon lemonade...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:57 Kim ODonnel
10:57
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
I also do a warmed dark cherry-shiraz with cinnamon sticks
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:57 robinasbell
10:58
Kim ODonnel: 
OOH, ahh. Sounds like we need to have a chat in December focused on treats -- drinks, sweets & snacks. Deal?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:58 Kim ODonnel
10:58
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Could you wrap the base of the tart pan in foil?
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:58 Thia
10:59
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
Hmmm, spiced apple cider, maybe with some apple jack...
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:59 JonClark
10:59
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Yes, drinks, sweets and snacks! You're talking my language!
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:59 Jeanne
10:59
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Love that idea, Kim.
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:59 Thia
10:59
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
sounds like a great way to spark the ideas
Thursday November 12, 2009 10:59 robinasbell
11:00
Kim ODonnel: 
I'll talk with Kim C., but I think we could do Dec 10 for that chat...
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:00 Kim ODonnel
11:00
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
or peppermint schnapps hot chocolate...
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:00 JonClark
11:00
Kim C.: 
Hi all. Joining late here, but just wanted to put in a plug for next week's chat on Thanksgiving again (although turkey, too). Head over and plug in your email if you'd like to receive a reminder. And, oh, I love the idea of a drinks, sweets, and snacks chat!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:00 Kim C.
11:00
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Actually, I had to write (twice, in ink) in my cookbook to just use a damn pie pan, to never try the tart pan again.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:00 Linear Girl
11:00
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Have you done one on soups yet?
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:00 Thia
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
No, Thia, but that's a great idea -- we could call it "Hot Pot," to include soups, stews and braises..
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
Kim ODonnel: 
Maybe we can do that Dec 4. I'll confab with Kim C.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:01 Kim ODonnel
11:01
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
I could have an entire Thanksgiving with nothing but drinks, sweets and snacks. By all means, let's chat.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:01 Linear Girl
11:02
Kim ODonnel: 
Hahahah. Yes, I agree. A Tapas Thanksgiving.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:02 Kim ODonnel
11:02
[Comment From Linear Girl Linear Girl : ] 
Yes, soups and stews - I love a meal that you have to lift with your legs when pulling out of the oven.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:02 Linear Girl
11:02
[Comment From Thia Thia : ] 
Thanks Kim for another great chat.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:02 Thia
11:03
[Comment From robinasbell robinasbell : ] 
thanks!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:03 robinasbell
11:03
[Comment From Jess Jess : ] 
Thanks!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:03 Jess
11:03
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Tapas Thanksgiving--I'm in!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:03 Jeanne
11:03
[Comment From Jeanne Jeanne : ] 
Thanks for a great chat everyone!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:03 Jeanne
11:03
[Comment From JonClark JonClark : ] 
That was a fun one!
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:03 JonClark
11:04
[Comment From hughes hughes : ] 
I enjoyed my first chat.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:04 hughes
11:05
Kim ODonnel: 
I agree -- it WAS a fun one. Thanks to all of you for your tips, generosity of spirit and delicious conversation. Come back & join us next Thursday, Nov 19, for another round at Thanksgiving, this time turkey legs included. All best.
Thursday November 12, 2009 11:05 Kim ODonnel
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1. by Robin Asbell on Nov 11, 2009 at 1:15 PM PST

Shamelessly, I’d love to weigh in with a recipe from my just released book “New Vegetarian” with Chronicle Books. There are a few recipes in there just for veg holidays, notably the vegan tempeh timbales with red wine sauce, and the cheesier braised garlic-squash tart with aged gouda and hazelnuts. After 30 plus years of veg life, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. My other book, The New Whole Grains Cookbook has some great veg wild rice stuffing and stuffed squashes that are straight out of my veg holiday canon.
I know you aren’t here to promote books, but there are some folks who need a recipe or two!

2. by Kim on Nov 12, 2009 at 11:07 AM PST

Robin, thanks for alerting us all to your new book — and congratulations!

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Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and a longtime journalist. She is the author of a new cookbook, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook.

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