Tuesday, November 20, 2012

WIAW: Friendsgiving

This past weekend my friends and I decided to have a last minute Friendsgiving. What started out as my friend inviting us over to watch the Newlywed’s on DVD and order take out, turned into an autumn wine filled feast ending with hooting and hollering over Magic Mike watching a classy film ;) A bit different than the original plan, but SO much fun.

....yes I brought over my own decorations, napkins, and candles to create a tablescape for our intimate gathering. Don't judge!
I was especially excited for Friendsgiving because there were a few recipes that I had been dying to try. I revamped my Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash to be more crowd friendly and made brussel sprouts for the first time (both vegan). With Thanksgiving right around the corner TOMORROW, I decided to share some of our recipes with you :)
Peas and Crayons
As always, hugs to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the party. I CANNOT wait to see what everyone posts up this week. You should check it out too. I love Thanksgiving so much, and I am so excited for it to come because that means that the Holiday Season is officially kicked off!!! Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though. Can’t be forgetting what we all came here for….. here is What I Ate: Friendsgiving Edition (recipes at the bottom)!

Quinoa with Raisins and Butternut Squash
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Salt

"Dinner" side of the table. My friend Susy made mozz stix from Pinterest. I did not partake in these cheesy little guys, but my friends said they tasted kind of like healthy mozzarella sticks. Not sure if that's good or bad? We also had french bread and lots of wine. 
Dessert side of the table. My vegan re-vamped dark chocolate chip oatmeal bars with tons of extra spices for the season (recipe to post soon), and my friend's chocolate cake with vanilla icing. BOTH vegan! The chocolate cake was Ah-Mazing. So decadent and chocolatey. The secret ingredient is apple cider vinegar, who knew?! The recipe has been in her family for generations. So glad we were able to have a slice (or two) of this home-made heaven.

 And that's Friendsgiving!
...now here are the recipes!

Quinoa with Raisins and Butternut Squash-
The measurements in this recipe are not exact because I just kept adding cinnamon, salt, and pepper to taste. Feel free to add spices to your liking as well!

1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups water
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T cinnamon
¼ cup of raisins
1 cup diced butternut squash
olive oil
a few pinches of salt and pepper

1.   Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
2.   Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and dice into ½ inch sized pieces. 
3.   Spread squash out on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and evenly sprinkle on a tablespoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Toss to coat. 
4.   Bake squash for about 20 minutes, flip/toss, and bake for another 20 minutes (or until soft and golden brown). 
5.   While the squash is baking, put the quinoa and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Let boil until all of the water is absorbed (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. 
6.   Add raisins, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 2 pinches of salt, and 1 pinch of pepper to the quinoa. Stir until combined. 
7.   Add butternut squash to the quinoa mixture, and combine. 
8.   Season to taste, and enjoy! This dish can be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature, and it’s still delicious :)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Salt-
This is literally one of the simplest recipes in the world. Also, who wouldn’t love a vegetable that comes on a crazy looking stalk?!

1 brussel sprout stalk
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of garlic salt (I used McCormick's Gourmet Garlic Salt. It’s AMAZING.)
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 teaspoons of pepper

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
2.  Cut the individual brussel sprouts off the stalk, and trim the stems off of each sprout.
3.  Cut the brussel sprouts in half, and place into a bowl. 
4.  Add the olive oil, garlic salt, salt, and pepper, and toss until combined.
5.  Spread the brussel sprouts evenly on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
6.  Remove tray from the oven, and lower the oven temp to 350 degrees. 
7.  Toss the brussel sprouts, and return to the oven for about 20 more minutes. Keep an eye on them in the last 10 minutes or so. You want them brown and crisp, but not burnt!

What’s your go-to Thanksgiving recipe?
If you’re a vegan, how are you approaching eating this holiday season?
Whooooo’s excited for the holiday season to officially kick off tomorrow!? (can you tell I am?) 

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