Friday, November 19, 2010

Frugal Thanksgiving Recipes Part 1

It can be difficult to stick to a budget when you are cooking a holiday meal, but the recipes I am going to share over the next several posts will provide you with some flavorful dishes that won't break the bank.

The first recipe is Spicy Cranberry Chutney. If you want to tone it down, remove the serrano chilies and reduce ginger to 1 teaspoon. I am using apples in addition to cranberries which are much cheaper! If you don't have oranges ( I hope you have some zest in the freezer! ) you can use water or any fruit juice you have around.

Cranberry Chutney

  • 2 c cranberries
  • 2 apples
  • 2 Serrano chilies
  • 1 T chopped fresh ginger
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 3 inch pieces of orange zest
  • ½ c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ c sugar
  • ½ t salt

Place in saucepan and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or so. Stir often.

Here is my recipe for Seitan "Breast". This is an all purpose seitan which
can be used for lunch "meat" as well as holiday dinner.

All Purpose Seitan
2 c Vital Wheat Gluten
½ c  nutritional yeast
1 T Tony’s Cajun Seasoning
½ t sage powder ( not rubbed sage )
1 t fennel seeds
1 t lemon pepper
4 T onion powder
2 T garlic powder
½ t Italian seasoning
1 T chili powder
1 ½ c bean cooking liquid
2 T olive oil

Mix together and knead for several minutes. Spray a big piece of foil or use a paint straining bag and form into a “breast” like shape. Fill a pressure cooker with enough water to cover a steamer by 3 inches.. Place seitan on steamer and pressure cook for 45 minutes. Allow pressure to come down naturally.  Remove seitan and cool before serving.

You can add a couple bay leaves and some salt to the water if desired.

To use as Thanksgiving main course, slice and place in baking dish with gravy, cover and heat in oven until warm.

Tomorrow, I will share delicious Roasted Sweet Potato Salad and a Super Simple All Purpose Gravy recipes..

Sunday, stay tuned for simple Lentil Loaf, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and a Dessert.

I haven't decided on a dessert yet.
I'm torn between:
  1. Gluten Free Brownie Pumpkin Pie or
  2. Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Cake with Orange Scented Ganache

Help me choose! Which recipe do you want to see?


  1. What a coincidence! I am just making chutney, although not for Thanksgiving. Your recipe ideas are wonderful!

  2. I would go for the brownie pumpkin pie, since I do NOT care for chocolate and orange together. But take out the orange, and it sounds wonderful! :)

    Great ideas, Melody! I can't wait to read the rest of your posts this week!

  3. brownie pie!!(im holding up both hands..count for two votes?)

  4. Brownie pumpkin pie all the way!!

  5. I just saw Ellen's chef make something similar with wheat gluten. Looks good, if I liked fake meat. My dogs would love it. :-)

    I have had my eye on GF pumpkin pie brownies too. Are they from Vegan Cupcakes? I'd vote for that. Ps: please mail me one.

  6. Brownie Pumpkin Pie!!! Looking forward to the upcoming recipes!

  7. I love the chutney recipe, and the color is gorgeous! I know I'm losing here, but I vote for the pumpkin spice cake and orange ganache..."please? please?" she says in her most pathetic voice. :D

  8. brownie pumpkin pie for the win!


  9. Hooray for a frugal Thanksgiving!

  10. Ooh, love that photo. We'll be traveling during Thanksgiving, but I will make that as part of my Christmas dinner!

  11. Both sound great but I'm leaning toward the brownies too -- my kiddos are more into brownies than cake I think...a little easier to grab and go. Hey, I used your pancake recipe this morning and they turned out great! I used almond milk instead of the bean milk (just what I happened to have in the fridge) and the family loved the special treat! (normally breakfast is not that fancy around here :)

  12. Hey Bitt, I will be making up the recipe for the dessert.. if it's the brownie pie, I will use my GF brownie recipe as a crust which I've done often at my old job ( I used to make this insane gluten free peanut butter chocolate brownie pie .. so good! ).. although, maybe I should check out isa's recipe for the filling if that wins..
    I love the Ellen's a vegan and is promoting it!

    Angelique, I'm so glad your family liked the pancakes and that it worked well with the almond milk. I figured it would. What I love about cooking is that you can improvise so much and often come up with something better!

  13. I'm probably in the minority here, but I vote spice cake! They do both sound good though, so it's a win-win no matter which you pick.

  14. Everything sounds so good! YUM!

    The Gluten Free Brownie Pumpkin Pie gets my vote :-)

  15. The spice cake sounds amazing! I'm with Hannah though, it's a win-win either way.

  16. It just says 1/2 nutritional yeast. A 1/2 tablespoon? Cup?

  17. Erika, thanks for catching that! It is 1/2 cup and is fixed now.

  18. Hi, just found this site from one of your comments at Vegan RD (one of the silver linings of Voracious's public meltdown) :)

    Your site looks great! Can't wait to try everything. But is there an alternative way of making the Thanksgiving seitan without a pressure cooker?

  19. The recipes shown here was beautiful frugal Thanksgiving recipes are the new thing for me and i let a try to cook this dish for Thanksgiving dinner surely it was good while tasting this it had a fantastic taste and i am eager to waiting for more varieties to cook.

  20. Hi thank you for.the recipes! I vote for the pumkin spice orange ganache! :)

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