A Vegetarian Thanksgiving – Menu Template Included

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Thanksgiving is a North American tradition and therefore a more recent addition to our family’s traditions. In the USA, we learned the holiday is observed on the fourth Thursday of November as a day to eat and give thanks. It originated with the pilgrims, and its symbols include turkeys, cornucopias, and pie.

In Canada, the holiday arrives on the second Monday of October with little fanfare eclipsed by the ever-nearing Halloween. I think it’s earlier in Canada because winter comes earlier too. It’s a time to gather and see everyone before we hole up for the winter, which isn’t as much of a big deal now as it certainly used to be. It’s a time to enjoy the year’s harvest and to give thanks.

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The One With the Green Juice.

I talk about my veganism challenge in my blogpost here: The One With the Stereotype.
So here’s the thing, a lack of animal products in your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t eat unhealthy things. There are still a lot of fried foods, chips, cookies, candy, junk basically, that is vegan. Honest. Did you know even some Doritos don’t have milk ingredients in them? Trust me.
So I kind of wanted to up the game a little bit. Veganism didn’t translate into weight loss for me, probably because I was already living a semi-vegan life before, and because oh-my-goodness bread! In fact, I haven’t weighed this much ever. And that’s kinda scary.
So I want to juice a meal a day now. Starting with breakfast. I hate breakfast, but I know I have to have something. So while dinner would be the ideal meal to juice, I’m starting myself off easy.
My boyfriend, Vini, loooves juice. Complicated fresh squeezed juices and smoothies, or a single carton box of apple juice—they’re all his favorites. Recently he’s been advocating green juice for dinner. Most of the time I rolled my eyes and smirked while reaching into a bag of sweet and salty popcorn.
But this week I decided to try it out. We’ve had so many collard greens in our garden this spring, so I didn’t even have to go out and buy anything. Plus, I could use some more iron and calcium in my diet. The juice is good for a plethora of things because of the dark leafy greens. It has lots of iron and calcium which is good for:
Hair
Nails
Skin 
Preventing anemia 
Bones
Blood 
Also, it’s as easy as 1 2 3…
The apples take away the taste of the collard greens and also provide the best sweetness! It’s a drink that’s healthy, but actually tastes good too. So if, like me, you’re not a breakfast lover, you can drink this with me instead! If, also like me, you love your snacks but want to supplement them with something a little less unhealthy (*cough* jujubes *cough*) this juice satisfied my sweetness craving too. 
Ingredients:
1-2 of the sweetest apples you have—chopped
3-5 leaves of collard greens—”gutted” (cut out the thick part of the stems) and torn
orange juice to taste (sometimes more to the taste of your blender than your own)
ice (optional)
Method:
1. Blend all ingredients in a blender. Use the food chop setting, or pulse on slow. Add orange juice if your blender won’t blend, but I suggest to put just a tad and be patient and wait for it all to chop.
2. Strain your juice if you’re picky like me. If you don’t mind the fiber, drink it all up! It’ll be even better. 
3. Bottoms up!
As always, let me know what you guys think and if you tried it!

Coconut Rolls with Guava Filling: A Recipe.

We love coconut, here at home. Especially in our sweets (as you might have guessed from the Cranberry and Coconut Oatmeal Cookies). So this next recipe is another Brazilian classic, but it involves our much beloved coconut.

These are coconut rolls, but they have a special surprise inside.
Inside the individual rolls there are pieces of guava paste.

If you’re not familiar with guava paste, it is basically sweetened guava pulp.
It is super sweet with a mild guava flavor, and is super delicious.
It’s not hard to find, many ethnic stores carry them and, according to their website, so does Walmart.
You can eat it as a snack paired with crackers or even to step up your toast with butter.

Or, you can put it in these coconut rolls.

Ready to begin?

Coconut Rolls with Guava Filling

Ingredients
1 c. warm lukewarm water
1 Tbsp (shallow) yeast
1 tsp orange or lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 c. flour
About 1/2 bar of guava filling

Topping
1 c. Sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 c. oil

Directions
1. In a medium-sized bowl add all ingredients except the flour.
2. Mix well and add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for one addition to be incorporated before adding the other, until a soft dough is formed.
3. Separate the dough into 3 even parts. Round each part into a ball, and place it back in the bowl.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or even put the bowl in a plastic bag and close it.
5. Let dough rise for approximately 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
6. While the dough rises cut the guava paste into little squares of approximately one inch.
7. Prepare the topping by adding the oil into a small bowl.
8. When the dough has risen, separate each of the three dough parts into 15 smaller pieces for a total of 45 small rolls.
9. In the center of each small dough piece add a guava paste square and roll in the palm of your hand to form a roll. Pinch the ends of the dough together so the guava doesn’t escape while baking.
10. Lightly brush the rolls with oil only enough so the coconut will stick to them.
11. Roll the rolls in the shredded coconut and place in a baking sheet dusted with flour.
12. Set the rolls aside to rise for approximately 10 minutes while the oven preheats to 350º.
13. Put the rolls in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 300º.
14. Bake for approximately 20-25minutes or until the tops begin to golden.

Serve with tea, enjoy and comment!

                    

                    

                     

                      

                      

                      

                      
Have you had guava paste before? What did you think?