Not being able to cook a big dinner for my family and friends because of Covid definitely sucks. However, we have found a few ways to cope this year. One of my major ways is to prepare a full dinner for my vegan daughter, Mel, who lives just a few miles away, and deliver it to her for reheating. I did this on Thanksgiving, and it was a success, so I decided to do it again for Christmas. I called her and her boyfriend up the weekend before and took requests on what they wanted, then ordered the groceries needed for curbside pick up on Monday morning.
I made her vegan pumpkin pie with homemade vegan crust on Wednesday. I was very proud of how even and pretty the crust came out.
On Thursday, I prepared the rest of her meal. I literally cooked from about noon until nine at night, with only a short dinner break. I made roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic, salt and olive oil, and roasted asparagus with olive oil and salt. I made vegan mashed potatoes using my instant pot to cook the potatoes. I added vegan butter, oat milk, chives, garlic, salt and pepper. They were good enough that my husband ate a bowl of them that would not fit in the container and said they were really good.
I mixed up some simple yeast rolls and allowed them to rise while I made the main dish, a mushroom wellington. This involved a lot of work but came out really pretty. First, I spent over an hour finely dicing crimini mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Then I sautéed some portabella mushrooms and caramelized some sliced onions with apple cider vinegar. All of this got layered into some store bought puff pastry dough. It was then glazed with a maple glaze and baked.
I then rolled out the dinner rolls and set them in a pan rubbed with vegan butter. I melted more vegan butter for the tops after the final rising, then baked them to a light golden color so that if she wants to reheat them in the oven, they won’t over brown.
After dinner, I made vegan chocolate peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookies. These cookies are amazing. My mother used to make them for me often as a child, and they are one of the first things I remember my sister and I making. I just subbed out the milk for oat milk and the butter for vegan butter. I got rave reviews on these. I believe Mel’s words were “stupid good,” which is apparently a big complement.
All of this was piled into a box, and this time Mel came by and picked it up along with her Christmas stocking on Christmas morning. I even included a printed list of directions for reheating this time so she wouldn’t have to call me to ask about each item. While I can’t have dinner with my baby, it feels good to know she’ll eat well this weekend!