Welcome to Thanksgiving Week 2011! Every day from today until Saturday, I will be posting recipes for Canadian Thanksgiving, which is coming up next weekend. My sister Natalie of Once Upon a Cutting Board is doing the same this week, so be sure to check out her blog too!
I have never actually hosted a Thanksgiving myself, so my cooking contributions to the holiday in the past have been somewhat limited. But now that I have this blog, I am so excited to create an entire Thanksgiving menu myself and share all of the dishes that I made here!
I already knew that my menu would be vegetarian, but I also decided to challenge myself a bit and post only vegan recipes. So that means that anyone reading my blog this week - including omnivores, vegetarians and vegans - can look forward to recipes for every part of your Thanksiving feast - an appetizer, bread, soup, salad, side, main dish, and dessert!
The perfect Thanksgiving meal should start with an appetizer to tide everyone over until the main event. So to kick off the week, I made these delicious little sweet potato bites!
These are basically mashed sweet potatoes rolled up into balls and coated in a mixture of oats, walnuts and coconut. They are a bit on the sweet side, but to prevent them from turning into a dessert, I used unsweetened coconut for the coating and added a pinch of cayenne to the sweet potato mixture.
I think these would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving meal - the combination of sweet potato, spices, maple syrup and nuts ends up tasting kind of like Thanksgiving dinner all rolled into one bite!
Sweet Potato Bites
Adapted from Surly Kitchen
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats (or quick oats)
3 to 4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want them to be)
Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 375°F until tender, about 40-60 minutes (If you are pressed for time, you could cook the potatoes in the microwave instead). Remove from oven and let cool.
Peel the potatoes and mash in a bowl. Add the cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg and cayenne and mix thoroughly.
Combine the walnuts, oats, coconut and brown sugar on a shallow plate for coating the balls.
Scoop out portions of the sweet potato mixture using a tablespoon measure and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll each ball in the topping mixture, then place in a greased 8x8 baking dish.
Bake at 375°F until the topping is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. You could also serve these with toothpicks if desired.
Makes about 24 balls (I made half of the recipe and got 13).
Thanksgiving Week - Day 1 recipe on Once Upon a Cutting Board: Apple Orchard Punch - the perfect holiday drink to serve your guests!