WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 2

It's already Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, which is 1) super exciting and I can't wait to eat all the pumpkin pie (hint hint mum) and 2) horrifying to think it's already going into mid October. I remember as a child the gap from the first day of school to the first long weekend literally felt like an eternity where upon I had already painted 1000 pictures, fallen off the teeter-totter numerous times, and had made 8 different bff's. Yet, as an adult, time passes by so softly and gently.  It almost goes by unnoticed.  A cruel twist of fate that the older one gets, the faster time flies. Stepping away from the change in routine, we're heading home this weekend to see family and friends, and attend a good old-fashioned apple picking party complete with chanterelle infused cocktails and sumac mulled wine. I'm not sold on the cocktail idea yet, but it sounds interesting to say the least.

For a country girl like myself, escaping to the familiar wilderness of the coast is truly something to be thankful for. I think in an age like this where we are constantly bombarded with images of other so-called realities, it's easy to fall into a perpetual state of wanting and thanklessness. Social media frames people's lives in such an edited way where everyone else's reality is portrayed more desirable than our own. I catch myself daily looking at photos of immaculate kitchens, gorgeous destinations, and the most luxurious clothes and find myself longing. Longing to be them. To have what they have. To lead a different type of life.

Yet in this state of want one can never find happiness. One's hunger can never be satisfied. There is always something better, something nicer, something further out of reach. Lately, I've been battling with these feelings of wanting more. Of looking outward, of desiring the material over the social or spiritual, and that is an unhealthy place to be. Drive is necessary, but envy is harmful.

I try to remind myself daily to step back from that place of longing and look inward. To recognize that  I live a good life, surrounded by those I love, and that I am lucky with what I have. I'm so lucky. Helping me to stay grounded in reality, I have returned to practicing yoga, something I regrettably gave up for a brief moment. I've really been enjoying practicing yoga nidra before bed along with focusing a lot on setting intentions for the day.

Taking the time to say to myself  upon waking or before sleep that I am whole, that I am blessed, or that I am love(d) may seem silly to those who don't practice, but the profound effect of planting that centring seed does wonders for me. Having that mantra to come back to whenever my mind begins to wander or get  into trivial thoughts brings me back to what's important. What techniques do you use to stay grounded, thankful, and centred?

Now that we have given thanks, it's time to talk about the meal!

Being vegetarian or vegan during the holidays isn't really that hard. Usually it just means that you eat a lot of sides (just like that Tickler's episode in Master of None), but everyone else who isn't a plant eater will always seem to fret about the lack of food on your plate. The best advice I have is to  just bring a dish specifically meant for you to any potluck or dinner - and always bring a ton because your meat eating friends will realize how yummy your veggies are and go to town on them. True story.

These wild rice stuffing balls are a great dish to bring as they can easily be put along side a turkey or chicken, but make a totally awesome and filling main on their own. Combining all the holiday essentials - sage, cranberries, walnuts, and thyme along with mushrooms and tempeh, they are like little balls of stuffing combined with a 70's nut loaf + all over yumminess. Served alongside a good dose of miso gravy which helps bring the meal together you'll have a complete plant based Thanksgiving dinner that will rival any traditional one, hands down.

I've got to go now and water the houseplants so they don't die while we're away, and maybe listen to this album over and over again while folding the massive pile of clean laundry that is currently all over the bed.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks +  peace, love, and thanks to all all of you beautiful people xox

I also have a Moroccan Stuffed Yam + some holiday spiced coffee over on my Nom if you're after even a lower key Thanksgiving meal !

WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 3WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 4WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 5WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 6

WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS

Makes 12. Print it Here

½ Cup Mixed Wild Rice, uncooked (I got mine bulk at Whole Foods)
1 Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, diced
2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (about 160 g)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
¾ tsp. Dried Sage
1 ½ teaspoon Fresh Thyme
½ tsp. Sea Salt
⅛ tsp. Pepper
100 g Tempeh (3.5 oz), chopped
⅓ Cup Chopped Parsley
⅓ Cup Dried Cranberries
½ tsp. Chopped Rosemary
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax mixed with 2 tablespoon Water
1 Tbsp. Flour of Choice

Miso Gravy (Recipe Below)

Sides for 2 (Recipe Below)

  1. Begin by combining the rice with 1 cup water. Cover the rice and bring to a boil, turning down immediately once it boils, and simmer on the lowest setting for 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, add the oil to a frying pan and over low heat saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft (you may need to add a splash of water if the pan gets too hot).
  3. While the mushroom are cooking bring a small pot of water to the boil and add the tempeh. Boil it for 5 minutes then drain (this makes it softer and more susceptible to take on flavours).
  4. Combine the cooked rice, cooked mushrooms, crumbled tempeh, sage, thyme, sage, parsley, cranberries, rosemary, and walnuts together in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Next mix the flax and water in a separate bowl and after 5 minutes add to the rice along with the flour. Using your hands squeeze and mash the mixture together.
  5. With clean wet hands, shape the mixture into golf-ball sized balls (keeping a bowl of water near is useful to re-dip your hands). Gently place the balls on a parchment lined tray and bake at 180 C (350 F) for 30 minutes, flipping them once during baking. Serve with Miso Gravy (Recipe Below) and Sides.

WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 7

SIDES FOR 2

Here we have some simple sides that should be enough to serve 2 hungry people for your low key Thanksgiving. All this can easily be made in leisurely hour and ½ while sipping wine.

  1. Begin by getting the rice for the stuffing cooking.
  2. While the rice is cooking  prep the squash and sprouts for the oven. Also cut the top off of one head of garlic and drizzle with oil. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake alongside the squash for the Cauliflower mash. Pop these in the oven asap.
  3. Cook the mushrooms for the stuffing and boil the tempeh.
  4. Make the stuffing balls and get them in the oven as soon as the squash and brussels sprouts come out (the oven should be turned down just a little)
  5.  While the stuffing balls are cooking get the salad ingredients together (zest the orange for the salad before you cut it in half for the cranberry sauce)
  6. Make the cranberry sauce and boil the cauliflower for the mash.
  7. Make the gravy
  8. Puree the cauliflower, toss the salad, and pop the squash back in the oven to warm it up before serving with the stuffing.

ROASTED ROSEMARY PEARS + SQUASH

1 Delicada Squash, sliced into 1cm rounds and the seeds removed
½ Pear (firm but ripe), sliced
1 tsp. Chopped Rosemary
2 tsp. Oil
Sea Salt + Pepper

  1. Toss everything together and roast for 40 minutes at 190 C (375), flipping halfway through.

MASHED GARLIC CAULIFLOWER

1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Cloves roasted garlic
½ tsp. Sea Salt
½ Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp. Vegan Butter or Olive Oil

  1. Boil the cauliflower to a boil and boil until tender. Drain and add to a blender or food processor along with the other ingredients. Puree until smooth.

MISO GRAVY

I used this recipe - but reduced the miso by half.

APPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

1 Cup Cranberries
½ an Orange Squeezed (mixed with enough water to make ⅓ of a cup)
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp. Apple Sauce (or 2 tablespoon grated apple)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a simmer, stirring often. After about five minutes the cranberries will pop and the sauce will be thick.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS, KALE, AND GRAPE SALAD

2 Cups Brussels Sprouts (about 12)
2 tsp. Oil
1 Bunch Kale, torn and de-stemmed
¼ Cup Toasted Hazelnuts, chopped
1 Cup Red Grapes, Sliced
¼ Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 Clove Garlic
½ Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
½ Orange, zested and juiced
Pinch Sea Salt + Pepper

  1. Toss the brussels sprouts with two tsp. oil and roast in a 190 C  (375)F oven for 40 minutes tossing halfway through.  Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, dijon. salt, pepper, orange zest and juice together. Slowly whisk in the oil. Toss the kale with the dressing and add the grapes, warm sprouts, and hazelnuts.

OTHER THANKSGIVING FAVOURITES

WILD RICE STUFFING BALLS THANKSGIVING 8xox Sophie

12 Comments

  1. Hi! I am wondering of these would be ok to make without the tempeh?Or is there a non-soy based product I can use to replace it? thank you!!

    1. Hey Tricia!
      If you can't find a lentil or chickpea based tempeh, I think adding enough cooked white beans (cannellini or navy beans) to hold the mixture together would work well. All the best!
      xoxo

  2. Just wanted to say thank you so much for these recipes. Since I am the only vegan in my family I like to create my own personal feast and this was sooooo delicious!!! I made it all and could not have been happier! You've done it again, your recipes never disappoint. Actually Im typing this while scarfing down the leftovers:)

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Courtney! It can be so hard when you're the only plant based person in you're family, especially come the holidays. I'm absolutely thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, and left overs <3 <3 <3

  3. Hey Sophie! I recently discovered your blog and made the wild rice stuffing balls for my Thanksgiving meal. They are delicious. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. <3

  4. Sophie, your words here resonate with me down deep. I was just talking of this vary same thing with another social-media-er this morning. The thanklessness and longing feelings we have are so heightened now with all the reasons you stated above - and those mantras and self-assurance's each day are more than needed. I'm s happy to hear you've found those beautiful benefits of yoga once again. Starting your day the right way, every day, makes the biggest impact <3. Now I have to say these stuffing balls have to be the most genius thanksgiving idea I've seen in a long time - totally bookmarking this recipe for our American one next month! I hope you have the most joyous holiday with your family Sophie, lots of hugs and celebratory high fives for this one. xo

    1. Thank you so much, Jessie! It's truly hard sometimes to let it all go and be okay with who and what we are. Each day I work harder with being okay with it, and sometimes I face defeat, but hopefully I keep making headway. As I always tell myself when things get tricky, 'we got this, girl' 🙂 I truly love your work and think you're doing an amazing job (I seriously want to pick your brain some day), so I deeply hope you're not too hard on yourself either. I'm super happy you like these stuffing balls! I've always wanted to celebrate American Thanksgiving too, so I can't wait to see what lovely stuff you come up with <3

  5. Ah Sophie, this post is such a feast. For mind, belly + soul. I think we live in a pretty wild world, sometimes I can also get carried away with comparing where I am at in my own life to others. It takes the joy + adventure out of living our own story, the unedited version. I love those small mantras to remind ourselves that we are indeed enough. 'Comparison is the thief of joy' - that's my go-to. Wishing you a nourishing weekend on the coast, please update on the chanterelle cocktail and sumac wine! (?) Love, Jodi x

    1. What a wonderful mantra, Jodi! I might just have to borrow that one for myself! You said it perfectly when you talk joy and how comparison takes that simple yet purely magical feeling away. A crazy and wild time indeed. I hope you had the most magical weekend with your loved ones and are managing to stay warm (no snow yet l hope)
      xox Sophie <3

  6. It's so interesting to hear your heart longing for destinations beyond the rural haven you call home, interesting because, being in the city, all I want is country. Quiet. Stillness. Funny how the other is always idealized, isn't it? Sigh. Speaking of, my aunt still lives in Sooke. Next time I come up, I'd so love to meet!

    1. Classic grass is always greener syndrome. I feel I can only appreciate how great this area truly is after we've spent time apart. Like some sort of impressionist painting, I can only see it's beauty from afar. Speaking of nature, I hope you get to immersive yourself in some quiet, rural, stillness soon. I would LOVE to meet with you next time you come up to Sooke! What a small world <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *