Contributed by Katy Morris
Their mantra says it all: “Fresh. Organic. Always Animal Product Free.” Actually, it almost says it all… The Stand Juicing Company could also use “locally sourced”, “delicious, nutritious vegan fare”, “all natural juices”, “welcoming atmosphere”, and “energetic, endearing staff” to their slogan to really paint a full picture of what they are all about. AND they serve plenty of tempting food along with their juices.
The dynamic duo behind The Stand, Carissa Dellicicchi & Mike Hvizdo, shares a profound passion for wholesome living and through their vegan eatery, strive to encourage their communities to lead a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. And with two successful locations in Norwalk and Fairfield , CT they have plenty of devout customers.
Carissa & Mike only use produce from local CT farmers (except for bananas, avocados, and limes) and ensure mostly everything they serve is organic and non-GMO. While they have become especially known for their 5-day juice cleanse program, their menu is filled with other great options, including sandwiches, salads, cookies, and more, all made with the freshest ingredients and whole grains.
Lucky for me, I was invited to a cooking class lead by co-owner Carissa, where she demoed some fantastic vegan, gluten-free dishes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. In a meticulous juggling act that she made look easy, Carissa entertained us with her sparkly, down-to-earth personality, and managed to prepare and serve a roomful of hungry Stand enthusiasts a full veggie Thanksgiving-themed feast.
The menu consisted of a spicy pear salad (the chopped arugula base gave it a distinctly peppery flavor while the cayenne and coriander spices gave it a good “kick”), butternut squash soup with fennel (a light and flavorful broth-y soup), blackened Brussels sprouts (simple yet satisfying), herb roasted tempeh (perfect protein accompaniment with great flavor and texture), cauliflower quinoa stuffing with a cinnamon gravy (fluffy and nutty which went perfectly with the savory ‘gravy’), and a butternut squash “custard” that was frozen and infused with chamomile flowers.
Lucky for you, I was able to head home with all the recipes to share! Below you can find ones for the “stuffing” and gravy, both of which are parve (non-dairy), vegetarian, and gluten-free. You can choose to substitute the quinoa for brown rice or basmati, but quinoa adds a nice nutty flavor that works perfectly. The cinnamon gravy is light and would make a nice drizzle (or drench) over any of your Thanksgiving dishes.
Check back on the Stand’s website for more class offerings.
The Stand has 2 locations:
87 Mill Plain Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824
This parve (dairy free), vegetarian stuffing is a great gluten free alternative to bread stuffing. Thank you, Carissa, The Stand, Fairfield, CT.
- 1 head of cauliflower chopped finely and steamed
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup of chopped oregano
- ¼ cup of chopped thyme
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. of sea salt
- ½ tsp. of black pepper
- 1 cup of coarsely chopped celery
- ½ cup of vegetable broth
- Pre-heat over to 400°F.
- Line cookie sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spread quinoa onto cookie sheet so it's in a single layer.
- Bake quinoa for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cauliflower, lemon juice, herbs, and celery and toss together. Add in ½ of the quinoa to the mix.
- In a Pyrex baking pan, add the mixture. Pour in vegetable broth.
- Top with the remaining tossed quinoa.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- 2 veggie bouillon cubes or paste (if unsalted, add desired salt)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon (Carissa recommends a dark, more intense one for this recipe)
- 1 tbsp. potato or corn starch
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- In a small saucepan, add 4 cups of water.
- Whisk in the starch.
- As the gravy comes to a boil, add all the spices and the bouillon.
- Let simmer and continue to whisk slowly until the gravy is at desired consistency. (if you will be reheating this, add water)