November 10, 2001Greetings,
In a couple of weeks, we here in the United States will once again be celebrating Thanksgiving. If I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me, "what do you vegans eat for Thanksgiving?" I would be set for life. After enlightening them a bit about all of the wonderful vegan dishes that are commonly associated with the holiday, I still find myself puzzled by the concept that so many people link sacrificing an animal's life to the celebration of this day. I also feel a little sorry for them because they are truly missing out on the bigger message of the Thanksgiving holiday - that of a day to give thanks to the earth for the bounty it offers up to us.
I am delighted and amazed by all of the colors, flavors, and textures of the fruits, vegetables, and grains that we have available to us, and this fascination definitely led to my becoming a chef. So join me in celebrating the "bounty of the harvest" and the cycle of life on Mother Earth just as the Native Americans once did (and still do). For my holiday table this year, I choose to fill it with an assortment of dishes featuring fruits from the orchards and corn, squashes, beans, greens, and other such vegetables from the fields. Most of the recipes in this installment can be prepared ahead of time, then simply heated through so that the host/hostess can enjoy more of the holiday festivities with their guests instead of being tied to the kitchen. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
2 oranges, sliced
Place one of the sliced oranges on a plate and set aside. In a medium saucepan, place the remaining sliced orange and remaining ingredients, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the cider mixture for 10 minutes. Strain the cider and discard the allspice, cloves, and orange slices, or save them for use in a potpourri. Serve the cider warm in mugs or chilled over ice and garnished with the reserved orange slices.
Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts
1 cup warm water
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm water, molasses, and yeast, stir well to dissolve the yeast, and set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy. In a large bowl, place 4 cups whole wheat flour, cracked wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, flax seed, and salt, and stir well to combine. Add the yeast mixture and safflower oil to the dry ingredients and stir well to form a smooth dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, adding the remaining 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, as needed, to form a dough that is smooth and elastic. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil the mixing bowl, transfer the ball of dough to the bowl, and roll the dough around the inside of the bowl to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a clean towel, place it in a warm place, and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down, and turn it out on to a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) two 9-inch round cake pans. Place 12 balls of dough in each round cake pan. Cover each pan with a clean towel, place in a warm place, and leave to rise for an additional 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Remove the towels from the pans. Brush the tops of the rolls with soy milk and sprinkle with a little cracked wheat. Bake the rolls at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow the rolls to cool a few minutes, before removing them from the pans. Serve the rolls as a round, allowing guest to pull them apart.
Yield: 2 Dozen
1 cup onion, diced
In a medium pot, saute the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the celery, green onion, red pepper, and zucchini, and saute an additional 5 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the acorn squash, red skin potatoes, garlic, ginger, salt, basil, oregano, thyme, ground pasilla, and black pepper, stir well to combine, and saute the mixture an additional 3 minutes. Add the water, corn, and parsley, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. In a small bowl, place the cornstarch, pour the cold water over the top, and stir until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering soup, stir well, and continue to cook the soup over low heat until thickened. Add the red beans and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
Yield: 2 Quarts
Begin by removing the zest from a few of the oranges, enough to measure 3 T. of zest, and transfer to a small bowl. Juice the oranges as needed to yield 1 cup of juice, and add to the zest. Transfer the orange juice and zest to a blender or food processor. Add the shallots, ginger, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and process for 1 minute to combine. While the machine is running, through the feed tube, slowly drizzle in the walnut oil, and process for 1 minute. Transfer to a glass or plastic airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Shake or whisk the dressing well before serving.
Yield: 2 1/3 cups
2 cups apple juice
In a medium saucepan, place the apple juice and water, and bring to a boil. Add the wild rice, thyme, orange peel, and bay leaf, and stir to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the rice for 35-40 minutes or until the wild rice is just tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Remove the bay leaf and orange peel and discard them. Transfer the wild rice to a large bowl, fluff with a fork, add the golden raisins, and set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette over the wild rice and toss gently to combine. In a non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and cook them over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool. When walnuts are cool to the touch, roughly chop them, and set aside.
In a glass bowl, place the cubed pear and apples, drizzle them with the lemon juice, and toss gently to thoroughly coat the fruit with the juice. To the bowl of wild rice, add the pear-apple mixture, celery, and green onion, and toss gently to combine, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the Boston lettuce, oak leaf lettuce, and green loose leaf lettuce, and toss gently to combine. Transfer the tossed greens to a large platter or bowl, arrange the wild rice salad mixture in the center of the greens, and sprinkle the reserved walnuts over the top. Drizzle additional Orange-Walnut Vinaigrette over individual servings.
2 T. olive oil, plus extra for oiling casserole dish
Using a little olive oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) a large casserole dish and set aside. In a large bowl, place the zucchini, summer squash, parsley, tamari, and garlic, and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and toss again. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, pour the diced tomatoes over the top, and stir gently to combine. Return the casserole dish to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove the casserole from the oven. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, unpeeled
In a medium pot, place the sweet potatoes, cover with water, and cook them over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, place the maple syrup, dried cranberries, margarine, Sucanat, coconut, and ginger, and cook the mixture over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce pan from the heat. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) a large casserole dish, and set aside. When the sweet potatoes are cool to the touch, peel them, and cut them into large chunks. Place the chunks of sweet potato in the prepared casserole dish, pour the cranberry mixture over them, and then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until the pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant.
1 1/2 cups green onion, thinly sliced
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the green onion and shallot in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the peas and garlic and continue to saute the mixture an additional 3-4 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, season to taste with the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook the mixture an additional 2-3 minutes or until the spinach is tender. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl for service.
8 cups whole wheat or whole grain bread, cut into cubes
In a large bowl, place the bread cubes, and set aside for 30-45 minutes to dry out the cubes. In a small bowl, place the dried cranberries and currants, pour the apple juice over the top, and set aside for 20 minutes to plump. In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion and celery in the safflower oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the pecans and green onion and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper, and saute an additional 2 minutes or until very fragrant. Add the dried cranberry mixture, sauteed vegetable mixture, and parsley to the dry bread cubes, and toss well to combine and moisten the cubes. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) a large casserole dish. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and slightly crunchy.
Yield: 2 Quarts or 6-8 servings
12-14 garlic cloves (to taste), unpeeled
Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pie pan and bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cloves are soft. Remove the pie pan from the oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover them with water, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, saving the cooking liquid for use in the mashed potatoes, and the remaining cooking liquid can be used in soups or sauces. Transfer the drained potatoes to a mixer (or return to the large pot if using a hand mixer or potato masher) and set aside for 5 minutes to dry. Using your fingers, squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins, and place them in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the cloves of garlic to form a paste. Add the mashed garlic, soy milk, sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper, and whip the potatoes until smooth. Add a little of the reserved potato cooking liquid, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle with the snipped chives and a little paprika before serving.
Yield: 2 Quarts or 6-8 servings
2/3 cup unbleached flour
In a medium saucepan, place the flour, and cook over low heat, while stirring constantly, until lightly brown and fragrant. Transfer the browned flour to a medium bowl and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion in the safflower oil, over low heat, for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to browned flour and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the sauteed onion mixture, whisk well to combine, and continue to cook the mixture, while whisking constantly, until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
Yield: 4 Cups
1 cup onion (or shallots), diced
In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in the safflower oil, over low heat, for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and saute an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the sauteed onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the vegetable stock, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, toasted sesame oil, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Transfer half of the wet ingredients to a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, place the vital wheat gluten and flour, and stir well to combine. Add some of the remaining wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir well to combine, and continue to add the remaining liquid, as needed, to form a firm dough. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes.
Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist) a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Stretch the dough slightly and then press it into the loaf pan. Pour the half of the reserved wet ingredients over the top of the roast. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, then remove the loaf pan from the oven and pour the remaining reserved wet ingredients over the top of the roast. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and return the roast to the oven. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the roast is very firm to the touch. Remove the loaf pan from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut into slices of desired thickness. Transfer the slices to a large platter for service. Serve with Golden Onion Gravy.
*Note: leftover seitan roast can be used in your favorite casserole and grain dishes or as a filling for sandwiches or wraps.
Yield: One 9x5x3-inch roast
2/3 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets), divided
In a small bowl, place 2 1/2 T. unbleached cane sugar and 1/4 T. cinnamon, stir well to combine, and set aside. In a medium bowl, place the remaining unbleached cane sugar, Sucanat, apple sauce, safflower oil, molasses, and vanilla, and stir well to combine. In a small bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients and remaining 1 t. cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) two non-stick cookie sheets. Using your hands, roll the dough into 48 - 1-inch balls. Working in batches, roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture to thoroughly coat them on all sides, and place them on the non-stick cookie sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass, dipping it in the cinnamon sugar mixture to prevent sticking. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes, they will feel slightly soft when removed from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat the rolling, flattening, and baking procedure for the remaining balls of dough. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
Yield: 4 Dozen
2 cups pecans
Place the pecans on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove the pecans from the oven and set aside. In a medium saucepan, place the maple syrup, bring it to a boil, and continue to boil the syrup for 1 additional minute. Add the toasted pecans, stir well to thoroughly coat the pecans with the syrup, and continue to cook the mixture an additional 1-2 minute while stirring constantly. Transfer the pecans back to the non-stick cookie sheet, spread them out to a single layer, and set aside to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Use as a garnish for cakes, pies, or other desserts, add them to salads or side sides, or enjoy as a snack.
Yield: 2 Cups
For the Crust:1 1/2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs
For the Cheesecake Filling:2 - 12.3 oz. pkgs. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
Topping:1 recipe of Maple Glazed Pralines (see recipe above)
Begin by preparing the crust. In a small bowl, place all of the crust ingredients, and stir well to combine. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Transfer the crust mixture to the springform pan. Using your hands, press the mixture firmly to cover the bottom of the pan and set aside.
To prepare the filling, begin by pressing the silken tofu. To do so, place a colander over a bowl, place a natural unbleached coffee filter in the colander, place the two blocks of tofu in the coffee filter, cover the tofu with another coffee filter, place a plate on top of the filter, and place a large can or other heavy object on top of the plate. Place the colander in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or overnight) to drain. Transfer the pressed tofu to a food processor and process for 1 minute. Add the remaining filling ingredients and process for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy.
Place the springform pan on a non-stick cookie sheet. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and smooth the top of the cheesecake. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for 20 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch. Loosely cover the springform pan and chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Loosen the sides of the cheesecake and remove the ring from the springform pan. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter or large plate and garnish the top of the cheesecake with a few Maple Glazed Pralines.
Yield: One 8-inch cheesecake
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