November 18, 2000Greetings friends,
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and with it comes that familiar question, "what do you (vegans/vegetarians) eat for Thanksgiving?" My most common answer is, "many of the same dishes that you eat, except for the turkey." Then I will often offer a few revelations about what actually may have been served by the Native Americans to those early settlers, such as corn, squashes or pumpkins, beans, grains, and other such vegetables. From what I understand, there was no turkey at those first harvest celebrations; its addition to the traditional feast came much later. If Benjamin Franklin had had his way and the turkey had become our national bird instead of the eagle, it wouldn't even be part of the traditional American Thanksgiving menu.
So I choose to celebrate 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 own holiday table, I choose to fill it with an assortment of greens, grains, and vegetable side dishes, not to mention a few tantalizing desserts. 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 Quarts apple cider
In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients, and simmer over low heat for 5-7 minutes to blend the flavors. Strain the hot cider mixture and serve warm.
Yield: 8 1/2 cups or eleven 6 oz. servings
3/4 cup wheat bran
In a large bowl, stir together the wheat bran, maple syrup, oil, and salt. Pour the 1/4 cups boiling water over the top, stir well, and set mixture aside to cool. In a small measuring cup, combine the 1/2 cups warm water and yeast, stir well to dissolve the yeast, and set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy. In a small bowl, combine the cold water and egg replacer, whisk vigorously for 1 minute or until very frothy (almost like beaten egg whites). To the wheat bran mixture, add the yeast mixture and egg replacer mixture, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, mixing in just enough flour to form a stiff dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil the mixing bowl with a little olive oil, 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 and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. These rolls can be baked in either two muffin pans or two 9-inch round cake pans. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) the pans of choice. Place either 1 ball of dough in each muffin cup or place 12 balls of dough in each round cake pan. Brush the tops of the balls with a little olive oil. Cover and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Remove the cover and bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool a few minutes before removing them from the pans. Serve warm.
Yield: 2 Dozen
1 cup onion, diced
In a large pot, saute the onion and shallots in safflower oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the acorn squash, apples, and ginger, and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, apple juice, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Using an immersion hand blender or a food processor, in batches, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot, reheat over low heat if necessary, and whisk in the soy milk and oat bran. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Garnish individual servings with either a few toasted pumpkin seeds, almonds, or a few snipped chives for added color.
Yield: 3 Quarts
1 cup walnuts
Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Drizzle the maple syrup over the walnuts, stir well to thoroughly coat them with the syrup, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until the syrup begins to harden on the walnuts. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the walnuts to the parchment-lined cookie sheet, separating them, and set them aside to cool.
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. Add the sliced celery, golden raisins, currants, and 1/3-1/2 cup Creamy Pear and Apple Vinaigrette, toss gently to combine, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the spinach, oak leaf lettuce, and arugula. Roughly chop the reserved inner green leafy tops of celery, add to the bowl of greens, and toss gently to combine. Transfer the tossed greens to a large platter or bowl, arrange the reserved Pear and Apple Waldorf Salad in the center of the greens, and sprinkle the reserved walnuts over the top. Drizzle additional Creamy Pear and Apple Vinaigrette over individual servings.
1/4 cup ginger, minced
Place the minced ginger in your hand, firmly squeeze it over a small bowl to catch all of the juices of the ginger, (yielding at least 2 T. of juice), and then discard the minced ginger or save it for another dish. Transfer the ginger juice to a blender or food processor, add the remaining ingredients, and process for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Transfer the vinaigrette to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use the vinaigrette on salads, mixed grains, or in place of soy mayonnaise in recipes.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
13 cups water, divided
In a pot, combine 10 cups water and the butterbeans, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are just tender. Drain the cooked butterbeans, reserving the cooking liquid for making soups, and set aside the drained beans. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the remaining 3 cups water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and cook them in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes to loosen the skin. Drain the pearl onions and set aside to cool. When the pearl onions are cool enough to handle, peel off the outer layer from each and discard it.
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 15x10-inch baking dish. Layer the green beans, pearl onions, garlic, thyme, and salt, and then drizzle the olive oil over the top and toss gently to combine. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, add the cooked butterbeans, toss gently, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until the green beans are crisp-tender. Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the remaining ingredients over the top of the vegetables, toss gently, and transfer to a large bowl for service.
6 large sweet potatoes, washed well (do not peel)
Using a fork, pierce the skins of the sweet potatoes in several places. Place an oven-proof rack on a cookie sheet and place the sweet potatoes on the rack. Bake at 400 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until soft when gently squeezed. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and leave the sweet potatoes on the rack to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the cooked flesh into a food processor, leaving the skin intact to form a shell, and set skins aside. Add the maple syrup, orange juice, ginger, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and salt to the food processor, and puree for 2-3 minutes or until very smooth and creamy.
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a large cookie sheet or baking pan, and place the reserved sweet potato skins in the pan. Refill the skins with the puree mixture, evenly dividing it among the skins, and then swirl the top of each filled skin decoratively with the back of a spoon. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and Sucanat. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top of each refilled skin. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the halves to a large platter for service. Serve one Twice-Baked Sweet Potato half per person.
*The Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes can also be pre-assembled, brought to room temperature for 10 minutes, and then baked as directed above.
1 1/2 cups red onion, diced
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the red onion in olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Add all of the diced peppers and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the corn, zucchini, and garlic, and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the chili powder, salt, and pepper, and saute an additional 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or platter for service.
5 lbs. red skin potatoes, washed well, and cut into 1-inch cubes
In a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, saute the red onion and shallot in olive oil for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned and very soft. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. When the potatoes are tender, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid for making soup or for use in another dish, and return the cooked potatoes to the pot. Add the sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients to the potatoes. Using a potato masher, roughly mash all of the ingredients together, making the mixture as smooth or chunky as desired. Taste and add additional salt or pepper, if desired.
4 oz. shallot, peeled
In a piece of aluminum foil, place the shallot and garlic cloves, sprinkle the fresh thyme over the top, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Gather up the corners of the aluminum foil to enclose the shallot and garlic, and place the packet in a pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the shallot is soft when gently squeezed. Remove the pie pan from the oven and allow the contents of the foil packet to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the foil packet to a blender or food processor, sprinkle the flour over the top, and process for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for an additional 1-2 minutes to thoroughly combine. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat while whisking constantly until the gravy thickens. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve on top of your favorite vegetables, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or main dishes.
Yield: 3 Cups
1 3/4 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9-inch square pan and set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the soy milk and oil, and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, chili powder, and salt. Add the soy milk mixture, along with the remaining ingredients, and stir until just combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Yield: One 9-inch
1 recipe of Green Onion Cornbread (see recipe above)
Prepare the cornbread according to the recipe instructions, at least one day ahead (or more) to allow it to dry out a bit. Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes and set aside for 1 hour to dry out. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9x13-inch pan or large casserole and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion and celery in olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the green onion, garlic, thyme, sage, and chili powder, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add cornbread cubes, parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, and pepper, and toss gently to combine. Add enough of the vegetable stock to the stuffing to moisten but not make it soggy. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. If you like the top of your stuffing crisp, remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
In a large saucepan, heat 2 T. olive oil. Add the basmati and wild rice, stir well to coat the rices with the oil, and saute for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the vegetable stock and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, saute the green onion and celery in the remaining 2 T. olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and dried herbs, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and dried apricots, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the reserved rices, along with the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and continue to cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Transfer the rice blend to a large bowl for service.
1 cup Spectrum Spread non-hydrogenated margarine, divided
In a small bowl, cream together 3/4 cups margarine and tofu cream cheese until light and fluffy. Using your fingers, add the flour and chopped pecans, and thoroughly mix to form a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball, cover, and chill for 45 minutes. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) eight 4-inch tart pans and set aside. When the dough has thoroughly chilled, transfer it to a work surface and knead it a bit with your hands to soften it up. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and place one piece of dough in each of the prepared tart pans. For each tart pan: place one piece of dough, and using your fingers, press the dough to cover the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Repeat the procedure for the remaining tart pans. Place the tart pans on two cookie sheets and chill them while preparing the filling.
In a saucepan, place the cranberries, dark corn syrup, Sucanat, apple juice, and remaining 1/4 cups Spectrum Spread, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the skins of the cranberries begin to pop. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, stir well to combine, and continue to simmer the mixture for 3-4 additional minutes or until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extract. Remove the prepared tart shells from the refrigerator. Pour approximately 1/4 cups of the cranberry filling into each of the tart shells and decoratively arrange the pecan halves on top of the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the pecans and crust are lightly browned. Allow the tartlets to cool in pans completely, loosen edges with a knife, and then carefully remove the tartlets from the pans. Serve one tartlet per person.
3 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. If you have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Or, pour the mixture into a large shallow pan, and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every hour or so to give it a smooth texture. When completely frozen, remove it from the freezer, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, process until smooth, and transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Return it to the freeze and freeze until solid. Serve as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, desserts, or as a refresher.
Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, divided
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9-inch tart pan and set aside. In a small bowl, place the pecan halves, drizzle the water over them, and toss lightly to evenly moisten them. In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the moistened pecans and toss lightly to evenly coat them with the mixture. Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Pick out 16 perfect pecan halves, place them on a plate, and set aside to be used later as garnish for the tart.
Allow the remaining pecans to cool, and then transfer them to a food processor. Add the whole wheat pastry flour, oats, 1/2 t. cinnamon, and salt, and pulse a few times until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle in the oil and 1/4 cups maple syrup, and pulse a few times just until mixture comes together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tart pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture to cover the bottom and sides of the tart pan. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor so that it can be reused to prepare the filling. In the food processor, place the soy milk and arrowroot, and blend for 1 minute to fully dissolve the arrowroot. Add the remaining cinnamon, remaining maple syrup, and all of the remaining ingredients to the food processor, and blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the prepared crust, return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until set. While the tart is still warm, decorate the top with the 16 reserved pecan halves. Allow the tart to cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then chill it for several hours before serving. Cut the tart into 8 pieces with a warmed knife. Excellent served with a frozen non-dairy ice cream or sorbet on the side.
Yield: One 9-inch tart or 8 pieces
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