JAZZY VEGETARIAN HOLIDAY MEAL 2013
Best Butternut Bisque
6 cups cubed butternut squash (1-inch cubes)
4 cups cauliflower florets
½ cup chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
1 teaspoon Italian or all-purpose seasoning
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 ½ cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Fit a steamer basket into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 inches of cold water, then add the squash. Cover, bring to a boil, and steam for 7 minutes. Add the cauliflower and onion. Sprinkle with the Italian or all-purpose seasoning and steam for 20 minutes or until the squash and cauliflower are both very soft.
Put the squash mixture in a large bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes. Add the apples, cinnamon, ginger and salt and stir to coat. Put half of the mixture in a blender. Add 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and process until smooth.
Pour into a soup pot.
Put the second half of the squash mixture in the blender. Add the remaining 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and process until smooth. Add to the soup pot and then stir the two batches together. If the soup seems too thick, add more vegetable broth to taste. Put the pot over medium-low heat, cover and simmer, stirring often, until heated through, about 10 minutes. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.
This soup is nut- and oil-free, and may be made up to 24 hours ahead of time. If making in advance, let the soup cool after blending, then pour the cooled soup into an airtight container and refrigerate (see note).
Chef’s Note: To reheat the soup, pour it into a pot. If soup seems too thick, add more vegetable broth to taste. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often, until heated through.
Festive Kale Salad
Makes 2 to 4 Servings
This slightly sweet and crunchy combination makes a satisfying luncheon salad or festive first course for a holiday meal. The lemon tenderizes the kale, transforming it into a delightful option to your every day green salad. Pair it with crusty bread to enhance the delicate flavors of this appealing dish.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
6 cups very thinly sliced curly kale (lightly packed), washed and dried
3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Freshly ground sea salt, optional
Freshly ground, optional
To make the dressing, put the lemon juice and maple syrup in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth.
Put the kale, cranberries and walnuts into a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently until the kale, cranberries and walnuts are evenly coated.
Cover and let the salad marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving. Just before serving, top with a few grinds of sea salt and pepper, if desired.
NOTE: This salad is best made several hours in advance. After tossing, cover and chill for up to four hours.
Holiday White Bean, Potato, and Stuffing Casserole
[ MAKES 6 SERVINGS ]
3 cups peeled and chopped white potatoes
1½ cups cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
4 cups whole-grain bread cubes, from about 7 to 9 slices fresh wholegrain bread (see note)
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (see note)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups diced onion
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup diced celery
4 cups diced mushrooms
⅔ cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil an 11 x 7 inch baking pan or casserole dish.
To make the potato/bean layer, fit a large sauce pan with a steamer insert. Add 2 inches of cold water, and then add the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are soft, but not mushy. Put the potatoes, beans, garlic powder, and salt in a high performance blending appliance and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium-size bowl
and stir in the marjoram.
While the potatoes are steaming, cut the wholegrain bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Put the bread cubes, Italian seasoning, and salt in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bread is slightly crisp. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool.
While the bread cubes are cooling, prepare the stuffing by combining the onion, ¼ cup vegetable broth, and the basil in a large skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Add the celery and ¼ cup broth, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the diced mushrooms and another 1/4 cup broth, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has cooked down, leaving the mushroom mixture very moist but not soupy. Stir in the pecans and remove the skillet from the heat.
Put the remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Put 4 cups of the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the mushroom-pecan mixture and stir gently to combine. Pour in 1/2 cup of the hot vegetable broth and stir to combine. Add as much of the remaining broth as needed so the mixture is moist but not soupy. (If the mixture still seems dry after adding all of the broth, add a small amount of water.)
Spread the stuffing in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking pan or casserole dish. Spread the potato mixture over the stuffing in an even layer. Sprinkle with the paprika. Cover loosely and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
NOTE: For a gluten-free option, make gluten-free stuffing using 7 to 9 slices of gluten-free bread in place of the whole-grain variety.
NOTE: If you prefer a sage-flavored stuffing, replace the 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, and
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves.
Yummy Yam Casserole
Makes 4 to 6 servings
5 to 6 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch thick
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup pecan halves or walnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries, optional
Steam the yams until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and the oil, garlic powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and cayenne. Toss gently until the yams are evenly coated. Arrange the yams in overlapping layers in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Scatter the pecans and dried cranberries over the top, then drizzle with the remaining maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours if time permits.
Put the pan in a cold oven. Set the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the yams are tender and browning around the edges.
Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Green Beans Almondine
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
5 to 6 cup green beans, washed and ends removed
1 to 2 cups sweet red pepper, sliced thin
3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon italian style herbs or all-purpose seasoning
1 to 2 teaspoon vegan margarine spread
1 clove garlic, minced
Steam the beans for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper slices and steam until crisp tender.
Meanwhile put the almonds and olive oil into a medium sauté pan. Top with italian herbs and saute over medium-low heat until slightly golden. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add vegan margarine and heat through. Move off heat.
Put the streamed beans and peppers in to a medium bowl. Pour the almond mixture over the top of the beans and toss to combine. Serve warm.
Makes 24 cookies
2 tablespoons golden flaxseeds
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon filtered or spring water
1 1/3 cups raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons maple sugar
2 tablespoons garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons nondairy milk
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the flaxseeds in a high-performance blender or grain mill, and process into a very fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the water and whisk vigorously to combine. Let the flaxseed mixture stand for 10 minutes while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
Put the coconut, maple sugar, garbanzo flour, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the flaxseed mixture, vanilla extract, and nondairy milk, and stir until well blended. For each cookie, drop one heaping tablespoonful of the dough onto the lined baking sheet, with a cookie scoop or rounded spoon, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Flatten each macaroon slightly using a flat spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving platter to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for four days.
Black Forest Pecan Pie
Makes 8 servings
10 large pitted Medjool dates
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
5 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
2 tablespoons filtered or spring water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
15 pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the dates, oats, coconut, and pecans in a high-performance blender or food processor, and process to the consistency of soft dough. Transfer the dough onto a board and form it into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly with your hands, and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch round. Invert the dough on to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press the date mixture evenly over the bottom of the plate, pushing it up the sides of the pie plate as you go, to make a crust. To craft a pretty edge to the crust, use your index finger to push the inner edge of the crust out, while pinching the outer edge in with the thumb and index finger of your other hand to make a classic scallop edge around the piecrust.
Put the maple syrup, molasses, chocolate chips, pitted dates, margarine, water, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until very smooth. Pour the maple mixture in a medium bowl. Fold in 1 1/2 cups whole pecans. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top using a rubber spatula. Gently press 15 whole pecans into the top of the pie, arranging them in a pleasing manner. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges start to set and brown. Tent the pie with foil and bake for 5 to 8 minutes more, or until the pie has almost set in the middle. The filling will still be somewhat soft.
Carefully put the pie on a wire rack (the filling will be very hot!) and let cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Vanilla Crème “Fresh”
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces extra firm tofu (I like the sprouted variety best for this)
1 tablespoon nondairy milk, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
Put all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if sweeter flavor is desired. Chill 2 to 4 hours and serve. This is delicious served over cakes, pies fresh fruit and tarts.