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Savory Mushroom, Walnut, and Celery Stuffing
4 TO 6 SERVINGS
7 slices sprouted whole-grain bread or other whole-grain bread, cut in cubes
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, with leaves, diced
2 ½ cups diced cremini or white button mushrooms
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
1⁄4 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup boiling water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil an 11 x 7-inch baking pan. Put the bread, italian seasoning, and salt in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bread is slightly crisp.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking. Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Put the water in a small bowl or measuring cup and add the bouillon cube. Stir until dissolved to make a strong vegetable broth.
Put the bread and walnuts in a large bowl and toss until well combined. Add the mushroom mixture, margarine, and 1⁄4 cup of the broth and stir gently until thoroughly combined. 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. If using for stuffed acorn squash, proceed as directed in the recipe.
If serving stuffing as a side dish, transfer to the prepared pan. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes to crisp the top. Serve immediately.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 cups Mushroom, Walnut, and Celery Stuffing, (se above recipe) prepared and ready to bake
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Put the squash halves cut-side up in the prepared pan. Brush 1⁄4 teaspoon of the oil over the upper surface of each squash half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 cup of the stuffing into each squash half.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the stuffing is brown and crispy. Serve immediately.
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 steamed beans and peppers in to a medium bowl. Pour the almond mixture over the top of the beans and toss to combine. Serve warm.
DESSERT OPTION ONE:
Holiday Sandies Cookies
Makes 24 to 26 Cookies
1 cup homemade oat flour (SEE NOTE 1)
1/2 cup ground walnuts (SEE NOTE 2)
2 tablespoons vegan confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons cold vegan margarine
2 to 21/2 teaspoons cold nondairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the oat flour, walnuts and 2 tablespoons sugar in to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together. Add the cold margarine, and vanilla. Combine using a dough blender or large fork. Add the cold nondairy milk 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture becomes the consistency of soft dough.
Form into a log. Put the dough log in the refrigerator and chill for 20 to 30 minutes, or until almost firm to the touch.
Slice into ¼ inch slices. Place on baking sheet and form each cookie into a crescent shape. Bake for 7 minutes, then turn the heat down to 300 degrees F. Bake 10 to 12 minutes more, or until slightly golden around the edges.
Meanwhile, pour confectioner’s sugar into a medium size bowl.
Remove the cookies form the oven, cool 4 minutes, then roll each cookie in additional confectioner’s sugar. Place on pretty serving tray.
Store leftover cookies covered in the refrigerator.
NOTE 1: To make oat flour, place 1/1/2 cups rolled oats in a blender and process until consistency of coarse crumbs. Proceed with recipe as directed.
NOTE 2: For ground walnuts, place 3/4 cups chopped walnuts into a blender and process until consistency of coarse crumbs. Proceed with recipe as directed.
DESSERT OPTION TWO:
Pumpkin Pie with Date-Nut Crust
Makes 8 servings
10 large pitted Medjool dates, plus more as needed
1/2 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup rolled oats
14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu
1 can (about 16 ounces) pumpkin purée
⅔ cup maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped “Cream” (see recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate.
To make the crust, put the dates, pecans, and oats in a high-performance blending appliance and process until the mixture forms a dough. If the mixture is still too crumbly to hold together, add more pitted dates, one at a time, until the consistency is doughy. Form the date mixture into a ball and place it in the center of the prepared pie plate (see note).
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 scalloped edge around the pie crust.
Put all of the filling ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the crust edges with small strips of foil.
Bake the pie for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the filling is somewhat firm to the touch (the center will still be slightly soft). Place the pie on a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, pipe whipped “cream” around the perimeter of the pie using a star tip, or simply serve a dollop of the whipped “cream” on the side.
NOTE: If you are serving the pie warm, let it stand it at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. If you are serving the pie chilled, cool, then cover it with foil and place it in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours before serving. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep about 2 days.
NOTE: If desired, you may use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch round before placing it in the pie plate.
Bourbon Vanilla Whipped “Cream”
14 to 16 ounces extra-firm regular tofu, drained (sprouted variety is preferable)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon bourbon-flavored or plain vanilla extract
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if a sweeter flavor is desired. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours and serve.