Some Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes
by Patty Liston
In a few weeks, families will be gathering around Thanksgiving tables, eager to sample the rich bounty that America — and her cooks!—have to offer. While turkey, sausage stuffing, and ham are eaten by most families, more and more we see other options being offered. For instance, I have a nephew who is vegetarian, family members on restricted diets, and a son who hates... yes HATES, turkey as well as most of the “trimmings”.
So, we adapt. The nephew enjoys various vegetarian recipes we experiment with, those on special diets are accommodated by using recipes with little or no sweeteners, and last year we made our son a special pizza! After all, the most important part of the day is the gratitude we feel for all of those sitting around our tables. So, pass the pizza, and enjoy some of the following vegetarian recipes!
Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Recipe courtesy of the Quick-Fix Vegetarian cookbook by Robin Robertson.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Cover and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and the pumpkin puree, then whisk in the broth until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop, stirring occasionally.
2. While the soup is simmering, make the curried pecans. In a small bowl, combine the pecan pieces with the remaining maple syrup and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining curry powder, tossing to coat. Place the pecans in a small baking dish and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir back into the pot. Return the soup to the stovetop, turning the heat to low. Whisk in the coconut milk, taste to adjust seasonings. Heat until hot, do not boil. Serve the soup garnished with the pecans.
Download this recipe.
Sweet Potato Fries
This recipe is from: The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook by Robin Robertson.
3 to 4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside. Peel the sweet potatoes then cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 1/4-inch wide strips. Place the sliced potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil, salt, and pepper. Toss gently to coat the potato slices well and spread them on the baking sheet in a single layer.
2. Bake until the potatoes are lightly browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, 25 to 30 minutes, turning once about halfway through. Serve immediately sprinkled with the cranberries.
Download this recipe.
Basmati Rice Pudding
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 slightly heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of fine sea salt
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, the rice, and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Cover and simmer over very low heat 8 to 9 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Check frequently and stir to make sure it doesn't stick. \
3. Add 3 1/2 cups of the soy milk and the sugar. Continue simmering on very low heat for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is soft and most of the milk absorbed. You want a spongy texture, with no bite. Remove the rice from the heat.
4. Pour 1/4 cup of the remaining soy milk into a bowl and whisk in the cornstarch to dissolve.
5. Add the vanilla extract and cardamom.
6. Pour the cornstarch-milk mixture along with the remaining 3/4 cup soy milk into the hot pudding and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Download this recipe.
Tried to find the author of this recipe, but no luck. Wonderful bread and thank you, whoever you are, for this great recipe!
Quinoa Skillet Bread
Best if a coarse cornmeal is used. This can be made in a 9x9 inch glass pan (what I have done), as well as an oven proof skillet.
butter to grease pan, about 1 tablespoon
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (coarse)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature*
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, barely melted and cooled a bit
3 tablespoons natural cane or brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180 C degrees and place a rack in the top third. Butter a 10-inch oven-proof skillet (or equivalent baking dish). I used a cast-iron pan with 2-inch deep sides. Roughly ten minutes before you are ready to bake the skillet bread, while you are mixing the batter, place the skillet in the hot oven.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and dried herbs.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, quinoa, and melted butter until well-blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and stir again. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until the batter comes together. It will seem very thin, don't worry.
Pour the batter into the heated skillet. Pour the heavy cream into the center of the batter. Have faith, and do not stir. Carefully place in the oven and check after 45 minutes, the skillet bread is done when the top becomes lightly browned and the center just set. Somewhere between 45-60 minutes typically. I like to finish things up with a few seconds under the broiler to brown the top nicely. You can serve this I like this warm or at room temperature, sliced in a grid, sprinkled with a touch more salt (if needed).
Makes one 10 1/2 skillet.
*To cook a sizable pot of quinoa: Combine 2 cups well-rinsed (dried) quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until quinoa is tender
and you can see the little quinoa curliques. Fluff with a fork.
Contribute to the Cook'n Club!
DVO would love to publish your article, prose, photography and art as well as your cooking, kitchen and nutrition tips, tricks and secrets. Visit the Newsletter Submission / Win Win for All section in our Forum for more information and details.