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During the fall months I like to make hearty, warming meals, so I often prepare soups and stews. I have also included some recipes for your Thanksgiving celebration.
SOUTH AMERICAN STEW
This is a meal in a bowl, very satisfying and filling. It may be served with or without the Avocado sauce. All you need is a good loaf of fresh whole grain bread to complete the meal.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
1 32 ounce carton vegetable broth
Place the vegetable broth in a large pot. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, carrot, rice, jalapeno and cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining vegetables, except the cilantro, and cook an additional 30 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Season with some freshly ground pepper and a dash of salt, if desired. Serve in a bowl and top with Creamy Avocado Sauce if desired.
Hints: Frozen whole boiling onions may also be used to save time. Use about 1 ½ cups. To clean fresh whole boiling onions, drop them into boiling water for a minute, then they will peel easily.
CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Peel and pit the avocado and place in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Place in a bowl and use a small amount as a topping on each bowl of the South American Stew.
BLACK BEAN CHILI
John and I attended the Vegsource Conference in Los Angeles in September and I watched Sabrina Nelson make a delicious Black Bean Chili in an electric pressure cooker. It looked so easy and quick that when I returned home I purchased my own electric pressure cooker, and we have since enjoyed that Black Bean Chili in our own home. The great thing about a pressure cooker is that you don’t have to plan ahead to make delicious bean dishes from scratch. This pressure cooker chili takes only 11 minutes at high pressure, plus the time it takes to chop the vegetables. This chili may also be prepared in a stovetop pressure cooker, in a regular pot (add approximately 3 hours to the cooking time), or in a slow cooker (add about 10 hours to the cooking time).
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
2 cups dried black beans (or drained
pre-soaked dried beans)
Beans: Several options: Soak beans overnight, quick soak (bring to boil, cook 2 minutes, rest for 1 hour-or use pressure cooker quick soak method) OR do not soak (this is my method and it works just fine).
Place the onions and garlic in the pot with a small amount of water and cook until softened. Add bell pepper, celery, and carrots and cook for a few minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, bring to pressure and cook at high pressure for 11 minutes. (Or bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 3 hours.) Use quick or natural pressure release.
Puree about 1 cup of the chili and return to pot. Mix well and serve. Season with a splash of tamari (soy sauce), if desired.
Hints: There are a lot of variations that you can make with this chili. Use more garlic and chipotle peppers (found in natural food stores or Mexican markets) if you like your chili spicy. If you don’t have a bell pepper, make the chili without it. Use baby carrots instead of large carrots to save chopping time. Most people recommend soaking dried beans before cooking, however this is a step that I usually omit with no problem in cooking times or in tenderness of the beans. TVP can be found in the bulk section of most natural food stores.
We really enjoyed this chili and it was great to have it ready to serve only 1 ½ hours after I decided to make it. (This included chopping time and a natural pressure release of 30 minutes.) An electric pressure cooker takes a bit longer to get up to high pressure, but you don’t have to watch it or adjust the temperature during the cooking time. It is wonderful for less “delicate” recipes, such as bean dishes. Watch for other pressure cooker recipes in future newsletters.
This makes a festive main dish for a holiday meal. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, assorted vegetables, salad and bread or rolls.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
1 loaf whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Place the broth, onions, celery and seasonings in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, pour the cooked broth over the bread and toss well until bread is saturated with the liquid. Cover the bowl and allow liquid to be absorbed for about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (adding more poultry seasoning and ground pepper, if needed).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the stuffing into a medium oblong baking dish that has been lightly oiled. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
Hints: To save some time, cube the bread the night before and allow it to sit uncovered in a single layer overnight. This will eliminate the need to bake the bread cubes in the oven for 15 minutes. For instructions on how to stuff a pumpkin using this bread stuffing, see the Holiday Recipes on our website.
We have a very talented dietitian and cooking teacher at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA. This is a delicious variation on one of the recipes prepared by Jill Nussinow during one of her cooking demonstrations. This is wonderful served over stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
¼ cup unbleached white flour
Place the flour in a non-stick frying pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the flour becomes a golden brown. Do not let it burn! Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth and water. After it is quite smooth, add the tahini and tamari or soy sauce. Continue to whisk until mixture boils and is smooth and thick. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie. I have been making various versions of pumpkin pie for many years, but have never been really pleased with the results. This one is the best! You can proudly serve this to everyone!
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cashews in a food processor and grind until they resemble fine meal. Add Sucanat, fat replacer and vanilla. Process until well combined. Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cashew mixture and mix well, beginning with a spoon and ending with your hands. Press this mixture into the bottom of a lightly oiled 9 ½ inch pie pan with a high fluted edge. (To lightly oil a pan, place a small amount of oil on a paper towel, then wipe this over the bottom and sides of the pan.) Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the tofu in a food processor and process until very smooth, scraping the sides often. Remove and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Add the Sucanat and the spices and mix until very smooth. Add the soymilk and mix again until well combined. Pour this mixture into the prebaked pie shell. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove and cool.
For best flavor, chill for at least 2 hours before serving. This may be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. Serve with vanilla soy ice cream or Vanilla Cream Sauce.
VANILLA CREAM SAUCE
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Place the tofu in a food processor and process until very smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill before serving.
This may be prepared ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.