October 2004

Vol. 3    No. 10

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Recipes

CREAMY PUMPKIN SOUP

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings:  6

1/4 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 16 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
Several dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup soy or rice milk

Place water and onion in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add broth, pumpkin and applesauce. Stir to combine. Add seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in milk just before serving.

Hint:

This would be very attractive served in a small baked pumpkin. Cut top off of a pumpkin. Clean out seeds and strings (just like Halloween). Replace top. Place pumpkin in a pan with ½ inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve the cooked soup in the baked pumpkin.

MASHED POTATOES

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

10 medium potatoes, peeled, in water to cover

Cut potatoes in half and place in a large pot with the water. Cover and cook over low heat until potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid. Beat the potatoes with an electric mixer, adding small amounts of the cooking liquid to the potatoes while mashing. Beat until smooth and creamy. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Hint:
To make the potatoes more creamy, replace the reserved cooking liquid with soy or rice milk. Add the milk to the potatoes while mashing as above.

RICH BROWN GRAVY

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: makes 6 cups

1/4 cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
fresh ground pepper to taste

Place the 1/4 cup water and the onion in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix in well. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (This will toast the flour and give it a rich flavor.) The flour and onions will clump together. Add the remaining water and soy sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Blend in batches in a blender jar until smooth. Place in a clean pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until gravy thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper to taste.

Hint:
If the gravy fails to thicken to your satisfaction, you may want to add an extra thickener to the gravy. Use a mixture of 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup cold water. Add a small amount to the gravy while stirring until it is thick enough for serving.

HOLIDAY STUFFED PUMPKIN

This is the recipe I have used for my Thanksgiving centerpiece for over 25 years.  It has always been a favorite with everyone who has celebrated the holidays with us over the years.

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings:  6-8

1 large loaf whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
4 ½-5 cups vegetable broth
1-2 onions, chopped
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
3 1/2  tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 1/4 teaspoons marjoram
2-3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
several twists of fresh ground pepper to taste
1 medium pumpkin or large winter squash

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. Meanwhile, cut the top off the pumpkin or winter squash and save for a cover (as if you were going to make a jack-o-lantern). Clean out the seeds and stringy portion, leaving plenty of the squash flesh along the sides. Rinse well and set aside. 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 the cleaned pumpkin and cover with the pumpkin top. Place in a large baking dish. Add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until fork pierces the side of the pumpkin easily.

Hint:
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.

CRANBERRY SAUCE

This is a simple cranberry sauce, easy to make and delicious.  I have been serving this sauce with our Thanksgiving feast for years.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes
Servings:  makes about  2 ½ cups

1 cup orange juice or water
1 cup organic cane sugar
3 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounce bag)

Place the orange juice or water in a medium saucepan.  Add the sugar and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until just before use. 

Hint:  Traditional cranberry sauce is made with water.  Try this with orange juice for something a bit different.

ELEPHANT GARLIC SPREAD

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
Servings:  makes about 1 ½ cups

2 large heads Elephant garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate the garlic heads into individual cloves.  Discard the center stalk section.  Cut a small piece off each of the root ends and off the tops.  Peel each clove.  Place the peeled cloves in a baking dish, spoon the vegetable broth over the garlic, cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  (Test to make sure all the cloves are soft by piercing with a fork.  If they are not soft enough, bake for a bit longer until soft.)  Remove from oven and mash with a fork directly in the baking dish, using the broth in the bottom of the dish to mix with the garlic.  Season with salt, if desired.

Serve warm or cold as a spread for bread or rolls.

MAPLE MASHED SWEET POTATOES

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes
Servings:  6
 
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
dash salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub potatoes and prick all over with a fork.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.  Mash with a hand masher or electric beater (do not use a food processor).  Add soy milk, maple syrup and seasonings.  Mix well.

Hint:  These may be prepared a day or two ahead of time and refrigerated.  Reheat in a microwave before serving.  These may also be peeled and cooked in water on the stovetop.  Drain off cooking water and mash as directed above.

WICKED CHOCOLATE PIE

This is a VERY RICH dessert to be savored on those most special occasions.  Serve in small wedges and enjoy this delicious treat with friends!  I probably make this only twice a year, once for Thanksgiving dinner with friends and once for John’s birthday.

Preparation Time:  60 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes
Chilling Time:  2 hours
Servings:  makes 1  9-inch pie

Crust:
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted cashews
3 tablespoons Sucanat or brown sugar
3 tablespoons Wonderslim Fat Replacer
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached white flour
dash salt

Chocolate Filling:
2 cups vegan (non-dairy) chocolate chips
24.6 ounces (2 boxes) extra firm, low-fat silken tofu
3/4 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash salt

Almond Topping:
1 cup thinly sliced almonds
¼ cup maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce:
1  10-ounce bag frozen, unsweetened, raspberries, thawed
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan.  (Side may be loosened and removed after baking.)

Place the cashews in a food processor and grind until they resemble fine meal.  Add Sucanat or sugar, Wonderslim 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 the prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, until light brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt over barely simmering water.  Place the tofu in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add Sucanat or sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Process again, then add the melted chocolate.  Blend until smooth and creamy. 

Lightly oil the sides of the pan above the baked crust, then scoop the chocolate mixture into the pan.  Smooth out the top and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the sides.  Let the pie cool to touch, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Remove side before serving. 

Place the maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute (this is very important), then add the almonds and continue to cook and stir over fairly low heat until the syrup has crystallized onto the almonds and the almonds appear dry.  (This will take at least 5 minutes.  If the heat is too high, the sugar will burn and you will have a sticky, smelly mess.)  Place on a baking sheet and allow to cool.  Store at room temperature in a covered container. 

Place the raspberries and sugar in a blender jar.  Process until blended.  Strain the sauce through a fine strainer, stirring often, to remove most of the seeds.  Let the mixture sit in the strainer for at least 1 hour to allow most of the seeds to be removed.  Discard the remaining sauce with the seeds. Pour the seedless sauce into a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.

TO SERVE:  Cut a small wedge of the chocolate pie and place on a dessert plate.  Sprinkle a few of the almonds over the pie, then drizzle with a small amount of the raspberry sauce. 

HINTS:  Vegan chocolate chips are made by many different manufacturers.  Look for ones that have no added milk or other dairy products.  The chocolate chips may also be melted in the microwave.  Follow the instructions for melting chocolate in your user’s manual.  Be careful not to burn it.  Chocolate chips are high in fat and make this a VERY RICH dessert.  We only make this on special holidays (and everyone loves it!).  Heather and Mary adapted this recipe from one in The Millennium Cookbook by Eric Tucker and John Westerdahl.  Our friends, Ann and Larry Wheat, own the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco and we have enjoyed this dessert there several times.  There are many delicious, gourmet, vegan recipes in The Millenium Cookbook suitable for serving on a special occasion.  To find out more about the restaurant or to order the cookbook go to http://www.millenniumrestaurant.com

 

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