November has finally arrived and that means Turkey! Right?
Usually that would be the case, but for all those vegetarians out there Thanksgiving is a little more complicated. I recently became a vegetarian after having eaten meat for 18 years, and it is both the most fulfilling decisions I have ever made, but also one of the hardest. Because Thanksgiving is around the corner, I have been stressing out a little bit on how I am going to avoid eating my mom’s hearty stuffed turkey, and this is what I have come up with thus far.
Pumpkin Pot Pie:
This is a great nutritious substitute main course
Ingredients for Vegetable Filling
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, roasted
- 3 large carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 small white onion (or half of a large one)
- 1 bunch of kale (about 8 cups chopped, stems removed)
- 1 can of white kidney beans
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- generous salt and pepper
- pinch of pepper flakes
- olive oil for sautéing
Ingredients for the Roux
- 1 generous pat of butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- vegetable stock, about 2 ladles full (taken from above)
- salt, pepper
Ingredients for Crust
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 egg for egg wash (optional)
Wash, peel, chop and roast the small sugar pumpkin on 350 F for 10 minutes. Sauté the mirepoix on medium heat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Wash and chop the kale, removing the stems. Add to the mirepoix and let wilt on low with vegetable broth. Make a roux: melt butter in a hot pot, add two tablespoons of flour, one at a time. Let that get toasty and fragrant before you add the stock – one ladle full at a time. Mix roux in with remaining filling ingredients. Combine ingredients for the crust with your hands or stand mixer. Roll out dough on a well floured surface in the shape of your oven-proof bowls. Place filling in bowls, don’t fill to the brim – you don’t want the good stuff to run over! Place crust on top of bowls and pinch edges around the rim. For a shiny looking crust, brush an egg wash over the pie before baking. Bake for 35 minutes on 375 F.
If the crust doesn’t seem to want to come together – add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water.
Credit including image: Earthly Feast
Roasted Butternut Squash:
An awesome side dish to accompany your pot pie (and it looks like mac and cheese ;)
- 3 lb butternut squash
- 6 cups nonfat chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (9 oz)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 5 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 oz)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 4 oz arugula or baby spinach (6 cups), stems discarded and leaves very coarsely chopped
- N/A arugula or baby spinach leaves
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Halve squash lengthwise and seed, then cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch-wide slices and season with salt. Roast slices, skin side down, in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until tender and golden, about 50 minutes.
- Set aside 6 crescent-shaped squash slices for serving and keep warm. Cut flesh from remaining slices into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding skin.
- Start risotto after squash has been roasting 40 minutes:
- Bring broth to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer, covered.
- Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add rice, garlic, and cumin and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
- Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy-looking but still al dente (it should be the consistency of thick soup), about 18 minutes total. (There will be leftover broth.)
- Stir in squash pieces, then stir in cheese, salt, sage, and arugula and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. (If necessary, thin risotto with some leftover broth.)
- Serve risotto immediately, spooned over reserved squash slices.
Credit including image: Epicurious
White Chocolate Lemon Cheesecake:
This dessert is vegan as well
- 1 cup of packed dates
- 1 1/2 cup of raw walnuts
- 1 Pinch of sea salt
- 1 ½ Raw Cashews
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 3 lemons
- ¼ cup Unsweetened race
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ½ cup Maple syrup
- ¼ cup Cocoa butter
- 1 tsp. Apple cider vinegar
Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
Next add nuts, salt, and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal.
Cut out parchment paper into circles the shape of your ramekins, muffin tins or pan (see notes for size options). In addition, to make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut out two strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an “X” shape at the base. Top with circle shape. This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set.
Divide crust among serving dishes and carefully press with fingers to distribute. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to really press it down, allowing some crust to come up the sides. If it sticks, separate the crust and glass with a small piece of parchment paper. Set in the fridge or freezer to firm up.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth – up to 2-3 minutes. If it won’t come together, add a touch more lemon juice, maple syrup/agave or a splash more almond milk as the liquid should help it blend better.
Scrape down sides as needed and blend until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness as needed.
Divide filling evenly among the ramekins (or another serving dish). Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – about 6-8 hours depending on size of the dish. Expedite this process by popping them into the freezer for at least 2 hours. NOTE: They will come out much easier after being in the freezer!
Once set, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren’t quite set, pop them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and they should come out easily.
Top with a touch of coconut whipped cream and fresh berries, or as is! See notes for storage.
Credit including image: Minimalist Baker
Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or not, Thanksgiving should be a good one filled with family, friends, and laughter!