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See that picture above? First, I’ll apologize for it being a little blurry. You see, I had to take it quickly because I had a line of hungry people behind me. But, I wanted to show you, my dear Veggin’ readers, the spread of food that we had where everything was vegetarian for Thanksgiving…except for the turkey. We managed to please all the omnivores, carnivores, flexitarians, 10-year-old picky eaters and vegetarians in the bunch. (We didn’t have any vegans, but I know with a few quick and easy switches, they would have left the table full and satisfied!)
This feast was accomplished with some quick planning and a few simple switches such as using vegetable broth instead of a meat based broth. Checking to make sure the stuffing didn’t have any meat products in it. And, cooking a variety of flavor profiles and interesting combinations such as a vinegary celery root salad and a creamy green bean casserole. (Because it’s not Thanksgiving until you’ve eaten half a container of fried onions…) And, having a vegetarian gravy option available. (It also helped having the 10-year-olds pitch in with some of the cooking so they were more interested in trying the final product.)
Also, I tried for the first time Gardein breaded turk’y cutlets. It comes with a vegetarian gravy that had a nice peppery flavor. I sauteed the cutlets in some olive oil. I’d have to say it’s a winner hands-down over Tofurky. While I usually don’t need a meat substitute, this was a good substitute for turkey.
Vegetarian recipes featured above:
And, here are some previous columns you can peruse providing even more vegetarian Thanksgiving tips, tricks, ideas and recipes.
Other Thanksgiving posts featured on Veggin':
I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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The balsamic vinegar and hot sauce in this recipe told me that I had to try it. I was going to make an eggplant parmesean later in the week and wanted a homemade sauce to go with it. I let this sauce simmer on the stove one night, popped it in the fridge and it was still perfect the next day.
What’s not to like about a recipe that lets you squish tomatoes…with your hands? When you do it, though, hold your hand way down in the pot, otherwise you’ll have tomato juice on your stove, on your counters, on your floors, on your walls and on yourself. Don’t ask me how I know…
Summary: A flavorful and versatile pasta sauce.
- 1 onion (large, chopped)
- 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsps salt
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper (crushed)
- 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 56 ozs italian plum tomatoes (whole, with liquid)
- 3 whole roasted garlic (heads, cloves removed from peels)
- In a large saucepan, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft and golden – about 6 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, salt balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you place them in the pan with their juices. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine.
- Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes longer until the flavors have come together.
- Serve over your choice of pasta.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
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I’ve said it before here on Veggin’, risotto isn’t that hard to make. But, this recipe makes it ridiculously easy to make. Sure, you have to chop up some broccoli and throw it in a food processor, but other than that, you just toss everything in the cooker and let it cook away…
(Also, the bonus with this recipe is chopping the bejeezus out of the broccoli in the blender or food processor. I think I had way too much fun with that.)
Recipe: Slow Cooker Broccoli Risotto
Summary: An easy risotto that you can walk away from while it is cooking.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 pound broccoli florets
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- parmesean cheese, grated for garnish
- Shred broccoli florets in food processor.
- Turn slow cooker on high. Add olive oil into slow cooker.
- Add risotto rice and onion flakes and mix around in the oil.
- Add garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper.
- Stir in broccoli and vegetable broth.
- Add butter on top.
- Cover and cook for 2 hours. Check on it every 30 to 45 minutes. Add more liquid as necessary until rice is tender.
- Stir in Greek yogurt and mozzarella.
- Serve with parmesean cheese on top.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 2 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
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The weather has certainly changed and has dipped its toe into fall weather. So, it’s time for some vegetable roasting and some soup eatin’…
This soup combines a fantastic cornucopia of root vegetables roasted up to add a depth of flavor. Then at the end, you add the secret ingredient of tahini which adds a rich nuttiness. This soup does require some prep time of peeling and chopping several vegetables. Don’t fret. Turn on an episode of “This American Life” or “Radio 360″ and time will fly by while you are chopping away. Once the vegetables are roasted you’ll then get to sit back, relax and let the soup simmer on the stove.
Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Turnip Potato Soup
Summary: A creamy soup perfect for fall weather.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 turnips, peeled and cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 3 Tablespoons liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
- salt and pepper to taste
- roasted pecans for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Drizzle olive oil on baking sheets.
- Place cauliflower, turnips and potatoes on separate baking sheets (if possible as they will cook at different rates).
- Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and add minced 3 of the 4 minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper.
- Use hands to distribute olive oil and seasoning evenly over chopped vegetables.
- Roast in oven until vegetables are soft and lightly browned about 30 to 45 minutes depending on how thick you cut the vegetables. Check them and stir so they brown evenly.
- Remove vegetables from oven.
- Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil in large soup pot.
- Add onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and soften over medium heat.
- Add roasted vegetables into soup pot and pour in vegetable broth.
- Add water as needed so that the liquid covers the vegetables.
- Add nutmeg and thyme.
- Let simmer over medium low heat for at least 30 minutes.
- Add tahini into soup.
- Put small portions of soup into blender and puree until creamy. (Fill blender only halfway otherwise you’ll have exploding hot soup all over your kitchen.) Or, you can puree using an immersion blender.
- Continue blending the rest of the soup.
- Roast pecans and crush some on top as garnish.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6