Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey

Oh wait. I'm a vegetarian.  We're hosting the in-laws for Thanksgiving this year, so in addition to making a turkey (I think we will crockpot turkey breast because it's only 4 carnivores) I need to make a delicious, not scary, vegetarian entree for myself that will also be a good side dish for others.  I'll be making mac 'n cheese for the Big Barefoot Thanksgiving, so I didn't want to do that twice.  The only requirement is that there must be some form of protein in the entree, and also I don't really want to do a soup.  I would also like it if the dish was vegan, so that I can bring leftovers to Thanksgiving the next day (we do it on the Friday) for my vegan cousin.
Some candidates (I would love more suggestions - particularly anything that has to do with butternut squash or sweet potatoes):
6 to 8 servings

This layered casserole is adapted from a Native American recipe.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 2 1/2 cups canned or cooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes, or one 16-ounce can diced, tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
Cornmeal topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated vegan Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, optional
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is golden brown. 

Add the corn kernels, pinto beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir well and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat. 

Bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously to avoid lumping. Add the salt and cook over very low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Oil a shallow, 1 1/2-quart baking dish and line the bottom with half of the cooked cornmeal. Pour over it the skillet mixture and sprinkle with the optional grated cheese. Top with the remaining cornmeal, patting it in smoothly. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cornmeal is golden brown and crusty. Let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve. 

Sweet Potato Gratin 

  • 1 t oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1½ t lime zest (grated peel)
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • 1½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 2½ c coconut milk
  • 4 c sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 1½ c cooked black beans (or 15 oz can, drained)
  • 1½ c fresh spinach, cleaned, de-stemmed, and finely chopped
  • ¾ c cornmeal
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • ¼ t cumin
  • ¼ t salt
Preheat oven to 350, and lightly oil the baking dish.
Combine garlic, lime juice, lime zest, spices, and coconut milk in the medium bowl, and pour a third of it into the dish.
Spread half of the sweet potatoes in the dish, then half of the rice, beans, and then spinach. Pour another third of the coconut milk mixture on top, followed by the rest of the sweet potatoes, rice, beans, and spinach. Top with the rest of the coconut milk.
Mix cornmeal, oil, thyme, cumin, and salt and sprinkle over the gratin.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan in the over, and bake another half hour, until the topping is golden and the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes, until any remaining liquid has been absorbed.

Mushroom And Spinach Galette
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
My mom makes a delicious mushroom galette for me each year at Thanksgiving, and I've taken that idea as my inspiration here. I've removed the cheese and butter to make it lighter and vegan-friendly.
Makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the flour and salt. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour and cut in with a fork, combining lightly until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over the flour, a tablespoon at a time, and mix lightly with a fork. With your hands, press the pastry lightly into a ball, wrap in waxed paper, and let rest in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes.
2 shallots
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
10 white mushrooms
2 portobello mushroom caps
1 bunch spinach, washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Chop the shallots and place them in a frying pan with the olive oil. Saute over medium heat until they begin to soften. Lower the heat and add the wine. Slice the white and portobello mushrooms, and add them to the pan, cooking until they soften and release their liquid. Add the spinach, salt, pepper and herbs and cook until the spinach is wilted.
On a wide surface, roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it becomes a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Arrange the vegetable mixture in the middle of the dough, and loosely gather the dough around the filling, leaving an opening at the top (the dough won't close completely). Place the galette on a new sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven until filling is bubbly and crust is lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Slice and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment