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November/December 2004
Recipe Archives

A Vegetarian Feast!

by Susan Bellinson

Even though our ‘traditional’ holiday meals are expected to feature meats such as turkey, ham or lamb, there are imaginative, meatless options to be made that are delicious and satisfying. There are, indeed, countless ways to celebrate the holidays with plant foods. Both the quiche recipe and the stuffed eggplant featured here (both vegan) make splendid entrée choices that can be prepared ahead of time and heated before mealtime. Seasonal vegetables make great side dishes, especially squash. Bon Apétit and Happy Holidays!

Baked Eggplant with Nutty Bulgur Stuffing

4 medium eggplants, each cut in half lengthwise (about 3.5 to 4 pounds total)
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 small burdock, unpeeled and minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 cup bulgur
1 1/2cups boiling water
1 to 2 tablespoons tamari, or to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat

Preheat over to 400°F. Score cut side of eggplant in half by making 4 crosswise cuts. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper that has been coated with 1 tsp toasted sesame oil. Place eggplant halves cut side down on sheet. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove pulp, leaving a 1/3-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Warm the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil in large skillet. Add burdock and sauté until golden. Add onion and sauté until transparent. Add carrot and celery and sauté until slightly tender. Add bulgur and sauté with vegetables until lightly toasted. Add boiling water and season with tamari and black pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Add pecans and eggplant pulp.

Stuff each eggplant shell with eggplant mixture and sprinkle the tops of each with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and lightly browned. Serves 4.

Golden Glazed Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

3 acorn squash
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
teaspoon nutmeg (or to taste) or ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon or less salt to taste

Split squash into halves and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Steam in a pot with a tight-fitting lid until tender 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the halves on a shallow baking dish. Mix sugar, spices and salt and sprinkle over the squash. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake until squash is tender approximately 15-20 minutes. For a deeper glaze, broil for a minute or two. Serves 6.

Savory Vegetable-Arame Quiche

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
cup yellow onion, sliced
1 medium leek (white part and 1 inch of green part), sliced in half, soaked then chopped finely
Sea salt, to taste
cup carrot, julienned and steamed until just tender
cup kale leaves, chopped and steamed until tender
cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons dried arame, soaked for 10 minutes in warm water, drained, and chopped
2 tablespoons sage, chopped finely
Tofu cream (recipe below)
1 9-inch dairy-free whole wheat pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F. Use fork tines to make holes in bottom of pie crust. Pre-bake until crust is a light golden color, about 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, leek, and salt and sauté until onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add carrot, kale, celery, arame, and sage to onion and combine. Mix in tofu cream and pour into lightly pre-baked pie crust. Bake for 1 hour or until quiche is set. Cool 10 minutes and serve warm. This quiche is even better after having been refrigerated overnight and reheated because the flavors are able to meld. Serves 6.

Tofu Cream

1 pound extra firm silken tofu
cup yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoons sweet white miso
3 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and puree until completely blended.

Susan Bellinson is the Marketing Director for Whole Foods Market with locations in Rochester Hills, Troy, West Bloomfield and Ann Arbor.

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