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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giving Thanks and Passing the Mashed Potatoes (et. al.)


People have a tendency to associate Thanksgiving with a huge Turkey. But when one is vegetarian (which I've been for 33 years), Thanksgiving takes on a new meaning.

Stuffing that omnivores look forward to actually stuffing into the rear end of a dead turkey, I, as a vegan, look forward to baking in my oven and eating with vegetables.

I made two stuffings this Thanksgiving -- wild rice with chestnuts and cranberries and bread stuffing. The wild rice stuffing was wild rice, spices (turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, a little chili powder), one small bag of chestnuts (I get them pre-cooked and pre-peeled in a plastic/aluminum pouch), and some dried fruit juice sweetened cranberries. I also put in a bit of onion/garlic/scallion (sauteed in a bit of olive oil). I cooked the wild rice (I started with 1/2 cup raw), with the spices. After the wild rice was cooked (about 45 minutes) and cooled a bit, I added the chestnuts (which I cut into smaller pieces) and the cranberries. I mixed it all together and stored it in a container in the refrigerator (I made it on Sunday) and heated it up on Thursday before the guests came.

The bread stuffing (which I currently have a batch of in the oven) I made by cubing the bread (I made 4 cups of cubes with 6 pieces of Ezekiel bread), toasted them in the oven (at 245 degrees for a long time -- until they were all toasted nicely) after which, I put them in a paper back for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.

I then take the bread cubes, add 1 cup vegetarian vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, some chives and cilantro (if you don't like those herbs and spices, substitute your own -- I don't like the "Scarborough Fair" spices, except parsley ("parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme") -- and a teaspoon of arrowroot. I mixed in some sauteed onions, garlic and scallions and mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl, then transferred it to an 8X8 pan and put it in the oven at 245 degrees until the top was crusty. (It can be stored in the frig and warmed up before the meal.)

I also remade a soup I had originally made the week before when I had a mild bronchitis. I sauteed up onions, garlic and scallions (the garlic I let sit 30 minutes after cutting up to release the medicinal substances) and shiitake mushrooms in a bit of olive oil (I use a spray). In the meantime, I took 1/4 cup each black and red lentils and green split peas, along with 1/4 cup of wild rice, and put them in a pot with filtered water, veggie stock (1-4 cups -- according to your taste and sodium needs*) and 1 teaspoon each turmeric, coriander, paprika, garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon cumin and chili powder. Boil it up and let it simmer until the beans are tender and then add the veggies and cook a bit longer until the flavors meld.

* boxed veggie stock has a lot of sodium. I happen to need more sodium in my diet -- I hate salt and I was told I need 2000-2500 mg of sodium because I drink a lot of liquid, but most people do not need more than 1500 mg per day, so keep an eye on the sodium or make your own vegetable stock

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

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