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Calcium Sources, Entrees, Featured, For Beginners, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Salads, Vegetables, Videos
 

eHow Video: Taco Salad (and some words on craving the familiar)

My mother is an excellent cook and one of my favorite dishes of all time was her taco salad. It was colorful and fun, and so delicious that I always had countless servings each time we had it for dinner. Her recipe called for ground chicken, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve had it. For a long time, I avoided attempting to make vegan versions of non-vegan dishes I loved because I knew I would always prefer the original. This isn’t because the original actually tastes better; it’s simply because it’s familiar. We humans are designed to be weary and skeptical of difference and change. There is no risk in sticking to the familiar; it’s safer and more comfortable.

BUT, if we give change a chance, if we can get out of our comfort zone just a little bit and give ourselves time to readjust, what was once unfamiliar will eventually become familiar. This applies to all aspects of life, not just food, so keep it in mind next time you find yourself making comparisons between the known and the unknown or feeling hesitant about trying something new.

Anyway, since it has been quite a while since I’ve had my mom’s taco salad and I knew I wouldn’t have the attachment to its familiarity that I would have had years ago, I decided to give a vegan version of this recipe a go. Instead of ground chicken, I used ground tempeh, and I added corn in lieu of the shredded cheddar cheese she would sometimes add. Everything else was the exact same.

Well, I was totally impressed with how it turned out! I’ll just be blunt: it was spectacular. The ground tempeh was absolutely delicious. Which makes sense because, after all, I applied the exact same seasonings as she would with ground chicken. And as I always say, humans don’t crave the taste of plain flesh; we crave the seasonings, and those seasonings are plant-based! I really liked the corn, too. I had added it mostly for color but it provided pops of delicious sweetness that went really well with all the lime juice and the salsa. I probably make this once a week because now it is so tasty. And just like before, my stomach seems to hold serving after serving after serving. Thank goodness!

(Serves 4–unless you are an extremely big eater–ahem–in which case it would serve 2-3)
Ingredients:
1 package tempeh, grated
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups of black beans (1-15 oz can + 1 cup)
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning (I prefer 2 tablespoons)
2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1 cup of halved baby tomatoes
1 cup of sweet corn
1 cup of salsa
Lots and lots of limes!

Instructions:
1. Saute the onions and tempeh with a tablespoon of water until brown, about 10 minutes.
2. Add 1 can of black beans and the taco seasoning, and saute for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool until room temperature.
3. Place the romaine, cilantro and baby tomatoes into a large salad bowl. Add 1 cup of black beans, the corn, salsa, and tempeh mixture and toss. Serve with lots of lime wedges to squeeze just before serving.
Autumn, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Featured, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables, Whole Grains
 

eHow Video: North African Lentil Casserole

 This dish has undergone several revisions and I can now confidently say it is officially FANTASTIC. The ingredients are very simple but they come together to make something really elegant. Mr. Goldhouse, with his ever impressive ability to articulate the heart of the matter in as few words as possible (unlike his wife), describes this casserole as “fancy poor man’s food.”

I recently served this to some new friends we had over for dinner and received praise every vegan chef loves to hear from a non-vegan: “I had no idea vegan food could taste so good!” Plus, as regular readers already know, I am a huge fan of dishes that lasts for several meals because it makes life so much easier, and this one really lasts well. I suggest making this on a Saturday or Sunday for dinner and then bringing it for lunch or having it for dinner during the week. Whenever I make it, even though I’ll eat it for several dinners in a row, I am still always sad when it’s finally gone because it is just so delicious. This one is a MUST for your cooking repertoire!

(Serves 8-10)
Ingredients:
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 small can of no-salt added tomato paste
2 cups dry green lentils
1 cup dry quinoa
6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (canned is fine)
1-2 lbs of frozen spinach
1 large lemon
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions:
1. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and carrots with 1-2 tablespoons of water over medium heat until the onions become translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the paprika, cumin, allspice, crushed red pepper, turmeric, and tomato paste. Stir until throughly combined.
4. Add the lentils, quinoa, and broth or water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then lower the heat to medium and cover for 45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, to prepare the top layer, mix the cinnamon with the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
6. Once the lentils are fully tender, add the frozen spinach to the saucepan and cook until the spinach is fully heated.
7. Zest and juice the lemon and add to the saucepan.
8. Pour the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly over the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro when ready.
Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Soups & Stews, Vegetables, Videos
 

eHow Video: Curried Chickpeas with Mushrooms & Greens

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There are few things that I love more than beans and greens. At the moment, I can only think of two and they are my husband and my dog. I literally have beans and greens every single day. At least once. This blog probably should have be called “beans and greens.” Honestly, my whole life should just be called “beans and greens.”

I’m not the only one who thinks beans and greens are two of the most delicious foods on the planet. In fact, most of the world shares my fondness, which is why they appear together in cuisines all across the globe, from Southern BBQ black-eyed peas and collard greens, to Italian cannellini bean stew with kale, to Ethiopian spiced mung beans and cabbage. In addition, beans and greens combine high protein and fiber with disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals making them one mighty nutrition power couple.

So obviously, I just had to include a recipe with beans and greens for this series. My struggle, though, was deciding which one to pick because there are so many that I absolutely love. If I had to pick my favorite bean it would have to be the garbanzo bean (a.k.a. the chickpea) and some of most favorite beans and greens dishes are Indian, so I thought this recipe would fit the bill perfectly. If you love Indian food, as Mr. Goldhouse and I do, this is bound to be a new favorite. But if you are somewhat new to Indian food or sharing it with people who are, this dish is mild enough to be a nice introduction into one of the world’s most wonderful cuisines.

Feel free to eat on its own or with a side of brown basmati rice. Enjoy!

(Serves 3-4)
Ingredients:
Curry Mixture:
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
1 onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup tomato puree
3 cups chickpeas (or two 15 oz cans or one 28 oz cans)
1 10 oz package of frozen spinach, de-thawed (or any other dark leafy green)
1/2 cup nondairy milk, such as soy or almond
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:
1. Combine spices in the curry mixture and set aside.
2. Saute the onions in a tablespoon or two of water until slightly browned, about 5-10 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic, and saute for another minute.
3. Add the tomato puree and curry mixture. Stir for another 5-10 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms and saute until they start to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the chickpeas and spinach, and stir until the water has evaporated.
6. Add the nondairy milk and 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water (depending on your desired thickness) and bring to a boil.
7. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste, and turn off the heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Entrees, For Beginners, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Videos, Whole Grains
 

eHow Video: Sweet Potato & Pinto Bean Burritos (and Some Words on Planning)

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“Things just don’t happen by accident.”

This is a common saying in our house. It refers to my love of planning. Everyone in my life makes fun of me for this, but you know what? They all benefit from my planning. Planning is how things get done. Planning is how you make sure you have the best experience possible. Planning is how you make sure you get what you want. Like I said, things just don’t happen by accident. You need to plan them out!

Now, I know you’re thinking, “jeez, Kate. Just relax. Just go with the flow. Just let life happen, man.” Well, all I can say to that is “no, thank you.” Because you know what? A lot of life IS going to happen. There is going to be a whole lot that will fall out of my control. And to that I completely surrender. I’m not out there trying to schedule the weather. But just because there are things that we can’t control doesn’t mean we are powerless. I plan because I want to ENJOY life. I don’t want to waste my time doing things like getting lost or overpaying, which are exactly the kinds of things that usually happen when we don’t plan.

The same goes for food. Everyone complains that eating healthfully is so time-consuming. Nuh-uh! Eating healthfully when you *don’t plan* is time-consuming. But when you do plan, it’s really not. Sure, cooking at home may not always be as quick getting fast food (though you’ll see that this recipe can be), but it’s very doable and it’s way less time-consuming than getting a chronic disease and spending all your time at the doctor’s. If there’s one thing that’s time-consuming, it’s sitting in a doctor’s waiting room.

So, if you don’t want your time to be consumed either by going to the grocery every night and then making a healthful dinner or by sitting in the doctor’s waiting room reading a bunch of People magazines, then there is one solution and one solution only, and that is to plan. Learn to love it, folks. Learn to love it. (Actually, it can be a lot of fun if you get into it. Seriously!)

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Now, to these mouthwatering burritos. These are absolutely the best burritos I’ve ever had. Being from Southern California, my standards are high when it comes to burritos, so to say something is “the best” is really saying a lot. There is a little bit of spiciness from the chili powder which is smoothed out by the sweetness of the pureed sweet potato. Honestly, after having these, I doubt I’ll ever want a burrito without sweet potato again. My extremely picky husband also agrees that these are “the best.” In fact, said extremely picky husband has one of these burritos every single day either at work or when he gets home. Is that because he heats up the wraps, sautes the onion, and then the beans, adds the spices and yada yada yada every single day? No. Is that because I make it for him every single day? No. It’s because I plan ahead!

Here’s what I do: Approximately every two weeks, I’ll make 12 burritos (doubling the recipe below), wrap them in foil, and then stick them in the freezer. It takes me 30 minutes, tops. Mr. Goldhouse will grab one of these on his way out the door or he’ll have one as a snack when he gets home before working out. On Monday nights I take a class that doesn’t get me home till about 10pm and he’s studying for an exam and has no time to cook so he just heats up a burrito or two for dinner. That’s a healthful meal, ready in 2-3 minutes. It’s that easy!

So, make fun of me all you want now, but please, just take 30 minutes on a Sunday and give this a try. Your life will be SO much easier, and you’ll see that eating healthfully doesn’t have to be time-consuming at all. If you plan, of course. After all, things just don’t happen by accident.

Ingredients:
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-15 oz can of pinto beans (1 1/2 cups)
1-15 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes
1-15 oz can of corn
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
dash of cayenne
6 burrito-size tortillas (whole wheat, brown rice, or sprouted grain)
1 can pureed sweet potatoes
salsa (optional)

Instructions:
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add the onions, garlic, and pepper into a medium skillet with a little bit of water and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Stir in the pinto beans. Then add the fire-roasted tomatoes and corn, and cook until heated through.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, tamari and cayenne.
5. Place the tortillas into the oven for 2-3 minutes to soften (or stick them in the microwave).
6. Lay the tortillas out on a flat surface. Divide the sweet potato puree evenly among the tortillas, placing them in the half closest to you. Then place the bean mixture on top of the sweet potatoes, and roll.
7. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve as is or with salsa.

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Soups & Stews, Vegetables, Videos
 

eHow video: Cream of Tomato & Navy Bean Soup

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Cream of tomato soup typically calls for a lot of butter and heavy cream. Many people assume that is what is needed to achieve a thick, smooth and creamy consistency. But unless one is looking to add saturated fat, cholesterol, and casein, then the dairy products simply aren’t necessary.

To achieve the soup’s creamy consistency in my recipe, I use… you guessed it, beans! Navy beans, or any other white or light-colored beans, are great to use in lieu of dairy in creamy soups. And depending on how much creaminess you like, you can always add more or less beans.

Navy beans are rich in protein (1 cup has 15 grams), and a great source of iron, folate, manganese, and calcium. And like all beans, navy beans add fiber to any meal (dairy has no fiber whatsoever), making this soup more filling and satisfying, as well as healthier for your heart. So next time you come across a soup recipe that calls for heavy cream, just remember there are so many reasons to use beans instead.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: The first time I tested this soup, I served it as an appetizer and it totally overshadowed the entree. It was also pretty filling for an appetizer so I have since served it as an entree with a big green salad and that hits the spot just right. I have never been a huge tomato soup lover, but I adore this soup. During the filming of this series, we were experiencing record-breaking low temperatures in Boston and the kitchen is the coldest part of our house. I didn’t want to be in a huge puffy coat on camera but I was really freezing so as soon as we finished shooting this recipe, I just ate the entire batch by myself. I didn’t even put it in a bowl; I just held the bottom of the pot with my oven-mittened hand and ate it straight from the ladle.  (It’s really a miracle I didn’t spill on my green shirt.) I’m sure the camera man thought I was crazy but I felt so much better. Like I said, this soup really hits the spot.

Serves 2-3
Ingredients:
1-15 oz can navy beans (or 1 1/2 cups)
1-15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 dash cayenne
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 date
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, as garnish (optional)

Instructions:
1. In a soup pot, combine the navy beans, 3 cups of water, crushed tomatoes and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and cover and simmer.
2. Meanwhile, dice the carrot, celery and garlic. Add the garlic to a saute pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the celery and carrots, and saute for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, basil and cayenne to the saute pan and stir for 2 minutes.
4. Add the tomato puree to the saute pan. Turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Add the saute mixture to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Remove the bayleaf. In a food processor or blender, add the tamari, date, tomato paste and soup (in batches if necessary). Blend to desired consistency. Serve with chopped fresh basil, if using.

Autumn, Calcium Sources, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Soups & Stews, Videos, Whole Grains
 

eHow Video: Down-South Homemade Chili (a.k.a. Chili Jambalaya)

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What’s a series on beans without a chili recipe? Rather than sharing a more Western-style chili with black beans, tomatoes, and Mexican seasonings, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to move East and make something with more of a Southern vibe. The result is a mix between a chili and a jambalaya with ingredients found in traditional dishes all across the South, from Cajun spices to black-eyed peas to okra. I am proud of all the recipes in this series but I am especially proud of this one. I even had the chutzpa to make it for my Southern in-laws, knowing full well I was encroaching on dangerous territory (not being a Southerner myself and all), and it received excellent reviews.

This has truly become a favorite meal in our house. It’s also great leftover. I like making a big batch for dinner on Sunday night and then packing the rest for Mr. Goldhouse’s lunch for the next several days. And, of course, it’s incredibly healthful, as kidney beans and black-eyed are both excellent sources of protein, fiber, calcium and iron.

Ingredients:
Cajun spice blend:
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
…..
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 package frozen okra, de-thawed
2-15 oz can kidney beans (3 cups)
1-15 oz can black-eyed peas (1 1/2 cups)
1-15 oz can corn (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 cups vegetable broth

Instructions:
1. Prepare the Cajun spice blend and set aside. (Tip: I like to double this and store what I don’t use for this recipe in a plastic baggy. That way it’s all set to go next time I need it.)
2. In a soup pot, saute the onion, celery, garlic and pepper in a tablespoon of water for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Cajun spice blend.
4. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, and then reduce to low and cover. Cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until the rice is done. Stir every 20 minutes and add more liquid if necessary.
5. Once the rice is ready, season with salt, pepper, and more Cajun seasoning as needed.
Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Sauces & Dips, Videos
 

eHow Video: “Cooking Vegetable Lasagna”

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     Just like my butternut squash lasagna, this recipe has thinly sliced vegetables functioning as lasagna noodles. This dish uses eggplant, which has always been one of my most favorite vegetables. And it also has kale and mushrooms, two of my other favorites! If you are new to a plant-based diet or will be dining with those who are, mushrooms are great because they provide the chewy smokiness that many people say they crave about meat.
     I am also very excited to share the recipes for béchemel sauce and parmesan cheese. Both are absolutely fantastic! The recipe for the parmesan is incredibly quick and easy. It’s sort of ridiculous how easy it is– it literally takes 5 seconds to prepare. The béchemel takes a bit more time but it can easily be made ahead of time and frozen. I have a feeling you’ll want to use both of these recipes in other dishes as well, so be sure to bookmark them.
     Enjoy!
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Lasagna Ingredients:
1 batch of your favorite marinara sauce (store-bought is fine)
2 medium eggplants, sliced length-wise
1 bunch kale leaves (or spinach)
4 cups sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, slicedBéchemel Ingredients:
3 cups nondairy milk
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
3 heaping tablespoons arrowroot flour or cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon saltParmesan Cheese Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions:
1. To make the béchemel sauce: Blend all the ingredients together. Add the mixture to a medium saucepan over high heat and whisk for 5-10 minutes until thickened.
2. To make the parmesan cheese: Add the ingredients to a blender and pulse until the walnuts are just ground. Be careful not to over blend into a paste.
3. Saute the onions and mushrooms for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
4. In a large glass baking dished lined with parchment paper, layer in the following order: marinara sauce, eggplant, béchemel sauce, kale, mushrooms. Repeat until you run out.
5. Sprinkle half of the parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 1 hour covered with foil and 1 hour without foil. (I like my eggplant really soft, so feel free to lessen the time if you prefer your eggplant more chewy.)
6. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and serve.
Autumn, Casseroles & Lasagnas, Entrees, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables, Videos, Whole Grains
 

eHow Video: “Butternut Squash Lasagna with Ricotta” (vegan, of course!)

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Need a dish that is guaranteed to impress? This is definitely the one.
I love this recipe because it includes everything we love about lasagna–the warmth, the comfort, and the heartiness. But, unlike traditional lasagna, my version is incredibly healthful. Not only does it leave out all animal products, it’s also made entirely of whole foods! Rather than using pasta noodles made with processed white flour, I instead use very thin slices of butternut squash. This makes the lasagna more healthful, more flavorful, and more colorful!

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     This recipe can be a bit time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. My tip: Make the sausage and the ricotta ahead of time (they can easily be frozen and de-thawed when needed), then all you’ll have to do on the day-of is assemble and bake. If you aren’t able to make the sausage and ricotta ahead of time, it’s really not that big of a deal, and the extra time it takes is still absolutely worth it because this dish is so spectacular. I would just recommend making doubling the sausage and ricotta to freeze and use for next time. This dish is too good to only make once, and the easier it is to prepare, the more likely you are to make it again and again.
     Plus, as those of you who follow Goldhouse Gourmet on Facbeook know, I am a HUGE fan of dishes that can last for several meals. They mean you don’t have to cook every night and/or can have healthful leftovers to bring with you for lunch. This lasagna definitely fits that bill, and is one of those dishes that only gets better day after day. That is, if you manage to have any left 🙂
Ingredients:
1 butternut squash
1 jar marinara sauce (I like Eden Organic’s No Salt Added Spagetti Sauce)
Sausage Ingredients:
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped onion
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups cooked lentils
2 tablespoons marjoram
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fennel
2 tablespoons ground flax
2 tablespoons thyme
4 cloves garlic
Ricotta Ingredients:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
1/3 cup nondairy milk (I like soy or almond milk)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend

1/3 cup fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
1. To make the sausage: Saute the carrot and onion for 10-15 minutes. Once browned, place vegetables into a food processor along with all the spices and flax. Add cooked quinoa and lentils and pulse just till ingredients begin to stick together (about 10-15 times). Place mixture in a pan and brown.
2. To make the ricotta: Place cashews, nondairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend till just smooth (remember, ricotta is somewhat grainy rather than completely whipped). Add in the basil, Italian herb blend, salt and pepper and pulse until blended in.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara onto the bottom of a glass dish.
5. Layer the squash on top. Avoid overlapping pieces as much as possible.
6. Place a layer of ricotta on top.
7. Spread a layer of sausage crumbles on top.
8. Add another layer of squash and then another layer of marinara sauce.
9. Start again at step 6 and repeat until near the top of the dish. Top with any remaining ricotta.
10. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted all the way through.

Autumn, Entrees, Essential Fats, Gluten-Free, Holiday, Oil-Free, Plant Proteins, Vegetables, Videos
 

eHow Video: “Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Ricotta Cheese” (vegan, of course!)

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One of the things people worry about when contemplating going vegan is what the holidays will be like, particularly Thanksgiving. I recently received an email from a non-vegan friend who said that she had just learned about what happens to turkeys in slaughterhouses “and now Thanksgiving is ruined!”
Au contraire! The best Thanksgiving I ever had was my first vegan Thanksgiving. I felt that I was actually honoring the true spirit of the holiday, which is about giving thanks and celebrating life. Plus, putting aside the ethics and the health, it was the most delicious Thanksgiving I had ever had. After all, aren’t the real stars of the Thanksgiving meal the sides and the desserts?
One option for a vegan Thanksgiving is to have the meal be made up entirely of delicious side dishes. Personally, I think that would be absolutely fantastic, but I also know many of us are used to and enjoy having a main dish as a central focal point. Hence, this gorgeous stuffed acorn squash recipe!

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     The sausage and ricotta can be prepared well in advance and then frozen. Then, on the big day, all you’ll have to do is assemble them into the squash halves and stick them in the oven as described. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish are so aromatic and comforting–the hearty, earthiness of the sausage; the lemony freshness of the ricotta; and the soft, candy-like sweetness of the squash. To my mind, the best way to truly honor this holiday is with food that celebrates life, peace, and joy 🙂

Ingredients:
6 acorn squashes (recipe yields enough to fill at least 12 squash halves; any remaining can be frozen)
Sausage Ingredients:
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups cooked lentils
2 tablespoons marjoram
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fennel
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
2 tablespoons thyme
4 cloves garlic
Ricotta Ingredients:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
1/3 cup nondairy milk (i.e. almond, soy, etc.)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions:
1. Slice the acorn squashes in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
2. To make the sausage: Saute the carrot and onion for 10-15 minutes. Once browned, place vegetables into a food processor along with all the spices and flax. Add cooked quinoa and lentils and pulse just till ingredients begin to stick together (about 10-15 times). Place mixture in a pan and brown.
3. To make the ricotta: Place cashews, nondairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend till just smooth (remember, ricotta is somewhat grainy rather than completely whipped). Add in the basil, Italian herb blend, salt and pepper and pulse until blended in.
4. To compose the dish, place a layer of ricotta at the bottom of each squash bowl. Then add some sausage crumbles. Top with more ricotta. Any remaining sausage and ricotta can be frozen and used at another time (perhaps for butternut squash lasagna).
5. Put squashes back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until they are soft and caramelized.
Autumn, Entrees, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Videos
 

eHow Video: “Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Seeds”

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While this would, indeed, be a spectacular side salad for Thanksgiving, it almost seems unfair to make other dishes compete with this because it is such a star. Instead, I prefer to serve this hearty salad as an entree throughout the fall and winter months. For what it’s worth, Mr. Goldhouse says this is easily THE best salad he’s ever had, and one of the best dishes he’s ever had. That is high praise, indeed!
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The roasted vegetables become as sweet as candy and because of their rich hues, it looks like you have gorgeous jewels on your plate. (For an even more bejeweled effect, add beets!) In addition to their beauty and deliciousness, root vegetables are also full of phytochemicals that help fight against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound butternut squash
2 medium turnips or beets
2 medium parsnips
2 medium red onions
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (more to taste)
fresh pepper, to taste
3-4 cups baby spinach
1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (raw is fine too)

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Peel all the vegetables and cut them into large chunks.
3. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the ginger, maple syrup, water, and salt if using.
4. Spread the vegetables in a roasting pan (I recommend lining it with parchment paper) and roast for 40-60 minutes, stirring half way through, until vegetables are very tender and caramelized. A good way to tell the vegetables are done is when the onions have lost all of their crunchiness and have become sweet.
5. Place the roasted vegetables on top of the baby spinach and top with pumpkin seeds. Season with balsamic vinegar and some fresh ground pepper to taste.