Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Dumplins

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Sure New Years is a blast and we all love Casimir Pulaski Day day but Thanksgiving is the best. You don’t have to buy people presents or get dressed up or go “out”, you just stay in, feast, drink wine, and maybe watch a movie. I have spent so much time in the last week deciding what to make and really it is just silly. I can make those dishes any time if I want to, but I guess  it is different; Thanksgiving should be crammed in with as much good food as you can figure out how to fit on your table.

I saw this beautiful page of vegetarian recipes on the New York Times the other day and I knew I had to make the pumpkin dumplings. I am kind of a dumpling fanatic and I had never thought or heard of a pumpkin dumplin, but it makes so much sense! And if you drop the ‘g’ they even rhyme.  We did a couple of substitutions to the original recipe, regular flour instead of gluten-free, and ground flax instead of eggs and they worked beautifully and were very quick to make. The dumplings were very doughy and reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing; they were very similar in texture. We had the dumplings on top of Thanksgiving spiced rice (sage, celery, thyme, and onions) and it was a great little quick  precursor to the feast.

Prijatno – Pumpkin Shell Casserole

I have been taking care of my Baba here in Merrillville Indiana outside of Chicago for the last few days. Growing up, I always thought “baba” meant grandma. It wasn’t until I went to visit family in the Croatia a few years ago that I learned that Baba actually means “old woman” to them. The funny thing is that all my American  friends always called her Baba too, like it was her name, and I always thought it was silly that they were calling her Grandma, but really they have been calling her old woman! She has a giant dog named Bear and they are best friends.

So I have been here cooking and taking care of her. Usually when I come I have to make do with eating typical vegetables and grains but this time when we went to the store I found Earth Balance, Almond Milk, Silk Creamer, and a wide assortment of greens! It sure is exciting that vegan products are becoming more available along with healthy vegetables.

I have been looking through an old cookbook called Prijatno and writing down recipes that sound interesting. It is a cookbook written by St. Sava’s Serbian Sister’s Circle in the 1970s. My Baba and her family were a part of St. Elijah but my Dad’s family all went to St. Sava so some of my other Grandma’s recipes are in the book. It makes me feel like a part of a long tradition of writing down recipes and sharing them with friends and family.

I came across this recipe and though I haven’t tried it, I thought I would print it out because I think it would be a perfect holiday recipe and I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to make this year. It is freezing here so I already have winter on my mind. I will be happy to get back to warm weather!

Pumpkin Shell Casserole

1 small pumpkin, 7 inches in diameter
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash & dry pumpkin. Slice off the top for a lid. Scrape out the seeds. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Fill the pumpkin and return the lid. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake until the apples are tender. Begin testing after 45 minutes. It may take as long as two hours. Serve from the shell, spooning some of the pumpkin with each portion.
Enjoy!

I think when I make it I will add some figs too and maybe toast the seeds and add them back in as well.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. It is a holiday that involves cooking, eating, being with your loved ones and being thankful for what you have got instead of buying something else. What could be better than that?

I started cooking yesterday by making a stock to carry through the rest of the meals and it worked really well. The stock started with all the vegetable odds and ends in the freezer bag and garlic and then I baked the seitan in it. While the seitan was in the oven I simultaneously roasted celery, parsnips, carrots, leeks, onions, and garlic and then when the seitan came out I used the leftover stock from that and added the roasted vegetables. Soon the stock was so rich and tasty that I couldn’t believe it. I added some soy sauce, a bay leaf, and some apple cider vinegar and at that point I could have just eaten the stock, but instead it was time to put the stuffed roulade back in the oven with the vegetables and some of the stock. The rest I saved to make the gravy which I made using a method from gourmet magazine.

All you do is roast a head of garlic, take it out of the peel and puree it with a fork, Make a roux: whisk together a tablespoon or so of earth balance and sprinkle in flour until you have a paste. Add the garlic puree and then incorporate as much stock as you like, if it gets to thin just sprinkle in more flour. I also added in kitchen bouquet gravy magic because I love it, it really rounds out the gravy and gives it some depth, salt and pepper and it was good enough to eat directly from the pot. It made me really happy to make this gravy because it is exactly how I used to make gravy except using roasted garlic instead of animal fat. I have to say that it was much better! It was so flavorful and you can make it any time.

The roulade turned out perfect, I must thank Emilie from the conscious kitchen for her fabulous recipe. (Note: That site is sadly down now but the video and recipe is still up) I was a little worried because during the first cooking I didn’t wrap it up well enough and it stated to look like it would fall apart, but after stuffing it and wrapping it the second time it worked perfect. The wild rice and fig stuffing was really good. I added sage, apple cider vineger, and used oat flour and it all came together so well. The Roulade was so yummy, I want to make it again except that it took forever and didn’t yield enough leftovers! I guess I will have to wait to enjoy it again next Thanksgiving.

and so I roasted fingerling potatoes in olive oil and then topped them with earth balance with chopped garlic. Instead of making Mashed Potatoes I decided (for the second year in a row) to opt out and make roasted potatoes. I had an epiphany that the thing that I always overeat on Thanksgiving that pushes me over the edge is the mashed potatoes. They are mostly just take up room that could be better utilized by alcohol. So now I make the multi-colored potato you have to chew, ahh, the healthy choice! They were so perfect.

The Brussels Sprout were my favorite part of the meal though I think. The recipe was from the Voluptuous Vegan except that I used miso instead of Dijon. Basically you brown pearl onions and the sprouts in olive oil and then add a mix of maple syrup, miso, and water. After that, you cover and cook for a few more minutes until it turns into a glaze and finally add in the pecans. They were delectable. I ADORE Brussels sprouts and these were next level.I also made cranberry sauce from the Voluptuous Vegan which was less of a success. The idea of cranberries, dates, and balsamic with sugar sounded great on paper but the recipe called for a whopping one and one fourth cups of sugar. My instincts told me that this was way too much sugar and I hope to some day learn to follow my instincts because the cranberries were good, but way too sweet.

It was the perfect thanksgiving meal you couldn’t ask for anything more, so thanks to everyone for the recipes and cooking tips! And thanks to everyone in the office who donated money since we were able to save three turkeys!

Thanksgiving is also McPuppenstein’s favorite holiday because there are always leftovers. He is not, however, allowed to eat from the table which  I guess is rather specist.

I am also thankful that there is still some pumpkin pie

VeganMoFo Pumpkin Sage Pasta- the ultimate fall comfort food

I have never owned a real casserole dish, in the past I have always used a very old 8X8 glass baking dish for nearly all of my baking needs. Since I started preparing recipes from the VEGANOMICON I bake  things in the oven and make a lot more casseroles than any other time in my life so I really need a new dish. I saw this beauty and I had to have it and now I have been using it left and right, forcing items into is sleek oblong shape.

I have wanted to make this recipe for Pumpkin Sage Crusted pasta since I first read about it; pasta with cashew ricotta mixed with caramelized onions and pumpkin combing for the sauce and then a crusty top of bread crumbs, walnuts and sage. Somehow I managed to hold off until the dish was weather appropriate. In my case in Austin TX that means the time when we get to where pants and turn off the AC because *gasp* it is only 85 degrees outside. My partner’s parents are coming in a couple weeks and I thought I  would give this one a dry run to see if it would meet the not-in-laws approval.

This dish was fantastic! It is everything that I ever wanted but never find in Vegan Mac and Cheese. The problem with Mac and Cheese is that it is trying to be mac and cheese (which I used to love to make) and it will never be the same as its dairy counterpart. The Pumpkin Pasta, on the other hand, isn’t trying to be anything but a yummy, gooey, noodley casserole with a crispy top and so it succeeds by not having to compare to its non-vegan version. I usually find that the key to good vegan food is to

  • not try to be something else
  • utilize the wonder that is vegetables

and here the vegetables really shined. There are few things better in this world than caramelized onions and I realized I should really cook with pumpkin more. The cans are cheap and easy to work with and don’t seem to contain a lot of strange preservatives like some processed canned things and you don’t have to peel anything with is what is usually annoying about winter squashes. I served this dish with roasted asparagus and it made 6 meals. Six actual meals, not 6 “servings” which isn’t usually very correct for us. I think I will make it again for the family or at least the next time I am feeling sorry for myself. I think it would be a great recipe to southwesternize too, using cumin instead of sage for the topping and mixing jalapenos, sauteed peppers and maybe a can of tomatoes into the sauce. Me Gusta calabaza!