Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

Easy Vegan/Vegetarian Stuffing

One of the most favorite things I cook for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas is stuffing or dressing, depending on where in the US you reside.  I love how all of the spices mix together like a marriage of flavors .  And it’s one reason (other than the meat consumption) why I know I could never eat Paleo.  Bread…at least for this stuffing…..is a tradition we <I> cannot miss.photo 3

Every year, my family knows, that it will grace our table.  They wait for it.  I make a ton of it; in fact oftentimes I have to mix in my giant party punch bowl to have a big enough bowl for mixing.

There’s an art to it, but once it’s mastered, it easy peasy.  My mother in law said someone asked her this year what her favorite part of Thanksgiving was and she replied, “My daughter in law’s stuffing!”

*For this recipe I cannot give exact amounts.  It all depends on how much or how little you are cooking.  This was my recipe this year.

photo 5 Vegan Stuffing

-Cubed and dried cornbread.  This year I used about 10 cups

-One and ½ large whole yellow onion

-One whole bunch of celery

2 sticks of butter or 1 cup of Vegan Butter

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Rosemary

-One whole bunch FRESH finely chopped Sage

-3/4 bunch of FRESH finely chopped thyme

-1 bag or about 2 cups of dried cranberries

-1-2 cups walnuts (usually I candy the walnuts)

-Veggie Broth

-Salt and pepper to taste

In large skillet melt butter and toss in onion and celery.  Cook until onions are translucent and celery is a bit soft.  DO NOT over cook.  I like mine a bit crunchy.

When done, mix with cornbread cubes.  With my mortar and pestle, I grind up the Rosemary, Sage & Thyme, then add it to the bread. photo Allow this to mix well together and cool somewhat.  Start adding in veggie broth a little at a time.  This part will be personal preference.  Some like a more mushy texture to their dressing.  I add just enough to coat bread well, and it starts to soften a tiny bit.  I do not like overly mushy stuffing.  After this is all mixed well, I add in the dried cranberries and candied walnuts.  This year, I did regular walnuts.  Add salt and a dash of pepper and mix well.  I really try to “fluff” it more than mix it to give it a lighter texture.

We do not stuff a turkey for Thanksgiving, so after stuffing is made, place into a casserole dish and bake it on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through.photo 1

Happy Holidays from our kitchen to yours~

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Pumpkin Sage Pasta

It is fall in North Idaho…or maybe it’s winter.  From the view out of my window, I would have to say…it’s wintery looking.  Today, snow is flying!  It makes me want to stay cozy, and bundled in my house.  It makes me want to blast some great music and cook comfort food.  So that’s exactly what’s on the agenda today.

First up a Chicken Pot Pie!  Hold up…all of you veg-heads out there.  Before you start getting all up in my business, about the fact that I am a vegetarian, and chicken pot pie contains….well…chicken.  Yes!  You are correct.  But as a Mama of kids that love my cooking, who have moved out of our house, and do not get home-cooked meals very often, unless it is “home-cooked” Ramen noodles, on OCCASION I cook for the offspring no longer gracing our presence on a daily basis.  And today…this one is for our daughter.  She LOVES chicken potpies.  I am still scratching my head, and clueless as to why.  But if Ramen is your way of life, think of the step-up she will be getting today!  A HUGE step up.  Because unlike her other “store bought” pies, this will be “real” food, from my kitch, and made with tons of love.  She will think she hit the jackpot!!

For our dinner, I found a new recipe I am trying out.  A Pumpkin Sage Pasta.  Still lovin’ the pumpkin, and usually do until AT LEAST the New Year.  It is just the epitome of fall for me.  I love the taste, and the smell it gives my house as I cook it!

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

4 ounces whole-wheat pasta

3/4 cup vegetable broth

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of dried oregano

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Vegan Parmesan for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until thoroughly warm, about 5 minutes. Taste, adding more sage if desired, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and let sauce rest for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to merge and sauce to thicken slightly. Toss cooked pasta with pumpkin sauce and taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with vegan Parmesan if desired.

Yield: 2 servings.

Orig rec: http://happyherbivore.com/cookbook/everyday-happy-herbivore/

Vegan Blushing Alfredo

Blushing Fettuccine

Vegan/vegetarian eating does not have to be bland, and taste like “health.”  Nor do you have to spend loads of time in the kitch.  This creamy, Alfredo Fettuccine may be vegan and healthy, but you would never know!

*You could of course, add regular dairy ingredients, however, I doubt it will taste NEARLY as good.

Blushing Alfredo Fettuccine

1 TBSP EVOO

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic

2 TBSP dry white wine

1/3 C Unsalted Raw Cashews

2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast

1/2 C  Vegan Cream Cheese

1-1/2 C unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (soy, almond, coconut, hemp)

1/2 C Marinara Sauce (I make my own, you can use pre-made if needed)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 lb fettuccine

2 TBSP minced, fresh, parsley

Black Pepper

In a saucepan, heat EVOO over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, cover and cook until soft.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a VitaMix (or high speed blender) grind cashews to a powder.  Add onion, garlic mixture, cream cheese, yeast, and process until smooth.  Add the milk, marinara sauce, and salt, blend until smooth.  Transfer to saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, keeping warm.

In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook fettuccine over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente.  Drain the pasta and return to the pot.  Toss with the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with the parsley and a few grindings of black pepper.

*Makes 4 servings

**You could also omit marinara for a more traditional fettuccine or add 2 cups of bite-sized cooked veggies for a great primavera.