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Published on November 24th, 2013 | by SoniaJHarris


Vegetarian Edition-Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Who says turkey has to be the center piece of the round table? Vegetarians have just as much (if not MORE) fun preparing their Thanksgiving feast! Thanksgiving is all about abundance or, often, overabundance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With healthy updates to classic dishes, the Thanksgiving recipes showcased here use high-impact flavors like fresh herbs, spices and seasonal fruits and vegetables to minimize the need for gobs of butter, cream and salt. Some dishes are healthy updates on classic dishes, while others are twists on traditional fare. Here are a few of my favorite vegetarian dishes:

Tofu Jambalaya




2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 of a package firm tofu (14 ounces), finely chopped
1 pound shelled shrimp, tails removed and deveined
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups instant rice, such as Minute brand
1/4 cup thyme leaves, stripped from stem and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes (15 ounces)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

STEP 1) Pre-heat EVOO in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
STEP 2) Cook tofu until browned. Add shrimp and cook for about 4 minutes or until they turn pink.
STEP 3) Add pepper and onion, and cook until softened, about another 4-5 minutes.
STEP 5) Stir in rice and toast for about a minute. Add thyme, chili powder, cayenne pepper, stewed tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a bubble. Turn down to a simmer, put a lid on and cook for about 15 minutes.


Broccolini and Feta Galette


2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 bunches Broccolini florets(1 pound total)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (3 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 large egg, lightly beaten

STEP 1) In a medium bowl, combine flour, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup cold water. With a fork, stir to combine. Knead dough 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
STEP 2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook Broccolini until bright green, 1 minute. With tongs, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
STEP 3) Roll out dough to a 14-inch round; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle dough with Parmesan and top with Broccolini, leaving a 2 1/2-inch border. Top with feta and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Fold dough border over filling and brush with egg. Bake until crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Wild-Rice Stuffed Squash


2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend (seasoning packet discarded)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

STEP 1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.
STEP 2) Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add shallot, garlic, and sage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and 1 3/4 cups water; bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 25 minutes.
STEP 3) Remove rice from heat, and stir in cherries and pecans; season stuffing with salt and pepper. Season the inside of each squash half with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, mound stuffing into halves, and serve.


Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy


1 portobello mushroom
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
4 cups organic mushroom or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Marsala wine, (optional)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

STEP 1) Remove stems from portobello, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms. Place stems and mushroom stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Strain; set aside.
STEP 2) Finely chop portobello cap, and set aside. Thinly slice shiitake and cremini. Place 3 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat; add shallots, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped and sliced mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are soft and browned, and all liquid has evaporated. Add Marsala, if using, and cook, stirring to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, and set aside.
STEP 3) Place the remaining tablespoon butter and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook until browned and fully combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the enriched stock; bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Add the reserved mushroom mixture and thyme, and stir to combine. Serve hot.


Sweet Potato Cannelloni


3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound each)
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 cup diced Fuji apple (skin on)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 piece (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, half grated and half shaved
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts (about 1 ounce)

STEP 1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap 1 sweet potato in parchment, and then in foil. Pierce several times with a fork. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
STEP 2) Meanwhile, peel remaining sweet potatoes. Using a mandoline or a chef’s knife, cut potatoes lengthwise into very thin slices until you have 30 slices. Trim each to a 2-by-4-inch rectangle.
STEP 3) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the sweet potato slices, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place slices on a baking sheet to cool slightly. Repeat.
STEP 4) Remove peel from baked sweet potato, and puree flesh in a food processor until smooth. Add cottage cheese, and puree until smooth.
STEP 5) Transfer potato-cheese mixture to a large bowl. Stir in apple, chives, grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
STEP 6) Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of a sweet potato slice, and roll up. Place, seam side down, in dish. Repeat. (Cannelloni can be refrigerated, covered, overnight; bring to room temperature before baking.)
STEP 7) Brush oil over cannelloni. Bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with walnuts and shaved Parmesan.


Apple Lattice Pie Baked In An Apple


4 large Granny Smith apples
1 (21 ounce) apple pie filling of choice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (14.1 ounce) rolled pie crust (Trader Joe’s has a fabulous option. Use just 1 of the 2 crusts in the box)

STEP 1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
STEP 2) Slice the top off each of your apples and scoop out the inside of the apple. I used a knife and a spoon to hollow out the apple.
STEP 3) In a small bowl, mix the apple pie filling with the cinnamon. Spoon the filling into the well of each apple.
STEP 4) Unroll one pie crust and cut it into fourths; one for each apple. Then cut each quarter into 1/4-inch strips.
STEP 5) Lay strips of the dough on top of the apple. Then take one new strip at a time and alternate weaving it over and under the pie strips already in place. Repeat until the top of the apple has been covered. Trim excess pie crust around the edges with a knife.
STEP 6) Place apples in a baking dish and fill with 1/4-inch of water. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust if golden brown. Remove from baking dish and enjoy.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

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