Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipes - Vegetarian Faux Turkey Holiday Roast

Here's a main dish roast that's holiday fare whether you're a vegetarian or not.

It makes a perfect main dish for Thanksgiving dinner or a thoughtful alternative entree when vegetarians and non vegetarian are sharing the same table.

This recipe is from Bridgette Mars, a practicing herbalist and nutritional consultant in Boulder, Colorado and was originally printed in The October/November 1993 issue of The Herb Companion Magazine.

We haven't tried this recipe yet but it sounds so yummy that we'll be including it on our holiday table at Cheesecake Farms.

Vegetarian Holiday Roast

1 1/2 cups lentils (3 cups cooked)
7/8 cup millet (3 cups cooked)
1 cup brown rice (3 cups cooked)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or 2 cups whole chestnuts
3 slices whole wheat toast, crumbled
1/2 cup almond butter
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon dried celery seeds
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups chopped seitan (prepared wheat gluten - optional)

Cook lentils, millet and rice separately and reserve 2 cups of lentil liquor for making Mushroom Gravy (below).

If you are using whole chestnuts, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the nuts and cut a cross about 1/2 inch deep in the small, pointed ends. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and bake about 20 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes. Remove shells and cut the nuts into quarters.

Mix the cooked grains and lentils with nuts, bread crumbs and almond butter in a large bowl and set aside.

Saute onions briefly in olive oil, then add the garlic, sage, celery seed, rosemary, salt and seitan, if used.

Saute 2-4 minutes longer, stirring constantly, then add to the other ingredients, mix thoroughly (mooshing with fingers works best), and put into a large oiled baking dish.

Lightly coat the top of the roast with olive oil, then bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours. Serve with Mushroom Gravy (below) and garnish with parsley.

Mushroom Gravy
Make 1 quart

20 medium-size mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 cups lentil liquor (from recipe above)
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Separate the mushroom caps from their stems, then quarter the caps and halve the stems. Saute the onion in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute, then stir in the oregano and add the mushrooms.

Cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms have softened and the bottom of the pan is covered with liquid. Set aside.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, then stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the lentil liquor and water, and continue stirring until the mixture thickens and barely begins to boil.

Add the mushroom mixture, salt, and pepper, and continue stirring until the gravy again begins to boil.

Remove from heat and serve.

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Check back tomorrow as we count the days till Thanksgiving with scrumptious recipes for festive fall fare.

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