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Each day for the next three weeks, the Well blog will feature a new vegetarian or vegan option for your holiday table. All of this year’s recipes will be updated daily in our interactive recipe collection. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you’ll discover mouthwatering new dishes created by an all-star lineup of chefs, cookbook authors and television food personalities. So get ready to save a turkey and savor the flavors of your most creative Thanksgiving ever.

To kick off Well’s Third Annual Vegetarian Thanksgiving, we teamed up with the popular vegan chef Nava Atlas, whose new book, “Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions,” hits bookstore shelves today.

Ms. Atlas offers a starter of coconut butternut squash soup; a side dish of black rice, corn and cranberries; a colorful kale salad; and a hearty vegetable couscous suitable for serving as a main course.



Coconut butternut squash soup. 
 Vegan Holiday Kitchen’s

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Once you’ve got the squash baked, this soup comes together quickly. The mellow flavors of squash, kale and red onions synergize delectably and look gorgeous together as well.


1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 large yellow or sweet white onion, chopped
1 medium apple, any variety, peeled and diced
2 cups prepared vegetable broth, or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder
2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg or allspice
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 medium red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 good-size bunch kale (about 10 to 12 ounces)


1. To bake the squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut in half and place halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking dish and cover tightly with more foil. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife. Scoop out and set aside.

2. Heat about half the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the apple, squash, broth and spices. Bring to a steady simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Transfer the solids to a food processor with a slotted spoon, in batches if need be, and process until smoothly puréed, then transfer back to the soup pot. Or better yet, simply insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until smoothly puréed.

5. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until well heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed before serving.

6. Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the red onions and sauté over low heat until golden and soft.

7. Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves off the stems and cut into thin shreds. Stir together with the onions in the skillet, adding just enough water to moisten the surface. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes.

8. To serve, ladle soup into each bowl, then place a small mound of kale and onion mixture in the center.

Yield: 8 servings.


Black rice.
Vegan Holiday Kitchen’s

Black Rice, Corn and Cranberries

The first time I came up with this recipe, I thought I’d better cut the recipe in half so my family of four wouldn’t be eating it for the rest of the week. What a mistake — we tore through it in no time. While it’s a festive eyeful, it’s too good to save for only special occasions, and too simple not to make for everyday meals.


1 cup black rice or wild rice
3 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice, or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for topping


1. If using black rice, combine in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If you’d like a more tender grain, add 1/2 cup additional water and cook until absorbed. If using wild rice, combine with 3 cups of water and cook as directed above.

2. Just before the rice is done, heat half the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden. Add the scallions and corn kernels and sauté just until warmed through.

3. Transfer the cooked rice to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add the lime juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, thyme, cranberries and remaining oil. Gently stir the mixture, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, transfer to an attractive serving platter and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.

Yield: 8 servings.



Massaged kale salad.
Vegan Holiday Kitchen’s


Massaged Kale Salad With Cranberries and Cashews

There are so many ways to vary this salad: You can toss in some slivered baby carrots, add diced pears or apples, substitute another kind of nut, or add a bit of thinly shredded red cabbage for extra color or sliced celery or bok choy for extra crunch. Even in its simple form, as presented here, it’s luscious and festive.

1 good-size bunch kale, washed and dried
Olive oil or other vegetable oil, as needed
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crushed toasted cashews, or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste


1. Strip the kale leaves off the stems. Cut into ribbons and place in a large bowl.

2. With a little olive oil rubbed into your palms, massage the kale for a minute or so, until it becomes bright green and softens a bit.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve at room temperature.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.



Seven vegetable couscous.
Seven-Vegetable Couscous


Seven-vegetable couscous is a well-known offering at Sephardic Jewish New Year celebrations, but since it’s a bountiful, colorful tribute to the harvest, it makes a great meat-free main dish for Thanksgiving as well. Despite the long ingredient list, it’s as easy as can be to make.


1 1/2 cups couscous, uncooked
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup finely shredded white cabbage
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins (for garnish)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley (for garnish)
Sliced or slivered toasted almonds (for garnish)


1. Combine the couscous and 3 cups boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in the margarine, turmeric and salt. Cover and set aside.

2. For the vegetable stew, heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Stir in cabbage and sauté until it and the onion are lightly golden.

3. Add the remaining stew ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add water as needed to produce a moist, but not soupy, consistency. The vegetables should be just tender, but still firm.

4. To serve, arrange the couscous on the outer edge of a large serving platter and make a well in the center. Pour the vegetable mixture in the center, then sprinkle with the garnishes, topping with sliced or slivered toasted almonds. Let each guest place a mound of couscous on his or her dinner plate and top it with the vegetable mixture.


Yield: 8 servings.

Views: 462

Replies to This Discussion

Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2010


Check out the many, many interesting recipes from last year! - LINK

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

Portobello, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms give this Thanksgiving gravy a deep, savory flavor -- no meat required. Sauteed shallots and an optional dash of Marsala wine add additional complexity.



  • 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


  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.
  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.
  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.


Meatless Thanksgiving Recipes - Martha Stewart - LINK

Broccolini and Feta Galette

Thanksgiving may be traditionally centered around a turkey, but there's no need for vegetarians to be left out of the feast. These savory and satisfying meatless appetizers, side dishes, and main dishes will delight everyone at the table, vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Bring this rustic tart to the Thanksgiving table long before dessert. A simple dough is topped with hearty broccolini -- a natural hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale -- along with feta and Parmesan cheeses, then baked. If you prefer, swap broccoli florets for the broccolini and goat cheese for the feta.

Oooooohh, I'm going to make that mushroom gravy!

I wish I liked mushrooms. This gravy looks so good. I have to find an alternative.

This onion gravy looks good...



1 large yellow onion
3 large cipollini onions
1/4 c vegan margarine (like earth balance)
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1/2 c veggie broth
1 c soy milk

start with the onions, because those will take the longest.  remove the skin and chop them up into small slices.  i love cipollini onions because they are tiny and cute.  but i hate them because they are so awfully hard to peal.  that’s why i try to pick out the largest ones i can. if you can’t find cipollinis then use an extra half of a yellow onion.  remember that they will cook down significantly from their size when raw.

Melt the margarine and oil over high heat, then toss in the chopped onions.  mix around for a minute to make sure the onions are evenly coated, and so they’ve gotten a chance to warm up a bit.

Cover, reduce the heat to medium and let sit for about 45 minutes.  check on them and stir every 5-10 minutes (every 2-3 minutes towards the end) until they are much smaller in size, brown, translucent and sweet.

Toss in the salt and stir around, then sift in the flour and mix well.  add the veggie broth and turn up the heat to warm it up, but reduce the heat a little if it begins to bubble too much.  do the same with the soy milk and then cook down until it’s the consistency you’d like.  then you can set it aside and re-heat upon serving.

Thank you! This was Fantastic!

Vegetarian Gravy ***** (154 reviews)

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
71/2 cloves cloves garlic (minced)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tsps nutritional yeast
6 tbsps light soy sauce
3 cups vegetable broth
3/4 tsp sage (dried)
3/4 tsp salt
3/8 tsp black pepper (ground)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in the broth. Season with sage, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

The gravy recipes look good, I have a plan for that myself. =)

The caramelized onion recipe temperatures look on the high side, it would burn the heck out of my pans.

You're right!  Cooking onions on med for 45 minutes will certainly burn them. 

I am doing this for tomorrow! Oh, yeah!

I made the mushroom gravy for the Field Roast Celebration Roast. OMFG, the mushroom gravy is absolutely DELICIOUS! Can't wait to serve it tonight.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Orange Zest

  • 1 package fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more if you like it sweet)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger


1. Wash and dry the cranberries and add them to a small sauce pan.

2. Wash and dry your oranges and zest them, adding the zest to the cranberries.

3. Juice the oranges and add the juice to the cranberries. Now, you want to make sure you pick oranges with a lot of juice. How you do that is by selecting an orange that feels heavy and weighted for its size. Once you find the heavier ones in the bunch, give them a gentle squeeze. The perfect orange will not have much give to it.

4. Add the ground ginger. Now, if you like things spicy, then add a whole tablespoon. That is how much I use.


5. Bring the mixture of cranberries, orange juice and zest, and ginger to a light boil over a medium heat. Once you hear the first cranberry pop, turn the heat down to low. Cook according to desired consistency. If you want the cranberries to remain whole, cook for just a few more minutes. Cook for about ten minutes if you want a more chutney-style cranberry sauce.


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