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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including: better health, animal rights, food safety, frugal living, public health, global food crisis, resource depletion and the staggeringly huge contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change (pdf)

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health. Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis. Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney (Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!

Your guests will appreciate the thought and care that goes into this healthy, Earth friendly, spectacular holiday feast. These lovely recipes are from Vegetarian Times which has been a mainstay in helping me keep happy and healthy throughout my years of meatless eating. They have some great holiday food ideas-check out their site!

OYSTER MUSHROOMS ROCKEFELLER
This makes a luscious holiday side dish or starter with some toasted pita wedges. Instructions are for making in a single pan, but you can also divide the ingredients among small ramekins for individual servings .

    2 12-oz. pkg. fresh oyster mushrooms, tough parts of stems removed
    4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
    2 lb. baby spinach
    ½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Veganaise..yummy)
    ½ cup chopped fresh fennel
    2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    2 Tbs. chopped shallots
    2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread mushrooms in bottom of baking dish or baking sheet.

2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté half of spinach 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted, tossing occasionally. Remove from pan with tongs. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil to pan, and repeat with remaining spinach. Spread wilted spinach atop mushrooms in baking dish.

3. Whisk together remaining 2 Tbs. oil, mayonnaise, fennel, mustard, shallots, and garlic in small bowl. Spread sauce over spinach until well covered.

4. Bake 15 minutes, or until sauce begins to brown. Set oven to broil. Place baking dish under broiler, and broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Serve as casserole, or spoon servings onto plates.

SOUL_SOUP
BUTTERNUT SQUASH and BARTLETT PEAR SOUP
This recipe comes from Eco-Vegan Soul Chef Bryant Terry and Vegetarian Times and it's a fabulous winter starter or make a meal out of it with some crusty wholegrain bread. Serves 6

    3 Tbs. olive oil
    2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts finely chopped (3 cups)
    1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2 lb.)
    3 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces (1½ lb.)
    5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
    1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
    Pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, and cook 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring often.

2. Add squash and pears, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add salt, if desired. Simmer 20 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender.

3. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut milk. Purée soup in batches in blender or food processor, or use immersion blender in saucepan; blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan, and stir in thyme. Reheat over medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until warmed through. Season with salt and white pepper, if desired. Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds, if using.
November 2009

RAW KALE SALAD with ROOT VEGETABLES
So good!  This festive salad will take you through the holidays and all through the winter months, serves 6

    2 12-oz. bunches kale, stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips or chiffonade
    2 Tbs. olive oil
    1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
    1 ½ tsp. salt, divided
    1 cup whole pecans
    ¼ cup pure maple syrup
    2 Tbs. canola oil
    ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 medium turnip, peeled and grated (1 cup)
    ½ medium rutabaga, peeled and grated (1 cup)
    1 medium carrot, grated (½ cup)
    2 green onions, cut thin on diagonal

Dressing

    2 Tbs. lemon juice
    1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tsp. agave nectar

1. To make Salad: Place kale in large bowl, and pour olive oil, vinegar, and 1 tsp. salt over top. Gently massage mixture into kale about 2 to 3 minutes by hand, or until kale starts to wilt. Let rest 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together pecans, maple syrup, canola oil, remaining ½ tsp. salt, and cayenne in medium bowl. Spread nut mixture in single layer on prepared baking sheet; bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until pecans are brown and fragrant, stirring frequently. Cool in pan.

3. To make Dressing: Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, soy sauce, and agave nectar in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Stir turnip, rutabaga, carrot, and green onions into kale mixture. Toss with Dressing. Garnish with pecans.
October 2010 p.65

ROASTED VEGETABLE CORNUCOPIAS
Elegant and amazingly easy for a memorable holiday dinner. I've made these several times and they are always a homerun. Makes 8

    1 large egg or egg replacer
    1 17.3-oz. pkg. prepared puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Roasted Vegetables

    2 cups cauliflower florets
    2 cups baby zucchini, or ½ lb. regular zucchini, halved and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
    2 cups baby pattypan squash, or ½ lb. regular pattypan squash, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
    1 cup baby carrots
    12 purple pearl onions, peeled and halved
    6 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed
    ¼ cup olive oil
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh marjoram
    1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
    1 tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. To make Cornucopias: Tear off 8 18-inch-long sheets of heavy-duty foil. Fold each sheet into quarters. Roll each quarter into cone; bend “tail” if desired.

3. Beat egg with 1 Tbs. water and pinch of salt in small bowl. Place 1 puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface. Refrigerate second sheet until ready to use. Gently pull ends of puff pastry to stretch it out to 10 inches wide. Cut pastry sheet into 20 ½-inch strips. Loosely wrap 1 strip around pointed end of first foil cone, and spiral strip around cone, overlapping edges as you wrap. When strip runs out, brush end with egg wash, then press on second strip to adhere. Continue wrapping cone with 4 more pastry strips, “gluing” them with egg as you go. Repeat with remaining strips, cones and remaining pastry sheet.

4. Place cones on their sides on 1 baking sheet. Brush all over with remaining egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet.

5. To make Roasted Vegetables: Increase oven heat to 450°F. Toss together all ingredients in large bowl. Spread vegetables on second baking sheet. Roast 30 to 35 minutes, or until vegetables are browned and tender, turning every 10 minutes to make sure they cook evenly. Transfer to large bowl.

6. To assemble Cornucopias: Gently pull foil cones away from insides of cooled Cornucopias, and discard. If desired, toss vegetables with 2/3 cup Holiday Gravy. Spoon into Cornucopias, and serve.

WINTER SQUASH POT PIE with SWISS CHARD and CHICKPEAS
This rustic pot pie is a perfect healthy entree for a crowd. Can make filling up to 2 days in advance and all you need is a salad and wine and you're done! Serves 12

    4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (1 qt.)
    1 delicata or ½ red kuri squash, unpeeled, seeded, quartered, and cut into ½-inch-thick crescents (2 cups)
    1 lb. Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
    1 12-oz. bunch red Swiss chard, stems sliced, leaves coarsely chopped, divided
    1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
    1 tsp. salt
    1 ½ cups fresh or frozen organic corn kernels
    1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    ¼ cup olive oil
    2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced (4 cups)
    ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
    4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
    1 cup plain almond milk, rice milk, or soymilk
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry (½ 17.3-oz. pkg.), thawed

1. Bring broth, 3 cups water, squash, potatoes, Swiss chard stems, thyme, and salt to a boil in stockpot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves and corn, and cook 3 minutes more. Drain vegetables, and reserve broth. Measure broth, and add enough water to make 6 cups liquid. Transfer vegetables to large bowl, and stir in chickpeas.

2. Wipe out stockpot, add oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 7 to 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Sprinkle with flour and garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add reserved 6 cups broth liquid, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in almond milk. Stir sauce into vegetable mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool. (If making ahead, transfer filling to bowl, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 days.)

3. To assemble pot pie: Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour filling into deep 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

4. Gently roll out puff pastry sheet to size of baking dish on lightly floured work surface. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and chill 30 minutes.

5. Place chilled puff pastry sheet over filling on top of baking dish, and press around edges to seal. Use tip of sharp paring knife to score 4 rows of diagonal incisions into puff pastry (without cutting completely through), alternating directions with each row.

6. Bake 30 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

SOUL_GREENS_1
CITRUS COLLARDS with RAISINS
If you can only make one recipe from this diary this should be the one, it's that good. Takes collards to another level. This is Soul Chef Bryant Terrys signature dish, a well deserved honor. Serves 6

    1 ½ lb. collard greens, tough stems trimmed
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
    ⅔ cup raisins
    ½ tsp. salt
    ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1. Stack several collard leaves atop one another, and roll into tight cylinder. Slice crosswise into strips.

2. Cook greens in large pot of boiling, salted water 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain, and plunge into large bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add drained collards, raisins, and salt, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in orange juice, and cook 15 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Lattice Pie
CRANBERRY CHERRY LATTICE PIE
This beautiful pie says 'Happy Holidays'! Serves 8

    3 cups fresh cranberries, divided
    1 ½ cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling, divided
    1 medium orange, for zest and juice (1 tsp. grated zest; ⅓ cup juice)
    1 cup dried sweet cherries
    Refrigerated pastry for 2-crust pie (plain or whole wheat), or your fave recipe.  If you prefer a sweeter dessert, use refrigerated sugar cookie dough to craft the crust and lattice top.

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with foil, and coat 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

2. Place 1 1/2 cups cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, orange zest, and cherries in food processor, and pulse until berries are coarsely chopped. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups cranberries, remaining 1 cup sugar, and orange juice.

3. Roll 1 piecrust into 10-inch disc. Press into prepared pan. Spoon in cranberry mixture, and brush edges with water.

4. Roll second piecrust into 10-inch disc. Cut dough into 1-inch-wide strips using knife or fluted pastry wheel. Lay strips in lattice pattern over top of pie, pressing edges to seal. Trim off any excess from strips. Sprinkle lattice with sugar, and bake on prepared baking sheet 55 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden. Cool on wire rack.

VEGAN SUGAR COOKIES
A lovely gift or dessert, amazingly addictive. Makes 52 cookies

    2 ¾ cups flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 ½ tsp. egg replacer
    1 ½ cups plus 1 Tbs. sugar
    1 cup vegan margarine, softened (I use Earth Balance)
    1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    3 cups confectioners' sugar
    3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. vanilla soymilk
    ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
    white sparkling sugar or white sprinkles for topping

1. To make Cookies: Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl. Whisk egg replacer with 2 Tbs. water. Set aside.

2. Cream sugar and margarine in bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg replacer, and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, and beat until soft dough forms.

3. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll one ball to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough ball and scraps.

4. Bake cookies 15 to 17 minutes, or until light brown around edges. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

5. To make Icing: Beat sugar, soymilk and peppermint extract in bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Add an additional tsp. soymilk if frosting is too thick. Spread cooled cookies with icing, and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let icing harden before serving or storing.

"Help"   The Beatles

"From Me to You"  The Beatles

"Wonderful Christmastime" Paul McCartney and Wings

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!
Happy Holidays and Hugs!

Originally posted to Meatless Advocates Meetup on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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