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Holiday recipes from Main Squeeze Natural foods

COLUMBIATRIBUNE.COM | Marcia Vanderlip | 11/18/09

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BAKED SEITAN WITH VEGAN MUSHROOM GRAVY

1 package (about 1 pound) seitan

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced thin

1/4 cup shoyu or good quality soy sauce

Water to cover (about 5 to 7 cups)

Preheat oven to 375. Break apart the clusters of seitan. You can slice them into smaller pieces if you like. Combine all of the ingredients in a deep casserole dish and cover with a lid or foil. Bake 45 minutes.

For the mushroom gravy:

2 cups button mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup vegan buttery spread (soy butter; we use Earth Balance)

2-1/2 cups vegetable stock (we make our own stock, but good-quality broths are available in an aseptic box in health food aisles)

2 tablespoons shoyu (or good-quality soy sauce)

2 tablespoons organic whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt the soy butter. Increase the flame and add the mushrooms and sauté three to four minutes until browned. Add the vegetable stock and shoyu and simmer five minutes. Add the flour and herbs. Bring to a low boil and keep stirring, breaking up any lumps from the flour. Reduce the heat to low and keep stirring, eight to 10 minutes, until gravy has thickened.

Servings: 4

VEGAN MASHED POTATOES

8 medium potatoes, quartered (see note)

1/4 cup soy milk

3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery spread (soy margarine, see note)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot of salted water, boil potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. When potatoes are almost tender, heat soy milk and buttery spread in small sauce pan. When potatoes are fork-tender, drain potatoes very well and transfer back to pot. Add the warmed soy milk/soy butter. With a large spoon or potato masher, hand-mash the potatoes, eliminating most of the lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: We used local yellow finn potatoes from Share Life Farm for this recipe. The yellow finn is a delicate, yellow-fleshed, thin-skinned potato so we did not peel them. If you are using russets or a baking-type potato, peeling is best. Find soy margarine in the refrigerated section of grocery health food aisles or at Clover's Natural Foods.

Servings: 4

BRAISED LOCAL GREENS

2 pounds of mixed local greens, about 8 cups (we used mustard, kale and tat soi from Share Life Farm)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup water or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or the vinegar of your choice)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop washed greens into small bits. Over low flame, heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan or skillet. Add garlic and sauté one to two minutes (do not brown). Add remaining ingredients and simmer over a low flame, stirring often. (tongs are useful here). Cook over low heat 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been cooked off and greens are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 4

BAKED LOCAL APPLES WITH MAPLE GLAZE

4 large local apples

1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

4 dates, soaked in hot water

1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375. Carefully core the apples. Drain the water from the dates and chop them. Combine dates, 1/4 cup maple syrup, pecans, cherries and vanilla in a small bowl. Using your fingers or a teaspoon, stuff each apple, packing the filling in tight. Place the stuffed apples close together in a baking dish with just enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over the top of the apples. Bake 30 minutes, until apples are tender. Serve with low-fat vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Servings: 4

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