Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Dinner with Family

Christmas Dinner was at my parents', as usual. Plenty of siblings, spouses, sisters and yummy food (don't know how much shows in the picture, but you sorta get the idea). My family is mostly vegetarian anyway, so we all contribute vegetarian food for large get-togethers such as this. And lucky for me, most everyone brings at least one vegan dish as well, so I'm always well-fed. (Yeah, like that's a problem!!).

This year's spread included stuffed mushrooms, a centerpiece dish of vegan "meatballs" with gravy, a beautiful salad with shredded carrots, jicama and beets as garnish, ranch dressing (made vegan just for me thankyou!) several types of rolls, mashed 'taters, fresh cranberry-tangerine relish, sweet potato gratin, green beans, orange-sauce beets, holiday wild rice pilaf, and a "relish tray" with veggies, assorted pickles and olives and stuff...

Whew! I gained 10 pounds just re-reading that paragraph!

OK, so this Christmas, I collected a couple recipes to share: My Holiday Rice, my Mom's Non-Meat Balls and Mushroom-Wine Gravy, and my sister's Stuffed Mushrooms. All of it yum-a-licious and wonderfully vegan, here you go....

Holiday Rice

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
3 cups vegetarian un-chicken broth, divided
1 cup apple juice
3/4 cup uncooked jasmine rice (white or brown)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios or hazelnuts
2 Tb. minced fresh sage

1 tsp. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tb. brown sugar

Rinse wild rice in fine strainer under cold running water. Drain. Combine wild rice, 1-1/2 cups veg-chicken broth and apple juice in 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, about 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, combine jasmine rice and remaining 1-1/2 cups broth in separate 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, 12 to 15 minutes. (I just cook the white rice in my rice-cooker with broth)
Stir apricots and cranberries into white rice; simmer 5 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 5 minutes or until fruit is tender; set aside.

Melt Earth Balance in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes until tender. Stir in nuts and sage. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
Add rice mixtures to skillet. Add remaining ingredients; cook and stir over medium heat about 2 minutes or until heated through, taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Non-Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy

1 cup firm tofu, mashed (not the silken variety found in vacuum-packed cartons)
½ cup wheat germ
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
½ Tbsp. onion powder
½ tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. each - oregano, garlic powder and sage
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and roll into small balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Spray oil over the top of the balls for a more crispy texture. Bake for 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.


2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup onions, chopped
2/3 cup flour
½ tsp. ground sage
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 ½ cups water
¼ cup dry red wine
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms, sauteed in margarine until soft
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and sauté onions and garlic. When onions are tender and translucent, stir in the flour, nutritional yeast and sage to form a paste. Slowly add water, soy sauce and wine, stirring constantly. When gravy starts to thicken, stir in the mushrooms, salt and pepper.
Add more water if necessary to thin the gravy. Pour over "meatballs" and heat in a casserole dish and serve.

Stuffed Mushrooms

16 large button mushrooms (or other mushrooms of choice), washed well
3 T. olive oil, divided
8 oz. firm tofu, frozen, and thawed
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
2 T. freshly chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lightly oil (or spray with vegetable oil) a large baking dish and set aside. Remove the stems from the mushrooms, roughly dice the stems, and set aside.

In a non-stick skillet, place 1 T. olive oil and the mushroom caps, and saute for 2 minutes per side. Remove the mushroom caps from the skillet, transfer to a large plate, and set aside.
Using your fingers, crumble the thawed tofu into a small bowl and set aside. In the same non-stick skillet, saute the reserved mushroom stems, onion, celery, and green onion in the remaining olive oil, for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the crumbled tofu, garlic, and thyme, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Fill the mushroom caps with warm filling, slightly mounding the tops, and place them in the prepared baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the mushroom caps are heated through and slightly browned on top. Transfer to a decorative platter for service and serve immediately. Yum!


Anonymous said...

what a feast...I think I gained weight reading that paragraph too. The meatballs look like something I'd like to try. Your recipes are always to good.

Wild that so many in your family are vegetarian...!!!!

Pixie said...

Your spread looks amazing. I'm definitely going to have to try that meatball recipe. I haven't found one we're happy with yet. I'd love to try that rice as well. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who likes fruit in my savory dishes. But oh well, more for me.

Candi said...

Whoa!!! Your dinner looks so good. I saved every recipe and cannot wait to try them! The gravy and red wine... Yum! I've never made my own vegan meatballs, so this will be fun! I think I will try this recipe for a birthday I am going to this weekend! :)

Thanks for sharing!!

bazu said...

How fabulous! You are SO lucky to have such a healthy, supportive family, and now you're passing on the tradition to your kids. I just love it. Thank you so much for the recipes, too. They will definitely come in handy.

Hey, I posted about your chocolate-chip cookies today!

Anonymous said...

all looks wonderful!