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More vegan holiday recipes from traveling chef Josh Ploeg (and others)

Easy Stuffing Recipe by Josh Ploeg

• 1 loaf slightly old or toasted (that’s cheating) bread. Mixing wheat and white is good, or even cornbread, cubed
• 2 chopped onions
• 1 C. chopped celery
• 1 C. chopped water chestnut
• 2 minced garlic cloves a stick of margarine plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to taste
• 1 tsp. each of marjoram and rosemary (more if fresh)
• 1 handful of chopped parsley
• 2 to 3 C. veggie broth with a few Tbsp. soy sauce added
• A few minced sage leaves
• A pinch or two of cumin
• Some orange cranberries if you like
• Throw a chopped carrot in if you want to

TIP: Jicama is an interesting replacement for water chestnut

Saute onion, garlic and rosemary in olive oil with a little salt and pepper. After 1 minute add celery and cook until onions are translucent. Next mix everything together (shave the margarine into this mess with a butter knife to incorporate it) and place in a greased casserole, cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour, remove foil and bake another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve soon thereafter. Regarding the liquid, the whole schmeer should be wet when mixed together but there should not be pools of liquid in your casserole, you dig? Anyway if it doesn’t seem “moist” enough for you at the end, you can always add a bit more liquid when you take the foil off.

Winter Medley by Josh Ploeg

• 3 C. Potatoes, diced
• 2 C. Squash, diced (and peeled if the skin is tough)
• 2 Tbsp. Rosemary, minced Salt and Pepper
• 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar, or other flavorful dark Vinegar (Chinese black vinegar is good in this)
• Olive Oil

Parboil diced potatoes (4 or 5 minutes in boiling water) and drain them. Heat oil in a skillet. Add squash, some salt and a dash of vinegar. Cook for several minutes until squash is sweaty and browned. Add potatoes, rosemary, the rest of the vinegar and black pepper to taste, along with several pinches of salt. Cook, flipping with a spatula occasionally, until browned and cooked, which will take up to 10 minutes. Salt to taste.

You may add a bit of water or broth (or whiskey!) to deglaze the pan if you wish and may also put the lid on to conserve moisture. Try not to stir it too much, you don’t want the potatoes to fall apart. You can add lemon juice or broth if it gets too dry. Throw some capers on there if you like, also not bad to mix sweet potatoes in with the potatoes, but they will get softer more quickly than regular potatoes do.

Here’s a weird terrine thing, how about this one?

Four Friends by Josh Ploeg

• 2 or 3 Braeburn Apples
• 2 or 3 Japanese Eggplants
• 1 Bunch Spinach Leaves, washed
• 1 lb. Extra Firm Tofu, drained
• 1 C. Cornmeal mixed with Chili Powder and Salt
• 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
• 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
• 1 Tbsp. Sugar
• 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
• 1 tsp. Onion Powder
• 1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
• 1 tsp. Fines Herbs
• 1 tsp. Whole Cumin Seeds, toasted
• Sweet Soy Sauce
• Apple Cider
• Balsamic Vinegar
• Lemon Juice
• Garlic Paste
• Pinch Chili Flakes
• Salt and Pepper
• margarine to dot the bastard

Grease a 10” round casserole, and preheat oven to 375°. Cut tofu in half lengthwise and thinly slice. Marinate in a shallow dish with the soy sauce, apple cider and garlic paste (you may apply this with a brush). Set aside.

Coat the spinach leaves with sweet soy sauce, salt and pepper, and lay them in the casserole. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the minced garlic and toasted cumin seeds. Dust the spinach with the seasoned cornmeal.

Slice the eggplants very thinly and coat with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice—set aside.

Core and dice the apples. Mix them with some lemon juice, fines herbs, onion powder, ginger, sugar, red wine vinegar and salt, and lay on top of the spinach.

Heat 2 T. of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the tofu slices in batches, turning once, until browned on both sides. Lay the tofu on top of the apples in the casserole. Lay the eggplant slice over this—you may spoon some leftover marinade on top of the whole affair if you wish. Sprinkle with cornmeal and dot with margarine, dust with some paprika.

Garam masala is a good spice addition to this.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cranberry, Sorrel and Pearl Onion Hot and Sour Soup by Josh Ploeg

• 8 C. Vegan Broth (use “golden”, you can make this with bouillon cubes or powder and water)
• 1 C. Dried Cranberries (you can use fresh or frozen too, but pop them first)
• 2 or 3 C. Sorrel or Spinach, chopped (cut into strips is nice!), remove stems
• 2 C. Pearl Onions or other miniature onions, peeled
• 1 1/2 tsp. Lemongrass, minced
• 1 tsp. Salt (use less if you dislike saltiness, more if you love the heck out of it)
• Chili Flakes and chili sauce, to taste
• Pepper to taste
• 1/4 C. Lemon Juice
• several Tbsp. Miso
• 4 Myrtle Leaves (or 2 bay leaves)
• 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
• Olive Oil

Bring broth to a boil in a soup pot with most of the salt, myrtle leaves, some pepper, chili flakes, lemongrass, and cranberries. Lower to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes.

In a skillet, heat oil (not much) and briefly sauté onions and sorrel with some chili flakes, pepper, garlic and a bit of salt. Cook until greens wilt.

Add to the soup pot after the 10 minutes are up, along with anything else you forgot.

Simmer this for about 15 minutes, add lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes more.

Adjust seasonings, remove from heat, stir in miso and serve.

Stuffed spaghetti squash by Genaro Ulloa

• 2 spaghetti squash
• 2 cans chickpeas or 1 cup soaked overnight
• 6-8 crimini mushrooms chopped
• 1 red pepper chopped
• 1 yellow onion chopped
• 4-5 cloves garlic minced
• 1 can black beans
• 1/3 cup red wine
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 medium tomato chopped
• 1/3 cup minced cilantro
• 1/3 cup minced parsley
• 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp coriander
• Several dashes of red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp sage
• 1 tbsp salt (to taste)
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp tahini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut your squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds, leaving the meat. Add chickpeas, parsley, cilantro (save some leaves for garnish), tahini and lemon juice to processor or blender until you have a smooth, yet grainy consistency. In a medium frying pan, sauté onions, mushrooms, red pepper, garlic and spices for several minutes. Add wine and reduce for 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure to let most of the liquid evaporate. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, and spoon mixture into squash. Place in the oven and cook for 40 to 55 minutes. Stab one with a butter knife to make sure the mixture isn’t to watery and has congealed. Take them out and let cool for a bit, then cut them in half.