Gobble down these meatless alternatives

Images of a Thanksgiving feast: fresh oven baked turkey, dripping with savory broth; honey-glazed ham, carved into hearty slices; creamy mashed potatoes with sprinkles of chives and bacon bits; king crab macaroni and cheese casserole, crusted with breadcrumbs and fried onions. The list goes on.

While a dinner of this sort may make some mouths salivate uncontrollably, it is likely to underwhelm others, especially vegetarians. Luckily, creative cooks have crafted delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes that are sure to delight even the strictest of eaters. Here are some of our favorites.

Squash Stuffed with Quinoa and Wild Mushrooms

Ingredients.For squash: 1 four-pound buttercup squash—halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into six wedges; olive oil, for brushing; Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper;  2 tablespoons unsalted butter; light brown sugar; pure maple syrup. For sauce: ½ cup heavy cream; 2 tablespoons maple syrup; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 2 thyme sprigs. For filling: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter; 1 shallot, minced, plus 2 shallots thinly sliced crosswise; 1 bay leaf; 4 thyme sprigs; 2 1/2 cups water; salt and freshly ground pepper; 1 1/2 cups quinoa; 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, cut into 1-inch chunks; 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced; 1/3 cup chopped parsley. Note: for a vegan preparation, substitute butter with oil and heavy cream with asparagus broth.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper; arrange on a baking sheet cut side down and roast for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Flip the wedges and roast for 20 minutes, until just tender.

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar, maple syrup and thyme. Cook over moderately low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about three minutes. Turn the squash skin side down and brush all over with the maple glaze. Roast for ten minutes longer, until the squash is lightly browned and glazed.

3. In a saucepan, whisk the cream with the maple syrup. Add the garlic and thyme and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup. Discard the garlic and thyme and keep warm.

4. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the minced shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about three minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme and water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, then add the quinoa. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

5. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the oil. Add the sliced shallots and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the oyster and shiitake mushrooms and cook until browned on the bottom, three minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, six minutes more. Stir in the quinoa and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

6. Arrange the roasted squash on plates. Fill each wedge with the quinoa stuffing, drizzle the sauce on top and serve right away.

Source: foodandwine.com

Hearty Winter Vegetable Barley Soup

Ingredients.1/2 cup barley seeds; 8 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth; 1 teaspoon olive oil; 1 bay leaf (optional); 12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced; 1 onion, finely chopped; 3 carrots, thinly sliced;  1/3 cup corn; 1/3 cup peas; 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes; 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds; 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; 1/2 teaspoon parsley (optional); 1/2 teaspoon parmesan cheese (optional);salt and pepper to taste.


1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add bay leaf, rosemary, anise seeds and onion. Sauté until transparent.

3. Add carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry for two to three minutes.

4. Add barley and broth. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until barley is cooked to tenderness. Note: Add salt after barley seeds are cooked properly. Remove bay leaf before serving.

5. Add peas, corn and tomatoes. Continue to simmer for another ten to 12 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.

7. Garnish with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese. Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

Source: family recipe

Sourdough Stuffing

Ingredients.1 large sourdough loaf, crusts removed and cubed; 1 teaspoon avocado or olive oil; 1 onion, diced; 2 cups diced celery; 1 cup button mushrooms, brushed clean and diced; 1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly pan-toasted (optional) ; soy sauce; fresh grated ginger juice (optional); small handful flat leaf parsley-minced; water


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake until bread dries slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and sauté garlic and onion for two to three minutes. Add celery and mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 7 seven minutes. Combine bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, fried tempeh, pine nuts, soy sauce and ginger juice to taste and parsley. Slowly add water, while mixing until a soft stuffing forms. Allow to cool completely.
  3. To stuff squash, pack filling firmly into the opening, until firmly stuffed. Replace the squash top and place in a baking dish with a small amount of water to tenderize the squash. Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees, cover and bake until squash pierces easily with a fork.
  4. The exact baking time will vary, depending on the size of the squash, anywhere from one to three hours. (Note that any filling that doesn’t fit in the squash can be baked separately in a casserole for about 35 minutes.)

Source: veganandtasty.tumblr.com