This mild mashed potato-stuffed winter squash makes a great alternative main dish for Thanksgiving, but it’s any time during fall harvest season or as a winter comfort food. Double the recipe to feed a bigger crowd. Each stuffed winter squash half can serve as a main dish portion; or cut each half again to make 8 smaller side dish portions. Photos by Rachael Braun.
- 2 medium butternut or carnival squashes (1½ to 2 pounds each)
- 6 medium potatoes, any variety, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, cut into thick 2-inch-long matchsticks
- ½ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Nutritional yeast to taste, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers. Cover with aluminum foil and place the halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife but still firm. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp, leaving a firm ¼- to ½-inch-thick shell all around. Mash the pulp and set side until needed.
- Meanwhile, combine the potatoes with enough water to cover in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then simmer steadily, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and carrot and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden and the carrot is tender-crisp. Remove from the heat.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the milk and mash until smooth. Stir in the onion-carrot mixture, followed by the peas, nutritional yeast, and nutmeg. Add the reserved squash pulp, and stir gently until the mashed potato and squash are well integrated.
- Divide the mixture evenly among the four squash shells. Bake for 15 minutes, until well heated through. Serve each half as one substantial portion, or cut each half crosswise to make 8 smaller portions.
Variation: Substitute 1 large sweet potato for 2 of the other potatoes.
- Here are more recipes to enjoy a Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly Thanksgiving.
- Find more ways to make Special Occasions and Entertaining easier and healthier.
- Here are lots more winter squash recipes.
This tofu noodle skillet is a vegan version of the vintage tuna-noodle casserole that evokes 1950s TV moms in shirtwaist dresses, wearing pearls. Firm and chewy baked tofu stands in for the tuna. The first few time I made this, I baked it, which tends to dry it out quite a bit.
When I made it again, I realized that there’s really no reason to bake it, as all the ingredients are cooked and ready, needing just a spin in the skillet to pull eveything together. However, if you’d like to make this more casserole-like, simply transfer to a small casserole dish and serve from there. Or, you can make it ahead of time, and then reheat briefly in the oven in a casserole dish. Serve this mild dish with plenty of green veggies — broccoli, broccoli rabe, greens, or green beans. more→
Fattouche salad is a Middle Eastern classic that’s not as well known in western culture as is tabbouleh, though maybe it should be — it’s just as delicious. It gets its characteristic touch from the use of small bits of toasted pita bread mingling with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. It’s good all year round, though especially tasty with summer tomatoes more→
Seriously—who needs fake meat when you can make hearty, beautifully textured dishes using grains and beans? This serves up deliciously on rolls, but if you’re not a bread person, you can serve the mixture in a lettuce-leaf cup or atop a corn tortilla. Serve with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes and any slaw-style salad. Fresh corn on the cob when in season is a great addition as well. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons broth or water
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or one15- to 16-ounce can (drained and rinsed)
pinto or red beans, coarsely mashed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 15- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium tomato, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 whole grain rolls, English muffins, or mini-pitas
Combine the quinoa with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil, broth, or water in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and sauté until both are golden.
Add the remaining ingredients except the bread of choice, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, loosely covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the skillet stand off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle further and for the quinoa to absorb the tomato flavors.
Evenly spoon the filling over the bottoms of whole-grain rolls, cover with the tops, or serve open-faced.
Per serving: 252 calories with oil, 223 without oil; 5g fat with oil, 2 g fat without oil; 400 mg sodium; 44g carbs; 9g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 11g protein
Here are more:
- Easy bean main dishes
- Vegan sandwiches and wraps
- Vegan burger recipes
- Quinoa recipes
- of VegKitchen’s Vegan Dinner Recipes and more Main Dishes Featuring Grains and/or Beans.
This cold linguine salad features vibrant flavors provided by artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and lots of fresh parsley. It will hold up well on hot days or when being transported to a potluck. If you prefer to have it warm, by all means, do so. Simply skip the step of rinsing the pasta in cool water and use it straight after it’s been drained. For a complete meal, serve with a simple chickpea salad. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
A trio of cleansing veggies—cucumber, lettuce, and sprouts—result in a great green lemonade.This blended juice is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day, but can be used year-round as a tonic, especially on a day when you feel you’ve eaten too much. Try some of the variations suggested, or alter it to suit your taste. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
Kale has been the rock star of the greens world for a while now, and while it is a good thing, eating a lot of it can grow old pretty quickly. Sure, there’s spinach and arugula, both versatile and tasty; and bok choy has become a staple on supermarket shelves. But to stay motivated to make greens a staple in your daily fare, using a variety is a good plan. Here are 5 leafy greens that are often overlooked and underused, and some ways to enjoy them. Adapted from Wild About Greens. more→
This easy vegan broccoli quinoa casserole of made out of quinoa, broccoli, and vegan cheese makes for a dish that’s both nourishing and comforting. Serve with baked sweet potatoes (start the sweet potatoes in the oven about 45 minutes before starting to bake the casserole) and a salad of dark greens and ripe tomatoes. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
This simple recipe for chard with pinto beans is inspired by a Native American recipe made with wild greens. It’s an excellent way to use up big bunches of chard when it’s in peak season. You can use any variety of chard — green, Swiss, rainbow — our favorite is the latter. You can substitute other greens in whole or in part, too — kale, collards, spinach, mustard greens, etc. Try this side with tortilla dishes that don’t themselves contain beans, like vegan quesadillas. more→
The synergy between hearty BBQ tempeh croutons and crisp salad veggies dressed in creamy vegan ranch dressing is most appealing. First presented as one of our Vegan Dinner Hacks, paired with sweet potato fries, this is a more formal recipe. But not so formal that you have to follow this recipe precisely — far from it. The barbecue-flavored tempeh croutons make any salad hearty and satisfying; you can vary the kinds of salad veggies here as you’d like. more→
When people go plant-based, it can be challenging to put together an entire meal; we often get the question: what goes with what? That’s why we offer easy vegan meal plans for every mood and season. These menus are designed to help you create healthy dinners all year round. Of course, they’re flexible; you can swap in a different companion dish, or just have the main dish on its own or with a simple salad. Some of these menus have dessert suggestions, some don’t; fresh fruit is always a welcome way to end a healthy meal on a refreshing note. more→
“Ugly produce” — that is, recovered fruits and vegetables deemed too imperfect enough for market — could be a key to fighting hunger. Especially now that organizations like Hungry Harvest are taking this intransigent yet solvable problem into their hands.
Did you know that 6 billion pounds of produce goes to waste each year in the U.S. alone? At the same time, about fifteen percent of the population goes hungry each day. Millions of the food insecure are children. Inefficient food systems, income inequality, and “food deserts” where fresh food is unavailable are all part of the problem. But rescuing perfectly edible produce that would otherwise be dumped in landfills can be part of a beautifully logical solution. more→