by Robert Cohen -
Each time I write a column, I get dozens of replies and
comments from readers. Never before has there been such a response to a
column, and the hundreds of you who have written to me are requesting
Last Sunday, I prepared the mother-of-all vegan feasts
for 130 very hungry Rochester area vegetarians. I will do my best to
share a few of those recipes with you, just in time for Thanksgiving. In
each case, the recipe will be enough for eight people. Let there be
leftovers! Here are six of the dishes I prepared:
Cranberry Nut Relish
Mashed Potatoes w/Roasted Garlic & Red Onions
Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup
When I go to the market, I rarely know what I am going
to make for dinner. My meals are opportunistic, meaning that I buy the
freshest raw ingredients, and spread them before me when cooking. I then
merge colors and tastes into dishes.
I sometimes go to 3 or 4 different markets for
First stop is at my local Oriental market. We have an
enormous store (in River Edge, NJ) that combines Chinese, Japanese, and
Korean fruits, vegetables, and canned goods. There are dozens of
variations of exotic Chinese vegetables to select from.
Here is where I buy my baby bok choy. I also pick up a
vegan version of oyster sauce and a jar of fermented black beans in
garlic paste. There is a brand of cold-pressed sesame oil that I can
find nowhere else and dozens of brands of naturally fermented soy sauces
I then head to the Korean grocer whose store (on Rt. 17
South in Rutherford, NJ) does such tremendous volume that there are
always the freshest fruits and vegetables at their prime (in contrast to
supermarket veggies that are often stored for a few days or a week or
2 12-oz. packages mushrooms
Progresso Red Wine Vinegar
Salt, pepper, basil, oregano to taste
3 cloves finely minced garlic
Empty mushrooms into large bowl with enough water to
cover. Soak for about 30 seconds, turning until dirt and fertilizer are
removed. Rinse mushrooms.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Cook the mushrooms
for 5 minutes and drain. (The liquid can be stored for later use as a
starter for a rich veggie bouillon). Put mushrooms into bowl and add 1
cup red wine vinegar, 1 tbl. fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs
to taste. Let marinated mushrooms sit in refrigerator so that all the
CRANBERRY NUT RELISH
2 bags raw cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
¾ cup raw whole cashews
¾ cup raw whole walnuts
Mix sugar and water well and bring to a boil in a
5-quart pot. When mixture boils, add cranberries and cook for 10
minutes, stirring frequently. When cranberries begin to burst, remove
from heat, stir in nuts (they will soften from the heat to the most
remarkable texture). Pour relish into your fanciest serving dish and
2 quarts homemade soymilk (you can reconstitute
soymilk from unflavored soymilk powder)
4 medium size potatoes
1 medium size leek
6-8 vegetarian bouillon cubes (to taste)
Bring soymilk to boil in 5-quart soup pot. Peel potatoes
and cut into 1/8" thin slices. Cut leek in half lengthwise and wash each
piece well (leeks are grown in sand so they must be carefully cleaned).
Finely dice leeks. Add potatoes and leeks to boiling soymilk and cook
until potatoes are soft. Add bouillon cubes. Remove from heat and puree
in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning by adding salt and freshly
ground pepper. Can be served hot or cold.
TWO POTATO DISHES
The white potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked at the
same time – you'll see why.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap 8 large baking
potatoes and 3 large sweet potatoes individually in aluminum foil. Bake
for 90 minutes. Test the potatoes for doneness by inserting a fork or
knife (they will be soft to the touch).
Unwrap and remove skin from sweet potatoes and place in
a large bowl. Mash with maple syrup to taste (½ cup or more) and mix
well. Set aside.
Remove aluminum foil and slice baked white potatoes in
half. Scoop out the white part of potato, taking care not to break the
shells. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the empty shells.
Sauté 5 cloves of whole peeled garlic and one medium
chopped red onion in one stick of soy-based margarine until the onions
and garlic begin to caramelize (turn brown). Mash garlic and onion
mixture into the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heat both potato dishes before serving.
This dish is unique! It is guaranteed to become one of
your favorite recipes. Any liquid can be used to flavor eggplant. For
this dish I chose lemon sauce. You can substitute equal amounts of
marinara sauce of fermented black bean with garlic sauce, etc. There are
a thousands of variations.
two large Eggplants
three cups of flour
four cups of breadcrumbs
oil for frying
6-8 veggie bouillon cubes
3 cups of water
1 cup of white wine
First cook the lemon sauce. Add 6-8 bouillon cubes (to
taste) to 3 cups of boiling water. Add the wine and 1-2 tbs. of freshly
squeezed lemon juice. Cook until reduced by 1/2. Taste and add more
lemon or bouillon cube to your taste.
Now for the eggplant. Instead of using a traditional
"egg-wash" use flour and water. Prepare three bowls. In the first, put
in two cups of flour. In the second, add one cup of flour to a quart of
water and stir well. In the third, add the bread crumbs.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan until ready for
Peel and cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Dredge
in flour. Then, dip the floured eggplant slices in the "eggless wash."
Coat with breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Turn once
or twice to see that each side is cooked. Remove each piece from the oil
and drain well.
Now for the magic.
Add one cup of that magnificent lemon sauce to your
largest saute pan. Heat until the sauce bubbles. Add the eggplant, and
cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Turn the eggplant over so that
the remainder of the sauce is absorbed into each eggplant piece.
You would imagine that eggplant cooked in liquid would
turn soft, but just the opposite happens. If the pieces are not eaten
for dinner, count your blessings. This is the best leftover in vegan
Serve between two slices of bread or make the best vegan
sub/hero/hoagie the following day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving
Go on to A Holiday
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