Thanks! An Autumnal Vegan Meal
By Joshua Ploeg
Ah, Thanksgiving is upon us again, like so much
stuffing and candied yams weighing upon your head. Often we find that
the old Thanksgiving dinner is like a frequent entry in the Macy’s
parade—rather an overinflated turkey. Instead of your day being
thankless, I thought I would offer up something lighter but still hearty
and perhaps more rewarding. Find your comfort in something new this
The cranberry harvest has just occurred up here in the Northwest, so
I thought it would be nice to share some new Oregon cuisine with you,
also featuring the fabulous and local myrtle leaf.
Cranberry, Sorrel and Pearl
Onion Hot and Sour Soup
8 C. Vegan Broth (use “golden”)
1 C. Dried Cranberries (you can use fresh or frozen, but pop them first)
2 or 3 C. Sorrel or Spinach, chopped (cut into strips is nice!), remove
2 C. Pearl Onions or other miniature onions, peeled
1 t. Lemongrass, minced
1 t. Salt (use less if you dislike saltiness)
Chili Flakes, to taste
Pepper to taste
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
2 T. Miso
4 Myrtle Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1. 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.
2. 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
3. Simmer this for about 15 minutes, add lemon juice and cook
for 5 minutes more.
4. Adjust seasonings, remove from heat, stir in miso and serve.
It may seem strange, but I often crave something a little “gamey”
in vegetarian cuisine. Fake venison I have never seen (sounds like an
experiment for another day), but it’s always huntin’ season
on the phony duck! Those of you with an aversion to faux fowl should
try seasoned tofu slices in this recipe, or—even better—slices
of portabello mushroom.
Fried Vegan Duck Breast With Lemon-Walnut
1 Lb. Vegan Smoked Duck or well-seasoned Seitan, thinly sliced
1/4 C. Tamari
1/4 C. Brown Sugar or Sucanat
Hickory Salt or Smoke Flavoring
1 C. Dry Garlic-herb Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
1. Mix together brown sugar and tamari, and use to
baste “duck” slices. (Save the rest for use in sauce.) Sprinkle
lightly with hickory salt, then dredge them through the herb-garlic
2. Fry in light oil until browned on both sides.
2 T. Margarine
1 T. Flour
Salt and Pepper
3 T. Lemon Juice
1/2 C. Walnuts, chopped
1 t. Paprika
1 t. Sugar
1 C. Broth
A Few Pinches Parsley and Tarragon, minced
1. Melt margarine in a saucepan, and add walnuts with salt
and pepper, and paprika. Sauté for a few minutes, then whisk
2. Stir in sugar and lemon juice to make a paste. Cook very
briefly and then whisk in the broth and herbs.
3. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, adjusting seasonings, until thickened
and done to your liking. Add more broth if it gets too thick. Toward
the end, stir in a few T. of sugar-tamari marinade to make this gravy
absolutely delicious. Serve with “duck” and medley. A dash
of wine may be added to this.
This dinner goes well with a mixed greens salad with a berry vinaigrette
and toasted almonds.
2 C. Potatoes, diced
2 C. Squash, diced (and peeled if the skin is tough)
2 T. Rosemary, minced
Salt and Pepper
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar, or other flavorful dark Vinegar
1. Parboil diced potatoes (5 or 6 minutes in boiling water)
and drain them.
2. Heat oil in a skillet. Add squash, some salt and a dash
of vinegar. Cook for several minutes until squash is sweaty and browned.
3. 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.
4. You may add a bit of water or broth 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.