Recipes by Joshua Ploeg
Season’s Greetings everyone! Leaves are falling,
the wind is whistling, and we all know what that means—Halloween
(or Samhain to you celtophiles out there) is just around the corner.
Thus, it is time to fire up the oven and get to cookin’. “Cookin’
what?” you ask.
No, not children, but rather this delicious vegan October feast! We’ll
start with our favorite guest on Halloween night, “Happy Jack” the
Skewered Pumpkin with Hazelnut Mayonnaise
1 Small Pumpkin (around 10 lbs., not “miniature”)
3 Large Onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 or 4 Bell Peppers (different colors), seeded and cut into large chunks
Some Margarine, melted
Salt and Pepper
Skewers (if using wood, soak them in water just before use)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half with a good knife,
remove the seeds and all that stringy stuff, and clean out well. (You
may separate the seeds and set them aside in a bowl, and get rid of
2. Peel the pumpkin and chop it into generous bite-sized chunks.
3. Slide the pumpkin chunks onto skewers alternating with peppers and
onions (you may also use tomatoes if you like).
4. Brush them with melted margarine, sprinkle with salt and pepper to
taste and bake on a broiling pan for 50 minutes to an hour, turning
and brushing occasionally with more margarine.
5. You may add some herbs to the margarine for brushing if you wish
(please do!). Serve with the following.
1/2 C. Hazelnuts, skinned, chopped, and lightly toasted in a dry pan
with a pinch of salt
Sugar or sweetener of your choice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/4 C. Oil (Olive or Hazelnut)
1or 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 t. Thyme Leaves (or Sage)
1/2 C. Silken Tofu
Water or Vegan Milk, as needed
Optionally add a dash of hot sauce to liven it up
1. Puree until smooth hazelnuts, lemon juice, oil, garlic, thyme and
a pinch of salt. Add as much liquid as necessary to accomplish the task.
2. Add tofu and puree, using more liquid as needed.
3. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste and blend until smooth.
4. Allow flavors to mingle for awhile before serving.
Samhain is known to some as the Celtic New Year. In a country-fried
New Year’s meal, we eat Hoppin’ John, which is blackeyed
peas and rice. I thought instead I’d concoct a special New Year’s
dish for this that any ghoul could love. Since nothing edible is as
spooky and mysterious as the mushroom and no fruit-type thing is more
from Hades than the pomegranate, I give you…
2 C. Mixed Mushrooms, use a mix
of various kinds (if some of them are dried, reconstitute them according
to the instructions), chop them if they are very large
1 or 2 Leeks, cleaned, hard parts removed and chopped into matchsticks
(an onion works also)
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/4 C. Candied Orange Peel, chopped (optional; golden raisins may be
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/4 C. Tamari
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
3 t. Red Curry Powder
A Dash or Two of Red Wine
1 T. Margarine
1 T. Corn or Olive Oil (or more)
1/4 C. Cilantro, minced
1/2 C. Pomegranate Juice (Currant also works)
1 or 2 T. Sugar
Vegan Sour Cream
Green Onions, chopped
1. In a large skillet begin sauteeing leeks, peppers, bay leaf and garlic
2. After 2 minutes, add lemon juice, some wine, a bit of sugar and curry
powder. Cook, stirring for a few minutes.
3. Add mushrooms and tamari and cook for five minutes more.
4. Add pomegranate juice, cilantro and candied orange peel. Cook for
five minutes, then add some vegan sour cream (as much or as little as
you want to get desired consistency) and the margarine, and adjust the
seasonings to taste.
5. Cook for a 5-10 minutes or until you like the taste (perhaps an eternity!).
Serve with rice, cooked by your favorite method in mushroom broth with
some salt, garlic and a few pinches of saffron for color. Garnish with
scallions and pomegranate seeds.
Cinnamon-Molasses Bread Pudding
Won’t trick-or-treaters be surprised when you dump a ladle-full
of this piping hot pudding into their bag! It’s dessert time!
3 or 4 Slices White Bread with crusts, stale or lightly toasted, cut
1/2 C. Brown Sugar (or Sucanat)
1/4 C. Unbleached White Flour
1/2 C. Silken Tofu
2 C. Vegan Cream or Milk (Vanilla is good!)
2 Large Apples, cored and chopped, sprinkled with lemon juice (I use
Fuji apples but Granny Smith is per- haps a more fun choice)
1/2 C. Molasses (or Maple Syrup)
1 1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon
2+ T. Margarine
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 10” pie or tart pan with
melted margarine and lay the bread cubes in this.
2. Puree until smooth the brown sugar, vegan cream, tofu, flour and
cinnamon and pour it over the bread.
3. Gently press the bread down, so that it at least temporarily gets
coated with the liquid.
4. Dot the top of the mixture with 1 T. margarine. Lay the apples down
evenly on top of this.
5. Mix together molasses with a T. of water and remaining cinnamon
and pour over the top. (If using maple syrup, you don’t have
to add the water.)
6. Cut up other T. of margarine and dot the top with it.
7. Bake for 50 minutes.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Some whipped topping will jazz
it up when served and for all of you with a sweetfang, a caramel sauce
will make it decadent!
Pumpkin Seed Corn on the Cob
What to do with those old pumpkin seeds? Try this delicious and
unusual corn on the cob recipe.
Pumpkin Seeds, cleaned and patted dry
Several Ears of Corn, husks and silk removed
Salt and Pepper
1. Roast/dry the seeds in a pan with some salt in a 250 degree oven
for 1 hour.
2. Brush pumpkin seeds with tamari and oil and toast in a dry pan until
good and tasty. Allow them to cool and then grind them into a powder
of a flour/ cornmeal consistency.
3. Boil some water and drop the corn into it. Bring to a simmer, cover
and turn off heat. Allow corn to sit for 8-10 minutes. Drain and wait
until cool enough to handle.
4. Rub them with margarine, roll them through ground pumpkin seeds,
baste with some melted margarine, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili
powder and then broil, turning once, on a pan until done to your liking.
(Some broiling marks are nice, but try not to burn it much.) It also
works just rolled like that and fried. This is a good side dish. And
yes, just leave the shells on—it works fine that way.
Joshua Ploeg is an Oregon-based vegan chef who’s
written two DIY cookbooks of some of the most original and appetizing
vegan recipes you can find: Something Delicious This Way Comes: Spellbinding
Vegan Cookery and Twelve Knights In My Kingdom, available from K Records
and Distribution (www.kpunk.com)
or by contacting him: firstname.lastname@example.org. Free monthly vegan recipes
and more at: www.webspawner.com/users/joshuaplague.