(Above: Wild rice pilaf with butternut squash; recipe and photograph copyright Cathy Elton, 2011.)
A few weeks back I'd posted a link on the Fiddleheads FB page to Cathy Elton's Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge on her blog What Would Cathy Eat? that's worth a revisit. 25 people, including yours truly, submitted recipes that are new twists on old classics, all vegan or vegetarian and healthier than the traditional versions and offerings: lower in fat, sugar, gluten-free and so forth.
Then again, when I think about what appeared on our holiday tables back when I was growing up - gelatinous "gravy" from a can or jar, dehydrated "stuffing" from a box, potatoes cloaked with margarine and dolloped with sour cream, plus the ultimate triumph of corn syrup, the pecan pie - perhaps it isn't such such a challenge after all.
Thanksgiving is over of course but another set of holidays is "around the bend". (As your brain will most likely be by the end of January, particularly if you work in retail.)
But these recipes don't need the excuse of a "holiday" to give them a go; they are their own reason for being. Most utilize the wonderful, earthy ingredients particular to the season, (brussels sprouts, cranberries, winter squash, pears, etc); others make the most of items available throughout the year, such as garlic, quinoa and other grains.) I'm particularly intrigued by the vegan-apple pear, the quinoa bake, the variations on stuffed winter squash, the persimmon-arugula salad (I'm guessing that the escarole at the co-op from Hidden Brook Gardens, or any bitter green, would probably work as well), the wild-rice pilaf with butternut squash pictured above, the...well, you get the idea. Instant classics, every one.
Of course if you really wanted to add meat or eggs or dairy or, a cup of butter to any of them, that's easily enough done, but I doubt you will once you give the originals a try.
If you try any of these, do share your experience. (Rocked your world? Not so much?) And if you have a favorite seasonal recipe to share, especially along the lines of Cathy's challenge, and particularly using fresh ingredients available at Fiddleheads or whatever co-op is near you (but not exclusively so in either case) do drop me an line (see my addy in the sidebar) or share it in the comments.
/recipe-archive.htmlPrintable pdf files of the recipes on this blog can be found on our Recipe Archive Page.
Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.