November 22, 2012

Vegetarian Thanksgiving

I had always wanted to make a Thanksgiving lunch that we loved to have. All long for the past 12 years we had experimented with the feathered and leathered kind of TG recipes, but we did not relish them (partly because of our taste preferences). So this time I found the Well's Vegetarian TG recipes in NYT and liked it a lot. 

In the interest of world peace and harmony, which is in the TG spirit, we decided to pick from the recipe list 3-4 jewish and arab/palestinian recipes as a dedication to the cease-fire, and to reflect upon the fact that food from around the world taste well together, and so can people. It worked out perfect, we loved the food. Here are the recipes (some are modified to our liking) we tried for the day….

Hummus a la Sweet Pumpkin

  • Sweet pumpkin (sugar pumpkin) chunks - about a cup
  • 1/2 cup fava beans soaked and cooked
  • Tbs EV olive oil
  • Tbs sesame seeds 
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Saute pumpkin chunks in a tsp of olive oil and cook covered for 2-3 minutes till soft.
  • Transfer to a food processor or blender (I used VitaMix). Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add a little extra olive oil or water, and process until the desired consistency is reached. 
  • Serve with fresh cut carrots, and freshly made almond wheat rotis.
  • Yield: 3 servings

Coconut Mashed Yams With Raisins

  • 3 small yams, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (I used 2 garnet yams and 1 Japanese Yam)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I made this using 1 cup of fresh coconut and 3/4 cup of water in VitaMix) 
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes and drained

  • Place yam pieces in a large pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  • Add coconut milk, honey, salt and spices, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. 
  • Add more coconut milk for a creamier texture and more maple syrup for a sweeter flavor.
  • Mix in raisins and serve.
  • Yield - 3 Servings

Couscous and Cauliflower Kugel With Cumin

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 green chilly
  • 3-4 red pearl onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 head medium cauliflower - broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup freshly made paneer (add lemon juice and yogurt to boiling milk and pass thru a cheese cloth)
  • 1 egg

  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the cumin seeds and saute for 1 minute. Add onion, garlic and chopped green chilly and cook, stirring, until just about tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add water and salt to taste and bring to boil. Add couscous and remove from flame, keep covered for 5 minutes. Flake with fork and make sure no water remains.
  • Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and oil a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  • Finely chop the steamed cauliflower. Place in a mixing bowl. In a food processor, purée the paneer until smooth. Add the eggs and process until the mixture is smooth. Add salt and mix together. Scrape into the bowl with the cauliflower. Add the couscous and stir everything together. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Drizzle a tsp of olive oil over the top and place in the oven.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares or wedges.
  • Yield: 3 servings.

Chermoula Eggplant With Bulgur and Yogurt

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs olive oil 
  • 3 small (Indian) eggplants
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat (soaked for 3 hours)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • handful of raisins
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus extra to finish
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • handful sliced almonds
  • lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used my homemade yogurt passed thru a cheese cloth)
  • Salt

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • To make the chermoula, mix together in a small bowl the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, chipotle, lemon, 1 Tbsn of olive oil, salt.
  • Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise into 3-4 slices. Spoon the chermoula over each half, spreading it evenly, and place the eggplant halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Put in the oven and roast for around 12-15 minutes, or until the eggplants are completely soft.
  • Meanwhile, place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water.
  • Soak the raisins in the warm water. After 10 minutes, drain the raisins and add them to the bulgur, along with the remaining oil. Add the herbs, almonds, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve the eggplants warm or at room temperature. Place eggplant slices cut side up. Spoon the bulgur on top, spoon over some yogurt, sprinkle with cilantro and finish with a drizzle of oil.
  • Yield: 3 servings

Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Pie 

This one is not from the Well's list, but from Wholefoodsmarket recipes. After seeing ginger and coconut flavor, I could not pass off this recipe, and we could not could not hold back till today, we could not resist and had it yesterday itself ;-)

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 of a medium sugar pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk 
  • (1 cup of coconut with 3/4 cup of water in Vitamix)
  • 1/2 cup organic raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Crust: 

  • 1 cup of almond powder (Almonds in VitaMix or any dry grind blender)
  • 3/4 cup of fresh coconut 
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger ( I has sliced and soaked ginger in honey overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick pumpkin with a fork and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until very tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, to make the crust, grind coconut with dates and ginger without adding any water, transfer to a  bowl, mix in almond powder and a pinch of himalayan salt. Mix until moistened and well combined. Press mixture into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly.
  • To finish making the filling, peel roasted pumpkin and transfer flesh to the bowl of a food processor. Discard skins. Process until pumpkin is puréed. Add coconut milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and process until evenly combined.
  • Pour pumpkin filling into crust and bake about 50 minutes or until just set in center of pie. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Serve or chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.


  1. I liked the idea of bringing together different cuisines of the world and the vegetarian Thanksgiving. the dishes look delicious, hope to try some of them.

  2. Thanks Rema, didn't know you guys blog too..will have to browse thru..


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