This time of year is a favourite for many of us. The colours, the harvest moon, the outfits, the smells, the weather, the crunchy leaves and of course the food!! Not only does this season mean that VegFest London is around the corner, but it's also the commencement of a lot of fabulous feasts and celebrations. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving weekend, or whether you just love the food of the fall harvest season, we thought we would share some amazing recipes for you to try out at your next holiday gathering or family feast.
VEGAN SAUSAGE & SPINACH STUFFED SQUASH
(recipe thanks to Joanne Gionet)
FOR THE SQUASH
2 small acorn squash
extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE STUFFING
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 package of 4 (368g) Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage 'sausages', casings removed
1/3 cup pale dry sherry
6 cups baby spinach
pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (make your own in a food processor with your choice of bread)
1 cup vegan cheese; such as Dalya mozzarella style shreds
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Cut each squash in half horizontally. Scoop out seeds. Cut a small slice off the bottoms so that the squash can sit flat. Drizzle with oil. Rub the oil to coat the entire surface of the squash. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast squash for 15 minutes; flip squash over and roast another 10 minutes or until you see it begin to caramelize. Remove squash from oven. (If the squashes are on the larger side, they will take a little longer to cook.)
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, deep frying or saute pan. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften and look translucent; about 4-5 minutes. Crumble the sausage into small bits... The best way of doing this is by using clean hands. Give the mixture a good stir and get the heat back up. Deglaze the pan with sherry. Immediately add the spinach and continue to cook and stir until spinach is wilted; 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, season with just a bit of salt and pepper, stir in bread crumbs and half of the mozzarella shreds.
4. Scoop filling into each squash. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella shreds over the tops of the stuffed squash. Place on pan and return to oven until heated through; about 10 minutes. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar before serving.
MUSHROOM PIE WITH SQUASH/POTATO MASH AND PANKO TOPPING
(recipe thanks to Joanne Gionet)
4 cups peeled and cubed squash (your choice)
2 cups peeled and cubed baking potatoes
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup Daiya cheddar shreds, divided
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 shallots, minced
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
8 ounces mixed mushrooms (your choice), coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package original veggie ground round
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup Daiya cheddar shreds (what's is remaining)
2 tablespoons melted vegan margarine
1. Place squash and potato in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 T. kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender...about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add almond milk and 3/4 cup of the cheddar cheese shreds and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, carrot, celery and mushrooms and cook until tender...about 10 minutes. Add thyme leaves and veggie ground round, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add tomato paste and water. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until the mixture is well combined. Stir in peas. Season to taste with S & P. Remove from heat.
4. Spoon the mushroom mixture into an 8 x 12 baking dish. Spread the squash/potato mixture evenly over top.
5. Mix the panko, cheddar shreds and melted vegan margarine together and sprinkle over top.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
And For Desert ...
Try this amazing Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan
::Celebrate with the community::
- Glassroots is hosting a Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday, October 9th - Stuff your face, instead of a turkey, with their Family Style Dinner for $35. Make your reservation online at glassrootslondon.com or by phone at 519-850-8688.
- Plant Matter Kitchen is hosting a Local Harvest Fall Feast on Wednesday, October 12th - Enjoy 3 courses + a drink for $40 and for every meal purchased, PMK will make a $10 donation to a local Food Bank! There are two seating times available: 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm - make your reservations soon.
- Fall is in full swing at Globally Local where they are all stocked up on holiday essentials including organic & locally grown: carrots, onions, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, turnip, rutabaga, pie pumpkin, and lots more! Grab a vegan roasts from Gardein or Tofurky or try one of their fabulous cashew pot pies. They are open all weekend from 10AM - 6PM (including holiday Monday) Shop, enjoy some made to order vegan fast-food, or pick your own apples at their London location located at 5619 Colonel Talbot Rd.
We hope you enjoy these recipes + the great community events. And we hope you feel the sense of abundance, gratitude and balance that this time of year brings.
Peace and love to you all!
<3 VegFest London