Friday, November 23, 2007

Fall Casserole (Vegan)

Wow- I did it!!!!!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Really, a lovely day. I am fat, happy, and exhausted. And seriously, who needs turkey?

First recipe, my own Wild Rice Casserole with Sweet Potatoes, Leeks, Cranberries, & Pumpkin Seeds: (very loosely adapted from a brown rice with pumpkin recipe in last month's Vegetarian Times)

Coarsely chop a couple of sweet potatoes and a bunch of leeks (white and light green parts only-- save the dark greens for a soup later in the week). Arrange them in a oiled casserole pan and roast at 350 for about 30 minutes or so, stirring once or twice. The sweet potatoes should be just less than done because it will go back in the oven later. Look, doesn't it just look like fall??

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat a couple of swirls of olive oil, and gently sautee a small white onion and 2-3 carrot stalks (chopped) with 2 bay leaves, 2 t of ground sage, 2 t of ground rosemary, and salt & pepper to taste. When the onions start to get translucent, throw in a cup and a half of wild rice and 4 C of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the rice is done and all the liquid is absorbed, about an hour.

When the sweet potatoes and leeks are done roasting, pull the casserole dish from the oven and add in a cup of dried cranberries. The heat from the vegetables will plump them up a little. Once the rice is done, pour it into the dish, folding it in with the sweet potatoes and leeks until it's uniformly mixed. Top with 1/4 of toasted pumpkin seeds and put back in a warm oven to serving temperature.

It's the solid, earthy sweet potatoes meld just perfectly with the delicate leeks and the tangy cranberries. The sage and pumpkin seeds hint it toward Thanksgiving and the rosemary gives it a wild, almost forest-like essence, like you could be eating outside under a fir tree. Heavenly!

Coming soon on Food, Glorious Food, apple-onion stuffin' muffins (adapted from Rachel Ray), vegan make-ahead (up to 4 days ahead!) gravy, the best cranberry sauce you will ever eat, and the "so easy I shouldn't even call it cooking but so good it's the last thing people talk about on their way out the door" creamed corn.


iamchanelle said...

wow. that looks like magic. in a casserole dish.
did you save me some leftovers?
and i can't wait for the apple onion stuffin' muffin recipe!

krysten said...

top with toasted pumpkin seeds...



and yes, the corn! yay!! it IS unbelievably easy, and honestly, has changed my feeling towards corn altogether. it used to be that standby that was good, but not first i CRAVE that corn, and i also want to put dill on everything. ;-)