the appetizer:

Vegan Holiday Kitchen, More Than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions by Nava Atlas includes recipes like Pumpkin or Squash Mini-Loaves; Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn; and Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives.

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Pumpkin or Squash Mini-Loaves

Pumpkin or Squash Mini-Loaves

Makes 3 mini-loaves
Can be made nut-free by omitting optional nuts


This seasonal treat makes a nice gift to bring when you visit friends and relatives; it's also an easy everyday treat, full of nutritious ingredients, to make and enjoy at home. A mug of hot cocoa is the very best companion for this.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine the first 6 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.

3. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, molasses, and oil and whisk together until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir together until completely mixed. If the batter is too stiff to mix, add a very small amount of juice to loosen it a bit, but it should remain thick. Stir in the raisins or currants and the optional walnuts.

4. Divide the batter among three lightly oiled mini-loaf pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

NOTE: If you're baking sugar pumpkin or squash—butternut is the best for this—for another purpose, save a cupful to purée and add it to the batter. See instructions on baking winter squash below. Otherwise, organic canned pumpkin works well and is quite a time-saver.


How To Bake Winter Squashes or Sugar Pumpkins

A number of recipes in this book call for baked winter squash, so rather than repeat the same directions. here are a few handy steps to follow each time:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut away large stems from squash or pumpkin, then cut it in half (you'll need a really good knife to do this!). Place the halves, cut side up, in a foil-lined, shallow baking dish and cover tightly with more foil.

3. Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the squash and what you intend to do with it. If you ultimately need firm slices or chunks, or if you'll be stuffing and re-baking the vegetable, bake only until you can just pierce the flesh with a fork or knife. If you'll be pureeing the flesh, as for a pie or a soup, bake until easily pierced with a knife.

4. If you don't have a knife sharp enough to cut through a raw winter squash or sugar pumpkin, don't worry; prebaking partially makes squashes and pumpkins much easier to cut. Place the whole vegetable in the foil-lined baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake 15 minutes for smaller squashes, or 25 to 30 minutes for larger squashes and sugar pumpkins.

5. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem and cut the squash in half lengthwise.

6. Scoop out the pulp and seeds. Then proceed with directions given in individual recipes.


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This page created December 2011