Thanksgiving Leftovers: Stuffing Cake Christmas Tree (vegan & plant-based)

A Holiday Hybrid Worth Celebrating!

I continue to upcycle my Thanksgiving Leftovers, first, shaping stuffing into cakes and baking (25 minutes at 350 degrees), then stuffing corn pudding into orange bell pepper halves, baking, and topping with whipped cauliflower and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

For this stack, I gridded the thawed stuffing cakes (they freeze really well) and reprised them this morning. It was the most scrumptious breakfast/brunch, although you could serve it for any meal if you leave off the bourbon maple syrup…but don’t!

In between the cakes, I layered an arugula and butternut squash salad, topping the tree with a drizzle of the syrup, homemade cranberry sauce, a little Follow Your Heart vegan feta, and roasted pepitas.

And I still have half for a snack a bit later.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Idea #2: Corn Pudding Stuffed Bell Peppers (vegan & plant-based)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Idea #2

Corn Pudding Baked in an Orange Bell Pepper at 350 for 25 minutes.  I topped mine with leftover Whipped Cauliflower with Lemon Zest, Cranberry Sauce, and Roasted and Lightly Salted Pepitas.  Such a cozy quick meal after a packed day on a chilly night.

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Leftover Stuffing Cakes (vegan & plant-based)

Leftover stuffing?

Make Stuffing Cakes! Shape stuffing into patties about 2 1/2-inches in diameter and about 1/2-inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve garnished as desired. I like a little dollop of cranberry sauce, roasted and lightly salted Pepitas, and fresh sage sprigs.

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The BEST Cornbread Stuffing (vegan, plant-based, lower in calories)

Yield: 8 servings

Stuffing is everyone’s favorite, no?  Mine tastes so similar and every bit as delicious as the ones I remember from childhood, yet it is not only vegan but far lower in calories thanks to only 2 tablespoons of oil in the cornbread muffins, water sauteeing of vegetables, and the inclusion of cauliflower pearls rather than white bread. Though I love cauliflower, don’t worry, it does not taste–or smell!–of cauliflower.

And the texture is just perfect thanks to homemade cornbread–with actual corn–that goes together in a flash, sauteed onion plus the green part of green onions, water chestnuts–my late mom’s secret ingredient–and just a few dry roasted pecan halves.

My Mushroom Misto Gravy is the perfect accompaniment.

Note: please do not try to save time by using Whole Foods vegan cornbread. It is sweet enough to be cake and, last year, reacted to liquid like cake turning into a dense mass that ended up in the woods next to our house. I had to redeem myself this year.  And I did!

Cornbread:
Make cornbread a few hours–or a day–ahead:
3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon Vegan Egg (not tested with other egg substitutes but try it and share!)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy millk (I use soymilk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup frozen corn

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease 6 muffin cups and preheat for about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add vegetable oil and water.  Whisk together just until combined.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir in corn.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, remove cornbread muffins from tin and crumble into a large bowl.  Cover until ready to use.

Stuffing:
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups cauliflower pearls (buy them prepared or chop in a food processor until the size of small peas)
4 celery hearts, sliced lengthwise, and then finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable stock or broth, divided
1-8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, green part only (reserve white part for my delicious fat-free Vegan Mushroom Gravy)
1/4 cup pecan halves toasted for 5 minutes at 350 degrees
3 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)


Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and oil a 9 x 13″ casserole dish.  Cover bottom of large cast iron skillet with water.  Heat over medium-high and then stir in onion, cauliflower, celery, garlic, and poultry seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until tender, adding 1 cup vegetable stock a little at a time.  When vegetables are softened and most of moisture has been absorbed and/or cooked off, remove from heat and add to bowl with crumbled cornbread.  Stir in water chestnuts, green onions, and toasted pecans, moistening with remaining cup of vegetable stock or broth and aquafaba.  The consistency should be that of unbaked bread pudding, so add liquid a little at a time, adding more or less, as needed.  Adjust seasoning if necessary, transfer to prepared casserole dish–avoid packing down–and bake, uncovered, for a half hour.  Serve immediately.

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Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry & Pistachio Tart (vegan & plant-based)

A Thanksgiving guest you will want at the table: Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry, and Pistachio Tart. It is vegan, plant-based, and very well-behaved.

Plus It is easy-breezy, thanks in part to a press-in crust, but elegant in that rustic way that is so appealing in autumn.

I was comes honored to be hired by Tofutti to create 3 holiday recipes and it is super fun to share the first one with you for the holiday of gratitude this week, at least in the US.

Find my vegan/plant-based–but no one will no–recipe here.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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Pumpkin-Ginger Blondies (vegan, plant-based & gf)

Yield: 9 bars

These treats are all fall!

Gluten-free (as long as your oats are gf) with no added oil, these bars are insanely moist and deeply flavorful.  Plus they go together in a snap in the bowl of your food processor.  Rich and decadent tasting, they are packed with protein, vitamins, and fiber, but bear no resemblance to health bars. 

You can substitute almond butter for pecan butter, but why would you?!  Pecan butter is the perfect autumnal complement to the other fall flavors.

1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup pecan butter
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or to taste (or substitute a mixture of ground cinnamon and ground ginger)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional topping: 2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8″ square pan. Process all ingredients except topping in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth top, and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center has only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  Remove from oven and sprinkle liberally with remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar.

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Vegan Butternut Squash, Brussels, Cauliflower, and Onion with Cointreau-Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

This was a favorite dish at our Friendsgiving this year…but it is too special–and easy–for a once-a-year feast.  Celebrate often!

Approximately 6 cups roasted vegetables (Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, two to four vegetables at a time, tossed with a very small amount of olive oil and sea salt at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, stirring halfway through–be sure vegetables are in one layer–and cool completely.)

2 tablespoons Cointreau

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup pecan halves, toasted at 350 degrees for 5 minutes

Place all vegetables in a large bowl.  Whisk together Cointreau, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic in a small cup.  Drizzle over vegetables, add dried cherries and toasted pecans, toss well, and serve immediately.  You may roast and cool the vegetables a few hours or a day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Add dressing, dried cherries, and toasted pecans just before serving.

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Vegan Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Salad
with Orange-Maple Vinaigrette

Yield: 4-6 servings

Best. Thanksgiving. Salad. Ever. And, you guessed it: it is low fat–with no added oil–and oh-so-low calorie.

12 ounces shaved Brussels sprouts
12 ounces diced butternut squash
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pecan haves, roasted for 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 large orange
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Spread brussels sprouts and butternut squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Place in a large bowl, add dried cherries and pecan halves, and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together orange juice, vinegars, and maple syrup, drizzle over salad, and toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until serving time if necessary. Best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Charlotte airport!

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Vegan Sage and Vegetable Stuffing
with Dates and Toasted Almonds
a low-calorie sensation!

Yield: 8 servings

I will put my new Vegan Sage and Vegetable Stuffing with Dates and Toasted Almonds up against ANY stuffing, vegan or not.  Plus it is low calorie with no added oil.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil an 8 or 9-inch casserole dish. Simmer 1/2 large yellow onion and 16 ounces riced cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot in 2 cups vegetable stock with 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, and 1 teaspoon powdered rosemary until most of moisture is evaporated.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and stir to combine.  Turn off heat. Remove bay leaf and stirrin 1/4 cup my Blooming Platter Mayo (think slightly tangy white sauce at only 10 calories per tablespoon), 6 ounces toasted bread cubes, 2 tablespoons chopped dates and 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds.  Spoon into greased casserole dish, and bake 20 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh sage sprigs.

Note: I love a lot of herbs, but you might start with a smaller amount and adjust to suit your taste.

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