Sunday, November 1, 2009

Parsnip Gratin

It's November! Which means you can probably bet that any dish I give you over the course of the next month will work in one way or another for Thanksgiving - as a side dish, main dish, dessert, or any combination thereof. I firmly believe that vegans and vegetarians need to reclaim this celebration, turning it into a cruelty-free day of thanks where we don't come to the table with nothing to eat.

On that note, I also want to highlight Farm Sanctuary's adopt a turkey program - sending a donation saves a turkey, so it doesn't wind up on somebody's dinner table. Check it out at:

Now on to some November cookin'...

Peel 2 pounds of parsnips and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Place the parsnips in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender. The original recipe said 20 minutes, but I gave my 25 and actually wished they were a little softer. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves; saute 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, stirring to coat the onions. Gradually pour in 1/2 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Pour in an additional 1 and 1/2 cups plain soy milk, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly - the mixture should be slightly thick by the end. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. black pepper and a dash of nutmeg.

Add the soy milk mixture to the mashed parsnips, along with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Place 1 (1-ounce) slice of white bread in a food processor and pulse until you have coarse crumbs (about 10 pulses). Good vegan white bread choices include the Vermont Bread Company and Matthew's All Natural bread. Whatever brand you choose, check the ingredient label for sneaky things like milk and honey. Combine the breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the parsnips.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. This makes 4 side servings of about 3/4 cup and 250 calories each. Alternatively, make it the centerpiece of a vegan meal with a big salad and some crusty bread on the side.

parsnip $3.06
sage $2.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance