December 2010 Guest
Miyoko is one of the McDougall cooking instructors for our live-in programs in Santa Rosa, CA. I have included some of her favorite holiday dishes in this month’s newsletter.
Miyoko has promoted
healthful, vegetarian/vegan cuisine for 30 years. As the founder of Now
and Zen, a vegan food manufacturer with nationwide distribution, she
developed products such as the UnTurkey, HipWhip, a line of gourmet
vegan cakes, and a low-fat vegan chocolate chip cookie that is still
enjoyed by customers on United Airlines. She has written three vegan
cookbooks and is a former contributor to publications such as Vegetarian
Times Magazine. Miyoko, her products and her unique approach to vegan
cuisine have been featured in numerous publications, television and
radio shows, including the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle,
Newsweek, New York Post, ABC World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace and
California Report. She has given cooking demonstrations nationwide as
well as in Japan. Currently, she is working on a vegan cooking series
with a comic twist. She lives in Marin County with her husband, Michael
and her three children, and enjoys being involved in community theatre
and running in the hills with her dog.
Miniature pumpkins make a lovely serving dish, but sugar pie pumpkins work as well.
pumpkins, or 2 small sugar-pie pumpkins (enough to yield about 3 cups of
Pre-bake the pumpkins in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until you can cut them easily with a knife. If using miniature pumpkins, cut off the tops and scoop out the seeds. Reserve the shells for use as the serving bowls. If using a sugar pie pumpkin, cut into quarters and scoop out the seeds. If desired, reserve the seeds for another use. Scoop out the softened flesh and measure; you should have about 3 cups (a little more will be fine).
Meanwhile, sauté onion
in a small amount of water, covered, until tender. Add the pumpkin,
apple, chestnuts, stock and wine. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Puree
in a blender. Return to the pan and season with nutmeg, salt and
pepper. To enrich, whisk in the cashew milk, or thin out with extra
stock if needed. Pour into the pumpkin shells to serve.
¼ to ½ cup cashews
Combine cashews and
water in a blender for 2 to 3 minutes until absolutely smooth. The more
cashews you add, the richer the resulting milk will be. Straining is
8 Zephyr, acorn, or
In a 350 degree oven, prebake the squash for about 15 minutes until you can get a knife into it. If using Zephyr squash, place the squash on a cutting board, rotating to find a side that will allow the squash to sit and not roll over. Slice off the top of the bulbous part of the squash at a diagonal and scoop out the seeds. It will look like a large spoon (even more so after you have eaten them). If using acorn or delicata squash, pre-bake whole until just soft enough to cut in half. After cutting in half, remove the seeds.
While the squash are baking, you can prepare the risotto. In a heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the water or stock and add the diced onions and minced garlic. Over medium-low heat, sauté the onions and garlic until tender, adding a little salt to flavor. Add the dry Arborio rice, and continue to sauté for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add a half-cup of the stock and stir until mostly absorbed. Keep adding a half-cup of stock at a time, stirring almost constantly; this will prevent the rice from sticking and yield risotto suspended in a creamy sauce. After you have added about 2 cups of stock, add the wine, sage and kale. Continue by adding the final cup of stock in two increments, until the rice is somewhat tender but still has a hard core. Add the almond meal, stir well, and remove from heat.
Spoon this mixture
into the hollowed-out squash. Sprinkle almond slices over the risotto
and return to the oven to bake for about a half-hour.
This is actually made with pearled spelt, which does not require the overnight soaking and 2 hour cooking that real farro does. It produces a result that is not as chewy as true farro, but is extremely rich and earthy in flavor and texture.
For the farro:
Soak the porcini mushrooms in the hot water and set aside while you begin to prepare the risotto. Sauté the onions and garlic in a small amount of water or stock until tender. Add the farro and cook for a few additional minutes. Add one cup of mushroom broth and stir every couple of minutes while simmering. When the liquid has mostly been absorbed, add an additional cup of stock. Keep stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms as instructed below (the mushrooms can be prepared simultaneously with the risotto). For the risotto, continue cooking by adding another cup of liquid, stirring and simmering. After adding your third or fourth cup of broth, add the porcini mushrooms along with their soaking liquid. Stir and simmer until absorbed. Finally add the final cup of broth, thyme, rosemary and the mushrooms below and cook until the farro is al dente but tender. Serve immediately, and if desired, sprinkle some almond parmesan on top.
For the mushrooms:
Place all ingredients
in a large sauté pan with a lid. Cover and set over a medium flame.
Allow to cook with the lid on for several minutes until juices have
exuded and mushrooms have shrunk slightly. Then remove the lid and
continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has
Thaw 1 pound frozen
One sheet at a time, dip the yuba in this mixture and spread out. If necessary, the yuba can be crumpled in order to dip it. Repeat with the other sheets, stacking 4 sheets on top of each other. You will have 2-3 stacks total. Fold each one in half or quarters to fit the steamer. Steam for 30 minutes to 1 hour – the yuba will solidify. This can be done several days ahead of time and refrigerated until needed.
To assemble the yuba turkey, dip an additional sheet of yuba in water and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Place one of the yuba stacks on top. Pile high with stuffing of choice. Place another yuba stack or two on top and wrap the entire loaf with the sheet of yuba. Baste with:
½ cup water
Bake at 350 degrees
for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes or so.
Spread out each of the following vegetables and bread separately on baking sheets, using several if needed:
1 pound small
mushrooms, or larger ones, quartered or halved
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the bread is lightly toasted, about 10-15 minutes. Combine all in a large bowl and toss with:
2 teaspoons sage
1 cup nutritional
Pulverize all the
ingredients in a blender until powdered. Store in a jar in a cool
In a saucepan, simmer
until tender over low heat:
Sauté until tender in
a small amount of water:
Combine in a bowl:
In a saucepan, place:
3 cups soy milk
(Vitasoy Creamy Original or Vanilla Delite are recommended)
Puree milk, cashews,
maple syrup and vanilla in a blender until creamy and frothy. Grate
nutmeg and blend again. Add brandy if desired. Chill for several
hours. Pour into glasses and grate additional nutmeg on top.
A comforting and warm alternative to pumpkin pie – also lower in fat since it has no pie crust. Serve with Brandy Nog Crème Anglaise.
To make this, you'll want slightly stale or lightly toasted bread so that it soaks up the custard. You can use any kind of bread you like, but I recommend something on the lighter and whiter side and not sourdough (this is not the dish to use the heartiest wholegrain bread). Trim away the crust and cut into cubes. You can let it sit out overnight to dry, or toast it.
Preparing the Bread:
Preparing the Pumpkin
1 pound pumpkin
(canned is fine)
Lightly oil a baking dish big enough for the bread cubes to fill it half-way. Pour the Pumpkin Custard mixture over the bread and mix well with a spoon. If desired, mix in:
½ cup raisins
Cover the dish with
parchment paper, then with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes
until the custard has set. Serve warm with Brandy Nog Crème Anglaise.
In a saucepan, combine
Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat while stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. As it heats, it will thicken. The sauce is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.