Portobello Wellington (Vegan)

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This vegan Portobello Wellington is pretty enough to serve as a main course for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It features layers of rich beluga lentils, whole portobello muchrooms and sauteed garlic spinach. I made a vegan Wellington last year using chestnuts and portobello mushrooms as the predominant ingredients.  While the dish was beautiful, it wasn’t as tasty as I thought it should be.  So this time, I scrapped the chestnuts which are difficult to find, and a bit dry, and layered lentils,  mushrooms and spinach instead.  The dish was a huge success, pretty AND delicious.  Just add mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce!  🙂

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A traditional Beef Wellington is a fillet steak coated with pâté and duxelles, which is then wrapped in pastry and baked.  In this reimagined vegan  version, whole portobellos stand in for the ‘steak’  and the lentils with shallots and garlic would be the ‘pate’ with duxelles, which is just a fancy name for mushrooms sautéed with onions, shallots and garlic.  The flavor combination of the three layers worked so well together in creating a flavorful but still juicy filling.  I cooked the lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor. Of course, adding sauteed shallots and garlic to the black lentils gave them an even richer taste.  They were a great first layer.  Then I placed whole sauteed portobello mushrooms as the middle later and topped with spinach sauteed in garlic.

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Except for the pretty crust, which is what makes this a holiday worthy dish, all of the ingredients add flavor and nutritional value.  Spinach and mushrooms are high in food value, including fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus protein.  They also have zero or low amounts of fat, cholesterol, carbs and sugars.  If I were going to make my own crust, I would try a recipe using white whole wheat flour like this one from King Arthur Flour.  I actually didn’t know I was going to be making this last until the last minute, so I cheated with pre-made crusts.  It happens…

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I chose black lentils, also called Beluga lentils due to their resemblance of black caviar, because I find them the richest in flavor and their texture remains firm when cooked.  However, brown or green lentils would work well here too.  They are also quite healthy.  100 grams of cooked lentils contains 116 calories, 9.02 g of protein, .3 g of fat and 9.02 g of fiber.  They are also rich in minerals and vitamins.  Click for MORE info.

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TIPS:  This recipe is easy to prep a day or so ahead of time and assemble just before cooking.  Just prepare the lentil mixture and saute and drain the mushrooms and the spinach, then place in the refrigerator in airtight containers until ready to assemble.  You can preform them into log shapes before refrigerating for easier assembly.  For those who really like to plan ahead, you could probably assemble the whole thing a day or two ahead and refrigerate until you are ready to bake.

 

PORTOBELLO WELLINGTON

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Note:  This recipe can be made with 3 or 4 large portobello mushrooms.  The 3 mushroom wellington will fit in an 18″ baking sheet, while a 4 mushroom one needs a 21″ pan.  The recipe is for both.  For the larger wellington, use the larger quantities.

  • 1-1 1/4 cup black lentils (or brown)
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth (optional)
  • 3-4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 3-4 large shallots peeled and minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil (divided)
  • 8-12 oz fresh spinach (3- 4 cups)
  • 2 – 3 blocks or rolls of pastry dough (or puff pastry, if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or soy milk (as pastry wash)
  • salt and pepper to taste

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  • Cook lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor (optional) following instructions on package.  Remove from heat and let cool. Trim mushroom stalks if needed and wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel. Do not immerse in water.

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  • Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes or until you hear the water release and sizzle in the pan. Remove from the heat, and drain on paper towel cap side up as they will release liquid as they cool.

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  • In the mushroom skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and half of garlic, lightly saute spinach.  Just cook until wilted and liquid releases.  If you decided to use frozen spinach, squeeze out as much water as possible. Remove from heat and let cool

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  • Saute shallots in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned.  Add remaining garlic and cooked lentils.  Stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Once cool enough, you should be able to form it into a log.  If you can’t, it’s probably too wet, so return it to the stove or put it in the refrigerator to firm up.

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  • Roll out pastry dough into any shape you prefer to make both a top and bottom crust.  I used 4 pre-made pie crusts and rolled 1 1/2 together to make the long traditional Wellington shape, however, you can make it a circle, square or rectangle.

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  • Place bottom crust on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Form lentil log in center of bottom crust and pat into shape

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  • Arrange mushrooms on top of lentils, cap side up

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  • Top evenly with the sauteed spinach.  Pat into as smooth a shape as possible for best results

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  • Place top crust over your lentil, mushroom, spinach creation and smooth it with your fingers.

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  • Cut around the Wellington using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, leaving a generous 1 inch margin.

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  • Using a fork, firmly press the two edges closed going all the way around.

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  • Cut shapes with a cookie cutter to decorate the top if you like.  Save any leftover dough for future use.

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  • Brush the pastry with melted vegan butter or soy milk and poke air holes with a fork.

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  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  If the edges start getting too brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.

Portobello Wellington

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Note:  This recipe can be made with 3 or 4 large portobello mushrooms.  The 3 mushroom wellington will fit in an 18″ baking sheet, while a 4 mushroom one needs a 21″ pan.  The recipe is for both.  For the larger wellington, use the larger quantities.

  • 1-1 1/4 cup black lentils (or brown)
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth (optional)
  • 3-4 large portabello mushrooms
  • 3-4 large shallots peeled and minced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil (divided)
  • 8-12 oz fresh spinach (3- 4 cups)
  • 2 – 3 blocks or rolls of pastry dough
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or soy milk (as pastry wash)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook lentils in vegetable broth for more flavor (optional) following instructions on package.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Trim mushroom stalks if needed and wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel. Do not immerse in water.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes or until you hear the water release and sizzle in the pan. Remove from the heat, and drain on paper towel cap side up as they will release liquid as they cool.
  4. In the mushroom skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil and half of garlic, lightly saute spinach.  Just cook until wilted and liquid releases.  If you decided to use frozen spinach, squeeze out as much water as possible. Remove from heat and let cool
  5. Saute shallots in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned.  Add remaining garlic and cooked lentils.  Stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Once cool enough, you should be able to form it into a log. If you can’t, it’s probably too wet, so return it to the stove or put it in the refrigerator to firm up.
  6. Roll out pastry dough into any shape you prefer to make both a top and bottom crust.  I used 4 pre-made pie crusts and rolled 1 1/2 together to make the long traditional Wellington shape, however, you can make it a circle, square or rectangle.
  7. Place bottom crust on a parchment lined baking sheet
  8. Form lentil log in center of bottom crust and pat into shape
  9. Arrange mushrooms on top of lentils, cap side up
  10. Top evenly with the sauteed spinach.  Pat into as smooth a shape as possible for best results
  11. Place top crust over your lentil, mushroom, spinach creation and smooth it with your fingers.
  12. Cut around the Wellington using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, leaving a generous 1 inch margin.
  13. Using a fork, firmly press the two edges closed going all the way around.
  14. Cut shapes with a cookie cutter to decorate the top if you like.  Save and leftover dough for future use.
  15. Brush the pastry with melted vegan butter or soy milk and poke air holes with a fork.
  16. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  If the edges start getting too brown, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.

12 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving is celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest, and in that spirit our festivities rightly revolve around food and lots of it.  I have collected a dozen of my favorite vegetarian and vegan dishes which would be perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner as main courses or side dishes. In keeping with the theme, most of them are stuffed or roasted and they are all deliciously vegan or vegetarian (that can easily be made vegan). I have thrown in a couple of my favorite seasonal salads to complement the roasted dishes and add a splash of color to your festive table.

Luckily, most of these recipes are healthy and naturally low fat so won’t add to the ‘winter layer’ we seem to start putting on this time of year. Clicking on any link will take you to the recipe and original blog post. Next week I will post a collection of My Favorite Soups so check back or Follow so you don’t miss it. Lots of sharing buttons below too… Share with your friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!  xoxo J

 

Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Brussels Sprouts1

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shallots and Toasted Pinenuts

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Mason Jar Veggie Pot Pies (Vegan)

Acorn Slices1

Acorn Squash Rings with Cornbread Stuffing

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers3

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Root Vegetable Tian3

Root Vegetable Tian with Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallots

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Wild Rice, Mushroom and ‘Sausage’ Stuffed Pumpkin

Roasted Acorn Squash1

Roasted Maple Glazed Acorn Squash with Apples and Pecans over Rainbow Quinoa

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Roasted Artichokes Stuffed with Garlic, Parmesan and Quinoa

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Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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Honey Glazed Winter Squash with Pomegranate

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Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

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Kale Salad with Apples, Pecans and Goat Cheese

Black Rice Dish

Black and Wild Rice with Roasted Squash and Pomegranate

 

 

 

10 Vegetarian Soups for Thanksgiving

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SOUP GLORIOUS SOUP! Perfect for cold, rainy (or snowy depending on where you are) days.  I am on vacation and not cooking this week.  As promised, here is a collection of ten of my favorite soups. Mmm, so good!  All soups are vegetarian or vegan and gluten and wheat free.  Maybe one of them is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Each link will send you to the recipe and original blog post. Love my readers! Sharing is caring. -J

Cauliflower Leek Soup2

Creamy Cauliflower Leek Soup

Black Bean Soup1

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Butternut Squash Soup and Polenta Tower2

Butternut Squash Soup with Polenta Towers

 

Carrot Coconut Soup with Marinated Tofu Triangles

CArrot Sweet Potato Soup1

Carrot, Sweet Potato Soup with Turmeric

Dhal Lentil Sou[p

Dhal Lentil Soup with Quinoa Cauliflower Cakes

Mushroom Barley Soup 1

Mushroom and Barley Soup with Cannelini Beans

Autumn Harvest Soup11

Butternut Squash and Potato Soup with Crispy Fried Sage

White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Black and White Chili

Black and White Chili with Garlic Toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday – Acorn Squash Rings with Cornbread Stuffing

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’ve already started planning our feast.  This will be my first Thanksgiving not roasting a turkey so it will take some extra inspiration on my part.  My favorite part of the meal has always been the side dishes anyway, so I’m sure I won’t even miss the turkey – and I’ll save myself from the dreaded post dinner Turkey Coma.  I guess I’ll have to come up with another excuse reason to take an afternoon nap.  So the big question now is,  ‘Where do I put my stuffing’?  It seems anticlimactic  to just bake it in a covered dish. I mean it’s not really stuffing if you haven’t stuffed anything!  So I decided acorn squash would make a worthy vessel for this once a year treat.  I was going to stuff acorn squash halves but decided to cut the squash into rings first and make individual servings.  A half squash can be an awfully large portion for one person, although halves certainly work well as a main course. The rings also make  a very attractive, almost floral, presentation with their fluted edges and golden yellow color.

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Acorn Squash is a good food choice, especially this time of year when it is at the peak of the season and the most flavorful.  It turns out that, once again, nature is providing us what we need just as cold season begins.   Winter Squash is one of the richest sources of plant based anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3s and beta-carotene, which are important for a strong immune system to help protect against colds and flu.  Considered one of the world’s healthiest foods, acorn squash is nutrient dense, rich in vitamins, including A, C and B6, and harder to find potassium and iron.  It is also a good source of fiber and has zero fat and cholesterol. The seeds can be rinsed and roasted on a cookie sheet in a single layer at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them at a low temperature you minimize damage to their healthy oils which contain Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil).

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I chose to make a traditional savory, sweet stuffing that combines savories like onions, celery,  fresh sage and thyme with sweet apples, dates, pecans and cranberries. I brushed the squash with a maple butter glaze before cooking to enhance it’s natural sweetness. Then I piled each slice high with a mound of yummy buttery stuffing and baked until the squash was soft and the stuffing golden brown. If you like very moist stuffing, you can cover with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes and remove foil for the last 10 or 15 minutes to brown the top.

TIP: This recipe can easily be halved using one acorn squash.  Just divide the ingredients accordingly. I think it’s plenty sweet with the dates, cranberries and maple but for additional sweetness substitute half or more of the broth with apple juice.

 Acorn Squash rings

ACORN SQUASH RINGS WITH CORNBREAD STUFFING

1 cup plus 2 Tbsn butter (divided)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 whole acorn squash
2 Tbsn maple syrup
4 c dried cornbread (or stuffing mix)
1/2 c pecans or walnut, chopped
1/2 c dates, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries, currants or yellow raisins
1 Tbsn fresh sage, minced or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsn fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
4 c vegetable broth (or half broth half apple juice)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

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  • Saute onion and celery in 1 cup butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add apple and cook another 5 minutes. Set aside..

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  • Slice acorn squash into 1/2 inch rings and remove seeds and stringy bits.

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  • Place squash rings on lightly oiled baking sheets. (Each squash will probably fill a pan.) In a small bowl combine 2 Tablespoons melted butter and maple syrup and brush tops and insides of rings with mixture.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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  • In a large bowl, combine cornbread, onion mixture, dates, cranberries pecans, sage and broth. Taste and add salt and pepper or more herbs  if necessary before mixing in raw egg.

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  • Fill each squash ring with a heaping spoonful of cornbread mixture. Mixture should be damp but not wet.  You should be able to form it into balls with your hands and place each ball inside the squash and press into shape.

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  • Bake 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until tops are golden brown and squash is tender. For a softer stuffing, cover with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes or so.

Acorn Squash Rings with Cornbread Stuffing

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1 cup plus 2 Tbsn butter (divided)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 whole acorn squash
2 Tbsn maple syrup
4 c dried crumbled cornbread (or stuffing mix)
1/2 c pecans or walnut, chopped
1/2 c dates, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries, currants or yellow raisins
1 Tbsn fresh sage, minced or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsn fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
4 c vegetable broth (or half broth half apple juice)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Saute onion and celery in 1 cup butter for 5 to 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add apple and cook another 5 minutes. Set aside..
  • Slice acorn squash into 1/2 inch rings and remove seeds and stringy bits.
  • Place squash rings on lightly oiled baking sheets. In a small bowl combine 2 Tablespoon melted butter and maple syrup and brush tops and insides of rings with mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine cornbread, onion mixture, dates, cranberries pecans, sage and broth. Taste and add salt and pepper or more herbs  if necessary before mixing in raw egg.
  • Fill each squash ring with a heaping spoonful of cornbread mixture. Mixture should be damp but not wet.  You should be able to form it into balls with your hands and place each ball inside the squash and press into shape.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until tops are golden brown and squash is tender. For a softer stuffing, cover with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes or so.