Green Guru: Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Green Guru: Vegetarian Thanksgiving

How to serve a turkey-free Thanksgiving without sacrificing taste.

By Susan Cosier/Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham
Published: November-December 2011

On a dry flat work surface, unfold the stack of filo sheets. Have the bowl of filling, the reserved garlic oil, and a pastry brush near at hand. Take two sheets of filo from the stack and place them with a short side near you. Brush lightly with the oil and fold in half lengthwise. Place a scant 1/2 cup of filling near the bottom corner of the filo and fold up and over diagonally, forming a triangle. Continue to fold as you would a flag to make a small triangle pastry. Brush the top with oil and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Assemble the rest of the pastries. Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds. In a preheated 375o oven, bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Ingredient note: We like Fillo Factory brand organic whole wheat filo dough.


Mushroom, Cheese, and Vegetable Strudel

Serves: 12




1 Tbs. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (11/2 cups)

1 medium red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced (5 cups)

2 10-oz. bags baby spinach

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 14-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained

8 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened

1 cup grated extra-sharp

Cheddar cheese (4 oz.)


1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 lb. whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 tsp. poppy, sesame, or fennel seeds, optional



Preheat oven to 350degF. Coat 18- x 13-inch baking sheet with cooking spray.

To make Filling: Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme in oil 10 minutes.

Add mushrooms, and cook 10 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in spinach and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until spinach has wilted, stirring occasionally. Drain, and cool in bowl.

Puree tofu, Neufchatel cheese, and Cheddar cheese in food processor until smooth. Stir into mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

To make Strudel: Heat oil, garlic, and thyme in small pot over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool.

Cover bottom of prepared baking pan with 2 phyllo sheets, allowing sheets to overlap each other and hang off sides. Brush with garlic oil. Place 2 more phyllo sheets on top, and brush with garlic oil. Repeat 4 times, until you have a 6-layer bottom crust.

Spread Filling in crust, leaving 3-inch edge all around. Brush edges with garlic oil. Fold sides of phyllo over filling. Cover filling with 2-sheet layer of phyllo (4 sheets total), overlapping sheets in center. Brush with garlic oil. Repeat layering 2 sheets at a time until you have 4 layers (16 sheets phyllo total), brushing every second sheet with garlic oil. Tuck under edges. Sprinkle top with seeds, if desired. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting into slices.


Sweet Spiced Nuts

Preparation Time: 10-15 min; Cook Times: 20 min; Serves: 6



1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch of cayenne, optional

3 cups shelled nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cahews)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously oil a baking sheet. 

In a saucepan on medium-high heat, stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup of water, salt, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly for 1 minute, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the nuts and mix well to evenly coat them with the syrup. Remove the coated nuts with a slotted spoon and spread them out on a prepared baking sheet.

Bake until browned, 10-15 minutes, stirring once after 5-6 minutes. After you've taken them out of the oven, stir again to break apart any clusters. Allow the nuts to cool before serving.


For more recipes, visit the Moosewood website

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Susan Cosier

Susan Cosier is former senior editor at Audubon magazine. Follow her on Twitter @susancosier.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine

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