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It's center stage for vegetable casseroles.

You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these hearty combinations

THIS MAY COME AS A shock to staunch meat and potato lovers, but vegetarian main dishes have moved into the menu mainstream. The basic ingredients of these entrees--vegetables and grains or grain products--are naturally low in fat, and, when their flavor potential is exploited, the deceptively rich-tasting results have very broad appeal. Making this point most effectively are the three following recipes--a stew with dumplings, and two handsome pies.

These casseroles join the ranks of many all-vegetable dishes that Sunset Magazine has published through the years. To serve your growing interest in the subject, we gathered our best past dishes and added to them other favorite recipes, modified to omit meat products, in a just-released, 160-page Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, Calif., 1993; $14.99). The lentil pie is a sampler from the book; the other two recipes are new.

Double Squash Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings

1 1/2 cups regular-strength vegetable or chicken broth

5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) onion, chopped

1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies

2 1/2 pounds Roma-type tomatoes, cored and chopped

3 pounds butternut or banana squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/3 cup minced fresh or 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves

Cornmeal dumplings (recipe follows)

Salt and pepper

In a shallow 10- by 15-inch casserole (at least 4 1/2 qt.) combine 1/2 cup broth, garlic, and onion. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 |degrees~ oven until vegetables are browned and stick to pan, about 35 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup broth, scrape browned bits free, and bake until liquid evaporates and vegetables stick again.

Add remaining broth; stir browned bits free, then mix in chilies, tomatoes, butternut squash, cumin, and cinnamon. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in a 400 |degrees~ oven until butternut squash is tender when pierced, 45 to 50 minutes. (If making ahead, let cool, cover, and chill airtight up to 1 day. Bake, covered, in a 400 |degrees~ oven until hot, about 20 minutes.) Mix zucchini and basil into hot vegetables. Spoon dumplings in 6 to 8 equal mounds onto vegetables, or in dollops around edge of casserole. Cover with foil (don't touch dumplings). Bake until dumplings are firm and dry to touch, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.--Lori Matthew, Eugene, Oregon

Per serving: 313 cal. (19 percent from fat); 9.3 g protein; 6.6 g fat (3.1 g sat.); 59 g carbo.; 275 mg sodium; 39 mg chol.

Cornmeal dumplings. In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Add 1 large egg, 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat milk, and 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Mix well. Let stand until batter is thick enough to hold its shape, at least 5 minutes.

Mushroom and Barley Casserole with Fila Crust

Mushroom duxelles (recipe follows)

Barley filling (recipe follows)

Cheese filling (recipe follows)

4 sheets fila dough (each about 12 by 16 in.)

3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Nonfat or regular sour cream, or unflavored yogurt (optional)

Prepared horseradish with beets


Spread duxelles evenly in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole (6 by 11 in. and 2 in. deep, to 8 by 11 in. and 1 1/2 in. deep). Cover evenly with barley filling, then cheese filling. Lay 1 fila sheet flat and brush lightly with about 1 1/2 teaspoons butter. (Keep fila covered with plastic wrap, except when using, to prevent drying.) Top with remaining fila sheets, buttering each, including the top. Fold stack in half, bringing short ends together. Lay fila stack on top of filling, centering in casserole; fold ends of fila under to fit flush with casserole rim. Brush top of fila with remaining butter. With a sharp knife, cut diagonally through fila every 1 1/2 to 2 inches to make a diamond pattern. If making ahead, cover airtight and chill up to 1 day.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350 |degrees~ oven until fila is a deep golden brown and filling is hot in center, about 45 minutes (50 to 55 minutes, if chilled). Spoon portions onto plates and accompany with sour cream, horseradish, and salt to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

Per serving: 262 cal. (22 percent from fat); 15 g protein; 6.4 g fat (3.1 g sat.); 38 g carbo.; 341 mg sodium; 17 mg chol.

Mushroom duxelles. Rinse, drain, and mince 2 1/2 pounds mushrooms. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, combine mushrooms, 1/2 cup minced shallots or red onions, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir often until juices evaporate and mixture browns and sticks, about 30 minutes. Add 1/3 cup reserved barley liquid (following); stir to scrape browned bits free. Stir often until liquid evaporates. Use warm or cold. If making ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 1 day.

Barley filling. Rinse 1 cup pearl barley. Combine barley in a 5- to 6-quart pan with 3 cups regular-strength vegetable or chicken broth. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, and simmer until barley is tender to bite, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid for mushroom duxelles, preceding. To barley, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1/4 cup nonfat, reduced-fat, or regular sour cream. Use, or, if making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day.

Cheese filling. Pour 2 cups nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese into a fine strainer. Let drain at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour. Transfer drained cheese to a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. If making ahead, cover airtight and chill up to 1 day.

Lentil and Golden Squash Pot Pie

2 large (about 1 lb. total) onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons coriander seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon cardamom seed (without pods)

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies

2 cups (about 12 oz.) lentils

1 1/2 quarts regular-strength vegetable or chicken broth

About 2 3/4 pounds banana, hubbard, or butternut squash

Salt and pepper

Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie

About 1 tablespoon beaten egg

Yogurt sauce (recipe follows)

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, mix onions, garlic, and ginger.

With a mortar and pestle, coarsely crush coriander, cumin, and cardamom seed (or whirl in a blender to make a coarse powder). Add to onion mixture along with chilies and 1/2 cup water. Stir occasionally over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and a brown film forms in pan, 10 to 12 minutes. Deglaze pan by adding 1/4 cup water and stir to loosen brown film. Repeat step, cooking mixture dry and deglazing, until vegetables are richly browned, about 2 more times.

Sort lentils, discarding debris. Rinse and drain lentils; add to pan along with broth. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut off and discard peel and scoop seeds from squash. Cut squash into 3/4-inch cubes, enough to make about 2 quarts.

Add squash to pan; cover and simmer until lentils and squash are soft when pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain liquid from lentils and measure; return no more than 1 1/2 cups liquid to lentils (reserve extra for soup). Pour mixture into a shallow 3-quart casserole (about 9 by 13 in.). If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day.

On a floured board, roll pastry dough to match dimensions of casserole plus 1 inch on all sides. Lay pastry rectangle over vegetable mixture. Fold excess pastry under and press dough firmly against casserole rim, then pinch dough to flute edge; brush with beaten egg. Decoratively slash top. (If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day; uncover.)

Bake in a 400 |degrees~ oven until crust is richly browned and filling hot, 25 to 30 minutes (about 45 minutes, if chilled). If pastry rim begins to darken excessively before center is brown, drape dark areas with foil. Scoop through crust and down into filling to serve; accompany with yogurt sauce to add to taste. Serves 8 to 10.

Per serving: 410 cal. (31 percent from fat); 17 g protein; 14 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 57 g carbo.; 263 mg sodium; 0.9 mg chol.

Yogurt sauce. Mix 2 cups unflavored nonfat yogurt, 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander).
COPYRIGHT 1993 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Hale, Christine Weber
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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