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Vegan for the Holidays

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With its familiar burst of color, autumn enters the scene, puts a nip into the air, and beckons us to the kitchen to stir up some vittles that warm us through and through. Colors literally blossom on the plate when you bring this fabulous feast to the table.

2 large butternut squashes

2 large bunches broccoli

Butternut Squash 2 C. (480 ml) whole wheat couscous
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 C. (480 ml) boiling water

1 large ripe avocado

1/4 C. (59 ml) toasted raw pumpkin seeds

1 recipe Pineapple Fire Sauce

  1. With a large, firm chef's knife, cut the squashes in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds, and peel off the skin with a potato peeler or small paring knife. Cut squashes into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes and steam for 7 - 12 minutes or until soft. Mash completely with a potato masher or fork.
  2. Wash broccoli thoroughly. Cut off stems about half-inch (1 cm) from bottom and discard. Cut remaining stems about halfway down, and chop into bite-size chunks. Cut the crowns into serving size portions and steam along with the chopped stems about 4 - 6 minutes until just tender.
  3. Combine couscous and olive oil in a medium-size bowl. Pour boiling water over, stir thoroughly , and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Peel and dice the avocado, then set aside.


  • Mound couscous in the center of a large serving platter, spreading almost to the edge.
  • Pile mashed butternut squash onto the center of the couscous.
  • Surround with broccoli and diced avocado.
  • Drizzle a little Pineapple Fire Sauce over butternut squash, reserving the remainder to pass at the table.
  • Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with some hearty, whole-grain bread and salad. Serves 6.


This is not a sauce for those with a timid palate--it's quite spicy, but it can be tamed by eliminating the crushed red chiles. Its zesty flavor adds a lively touch when served over grains, tempeh, tofu, and bean dishes.

1 1-lb. 4-oz. can (566 g) unsweetened, crushed pineapple with its own natural juice Chop
1/4 t. dried crushed red chiles
1/2 t. dried oregano leaves
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves
1/2 t. salt
4 T. + 1 t. vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 T. + 1 t. lemon or lime juice

2 T. cornstarch
2 T. cold water

  1. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and water in a food processor or blender and process until almost pureed. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl or cup to make a thin paste. Add, a little at a time, to bubbling sauce, stirring constantly, until it reaches a medium-thick consistency, about 1 minute. Makes about 2 1/2 cups (598 ml).

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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