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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Birds Cooking on Top of Range

Your December calendar may be filled with a full schedule of holiday happenings that bring guests to your home and invitations to visit friends and family. Party food takes the spotlight this month. Perhaps you've decided on the main course you'll serve, but haven't quite settled on the appetizer. Possibly you're looking for an appetizer to bring to a potluck.

Here's an appealing starter that has it all--great flavor, visual delight, and a pleasing lightness. To save time in preparation, the pancakes can be made a day ahead and briefly reheated or served at room temperature. The guacamole must be prepared shortly before serving to prevent discoloration.


1 lb. (453 g) firm tofu
1 1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. curry powder
2 T. raw pumpkin seeds
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded

Guacamole Topping

Avocado 1 large avocado
1/2 medium tomato, diced
3 T. onions, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 T.)
Salt to taste

10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 or 2 edible chrysanthemums

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. (Gas Mark 6). Lightly oil a large baking sheet or jellyroll pan with canola oil.
  2. Combine tofu, salt, pepper, curry powder, pumpkin seeds, rice vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, green onions, and carrot in a food processor and process briefly to puree mixture.
  3. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 (Gas Mark 6) for 12 to15 minutes. Remove from oven for 1 minute, then turn pancakes over with a spatula. Bake10 to 12 minutes longer, until lightly browned.
  4. While pancakes are baking, prepare guacamole by cutting avocado in half and discarding the seed. Scoop out flesh into a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add tomatoes, onions, and lime juice and mix well. Add salt to taste.
  5. When pancakes are done, remove them to a large serving platter. Top each one with a generous dollop of guacamole and garnish with a cherry tomato half.
  6. Garnish platter with cilantro and flowers. Provide small dishes and forks to serve. Makes about 16 to 20 pancakes or 6 servings.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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