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Vegan for the Holidays

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    What's in The Nut Gourmet

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Includes recipes below

For more Halloween fun click below


A Vegan Halloween Party
A Bewitching Halloween

Whether you plan to frolic or not on Halloween, it's still fun to enjoy a few tasty bugs and beetles that are spirited with a little touch of ghoulishness. As for us (unofficially known as those intolerably silly witches of the Southwest), Halloween is our very favorite holiday, and we simply wouldn't dream of missing a perfectly good haunt.

The cauldron begins bubbling at midnight, the bewitching hour, of course, and we do hope you'll join us for the festivities. We'll cast a spell to promise a full moon--that's standard lighting for our witch's den, you know, and we do so adore the eerie atmosphere! We'll toss a few goodies like black widow spiders, and rats and toads, and that sort of gourmet fare into our large black kettle so you know you can count on a positively ghastly menu. If you can't stay for the all of the merrymaking, do drop in for a skull-mug of Hot Spider Cider.

We're working devilishly on our guest list. This year we must include the new witch on the block--the one from Salem. She's a little green around the edges, but seems sufficiently skilled in proper spell casting. Then, we should have the Ghouls, the Devil, Mr. and Mrs. Casper, the Banshee Family, the Goblin triplets, the ill-tempered Trolls, the Warlocks on the corner, the Zombies, the Rattling Bones clan, and the rest of the neighborhood elites.

There'll be games galore and plenty of entertainment for the little spooks! We'll begin with our Parade of Ghost Floats and place a spooktacular crown of hissing snakes on the Ghoul Queen. Throughout the night the Skull Jugglers and Dancing Tombstones will perform to music by the Monster Mash Quartet and the Banshee Bone Band. The little monsters partake in games like Guess Who's in the Coffin and How Many Beetles in the Beetle Jar while the Mummies and Draculas can participate in the Vampire Hunt and the Rattlesnake Toss. And for the prizes, we know everyone will be drooling over the 5-pound Tub of Tarantulas.

And what's a party without delicious things to eat? So here's the light menu we've been planning for our frolic. We hope you find it as enticing as we do when we created our little tidbits of finger foods.

Cat Tails and Spider Stuffed Mushrooms
Zombie Butter and Fresh Veggies
Hot Spider Cider

Yum! Those cattails really set this appetizer apart from the mundane. And a few freshly chopped spiders add the finishing touch! Party guests usually arrive ravenously hungry and eager to eat. The perfect appetizer is one you can make ahead and pop into the oven for a quick warming. And that is exactly why this recipe works so well. The mushrooms do not need to be cooked in advance, just stuffed and refrigerated if not served right away. Because the mushrooms soften in the oven, they can be a bit messy as finger food. Serve them on small dishes and offer your guests forks and knives.

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms


(Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms)

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

    30 to 35 fresh mushrooms about 2-inches in diameter

    1 13.75-ounce (375g) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained, divided
    20 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    10 jumbo pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
    1/2 cup (120 ml) almonds or cashews, coarsely chopped
    1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 shallot, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (Gas Mark 4) and have ready a large, parchment-lined baking pan.
  2. Wash the mushrooms and remove the stems by pressing on them with your thumb. Set the stems aside for another recipe and place the mushrooms on the baking pan.
  3. To make the filling, process 3 of the artichoke hearts in the food processor until broken down but not fully pureed and transfer them to a medium bowl. Finely chop the remaining artichoke hearts and add them to the bowl along with the Kalamata olives, green olives, almonds, olive oil, shallot, and garlic. Stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  4. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the stuffing into the cavity of each mushroom, pressing firmly to secure the ingredients.
  5. Bake the stuffed mushrooms for about 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed.

Note: For a dramatic presentation that may bring a few gasps or chuckles, garnish each mushroom with a small, plastic ant or spider just before serving. The critters can be purchased at a party shop or Halloween store.

This creamy dip is adaptive enough to serve at any meal, but for your Halloween bash, surround the dip bowl with a bountiful variety of fresh raw veggies of your choice. With a few creative cuts and pokes, your handy paring knife can put some ghostly personality on a few whole radishes and button mushrooms.

Cheezy Tofu Spread with Pine Nuts


(Cheezy Tofu Spread with Pine Nuts)

Yield: 2 cups

    1 pound (450g) extra-firm tofu
    1/2 cup (120 ml) pine nuts
    3 tablespoons unsweetened soymilk
    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons red miso
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Serve immediately or thoroughly chilled. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, Cheezy Tofu Spread with Pine Nuts will keep for one week.

Note: Create a creamier dip by simply processing the ingredients with soft or regular tofu in place of the extra-firm tofu.

Zombie Butter Open Faced Sandwiches
Spread a generous layer of the Zombie Butter on whole-grain bread.Top with sliced tomatoes and vegan cheese, and melt the sandwiches under the broiler.

Hearty Zombie Lunch Sandwiches
Spread a layer of Zombie Butter on both top and bottom slices of whole-grain bread. The sandwich filling might include sliced tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, avocado, lettuce, and sprouts. Finish layering with some fresh herbs like basil, arugula, or mint leaves for extra zest.

Zombie Butter Pasta
Use Zombie Butter in place of ricotta when making vegan lasagne, stuffed pasta shells, or eggplant roll-ups.

When this spooky night brings you the shivers, reach for this delicious, lightly spiced, pleasantly sweet beverage to warm you and your guests. If you've stocked up on spiders, ants, and beetles at the party shop, add a perfectly frightful garnish to each glass of punch. The recipe serves only 4, but you can easily double or triple the recipe as needed.


(Grape Pomegranate Punch)

Yield: 4 servings

    2 cups (480 ml) grape juice
    2 cups (480 ml) pomegranate juice
    1/4 cup (60 ml) light brown sugar
    2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses or pomegranate syrup
    2 sticks cinnamon
    8 allspice berries
    1 dash Tabasco Sauce
    Pinch cayenne

Combine all the ingredients in a 3-quart (3 liter) saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly to medium-high and boil for 5 minutes. Strain into cups and enjoy.

For more Halloween fun click on
A Vegan Halloween Party
A Bewitching Halloween

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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