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Thursday, November 20, 2014

#VeggieDag Thursday: An animal-free kugel. (Sorry, Nana!)

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet and ecological issues.

Kugel is a hearty, stick-to the ribs, potato pudding —'soul food' for Eastern Europeans, and Americans like me of their descent, whether Ashkenazy, pagan, or Christian. For Thanksgiving, this year, I'm going to try again to successfully concoct a completely vegetarian kugel. No eggs, no milk, no cream, no butter, and no pig parts, of course. Just potatoes and accoutrements.

Here's the recipe of my grandmother, Nana Ambraziene, a first generation Lithuanian-American. In the past, I've substituted for her eggs and cream with silken tofu and soy or almond milk. (Recipe: here.) Good enough, but not worthy of Nana's kitchen. So this year, trying again, but with a few new tricks, I'll either do it and succeed, or fail and respect the original.

Potato Kugel (03)

UPDATE: Success!

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Vegan Kugelis

  • INGREDIENTS
    • 5 lbs. red potatoes, grated.
    • 2 yellow onions, chopped.
    • 1 lb. portobello mushrooms, diced.
    • 8 TBSP flaxmeal.
    • 1 1/4 cup water
    • 2 cans of unsweetened coconut milk.
    • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 TBSP Smoked Spanish paprika
    • 1 TBSP vegan 'butter'
    • Salt & pepper, to taste.

  • PROCEDURE
    • 1) Make flax 'egg.' Add ground flaxseed meal to 1 1/4 cup water and stir. Set aside and let rest for at least 5 minutes to thicken.
    • 2) Sautée the onions and portobellos over medium-low heat in olive oil, with s/p and paprika, until onions caramelize and mushrooms release their moisture.
    • 3) In a separate saucepan, reduce coconut milk by 1/4 over medium heat. Do not boil.
    • 4) Pour everything into a Pyrex baking pan, greased. Mix well. Smooth top. Baste with vegan butter.
    • 5) Bake, uncovered, at 450 °F for 10 minutes.
    • 6) Reduce heat to 350 °F; re-baste top of casserole with vegan butter; cover with aluminum foil; bake for additional 90 minutes.
Flaxseeds stand in for the chicken eggs; coconut milk for the bovine mammary excretions; and fungi for the pigmeat. Recipe (with a couple adaptations) provided by Charles J. Swedish: "metaphysician, social satirist, and amateur mycologist."

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More Vegetarian Recipes for Thanksgiving

  • Recipes for 'vegan' kugelis.
  • 25 Reasons to Host a Vegan Thanksgiving This Year. + Recipes.
    Via Healthy. Happy. Life.
  • Preparing for Vegan Thanksgiving (60+ Plant-Based Recipes)
    Via Happy Herbivore.
  • Big or small, vegetarian dishes worth Thanksgiving centerpiece status.
    Via Joe Yonan (Food editor of Washington Post).
  • A vegetarian Thanksgiving.
    Via YFGF.
Have a happy Thanksgiving next week. Enjoy the squashes, crucifers, cranberries, nuts, legumes ... and the potatoes.

-----more-----
  • Why the name VeggieDag Thursday? Here.
  • Read all the posts: here. Follow on Twitter with hashtag: #VeggieDag.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs, writers, and home-cooks welcomed! Contact me here.

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