Harvest Red Wine Stew


Did anyone catch ‘Thanksgiving Live’ on Food Network? I got sucked in (as I usually do while watching Food Network….except for with Paula Dean..) and watched them booze it up while preparing different courses for a Thanksgiving feast. Thinking about it, I don’t recall our family really drinking wine on Thanksgiving but maybe we’ll have to change that this year 😉 .  Chef Bobby Flay made a super-strong margarita that would probably make me tipsy after a few sips!


I tried to get them to talk about vegan/vegetarian/allergy-free additions to the Thanksgiving dinner but they didn’t answer my question that I posted on their Facebook page. I mean, c’mon, they TOTALLY should have seen my question amidst the others, right?  Kidding aside, I am a little surprised that they didn’t touch on alternative food choices at all, but I guess most of those chefs probably cook vegan/vegetarian food pretty rarely. It’s too bad there isn’t a vegan cooking show on Food Network! We would be happy to fill that void 😉

One idea that I thought was pretty cool was to serve soup as an appetizer in little shooter glasses. Melissa d’Arabian from Ten Dollar Dinners (I’ve never watched it but apparently it’s on Sunday mornings) was the one who suggested it and made a squash soup that would look appealing in them. Our Roasted Pumpkin Bisque would be great for this, although the color of a fresh pumpkin didn’t seem to stay as orange as maybe a yam would.

Look at my new toy! Isn't it beautiful??

I know that we just brought you the recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Bisque last week, but I have been eating soup so often lately that I have another recipe for you.  This stew is unlike the bisque in that it is very hearty with rich, chunky vegetables and a warming addition of red wine. As always, feel free to add/sub any veggies you prefer.  Additionally, use a vegan red wine that you like to drink because it is a star in this dish.  ‘Vegan wine?’, you ask. Yes, vegan wine.  Unfortunately, many companies use animal products in the production of or as ingredients in their wine. If you’re not sure if your wine (or other alcohol) is vegan, check barnivore.com for tons of options.

Harvest Red Wine Stew
Makes approximately 10 cups

  • 1 15-oz. container super firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes/yams, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 2 medium bell peppers (try one yellow and one red for added color!), chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire-Roasted with Garlic)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 6 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Sage
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cups Red Wine
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

– Preheat oven to 350 F.

– Chop/cube the tofu and veggies into bite-sized pieces.

– In a skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, dry-fry the tofu, turning until each side is browned (a couple of minutes on each side) and sprinkle it with coarse salt. Toss with spices (wheat flour through onion powder) and set aside.

– Next, saute the veggies (Sweet Potato through Celery) until the sweet potatoes start to become slightly tender*.

– Add in the canned and sun-dried tomatoes, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

– If using a dutch oven, add the tofu back in to the vegetable mixture. Otherwise, combine all of the ingredients in an oven-safe dish.

– Bake, covered, for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on how long it takes for the sweet potatoes to soften to desired amount).

– Add salt and pepper to taste.

* If you would like, you could probably cook this in a slow-cooker or in the oven without sauteing the vegetables first; it will just take longer.

Do you have any crafty ideas for dish presentation at parties?
We’ll probably have stuffing or some sort of dish in a pumpkin this year but also like the soup-shooter idea.


Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week! This past weekend we were brainstorming ideas for what to make for Thanksgiving this year and we were talking about it like it is weeks away when, in reality, it is next Thursday! It always seems to sneak up on us so it’s hard to prepare for when it seems to appear out of nowhere.

Last year we had Thanksgiving dinner at our brother’s house, which is not very far away, but this year we’re traveling a little bit farther so we have to think of food that will easily be transported for a couple of hours. We definitely cooked a lot last year and made ‘Apple Sage ‘Sausage’ Hazelnut Stuffing‘ (using hazelnuts instead of chestnuts and homemade bread), ‘Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel’ (which we thought was delicious but would have liked better with some roasted red peppers or other vegetables), Green Bean Casserole (which tastes so good with fresh ingredients!), and Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie cupcakes adapted from here and the pumpkin pie ‘frosting’ from here. In the recipes which called for butter or milk or sour cream we just used vegan versions, which goes to show that you can definitely veganize your favorite holiday dish. We even veganized a ‘Baileys‘ recipe using MimicCreme and vegan creamer as a replacement for the cream and sweetened condensed milk.

As you can see, our Thanksgiving wasn’t super healthy, but we did use healthier options when possible and compared to a Thanksgiving meal that uses animal ingredients (which can run between 2,000-3,000 calories in ONE meal!), it was much healthier and quite a bit more voluminous.

As far as what we’re going to make this year, we haven’t completely decided yet. What was frustrating about last year was that we made enough of everything for others to try, but a lot of it didn’t get eaten because there was so much other food. Because of this we are not sure what to do this year. We want to share delicious recipes with our family, but if it isn’t going to be eaten, should we make large amounts or just make enough for each other? I think we’ll probably try to find a happy medium, possibly prepare the main entree only for the two of us and share our side dishes. What do you think?

Either way, the following recipe is a contender and would be great served alongside a variety of dishes.  If you don’t want to go to the work of chopping, peeling and de-seeding a pumpkin yourself, many grocery stores have cubed butternut squash, which could easily stand in for the pumpkin.

Roasted Pumpkin Bisque

  • 1 Medium Pumpkin (8 cups cubed)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground Thyme
  •  ½ teaspoon ground Sage
  •  ½ teaspoon dried Rosemary
  •  ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast, divided
  •  ½ – ¾ teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 teaspoons veggie broth powder + 5 cups water (or sub 5 cups veggie broth)

– Preheat oven to 415° F.

– Peel and cube pumpkin. Toss with 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil, spices, 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast and ½ teaspoon Garlic Salt.

– Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes (until the edges have caramelized/turned brown), flipping halfway through.

– Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a stockpot and add the onion and garlic; saute for 3-4 minutes. If using broth powder, add 5 teaspoons to the pot and saute for 1-2 more minutes.

– Once the onions are translucent, add the water or broth and heat to a simmer. Then add the remaining broth powder, nutritional yeast and roasted pumpkin.

– Using an emulsion blender, puree until desired texture is achieved.
~ Note: You can also use a regular blender for this by transferring the mixture to it, but you will want to wait until it has cooled or you may have an explosion on your hands!

– Season with additional garlic salt, or to taste.

– We had this with cornbread, which tasted delicious, but think that dumplings would taste incredible in it as well.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you have any suggestions for recipes that you’ve loved in the past?