Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating the sabbats as a vegan; Mabon

Celebrating the Sabbats as a Vegan; Mabon
By AprilRain

Here in NE Tennessee, the weather is so hot and dry; I’ve been excited by the cooling temperatures at night. Autumn is the rainbow at the end of the storm, you’ve been working hard all summer long, and finally you will get some relief and be able to reap what you’ve sown. Hopefully it wasn’t TOO dry for you, right now I’m wishing for a little rain.

Mabon/Autumn Equinox is about harvest, the coming of winter, the Goddess descending into the underworld & the “death” of the Earth before its rebirth in spring. It is also a time to consider balance in your life as the day and night are balanced during this time only to change into the shortening of days.

My recipes focus on as many seasonal items as possible, I did “cheat” here and there, feel free to adjust the recipes to your own taste.

Start the meal off with a very simple, light salad. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber (and any other vegetables you would like to include). I like to use a Goddess dressing on my salad with a tahini (ground sesame seeds) base.

Three squash soup

4-5 cups of squash (I used acorn, butternut & half a green pumpkin – I don’t recommend green pumpkin lol).
1 cup of milk substitute (I used rice milk, you can use almond or soy)
1 large carrot
1 med-large parsnip
1 medium onion
2 celery stalks
2 TBSP olive oil
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Herb for garnish – I used parsley

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and compost them. Also, roughly chop up the carrot, parsnip, onion & celery (feel free to prepare the root veggies from our next recipe at this time to save on energy!).
Fill a 9X13 glass cake pan with approximately 1 inch water and place the squash face-down in the water. Take the chopped veggies, toss with the olive oil and place on a flat cookie sheet in a single layer. Put both squash and veggies in the oven to bake. This could take 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your oven, the size of the veggies, yada yada.

Keep an eye on the veggies to make sure they don’t burn – but you want the squash skin to brown. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle them and scoop the flesh out of the shells (but not cold!) & put them into a food processor. I prefer to process the squash first until very pureed, and then add veggies and do the same thing. Add the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne at this time. If you did like I did and let the squash & veggies get TOO cold you can reheat this on the stove or in the microwave. Serve warm with herb garnish.

~Alternative suggestion~ Some people like their squash soup sweet… feel free to add maple syrup or agave syrup.

Very Vegan pot pie an adapted recipe from Note: You may want to just make extra veggies…………… I ate half of them before I even made the dough, they were THAT good. Another note, I call this “Very Vegan” because when I made this recipe the first time, I put an “M” on one of the pies to mark the pie that belonged to my significant other (his name starts with an “M”). However, in the morning when he got up to go to work, he took the unmarked pie. I sent him a text and said “Why did you leave the “M” pie?!” I thought perhaps he would be embarrassed to eat a pie with a letter on it. He replied “I thought it was two V’s.” I was confused. I sent another reply, “Why V’s?” and his reply was “Very Vegan. I found this EXTREMELY frustrating, why did he not see a "W" instead?

For the filling:
1 cup diced carrots
½ cup parsnips or golden beet
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 garlic cloves whole and unpeeled
1 sage leave finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 chicken flavored bouillon cube
¼+ cup flour
3+ cups water
2 tsp tamari
1 cup (approximately) of frozen mixed veggies, thawed

For the crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup barley flour (I used rice flour because barley wasn’t available; this will change the consistency some)
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seeds (I didn’t have these either and replaced them with 2 tsp flax seeds)
½ cup canola oil, chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (I used vegetable oil)
½ cup of ice water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions: If you didn’t cook the root veggies with the above recipe, preheat the oven to 425°. Place the veggies (not the frozen!!), garlic, sage & thyme on a cookie sheet, drizzle with oil and mix well, flatten to a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool a little.

While the veggies are cooking, put a medium sauce pan on the stove at medium heat. Pour in the 3 cups water and bring to boil. Add the bouillon cube and boil until there are no pieces floating around and add the tamari. I usually put the flour into a Tupperware container with cold water in batches and shake it to mix it well before slowly pouring it into the boiling water. Whisk it to evenly distribute (try to avoid clumps) and cook until thickened stirring frequently, adding more flour if necessary. There might be extra gravy, I like to pour it over the pie while I’m eating it.
When the veggies are cool, remove and discard thyme (into the compost!) and squeeze the garlic out of its skin, place the skin in the compost and mash the bulb up then mix well with the roasted and thawed veggies. Add just enough gravy to coat the veggies and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry crust ingredients and whisk together. Drizzle in the canola oil and mix with your hands until incorporated and forming M&M size balls or slightly larger. Mix the ice water and vinegar together, then drizzle into flour, continue to mix with your fingers until it holds together.

Flour the surface you’ll be working on and knead the dough onto it a couple minutes. Divide into 2 pieces (making sure to wrap up the one you’re not using with plastic wrap). This is where you get to decide how you want to make this pie. You can use this as pie crust (both top & bottom) and make one big pie. Or you can make small pies by cutting out circles (I used a 6+ inch bowl as a cookie cutter). Put a tablespoon or two on the bottom piece of dough and then place the top one over top – make sure to seal the edges!!!!! Then bake at 275° until browned about 30 minutes for the big pie, 20 for the small one.

Apple Carrot Bread – Taken from Bread Machine Baking for All Seasons – Connie Merydith. Serve this with homemade apple butter (maybe I’ll include the recipe for that next time!) or peanut butter & honey or just plain margarine!
1 cup milk (I used almond or rice milk)
½ cup applesauce
1 TBSP canola oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
¼ cup sugar (use raw sugar)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup grated carrot (I just tossed it in the mini food processor to safe my skin from the mean grater!)
2 ¼ tsp (or 1 package) dry yeast (if, like me you’re using bread machine yeast, follow the instructions on the package)

Instructions: Measure the milk, applesauce, and oil into the bread pan. Add the whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and grated carrot. Make a well in the dry ingredients and measure in the yeast. Select the basic whole wheat bread cycle for a 2-pound loaf. Baking time will be about 50 minutes.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins – Taken from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz(I highly recommend this book!!). I know you probably think it’s too early for pumpkins, but I’ve already harvested TWO orange ones from my own garden! So I decided to put them to use and make this AWESOME recipe!

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups sugar (raw sugar)
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!)
½ cup milk alternative (I used rice milk)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp molasses

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Fill the muffin cups two thirds of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Thank you for following me so far through the sabbats! Thanks to Enchanted Forest for providing me the chance to do this! I’m really enjoying writing this series. If you have any suggestions or question, please don’t hesitate to send me a message!