The Holidays are here again, and it’s time to navigate the big meals with all our mixed diet-styles. I’m convinced that some day we will look back and say, what was so hard about that? The folks who lament the difficulties of having their vegan sister and celiac cousin at the same dinner table will have plenty of festive recipes in their back pockets. Everyone will look forward to sharing that yummy Sweet Potato Croquette thingy and Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and not even care that they are completely plant-based.
Call me a cock-eyed optimist.
We can start thinking that way now. Give thanks for your friends and family, and have a good time. I’m going to be attending a Thanksgiving meal where the hostess is making the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie, and asking guests to fill out the side dish selections. This is perfect for me, since I love making a “side” that is hefty enough to serve as the main course for the meatless diners. And your gluten-free friends? Well, plenty of non-grain foods, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and parsnips and grains like wild rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and brown rice make delicious and traditional sides.
So, if you are surfing for some great, plant based dishes for this week, check out these links to recipes I posted in previous years. They are all great additions to any table.
Well, this year I thought it would be fun to put the sweet potato course into a crunchy, savory cake form, and add a piquant accent of spicy cranberry chutney on the side. You see, the gorgeous red quinoa in this dish is a good source of protein, as are the crunchy hazelnuts studding the cake, so a couple of these can be a satisfying meal. They are also gluten-free, so your GF, DF family members will thank you. You’ll be glad that you can form the cakes ahead of time, and that the chutney is so quick to make.
While I cook, I remind myself what Thanksgiving is all about. Because of all the holidays, this one is about gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush and stress of things, but keep your eyes on the prize. We are so lucky to have plenty to eat and people we love to share it with.
Sage Quinoa Sweet Potato Croquettes
These tasty, crispy croquettes are vegan and gluten free, relying on some oats and yams to bind them, and chunks of hazelnut for a crunchy coating. They are delicate, so form and chill them, and turn carefully for best results.
Makes 8 CROQUETTES
1/2 cup red quinoa, cook in 3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup mashed, baked sweet potato (about 1 small, or half a larger one)
2 tablespoons GF oats, ground in a food processor to fine flour
1 tablespoon ground golden flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts
canola oil for frying
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 small red fresno pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cook the quinoa in the water for about 14 minutes, until the water is all absorbed. Dump the hot grain into a large bowl to cool. In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high,and saute the onion for about 10 minutes, lowering the heat, until very tender and golden. Add the sage and stir for a few seconds to wilt, then take off the heat and stir in the sweet potato, oats, flax, salt and pepper. Add to the bowl with the quinoa, stir to mix well, and let cool completely.
2. Grind the hazelnuts coarsely in the food processor, then spread on a small plate. Scoop 1/4 cup portions of the sweet potato mixture and drop each one on the chopped nuts, turn over to coat both sides while forming a patty about 3/4 inch thick. Coat all of the croquettes, placing them on a plate or baking sheet. Chill for at least half an hour or until time to cook.
3. Make the chutney. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and grind to a puree. Transfer to a small bowl.
4. To serve, line a sheet pan with two layers of paper towels to drain the croquettes. Heat canola oil over high heat in a large saute pan, then carefully transfer the croquettes to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for a couple of minutes, then flip. Cook on the second side for 3 minutes or so. Transfer to the prepared paper towels and drain briefly, then serve with chutney.