The Real Food Journal

Try Making Plant Based Meats at Home, Save The Planet

Make your own plant based meats with Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores is Out

I don’t have children. I guess that the closest thing to giving birth that I will ever experience will be the gestation of a cookbook. At first it’s a twinkle in your eye, then comes several months of intense work and creation, and then just when you can’t stand it anymore, it’s done.

Less blood, but plenty of sweat and tears.

Once that book is completed and in your hands, all the work and difficulty fades from memory. It’s all worth it.

So, meet my new baby, Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores. After a year of testing and tweaking all my plant-based meat recipes, then making them for photo shoots with talented photographer David Schmit, I’m so proud to see them enter the world.

Beefy Seitan Burger from Plant-Based Meats: Hearty, High-Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores

The Beefy Seitan Burger!

Plant Based Meats are a Hot Trend

I’ve been out here, spreading the word about plant based, vegetarian food since the 80’s, and it’s been a journey. For many of those years, it seemed like the needle wasn’t moving. The Standard American Diet had people in its grip, and only a few brave souls questioned it. But in recent years, we are seeing the needle move.

10 years ago, non-dairy milks made the move to the dairy case, and suddenly, their market share exploded. Now it’s time for Plant-based meats to take a growing space in the market. In 2018 alone, plant-based meat sales are up 23%, with the top brands, like Beyond Meat up 70%, Field Roast up 68%.

Praise to the Butchers and “Meat” Makers

The movement owes much to the urgency we all feel about global climate change. We’ve also got some great artisans taking plant-based meats to new places, including my friends at the Herbivorous Butcher, and “meat” makers around the globe.

Empower Yourself, Make Your Own “Meat”

Like bread, the showy mock meats (like stuffed turkeys, or layered streaky bacon) take a little time to make, and there will always be people who prefer to buy it, not make their own. But for anyone who wants to know what’s in her food, and even customize it a bit, the home kitchen is the place to create “meats.”

There’s More Than One Way to Make a “MEAT”

Most of the meats in the book include some gluten. But there are also jackfruit, bean, nut, and seed based meats in there, too. The chapters cover Basic Meats, Lunch Meats and Spreads, Sausages, Meatballs, Burgers and Meatloaves,Tacos and Pulled Meats, Roasts and Filets, Ribs and Wings, Bacon and Jerky, and a Section on Using the “meats” in main courses like Boeuf Bourguignon, Pepperoni Pizza, and more. There are several gluten free options.

Walnut Cauliflower Ground Beef Tacos, a GF Option from Plant Based Meats by Robin Asbell

Walnut Cauliflower Ground Beef Tacos, a GF Option

If You Crave Meat, This Works

Mock meats may never knock animal meats off the menu. But these really do deliver a satisfying texture and flavor. Your umami receptors will sense the combinations of amino acids and other umami chemicals that signal “meatiness” to your brain, and the experience will feel more satisfying than eating a handful of nuts. You’ll be full and have the protein you crave. Add the satisfaction of eating a meal that isn’t adding to your carbon footprint or taking the lives of animals, and you’ve got a pretty satisfying dish.

I hope you’ll give my book a try, and make your own plant based meats at home. You’ll be saving money, the planet, and your health, with one small but powerful act.

Charcuterie from Plant Based Meats, Hearty High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores

Charcuterie to Tempt the Curious Carnivore

Basic Beef Seitan

This versatile recipe can be made as one big roast, or chunks of stewed beef. It can be simmered on the stovetop, cooked in a slow cooker, or pressure cooked in an instant pot. Once it’s done, you can cut it in chunks for stir fry, and stews, or you can grind it to make a pretty great ground beef.

Copyrighted and reprinted with permission from Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores (Countryman Press)

Yield: 2 1/2 pounds

Mixing time 15 minutes, cooking times vary by method

2 cups vital wheat gluten

1/4 cup tapioca

1/4 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup mock beef broth powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste


In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, tapioca, chickpea flour, and onion powder. In a medium bowl, combine the water, broth powder, oil, tamari, and tomato paste. Whisk until smooth. Stir into the gluten mixture, and knead when it becomes stiff. Form into a log about 9 inches long.

Stovetop: Pour the broth ingredients into a 4 quart pot or dutch oven with a lid. Add the seitan log, and if needed, more water to cover the log, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, just bubbling but not boiling. Cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours, turning the seitan midway. The internal temp should reach 180 F.

Instant Pot: Place 2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet and a dried mushroom in the Instant Pot. For chunks: Mix the seitan and tear or cut the dough into bite-sized pieces, dropping them into the pot as you go. Secure the lid and made sure the steam vent is on Sealing. Set to pressure cook on high pressure, and use Manual to set the timer for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes is up, let the cooker release pressure naturally for 10 minutes.

Let the seitan cool, then separate the pieces.

For the roast, pressure cook for 40 minutes.

Slow cooker: Use 2 cups broth and cook on low for 6 hours.

Take off the heat, drain the seitan and let cool. Save the broth to use in other applications. Use for making ground seitan by cutting in chunks and grinding in the food processor, pulsing on and off until a ground beefy texture is achieved. For stir-fry beef, rip the seitan in pieces, pulling it to find a grain and make pieces that resemble meat.


Seitan Ground Beef Tacos

If you thought taco night was a thing of the past, rejoice. These tacos put your ground seitan to good use, so you can cook these up just the way you used to with a pound of ground beef and a packet of mystery additives and spices.

Copyrighted and reprinted with permission from Plant Based Meats, Hearty, High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores (Countryman Press)

Yield: 1 pound, 1 3/4 cups

20 minutes

1 1/2 cups ground seitan

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons sherry

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon smoked salt

2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce

8 hard or soft taco shells

Lettuce, tomatoes, sliced jalapenos


Prepare or thaw seitan. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for a few seconds, then add the onions and stir. Saute, stirring, until softened. Add the tomato paste and sherry and stir to mix well. Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, smoked salt and tamari and mix. Add the seitan and stir to mix and coat the crumbles thoroughly. Keep stirring until thick and browned, and heated through.

Serve in wraps or tacos.


You Need a Comforting Pasta to Keep You Warm This Winter. Try Farfalle with Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios

Farfalle with Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios

Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions Make Pasta Special

I know, it’s a crazy-busy time of year. We are all running around trying to get things done, as the temperature drops and it gets dark earlier and earlier. It’s disturbingly easy to take refuge in bad choices, and comfort yourself with fast food and snacks. For the sake of your sanity and your health, don’t fall into that trap. Make yourself some of this lush, deeply flavorful pasta, topped with crunchy, lightly salted nuts. Farfalle with Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios is the answer to your Sunday dinner dilemma.

Making good choices is easy, and if you put a handful of chopped pistachios and a generous pour of olive oil over some pasta, your heart will sing.

Pasta for Winter Fuel

I won’t pretend this is an instant, quick, super fast meal. It takes a little time to caramelize the onions and roast the tomatoes. It’s hands-off time, and the oven warms the kitchen. The scent of fresh thyme and garlic wafts through the air. You’ll feel good about making this, I promise.

Grape Tomatoes are the Best in Winter

Once tomato season ends, my go-to is always the Grape tomato. Somehow these little gems still pack real tomato flavor, when full-sized tomatoes have become washed out, flavorless props. The petite grape-shaped beauties are allowed to fully ripen on the vine, not shipped green, so all the chemistry that we need to happen has developed real flavor. Amp it up even more by throwing them in the oven, to sweeten and concentrate the juices.


Vegan Farfalle with Pistachios

Pistachios coat the pasta, then top the dish at serving!

Use Fresh Herbs to Take it Up a Notch

Fresh thyme will slowly infuse the oil and the juices of the vegetables, so the pasta is coated with herby goodness. Instead of the fresh pop of summery basil, you’ll get a complex, slightly musky effect that balances the sweet tomatoes and caramelized onions.

Chopped Nuts for the Win!

But the moment when you win the week is when you load it up with toasted, salted, chopped pistachios. Who needs cheese, when you have nuts? You’ll get all the richness you crave in a pasta from the healthful olive oil, and the crunchy, nutty pistachios are irresistible. Sure, they add protein and healthful fats and fiber, but who cares? It feels like a decadent treat.

Plant Based Pasta with Pistachios

Butter-soft Grape tomatoes and caramelized onions make it unforgettable.

You Deserve Comfort

Comfort yourself with pasta. Just make sure your pasta has tons of plants in it, and you can feel good about eating something so enjoyable.

Stay Warm and Eat More Plants!

Farfalle with Roasted Tomatoes and Pistachios

Crank the oven to make even winter tomatoes into a delicious sauce, sprinkled with crunchy pistachios for Zazz!

Course Pasta
Servings 6
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 2 large onions slivered
  • 3 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme coarsely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic choppped
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 pound farfalle


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta.

    In a 12-inch skillet, warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, and add the onions. Stir until it starts to sizzle, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours. 

  2. In a metal roasting pan, combine the tomatoes, thyme and garlic and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add a sprinkle of the salt. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have burst and are browned in spots. Stir int he onions and keep warm.

  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 13 minutes. While the pasta cooks, chop the pistachios and place in a small saute pan with another good pinch of the salt. Place over medium heat and swirl until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

  4. Drain the pasta and put the pot back on the stove. Add the remaining olive oil and half of the pistachios and toss to coat. Serve the pasta with the tomato mixture on top, and sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

Bake Some Kabocha Cornbread to Share

Vegan Cornbread

Yummy Tender Cornbread

Looking for an easy, fast bread that goes with every meal? This tender Kabocha Cornbread is ready in minutes, and can be a breakfast, lunch, or dinner bread. You can even use the leftovers for the best stuffing EVER.

I’ve been so busy getting ready for the holiday, and helping bring my latest book (Plant Based Meats, more to come about that, click to check it out!)

I haven’t made a raft of holiday recipes for you, or posted my favorite pumpkin pie yet. Family first, right?

But now it’s time to get that fab meal on the table, and this cornbread is going to make it work for both of us. First, throw a big Kabocha in the oven. I love my kabocha, and if you check my instagram, I’ll be posting all the other dishes I make with it.

Red Kabocha

Bake a bunch of Squash- this one weighed almost 7 pounds!

Once you have a big batch of sweet squash, you have a goldmine. I just scooped out a little for this easy vegan cornbread. I am baking for my Mom, who is allergic to standard wheat, so I used Einkorn flour. You can certainly use wheat, or even whole wheat pastry flour. I’m just loving up my Mom with foods she can eat.

It’s so easy, I baked it before everybody else got up , and met them at the table with warm cornbread, marmalade, and a fresh pot of coffee. We’ve been snacking on it, too.

If there’s any left, I can make a stuffing out of it, or croutons that will make a simple soup seem really extra-special.

Get that squash in the oven and make this vegan cornbread. Everyone will love it, vegans or omnivores, and we can bake someone happy.

Happy Holidays!


Bake Some Kabocha Cornbread!


Kabocha Cornbread

Fast and Easy Cornbread, laced with creamy squash, is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Course Side Dish
Servings 8
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1 cup unbleached Einkorn flour
  • 3/4 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup kabocha squash puree


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk to combine

  3. In a cup, stir the almond milk and vinegar, let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the melted coconut oil and agave, then the squash.

  4. Stir the wet into the dry, just until mixed, then spread in the prepared pan. Level the top and bake for about 20 minutes.

  5. When a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out with only moist crumbs. Cool on a rack and serve warm.

Make Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Ganache, for a Halloween Treat

Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Ganache

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is a candy and costume holiday. I know, I know, there is a history going back to the old country, when they carved turnips into Jack-o-lanterns to scare away the spirits. In my lifetime, it was all about being a kids, putting on a costume, and collecting as much sugar and chocolate as possible in one night. So, at my house, we are going to indulge in a little bit of chocolate, in the form of these Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Ganache.

Maybe I’ll put on some colorful socks.

Perhaps if I had kids, I’d be in full costume-making mode, but alas, I only have kitties, and they are resolutely uninterested in costumes.

Did you know that I have a cat named Pumpkin? That’s how much I love the edible gourds. I named my cat after one.

Orange cat

My cat Pumpkin, lying on a pie pan full of onions. Pumpkin Pie, get it?

Instead, I decided to look ahead to pumpkin pie season and drizzle a layer of creamy pumpkin pie on top of a tender, deeply chocolatey brownie. The rich chocolate ganache is better than the icing on the cake, it’s more like the truffle on the cake.

And BTW, it’s all vegan.

Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Ganache

Drizzle them with lush ganache!

This recipe uses only 1 cup of pumpkin, so you can save the 1/2 cup left over from the can to make the Pumpkin Spice Oats from last week’s blog. Use a nice, extra firm silken tofu for the pumpkin swirl, and it will be creamy and delicious.

These would be great to serve at a Halloween party, or really, any party this winter. I ate them a few times for lunch (Tofu!) and they are great with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

You don’t need a costume to enjoy a tasty chocolate treat, do you?

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Ganache

The best parts of pumpkin pie and brownies, together at last!

Course Dessert
Servings 9
Author Robin Asbell



  • 5 ounces silken tofu extra firm
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 ounce very dark chocolate melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • 3 ounces very dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk


  1. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. First, make the swirl. In a food processor, puree the tofu until smooth, scraping down and repeating until no little chunks remain. Add the pumpkin and almond butter and process until smooth again, scraping down and repeating as needed. Add maple, cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg and arrowroot and puree to mix. Scrape into a sandwich-sized plastic bag and squeeze into one corner. Chill until the batter is ready.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, arrowroot, baking powder and salt. Whisk and mix, making sure the cocoa is not in lumps.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir the maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil, melted chocolate and vanilla. Don't use cold ingredients, or it will make the chocolate harden instead of mix in smoothly.

    Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, just until mixed.

  5. Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it, creating a little bit of a rim around the edge, about 1/2 inch high. cut the corner off the bag of pumpkin and squirt the pumpkin in a series of swirls across the batter. Use a spoon to dollop portions of the remaining batter between swirls. 
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top looks cracked and dry. The middle should be slightly underbaked. Cool on a rack. Chill the cooled brownies until completely cold.
  7. Make the ganache: Warm the coconut milk in a pan, then add the chopped chocolate and stir. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Drizzle the ganache over the cold brownies, and refrigerate until the ganache is firm.
  8. Slice the cold brownies 3 x 3 to make 9 brownies (unless you want larger ones.) Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until time to serve.

Soak Your Oats! Creamy Pumpkin Spice Oats For a Comforting Breakfast

Overnight Pumpkin Spice Oats

Creamy, Comforting Oats with Toasted Pumpkinseeds and Pears

Are you sick of pumpkin spice yet? The season has barely started, so I hope you are still craving dishes that remind you of pumpkin pie. You know me, I’m not using fake pumpkin spice flavor, I’m using real pumpkin and spices, and I love it in real food. Like this latest obsession, my Creamy Pumpkin Spice Oats.

Easy, Comforting, Energizing

Smoothies and smoothie bowls are big at my house. I love blending my breakfast. But when it starts getting cold out, sometimes the smoothie feels a little too chilly. So, for a change, I make a smoothie and use it to soak some oats. Then I can grab a bowl whenever I need a good breakfast or snack, and microwave it.

Pumpkin Spice Oat Bowls

Creamy, Spicy, Hearty

If you are getting into the seasonal foods of Fall, chances are that you are opening cans of pumpkin for various muffins, breads and desserts, you often have partial cans left over. That’s where this soak can help prevent waste. After I use one cup for a recipe, I often put the remaining half cup in the freezer, where it may languish for months.

Use Up those Bits of Leftover Pumpkin

This recipe uses up that half cup. How perfect is that? You can throw a frozen chunk in the blender, or you can just scrape it straight from the can. Whatever works.

Creamy Pumpkin Spice Oats

Creamy Oats, Crunchy Apples and Seeds

I put in a leftover chunk of tofu, same deal as the pumpkin, you always have odds and ends, don’t you? Almonds add more protein, and it’s just barely sweet from pure maple syrup.

Crunchy Pepitas On Top

For a fun topper, I toasted some pepitas, then tossed some organic sugar in the pan so it would melt and coat the toasty seeds. I love pumpkinseeds so much, and they add crunch and pizzazz to this bowl of spice and comfort.

One day, I topped it with sliced Luscious Pears, and the next, diced apples. Either way, it was full of textures and flavors, and I was overjoyed to see it in the refrigerator, waiting for me.

Put this on your pumpkin spice craving list, and get your needs met without eating junk food.

Pumpkin Spice Oats will make your Fall feel warm and cozy.

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats with Pumpkinseeds

Set yourself up for a good breakfast by making a high protein smoothie, then soaking oats in it overnight. In the morning, you can either eat it cold or microwave it for a hearty breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Servings 3
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1 cup thick rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


  • 1 cup pepitas raw, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar


  1. Place the oats in a 4 cup storage container. 
  2. In the blender, combine the almond milk, water, pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, tofu, almonds and maple syrup. Secure the lid and blend on high until very smooth. Pour over the oats, scraping the container with a spatula to get it all out. Stir to mix, then refrigerate overnight.
  3. In the blender, combine the almond milk, water, pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, tofu, almonds and maple syrup. Secure the lid and blend on high until very smooth. Pour over the oats, scraping the container with a spatula to get it all out. Stir to mix, then refrigerate overnight.
  4. Serve a cup of the oats in a bowl, topped with sliced fruit and pumpkinseeds.

Autumn Vegetable Gratin Is the Peasant Food You Need Now

Autumn Vegetable Gratin

Savory, Thyme-Laced Vegetable Gratin

Autumn Vegetable Gratin, with Roots

It’s Autumn. The leaves are afire with brilliant colors, the mornings are briskly frosty, and the harvest has been brought in from the fields. Now is a perfect time to crank the oven and make an Autumn Vegetable Gratin.

Root vegetables are a seasonal pick, with their grounding, earth centered energy. According to Macrobiotic theory, roots are more yang, while leafy vegetables are more yin. Most of the things Americans love to eat are at the far ends of the yin-yang continuum, and the sugary, refined stuff we love is very yin. Unbalanced yin energy makes you more scattered, and is considered cooling. That makes the warming, more contracted energy of roots a perfect foil for the dropping temperatures.

And even if you don’t care about yin and yang, you have to love roots in the wintertime!

Balance and Warm Yourself

This one is made up of what we might describe as “honking-huge” rutabaga and turnip, alternating with the thick trunk of a butternut squash. I picked out these sizes and shapes so that they would make relatively even scallops in a baking dish.

Getting started with some big fat veggies

The Scallop Shape is the Thing

Once I peeled the veggies with a peeler, it was easy to make thin slices to stack in the pan, alternating with slivers of garlic, red onion, and scattering fresh thyme from the garden over it all with abandon. It all roasts and becomes meltingly tender.

Sliced Vegetables for a Gratin

A little Slicing, a little layering…

Now, I know that some of you might not be fans of the stronger flavors in rutabagas and turnips. To help balance that, I added olive oil and apple juice. The rich, fruity flavor of the oil and the sweet-tart apple juice take the edge off the big honking roots, and the squash helps balance the earthiness. If you are a dairy eater, subbing butter for olive oil might rock your boat, too.

Autumn Vegetable Gratin

The Crunchy Topping Makes it Super Appealing

Once it’s all assembled, I covered the pan and baked it until all the veggies are butter-soft. Then, I uncovered it all with a mix of minced walnuts and panko, moistened with more olive oil. Don’t be afraid of the salt, it needs a bit of salt, too. It’s really a very simple combination of flavors, and every one is important.

Autumn Vegetable Gratin

Serves a Crowd

Once the topping is crisped, you are ready to go. I loved this the first night, and ate it for lunch for a couple of days afterward, enjoying it immensely.

Autumn Vegetable Gratin

Butter-Soft Baked Vegetables, Layered with Thyme

Of course, you can use other roots, and make skinnier rows of sliced parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, beets, even radishes. If you carave a creamier version, use a cup of coconut milk along with the apple juice, and let it bubble down to a silky sauce.

Because you need to warm yourself, from the inside out!

Autumn Vegetable Gratin

Ditch the scalloped potatoes and try this lighter, plant-based Autumn Veggie Gratin.

Course Side Dish
Servings 6
Author Robin Asbell


  • 1/2 2 lb rutabaga peeled
  • 1/2 2.5 lb butternut squash peeled, solid trunk cut away from the cavity section
  • 1/2 1.5 lb turnip peeled
  • 1/2 medium red onion sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and slivered
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    Slice the rutabaga, butternut squash, and turnip in half, vertically. Slice in 1/3 inch thick half moons, keeping the pieces in piles.

  2. Start at one end of a 2 quart baking dish and build the gratin, alternating vegetable slices, and sprinkling with thyme in between layers. Tuck garlic and onions in between veggies, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sprinkle with half of the salt. 

  3. Pour the apple juice into the baking dish, and cover the dish tightly. Bake for 40 minutes.

  4. In a bowl, mix the walnuts, panko, remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining salt, and paprika. Sprinkle over the vegetables and return the pan to the oven for 20 minutes. 

  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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