VeganMoFo: Squashes, Pumpkins and Other Things Autumnal

Welcome to Vegan Month of Food!  If you missed my last post with my plans for VeganMoFo 2010, check it out.  I’m starting out by catching up on some stuff that’s been going on recently.  To get into the spirit of Fall, I’ve been eating as many Autumnal flavors as possible!


This is autumn millet, tempeh, roasted brussels sprouts and toasted pepitas.  I don’t know if I can adequately express my love for roasted brussels sprouts.  I could eat at least three times the amount pictured here in one sitting.  Love!  For the millet, I was inspired by Lilveggiepatch’s Autumn Millet.  I’ve never been a huge fan of millet, because I had never figured out how to cook it correctly, and now I think I’ve found the formula.  Some people say to use 2 cups water to 1 cup millet, which I think turns out underdone and crunchy, and some people say to use 3 cups water to 1 cup millet, which I think turns out wet and squishy.  So, I compromised and used 2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup millet and the texture was perfectly light and fluffy.  I also toasted the millet very well in a dry pan before adding the water, which I think is key.  The tempeh was simmered then quickly marinated in orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, cumin and coriander.  The toasted pepitas totally sealed the deal on this dinner.

When I first saw the frittata recipe from the VeganizeIt! column in the May/June issue of VegNews, I knew I would love it.  The description promised an eggy texture and taste from chickpea flour and kala namak, and while it didn’t seem extremely eggy to me, I did like it a lot.

I served the frittata with roasted pumpkin, cooked in coconut oil and spiced with garam masala and coriander.  I used leek in the frittata instead of the onion which was called for, just because I had a leek in the fridge.  I also reduced the amount of margarine from 1/4 cup to 2 Tbs, because I just didn’t see the need for that much margarine.  The frittata didn’t feel low fat even with the reduced amount, and I was particularly happy with the calorie count – under 150 calories for 1/6 of the whole pie!

I bought a block of Galaxy Vegan Cheddar to try out on some chili, and when I came across (never home) maker’s Smoked Pumpkin Chili I thought it would pair perfectly.  Verdict on the cheese:  It’s…okay.  It’s not better or worse than Daiya or Teese, just different, and I guess I would buy it again if I needed some cheese and it was available.  It did shred very easily, so that’s a plus.

Verdict on the chili:  Delicious!  The pumpkin puree made the broth wonderfully thick, and the smoked paprika gave it a great smoky flavor.  I added a few dashes of cayenne pepper, because my chili has to be spicy.  My only complaint is that the recipe didn’t include any actual chili powder, which to me is an essential ingredient.  I hope to make this soup again sooner than later, and I will probably add a tablespoon of chili powder when I do.

The latest East Bay Vegan Bakesale was last Saturday, and while I didn’t have time to bake for it, I made sure to stop buy and pick up a few goodies.  This is a pumpkin whoopie pie and a sweet potato muffin, and they were both fantastic.  I also bought a mini-banana muffin and scarfed it too quickly to photograph.  There were also brownies, giant cinnamon rolls, cookies, cupcakes and all sorts of other goodies on display, and I used my amazing skills of self-control to not buy it all.  Or, I was broke at the end of the month.  One of those…

For dinner tonight, I baked up a spaghetti squash then tossed the flesh with Vegan Dad’s Alfredo Sauce and some steamed spinach.  I’ve had some major let-downs in the alfredo department since going vegan, but this sauce did not disappoint!  I again reduced the amount of margarine called for, because I just can’t justify putting 1/2 cup of Earth Balance in something that I’ll be eating all by myself.  I can see how the sauce would be more rich with the full amount, but I don’t think it really suffered for taking out some of the fat.  I also reduced the amount of onion powder a bit, and added 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, because everything needs nutritional yeast.  On the side, I had some roasted beets and radishes.  Beets and radishes play surprisingly well together.

I’m so excited to read all of the upcoming VeganMoFo posts from bloggers around the world.  There are over 500 blogs signed up!  A full list will be posted here within a few days:  http://veganmofo.wordpress.com/blog-roll-2010/

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9 Comments »

  1. Hannah said

    That frittata looks off the hook! I’ve been wanting to make one and now I may have to!

  2. Babette said

    I really enjoyed your first VeganMoFo post. Your food looks beautiful. I also have issues with millet, but last night I just cooked it with lots of veggies, broth and coco milk, and when I ate it, it was like a rice dish. I think I’ll try to eat more millet, because it is so cheap and good for you.

    I don’t really like the Galaxy cheese. I much prefer Daiya.

    Do you really roast your radishes? Regular radishes? I have 2 bunches in my fridge, and for now I just eat one radish a day at lunch… do you just roast them like regular veggies? For how long?

    • veganhomemade said

      Yes! I roast regular old radishes. I toss them with just a teeny bit of oil and some salt and pepper, then roast at 425F for about 25-30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Or, I’m sure you could roast them longer if you wanted them to be more soft. You don’t want to cut them too small, as they shrink a bit in the oven – I cut the medium sized radishes into four pieces each. They actually went really well with the beets, as the radishes were peppery and the beets were sweet!

      • Babette said

        Thanks. I tried it tonight and it was very tasty. It is a nice way to use my radishes!

  3. Mandee said

    Thank you so much for including your tips on cooking millet. Every time I’ve cooked it it’s taken forever and never felt done, even though I roasted the seeds before cooking. I will try your ratio!

    And even though it’s spring here I could eat every single thing you made as it’s rainy and cold and I am in the mood for comfort food.

    • veganhomemade said

      Mandee – I think it took 30 minutes, tops, for the millet to cook, so definitely try it again! I think the dry-toasting is key, and also trying to keep the temperature as low as possible while still maintaining a simmer.

  4. jessy said

    so awesome, Erin – i’m so glad you’re MoFo’n this year! kick boooooty! all autumn themed eatz = the best in my book, and you and i are on the same page with our love for brussel sprouts. were i stuck on an island and could only have 3 foods it would be brussel sprouts, avocados, and butter beans.mmm! when i was little my parents were shocked that i was obsessed with brussel sprouts and requested them all the time. ah ha ha! totally gonna have to try that frittata and your plate of autumn millet, tempeh, roasted brussels sprouts and toasted pepitas = beyond scrumptious. wow! the pumpkin whoopie pie & sweet potato muffin look great – too cool on supporting the bake sale. yum! did you say VeganDad’s recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of vegan margarine? sweet jeebus, that’s just nuttyboos! good call on reducing it – and i’m glad it was delicious. i too have bene disappointed with many a alfredo sauces, gonna have to try his, but your way – with less earth balance, fo ‘sho. never did i think to roast radishes – now i’m gonna. thanks! looking forward to many more great MoFo posts. w00t!

  5. That frittata looks awesome!
    Happy MoFo’ing.
    🙂

  6. chow vegan said

    The frittata looks awesome, I’ll have to hunt down that recipe. I’ve never been a big fan of brussels sprouts but maybe I should try it roasted. 🙂

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