With the cooler weather settling in, the change of seasons often brings about cravings for warming soups, hearty salads, and favorite seasonal flavors such as pumpkin. We asked several of the culinary geniuses who are often guests on our vegan cruise each year for some of their favorite fall recipes. Here’s what they shared!
Butternut Squash Cream Soup
With innovative recipes on familiar themes, Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook by Sandy Pukel and Mark Hanna features more than a hundred plant-based dishes. This sweet, golden-colored soup will give you a healthy dose of beta-carotene.
6 cups cubed butternut squash
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup soymilk or ricemilk
1 tablespoon mirin
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. Bring the squash, water and salt to boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender.
2. Reserving the cooking liquid, transfer the squash with a slotted spoon to a blender or food processor. Add the soymilk and about 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and purée until smooth.
3. Return the puréed ingredients to the pot, and add as much of the remaining cooking liquid as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Add the mirin and cayenne pepper. Reheat if necessary.
4. Garnish with parsley before serving.
Add a sprinkle or two of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg.
Acorn Squash Black Bean Soup Bowls
Kim says, “This hearty healthy meal in a bowl will surely warm you by the fire. I love the combination of sweet and spicy when the squash and soup come together. Baked acorn squash bowls really go well with almost any soup style so if you are in a rush and have leftover soups or stews in the fridge, bake up a sweet acorn squash and make it a meal!”
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups salsa
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 cups spinach, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (for garnishing)
1 avocado, diced (for garnishing)
Acorn Squash Bowls
4 acorn squash, halved (or tops removed)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees.
2. Cut the acorn squash into halves. For small squash, simply cut the tops off only. Remove the seeds and pulp. Brush the inside and edges of the squash with maple syrup and sprinkle salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the squash flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. Bake times will vary depending on the thickness of the squash. Remove and allow to cool slightly before adding the soup.
4. While the squash is baking, begin making the soup. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, green peppers, jalapeno, and garlic in a small amount of water until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the black beans, vegetable broth, salsa, chili powder, cumin, and salt to taste. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
6. While the soup is cooking, scoop out half of the soup and process in a blender until smooth and creamy. Return the pureed mixture to the pot. (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup right in the pot.)
7. Stir in the corn and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
8. Spoon the soup into each squash half and garnish with cilantro and avocado slices.
Kim’s hint: “You can use almost any creamy soup or stew to fill baked acorn squash. I love to fill ours with the baked potato soup from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook.”
Brussel Sprout Salad
This is another fall-favorite recipe Kim developed. Kim says, “Brussel sprouts make the perfect cool-weather crunchy salad that has texture more like a slaw. This autumn salad pairs the flavors of smoky bac’n chickpeas with a sweet creamy dressing. If you’ve given up on the strong flavor of cooked brussel sprouts, give them a try raw because the flavors are mild yet amazing!”
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
½ cup water
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 lb brussel sprouts, shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup red onion, small diced
1 small apple, small diced
½ cup dried fruit (raisins or cranberries)
1 avocado, diced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Mix the tamari, nutritional yeast flakes, and liquid smoke in a medium-sized bowl.
3. Pour the chickpeas into the bowl and mix thoroughly so they are well coated.
4. Place the chickpeas onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy around the edges. Turn the oven off leaving the chickpeas in the oven until you are ready to add them to the salad.
5. Place the dressing ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
6. Place the shredded brussel sprouts (I like to use the slicer in my food processor), walnuts, onions, apple, dried fruit, avocado, and quinoa into a bowl and toss.
7. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until fully combined. Top with the roasted bac’n chickpeas and serve.
Kim’s hints: “We love the bac’n chickpeas just for snacking so this is a great snack idea all by itself. They also make great salad toppers and are the perfect topping for anything that calls for bacon bits.”
Decadent Greens and Beans
Christina Pirello, the Emmy award-winning host of the national public television series Christina Cooks and author of several popular cookbooks shared this recipe with us.
Christina says, “This is the greatest side dish, and there are so many possibilities with this recipe! Vary the greens, try different beans, and season to your own taste and style. This dish is high in protein, rich in antioxidants, and ready in minutes. It’s perfection.”
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
Generous pinch crushed red chili flakes
Cracked black pepper
1 can organic cannellini, garbanzo, or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed well
1 bunch kale, collards or other dark greens, rinsed well and cut into bite-size pieces
Fresh lemon juice
1. Place a small amount of oil and onion in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2–3 minutes.
2. Stir in beans, ¼ cup water; season lightly with salt and cook over low heat until the beans are warmed through.
3. Stir in greens; season to taste with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the greens are just wilted and bright green, about two minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in about 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.
Sweet Potato and Lima Bean Tagine
Bryant Terry, an eco-chef, food justice activist and the author of three books shared this recipe on our 2014 HHAS cruise.
Tagine, a popular dish in North Africa, is named after the earthenware pot in which these stews are traditionally cooked. This is a simple version combining ingredients from the American South with herbs and spices used in traditional North African cooking. Like most stews, this dish tastes even better after the flavors have melded overnight. Serve it with cornbread for a satisfying meal.
⅔ cup dried lima beans, sorted and soaked in water overnight
1 (3-inch) piece kombu
1½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
Scant 2 cups vegetable stock, homemade or store-bought
1 large pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
Freshly ground white pepper
¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
1. Drain the lima beans and rinse them well. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the kombu and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until just tender but still firm, 25 to 45 minutes. Check the beans often to ensure that they don’t overcook, skimming off any foam and discarding any floating skins.
2. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, remove the kombu, and rinse under cold water.
3. Pour the stock into a medium bowl, crumble the saffron into it, and set aside.
4. Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the stock. Add the sweet potatoes, agave nectar and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
5. Stir in the lima beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Season with white pepper and, if desired, more salt. Serve garnished with the cilantro.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
1 medium banana, mashed
1 (15 oz.) can sweet pumpkin puree
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole gluten-free oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspooon ground ginger
1 cup (grain-sweetened) dairy-free chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
2. In a small bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Transfer mixture to large bowl and mix together gently until well combined. Avoid over-mixing to prevent toughness in the final product. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Spoon batter into silicone muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Store muffins in an airtight container.
*Recipe derived from Julieanna Hever’s Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins in Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.