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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including;animal rights, global food crisis,health, frugal living and the urgency of global warming.

The results of our poll question "Did you go meatless today? are very encouraging as we have increased our positive impact on the environment. Last week we had 38 positive responses and by using this calculator the C02 carbon emissions saved by 38 of us going meatless for one day is 27,284 pounds!  I will post a new poll for today at the end of the diary and will post the results next Monday.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. Thanks to Meatless Monday for publishing one of our own recipes on its front page this week!

                                              Cranberry Pictures, Images and Photos

Thanksgiving is a holiday that we can all be thankful for because we can all participate regardless of religion or lack thereof. And as the celebration centers around a bountiful feast the preparation is a great part of the enjoyment. MMM will devote todays and next weeks diary to the preparation of our vegetarian feast.  To me, Thanksgiving dinner has always been about the sides with one showstopper entree. I usually try to use traditional ingredients in most of the recipes but may use them in new ways.

CRANBERRY PIE
OK, this is my specialty so I'll start with dessert. I am always expected to serve this when I cook and when I am invited for Thanksgiving dinner I am always asked to bring my pie.

Thought some of you might like to watch pie crust being made in the vid below.  I use the same crust recipe but make a lattice top for my cranberry pie.

Here are instructions for a lattice top.

CRANBERRY PIE (filling)

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1'4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 recipe plain pastry

wash berries and chop in food processer and mix with next 5 ingredients.
Line 9" piepan with pastry, pour in filling and arrange strips of pastry over top in lattice design. Bake in hot oven 450 F 10-12 minutes reduce to 350 F and bake about 30 minutes longer.

SUCCOTASH SOUP with BLACK PEPPER CROUTONS
This recipe is from Bon Appetit

Croutons
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (or butter sub.)
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes crustless sourdough bread (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

Soup
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter (or butter sub.)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 medium)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
8 cups low-salt vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans (about 8 ounces)
1 14 3/4-ounce can creamed corn
1 1/2 cups frozen white corn kernels (about 8 ounces)

PreparationFor croutons:
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread and pepper and stir to coat. Sauté until croutons are golden and crisp on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely; store airtight at room temperature.)

For soup:
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, shallots, and garlic; sauté until leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons parsley, thyme, and oregano; sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Mix in red bell pepper. Add broth and lima beans and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lima beans are tender, about 10 minutes. Add creamed corn and corn kernels and heat through. Remove soup from heat; season to taste with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with some croutons and some of remaining 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve, passing remaining croutons separately.

CARROT AND CRANBERRY SALAD WITH FRESH GINGER DRESSING

This salad is a take off of the traditional southern carrot and raisin salad popular when I was a child.

7 large green onions
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 level tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
4 cups coarsely grated peeled carrots
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Cut tops off onions. Cut tops lengthwise into thin strips; cut strips into 2-inch pieces. Chop half of onion bottoms. Place remaining bottoms in blender; add vinegar and ginger. Puree, occasionally scraping down sides of blender jar. Strain puree into measuring cup, pressing enough solids through to yield 1/2 cup dressing; season with pepper.

Place carrots and cranberries in large bowl. Add onion tops and bottoms. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

CREAMED CORN PUDDING

10 to 12 large ears of corn, shucked
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
4 large eggs, separated (organic, free range and perfect if you have your own chicks)
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Using large holes on box grater, grate enough corn into large measuring cup to yield 4 generous cups of thick milky pulp.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and celery; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Sauté until tender but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape mixture into bowl.

Whisk egg yolks in large bowl 2 minutes. Stir in corn mixture, onion mixture, crême fraîche, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Whisk egg whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry; fold into corn batter in 2 additions.

Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter in 10- to 12-cup cast-iron skillet or baking dish. Transfer to oven and heat until butter begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Brush butter over inside of skillet. Add pudding.

Bake pudding 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pudding until set and golden, about 30 minutes longer. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

PEAR-CRANBERRY CRISP  (serves 8)
This is a favorite during pear season and makes a delicious light Thanksgiving dessert especially served with vanilla ice cream (soy)

6  cups  sliced peeled pear (about 3 pounds)
1  teaspoon  cornstarch
1/2  cup  fresh cranberries (or more to taste)
1/2  cup  apple juice
1/4  cup  maple syrup
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
1/8  teaspoon  sea salt
Cooking spray

Topping:
3/4  cup  regular oats
3/4  cup  whole wheat pastry flour
1/4  cup  sugar
1/4  cup  chopped pecans
1/4  cup  butter, melted or butter sub.
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/4  teaspoon  sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare filling, place the pears in a large bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Stir in cranberries and next 5 ingredients (cranberries through 1/8 teaspoon salt). Spoon pear mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, combine oats and remaining ingredients, tossing until moist. Sprinkle topping in an even layer over pear mixture. Cover with foil; bake at 375° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until topping is golden and fruit mixture is bubbly.

Congrats to Sir Paul for receiving the 2010 Gershwin prize for popular song!

"Monkberry Moon Delight" Paul McCartney (a very cool song)

"Honey Pie"  The Beatles

What are you all planning for Thanksgiving? These recipes were just to get us started.  Next week there will be more including our showstopper.

Last week 38 of us went meatless and saved 27,284 pounds of CO2 emissions!  Please answer the poll below and I will post the results next week.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Mon Nov 16, 2009 at 03:01 PM PST.

Poll

Did you go Meatless today?

100%51 votes

| 51 votes | Vote | Results

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