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December 2001 Issue
A Vegetarian Christmas
by Victoria Smith
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Leek and Corn Stuffed Peppers

  • 10 medium green or red bell peppers, or a combination
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, white and palest green parts only, chopped and well rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked corn kernels, preferably fresh
  • 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried summer savory
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Wheat germ for topping
  • Paprika for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Carefully cut away the top stems of the peppers and remove the seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the bottoms so that the peppers can stand. Arrange, standing snugly against one an other for support, in one or two very deep casserole dishes or a roasting pan.

Heat the oil with two tablespoons of water in a large skillet. Add the leeks, shallots, and garlic. Saute over medium heat, covered, lifting the lid to stir occasionally, until the leeks are tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the toppings. Cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.

Distribute the stuffing among the peppers. Top each with a sprinkling of wheat germ, followed by a dusting of paprika. Cover the casserole or roasting pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the peppers are tender but still firm enough to stand. Arrange in a circle on a large platter surrounding the pilaf, following. Serve at once.

  • Yields: 8 to 10 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 1 hour
 

 

Wild Rice Pilaf with Apples and Pecans

  • 2/3 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 2/3 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • Dash each: cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Bring 3 3/4 cups of water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the wild and brown rice and the seasoned salt, return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.

Heat the margarine in a very large skillet. Add the onion and celery and saute until the onion is golden. Add the apple and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice mixture along with the juice, scallions, currants, and spices. Season to taste with pepper.

Saute over low heat, stirring frequently, another 5 minutes. This may be done somewhat ahead of time to this point, then left covered off the heat until needed. Just before serving, heat through, adding a bit more liquid if the mixture needs it, then stir in the parsley and pecans. Mound in the center of a large serving platter and surround with the stuffed peppers, above.

  • Yields: 8 to 10 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 1 hour
 

 

Sauteed Red Cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, quartered and sliced
  • 6 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet or 3-quart saucepan. Add the onion and saute until golden. Add the cabbage, wine, and vinegar. Cover and saute until crisp-tender, about 12 minutes, lifting the lid to stir occasionally.

Stir in the honey and poppy seeds and saute over very low heat, stirring occasionally, another 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving container to serve.

  • Yields: 8 to 10 servings
  • Preparation Time: no more than 25 minutes
 

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