Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

Some people actually like winter.  I don't.  It makes far too much misery for man and beast, and just about the only thing that we can do is defend ourselves against it.

Our entire household is ill with bronchitis, and as soon as we feel like eating again, we are going to have some good, hearty, winter-fighting food, and I'm going to share these hot lunch winter recipes with you, so that you too can win the battle of the chill.

I said to my mother last night, "I'd really like to have some dumplings."  All she said was, "Oh, God," and turned her face into the pillow.  I don't think she has any coughing left in her.

But I do have some recipes for you.

Winter Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Casserole Base
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 small rutabaga
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • One 15-oz. can lima beans with liquor
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 oz. vegetable suet, shredded, or grated chilled margarine
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cut vegetables into even, bite-size chunks, then fry gently in the margarine for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour and then the liquor from the beans, the stock, tomato paste, spices, bay leaves, and seasoning, and bring to a boil, stirring all the time.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the beans, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, simply mix the flour and suet or margarine, thyme, and salt to a firm but moist dough, with the milk and knead with your hands until it is smooth.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces, rolling each one into a ball with your fingers.  Uncover the simmering stew and add the dumplings, allowing space between each one for expansion.

Replace the lid and cook on a gentle simmer for another 15 minutes.  Do not peek.  You will let all the steam out.  Nor should you cook the dumplings too fast, or they will break up.  Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves before you serve this dish, steaming hot.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour.

Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 medium sized potato, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded, halved, and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • One 7-oz. can lima beans
  • One 11-oz. can corn kernels
  • Good pinch dried sage

Put the onion, garlic, potato, celery, and green pepper into a large saucepan with the oil and margarine. Heat the ingredients until sizzling, and then turn the heat down to low.

Pour in the stock season to taste, and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.

Add the milk, beans and corn, including the liquor, and the sage.  Simmer again for five minutes.  Check the seasoning again and serve hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 45 minutes

Crescent Vegetarian Weiners

  • 8 Morningstar Farms Vegetarian Franks
  • 4 slices American cheese, cut into strips
  • 1 8-oz. can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Slit franks to within 1/2 inch of the ends. Insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit.

Separate dough into triangles.  Wrap dough triangle around each frank.   Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.

Bake at 375F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • Yields: 8 sandwiches
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Very Veggie Burgers

  • 1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 - 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 4 - 1 1/2 oz. slices provolone cheese, halved
  • 4 burger buns, split
  • Ketchup, if desired

Cook rice in water, as directed on the package.  In a food processor bowl with a metal blade, combine cooked rice, black beans, mushrooms, onions, roasted peppers and garlic mixture.  Pulse to coarsely chop mixture.  Add bread crumbs.  Pulse to mix.  DO NOT PUREE.

Shape mixture into 4 patties, 1/2 inch thick.  Place on broiler pan.  Broil for 4 to 6 inches from heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until patties are thoroughly heated, turning once.

Place 2 pieces of cheese on each patty.  Broil an additional minute or until cheese is melted.  Place lettuce and patties in buns.  (The buns are better toasted.) Add ketchup, if you like.

  • Yields: 4 burgers
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes