Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

I was born in Cortland County, New York, in the center of the state. When I was nine years old, I was adopted, and grew up at the New Jersey Shore. Two and a half years ago, we relocated and took up residence on forty beautiful acres that my Mom owned in Madison County, New York, right next door to Cortland County. My Mom has encouraged me to re-unite with my birth family, and I have done so. I have spent time with my biological parents and with my brother and sister, and their children.

Now that I am an adult, I can do this without pain.

I have learned a number of things about my background from my siblings, among these that my ethnic heritage includes both Oneida and Onandaga forbears.

Now this knowledge does not prevent me from enjoying one of my favorite movies of all time, "Drums Along the Mohawk," with Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, especially since we live so close to the Mohawk Valley. In fact, we shop at Riverside Mall, and the river in question is indeed the Mohawk.

We have been to the Cultural Center at Shako Wisconsin and I subscribe to the Oneida newsletter.

Now you may find it difficult to believe that a blue-eyed redhead, adopted by a green-eyed redhead, growing up in Lenape Territory (the Lenape were Native Americans indigenous to the New Jersey Shore) could return to the land of the People of the Long Houses, and know nothing about them.

So, I set about to do some research. Among the volumes of information that the Internet holds concerning these remarkable people, I found The Three Sisters Cookbook. From time to time, I will be sharing some of these recipes with you.

It seems only right that I should begin with six for Thanksgiving, 2002.


    Victoria Eileen Smith (Wolf Clan)

Squash and Corn with Tomatoes

  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ pound zucchini cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 ¼ pounds summer squash cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¾ pound corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 ¼ pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 ounces canned green chilies, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced cilantro or parsley

Melt butter in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté zucchini, summer squash and corn 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, chilies and pepper to taste. Cover skillet and simmer 5-6 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro and serve.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cornbread Stuffing

Basic Cornbread
  • 1 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 c. egg substitute
  • 2/3 c. skim milk
  • 1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
Additional Ingredients
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. currants
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsps. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Prepare cornbread first. In medium bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In another bowl, beat egg substitute slightly. Add skim milk, nonfat yogurt and honey, mix well. Pour liquids over the dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Coat an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool thoroughly, then crumble into a bowl. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme; saute 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in crumbled cornbread, parsley, currants, pecans and pepper. Remove from heat. Place in container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups cubed potato (about 3 medium)
  • 1 15-16 oz. can pinto beans rinsed & drained
  • 1 15-16 oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup cubed zucchini squash
  • 1 14.5 oz can no-added-salt whole tomatoes, un-drained and chopped
  • 1 6-oz. can no-added-salt tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Coat a large Dutch oven with vegetable cooking spray, add oil and heat until hot. Add chopped onions, green pepper, celery; sauté 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add beans, potatoes and next nine ingredients; stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Stir occasionally while cooking.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Meatless Chili

  • 1 cup dried pinto or kidney beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can no-salt added tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Place beans and 3 cups of water in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes. Do not drain. Set aside for 1 hour, then return beans to heat, adding water to cover if necessary.

Simmer for 1 hour, or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until onion is translucent. Add beans and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 4 or more hours

Good For You Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Soak raisins in orange juice for 5 minutes. Do not drain.

In large mixing bowl, stir in pumpkin, egg substitute, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Add oil, mix well. Stir together flours, baking powder and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture with the raisin-orange juice mixture and stir to mix. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and cool on wire rack.

  • Yields: 18 muffins
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cake

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir and set aside. Combine flours and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine yogurt, pumpkin, 1/2 cup brown sugar, oil and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in cranberries and orange rind. Spoon batter into a 13x9 inch cake pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with walnut mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes