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Whether you are just looking for a new and interesting recipe to enjoy for the holidays, or you are expecting a vegan guest for dinner, or maybe you have recently adopted a vegan diet, Choices is the place to find all you need for delicious and flavorful recipes!

This is the first in a series of posts featuring delicious vegan options, as we approach the holiday season.

In my search for ideas, I only had a few requirements. The dish needed to include flavors that evoked memories of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners AND it needed to be vegan or easily adapted.

Suddenly—this recipe appeared in my Facebook feed: Butternut Squash Wellington. It fit all of my requirements and looked a little bit involved, which I felt was ok because any special dish deserves some effort!

Tips:

  • When roasting the squash, set a timer for a shorter period of time and check periodically to test doneness. I roasted mine for about 20 minutes and it was already overdone. It all depends on your oven.

  • Adjust all spices to your taste.

  • Don’t skip the orange zest!

  • The vegan sausage I used was Hillary’s Maple Apple Sausage. Feel free to experiment with your favorite brand. This one broke apart, and didn’t have the same texture as a regular meat sausage. Use your favorite!

  • I adjusted the garlic in my re-writing of the recipe. I am a garlic lover, but I thought the original quantities would have taken over the entire dish.

    Vegan Butternut Squash Wellington Recipe

(adapted from a recipe by Indigo_Greens17 on the Vegan Food and Living website. Click here to see the original recipe.)

1 medium butternut squash

5 oz. vegan sausage (I used Hillary’s Apple Maple breakfast sausage)

8 sprigs of thyme

1/3 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. slivered almonds (or maybe walnuts if you like a bit more crunch)

2 T. dried onion flakes

1/2 t. smoked paprika

1 T. fresh sage, finely chopped

1/2 t. chili flakes

1 large or 2 medium cloves of garlic, grated

zest of 1 small orange

1/2 t. whole grain mustard

7 oz. kale (I used a small bunch of lacinato kale)

olive oil

salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Halve the butternut squash vertically and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Because the skin can be especially tough or hard to cut through, you might want to use a paring knife to make small cuts in the skin. Microwave for 3-5 minutes and let it cool a few minutes so it’s cooler to handle. It should now be more tender, and easier to cut.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil the inside of the squash. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of garlic and half the thyme. Lay both halves, cut side down, on the parchment paper on the baking sheet and roast for 30 mins, or until just tender. Note: check your squash about 15 minutes into the cooking time to monitor how it’s coming along. Continue to check until you notice the squash is just tender.

  3. Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully turn the halves over and scoop out the insides along the length of each squash half, leaving an even 2cm border of squash all around the edge. Be careful not to rip the skin. (I ripped the skin, and miraculously it all still held together just fine!) Put the inside of the squash in a mixing bowl with mustard and orange zest.

  4. While the squash halves cook, saute your vegan sausage until done, then mix it with the almonds, cranberries, dried onion, chili, smoked paprika, garlic, fresh sage, salt, pepper,

  5. Mix the squash, orange zest, and mustard into the sausage mixture. Allow it to set in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile gently pull the kale leaves off the stalks, wash, and dry. I sauteed the kale in a teaspoon of olive oil, then used it to line the inside of both sides of squash.

  7. Now divide the sausage mix between both halves packing down tightly and evenly.

  8. Put the two halves together to make a butternut squash shape and tie together several times along the length of the squash with kitchen string. Place in a baking dish.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes, then add the remaining thyme sprigs, drizzling them with a bit of olive oil. Bake for a further 10-20 mins, until the squash is completely tender and piping hot.

  10. Allow to set for 20 min with tinfoil over before serving.

Enjoy your time planning and experimenting as you prepare to welcome friends and family to your dinner table!

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