wine.com

1 butternut squash (3 lbs)
1 1/2 large leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, washed, and cut into 1-inch long pieces
1 1/2 cups Silk Creamer Original
1 1/2 cups Silk soymilk plain
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh grated nutmeg
1/3 cup seeds or chopped and toasted nuts (pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts, or hazelnuts work well) *optional garnish
1/2 cup non-dairysour cream (Tofutti) *optional garnish

Peel the squash. Remove the seeds and string, then cut into 2 inch chunks. Toss into a large pot. Add leeks, silk, and water. Salt generously and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook 35 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to mash.

Poor into a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. You may need to do this part in batches. Leave room in blender for puree to rise. Always place a dish towel on the cover of the blender and hold down with your hand when you turn the blender on as the heat forces the top to want to pop off. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Return to pot and reheat if needed. This dish is best when very hot.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with Tofutti and a few seeds or nuts.
Serves 6

Tip: apples (tart is best, peeled, cored and cut into tiny pieces) work well for garnish too!

wine.com

1 Medjool Date
1 TBL Veg Cuisine Soy Bleu cheese, crumbled
1 walnut

Make a slit lengthwise in date. Carefully remove pit. Stuff date with crumbled bleu cheese. Top with walnut.

Makes 1 stuffed date

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1 package Nate’s frozen vegan meatballs
1 14oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBL Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine

In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce, brown sugar, mustard and wine until combined. Place frozen meatballs in large skillet and pour sauce over meatballs to cover. Simmer on low, covered, for 30 minutes.

Vegan meatballs are not as firm, so be careful if you move them around in the pan and when you remove them from the pan. Serve over a bed of long grain white rice. Or, you can let cool slightly and serve alone on individual mini plates with a toothpick or mini fork.

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12 oz container Tofutti Sour Cream
3 small lemons (1 teaspoon of grated zest and 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 oz Soy Feta (Mediterranean Herb Feta by vegcuisine.net), crumbled
20 radishes, trim ends and wash well (15 sliced thin, cut into matchsticks then chopped for the dip mixture, 5 sliced thin to use as dipping radish rounds for the dip)

In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, chopped dill, and sea salt. Add in crumbled feta and radishes just before serving. If you add in radishes the day before the nice white dip will be discolored. Stir well to combine. Serve with sliced radish rounds and crackers or crusty bread. Makes a delicious sandwich spread as well!

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Growing up in Wisconsin, I have always been a big ‘cheese head’.  However, having gone vegan and not eating any dairy, I have managed to be completely satisfied by some great tasting dairy-free cheeses.  Forget about the cheese singles that are vegan or the blocks of Follow Your Heart. I was on a quest for great tasting cheese blocks that I could slice and make a cheese and cracker platter.  I managed to find such a company who does that.

Ste Martaen is a Chicago based company that makes a variety of delicious vegan cheeses which are also soy-free. I ordered 4 different cheeses to sample and hoped that I would enjoy at least one of them. They arrived in a cold pack box 2 days after ordering. I immediately had to sample all of them. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture of all four cheeses. All of them are highly delicious, though my favorite is the pepper jack with a mild bite. I have always made a cheese and cracker platter for special occasions and am happy to have found Ste Martaen to carry on my tradition, just with vegan cheeses.

macys.com

1 lb medium to large mushrooms
1 TBL olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed through garlic press
2 TBL flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp fresh thyme, removed from stem and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 ground nutmeg
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
4 TBL non-dairy parmesan cheese (I like to use SoyaKaas)
non-stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse mushrooms and dry on paper towel. Remove stems from mushrooms, cutting them out in circle formation to create a hole to stuff with filling. Save stems and chop up finely for the filling.

In a medium pan, heat the oil and add chopped mushrooms, stirring until juices evaporate. Mix in garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, nutmeg, bread crumbs, and parmesan, stir and remove from heat.

Spoon equal amounts of filling into holed mushroom caps. Place caps on baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top and broil for about 2-3 minutes to brown and make slightly crispy. Garnish with parsley or thyme.

Makes about 18 mushrooms

Tip: add a pinch of chopped cilantro when you add in other herbs to give it additional flavor.