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Four vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes from LIJ Valley Stream

Vegetarian pot pie is one delicious dish you can serve if you are hosting vegetarians on Thanksgiving.
Vegetarian pot pie is one delicious dish you can serve if you are hosting vegetarians on Thanksgiving.

The hospital’s executive chef creates a delicious meal for patients who won’t be talking turkey this Thanksgiving.

This year, we decided to give a few turkeys a pardon at LIJ Valley Stream hospital. So, we carefully curated a meatless meal for vegetarian taste buds. The reason? Nearly 4,000 people spent Thanksgiving in Northwell hospitals last year. Since everyone has different food preferences, we saw the need to offer a gourmet gobble-less Thanksgiving feast.

As you'll see, we came up with a delicious meal that caters to patients who either don’t eat turkey, or prefer other dishes. Our vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes feature classic flavors that use fresh, quality ingredients. We believe these dishes will prove to be home runs.

Our goal is to serve nutritious, comforting food to all of our patients, especially during the holidays. All of our food is prepared 100 percent from scratch; as a matter of fact, I cook for the patients as if I’m cooking for my own family, and everyone at LIJ Valley Stream has one goal in mind — to take care of our patients.

Our vegetarian Thanksgiving menu includes:

1. Vegetarian pot pie

Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 8 oz.
Total yield: 40 oz.
Portions: 5 pot pies
Equipment: Whisk, rubber spatula, sauté pan, saucepan, cutting board, knife, peeler, stock pot, ceramic pot pie dish, strainer

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F. 
  • In a saucepot heat vegetable stock to a low simmer.
  • Bring the milk to a boil in the saucepan, cover.
  • To make roux: In a separate sauce pot — on medium heat melt butter, add flour and whisk until foamy about 1- cook 2 minutes until light golden brown in color. Remove the pan from heat.  And let cool slightly.  Strain in the hot milk whisking constantly.
  • Return the sauce to the heat and bring it back to a boil, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan with 1-2 tbsp. vegetable broth sweat the mushrooms gently until the mushrooms are tender (4-5 minutes). Add 1 cup of the béchamel (sauce) and bring to a boil.   
  • Blanch he vegetables separately in salted boiling water:  carrots, baby sugar snap peas, haricot vert, rutabaga, marble potatoes, until vegetables are soft. 
  • Remove vegetable and place them in a sauté pan with a little vegetable stock and add the seasoning, tamari, sage, thyme and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Incrementally stir in the mushroom based gravy to the vegetables slowly. Remove from heat.
  • Pour mixture into a white ceramic individual serving vessels or white ceramic hotel pans.  
  • Shape and cut puff pastry to size of vessel- rolling thinner to increase surface area if need.
  • Cover mixture with puff pastry (be sure to leave a small excess of pastry for folding and fluting of the edge) and seal edges. Cut small vents or slits. 
  • Bake for 8-10 min or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. and puff pastry is golden brown.

2. Pumpkin soup

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 6 oz.
Total yield: 52 oz.
Portions: 18
Equipment: Whisk, rubber spatula, sauté pan, saucepan, cutting board, knife, peeler, stock pot, strainer

Directions

  • Cut off top of pumpkin at least 5 inches across, so that it can serve as a lid. Scoop out and discard all seeds and stringy material. Using a large sturdy spoon, scrape out 6 cups of pumpkin meat, taking care not to break through the shell. Set aside the pumpkin and its lid in a warm place.
  • In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and leeks sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine and simmer for 1 minute. Add butternut squash, pumpkin meat and enough vegetable stock or water to barely cover. 
  • Gently simmer soup for 1 hour, stirring once or twice. The soup will be very thick; if it seems in danger of burning, reduce heat and stir in a small amount of broth or water.
  • Add cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender or vitamix, purée the hot soup in the pot until very smooth. 
  • Pour hot soup into individual pumpkins. Serve from pumpkin, garnishing each serving with chopped herbs and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Beet salad

3. Beet salad

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 1 salad
Total yield: 4 salads
Portions: 4 salads
Equipment: Whisk, rubber spatula, sauté pan, saucepan, cutting board, knife, peeler, stock pot, strainer

  • Roast the beets whole season with pinch of salt & pepper and extra virgin olive oil with 2 bay leafs. Wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet pan and set in oven at 350 degrees (for 15-20 minutes). Check by skewering with a fork- until softened.  
  • In a mixing bowl add the paprika, brown sugar, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well.  Add walnuts add 2 tsps. Grape seed oil. Toss to coat the walnuts- spread on a baking sheet and place in oven at 350 degrees for 2-3 minutes.
  • To make the dressing: place mustard, lemon juice, sherry vinegar in a blender or in a bowl and slowly incorporate the olive oil into the dressing. Whisk vigorously or blend on medium low.
  • Cut the beets into 1/2” slices. Do not mix the red and yellow or the beets will blend in color.
  • Cut orange supremes by removing outer skin of orange with a knife. Then follow the white outlines of the pith slicing the fruit away from the white pith and gently removing it.
  • Hold beets cold- arugula cold.
  • To assemble toss arugula with 2 tbsps. of dressing. Fan out the beets rotating in color on a plate. In the center add arugula. Garnish with goat cheese, orange supreme. Sprinkle walnuts on top for a crunch.

4. Apple pear streusel

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving size: 4 oz.
Total yield: 6.25 
Portions: 25
Equipment: Whisk, rubber spatula, sauté pan, saucepan, cutting board, knife, peeler, stock pot, strainer

  • Peel apples and pears- remove stems and scoop pits. Dice.
  • In a medium sauce pot portion apples and add pears. Add cinnamon nutmeg and orange juice. Place on stove medium/high heat 15-20 minutes until liquid is mostly evaporated and pears have become soft and it is caramelized. Cool.
  • Portion in a 4 oz. ceramic ramekin ramekins top with 1 tbsp. streusel topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes until the crumb top is cooked and apple and pears are bubbling.

Crumb topping method
Place in mixer for 2-3 minutes with paddle to combine.  

Raspberry sauce method

  • Place raspberries in a saucepot, add sugar and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat and stir frequently. Cook until berries break down and coat the back of the spoon.  
  • Strain into a bowl and set aside to cool.

*Serve warm with a scoop of coconut frozen yogurt and fresh raspberry sauce.

Patty Sobol is the executive chef at Long Island Jewish Valley Stream. She has created several award-winning dishes, including at Northwell’s annual Ultimate Chef Challenge competition.