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  • Photo Credit: Left: Simple Bites / Photo Credit Right: The Wicked Noodle
  • Hello! My name is Michelle Collins and I blog over at The Economical Eater where I feature mostly healthy and simple vegetarian recipes. I'm also getting married next summer, so there are some wedding-related posts in the mix as well!

    Today, I'm sharing with you a delicious vegetarian entree to wow all of your guests -- omnivores included -- this Thanksgiving.
  • Photo Credit: Top: Whole Foods Market / Photo Credit Bottom: NY Times
  • Thanksgiving: it's a time for reflecting on all that you're thankful for. And it's a time for indulging in delicious foods like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. But what about those who won't eat said turkey? If you have vegetarians coming to your Thanksgiving table this year, it might not be easy to think of what to feed them.

    It's a little easier to think of vegetarian side dishes for your non-meat-eating guests. Everything from sweet potato casserole to meatless stuffing can be made to appease everyone's palates. But, your vegetarian guests shouldn't have to fill up on sides while everyone else at the table fills their stomachs with turkey. You can still serve the turkey, but you should also have a main dish to please the vegetarians' tastes. And with Thanksgiving's traditionally heavier side dishes (mashed potatoes filled with butter and cream, for instance), it's best to prepare a lighter, but still satisfying, main dish.
  • Photo Credit: Top: Healthy Girl's Kitchen / Photo Credit Bottom: Big Kidz
  • None of your omnivore guests will know that this Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Tofu Strudel is vegetarian. The buttery, flaky puff pastry chock full of meaty chunks of roasted squash and mushrooms, along with strips of crispy tofu, will satisfy anyone's palate. And served with creamy mashed potatoes, peas, and stuffing? This strudel will fit right in, and your vegetarian guests will feel like they fit in at the table, too.

    Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Tofu Strudel

    Yields: 2 strudels


    1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    Salt and black pepper
    1 small yellow onion, sliced
    1 teaspoon light brown sugar
    8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
    1 package extra firm tofu, cut into strips
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    Salt and black pepper
    2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed


    Place butternut squash halves on a baking sheet. Brush both halves with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast squash in a 400 degree oven until squash is fork-tender (about 25-30 minutes).

    While squash roasts, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium to low heat. Add onions, and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar, stir, and cook onions (stirring often) until they begin to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.

    In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add tofu strips, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme, and cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes (flip tofu as one side begins to brown so that the entire exterior becomes lightly browned and crispy).

    Once onions are done cooking, place them on a plate and heat mushrooms in the same pan. Cook until mushrooms begin to release their juices, about 5-6 minutes (feel free to add more olive oil if needed).

    Once everything is done cooking (and squash is out of the oven), lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, carefully mix squash, onions, tofu, and mushrooms—taste and season with more cumin, thyme, salt, and/or black pepper as needed.

    Spray another baking sheet with cooking spray. Place both sheets of puff pastry on the sheet; spoon filling down one long side of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Then, roll the pastry over the filling in a jelly roll fashion. Cut 3-4 slits in the top of both pastries, and lightly spray each pastry with cooking spray.

    Cook both strudels in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

    *If you have any leftovers of the filling, I suggest using them in a vegetable curry the next day. 


    - Michelle
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