At home, we eat vegan (for numerous good reasons, such as those found here, here, and here), which means we cook without meat, dairy, or other animal products. But that doesn’t mean we don’t eat great food.
Tonight’s meal was Savory Stuffed Apples–all totally vegan. And totally amazing, plus all of the ingredients came from what we already had in the cupboard and refrigerator, because it was that kind of a day. Here’s the low-down of what you need for a dinner that serves two:
- 4 large red apples (I used red delicious, but go for what you like)
- 1/2 package (or about 1/3 lb) lean soy-based sausage
- 1 package (or about 10 oz.) of pureed butternut squash (or roast some and either mash it or put it in a blender)
- a handful of chopped cashews
- a small amount of olive oil
- a small amount of balsamic vinegar
The Stuffing: Probably get this going first, using a medium to large frying pan. Crumble the vegan sausage and brown it in a pan, using a tiny bit of oil and adding small amounts of water if the sizzle gets a little hot or uncomfortable. By the time you’re at this point and you’re multitasking, you’ll have some slushy apple innards you can brown along with the sausage, and add the cashews and a little bit of balsamic vinegar as well. Once everything is slightly browned, add the (pre-cooked) pureed/mashed butternut squash into it and blend it all together until fully heated and the flavor tastes right to you. (The vegan sausage is most of your seasoning, but add balsamic vinegar, salt, or other flavorings to your taste.)
The Apples: Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees (but you may not want to do this before starting the stuffing if you’re a slow cooker like me). Then cut off the tops of the apples and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Scoop away some of the insides a bit so you have a small, slushy pile of apple innards that you’ll add to the stuffing. Use a muffin pan (lightly greased with spray oil) and place the scooped-out apples in it. Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes. Take out the pan, add as much of the fully heated stuffing fits into the apples, leaving a heaping on the top of the apple. Bake for another 15 minutes or until there’s a hint of brown on the top of the stuffing.
The Side Dish: Do what you’d like, but I added a bit of another piece of apple and a bit of tomato (chopped up) in a small pan, sauteed them in a splash of oil and balsamic vinegar, and then added in a half a bag of frozen spinach. I seasoned it lightly with salt, and it had a nice, smooth, slightly sweet flavor. Ready in about 5-10 minutes.
Serving it Up: I plated two apples each in a large bowl (I let the muffin pan with apples cool a few minutes, then grabbed them out of the pan and onto the plate with my hand, or a spoon + a hand). Then I spooned in the rest of the stuffing around it, and added the spinach around that. It made a darn filling meal.