Thanksgiving is almost here so I’m bringing you guys a Thanksgiving recipe. For anyone who reads this blog regularly, it is no secret that I enjoy Sunset magazine. The majority of the recipes found in Sunset are not vegan, but many of them are really easy to convert. Sunset also does include vegan recipes every now and then, but I have way more fun switching up their meat and dairy dishes. The November issue of Sunset had a lot of fun Thanksgiving recipes, some of which I have already done versions of, here and here. I also spied a recipe for a “Wild Mushroom & Butternut Squash Bread Pudding” that sounded really interesting and I wanted to try doing a vegan version. It had eggs, cheese, and half & half, and I figured those things would be easy enough to replace…..and they were!
This is a very filling, stick to ribs, comfort food type of dish. It can definitely be a stand alone dish, or pairs well with a simple green salad. Also, just so no one is confused by the title, this is a savory dish. The butternut squash does add an element of sweetness, but overall, it’s definitely savory. Bread pudding is sort of a deceiving title as this dish may fall more into the realm of a casserole. It also has enough elements to create a strata, but I think the ingredients work better mixed up than layered like you do in a strata. The only thing I would change in the future is adding a bit less liquid than called for, so I will include that edit in the version of the recipe below.
Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
Adapted from Sunset Magazine
3 c uncooked butternut squash, cubed into 3/4 in chunks
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
about 4 tbsp Earth Balance, divided
3 leeks, white & light green parts, sliced thinly–make sure they’re cleaned thoroughly too
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb wild mushrooms, sliced–I used fresh chanterelles and white mushrooms. Blue foots and chanterelles would be a great combo, but feel free to use whatever mushrooms are available to you
1 tbsp fresh thyme
6 c rustic bread, cubed and toasted or slightly stale
2 3/4 c almond milk or cream substitute like coconut milk or soy creamer, or MimicCreme
4 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp egg replacer or potato starch
1 tbsp flour
1 1/4 c shredded vegan cheeze–feel free to use a combo of you favorites. I used Cheezly White Cheddar and Daiya Mozzarella
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment. Place your cubed squash on the baking sheet and toss it with the olive oil and some salt/pepper. Bake until tender, just about 35 min. Leave the oven on.
Melt 2 tbsp Earthy B in a saute pan over medium heat and add your leeks. Add some salt and pepper to your pan. Saute until the leeks start to soften and then add your garlic. Saute for about two more minutes. Go ahead and empty your pan onto the baking sheet that has the butternut squash.
Using the same saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tbsp of Earthy B over medium heat. Add your mushrooms with a touch more salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they start to release their liquid and start to brown a bit, around 5 or 6 min. Add the fresh thyme and remove from heat.
Now you can combine your mushrooms with the leeks and squash. Lightly oil a 9×13 in baking dish or something comparable. As you can see from the photo above, I used a large round stoneware casserole dish. Place your bread into the prepped baking dish and then add the veggies and mushrooms. Stir or toss that together so it’s good and mixed.
Whisk together your almond milk or cream substitute with the ground flax, egg replacer and flour. Add a bit of your cheeze and whisk. Pour this mixture over your bread and veggies. Top with your remaining cheeze. If you love vegan cheeze and want to add more, feel free to go crazy 🙂 Bake uncovered for about 30 to 35 min.