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Cooking Outside of My Comfort Zone

Make a vegan meal? I’ve never tried that before, but I’m game.


Instead of relying on items like butter, milk, cheese, and eggs, like I’m used to, I had to start exploring combinations that weren’t animal products or by-products.


It forced me to look at food from a different perspective and I found that challenge exhilarating.


Here are two recipes:

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash



1 large acorn squash or 2 small

3 garlic cloves diced

1 shallot cut into slivers

¾ cup mushrooms sliced, cook down

½ beet, diced, optional

½ cup walnuts (chopped not too small; you want to add texture)

¾ cup rice

¼ cup lentils

Hot sauce, 6 shakes to taste

1 cup kale or spinach, chopped

½ tablespoon mixed dried herbs de Provence

2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari GF

1 tablespoon vegetable broth

1 cup water



  1. Cut the squash in half through the stem, remove all seeds.

  2. Place upside down in 350° oven on the wire rack. Cook until you can easily pierce the squash flesh with a fork and it is tender. Approximately 45 minutes.

  3. In a frying pan cook garlic & shallots to soften.

  4. Add mushrooms and herb de Provence; cook until softened.

  5. Add beets if using, rice, lentils and stir.

  6. Add kale or spinach and walnuts, combine.

  7. Add 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon vegetable broth.

  8. 2 tablespoons soy sauce, stir over medium/low heat and let liquid blend in.

  9. Taste, add hot sauce to taste.

  10. With a spoon take your cooled squash and separate the flesh from the skin leaving it in the skin.

  11. Place a spoonful or two of frying pan ingredients in each squash half and combine it with the flesh you have loosened. Mound the rest of the filling on top of each half.

  12. Place in a baking dish just large enough to fit the halves. If there is extra filling. place on the sides.

  13. Cover with foil and place in 350° oven until hot. Serve.


It is delicious served with cranberry sauce on the side



Cranberry Sauce



1 bag cranberries

1 cup water

¾ cup sugar

4 tangerines


  1. Place the cranberries, water, and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil.

  2. Lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Cut the skin off 2 tangerines making sure to leave the pith behind (pith is the white behind the skin; it is bitter and you don’t want to add it to the sauce.) Chop the skin and add it to the cranberries.

  4. Take 3 tangerines and remove each section from the membrane. Cut up and add it to the cranberries along with any juice.

  5. Juice the last tangerine and add it to the cranberries, stir and let it simmer and reduce for another 15 minutes.


I don’t think I would have done this if I hadn’t been challenged. It was well worth the exploration! By the way, non-vegans loved it too.


I had a seriously great time! 

Thank you Adeline for hosting us with such great food and company!

I haven’t enjoyed myself so simply and spontaneously in a long time.

—Tracy Basile

Le Kitchen Cookbook

A Workbook

Everything you need to know to be a good cook.

by Adeline M. Olmer

I have a favor to ask!

Would you take a moment to write a review? Your comments really help others

make confident decisions. xox Merci


Bon Appétit
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Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try the recipe myself.

Replying to

Yea! Let me know how it works out. Don't forget it's very flexible.

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