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From NYTIMES.COM

The Los Angeles chef Chloe Coscarelli is best known for winning the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” with her dairy- and egg-free cupcake recipes. But Ms. Coscarelli, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, also has a passion for vegan savory foods, particularly at Thanksgiving.

“I have served an all-vegan Thanksgiving to the most die-hard carnivores and no one misses the meat,” she says. “You don’t need animal products to capture the spirit and savory flavors of Thanksgiving on your table. I personally think that a vegan Thanksgiving is more exciting than a regular one — there’s always something new and it’s not just the same old spread. The plates are pretty darn clean when we get up from the table.”

Ms. Coscarelli, whose recipes can be found at ChefChloe.com, has offered two favorite savory dishes and one dessert for the Eat Well Vegetarian Thanksgiving series. Here are her recipes for portobello mushrooms with a lentil-cashew stuffing, maple-roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and a vegan chocolate-pumpkin bread pudding.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This hearty Thanksgiving entree is made of savory lentil cashew stuffing baked in juicy portobello mushrooms infused with aromatic herbs. It’s topped off with a sliver of sweet tomato and fresh thyme leaves. This dish is packed with protein and fiber and will hold its own on the Thanksgiving table.

1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)

5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Yield: Serves 6.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Hazelnuts

The brussels sprouts are roasted at a high heat to bring out the natural sugars and caramelize the edges, then tossed with toasty hazelnuts and a kick of maple syrup.

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or 10 grinds) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. To prepare the brussels sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems and cut in half.

3. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper together. Once all of the brussels sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9-by-13-inch (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.

4. After 15 minutes, stir the brussels sprouts with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 30 minutes, stir in the maple syrup. (Steps 1 through 4 can be done a day in advance; store covered in the refrigerator. Continue with Steps 5 and 6 right before serving.)

5. Continue to roast the brussels sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).

6. Toss the roasted brussels sprouts with the hazelnuts and devour!

Yield: Serves 6.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This warm pumpkin bread pudding has a dash of spice and is studded with chocolate chips. It’s a rich and creamy dessert that’s free of dairy and eggs but will leave everyone feeling indulged.

1 cup coconut milk
1 can organic pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar (can use maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
10 cups cubed day-old bread of your choice (about 10 to 12 slices of sandwich bread, depending on the thickness of slices)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard and Ghirardelli are among those that are nondairy)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 14 4-ounce ramekins (single-serving ceramic dishes) or a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

2. In a blender, process coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt and spices until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the pumpkin mixture and chocolate chips until each bread cube is coated.

3. If using ramekins: Evenly sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into the bottom of each greased ramekin. Fill each ramekin to the top with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon. If using a 9-by-13 baking dish: Fill the baking dish with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle about 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the top of the bread pudding. The brown sugar will help the pudding to caramelize on the edges. (Steps 1 through 3 can be done up to three days in advance; store covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned. If using ramekins: Let the pudding cool a few minutes, then carve around the edges with a knife to loosen and unmold. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. If using a 9-by-13 baking dish: Let the pudding cool a few minutes before serving. Cut into portions, then garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. The pudding can be baked right before serving or earlier that day and then reheated for 8 to 10 more minutes right before serving.

Yield: Serves 14.

Good luck, healthy girl!

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