Stephanie Weaver

Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, and you may be wondering WHAT SHOULD I MAKE? Well, wonder no more…we’ve got you covered. This week on the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club we are delighted to welcome Stephanie Weaver, aka The Recipe Renovator, who has just come out with a BRAND NEW e-book of recipes – vegan AND gluten-free – especially for Thanksgiving!

cover_SWTwelve Terrific Thanksgiving Recipes will get your mouth watering as you peruse such recipes as Sage-roasted baby potatoes, Pumpkin risotto and Chocolate-bourbon pecan pie, as will the fabulous photos that accompany the recipes. Stephanie will be with us all week to share recipes, answer questions and get you inspired about making your most delicious Thanksgiving dinner ever.

Stephanie has a Master’s in Public Health in health and nutrition education. After more than twenty years in the museum field, she is passionately pursuing a second career as a food blogger, recipe developer, photographer, and author. She develops recipes for people who have changed their diets for health reasons. You’ll find nearly 300 recipes on her blog, The Recipe Renovator: plant-based, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free. Stephanie is an advocate for the Meatless Monday campaign and hosts a weekly Meatless Monday blog.

Stephanie has three wonderful recipes to share with the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club this week, and here is the first one! Make the recipe this week and be sure to post a photo on the Cookbook Club page! There will be prizes!

Grilled Eggplant and Pomegranate Spread

photo courtesy of Stephanie Weaver

photo courtesy of Stephanie Weaver

Makes about two cups, 8-10 servings

1 eggplant (16-18 oz/450-500 g)

1/2 C. (60 g) raw walnuts

1 lemon

1 T. (15 ml) pomegranate molasses

1 T. (15 ml) olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves or 2 t. (10 g) crushed garlic paste

1 t. (2 g) kosher or sea salt

1/2 t. (1 g) black pepper

1 pomegranate

Wash the eggplant and slice off each end. Cut even slices lengthwise (3/4″-1″ thick/2-3 cm). (It’s more important for them to be cut evenly from end to end and with each other than the actual thickness.)

Heat a grill, grill pan or heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Spray one side of each slice, then lay the sprayed side down on the hot grill. Grill 10-12 minutes per side, until the eggplant is cooked through and very soft. Thinner slices and the two end slices will cook more quickly. Spray the top side just before flipping, so it doesn’t soak up the oil spray. Set aside to cool.

Juice the lemon. You will use up to 1/4 C. (60 ml) of the fresh juice, to taste.

Peel the garlic cloves. Place the eggplant, walnuts, molasses, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, and add 1 T. (15 ml) of the lemon juice. Start processing, stopping frequently to scrape the sides down. Add additional juice as needed, tasting after incorporating each addition. You can leave the sauce chunky for a dip, or blend it very smooth for a spread, to your liking. Allow the flavors to blend at least 30 minutes before serving at room temperature.

When ready to serve, stir in the seeds from one pomegranate, reserving some for the top.

Note: Pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern markets, or online. If you can’t find it, you can take a bottle of pomegranate juice and simmer it over medium heat until it is reduced by at least half, and coats the back of a spoon.

From Twelve Terrific Thanksgiving Recipes

Find out more about Stephanie Weaver on her blog, facebook, google+, pinterest or instagram pages. Follow her on Twitter @reciperenovator.