This beautiful vegan holiday centerpiece features traditional Thanksgiving flavors with a delicious kick of tart cranberry and sweet pears. Everyone at the table will want to share in the bounty of this harvest!
2firm pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, medium dice
2 tablespoonsdried sage, or 4 tablespoons fresh, finely minced
2 tablespoonsparsley, finely chopped
1⁄4 cupNatural Grocers bulk pecans or walnuts, toasted, chopped
3 tablespoonsdried apple juice sweetened cranberries, soaked for 30 minutes in warm water, then drained
For the tempeh:
In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, tamari, and maple syrup.
Place the tempeh in a baking dish and pour the balsamic vinegar mixture over the tempeh to marinate, coat well.
Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes (or marinate in the refrigerator up to 24 hours).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove tempeh from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and place it in a baking dish; cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once done set aside to add to the stuffing.
For the squash:
Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Rub the squash flesh with the olive oil. Sprinkle each half with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until flesh is tender.
For the rice:
In a small sauce pan, combine the wild rice, vegetable stock, and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 40-45 minutes. When the rice is done most of the liquid should be evaporated.
Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
For the stuffing mixture:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Stir in the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another 2-3 minutes.
Add the pears, sage, thyme, parsley, and salt, gently toss and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the walnuts or pecans, cranberries, and wild rice; stir well to combine and remove from heat.
Chop the tempeh into bite-size pieces and add to the rice mixture. Pour the reserved marinade over the rice mixture. Gently toss and season with additional salt to taste.
Mound the stuffing mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly.
Cover with foil and bake at 375° until heated through, 15-20 minutes.