If you've absolutely been inspired to try tackling this veggie-beast on your own you can follow our recipe as a guideline below, but it certainly isn't perfected. You know, I think that's the point of this recipe... it can't reach ultimate perfection. I think it's personal taste and hearts desire for what you feel like stuffing in a squash. So go wild and share with us what you come up with this holiday! If you do, please tag us on instagram or twitter - @hotforfood
** serves 6-8 (depending on the size of the squash)
1 large butternut squash
4 tbsp vegan butter
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
5-6 peeled whole garlic cloves
1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 fire roasted red peppers, finely chopped (from a jar)
2 tbsp sunflower oil (or use oil from jar of red peppers)
8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C diced butternut squash pieces (scooped from butternut squash)
Pre-heat oven to 350F
Prepare butternut squash by cutting it into 2 even halves. Trim a small piece of the base off one half so it can sit flat in the baking dish. Scoop out the inside seeds and some of the flesh leaving about 1/2" - 3/4" still in tact. Keep the flesh for the stuffing.
Coat both halves of the butternut squash in 1 tbsp of vegan butter and maple syrup. Set them in a baking dish while you prepare the other components.
Cut eggplant and zucchini into 2 even halves and hollow a bit of the centre out of each. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to the vegetables and set aside in a strainer or on a wire rack so they can release moisture.
Meanwhile heat a large pan over medium heat with oil and sauté onion and red pepper for 5 minutes.
Then add the remaining stuffing ingredients and sauté for another 8-10 minutes until squash is cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside while you prepare the eggplant, zucchini, and leek.
Coat the eggplant halves in 1 tbsp vegan butter. Mix together the bread crumbs and cinnamon, and coat eggplant with that.
Coat the zucchini halves in 1 tbsp vegan butter and sprinkle with smoked paprika (NOTE: we used a product called Magic Vegan Bacon Grease, but it is not available everywhere)
Cut approx. 1/4 of the leek top off so you have a little bit of green left. Then cut it in half evenly and remove a few pieces from the inside core. Wash the excess dirt off from between the layers.
Coat the leek halves with 1 tbsp of vegan butter and then place peeled whole garlic cloves along the inside of one half of the leek.
Assemble the vegducken by layering/pressing a little more than 2/3 of the stuffing inside each half of the butternut squash.
Place one eggplant half inside the butternut squash and add a bit more stuffing around the sides of the eggplant to fill any gaps. Then place a zucchini half inside the eggplant.
Fill the zucchini half with stuffing and place one leek half on top of that.
Then work backwards adding the other halves of leek, zucchini, eggplant on top and adding the top of the butternut squash last.
Use 2 pieces of twine to hold the butternut squash together.
Bake uncovered for approx. 90 minutes. When a large skewer easily goes through the centre of the vegducken it should be ready. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.