For some crazy reason, I didn’t think I was busy enough this holiday season and so I decided to make two pies for my small family Thanksgiving get together. There are four of us and two pies. It’s a bit indulgent, but hey, why the heck not? Like I said, I like pie and I like custard type pies especially. So, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be an experience to remember without a proper pumpkin pie, right? Right.
Here’s a recipe I came up with for two reasons. First, after making the pumpkin cheesecake with the gingersnap oreo cookie crust, I couldn’t wait to try a full-on gingersnap crust. It only seemed fitting to hold the crust together with delicious dried fruit like you would a raw crust, and dried apricots caught my eye so, dried apricots it was! The second reason for constructing this pie was an attempt to make a vegan pumpkin pie that was creamy, but didn’t involve using silken tofu (or any soy for that matter) in the place of heavy cream. One of my family members is sensitive to soy and since we celebrate our holidays vegan, I wanted to make sure that I had a traditional pie option that would please everyone. Naturally, I sought solice in cashew cream and as per usual, cashew cream saved the day!
What came of this creation was an incredibly creamy, rich pumpkin pie with a crust that you won’t be able to stop yourself from eating. I’m really pleased with how “rustic” and homemade in appearance the pie came out as well since I’m not a fan of heavily manicured food (think: cupcakes). Some of the edges of the crust burned a little during baking because I “flash baked” the pie for a few minutes at first. I’ve removed that step to (hopefully) prevent that from happening again, but even if it does, the pie is still delicious and it actually adds a nice color contrast to the crust. The taste will hardly be affected.
I’m excited to present it to my family. I hope you will consider sharing this with yours as well!
Remember folks, imperialism and cultural imperialism (a.k.a how the first Thanksgiving came to be) is super awful, but in the spirit of forgiveness, peace, and justice for all creatures — have a happy vegan harvest! Continue reading
I’m still here, still alive, still in MoFo mode. But, it’s been a tremendously busy few weeks. Moving and working full time and MoFo-ing? What was I thinking?! I think I’m still in this. I think I can, I think I can! Anyhow, I finally finished packing and after a 13 hour move out of state, I’m finally settled in and in my new kitchen. So of course after all the cleaning and organizing and attempts to find the perfect lighting for photographing food, I put myself to work on one of my favorite recipes.
My roommate’s boyfriend who works on a farm, graciously bestowed us with a bounty of winter squash. Among them, my favorite — the acorn squash. If you haven’t noticed already, I really like stuffing food into more food (stuffed peppers, stuffed pasta, stuffed apples, stuffed summer squash). Maybe someday I’ll invent a vegan version of TurDuckEn. So of course, seeing the squash, I felt the need to stuff it. It just had to happen.
This is a recipe I first tried out last year at thanksgiving time and really enjoyed. It went over really well with my family too. It’s very easy to make, has a lot of fall flavor to it, and is very comforting. You can adjust the spices as you wish. If you want it to be more spicy, add more chili powder; more cinnamon-y, add more cinnamon. There’s really no way to make this “the wrong way.” Also, I like to play around with other ingredients. Sometimes I use raisins or dried apricots, this time, I used dates and cranberries. Usually, I like to make this with red quinoa because it looks really beautiful against the orange squash, but I had only white quinoa on hand and that worked well too. If you’re all about presentation come vegan harvest (thanksgiving), then I’d definitely go with the red!
‘Til tomorrow! Continue reading
Hello MoFo’ers, after a lovely day off for cooking and baking, I’ve returned with a new comforting recipe for the season! Besides my toaster (I really love toast), there is no other kitchen appliance I love more than my slow cooker. I think it’s because both of these appliances make the kitchen smell great when they’re doing their job right. Also, they make tasty things to put in my mouth. But slow cookers are particularly awesome because they’re the only necessary kitchen tool for making great food if you’re someone who is often too busy to be home or stand over a stove.
Years ago, my mom gave me her cool, ugly, orange slow cooker manufactured and purchased in the 1970s. When I was growing up, I remember it always being kept in our basement and never in our kitchen. Every time we moved, it came with us for some reason, but it wasn’t because it was being used. I didn’t know what it was until I was older and it’s not because my mom decided to bring it upstairs and make something incredible. It’s because I saw one of the potpourri slow cookers and I put two and two together (it equals four, by the way). I’m not sure if it’s something my mom had ever used, to be honest. I don’t think she grasps the concept of how awesome it is to have an entire meal cooking slowly while you do something else. I keep telling her, it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest, but I think she’s scared of cooking in a way she’s not used to.
Anyway, when I moved to NH last year, I finally made use of it because I’d be gone for long hours at a time for class or work. I wanted to come home to something hot and ready to eat. And this is one of the recipes I would often put together because it’s simple and easy, and lasts a long time if you’re only one person. Oh, and of course, it’s delicious! I know, it’s not really “chili” if there isn’t a ground up dead animal in it, but I didn’t even want to take the steps to fake it. This is just a really vegan, product free, easy to make meal. Anyone with a crockpot can make it. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I swear, if you have a slow cooker, it’ll be one of your basic go-to’s too. Enjoy!
I’ve been craving Field Roast sausages for a while now. I used to buy them all the time because their texture and flavor is impeccable and because as a starting vegan, I didn’t know how to cook without still having the space for meat on my plate occupied by something meat-like. As far as flavor and texture go, I think they’re the best vegan grain meat product on the market, and besides Gardein, the most texturally gratifying. But, hell, they’re kind of expensive to buy often, just like any good processed food is, vegan or non-vegan. Nowadays, I don’t even understand the need to “fake it,” but who can resist seitan?
So, with a recipe in mind for a Cajun inspired sausage and bean casserole (which I’ll post in a moment), I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and start making sausages from scratch. This way, I could make larger amounts, save a whole lot of money by using common vegan pantry ingredients I already had, and have the satisfaction of making something really cool and delicious. I was going to cook them in 15 minutes using my pressure cooker, but I couldn’t find my steamer insert and I figured that most people don’t have a pressure cooker so, this might be a more convenient way for most, although it takes 45 minutes longer. Trust me, it’s worth the whole hour.
These sausages are so very delicious and have a nice “chew” to them. Let’s all hail seitan for that! In fact, I ate two right out of the oven. I couldn’t wait. They are incredibly simple to make and don’t really require a lot of effort. Most of the time you spend on these will be waiting for them to come out of the oven; the prep will only take about 10 minutes. You can use these in casseroles, alongside your tofu scramble in the morning, in hot dog buns topped with onions and hot peppers, on pizza, in rice dishes, or pasta dishes — basically in any dish you would normally use sausage.
I hope you love them too!
Normally, I would make potato salad with Vegenaise or Mindful Mayo, but I decided to make this one mayo-free for two reasons: first, I have a friend who really hates mayo (vegan and not) and for whom I wanted to provide a simple, delicious, light, mayo-free recipe and secondly, I didn’t want to rely on a processed product to make a great vegan dish. The result is a really savory, beautiful, summery potato salad that can be eaten as a stand alone meal or served as a side dish at your next vegan barbecue.
It so happens that the friend for whom this was intended hates potato salad — even the mayo-free kind. Shucks. Sorry, Jessie! Well, I guess this doesn’t change anything except that she won’t be eating it. That doesn’t stop anyone else, though!
I love this recipe for it’s freshness and ease. By the time I was done chopping the veggies, the potatoes were done. And I love how much all the flavors stood out, but especially the lemon and tomato. I enjoyed this for lunch for several days and it was very filling. Next time, I will remember to share it with others around me and not just eat it all myself!
I’ve been having a really nostalgic weekend. It seems, that even my dreams are just old memories. So, it’s stranger still when I’m in the grocery store, having no clue what to make for dinner, and I end up with a basket full of foods to make a meal that I once shared with someone five years ago when I hated (and was terrible at) cooking. Back then, someone else always cooked, and I always just ate. Sure, it sounds lovely, but it really isn’t that great. I like to have a say in what goes into my food.
I wasn’t vegan then, but this dish was and it’s just as good now as it was in the old days. I don’t remember all the specific ingredients quite that well, just the ones that stood out and that it was based off a Rachel Ray dish. So, I decided to update it for the present time, adding my own touch, perhaps to signify the coming on of years, the maturity that time bestows with age. It’s only too funny that the person who once made this for me, who I hadn’t seen in a year, called me while I was in the process of cooking this. The world works in mysterious ways, my friends.
This dish is sure to please the garlic lover in anyone. It’s pretty straight forward, there are no fancy spices — just salt, pepper, and oregano. And the combination of fresh herbs and white wine with garlic is just divine. Also, this one’s totally gluten free! But of course, you can use any kind of pasta you want. I just really enjoyed making something a little lighter in content and the green of the spinach pasta was a good combination for the other bright colors of this meal. Oh, and it may look like a lot of work, but this actually only took about 30 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading