Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have so much pumpkin, I don't know what to do with it all. We've been getting giant pie pumpkins from the CSA every week!! I've done pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin cake. I've also made pumpkin sauces for pasta. Now I still have about 4 cups of pumpkin puree in the refrigerator, and TWO more pie pumpkins sitting on the counter! Luckily winter squashes will last on the counter for awhile (because I also have butternut squash, carnival squash, and sweet dumpling squash), but at some point I'm going to have to cook those pumpkins. I'm open to any suggestions and the way, does pumpkin puree freeze well??

Anyway, while I like lots of savory squash dishes, I really do like pumpkin best in sweet, dessert type dishes. Following are my "veganizations" of two pumpkin recipes I love.

Pumpkin Crumb Bars

1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature

2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 16 oz can)

2/3 cup hemp milk (or other non dairy milk of your choice)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

Ener-G egg replacer for 1 egg

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 375. Combine oats, flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, baking soda and Earth Balance in bowl of stand mixer. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and press remaining mixture into a 13x9 baking dish that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare filling. Combine pumpkin, hemp milk, brown sugar, egg replacer and spices. Beat until smooth and well blended. Spread over crust, sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until filling is set and crumb topping is golden brown. Cool in pan and cut into bars. These can be served at room temperature, but I prefer them after they've been refrigerated.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup unbleached bread flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cloves

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 Tsp canola oil

1 6 oz container vegan yogurt (I used vanilla Coconut Milk yogurt)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbs water

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In bowl of stand mixer combine dry ingredients. Mix to combine well. In a small bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. With stand mixer running, pour wet ingredients into dry. Combine just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 9x5 bread pan that has been sprayed with canola oil. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cooled.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp is so you can see, we couldn't even wait until the photo was taken before we dug right in. It's a wonderful dessert any time, but especially great when the local apples are in season and it's made with apples fresh off the tree. I used Jonathan apples, but any tart/sweet cooking apple will do. I make my apple crisp with the skin on the apples, because the pectin from the skin helps to keep it thick. I'm sure most of you have an apple crisp recipe floating around somewhere, but some of them can require quite a lot of ingredients. This one is simple to assemble, with only a few ingredients, and bakes up in about 40 minutes. It's perfect served with vanilla vegan ice-cream or drizzled with vegan vanilla yogurt (preferably coconut milk yogurt).

Apple Crisp

4-5 large cooking apples, cored and cut into bite sized pieces

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

dash nutmeg or allspice

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 stick Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350. In a 9x9 baking dish combine apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. In bowl of food processor combine flour, oats, Earth Balance, and rest of brown sugar. Pulse until margarine is broken down and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples and bake for about 40 minutes until you see some juices of the apples bubbling up around the edges, and crumb topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now I Know My ABC's.......

I don't often make things that are considered kid friendly meals. Both girls have pretty sophisticated palates for children, so for the most part they eat, or at least taste, whatever I've prepared. This meal however was prepared specifically with the kids in mind. Mairin has been begging for "Alphabet soup", so I obliged with this version that is reminiscent of what your mother used to pour out of that little red and white can. This meal went over really well with the girls.....Stella called hers "elephant soup"!!

I wanted the soup to be kid friendly, and I didn't want the vegetables to overshadow the small alphabet pasta. Therefore, this recipe does require some tedious chopping. But your kids will feel so special that you've made a meal "just for them".

Alphabet Soup

2 Tbs Olive oil

1 onion, diced small

2 ribs celery, diced small

2 carrots, diced into small cubes

3 small yukon gold potatoes, diced into small cubes

3 cloves garlic, minced (optional only if your kids like garlic)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme leaves (dried)

1 tsp oregano (dried)

1 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

6 cups good quality vegetable stock

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn kernels

8 oz alphabet shaped pasta, cooked and drained

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots and potato and saute until veggies are becoming soft. Add minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss around in pan until fragrant. Add tomatoes and their juice, using juice to de-glaze pan if needed. Add vegetable stock, peas, and corn and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Check seasoning and add extra salt if needed. Just before ready to serve, add pasta to pot, stir to heat through. For the adults, I added a few Tbs of chopped fresh parsley to brighten the flavor a bit.

To finish the meal I made the classic childhood favorite, Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I used Dreena's wheat free recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. These cookies are absolutely perfect. They taste exactly like a cookie your grandmother would have baked for you when you were a child.

So, get cookin', and make a special meal for you kids tonight!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Split Pea - Barley Soup

I love it when my family surprises me!! I threw together this split pea soup thinking that I was going to be met at the table with an awful lot of grumbling. To my pleasant surprise, there wasn't one single grumble to be heard. In fact, second helpings were had all around, and Mairin requested the leftovers in a thermos for her school lunch!!

There really isn't a lot to this soup. It's very minimalist on the seasoning allowing the wonderful flavor of the split peas to shine through. Even without extra spices and seasonings it's still bursting with heart warming deliciousness.

Split Pea - Barley Soup

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 tsp Hickory Flavor Liquid Smoke

1 tsp tarragon leaves

2 cups green split peas, rinsed and picked over

4 cups vegetable stock + 2 cups water

1 cup pearled barley, uncooked

3 cups water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 large radish, thinly sliced

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender. Add liquid smoke, tarragon, some salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add split peas, veg stock and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until peas are tender. In the meantime, bring barley and 3 cups of water to a boil with bouillon cube. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove barley from heat and set aside. Once peas have become tender, transfer soup to food processor and puree until smooth and creamy (this may need to be done in batches, depending on the size of your food processor; alternatively you could use a hand blender to get the job done). Add barley to pureed soup and stir to combine and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, to taste. Ladle to bowls and garnish with radish slices in the center.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Squash Enchiladas

The acorn squash used for this dinner was intended to be stuffed squash, but I knew that wasn't really something that was going to excite the masses. Not to mention, it was back up to around 85 degrees today and stuffed squash just didn't seem appropriate for the weather. Hence the acorn squash became enchilada filling. All I can say is, great idea!! Pureed roasted acorn squash mixed up with some sauteed veggies made for a fantastic enchilada. Both the sauce and the poblano pepper I diced into the filling added some heat, but even so these were deemed likable even by the kiddos!!

Acorn Squash Enchiladas
makes 9 enchiladas

1 acorn squash

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced (or one small I guess)

1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced

8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped

9 8-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and place cut side down in a baking dish with 1/4 inch water. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove squash and let cool. Once squash is cool enough to hold, scoop flesh into bowl of food processor, add chili powder, and salt and process into a smooth puree. Meanwhile, saute onion, pepper and mushrooms in olive oil. Add pureed squash to sauteed veggies and stir to heat through. Coat bottom of 9x13 pan with a few Tbs of enchilada sauce. Divide squash mixture evenly among tortillas and fold enchilada style (leaving one end open). Place tortillas side by side in baking dish and cover with remaining enchilada sauce. Place in 350 oven and bake until sauce is bubbly, and enchiladas are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.