Happy New Year Fruit Rainbow :)

I hope everyone is having the most amazing beginning to 2016! This Fruit Rainbow really makes me smile. I saw a similar idea on Pinterest and had to reproduce myself! Of course this was a huge hit too!!! Fun!

The recipe is pretty simple. Just cut the fruit to size and follow ROY G BIV for the fruit order on skewers!

Enjoy 🙂

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Guest Post: Aunt Apple’s Apples

My sister makes these delicious apple treats all the time for my kiddos (and everyone else). Think an awesome healthy version of an apple pie. Since they are such an unbelievable hit (they have even caused a name change ;)) we wanted to share them with you! Perfect time for the Autumn and Jewish Holidays too! My kids will eat these at any meal, any time of day! Enjoy!!!

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Aunt Apple’s Apples

I’m Marisa’s sister Jillian, but my wonderful niece and nephew know me as Aunt Apple. I started making my special apple dessert about two years ago, and they love it so much, I give it to them for every family get-together. It’s vegan, very low fat, low sugar, low carb, high fiber, and most importantly, it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples (I like using organic Fuji or Gala, but any type will do)
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of Bisquick
  • 1/4 cup of butter flavored Crisco (or other vegan butter substitute)
  • 3 tbsp boiling water

The very first thing you want to do with this recipe is make the dough for the crust; the more time it has to hydrate, the easier it will be to work with. Mix the Bisquick with the Crisco and boiling water, then knead it all together. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.

The next step is to plump the raisins. You can do this really easily by microwaving the raisins for two minutes with half a cup of water, then draining whatever water is left. If you want the raisins to be even sweeter, you can use fruit juice instead of water to plump them.

Then, you take the apples and cut them in half horizontally. Then, using a sturdy melon baller, scoop out the core, making sure not to puncture the skin of the apple. After you’ve thrown away the core, use the melon baller to scoop out as much of the fruit as possible, and set it aside for the filling.

When you’ve hollowed out all the apples, roughly chop all the scooped out pieces, and mix them with the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and raisins. Toss everything thoroughly to combine.

Now, fill each of the apple with the filling up to the brim.

(If you want to make your dessert gluten-free, your prep work is over, and you can just skip down to the baking specifications.)

Next, take your chilled dough out of the fridge, and roll it out on a non-stick surface or a floured surface. Slice it into thin pieces about three inches long for your lattice crust. And then make a little hashtag on each apple half. Gently press the ends of each dough strip on to the apple.

When these are all completed, put them in a casserole dish. Now, pour a tiny bit of water on the bottom of the dish between the pies, cover the whole thing with tin foil, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then uncover the pan, and cook the apples for another 20 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned.

You now have your very own Aunt Apple’s Apples! There will probably be some water left at the bottom of the pan, so move those treats to another vessel, and enjoy!

 

Greens and Quinoa Pie

This is a delicious recipe that was perfect for Passover and will definitely be repeated throughout the year! SO good! We love to use quinoa since it is such a super food and so delicious! It is not a grain so totally great for Passover as well 🙂 I doubled this to feed the whole table. Super protein-riffic meal!
Greens and Quinoa Pi
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Greens and Quinoa Pie
Recipe adapted from http://www.vegetariantimes.com
Serves 6
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 10 ounces chopped spinach
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (ÂĽ cup)
  • ÂĽ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ÂĽ cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz.)
  • ÂĽ cup grated aged goat cheese (1 oz.)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup water, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add spinach and cook until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs. Stir greens into quinoa. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grease a 9-inch pie pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.

3rd Birthday!!!! & Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

My amazing & beautiful kiddos turned 3 this last week. Beyond hard to believe but so wonderful to watch them continue to grow and surprise us all the time! We had a fun birthday party to celebrate them 🙂 Just a few food & goodie bag pictures and a yummy Vegan, Gluten-free, Super low-fat pasta salad that we served. FUN!!! Love big celebrations of course!!

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Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad

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Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
Vegan – Gluten-free – Low-fat
Number of servings: 4
Recipe adapted from blog.fatfreevegan.com

1 cup basil, packed
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (packed in water)(I used 1/2 water, 1/2 marinated in oil)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt, to taste
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, cooked (I used quinoa brown rice pasta)
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

Place the basil, about half the artichokes, garlic, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt to taste.
In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and mix well. Add the remaining artichoke hearts, the tomato, and the (optional pine nuts) and toss. Serve at room temperature.

 

Butternut Squash Potstickers

It was my MIL’s birthday so I wanted to come up with a special menu of her favorites. I know she loves Apples, Butternut Squash and Peanut Butter, so I thought those were good ones to start with. I made these potstickers, Apple Cider Caramel Dipped Apples, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites and White Bean Dip and crudite & sliced toasted baguette. (recipes to come!!) YUM!!!

On Lisa Dawn’s site I found an awesome recipe for Butternut Squash Potstickers and knew we would all love them. It was no joke, these are amazing!!!! I used her recipe, the original (from Martha Stewart), added more fresh ginger and we all loved them. I doubled the recipe and made the whole batch while keeping half in the warming drawer to serve a little later. (not too much later as these went fast!!)  also used Lisa’s perfect dipping sauce. Perfection!

I had leftover filling and it was great as a pasta sauce and also for the babies, they LOVED it!

Butternut Squash Pot

Butternut Squash Potstickers
makes about 20 potstickers

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded, flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup tamari
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
20 vegan wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
  1. Place squash, tamari and sugar in a saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until soft and drain. Mash with a potato masher or immersion blender until smooth. Add the scallions and ginger and mix to combine.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper; brush edges with water. Bring up corners to make a triangle; press to seal. Place on a baking sheet; freeze until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add 10 potstickers, and cook, shaking pan frequently, until bottoms are golden brown. Turn pot stickers over; very carefully (holding the lid in front of you) pour in 1/2 cup water, and cover. Steam until most liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and repeat with remaining oil and pot stickers. Serve with dipping sauce.

Lisa’s Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 scallion, sliced thinly

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Butternut Squash Filling

Butternut Squash Filling

Filling as a pasta sauce

Filling as a pasta sauce

Mini Bean Black Cups Stuffed with Guacamole

This was a really fun dish! I love the idea of the serving cup being edible and not being the typical chip or bread.  For the filling I used avocado guacamole but you could try out something new and fun like Edamame Guacamole or Garbanzo Guacamole.

Mini Bean Black Cups

Mini Bean Black Cups Stuffed with Guacamole
Recipe from cakebatterandbowl.com

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of your favorite guacamole

Preheat oven to 350ÂşF. Spray a 24 cup mini-muffin tray with cooking spray. Pulse black beans, flour, cumin, paprika, salt, and olive oil in a food processor until soft dough forms. Place dough evenly into the 24 mini-muffin cups and form mini-cups by spreading dough up the sides of each cup. Bake the cups for 15 to 20 minutes at 350ÂşF or until set. Cool completely, about 30 minutes, and fill cups evenly with guacamole.

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Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

I hope everyone had a great holiday!!! The season is just beginning! This is a great dish that can be an appetizer or easily adapted into an entree. Perfect seasonal food to keep you toasty & warm! Plus it was AMAZING!

The only thing I would do differently next time is make more and make some of them in kid-friendly serving-ware as they love love loved this dish! The lentils are so easy and similar to what I make often for us as a staple. And the butternut was so amazing and smooth with the coconut milk added to it. YUM!

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Layered Lentil and Butternut Appetizers

Adapted from Eatwell101.com 

Mashed Butternut

  • 1lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Put butternut squash into a pot or a large saucepan and soak up with water, cover and cook until the squash pieces are tender.
  2. Drain the butternut keeping the cooking water.
  3. Then blend it with coconut milk and cinnamon adding a little cooking water to obtain the desired consistency.
  4. Adjust seasoning and pour into the bottom of the glasses.

Mashed Lentil Curry

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 lb green or brown lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pan, sauté the onions in olive oil.
  2. When the onion is softened , add the lentils, water and curry. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, add a little water during cooking if necessary.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, drain them keeping the cooking water.
  4. Immersion Blend half of the lentils and add more water depending on desired consistency.
  5. Season to taste.

To create the layers. Pour the squash into the glass first, follow with the lentils and finish by topping your with a second layer of butternut puree. Serve warm or hot.

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Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes!

What are you making this year for your vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? Please share your faves with us to try!

Here are some great ideas we have made in the past! Yum!!!! Hope you enjoy!!!

Have a wonderful holiday!!!

 

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Topped with Curried Pecans

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Brussel Sprouts with toasted Pine Nuts

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Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte

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Cauliflower Mash

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Pear Soup

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Butternut Squash Cornbread Stuffing 

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Mom’s Stuffing – Vegan

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Vegan Apple Cranberry Cobbler

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VeggieGirl’s Banana-Butternut-Pecan Bread

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Polenta Shepherds Pie

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

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Cornbread Bruschetta with White Truffle “Sour Cream” and Spiced Tomatoes

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Spinach & Wild Mushroom Quiche served with Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad

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Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Risotto 

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Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Braised Greens, Raisins, and Nuts

 
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 Mushroom-Barley “Risotto”

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Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Vegetarian Thanksgiving is not just sides of green beans and tofurkey. There are so many great recipes out there and so many amazing dishes to get creative with. I love seeing all the posts and mentions all over the web these days about it! Here is one that would make a great dish for the holiday or anytime this fall & winter!

We LOVE pot pies!! I have made many over the years with all kind of filling and all kind of crusts. Here is one I made a few years back. I typically like to make the dough but this one was deelish with just a simple flaky puff pastry topping. Also love how root vegetably deelish this was!

What are you cooking up this Thanksgiving? Please share your Thanksgiving plans & recipes with us! 

Roasted Root Vegetab

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie
Recipe adapted from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
6 servings

1 large yellow onion, quartered and sliced crosswise into ½- to ¾-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus extra if needed
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
12 large garlic cloves, peeled, plus 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias into ½-inch pieces – chopped
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1ÂĽ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
ÂĽ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tablespoons earth balance, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position (about 3 inches from the broiler element) and preheat the broiler to high. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the onion in a single layer. Broil the onions until they are charred, rotating the baking sheet midway through cooking, 6 to 8 minutes (watch the onions closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and pour 1 cup of vegetable broth over the onions, then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°. To the baking sheet used for the onions, add the 12 whole garlic cloves, the carrots, rutabaga, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to combine. Place the thyme sprigs on top. Tightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast the vegetables until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Use tongs to gather all of the roasted garlic cloves, then use a fork to smash them into a paste.

3. In a small bowl, mash together the earth balance and flour. Heat a large, deep, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the radishes, the 2 cloves chopped garlic and the chopped thyme, and cook until the cabbage is wilted completely and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

4. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¾ teaspoon of pepper, then pour in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add the roasted vegetables, mashed roasted garlic and onion-broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter-flour mixture, cooking until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.

5. Whisk together the soy or almond milk with a pinch of kosher salt.Place the puff pastry on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to lightly mark the dough with a crosshatch pattern, making sure you don’t slice all the way through the dough. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer the vegetables to a baking dish. Lay the piece of dough on top of the vegetables in the skillet and lightly brush with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

VeggieGirl’s Banana-Butternut-Pecan Bread

Anything that I have ever made from VeggieGirl’s site always comes out super awesome! I figured as much when I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves of this awesome dessert bread! It came out deelish and the second loaf froze great for later use 🙂

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VeggieGirl’s Banana-Butternut-Pecan Bread

(**Adapted from the Lower-Fat Banana Bread recipe in the Veganomicon cookbook**)

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 2 cups steamed butternut squash cubes
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans, crushed (**plus more for sprinkling on top of the batter at the end)
  •  Nondairy “milk” of choice, added to the batter as needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly coat a 9″x5″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mash three of the bananas along with the steamed squash. Then, add in the applesauce, grapeseed oil, turbinado sugar, and molasses. Mix well.

In the same bowl, add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and pecan pieces. As the mixture starts to thicken up/combine, add as much nondairy “milk” as you need (but not too much) so that the batter is mixable.

Pour mixture into the 9″x5″ loaf pan (coated generously with nonstick cooking spray), sprinkling some more pecan pieces on to of the batter (press them lightly into the batter so that they will stick better).

Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

 

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