Vegan Cruelty-Free Holidays – “Punkin’ Pie”

Vegan Cruelty-Free Holidays – “Punkin’ Pie”

    The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was changed by the French into “pompon.”  The English termed it “pumpion” or “pompion.” 1621 – Early American settlers of Plimoth Plantation (1620-1692), the first permanent European settlement in southern New England, might have made pumpkin pies (of sorts) by making stewed pumpkins or by filling a hollowed out shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes. An actual present-day pumpkin pie with crust is a myth, as ovens to bake pies were not available in the colony at that stage. Northeastern Native American tribes grew squash and pumpkins. They roasted or boiled them for eating. Historians think that the settlers were not very impressed by the Indians’ squash and/or pumpkins until they had to survive their first harsh winter when about half of the settlers died from scurvy and exposure. The Native Americans brought pumpkins as gifts to the first settlers, and taught them the many used for the pumpkin. This is what developed into pumpkin pie about 50 years after the first Thanksgiving in America. The early settlers of Plimoth Plantation brought English cookery and possibly…

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A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

 What would the holiday season be like without our favorite family traditional foods?  That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?  Finding time with our loved ones to talk and enjoy the foods we grew up loving and savoring for the fall?  My Mom has the most beautiful set of China that only sees the light of day on 2 days each year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas need to have a special menu for those times together.  Special for all.  These basic dishes I’ve put together have all the flavors of fall without the cruelty and expense of slaughter.  Baked, buttery potatoes.  Creamy Slaw salads.  Flakey crusts dripping with piping hot berries in syrup.  Why bring animals into that mix when the food is so fine without them?    Take a look:   Sliced Red and Sweet Potatoes with a touch of Sweet Peppers.   Adapted from a family tradition from both my husband and mine’s youth, it bakes up in minutes, has endless variations for veggies and will last the week while you rest your feet and enjoy your guests.  Christmas Rice – Wild Rice with Spinach and Pomegranates    Brussels Sprouts with Radicchio in a Brown Mustard Orange Glaze  …

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Vegan Blueberry ‘Pit’ Pie – gluten-free

Vegan Blueberry ‘Pit’ Pie – gluten-free

     Some days I get lucky and mix together just the right amount of this and add just the right pinch of that I it all works.  Last month, late one night actually, the recipe gods blessed me with just such an event in creating this ‘Pit’ pie.  The pit was created in a need to top the pie with a luscious blueberry jam I made up.  Not knowing how this whole mixture was going to cook up, I used a rather small 8″ foil pie pan for the bottom and when it baked, the whole baby was filled to the top and then some, yikes!   I had nothing else to do but start spooning out a section of the center of the baked pie so I could add my topping on.  The topping was the whole reason I wanted the pie to begin with.  Fresh, plump blueberries, just waiting to be sugared up into a smooth, gooey spread.  I actually could have just eaten the jam by itself but that would have been unfair to my rather plain and needy baked pie.  And it really would have looked a little suspicious standing in the kitchen on a Saturday…

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#Easter Veggie Pot Pie with crispy Sweet Potato Crust – V, GF

#Easter Veggie Pot Pie with crispy Sweet Potato Crust – V, GF

  Easter Holiday Veggie Pot Pie.  Full of flavor and the colors of Spring.  I sprinkled my crust with a pinch of brown sugar before baking.  It gives the crust very little sweet but helps to harden the bottom.  The sugars caramelize and crispen.  Don’t worry about ‘cooking’ the sweet potatoes in the initial baking either.  The pie will cook for an additional 45 minutes or so after it’s filled and they’ll have plenty of time to cook through by the time its all done.  The crust is pretty simple, the sweet potato grating will burn some calories.  You can use a food processor to shred them if you have a good one.  Mine just makes the shreds too short and mushy so I did mine by hand.  I used one Very large sweet potato to make the 3 cups and had a little left over.  You’ll need to bake the crust prior to pouring in the filling to make it firm.  This isn’t a Quiche though.  It will be more firm if you let the pie cool some, like a lasagna, it holds up better on a plate if it’s had time to sit 30 minutes or so prior…

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Asian Pear Pie – Gluten and Sugar Free Options

Asian Pear Pie – Gluten and Sugar Free Options

   About 2 months ago, I picked out 10 Asian pears that were on sale here, a dollar a piece.  They’ve been moved around from one place to the next since then in the kitchen.  I was waiting for them to ripen up some.  Then I was waiting for a nice day off to bake up a delicious pie for myself.  Finally my day came today and it was worth the waiting.  This one isn’t a sweet as an apple pie might be.  It has all the spices a flavor without the added sugars.   It’s almost like a cinnamon scone flavor; mildly sweet but lots of spice.  If you’re not so much the ‘pie maker’ than this one would be a great one to try out as well.  I used a nice nutritious Spelt crust that I picked up at Whole Foods.  No animal products and Spelt flour is almost as good as gluten-free.  I also added in some dried currents that I had in the fridge.  I cooked the pears for about 10 minutes and then let them cool off before filling the pie crust.  Asian pears are such a dense fruit, I wanted to make sure that…

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‘Lazy Girl’ Spiced Pear Pie

‘Lazy Girl’ Spiced Pear Pie

 Sometimes, the simplest ingredients make up the best recipes.  This pear pie is definitely simple.  And definitely delicious.  I recently discovered a wonderful blog,      Vegan 8.  This site takes simple and delicious to a new level.  Check it out. So my ‘lazy girl’ spiced pear pie is just that, simple, easy, fresh, healthy and yummy.  Pick your favorite fresh fruit, add a little spice, some filo dough for crust.  Bake.  Devour!  Make sure you use fruit that is just ripe or slightly over ripe.   You’ll need much less processed sugars when the fruit provides your flavors by itself and wont need added sweetness.

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‘Vegan MoFo’ Key Lime Red Raspberry Cheesecake – Gluten and Refined Sugar Free

‘Vegan MoFo’ Key Lime Red Raspberry Cheesecake – Gluten and Refined Sugar Free

And so it begins.  My full month of Vegan food and fun for ‘Vegan MoFo – 2013″  This should be fun! Well, if I had a maid and won the lottery it would be more fun but still…. And my theme this year will be…wait for it….RED FOOD.  Why? don’t know, but it is.  Well, red foods can be actually very healthy so we’ll say that’s why its my theme but it is really just a way to keep myself on course through all the recipes this month.  So many other Vegans have pledge to go crazy with me so be sure to check out the Vegan MoFo site for all the details.   Now on to my first Red Wonder Food. My Key Lime Red Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake is one of the first non-dairy desserts that I developed a few years back when I swore off milk and cheese.  It’s a cashew basic but I tried to spice it up some for the event this month with loads of fresh raspberries and a fist full of coconut flakes to top it off.  Believe me, the Key Lime plain is worth its weight in gold.  Well maybe not at today’s…

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Cashew Crusted Blueberry Plum Mini Pies

Cashew Crusted Blueberry Plum Mini Pies

 With just two of us eating at my house, I’m always looking for quick treats that will freeze and store well so I can pop up a fancy dessert any evening without struggling to use up a whole cake, pie, pudding within the next few days.  These mini pies are a perfect lite ending to a meal or can fill in for breakfast on the go if packaged correctly.  I baked mine in a Mini Pie maker but my recipe adjusts for oven cooking as well.  The filling here is just what I like and had on hand.  It can easily be changed to other fruits as long as they are prepared in small pieces to fit into the smaller pie crusts.  Frozen Blueberries worked well.  I’d like to try it out with Mango, Peaches, Strawberry.  Even Pecan will be good although the filling preparation listed in this recipe would have to be adjusted for Pecans. I’m a big fan of Plums and I usually let them almost over ripen to ensure that they don’t upset my stomach and also maximize their sweetness.  It’s hard to find ready ripe plums in the grocery here so I almost always wash them…

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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Featured On: My Mr. Floydy has been cooking up a storm today………….. This pie is creamy like chocolate pudding with a hint of peanut butter.  The raspberry topping adds a perfect sour bite that cuts through the sweet and balances each bite.  Sugar, Dairy and Gluten Free.  It freezes well and is a great breakfast or dessert idea. Mr. Floydy was oh so helpful getting the shots for this one today.  He doesn’t like when something else, even Pie, gets more attention than he does……….. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Crust: 10 Medjool Dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes 1 cup Filtered Water (you can use this to soak the dates in) 2 Tbs. Ground Flax Seed 1/4 Cup Powdered Stevia Baking Blend 1 Cup Gluten Free Cereal 1 Tbs. Cinnamon   Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender, pulsing until a rough dough is formed.  Press dough with fingers into a pie pan or iron skillet just onto the bottom. Chill crust while making the pie filling.       Pie Filling: 1 Cup Smooth Natural Peanut Butter, microwave for about 30 seconds to soften 1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds 1/3 Cup Raisins 1/3 Cup Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips…

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