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Thanksgiving 2016

img_4679As per Thanksgiving tradition, my girls Jasmine of Sweet Simple Vegan and Sarah of Ahnest Veggie gathered together for a night of Thanksgiving recipe developing fun.  This is how it works.  We each create recipes, make them, and afterwards we take photos and feast on whatever we made. This year, though, we even made a video!  #MannequinChallenge is all the craze right now, and we did a little mannequining ourselves with our finished results.  Video for your enjoyment, below.

In years passed, we’d create a magnificent feast for you to enjoy, but since we created an abundant amount of recipes that you can enjoy year after year already, we decided to keep things simple this year and add one new recipe each to our collection.  Click here for our Thanksgiving Recipe Collection.

As I mentioned, this year we created one recipe each for your taste-bud pleasure.  Let’s start off with Jasmine’s.  Jasmine is a recipe developer, has her nutrition degree, is an oil-free cook, a talented photographer (she took all the photos you see here), and amazing blogger and friend.  This year she made an amazing Everything Bagel Stuffing.  If you know me, I already have a love for Everything Bagels and for Thanksgiving Stuffing, so this was bada-bang, incredible!  My favorite gluten-free bagel is from Rising Heart’s Bakery in Culver City.  If you’re not local, check to see if they ship! Anyway, find Jasmine’s recipe here!

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2nd recipe of the season is Sarah’s appetizer recipe. Sarah is a vegan chef and fitness enthusiast.  She makes yummy food, eats a lot, and still maintains a healthy and fit physique.  Check out her youtube channel and Instagram for fitness inspo and for more recipes!  Sarah made these amazing Mushroom Medley Chestnut Tartlettes.  Just thinking about them makes me salivate.  Wish I made this recipe up!  Find the recipe here.

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Now for my recipe, I made something I’ve made for years.  Cobblers are the easiest desserts to make if you have visitors stopping by unannounced for dinner.  I always have frozen berries in the freezer and I can whip up a cookie dough in a flash.  This recipe can be made fully from scratch or with some help of store-bought ingredients.  I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does!

Presenting my Mixed Berry Cobbler with Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Crust!

 

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Mixed Berry Cobbler with Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Crust

Servings:  4

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

2 bags  (12 oz) frozen mixed berries, thawed

1 container apple pie filling (can make yours at home by adding 3-4 peeled and chopped apples, coconut handful of coconut sugar, 2 Tbsp coconut oil, cinnamon, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and cooking on stove top over medium heat in a small sauce pan until tender)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Dough (or store-bought cookie dough that you sprinkle pumpkin pie spice into):

¼ cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar or to make it lighter in color, organic cane sugar sub ¼ of this amount

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup pumpkin puree

¾ oat flour

1 tsp arrowroot

2 Tbsp potato starch

1/8 tsp sea salt

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tbsp almond milk

 

Optional, but recommended

Vegan Vanilla ice cream

 

Directions

  1. Make pumpkin sugar cookie dough. Add all ingredients into a small bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, mix berries, apple filling, sugar, and cinnamon. Transfer fruit mixture to an 8 by 2-inch baking dish.  Crumble dough over fruit, covering thickly and completely.

Bake uncovered until cookie crust is golden and crisp, and juices bubble thickly, about 45 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.  My favorite is So Delicious.

 

To watch our #MannequinChallenge, click the photo of us below. :)

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The Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2015 (Soy-free)

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I’m excited to share my 2015 Vegan Thanksgiving collaboration with Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com!   You are all set to plan a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.  I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving if you recreate any of our dishes!  We would love to see them!

OUR FULL MENU:

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Fall Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash (gf)

Arugula and Persimmon Salad (gf)

Herbed Biscuits & Mushroom Gravy (gf)

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese with Crispy Sage (gf)

Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin (gf)

Sourdough Stuffing (gf)

Holiday Sausage (gf)

Holiday Meatloaf

Best Vegan Creamed Corn (gf)

Vegan Green Bean Casserole with Cashew  Cream and Bread Crumbs (gf)

Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream (gf)

Persimmon Galette with Toasted Coconut Covered Crust

Apple Cider Donuts

 

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Cooking with Friends: Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching and my lovely friend, Jasmine Briones, and I want to make your Thanksgiving one to remember!  We created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes that will make everybody’s taste buds scream in delight.  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration!

Since we are both obsessed with delicious and nutritious food, we thought it would be a great idea to collaborate on a holiday feast.  What better time to combine our vegan talents and get inspired than in the Fall—just in time for Thanksgiving and the holidays!

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Thanksgiving is a special holiday that I hold dear to my heart.  Every household carries on their own unique family traditions.

Jasmine grew up in an Ecuadorian/Filipino household, where it has been a long-standing tradition for her Ecuadorian grandmother to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Her grandmother uses a Cuban marinade for the turkey (Jasmine being vegan does not partake, of course) and the rest of the meal consists of Equadorean dishes.  It was not until Jasmine and I joined forces in the kitchen that she had her first taste of cranberry sauce and candied yams. She loved the cranberry so much that she ate it by the spoonful!  I was surprised because I only have about 2 tablespoons at most during my holiday meals!

I grew up in a Filipino-American household.  My Grandpa Floyd, who was born and bred in the Midwest (Missouri), started my family’s tradition of enjoying the standard American Thanksgiving feast.  For as long as I can remember, we always had elaborate feasts.  It was always my mom and me who prepared the family’s Thanksgiving meal, consisting of a savory, flavorful protein, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, green beans (and/or corn), and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  We sometimes have the same meal for Christmas because it’s so good!  Meals like these are so comforting for the soul. Seriously, eating my Thanksgiving meal is like eating a hug.  It brings back so many good memories growing up.  These days it brings my loved ones together, where we sit around the table, share what we are grateful for, reminisce, and discuss our game plans for Black Friday.

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This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my good health, family and friends, and for the amazingly supportive readers and followers on my blog and social media.  Being able to do what I love for a living is a wonderful thing.  I feel so blessed and am incredibly grateful.

Vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food has a bad rap for tasting like cardboard. With my recipes, I hope to transform the general public’s view of these foods. I want people to keep using my recipes, I want that food to be shared (with vegans and non-vegans alike), I want to shock and amaze people, and let them know that vegan, gluten-, and soy-free food can be absolutely delicious, not to mention nourishing, can promote longevity, is harmless to animals, and is good for the environment and our planet.  Through this blog and through the My Eclectic Kitchen app, I think I’ve been able to do that more and more each day.

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Also, by partnering up with friends, like Jasmine, I am able to spread this message (my mission) even further.  I want to thank Jasmine for doing her part with her blog and with her own recipe development. 

Thanksgiving does not have to be the same every year.  Although I like to carry on my family’s traditions, I add my own little nuances to everything every year.  A vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving is definitely a huge nuance.  Even so, I hear no complaints.  Although my family is predominantly omnivorous, my vegan holiday food and sweets are foods they actually request I make.  It warms my heart to see them enjoy my food and especially when they get seconds and thirds.

Hopefully you and your family will be as enthusiastic about our recipes.  We hope to see some of our recipes on your holiday table!

 Here are the 13 Vegan and Gluten-, and Soy-free Thanksgiving recipes!  

_MG_2421Cranberry Glaze

Sweet, tangy, perfectly spreadable for Holiday “Meat”loaf, and fantastic to serve as a side!  Made with fresh cranberries, dates, a little coconut sugar, a touch of orange and holiday spices, this Cranberry Glaze is so delicious, you might even want to eat it by the spoonful, like Jasmine did! Ha!

_MG_2360Garlicky Cauliflower Puree

A client-favorite, this is a healthy vegan alternative to garlic mashed potatoes.  Garlicky Cauliflower Puree with Mushroom Gravy is a wonderful, oil-free, low-fat, and delicious side dish.  It is so easy to make and can be enjoyed year-round!

IMG_7788Mushroom Gravy

This easy and flavorful mushroom gravy goes perfectly with Garlicky Cauliflower Puree and Holiday “Meat”loaf.  The caramelized mushrooms and port give this gravy a nice richness, the herbs bring it to life, and the arrowroot thickens the gravy while giving it a glossy sheen.

_MG_2321Candied Yams (or Sweet Potatoes)

These candied yams are so simple to make and yet they are so delicious!  Spiced with vanilla and cinnamon and sweetened only with dates and oranges, these are my all-time favorite candied yams, not to be mistaken with the recipe in my app.  These are new and improved!  A must-try!

IMG_7688Green Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Every table needs a pop of green!  Ours was these crisp green beans with garlic and lemon.  The little kick of spice chile and hint of citrus make these a perfect side dish for the holidays!

_MG_2241Creamy Mushroom Rice

Infused brown rice with an assortment of herbs and vegetables, meaty mushrooms, and a decadent cream sauce make this a hearty side dish.

_MG_2207Quinoa Stuffing

A clean and high protein alternative to traditional stuffing.

_MG_2344Raw Stuffing

This tastes just like Stove Stop Stuffing, except this is raw and is actually beneficial to your health.  I know you’ll LOVE it!

_MG_2359Holiday “Meat”loaf

This high-protein “meat”loaf looks and tastes like the real thing, only it’s better for you, is cruelty-free, and great for the environment.  I fool my non-vegan family and friends every time!  Top this holiday loaf with our Cranberry Glaze or with traditional “meat”loaf glaze.

_MG_2379Savory Pumpkin Pie

We wanted to include pumpkin in our Thanksgiving menu, and since we already have pumpkin pie recipes in our respective recipe arsenals, we decided to make a savory pumpkin pie.  The best way to describe this savory pie is to say it is basically a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free quiche with pumpkin!

_MG_2236Cranberry Pomegranate Cider

This ruby red (my favorite color) beverage tastes like a lovely tea and can be made bubbly and sparkling with a sparkling kombucha or champagne.

_MG_2323Raw Pumpkin-Spiced Mamey “Cheese”cake

Oh, I love this dessert!  Find out what Mamey is the recipe post.  If you can’t find mamey, substitute with pumpkin or sweet potato!  The combination of vanilla bean “cheese”cake, pumpkin-spiced mamey, and a fig/date/ nut crust is just heavenly.

_MG_2272Chocolate Mousse Pecan Tart

This easy-to-make chocolate (sweet potato) mousse pecan tart is really easy to make and is just so pretty to look at!

Our collaboration required a lot of hard work, but it was so worth being able to spend time together, getting to know one another better, with the intention of sharing the fruits of our labor with our readers!  To add to the list of things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful that Instagram, veganism, the desire to eat delicious yet nutritious food and to share it with others brought me to meet so many amazing people, like Jasmine!  It’s been fun learning from and about one another, and I look forward to many years of friendship!

 

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Make sure to check out more details on our fun-filled day in the kitchen by reading my previous post!  We also thought it would be fun to interview each other so you can learn a little more about us.  My interview is on Jasmine’s blog, and Jasmine’s interview is here.  

 

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan  Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving and #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

 

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May you and your loved ones enjoy a

 

 

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 With Love,

Yvonne and Jasmine <3

Photo Credit: Many of the photos in this post were photographed by Jasmine Briones.

 

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Give Thanks to Bees this Thanksgiving!


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Guest post by Amy Ziff at Veriety.

From about as long as I can remember Thanksgiving in my family has really been about food first and foremost.  Of course immediately followed by family.  (If not for family, both real and adopted, who would all that food be for anyway?!) Then, not exactly as an afterthought, we would give thanks.

These days, I’m profoundly aware of the need for gratitude in our lives, and not just as a virtue but because gratitude can have a profound effect on happiness as well. [http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier]

Of course as a Mom and healthy living coach, I love that this holiday is about food too!  Bringing gratitude and food together leads me to think about where our Thanksgiving food actually comes from.

I’m grateful for the farmers who grow and prepare our food and I’m grateful for beekeepers and their incredible fleet of workers – literally worker-bees! – who, with their pollinator brethren, make many our favorite Thanksgiving dishes possible.

Did you know that Cranberries, Pumpkins, Celery, Onions, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Apples, Pears, Vanilla, even some Coffees all require the work of a pollinator? (In fact 71 out of the top 100 crops providing 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees. One out of every three bites of food is pollinated by honeybees alone.  Bees contribute over 20 billion to the US economy and $217 billion to the global economy annually!)

While researching this column I found out that there is something we can do to extend this gratefulness one step further this thanksgiving.  We can actually thank the bees and other pollinators and speak out to protect them.

Turns out that bees are dying at alarming rates. A certain kind of pesticide, known as neonicotinoids (neonics), are a key contributor to their die-offs.  (In Europe there is a 2-year ban on these pesticides in order for them to figure out the path forward.) But here in the US neonics are among the most heavily used insecticides. At the same time we’re seeing the loss of pollinators (including butterflies, earthworms, lady bugs, dragon flies, reptiles, and birds).

Beekeepers report an unprecedented 30% loss in hives over the last eight years.  The bees in this case are the “canaries in the coal mine” sending out a warning for all pollinators.  Studies clearly indicate neonics as a key factor in bee declines.

From now until November 24th we have a unique opportunity to call on President Obama and his administration to take action to protect pollinators.

If you want to give thanks, then take a moment to tell the EPA and USDA to suspend bee-harming pesticides. There is a short window to speak out for the bees and other pollinators.  Visit http://www.regulations.gov and submit written comments to comments regarding: EPA docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0806.  Or, visit the Friends of The Earth commentary page for this topic. 

Urge the administration to take the following steps:

o Immediately stop the release and use of neonicotinoids for agricultural uses—including seed treatments—as well as cosmetic and other unnecessary uses pending pesticide re-evaluation.

o Ensure that new pollinator habitat is free from neonicotinoids and other systemic insecticides and that all pollinator-attractive plants planted have not been pre-treated with these insecticides.

Don’t let the gratitude activism stop there!  Have your kids write a note and spread the word to others.  Please share this link on facebook, write a blog post, send out a thankful tweet #grateful4bees.  Lets make sure to thank those who are born to give – the bees, and all the pollinators – and work all their lives making Thanksgiving and every meal possible.

Thank YOU for taking the time out to read this post and to for taking action. I am grateful to live in a world with people who know the meaning of gratitude.

 

AmyZiff

 

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Thanksgiving Giveaway Contest

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, Gina Ragnone  aka @GranolaBitch on Instagram (my friend and owner of vegan restaurant Fala Bar and Gigi’s Remix), and I partnered up to give thanks to our readers by offering you a chance to win an amazing giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive all that is in this photo, which includes:
-Nutribullet PRO 900 series magic bullet
-PhilosophieMama’s PhilosophieLove Green Dream superfood protein powder and Berry Bliss superfood coconut butter
-Lorna Jane Active by Lorna Jane Clarkson – Nourish book, fitness towel, two pairs of socks (one for barre/Pilates), and a move nourish believe bracelet
-Essential Livingfoods Superfood smoothie mix
-Agent Nateur toxin-free hand mixed deodorant
-Bites of Luv vegan and gluten free cookies and raw bar
-Gigi’s Remix by Granola Bitch vegan snack mix (best snack, ever!)
-My Eclectic Kitchen iPhone recipe App or eBook
-Nutiva hemp seeds
-Himalania Supersnacks goji berries
-Raw Revolution raw snack bars
-TerrAmazon cacao nibs and cacao powder
-Raw Cocoroons

Simple contest rules. In Instagram or Facebook:
1. Follow @granolabitch and @yvonne_delicously_vegan
2. Repost this photo and tag @granolabitch, @yvonne_deliciously_vegan, and #GinaYvonneGiveaway
3. Tag 3 friends in the post, below, or on our giveaway posts in Facebook or Instagram.
4. Tell us something you’re thankful for!

The giveaway contest is open worldwide and you can enter everyday! We will pick a winner via the hashtag by November 14th at 11pm | PST and announce it on Saturday the 15th!

GOOD LUCK & many thanks for participating!

(See original post on Instagram via @yvonne_deliciously_vegan or @granolabitch)

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Preparing for Thanksgiving

 

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Up until this year, for every Thanksgiving and Christmas, my family has had the same traditional Thanksgiving feast, including: turkey, turkey gravy, stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry jelly, buttermilk biscuits, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream– essentially, the standard American Thanksgiving feast.  It has always been this way because of the influence of my Grandpa Floyd, the only grandfather I’ve ever met (my grandmother’s twin’s husband), who grew up in the South and midwest.

When my father arrived in the United States from the Philippines in the 1950s by way of the US Navy, he would often spend time with my Grandpa Floyd and Grandma Rosie in Missouri, at the Missouri State prison, where my Grandpa Floyd performed as warden of the prison.  They actually had a home within the prison.  Anyway, they eventually moved into a house and that’s where my mother learned about Southern cooking, through Grandma Rosie who learned from Grandpa Floyd’s mother.  Who knows how long the traditions had been passed down, but I’m glad my family inherited them. I had loved and was proud of our family’s traditions.

This year is a little bittersweet, though– I’m not going to practice that same Thanksgiving tradition.  This year, I’m spending Thanksgiving with my Iranian-American in-laws, and this year we are vegan and don’t eat gluten.  My brother-in-law is picking up an already made turkey (since they eat meat still) at Whole Foods and I’m making the sides.  Since Peyman and I will not be eating turkey, I’m making a “meat”loaf.  I’ll also be making a potato mash, candied sweet potatoes, persimmon muffins, green beans, mushroom gravy, and instead of having cranberry jelly this year, I’m making cranberry sauce.  With this sauce, I think I’m starting a new family tradition.  As with anything sweet, please remember to eat in moderation!

Here’s my recipe.  I hope you enjoy it!

 

Cranberry Sauce

Time: about 30 minutes

Ingredients

1  1/2 pound fresh cranberries, washed and dried

2 cups coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup filtered water

1/2 + 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 small orange, zested and juiced

 

Directions

1. Wash and dry cranberries.

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2. In a medium saucepot, combine the coconut sugar, filtered water and cranberries.  Mix.

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3. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Stir to combine and simmer for 7 minutes.  Some cranberries will remain whole and some will burst.

4. Add zest and juice to taste.  Cool and chill to thicken.  As the sauce chills, the natural pectins in the fruit will thicken the sauce.

5. Serve chilled and enjoy!   This can be made a day in advance.

 

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Pumpkin Pie – Vegan, Gluten-free and Delicious!

IMG_0840Fall is an exciting time of year.  The mornings are crisp, the leaves start to turn color, and from this month forward we have one fun holiday each month for the next 6 months!  Woohoo!  What can I say, I like to celebrate– I’m young at heart and I love the holidays!

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What I love most about the holidays is the time spent with my family and close friends, and of course, the comforting and nostalgic foods that come with the season. When I first spotted pumpkins, squash and persimmon at the market, I couldn’t help but grab a few and take them home with me!  Although I would love to keep them on my dining table as a gorgeous Fall centerpiece, I would also like to enjoy the tastes of the season.

What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?  In creating this pumpkin pie, I took my go-to pumpkin pie recipe that I’d used for years (in my pre-vegan days), veganized and de-glutenized it!  It turned out to be a success.  Only thing is, you will need some time to prepare in advance.  You will have to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours or overnight, and it does take some patience to freeze the pie, thaw it, slice into, then thaw it some more.  Believe me, the time is totally worth it and no worries, the directions are simple and straightforward.  This pie tastes just like the pumpkin pie I grew up with, only better and it’s better for you!

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In my pre-vegan days, I would frost my pumpkin pie slice like a piece of cake, slathering it all over with whipped cream.  With this recipe, interestingly, it almost tastes like the whipped cream is built into it.  When you take a bite into this, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices.  It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full after just one slice. You can add whipped cream, like I did, but whipped cream is not necessary.  If you’d like to make coconut whipped cream, check out my coconut whipped cream recipe.  I like to spice it up my coconut whipped cream with some cinnamon and sometimes with a little nutmeg and cloves.

I am so happy about my gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie recipe!  It’s super-satisfying and tastes just like the pumpkin pie they sell at stores, only it’s vegan and gluten-free.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

 

Pumpkin Pie  

Servings: 12

Time: 5 hours

Brief: When you take a bite into a slice of this pumpkin pie, it feels and tastes creamy; you can taste the pumpkin and all those warm familiar Fall and holiday spices.  It feels a bit light, too, yet it’s quite substantial and may make you feel full off of just one slice.

Diet: V, GF, GFV, DF, SF

 

Ingredients

Crust:

1/4 cup ice-cold filtered water*

3/4 cup oat flour, gluten-free

1/4 cup coconut flour

¼ tsp xanthan gum, optional**

1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt

2 tsp coconut nectar

6 Tbsp raw coconut oil, melted

Note:

*I measure out the water and stick the measuring cup in the freezer while I get the rest of the ingredients.

**I don’t always use xanthan gum, as pictured. If you use it, your crust will not be as crumbly.

 

Filling:

1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in filtered water overnight

2 cups pumpkin puree*

1/3 cup raw coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp coconut palm nectar (or maple syrup)

1  3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Note:

15 oz. of canned pumpkin puree will work. I bake my pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees F for 1.5 hours.

 

Directions

Crust:

1. Set separate racks in the center and lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Spray the pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt and sugar, and mix to combine.  Add the melted coconut oil and mix together with a fork, scraping the sides with a spatula. Add the cold water and mix together thoroughly with a fork.  The coconut oil will then start to harden and the coconut flour may absorb all the water.  You may need to add 2-4 more tablespoons of water to get the dough to come together.

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4. Press the dough into the pie dish using the palm of your hand and fingers to press the dough flush into the pie dish. Try to make the crust as even throughout. If it helps, use a large spoon to smoothen out the dough evenly.

5. Place a large piece of parchment paper over the pie shell, just enough to hold pie weights, and fill the shell with dried beans or pie weights. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake on the center rack, until the shell is light brown, about 15 minutes.

6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the pie shell. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  The crust might crack a little if over-baked or too dry, but that’s fine. Mine cracked a little and was still fine. (Remember, I didn’t use xanthan gum. If I had used xanthan gum, it shouldn’t have cracked.)

7. Cool the crust and prepare the filling.

 

Filling:

1. Soak cashews overnight or for at least 3 hours in about 2 cups of water.

2. Place all of the filling ingredients into the blender then blend on high until very smooth. Stop the blender and scrape the sides to ensure everything is getting blended. Taste and sweeten to taste, if you like it sweeter. If you do add more coconut nectar, blend until completely incorporated.

3. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust, scraping the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Using an off-set spatula or knife, spread the filling into the crust evenly.

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4. Place in the freezer to set.  It should set within 3-4 hours, but set best overnight.

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5. Hours before serving the pie, if it is completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and onto your kitchen counter. Let it sit for about 25 minutes.  Using a large sharp knife, cut slices. After you slice it, if you’re not going to serve it right away, place it in the refrigerator. Remove the pie from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving so it can fully defrost.

6. If you over-defrost the pie, just place it back in the refrigerator to let it set a bit.

7. Carefully plate the pieces of pie on dessert plates and top with whipped “cream.”

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Holiday Sausage

holidaysausage

Time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.

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I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

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Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

To add a more “meaty” component to our menu, I decided to take my breakfast sausage recipe, which is in the app, and add a bit of a holiday spin to it.  Behold Holiday Sausage!  It’s a versatile sausage that you can crumble into sauces or soups.  I hope you and your loved ones love it as much as I do!

 

Holiday Sausage

Ingredients:

½ cup quinoa, uncooked

1 cup filtered water

2 Tbsp flax meal

6 Tbsp filtered water

2 cups crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 cup walnuts

1 1/4 tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped

2 tsp fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

2 tsp fine thyme leaves, roughly chopped

1 tsp rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp red chili flakes

 

Directions:

1. Rinse and drain quinoa. Place the quinoa and 1 cup of filtered water in a small saucepot and cover. Cook the quinoa over medium heat. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer. The quinoa should be cooked in about 15 minutes, when all the water is absorbed. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients into the food processor. Then add the cooled quinoa and process until you have a mixture that looks like ground “meat”, meaning there should not be big lumps of nuts or mushrooms.

4. Scoop 2 Tbsp of the mixture onto the baking sheet and form into round patties. I use a 1-ounce scoop to make this process easier, then I press down to make make into a sausage patty.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

6. Allow sausage patties to rest on the baking sheet for at least 3 minutes before transferring them to a plate.

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Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

 

Version 2Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.

IMG_2794

I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

IMG_2795

Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

One of my favorite dishes in my pre-vegan days was Suzanne Goin’s kabocha squash gratin.  I thought it would be perfect for Thanksgiving, so I veganized it, and to my delight, it was delicious!  There’s a bit of sweetness from the squash, creaminess from the cashews, and a nice kick of spice from the rajas.  I hope you try this recipe and love it!

Kabocha Squash with Rajas Gratin

Prep Time: 1 day

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

Soft Cashew Cheese 

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp agar agar

2 tbsp filtered water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

 

Cashew Cream

1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

½ cup of filtered water

 

Fire Roasted Chilies for Rajas

2 poblano or pasilla chiles, charred, peeled, deseeded, and cut into strips

 

Roasted Kabocha Squash

1 medium kabocha squash, peeled (optional), sliced 1/4″ thick

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

2 Tbsp thyme, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Rajas

1 1/2 onion, sliced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup cashew cream

poblano pepper strips

Directions

Make Soft Cashew Cheese 

1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of filtered water to soak overnight.

2. Drain the liquid, rinse under cold water and drain again.

3. In the blender, combine and pulverize the cashews, agar, lemon juice, sea salt and 2 tbsp filtered water. Blend until creamy, taking breaks to scrape the sides of the blender with a silicone spatula to ensure everything gets creamed smooth.  When creamy, pour into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

 

Make Cashew Cream

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, add filtered water 1 tablespoon at a time. We want this to be the same consistency as cream, so adjust accordingly.

Fire-roast Poblano Chiles
Peel the chiles as shown in the video link
Roast Kabocha Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the kabocha squash into 1/4″ pieces. On a sheet tray, add the oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme, and squash.  Toss together, then place in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping the pieces half way through.
Make Rajas
Heat a saute pan, add oil, then the onions, sea salt, pepper, oregano.  If the onions start sticking to the pan, add some filtered water to help cook and deglaze the pan.  Once the onions look translucent, add the poblano chile strips.  Saute for about 3-5 minutes, then add cashew cream.
Assemble
Use an 8″x7″ or 8″x8″ deep casserole dish, and one layer of roasted kabocha squash.  On top of that, add one layer of rajas, one layer of crumbled cheese, then pour the cashew cream to cover.  Repeat until you run out of ingredients.  I usually finish off with the layer of kombucha squash.  Also, remember to make this super creamy by pouring on a lot of cream.
Bake in a preheated 350 F degree for about 25 minutes or until it has bubbled for 15 minutes.

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Arugula and Persimmon Salad

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Happy November!  Now that Halloween has passed, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving!  To help you with planning, I teamed up with my talented foodie friends, Jasmine Briones of SweetSimpleVegan.com and Sarah Ahn of AhnestVeggie.com to come up with a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

2015-11-02 10.54.56

Most of us dig into Thanksgiving classics once a year, which means that when the holiday rolls around, expectations are high.  That’s why we rigorously tested and strategically streamlined our recipes for all the traditional (and not-so-traditional), crowd-pleasing favorites.

IMG_2794

I’m confident that vegans and non-vegans alike will love our Thanksgiving menu–from the best candied sweet potatoes you ever tasted, to butternut squash mac and cheese, to traditional stuffing and super-creamy pumpkin pie.  We know how to do it right.

IMG_2795

Each day, starting November 1st, we will be sharing a new fall recipe on our blogs.  Sarah shared her scrumptious Fall Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash and today I will be sharing with you a simple yet elegant and delicious salad.  A Thanksgiving salad shouldn’t be boring.  This one makes the most of seasonal produce for a simple but impressive take on fall flavors.

We’d love to see any recipes of ours recreated by you.  Please tag us in social media #YSJThanksgiving when posting photos!

 

Arugula and Persimmon Salad

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting the time it takes to make the cheese. With cheese, one day.)

Ingredients

2-3 bags pre-washed baby arugula

4 crunchy fuyu persimoons, peeled, stem removed, and sliced into 8ths

1/2 cup marcona almonds

1/2 shallot, sliced very thin

3 dates, sliced very thin

handful crumbled goat cheese (you can use this vegan goat cheese recipe sans the cranberry and dill, and when you blend it, add 3 Tbsp agar agar flakes)

2 super ripe and juicy persimmons, stem and peel removed

saba (aged balsalmic), as needed

sea salt, as needed

freshly ground black pepper, as needed

 

Directions

1. Spread the arugula onto a serving platter.

2. Season with a dash or two of sea salt and pepper.

3. Tuck into the leaves bits of shallot, dates, marcona almonds, persimmon wedges.

4. Sprinkle on vegan goat cheese.

5. In a bowl, place the super ripe and juicy persimmon flesh.  Stir it up a bit as if you are going to use it as a sauce.  Using a spoon, in a circular motion, add the persimmon flesh as you would a dressing.

6. Finish off with a drizzle of saba.

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Photo credit: Jasmine Briones (1st, 3rd, and 4th)

 

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