Homeade thanksgiving! And a recipe for green bean casserole.

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. This was my first year hosting – and we did it potluck style. It was a success! The night before the big dinner, I decided we needed to get a little crafty with some decorations. So at the last minute, i whipped up this little banner using what I had on hand: washi tape, card stock and bakers twine. We made little place cards too using cardstock, washi tape and stamps.

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We had a meal that was vegan-a-plenty! I dont really have photos of everything because I was too busy eating, but here’s what I made:

Tofurkey
Gravy
Mac and cheese
Green bean casserole (recipe to follow!)
Pumpkin cheesecake
Brownies

We also had:
Brussel sprouts/apples/potato/walnut mixture, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice and beans, sweet potato casserole, salad and a homeade tofu roast! Everything was so delicious and I REALLY enjoyed eating all the leftovers all weekend!
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I took a stab at making a green bean casserole for the first time. Ive never had it vegan and when searching the internet there seemed to be alot of different ways to make it. I took a gamble, and went with this recipe, and I’m glad I did, because it was absolutely delicious!

Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3-ounce) can of French fried onions

Instructions:

Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling salted water until tender.  Drain well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cover, and cook until softened.  Stir in the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft and release their juices.

Combine the vegetable broth and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Whisk in the flour until smooth and add it to the mushroom mixture. Simmer, stirring, until the liquid thickens. Stir in the soy milk and nutritional yeast and simmer until thick, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the reserved green beans, stirring to coat.

Transfer the green bean mixture into an oiled casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and top with the French fried onions. Bake uncovered until browned and bubbly, about 10 minutes longer.

Serves 4 to 6

roasted acorn squash & sweet potato soup.

soup

It got really cold really quick here and I’ve been on a big soup kick! This is a really easy and delicious soup I found here, and once you roast your squash and potatoes it comes together in no time!

  • 2 -3 lb acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half and seeds removed
  • 3 small sweet potatoes (1 lb)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the acorn squash in half (lengthwise) and remove the seeds and guts–place cut side up on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, drizzle and rub the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the baking sheet along with the acorn squash.
  2. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until both the potato and acorn squash are fork tender and very soft. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin and set aside in a large bowl. Discard the skin.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in medium-sized soup pot. Add the onion and saute over low heat until soft and completely translucent.
  4. Add the ground ginger and garam masala and cook for an additional minute or two, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, roasted squash, and sweet potato.
  5. Bring to low simmer, cover, and cook for an additional for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Puree in a blender (in batches, if necessary) and return to heat. Add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

italian orzo soup.

orzosoupThis soup is adapted from a recipe I kept seeing on pinterest. Its perfect for the colder weather we have been having and very easily customizable to your liking. I definitely think I’m going to add some chickpeas next time for some added protein.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, pureed in blender before adding
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add the orzo and cook another 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Serve warm with some crusty bread.

summer corn soup.

cornssoup

I know what you are thinking….soup?! IN THE SUMMERTIME?! But rest assured, this soup is a great summertime supper. The sweetness of corn tastes just like the joys of summer. I was able to pick up the potatoes and corn at the weekly farmers market – so it was easily a spur of the moment dinner – And it didn’t take too much time to throw together, so its great for a weeknight meal. Don’t forget to serve it with some crusty bread!

Original recipe found here.

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small red potatoes (or 1 small russet), quartered and peeled
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 ears corn,  kernels sliced off
  • 2 cups veggie broth*
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk=
  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

peanut butter chocolate chip sprinkle cookies.

IMG_1348

oh these cookies. they are the death of me. they have peanut butter, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. LOTS OF SPRINKLES. Oh, and they are ooey-gooey and chewy. I couldn’t get enough of them. Original recipe found here.

  • ½ cup Earth Balance
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (plus extra) sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the earth balance, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and using your electric mixer, mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.
  3. Push the earth balance mixture to one side and in the other side of the bowl combine the ground flax seeds, corn starch, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to combine. Now, using the mixer, slowly incorporate the flax seed mixture in with the earth balance mixture. Continue mixing until light and fluffy again.
  4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir to combine. Pour the flour mixture over the earth balance mixture and use your mixer to combine. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix some more until the sprinkles are incorporated throughout the dough.
  5. Drop cookie dough roughly 1½ inches apart on your cookie sheet. Pour some additional sprinkles on a plate and grabbing one ball of cookie dough at a time, dab the top of the cookie dough ball into the plate of sprinkles to give the top a coating of sprinkles. Place it back on the cookie pan and gently smash the top of the cookie to ensure that the new sprinkles are embedded in the cookie dough ball. Repeat with each cookie.
  6. Place the prepared pan of cookie dough balls in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. These cookies are best when they’re slightly undercooked so be careful not to over bake.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate cherry popsicles.

chocolatecherrypopsicles

Summertime! Popsicle time!

1 can coconut milk (I used low fat, but i bet full fat would be creamier!)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 Tablespoons agave
1 cup pitted bing cherries

Mix all in a blender, pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

peanut butter skillet cookie with bourbon salted caramel ice cream.

pbskillet

This recipe turned out to be a tag team effort! I had dinner at my friend’s house last night and her request was to bring a peanut butter cookies. I knew she was making some homeade icecream, so I made a simple peanut butter skillet cookie to top off with the ice cream. This was her first attempt at making vegan ice cream, and it was FANTASTIC. Holy moly. The combination of the cookie, ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce was the perfect way to end the weekend. I will definitely be making this next time I need to feed a crowd. YUM.

So here are the recipes. I made the skillet cookie. she made the ice cream. Both are vegan and both are out of this world delicious.

I found the skillet cookie here, and veganized it:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons earth balance, melted
6 tablespoons peanut butter, melted
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tspns egg replacer, mixed with 4 T warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the earth balance, peanut butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add in the egg mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix well.

Press the dough into a 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Bake the cookie for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is set in the middle. If at any time the edges become too brown, tent the cookie with aluminum foil.

We served the cookie warm, topped with this ice cream. Make it. Now. you wont regret it.

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for at least 6 hours), then drained
  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp tapioca flour OR arrowroot starch for thickening
  1. Make sure your ice cream churning bowl is frozen and soak your cashews. This is all great to do the night before.
  2. Add bourbon and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-high and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and swirl DON’T stir, until a bubbly caramel forms. It happens pretty quick; less than 10 minutes so stay close. Remove from heat and immediately add 3 Tbsp almond milk, sea salt, and stir. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, taste and add more salt if needed. You could also add a splash more bourbon at this point, but don’t exceed 2 tsp or it can inhibit it from freezing.
  3. Add all ingredients except bourbon reduction and tapioca flour to blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Use the “liquify” setting if you have it. You want it to be completely creamy and blended with no chunks.
  4. Add tapioca flour and HALF of the bourbon caramel and blend again. Chill remaining half of caramel.
  5. Add mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions – about 45 minutes. It should look like soft serve.
  6. Add remaining bourbon reduction in last minute OR stir in with a spoon so there’s a more pronounced swirl.
  7. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and cover well. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours or until firm.
  8. Set out for 10-20 minutes (OR microwave for 30 seconds) before serving to soften. Will keep for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

 

banana blueberry bran muffins.

BranMuffins

try saying that ten times fast!

Since I start my day with a smoothie, around 10 am I’m ready for a little something- usually sweet. I like to make healthy muffins because they satisfy a sweet craving, and usually keep me sustained until lunch. I tend to look for muffins that are low in sugar, and try to substitute healthy flours and fruits to make them worth my while. They are a great breakfast treat for milo too.

I found the recipe for some bran muffins here.  Then I customized them to make them vegan. You can add any kind of fruit, or even use spelt flour if you wanted to stay away from white flour. Spelt flour is my favorite to add to muffins!

1 1/3 cups almond milk, mixed with 1 tspn apple cider vinegar
1 T ground flax, mixed with 3 T water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I did a mixture of half veg oil, half unsweetened applesauce)
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or sub brown sugar if you dont have this)
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup all-purpose flour (or sub spelt flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoonsgranulated sugar, divided
1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup blueberries

Heat oven to 425 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk almond milk, flax, oil (or oil and apple sauce), and mashed banana and coconut palm sugar in a bowl. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 3-4 blue berries to each muffin and sprinkle each with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar (1 tspn divided over the 12 muffins). Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of granulated sugar.

Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes.

banana pancakes.

bananapancakes
Here is a simple banana pancake recipe that turned out really great and you can whip up in no time! Its adapted from this recipe here.

    • 1 ripe banana
    • 2/3 cup almond milk
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamonOptional: Chocolate chips or blueberries.

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the banana with the almond milk.
  2. In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Pour the banana/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries or chocolate chips if going this route.
  3. Grease your skillet over medium heat. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the pancake batter into the pan. Flip when bubbles form in the batter (about 1 minute). Let the second side cook for about 30-60 seconds and remove from heat.
  4. Serve pancakes with maple syrup and enjoy

vegan cheez-its.

cheezits

Cheez-its were probably my most favorite snack back in the day. I almost always had a box of them at my desk to snack on. I recently saw that Earth Balance was coming out with a vegan version. I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to get my hands on these.  So far no luck. it does just so happen though, that I came across this blog post last week and knew that I HAD to make some myself!

Now, these crackers didnt necessarily taste like the good-ol fashioned cheez its I remember, BUT they were a fantastic, cheezy-savory cracker that came together in no time! Milo could not get enough of these, and frankly, neither could I!

  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Yellow corn meal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a food processor or blender and process to thoroughly combine.
  3. Then add olive oil and  pulse again until crumbly.
  4. Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time until it forms a loose dough. You don’t want too much water, so just add a little bit at a time. It shouldn’t need more than 3 Tbsp.
  5. Remove from processor and form into a loose ball with your hands. It’s actually good for this dough to be worked and warmed by the heat of your hands, so don’t worry about touching it too much. However, you are not kneading it, just forming it into a disc.
  6. Lay on a lightly floured surface, dust the top with flour, and roll to 1/8th inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into square crackers. Dot the centers with a fork prong wooden skewer tip to resemble a Cheez-It.
  7. Bake at 350 for 12-17 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

 

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