Gluten Free, Vegan Thanksgiving Lasagna

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Hey, I’ve been having a rough time lately. I’m aware I have not been posting much. I finally made an original recipe to share with you all.

I came up with this idea for Thanksgiving because it’s easy to transport for a long car ride, easy to reheat, and has a little bit of everything. Also, since I cannot eat the vegan Thanksgiving roasts like Tofurky and such because they’re made out of pure gluten, I figured this would be even more delicious and satisfying for me.

This recipe contains butternut squash, kale, walnuts, caramelized onions, and vegan ricotta, as well as gluten-free lasagna noodles.

It uses two packages of Kite Hill ricotta, which is a pretty big splurge but so worth it if you can get it. If you can’t, it works with some firm tofu, or you can make a cashew ricotta too.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 small Vidalia onions, cut into rings
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 16 oz chopped kale
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 packages Kite Hill ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup non dairy milk of choice
  • 1 package Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagne Noodles (the best gluten free pasta brand, in my opinion, and I’ve tried a lot)

 

Directions:

  1. Place butternut squash in a large saucepan and cover with water.
  2. When water is boiling, set a timer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat when the squash is soft.
  3. While the butternut squash is boiling, prepare the caramelized onions. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan with a cover. Toss the onions in the oil. Keep on medium heat (you may have to lower it later) for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. When browned, add in the brown sugar, stir, and remove from heat. Set aside for assembly of the lasagna later.
  4. When the squash is cooked, drain the water and place back into the pot. Mash the squash with a potato masher until smooth.
  5. Stir in the vegetable broth, salt and pepper, nutmeg, garlic, and nutritional yeast.
  6. Prepare the kale by boiling three cups of water in a large covered pot. When boiling, add the kale and cover. Stir every so often until all the kale is wilted, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Prepare the walnuts by placing them in a food processor and blend until pasty. If you like, you can add some additional seasonings to the walnuts before blending.
  8. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the packaged directions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Combine the ricotta with the nondairy milk in a medium sized bowl.
  10. Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil onto a large casserole or lasagna pan.
  11. Place a layer of noodles on the bottom, followed by half the butternut sauce, half the ricotta, half the walnuts, and all of the kale. Repeat in the same order except this time, place on top with the onions instead of the kale for the second layer.
  12. Cover pan with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and heat for an additional ten minutes (or less depending on how it’s looking)
  13. Allow it to cool slightly before digging in.

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I hope you have a lot to be grateful for!

 

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Fresh-picked Apple Cupcakes with Apple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Drizzled with Homemade Apple Syrup

Thank you everyone for being so excited about my ravioli post. It was my most popular blog entry yet!

This past weekend I went apple picking. It was really hot that day, so I actually had some frozen lemonade after!

I had actually been planning on this recipe in a vague form even before I decided to go apple picking. In fact, this is specifically why I wanted to go. Now I need to go apple picking every year, because I have realized fresh picked apples are so much tastier than ones bought in the store.

Of course, I bought more apples than I knew what to do with (figuratively not literally basically) so I had to make some things with them. I don’t know why I just said that because that was part of the plan, but it sounds better that way? Don’t mind me…

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Fresh-picked Apple Cupcakes with Apple Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Drizzled with Homemade Apple Syrup

Makes a dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Apple Cinnamon Syrup:

  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 5-6 red apples worth of peels
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups apples diced small
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane juice (vegan white sugar)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup earth balance
  • 1/4 cup vegan non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp apple cinnamon syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond milk or other non dairy milk of choice

 Directions:

For the apple cinnamon syrup:

  1. Stir together the sugars and water in a saucepan.
  2. Peel the apples and place the peels into the pan.
  3. Make sure you save the meat of the apples for the cupcakes and possible other things you may choose to make or eat as is.
  4. Add the cinnamon sticks.
  5. Simmer for about 45 minutes. You can have it on a medium low heat and then turn it to the lowest heat once it starts to bubble a bit.
  6. After 45 minutes, take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Your kitchen will smell amazing, by the way.
  7. Strain into a container. Discard the apple peels and cinnamon.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to use for the frosting. You’ll have quite a bit of extra syrup that you can use in drinks or whatever your heart desires. I’m going to use it to make a vegan roasted peanut recipe, so you may want to save some of it for when that posts!

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix the apples and evaporated cane juice in a mixing bowl and let sit for ten minutes.
  3. Add in the vegetable oil, vanilla, and apple sauce. Stir to combine.
  4. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  5. Add the almond milk and stir to combine.
  6. Place batter into twelve cupcake liners in a muffin pan. You’ll want to fill them up more than typical cupcakes. Spread the batter out as evenly as you can into eat. I used about 2 huge heaping tablespoons in each.
  7. Bake for at least 20 minutes. It took my cupcakes about 24 minutes to be done. After the 20 minutes I took a toothpick and checked the middle and continued to do this every so often until they were golden brown and the toothpick came out clear.
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening with an electic mixer.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until crumbly.
  3. Add the syrup and almond milk and mix until smooth.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix a bit more to ensure everything is mixed together.

To assemble:

  1. I like to put the frosting into a ziplock bag and snip off a corner to use as a pastry bag.
  2. Pipe frosting onto the cupcake in your desired arrangement.
  3. Drizzle extra syrup or sprinkle cinnamon on top.

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So good!

PS: Today I also made Isa Chandra Moscowitz’ Kale Salad from Isa Does It. It has butternut squash and lentils and the dressing is so good. I ate it with some Earth Balance Mac and Cheese.

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Spinach, Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage and Tofu Ravioli Recipe

I wanted to take a day off after doing Vegan MoFo for the entire month (didn’t miss a day) but my people are requesting my triumphant early return.

I’m going to be making a similar recipe to share soon with a pumpkin filling that is soy free, too. I’m not sure if I will just update this post and alert people to the fact that it’s been updated, or make a separate post. But keep an eye out for it!

I posted this picture on What FAT vegans eat Facebook group and many people requested the recipe, so, here it is.

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It’s easier the bigger you make them. I haven’t quite perfected the technique of forming the ravioli. I don’t actually care if they look slightly misshapen, as long as they’re delicious. That they definitely are.

Here’s a quick set of photos of the process:

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After the dough was kneaded

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The dough broken into 8 pieces

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1/8 of the dough rolled out to form the ravioli. This gets cut in half to make two ravioli.

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On the left is a ravioli in progress. The filling is on the other one, waiting to be formed.

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A mostly formed ravioli

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A finished ravioli (pardon the shadow)

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Some of the ravioli I made

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4 Cooked ravioli

On to the recipe:

Makes 16 ravioli

Ingredients:

For the pasta dough:

  • 1 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup raw baby spinach
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage

For the filling:

  • 4 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3-6 large fresh sage leaves depending on how strong you want this flavor to be
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu

Directions:

  1. Roast the butternut squash in a dish with the olive oil and pepper in a 400 degree (F) oven for 30 minutes to an hour until slightly browned and caramelized.
  2. Take out a large bowl and place the flour and salt and stir.
  3. In a food processor or blender, blend together the spinach, water, and sage until liquified.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the flour mix, and then add the spinach, water, and sage liquid.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated and is not stringy or powdery. You may need to add 1-2 tbsp water to achieve this.
  6. Knead the dough on a clean, floured surface for about 10 minutes straight. Do this with a combination of techniques. I like to squish my hands around in the dough, then roll it into a ball, and fold and roll it. Continue until smooth and a little shiny.
  7. Let sit to rest in the bowl covered in plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
  8. Make the filling by blending or processing the squash, sage, and tofu until smooth and fully combined, scraping the sides with the spatula to get everything incorporated.
  9. Now begin to work on the pasta. Separate the dough into 8 even sized balls.
  10. Flour a dinner plate, set aside a cup with water inside, take out a rolling-pin and dust it with flour, and set aside a knife and a dinner fork. Also flour your working surface again.
  11. Roll the 1/8 dough ball as thin as possible. Try to make it in a rectangular shape.
  12. Cut the rectangular shape in half, and place 1 tbsp of the filling on the inside of each piece.
  13. Before folding the dough over the filling, wet water with your finger around the edges of the dough and fold around the filling so that the edges meet.
  14. Smooth them down. Take a fork and pinch around the edges to seal them and add a nice finished look to it.
  15. Dust with a bit more flour, and place on the floured plate.
  16. Continue steps 11-15 until you are done with the dough.
  17. If you don’t intend on cooking them all right away (which would require a pretty large pot, by the way if you do want to cook them all…I cooked mine in batches of 4-8 at a time) you can flour a tupperware container and place them inside and keep them in the fridge until you want them, for no more than a week. You could also place them in the freezer for even longer.
  18. To cook, boil a pot of water. Place in the water when boiling, let them sit in there, adjusting the heat on the stove as necessary, until they float to the top. This will take about 7-10 minutes.
  19. Eat once slightly cooled. They’re so good they don’t need much else, but maybe a creamy sauce would be good.

Foodie (photo) Friday! My week of cooking in review…

Hey everyone!

I have been trying to have a salad every day (or a meal comprised mostly of raw veggies…) and so I may have by default reduced the amount of meals I cook in a week…although usually lunch is pretty easy regardless of salads…so maybe it is essentially the same.

This week I made three things:

1. Good Gravy Bowl from Isa Does It! (the cookbook by Isa Chandra Moscowitz)

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Instead of putting rice in the bowl, I made mashed potatoes and put that at the bottom, it was really good, savory, and comforting. It is not something that really has a huge “wow!” factor to me but it’s definitely tasty and something I would make again! I’m going to give it 4 good bananas, 1 bad since it lacks the real wowieness…

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2. Butternut Squash Soup made in the crockpot from this recipe

ImageI may have ended up altering this recipe as I didn’t know weigh my squash and had no idea if was a pound, but assumed it was less, and so I reduced everything. For this reason (since I do not know if it was accurate to the original recipe or not) I am not going to give it a rating since I could have changed the flavors a lot. It was good, but I may have put too many carrots into it as the butternut squash flavor seemed weak…I also wished the coconut milk was more smooth in it, but I think that was also due to error on my part maybe.

3. Brace yourselves–Baked Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Bun Sliders–My own original recipe (to be posted here tomorrow or possibly later on tonight)

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Oh my goodness, have I created a monster! I loved this and I am so proud of myself for pulling it off. It’s been something that has been in my arsenal for awhile now since seeing this on Pinterest. I wanted to create a version that A) was vegan and B) was baked, not deep fried. It’s possible to make it gluten free, and some of the processes that go into making it are fun to involve kids (plus the recipe itself is very kid-friendly!)

That’s it! I will be back here shortly to post the recipe for the Mac ‘N Cheese Sliders soon…

Foodie Friday Catch-up

I have forgotten/been busy and have been neglecting this for a few weeks. Aside from some Christmas food postings, and my recipe for my brownies the other night, I have not been posting much! Hopefully I can change that while I’m on break from school!

Anyways, I am going to fill in some gaps of some things I have made recently.

I think this is everything, except I did make the healthy (and delicious! might I add) waffle recipe from Isa Does it for New Year’s Morning and I forgot to take a picture of it. Oh, and I made a salad to share for a writing workshop I attended, also from Isa Does It (the avocado ranch one) that I forgot to to take a picture of as well.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Lentils from Isa Does It

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I really loved the texture of this salad! The flavors were great. As a meal it was surprisingly satisfied. I’d definitely make it again and it was quite easy. The easier the better lately, in my opinion!

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Fruit Punch “winkies” from Bake and Destroy

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I also made these for the writing workshop with my new canoe pan I got for Christmas! The cake batter ends up coming out really thick and bakes like the consistency of a donut. You can’t really taste the fruit punch flavor as much as I’d like. Some tweaking of my own vegan twinkie creations is definitely in order! But it was great to have a recipe to work from and see if it works, get inspired by! Believe me…there’ll be more vegan twinkie recipes in the future. As someone of an aside…I need to get more practice with the frosting syringe so that the filling gets distributed evenly throughout the twinkie fully…

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Cucumber Ranch Bowl from Isa Does It

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This was quite good. I loved the crispy tofu and the  spices used to make it. The dressing has a bit of an odd texture but is good. The broccoli goes well and also gets more veggies into the dish. I liked the textures combined with the rice. I do not know for sure if it is something I would make again though? I thought it would be much better than I thought by the write up it had in the cookbook. I think it’s good for a one time trial…not sure what to rate it banana-wise since it was good enough, maybe I will settle on 3 good bananas? I cannot decide though! Ok 3 good bananas it is. But I would definitely make the tofu again, just in something different.

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So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream (vanilla) with this strawberry sauce recipe

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I made this for my dessert on New Years Eve. It was really good, and not sickeningly sweet. I liked it a lot and put it on my waffles the next morning as a healthy topping! So good.

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Tempeh Soft Tacos (made with diy taco seasoning), with guacamole, lettuce, nutritional yeast, and salsa

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I used some recipes for reference for this. Mainly this one for the tempeh taco meat and this one (for the taco seasoning which I tweaked a bit by reducing salt and omitting the crushed red pepper). It was delicious though I put way too much of my guacamole onto it haha. Yum. The tempeh taco meat is definitely a good idea!

I have also been making a lot salads with some bbq’d Beyond Meat I got for free, eating the brownies I made last night, making a few daiya grilled cheese sandwiches, and other convenient foods but I need to get back to eating and cooking with more fresh veggies and such. I am going to try making the sweet potato gnocchi with tarragon cashew cream soon from Isa Does It. Be prepared to see that next week!

Foodie (Photo) Friday #6-Philly Cheese Jackfruit Steak, Jalapeno Poppers, and Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna

Well, well, well. It’s another edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! I’m having some technological difficulties so the photos will be larger than normal, because when I try to resize them within wordpress I am getting a blank screen.

I have some good ones to share with you this week! I also just started the process of making some cupcakes for my birthday weekend, but those aren’t photo-ready yet.

First off, is this amazing Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak sandwich from the “V” word blog. Recipe here. Image

This recipe really had a “wow” factor. I’m now officially in love with jackfruit after seeing how versatile it is! I may have possibly had a cheesesteak once or twice as a non-vegan, but it never was much of my thing anyhow. But now that I am a vegan this was a fun thing to make, and it was delicious in it’s own unique way. The spices were spot on I thought, I would not even know what spices to use to recreate this dish were I the one creating the recipe. The onions are also perfect. I think I cooked it all for a bit less time than suggested because I do not like too strong of a blackened flavor, and perhaps my stove gets too hot, but the steps worked out great to get a really crisp yet chewy texture out of the onions and jackfruit. I will definitely be making this again when I have more cans of jackfruit. I only made two servings because I wanted to only use one of my two cans. Oh well…

ImageI definitely give this recipe:

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The Jalapeno Poppers were from the cookbook The 30 Minute Vegan.

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They were supposed to be a healthier version of the classic snackfood/appetizer. I am not sure how unhealthy typical poppers are nutritionally, but after calculating the calories and other information for these, I wasn’t all that impressed really with the numbers. But I wanted them so I ate them anyways. These are baked, not fried. They certainly fulfill any craving you may have for this sort of food. I had never worked with 10 jalapenos at a time though, and scooping out the seeds and veins with a serrated knife was not exactly easy. I kept breathing in some of the fumes and gagging/coughing/sneezing. So if you make these, remember to use caution with the peppers haha. The coolest part of these is the way you attach the bread crumbs to the outside of the pepper so it can stick when baked. You coat them in a mixture of tahini, soy sauce, and water. It works amazingly. However, for the cheese filling, I highly recommend you use at least 2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese to help the cheese and spice mixture meld together more easily inside the peppers. Otherwise the daiya falls out really easily. I didn’t add the red onion to the cheese mixture because it sounded weird, but oh well.

I rate this recipe:

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It was really good but had some flaws.

Finally, the Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna. Oh.My.Gosh.

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This was delicious. I first made the tofu herb ricotta. I tasted it and could barely stop myself from eating it all before I even made the lasagna. I was really skeptical of the idea of including butternut squash in this. I usually hate butternut squash, but had never tried it roasted, so I did that. I tried a piece of just the squash when it was finished roasting, and I actually liked it! So that’s a plus for this recipe: discovering how I like butternut squash cooked!

There are also caramelized onions, garlicky spinach, daiya cheese, the bechamel sauce, and nutritional yeast, along with the lasagna noodles of course. This took me a long time to make. So many dishes were used. I would recommend this dish for when you really want to impress someone, and not as an everyday dish, because it’s so elaborately time consuming. It is totally worth every bite, however. I had trouble fitting all three layers that you were supposed to do into the dish, so I just made two layers which worked out fine. I wouldn’t have had enough stuff to make a third layer, and even then, it was towering over the dish.

This is so deserving of a 5 good banana rating.

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That’s all for today! Stay tuned next friday to see what I cooked up!