Vegan MoFo Day #23, Post #16: Autumn Equinox Eats and GF/V COOKIE BUTTER!

Today’s MoFo Prompt is Autumn Equinox Eats. Lately I’ve become aware of a lot of people hating on everything pumpkin. Honestly, I will eat pumpkin all year round if I feel like it (from a can when it’s not in season). I think apples may not get quite as much credit these days though.

To make up for it, I’ve been quite enthralled by juicing 2 apples and shaking the juice together with 1/4 tsp. It is seriously amazing.

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If you’re like me and actually enjoy pumpkin for Fall (and the occasional apple, squash, and sweet potato recipe), then take a look at all these delicious vegan fall recipes I have compiled on my Pinterest board for this purpose. And I know some people also loathe the idea of Pinterest as well…but what’s with all the negativity? It’s where I find the best online vegan/gluten free recipes from blogs and such actually, aside from MoFo.

Also TODAY I MADE HOMEMADE VEGAN GLUTEN FREE SPECULOOS COOKIE BUTTER! I cannot contain myself in not sharing it. The recipe is from Allyson Kramer. Here’s some pictures of the process.

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Before they were baked

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After baking

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After being made into cookie butter!

Yay! I’m sorry, I’ve been slacking a bit with MoFo, but I’m so close to being done with my bachelor of science degree it is ridiculous! So I’m focusing more on that.

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Just a quick pic to share of what I’ve been up to

Hey!

Since Vegan MoFo ended, and then I wrapped up my first term at school, I’ve just needed a bit of a break from blogging. I’ll be back more regularly soon, I promise!

My birthday is next Wednesday! I’m turning 30! Aaaaaaah! In honor of the event, tomorrow I am running a 5k, and I hope to share some pictures of that, because they will contain a special (and hilarious) surprise for those who don’t know what I’m up to yet.

I also have a special recipe I created for my birthday to share, as well!

In the meantime, here is a picture of mostly raw candy apples I made from a recipe in Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine!

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I hope you are all enjoying your fall!

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.

My “Thanksgivukkah” Menu- a bit early but at least I’m prepared!

So this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving happen to occur at the same time. Hanukkah starts at sundown on Wednesday the 27th, and since it goes on for 8 nights, Thanksgiving will co-occur. My family doesn’t really celebrate Hanukkah as much as we used to (I think my dad, who is Jewish but not really religious married my mom so he could celebrate Christmas at times, hehe, although we don’t really celebrate Christmas that much either…)

Anyways, my family has some traditions around holiday time that are difficult to break, despite being a vegan and/or not really being into the actual holidays themselves. One is that we try to have Potato latkes the first night of Hanukkah. But since everyone ends up eating a lot on Thanksgiving, and we’ll be doing tons of cooking on the first night in preparation for Thanksgiving, it kind of makes more sense to have potato latkes with Thanksgiving food. Someone on my facebook called it Thanksgivukkah, and I thought that was funny, so I decided to call this post that.

I end up making a lot of separate foods that I make for myself and feast off of for the rest of the week, since my family is not vegan along with me sadly. So for the past three years I have been making my own Thanksigiving menu that people can eat from if they want to, or not.

This year I am making:

Baked Potato Latkes from the Happy Herbivore Blog

A healthy green bean casserole (I may need to put some vegan fried onions on top too, we’ll see…)

Tofurky  (I think I am getting a coupon from purchasing a limited edition thanksgiving shirt from Compassion Co., so I really want to do this this year!)

and for dessert:

*edit* I was going to make some pumpkin pie squares but ended up choosing to make the Eat To Live Cookbook’s pumpkin pie because it seemed like a healthier choice–Eat To Live Cookbook is my newest (and healthiest) cookbook I own.

Look out for my reviews of these recipes, hopefully on Thanksgiving day or the day after! Let me know if you decide to make any of these as well, and then let me know what you thought!

Pumpkin Ice Cream with the secret vegan “cream” ingredient that makes it amazing!

Okay, so pumpkin ice cream recipes may not be too original or anything, but the taste of this one I just made certainly is.

It basically tastes like pumpkin flavored frozen whipped cream.

The secret ingredient? A can of this:

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It requires an ice cream maker. I used the kind where the base of the machine gets frozen and then you pull it out of the freezer right before you’re about to put the ice cream liquid inside, turn it on, and let it mix itself until it turns into ice cream. I don’t know much about ice cream maker varieties but I love this one, and think it works quite well. Mine is a Hamilton Beach brand maker.

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The Creamiest Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream Ever

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 14 oz can coconut cream (I’m really not sure where you can find this otherwise besides Trader Joe’s so let me know if you find one elsewhere? Regular coconut milk in a can will NOT yield the same results but you could try it with some sort of thickener maybe? hmmm)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp liquid stevia

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pulse until combined.
  3. Prep ice cream maker.
  4. Pour ice cream base into ice cream maker according to your machine’s directions.
  5. The time it will take to turn into ice cream will vary according to many different factors, so when it looks like ice cream or your preferred ice cream consistency, stop it. It sometimes helps to pour into a container and freeze for a bit if it’s still somewhat soupy and not turning into ice cream after awhile (at least let it run for a half hour before you do this, but then again, read your machine’s directions and gauge it by those).