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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Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Swedish Ginger Cookie Crust or Speculoos crust (either works!)

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving. It seems like just the other day I was writing about last Thanksgivukkah. Too bad this year hanukkah is later.

I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it but I had this really great Vegan Thanksgiving Food Demo along with Rhode Island Vegan Awareness and Urban Greens Co-op in Providence, RI. I taught a large (being that only 13 people were supposed to be there based on sign ups) group of 23 people, mostly all vegan or vegetarian how to make my butternut squash and sage ravioli. It was a really fun time, and the first time I’ve ever done something like that. I’d say it went really well. I am looking forward to doing more events like that in the future.

I had pre-cooked the Gardein holiday roast and brought it to my family’s thanksgiving gathering. I had also made sage cashew cheese for an appetizer. My mom brought a vegan green bean casserole. My great aunt had made vegan mashed potatoes with oil, almond milk, and chives. I was most excited about this one recipe I created for us to eat for dessert, which I will now share here.

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mini Pies with Cookie Crust (Speculoos or Ginger)

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Ingredients:

For the crusts:

  • 1 1/2 cup cookie crumbs made in a food processor (Speculoos or Swedish Ginger cookies–I used some cookies called Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins instead of the Speculoos)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted Earth Balance

For the pies:

  • 3 cups worth baked sweet potatoes without skin
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp melted Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 12 Large sized vegan marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease a cupcake tin with either a generous amount of cooking spray or melt some extra earth balance, put some on a paper towel, and spread around the cavities of the pan until well coated. This is very important because otherwise you will have a really hard time getting them out.
  3. In a food processor, mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and Earth Balance.
  4. Scoop out an even amount (use spoons to measure, about 1 1/2 table spoonfuls) into each cupcake cavity. Press up the sides as much as you can while still keeping the bottom crust in tact. I did not have the crust going totally up the sides and it came out fine.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. It may be a little bubbly but it will crisp up a bit as it sits while you make the rest.
  6. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  7. When the crusts are baked, turn the heat of the oven up to 350 degrees.
  8. Whisk together the flaxmeal and water until goopy.
  9. Pour the flaxmeal and water into the pureed sweet potatoes in the processor, along with the Earth Balance, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. Blend until fully combined and smooth. Taste for sweetness. You can add more sugar if desired.
  10. Place 2 full tablespoons of the mixture on top of the crusts.
  11. Stick a marshmallow in the center of each.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. When cooled, take a butter knife and loosen the edges by circling the pie and breaking up the crust’s edges if stuck to the tin.
  14. Take out with a metal spoon and place on a serving tray or whatever else. They can be refrigerated if they are not being served immediately.

Vegan Mofo 2014: Thirsty Thursday: Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

First of all, my blog’s graphics got revamped! I love it. Thank you to my brother Chad Kaplan for that! You can check out more of his work on his facebook page. And here’s one of my favorite pieces that he did last year for Thanksgiving. That turkey is really getting some revenge:

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It’s another edition of Vegan MoFo 2014, and in my theme today is Thirsty Thursday! I have prepared a Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie recipe.

When I gave up coffee for the first time awhile ago, my boyfriend bought me some instant chicory from France. If you are unfamiliar with this ingredient, chicory is a coffee substitute (from a plant) without caffeine that tastes somewhat like coffee, among other things. It is believed to be able to help people fight intestinal parasites. Thankfully, I do not believe I have any of those. It’s just a good tasting drink that sort of tastes like coffee but to me has a sort of gingerbread flavor to it too.

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This smoothie was great for me because I used blackstrap molasses in it, which contains a high amount of dietary iron. I tend to lose a lot of iron when it’s that time of the month, so it can be really good for women to use as a sweetener or in other recipes where it’ll taste good. However, the full tablespoon ended up making it taste a little weird to me. I’d recommend depending on your needs that you put less molasses into it unless you’re not like me and really love the taste of molasses.

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Chicory Gingerbread Pumpkin Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp instant chicory
  • 1 tsp-1 tbsp (depending on preference, see above description) blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pinches allspice
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • scoop or two protein powder
  • greens

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

My culinary Christmas!

Hey everyone! Hope you enjoyed the holiday!

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I know I certainly did.

First matter of business: I need to share pictures of all the delicious food I ate. You can access the links to the recipes if you want them in the post directly before this about my menu!

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Vegan Raw Cheeseball!

Uh, this was the best. It was addictingly good. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to make this again without being able to give it to someone else…because I seriously devoured most of it wayyyy too fast and now I am slightly mad at myself about that. But happy it’s gone because…it is…way too good. This recipe deserves the best rating, by far!

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Om. NOM.

ImageMy dinner. Thanksgiving Veggie Burgers and Brussels Sprouts.

Really good but the burger recipe was slightly over-hyped. I think it’d be better with more dried or fresh cranberries in it. Still pretty amazing though. And for the Brussels Sprouts, that’s seriously my favorite recipe for them. Even my Dad who has been afraid to eat Brussels Sprouts since he was a kid ate and enjoyed them!

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Dessert! Truffles! So rich and tasty!

On to the presents!

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As you can sort of see here, I got some cooking and workout stuff! I got the new Isa Does It cookbook which I immediately opened and started to drool over. I was surprised with Canoe pans and a way to insert the cream filling so I can make vegan twinkie like desserts! A spiralizer device for making all kinds of interesting raw veggie pastas, and such! I also got headphones I can run with without them falling out of my ears, an iPod sport armband for the same purposes. 2 pairs of leggings, the Hyperbole and a Half comic book, and some stocking items, like Urban Decay eyeliner, 2 canisters of my favorite nutritional yeast (Red Star), super cute socks, a magazine, and other things I now forget, oops! 😉 I feel spoiled.

Oh, I also got a gift card to Amazon! I got some cool things already ordered, including No Meat Athlete which I’ll be really excited to share my thoughts and reviews on it once I read it!

Okay, I’ll be writing a bit more next week! Enjoy!

My Xmas Menu!

Well, this holiday is coming way too fast for me.

I was going to submit a second recipe to Earth Balance’s Holiday Bake-Off Contest but ended up forgetting today was the last day! Woops. Oh well, that just means when I make the recipe I was planning on making that it can be posted here with no issues. The recipe I did submit was a gingerbread whoopie pie…unfortunately I can’t share the recipe because of the contest rules (plus I haven’t quite perfected the texture yet…hmmm…oops, probably not going to win…)

My family usually has a pretty low key Christmas. I will probably be making some waffles for everyone for breakfast (the non-vegan family members are actually excited about something I make, and apparently it’s the waffles!).

Then I will be making a vegan cheese ball with veggies and crackers for an appetizer. Recipe I’m using: here 

For my dinner I will make Thanksgiving Burgers from theppk.

My grandmother requested I make her some brussels sprouts so I am making a recipe from the Student’s Go Vegan cookbook (the recipe has maple syrup, toasted pecans and carrots) which you can check out on Amazon

For dessert (since I don’t want to eat too much for dessert haha) I am making chocolate coffee truffles. The recipe is here.

So if you celebrate Christmas, this is probably my last post until then! So Merry Christmas in advance (I may actually post the day of with actual pictures of my food!).

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I asked for a lot of food related gift items too so hopefully I can post about those then too! Yay!

Foodie (Photo) Friday, Thanksgiving Edition!

I’m still kind of super tired, I guess my cold is not totally gone and it’s upsetting to me a bit.

So I apologize, but I’m going to try to get through posting this fairly quickly so I can go to bed early, haha.

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This was one of my better Vegan Thanksgivings though. I ended up making a Tofurky roast feast in the crockpot with this recipe. I also cooked up the gravy that came with it. My grandmother brought some jarred pearl onions and we cooked them with some pepper, paprika and earth balance. I don’t know why, but I always liked that, it’s simple and really good. Probably the most elaborate thing I made, besides the pumpkin pie I ended up making, was the green bean casserole. It was well worth it though, it was quite tasty. Actually, I had been worried about it because I thought it might taste too parsnip-y, but it balanced really well. I only put 1/2 tsp salt in it total, though, and it was fine. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp! No way. I’ll definitely be making it next year, though (well, if I decide to make a green bean casserole…and other factors…heh).

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Additionally, I made potato latkes for Thanksgivukkah. I also made Baba Ganoush for an appetizer. I don’t think I can link the recipe to it though, I found the recipe that I had printed out awhile ago and have no idea where I got it from now. But it’s quite tasty. You roast 2 eggplants with some garlic (you put the garlic on it halfway through cooking the eggplants). Then you use the roasted garlic, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, salt, etc and make a paste in a food processor, then add the eggplant and combine.

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I know I had said I was making pumpkin pie graham cracker squares for dessert, but I ended up getting the Eat To Live Cookbook I had ordered and they had a fantastic sounding pumpkin pie that I decided to make instead. So I did. It’s sugar and flour free, which is awesome. It’s sweetened with dates instead. Aside from the fact that the crust is made from almonds, I couldn’t tell any other aspect was done differently than the traditional recipe. It was soooo good and I liked the cashew cream to put on top but I should have made a little less since I ended up giving a lot of the pie away without it so that I wouldn’t end up eating the whole thing myself (my family is not big on pumpkin desserts for some reason, but I am…)

My meals leading up to Thanksgiving basically just consisted of two things:

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Pumpkin Echiladas from the Vegan Stoner Cookbook, and Green Bean Casserole Pizza from Bake and Destroy.

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I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving, or Thanksgivukkah (Hanukkah…although it’s still happening…) if that’s your thing too. I was very glad to have a cruelty free and vegan Thanksgiving for myself once again, so I’m going to leave you this picture of me in my majestic Compassion Company Thanskgiving t-shirt.

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Foodie (Photo) Friday! Aloha salad, holiday pie, green smoothies, galore!

Hello!

I was sick this week with a pretty exhausting cold. I’m feeling much better now, though. Since my exhaustion and my lung congestion made it difficult for me to work out, I decided I was going to try and eat much better than usual and eat more fruits and veggies than normally (even though on average I get at least 10 servings a day or so) and so I finally gave in and tried some green smoothies. I think I’m going to be better about eating more fruits and veggies (Including green smoothies) from now on even though I’m not sick, because… duh. I also ate a lot of Amy’s No Chicken Noodle soup, which was awesome.

The first one was a banana-less kale based “Green monster” one here

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I had to add a lot of extra water because it came out way too thick. Also, I gagged several times still, and it sort of tasted like a salad dressing or something to me, oops. But I thought it was decent at first, since I had never had one before, that is, until I tried the Caramel Apple Green Smoothie from the recipes here. That one is by far much tastier. I used almond butter instead of sunbutter though. I don’t have a picture of that one, though.

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Next was the Holiday Pie from The Vegan Stoner Cookbook. It’s basically tofu and non dairy milk blended together, mushrooms and garlic cooked in soy sauce, prepared stuffing, and I decided to use the optional tofu hot dogs on top. I also dipped it in cranberry sauce. It was quite delicious.

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I rate this recipe 4 good bananas, one bad! (It just didn’t have the total wow! factor of 5 good ones, but I like it)

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Then there is this salad I made tonight!

Aloha Salad with Tiki Tempeh.

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So good, and made me think of fond memories from the Summer. I didn’t think bananas would be so tasty and add such a great texture contrast to this but it was definitely the best part for sure! Everything tastes so good, though! I also majorly splurged on a small amount of macadamia nuts which are so yummy, and added reduced fat dried coconut. The dressing is creamy and super tasty, the tempeh has great flavor, and all the fruits along with the spinach and cole slaw mix are wonderful together.

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I’m hoping this upcoming week I’ll have time to write some more fun entries besides just on Friday, but we’ll see what my life has in store from me. Until then take care and eat yummy foods!

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!

Salad of the week: Thanksgiving Salad!

Okay, so I have to admit I have been making so many pumpkin things lately I’m starting to get a bit pumpkin’d out.

Today for my Salad of the week I made a salad that reminds me of those thanksgiving sandwiches. The ones with like, leftover Tofurky, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and whatever. It doesn’t have stuffing in it unfortunately. But it still tastes super good with breaded vegan chickun patties (I used a cut up Boca patty).

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I made my own creamy poultry seasoning dressing as well. It sounds weird but it tastes pretty good all together!

Here’s what I did:

To make the dressing: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lite silken tofu (the kind that is refrigerated in a pack like regular tofu, not the small vacuumed pack Nori Nu kind
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp vegan poultry spice/seasoning blend (or make your own…there should be tons of them if you google it)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse until fully combined. You can adjust seasoning to your liking as you go or afterwards as needed.

To make the salad:

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp jelly cranberry sauce (the kind I found at my local grocery store IS vegan…but here is a recipe from a vegan blog if you cannot find that near you, or prefer to make it from scratch)
  • Vegan chicken or turkey cut into pieces (You can use whatever! Would be good with leftover Tofurky roast, or Tofurky slices, but I used Boca fake chicken breaded patties to give it a breaded kind of flavor reminiscent of stuffing)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup pecans
  • As much dressing (above) as desired.
  • Roasted butternut squash chunks (Optional)

Directions:

It’s kind of obvious! Make a salad with these ingredients! I found that this was one of those salads that taste extra good when you really mix up the ingredients well instead of leaving them separate. Sometimes I want to put my salad dressing on before I finish putting all the ingredients together, but I always refrain because then everything gets too soggy.

I haven’t tried it with the butternut squash yet but I think it will be amazing and am going to roast it now and put it in tomorrow! Yum!