Tags: Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
This crumble is inspired by my trip to Ireland last year. In every little shop, cafe, and restaurant, they proudly display and serve their apple crumbles. They seem to come in several variations, but the one I stumbled on most often was apples paired with blackberries. They were baked in large white fluted quiche dishes and served by the generous slice, topped with sweetened whipped cream. Of course no slice is complete without a pot of strong Irish tea. Can you say heaven? This pays homage to those amazing Irish crumbles. One of the things I noticed is that their crumbs are big, not like what we usually see on our American apple pies...are you drooling yet? So I set out to make a vegan version that would rival any authentic Irish grandma's. Get your tea pot ready, make sure you have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, and prepare to travel bite-by-bite to Ireland. If you close your eyes, maybe you can imagine the jagged cliffs rising out of the restless blue ocean, the lush green landscape dotted with grazing sheep and goats, and the sweet charming homes with thatched roofs and flowery window boxes. Síochán!
- 7 large honeycrisp apples, peeled and cored
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, I used grade A amber
- 1 TBS + 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-1/2 cups blackberries, I used frozen
- 2-1/2 cups white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 stick of Earth Balance vegan butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 + 1/8 cup maple syrup, I used grade A amber
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, slice the apples in half horizontally, then in 1/3" thick slices vertically and put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon zest and juice. Add the 1/4 cup maple syrup, corn starch, and salt, stirring gently to combine. Next add the blackberries, if using frozen, do not let them thaw before you add them. Again, stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into a glass casserole dish. I used a 10.5"w x 1.5"d round quiche dish. Redistribute blackberries by hand if needed so they are evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to push the mixture down to minimize air pockets.
Next, it's time to make the crumble. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the cubed Earth Balance. Using your fingers, squeeze the flour mixture and the Earth Balance together over and over until everything is well incorporated. Clean your hands then pour the remaining maple syrup onto the flour mixture. Use a spoon to stir and fold in the maple syrup. You should start to get large crumbs. You want to stir until most of the flour mixture is moist and there is not much dry loose flour left. Use your hands to crumble the mixture on top of the apples and blackberries. I like my crumbles on the large side. They will get crisp in the oven and they are wonderful. Fill the top of the apple mixture with all of the crumble mixture. Do not press down, you want the crumbs to be free-form and loose. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving. This gets better the longer it sits. I cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it sit out on the counter. If you cover it with plastic wrap the crumble will eventually soften. This is best served warm with either vegan whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 servings.
Categories: Entrees, Soups & Stews
Tags: Gluten-Free,Low Fat,Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Sometimes life pushes our limits. Sometimes just when I think I can't take anything more, it deliberately sets out to prove me wrong. I could choose to be sad, to wallow if you will, to hang my head down and just suffer. And there are times I allow myself to do just that. Mostly though, I do my best to take it all in stride and roll with the punches. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband who holds my hand as we weather through life's storms together, a family who is always there for me, and friends who remind me that we all have our battles. Every single one of us, without exception. When I take a minute to remember that, it puts things back into perspective. Food is one of the ultimate ways to not only comfort yourself, but comfort anyone who may need it. It is also an escape. Nothing like diving into a special recipe to forget about life for just a bit. This recipe is perfect. With a little prep work to distract you in the morning, this gets slow-cooked throughout the day, making your house smell divine, and at the end of the day you and your loved ones get to sit down to a piping hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup. Does it get better than that? This also makes a decent amount of soup, so maybe you can deliver a bowl to someone you know who needs comforting, or better yet invite them over. It's the little gestures of kindness that mean so much. Wishing you all comfort when you most need it. Peace
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBS canola or olive oil
- 2 lbs of frozen mixed soup vegetables, includes corn, carrots, peas, green beans, etc
- 32 oz vegetable stock or broth
- 2 cups of water
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 TBS Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
- 1 TBS red wine or Balsamic vinegar
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt, more or less depending on your stock
- fresh ground black pepper
In a large nonstick skillet with deep sides, saute the onions, celery, and potatoes in the oil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the frozen vegetables and put a lid over the skillet, continue cooking another 6-8 minutes until the frozen vegetables are warm. Transfer to a slow cooker and turn on high.
Bring the pan back to the stove and add the stock, water, tomato paste, Braggs, vinegar, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and salt, cooking over medium-high heat. Whisk gently to incorporate the tomato paste. Continue cooking until the mixture is bubbling, about 5-7 minutes. Then add to the vegetables in the slow cooker. Using a silicon or wooden spoon stir in a generous amount of black pepper, I usually add between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Add the lid and let cook for about 6 hours over high heat, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8. Please note that you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand. In the past I have used squash, peppers, cabbage, lima beans, etc. so feel free to improvise.
Categories: Entrees, Sandwiches
Tags: Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Several weeks ago, my sweet hubs and I ventured up to Bethlehem, PA for VegFest. It turned out to be a really fun and scrumptious adventure. Aside from having tons of vendors that sell conscientious and hand made jewelry, clothes, body lotions, etc. they also had many booths with charity organizations. We got to pet an adorable pig, who's tail would wag whenever people petted him, seriously adorable. We made donations, picked up brochures, and bought unique treasures. Now... let's talk about the food. There was a great offering of local food vendors serving up everything from pizzas to spelt soft pretzels. Of course Vegan Treats was there with a spread of beautiful sweets so varied and monumental, it was enough to make your knees week. Since we arrived early we indulged in a boston creme donut that elicited several moans. But the best part was that we had always wanted to try the vegan eats from the food truck "The Cinnamon Snail" and they were scheduled to come to the festival. They got there a little later than they expected... We were like hawks and spotted them the very moment they arrived and got toward the front of the line that was very quickly forming. We chatted with the people in line and really enjoyed our company during the short wait until the truck opened it's window and started to take orders. Their menu is ah-mazing and we had a terrible time trying to figure out what to get. We opted for the lemongrass five spice seitan sandwich and the ancho chili seitan burger. I tried not to drool as I told them what we wanted. The guys were geniunely nice as they took our order and we moved to the side to wait. Within a few minutes we heard our name called out and ran up to retrieve our order. My hubs and I split everything and eagerly dove in. Holy. Mother. of. the. Universe! Their food was not just good, it was breathtaking, orgasmic, and beyond delicious! I hope they have food trucks in heaven, seriously. If you are ever in the Northern NJ, NY city area you have to check them out. This sandwich is inspired by their flavorful, hearty, and beautiful food. It's perfect for the fall and winter... the beer and maple flavors kissed with the tangy and spicy horseradish is divine. The swiss chard adds the perfect bitter note and adds such gorgeous color to the sandwich. This is one of our favorites now and reminds us dearly of some of the best vegan food we have ever eaten... thank you Cinnamon Snail!
Beer-Braised Onions & Garlic:
- 1 - 1/2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 1 - 1/2 cups of beer, I used a pale ale, add more if needed
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
- 1/4 cup Vegenaise
- 1/4 cup horseradish
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Maple Glazed Seitan:
- 3 TBS Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBS olive oil, divided
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 12 oz of seitan, rinsed and patted dry
- 4 to 6 sub or torpedo rolls, 6" long, or 2 to 3 long sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard, tough stems removed, sliced into 1" thick ribbons
- salt & pepper
First start with the beer-braised onions and garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and some salt & pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden and soft. Add the beer and continue to cook until all of the beer has reduced down and there is not much liquid left in the pan. About 7-10 minutes. Add more beer if you like. Once reduced, remove from heat.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, squeeze the horseradish into your hands to get as much of the moisture out as you can. The combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Bring a large pot with an inch of salted water to a boil. Now start on the glaze, in a small bowl add all the ingredients except the seitan and 1 TBS olive oil. Whisk thoroughly until the maple syrup has dissolved. Preheat over med-high a large non-stick skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the dried seitan and cook, stirring often until the seitan starts to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes. Then pour the glaze over top and cook, again stirring often, until the seitan starts to get crispy and all the glaze is absorbed, another 5-7 minutes. While the seitan is cooking, blanch the swiss chard for 4-5 minutes and remove from the boiling water. If you want to keep the bright colors, you can rinse with cook water to stop the cooking process.
Once everything is done, you can assemble the sandwiches. Smear the horseradish spread over top half of the cut rolls. Top the bottom half with a layer of seitan, then add a layer of swiss chard, and finally the beer-braised onions and garlic. Sprinkle on a little salt & pepper. Cut them carefully in half and enjoy! Makes 4-6 small subs or 2-3 longer ones.