Vegan yam lasagna

The first snows of the season fell in our area last weekend with an additional dusting falling each day this week. All of this snow fall has us longing for winter comfort foods. One of the dishes my family enjoys this time of year is a yam lasagna that is creamy, full of flavor, filling and best of all very easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups yams (approximately 3-4)
  • 1 1/4 pounds baby spinach
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups plant based milk milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot or corn starch
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan 
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • salt, pepper, pinch of nutmeg

Directions

  1. Boil the yams in water until they can be pricked with a fork but are still firm.  Remove from the stove and drain. When the yams are cool enough to handle peel and slice into 1 cm thick slices.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking pan.
  3. Clean and wash the spinach and cook briefly in boiling salted water until collapsed. Drain, rinse cold and squeeze out the excess moisture. 
  4. Briefly sauté the onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix in the spinach and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan, then stir in a the flour, cooking the mixture until it turns blond in color. Stir in the arrowroot and then slowly stir in the  milk. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove from the stove. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. 
  6. Alternately layer yam slices, spinach and some sauce in the baking dish. Finish with a layer of yams and sauce. Sprinkle everything with the vegan cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Vegan Cranberry Coffee Cake

This weekend we spent a fair amount of time at the emergency vet hospital with our dog who tore the ligaments in one of her back legs. After a shockingly high emergency room fee we now need to schedule surgery for our little fur baby…so much for our vacation fund… oh well the problem can be fixed and solace can be found in baking.

Our little fur baby is currently at home full of medication and waiting for an appointment with her regular vet and surgery, and I have a cranberry coffee cake that just came out of the oven. This super moist cake is very tasty and very easy to make.

Ingredients

Wet

  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup neutral plant based oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup juice sweetened dried cranberries 

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 to3 tablespoons coconut oil 

Directions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare an eight inch square baking pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix in the wet ingredients until the sugar is fully combined.
  3. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients, and then fold in the wet mixture until just combined.
  4. In a small bowl combine the  dry streusel ingredient. Add the coconut oil and mix it in with your fingers until well distributed and crumbly. Spread the mixture over the cake batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center of the cake bounces back when pressed. 
  6. Cool the coffee cake for 10 mins, then remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Curry Soup (revised)

Winter finally arrived on our little homestead. The snows are late but the cold has set in. The cold weather and short days has us wanting more comfort food meals. One of our favorite comfort foods are thick soups, especially spicy ones.

Tonight I made a thick, spicy pumpkin curry soup that is simple to make and so, so yummy that I just had to share the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound pie pumpkin or butternut squash, skinned and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion about 1 medium
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2   teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 can coconut milk

Directions

  • Lay out the chopped pumpkin out on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown and soft. Remove from oven and set aside (this can be done the day before).
  • Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to large pot or Dutch and warm  over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 additional minute, until fragrant.
  • In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup of the vegetable broth and the almond butter and tomato paste until smooth. Add the mixture to the pot.
    Next add the squash, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, and the remaining vegetable broth. Stir until well combined. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Right before serving add a can of coconut milk and with an immersion blender puree the soup until completely smooth. Alternatively, you can ladle the soup carefully into a blender or food processor and puree it in small batches.
  • If the soup is too thick for your liking, add additional vegetable broth until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Taste and add additional salt, black pepper, and/or cayenne pepper as desired.  Serve hot with desired toppings and sides.

Vegan date and fig rolls

Today I started preparing an few items for Our Thanksgiving feast. One of the items made was a date and fig roll that is filled with nuts, has nice spice notes, doesn’t require any baking, contains no refined sugars, and is vegan and gluten free. Best of all this tasty treat only takes about 20 minutes to make and can be prepared several days to weeks before needed.

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup of dried figs
  • 1 packed cup dates
  • 2 cups unsalted mixed nuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup Desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions

  1. Wash figs and soak in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes. Drain access water and chop the figs.
  2. Deseed dates and chop them.
  3. Add the figs, dates and cardamom to a food processor and pulse until they become a thick paste. 
  4. Melt one teaspoon of the coconut oil in a frying pan and sauté the chopped nut for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the roasted nuts into a bowl.
  5. Add the second teaspoon of coconut oil to the fry pan, coating the bottom of the pan well spoon the fig and date mixture into the pan and stir until the mixture is soft. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts, mixing well.
  6. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle divide into four equal portions. Form each of the portions into logs. Roll each of the logs in the coconut and then wrap each log and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into disks. 
  7. Unused rolls can be frozen for up to three months.   

Vegan apple and cranberry Oatmeal bake

Now that the cooler weather has set in my family wants more warm foods for breakfast. One of my goto recipes for a warm fall or winter breakfast is baked oatmeal. This vegan recipe is quite easy to make, leftovers store well and reheat nicely and the bake is tasty and very filling.

For the bake this morning I had apples and fresh cranberries on hand to add to the bake. The apples stayed a bit crunchy which adds a nice texture to the soft oatmeal and soft tart cranberries. The following is the recipe used.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups plant based milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (binder can be replace with a vegan egg substitute)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries (can be replaced by any other fresh or dried fruit)
  • 1 large apple, diced with skin on
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Prepare a 2 quart casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, plant based milk, apple sauce and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  5. Fold in the cranberries and apples.
  6. Pour oatmeal into prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until the oatmeal is golden brown and bubbling.
  8. Allow the oatmeal to cool for a few minutes before serving.
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