Butternut Squash Soup – VeganMOFO

butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup (bisque, or what-have-you) is like, the new chili. There are a million different recipes out there, or so it seems. Here’s mine; it’s fast, simple, creamy, comforting and delicious. A perfect opening dish for an autumn dinner; it’s also hearty enough to serve on it’s own.

butternut squash soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, dairy-free

Naturally vegan, gluten and soy-free, but suitable for every dietary choice. Much thanks to my mama, and her bountiful garden, for these beautiful squashes! This recipe is low-fat, and much (much) healthier than my last recipe post using this wondrous vegetable.

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

Butternut Squash Soup
makes many, many servings

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil
3 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled and diced red potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
sprinkle of paprika
dash of black pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat for a few seconds before tossing in the chopped onion. Caramelize the onion on medium-low heat until it is a lovely caramel-brown color. Add the chopped and diced veggies (in no particular order): butternut squash, potatoes, carrots. Give it a good stir. Add the salt, thyme, sage, garlic, paprika and black pepper and stir again. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low-boil, cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every once-in-a-while. Remove from heat, and let sit for 15 minutes before pureeing in a food processor. Serve warm!

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

veganmofo2013

Italian-style Bean and Tomato Chili over Corn Penne

Vegan Italian-style Bean and Tomato Chili over Gluten-Free Corn Penne

Need a simple, hearty and comforting weekday meal? I’ve got a good one for you, try my recipe for bean and tomato chili, and serve it over corn pasta. It is so good, and in my neck-of-the-woods, the weather still permits a warm, filling dinner. The red wine vinegar and cilantro add a wonderful zest to this dish. It would also taste great over brown rice or along side a slice of cornbread.

Vegan Italian-style Bean and Tomato Chili over Gluten-Free Corn Penne

This chili is cooked in the crock-pot, so you can start it in the morning and forget about it until dinner time. You may even have most of the ingredients in your cupboard, saving you a trip to the market. Some of my favorite meals are the ones where you don’t have to do a lot of work, but you can enjoy the aroma of the food cooking all day while you go around doing other things instead of cooking. This dish is low-fat, high-protein, hearty and really very delicious (as well as vegan, soy-free and gluten-free – of course).

Italian Bean and Tomato Chili over Corn Penne
(use organic ingredients if you can)

1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes in tomato puree
4 ounces of tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 roasted red pepper, chopped (I used canned red peppers)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
3 tablespoons dried thyme
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Sriracha chili sauce to taste (optional)

corn-penne-pasta1 – 16 ounce bag of gluten-free corn pasta, cooked according to package directions in salted water (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

In a slow-cooker, or electric crock-pot, pour in the beans after they have been drained and rinsed. Then add the tomato paste, water and red-wine vinegar. Stir and turn the crock-pot on to the high setting. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cook on high for one hour,  lower temperature to low for another hour or more.

I cook this chili for several hours, about 5, to let all the flavors blend together nicely. When it’s almost dinner time, turn the crock-pot setting to warm and prepare your pasta. I added a touch of olive oil to our penne before covering it with the chili. And that’s that. Another great thing about this dish is that it’s huge! You could feed a small army, or have lunch and dinner again the next day or two.

Italia-style bean and tomato chili

Whole Wheat Pancakes w/ Low-Sugar Apple-Berry Compote

wholewheatpancakes

Happy New Year! This year I am going to really  try to consume much less sugar! I don’t traditionally make new years resolutions, but after this past holiday season, cutting back on the sugar is really necessary. Also, I want to make more baked goods using whole wheat or gluten-free flours. We shall see. This recipe is a result of a near-empty pantry and a hunger for a good breakfast.

Usually we have oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, but the last 2 days we had to have these pancakes (oh dear). I wanted to make them healthy, hearty and satisfying. As a bonus, they are really fluffy, which is surprising for a wheat flour pancake. My secret to a fluffy wheat flour pancake: sparkling  (or soda) water. If you don’t have soda water, use regular water, or even more soymilk. But next time you’re out and about, pick up some sparkling water and make these pancakes! They are so good.

VeganPancakesw/BerryCompote

The fruit topping is very easy to make, and contains only a tablespoon of maple syrup in the entire recipe! The natural sugars from the fruit and the teeny bit from the maple syrup make it a perfect topping and substitute for syrups loaded with sugars. These are definitely pancakes you can feel good about eating. The topping is also good as a topping for vanilla soy ice cream, or chilled and eaten as is.

VeganWholeWheatPancakesW/AppleBerryCompote

Whole Wheat Pancakes
makes 12-15 pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cup soymilk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sparkling mineral water (such as San Pellegrino), or soda water
1 tablespoon melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

a few teaspoons of vegan butter (or cooking spray).

Preheat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. In a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the soymilk with the apple cider vinegar and leave alone for one minute. Then, add the sparkling water, melted vegan butter, maple syrup and vanilla – and whisk together. Gently fold in the flour until just combined.

Add a teaspoon of vegan butter to the skillet and using a high-heat spatula, spread it around to coat the skillet. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop and pour pancake batter on the skillet. Cook until you see several tiny bubbles appear on the top of the pancake (about 1-3 minutes) and flip over; cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Repeat until batter is gone.

WholeWheatSodaWaterPancakes

I made this fancy compote while I was cooking the pancakes. It’s very fast, easy, and delicious.

Apple-Berry Compote
1 large gala apple, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries (consisting of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries).
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small sauce pan on medium-low heat, add the diced apple, frozen berries, maple syrup, vegan butter and cinnamon. Mix and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

VeganWholeWheatPancakes

This is a great recipe to add to your vegan breakfast or brunch menu. I hope you enjoy them, and hey if you do, let me know!

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Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

instagramcrochet

I’m back with what may very well be my last pumpkin recipe post of the season. I had the pleasure of attending two Thanksgiving dinners this year, which I of course made desserts. For the first dinner, I made a sweet Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Citrus Disaronno Buttercream. For the second dinner, I made very delicious Sweet Potato Cupcakes topped with vegan marshmallows and vanilla glaze and also a fabulous double-layer pumpkin cheesecake. Since I buy my pumpkin puree in bulk, I had lots of it leftover from the cheesecake, and I needed to make something with it. The result: this Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf. It’s also made with fresh, prepared cranberries, but you could use dried cranberries, or fresh, chopped cranberries too.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

This cake would be really good topped with a spiced orange icing, which you could easily whip up by following a basic vegan vanilla icing recipe, and adding some nutmeg and orange zest. But even without an icing, this cake is delicious. Not too sweet, very moist, tangy and subtly spiced. If you have them, throw a handful of chopped pecans in with the cranberries. I would also serve this cake with hot tea or coffee, for brunch or dessert.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes
makes 4 mini or 2 regular size loaf cakes

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup non-gmo canola oil
1/4 cup almond milk
2 cups natural cane sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh, prepared cranberries (or raw, chopped cranberries; or dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease 4 mini or 2 regular size loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, almond milk, sugar and vanilla. separately, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Gently combine the dry ingredients into the wet, when mixture comes together, add the cranberries, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans, half-full. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf Cakes

Make this bread to share for the holidays! Enjoy!

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Since Vegan MoFo began, I’ve been mostly thinking of pastry recipes, because that is my forte. But these last few days, I’ve been really craving a healthy and comforting post for this cold and damp weather that is now here. Of course I thought of soup, and to me, one of the most comforting soups is a creamy, potato and broccoli soup. To make a really good, creamy, vegan broccoli and potato soup, you don’t need any “cream” at all. Just broccoli, potatoes and a few other things – the broccoli and potatoes do a great job in the creamy department.

One of the greatest things about this soup is that it is 100% fat-free. Just because this soup is low-fat, does not mean it’s low in flavor! I use dried herbs for this recipe, and because this soup is cooked low and slow, the dried herbs are rehydrated and give the soup a great flavor. I used a potato masher to mash the broccoli and potatoes into smaller chunks – leaving the soup hearty and chunky. But, if you wish, you can blend it into puree for an absolutely creamy soup. I really like the texture of the potato and broccoli soup this way though. Plus, I like that I basically only have one dish to clean up afterwards.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth
4 pounds (about 8 medium size) Yukon gold potatoes, skinned
2 large bunches of broccoli (approximately 3 1/2 pounds), chopped (stems included)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions: In a large stock pot, boil the skinned potatoes in salted water until soft (about 35-40 minutes). Carefully drain the water from the potatoes. In the same stock pot, mash the potatoes with a masher into medium to small-size chunks. Add the vegetable broth, chopped broccoli, chopped onion, dried herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Then, turn off heat, remove cover and mash the soup once again with the potato masher to blend it together a bit. You can puree it at this point if you’d like to.

Serve this stew with crusty bread, croutons or focaccia. It is delicious topped with a sprinkle of vegan cheese, and/or crumbled tempeh bacon. This dish is perfect for a rainy fall day, and is a great pick-me-up if you’re feeling under-the-weather. It really warms me right up!

Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread

September is here! Which means fall is right around the corner… finally! I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately, which means there will be more pumpkiny recipes to come soon. Today’s post is my Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread! It’s perfect for fall!

This bread is delicious. It’s full of sweet cinnamon and pumpkin flavor. It’s very moist, slightly dense and has a nice cake-like crumb. In an attempt to cut back some calories, I used about half the oil a typical loaf cake would use and added some homemade canned diced apples that my Mom made. You can also use applesauce,  strained apple pie filling, or cooked diced apples that have been cooled.

I baked this bread in four mini loaf pans, which makes it perfect for gift giving. It tastes wonderful sliced as is, or toasted warm with a drizzle of agave or maple syrup.  Perfect for a breakfast or brunch treat with a cup of hot coffee, or as an afternoon snack with an iced chai tea latte. And now for the recipe…

Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread
makes 4 mini loaves

Ingredients:
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin puree -or- 1 3/4 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1 c. canned apples -or- strained and mashed apple pie filling -or- cooked and cooled diced apples
1/2 c. organic, non-gmo canola oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 c. natural sugar
3 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Lightly oil 4 mini loaf pans (6 x 3 x 2-inch size).
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, apples (or applesauce), oil, maple syrup, sugar, flaxseed meal, water and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients: unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Then, combine the dry ingredients to the wet pumpkin/apple mixture and stir until just combined. You don’t want to over-mix!
Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pans and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool before removing from pans.

After you make this bread, it’s sure to become a fall favorite year after year. I hope you love it as much as we do. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I will be making this for my Mom’s annual Halloween family get-together. Does your family have a regular gathering for fall, autumn or Halloween? I can’t wait to take my son trick-or-treating for the first time; even though he’s too little for candy. I’m sure going to have fun dressing him up and seeing all the other costumes!