Friday, November 29, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

 I love anything pumpkin-flavored during this time of the year.  I put pumpkin spice seasoning in my coffee and I ate as much as the pumpkin-flavored goods from Trader Joe's as I could.  The pumpkin butter is amazing by the way, and I ate it on pumpkin bagels.  Yum.

Anyway.  I wanted pumpkin pie so bad, so I set out on a mission to make a dairy-free version.

Here it is!  Vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!  Also pictured is Aunt Datha's delicious apple pie.  The recipe is from, but I only used the filling part.  I cheated and used a pre-made graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Pie Filling (from

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin or puréed home-cooked fresh pumpkin (see note)
  • 1 cup low-fat soymilk or rice milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ Tbs. dark molasses or to taste
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 425°F.

To make Filling:
5. In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Top with your choice of dessert topping if desired.
NOTE: If you are going to use fresh pumpkin for the pie, do not use the jack-o’-lantern type; the flesh of these large pumpkins is too watery and stringy. Instead, look for small pumpkins, sometimes called pie pumpkins or other varieties of winter squash. To bake, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds. Set, cut side down, in a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes. Scoop out the cooked flesh and purée.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Minestrone Soup

I didn't follow a recipe and I didn't write anything down, but this soup is really easy to make.  I basically just threw a bunch of fresh veggies into some broth, added canned tomatoes and oricchiette pasta.

And done.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Classic Fall Dinner

This delicious dinner is pretty easy and straightforward:

1.  Wild Rice Pilaf from Trader Joe's.  (I'm obsessed with this stuff.)

2.  Mashed potatoes

3.  Kale Salad

This is pretty much all I have time to make anymore.  But, hey it's delicious and healthy! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Acorn Squash Stew

It's Fall and the stores are full of all sorts of pumpkin-type vegetables.  I picked up an acorn squash at Trader Joe's the other day with high hopes of actually making something with it if I had time.  Tonight Baby went to sleep early, so I got to have some precious time in the kitchen to cook again!  I think I'm averaging about one meal every two weeks.  (Don't ask what we eat the rest of the time... pretty much every vegetarian boxed meal from the frozen section at Trader Joe's.)

Anyway, I decided I wanted soup.  I've been itching to make a hearty soup from scratch.

This is what I did:

1 acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 400.

Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise.  Place face down in a casserole dish and roast in oven for 45 minutes.  Let cool and scoop out large chunks, then cut into smaller chunks.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat oil.  Cook onion, celery carrot, garlic, and ginger in oil until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Add broth and water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. 

Add squash chunks, beans, cumin, salt and pepper.

Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Blend and serve.

I like my soups to be a bit chunky, so I only blended half of this soup and then mixed it with the non-blended portion.  Perfect!

This is a great stew for a cool fall evening; and yes it does get chilly here in San Diego county at night.