Archive for the ‘Produce’ Category

Root Vegetable Pot Pie with GF Biscuit Topping in a Slow Cooker (and a few other things with those root veggies!)

It’s been cold here the past week.  I’m not complaining; I’ve been sorely missing winter.  Of course the tiny amount of snow we got isn’t enough and I’m really hoping for more.  Regardless, it’s been cold and I’ve been craving ‘stick to your ribs’ comfort food.  I’ve been eyeing recipes for things like potpie but my son has an intolerance to potatoes and sweet potatoes and most recipes for things like this include them.  So I decided to get creative.

pot pie3I was also trying to not have to go out to the store.  So I used what I had and this was quite good!  Remember that pot pies are definitely something you can substitute with.  If you can eat potatoes, by all means, add them.  I think the sauce and the biscuits are really what make this wonderful.  Use what veggies you have on hand.

Root Vegetable Pot Pie with GF Biscuit Topping (Adapted from a recipe in ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Slow Cooking’ by Beverly Lynn Bennett)

Pot Pie Ingredients

1 acorn squash, peeled and cut into chunks

2 leeks, cleaned and sliced

4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced

1/2 rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

2 turnips, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 – 1 cup sliced mushrooms

4 cups veggie broth

2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp herbes de provence

salt & pepper

Put all your veggies, through mushrooms, into your slow cooker.  In a bowl mix your broth with the bean flour and the nutritional yeast, mixing well.  Add the herbes and generous amounts of salt and pepper.  Pour over the veggies and stir.  Turn on low and let cook 5-6 hours or until bubbly.

Biscuit Ingredients

1 1/2 cups gf flour mixture (I make my own to avoid potato starch)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/8 tsp xantham gum

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp nondairy milk

3 tbsp grapeseed oil or other oil

Mix everything together until starting to become a ball.  Put onto a floured work surface and knead for about a minute.  (GF flour tends to not come together as well as regular.  I have found that using a silpat is worth the investment because it really helps me with things like this.)  Roll it out and cut squares of dough.  Put those squares onto the mixture in your slow cooker, trying not to overlap very much.  Put a wooden spoon or something that will hold the top of your slow cooker open just a bit on top, and let cook for 30-45 minutes or until it’s not shiny anymore.


This baby is going to be HOT.  So spoon some into bowls and let it cool.  Use liberal salt and pepper at the table.  My picky child, at first, only ate the biscuits and the carrots.  I made him take some spoonfuls and he said “I like this.  What’s this?”  It was rutabaga.  So he then proceeded to eat all the rutabaga pieces out.  It was a step in the right direction!

pot pie2 pot pie1I don’t think things like this photograph very well, but this was a basic comfort food meal on a cold night.  You could definitely add more spices if you like that, but we enjoyed the veggies in the broth.


So, an aside.  Since you’re doing all this work making the pot pie why not help yourself and do a bit extra and have more food prepped?  As you’re cleaning and chopping the root veggies, take any you have left and chop them into small pieces and throw them into a roasting pan.  You know how, since you used 5 carrots it left 2 in the bag?  Well clean and chop those and throw them in the pan.  In fact, use up the root veggies and chop them into this pan.  Put some spices on top.  Typically I like rosemary, but this time I used one of those spice mixtures I got for Christmas.  (Now is the perfect time to try out a spice mix you found on sale!)  Pour some good oil on top (olive, grapeseed, etc.) and roast at 450 for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Use the veggies in pasta, on a sandwich, or puree them with some nondairy milk for a fabulous cream soup.

Oh, and those peelings?  Don’t throw them out.  Nope.  Put them in a soup pot.  (Don’t use any peelings that are really waxy, and clean your leek pieces so the dirt is gone.)  Make sure your pot is at least 1/3 or more full with peelings.  Add some peppercorns and water to close to the top and simmer that for an hour or so.  Strain the veggies out and you’ve got your very own veggie stock for no extra money and very little extra work.


I’m including this post in Allergy Free Alaska’s Whole Food Fridays.  Megan is not a vegan but many of her recipes are and she’s pretty awesome!


Gluten Free and Vegan Baked Blueberry Doughnuts – Oh Yeah!

Recently I’ve been on multiple vacations and I have *lots* to share with you about those.  I’ve got restaurant reviews from Connecticut, Ocean City MD, and Virginia.  I’ve had so much good food it’s been amazing.  But what I feel most compelled to share immediately are these doughnuts.  Man.

I want to start with a question, though?  Do you own a copy of “Babycakes covers the classics” by Erin McKenna?  If you are at all interested in vegan and gluten free baking you owe it to yourself to get a copy.  Seriously.  Buy it.

Now, the inspiration for these doughnuts came from that amazing cookbook.  I’ve changed up the flours and the sugar, and added some of my own ingredients, so I feel comfortable posting these.  But I’ve got to say that so much inspiration comes from this book that it is really worth having.

Oh, and a note about doughnut pans.  I bought just one thinking I’d try it out.  I enjoyed the doughnuts, but the process was a chore because it took so long.  So I broke down and bought another regular sized pan (which makes 6 doughnuts) and a mini pan (which makes 12 minis).  It has made all the difference!  I wouldn’t necessarily buy 2 pans to start but if you like the result and see yourself doing this more than once every few months, it’s worth it to invest in at least a second doughnut pan.

Gluten Free & Vegan Baked Blueberry Doughnuts

1/2 cup organic brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2/3 cup rice flour

1/3 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot water

1 cup fresh blueberries, preferably organic

Preheat the oven to 325.  Grease the doughnut pans with coconut oil or your preferred method.

In a bowl mix together the sugars through the baking soda.  Mix well.  Now add the wet ingredients (everything but the fruit), mixing just until combined.  Add the berries and carefully fold them into the batter.  Take a spoon and put some batter into each doughnut space, moving the batter around so that the entire hole is full but the center is not covered.  Bake for 8 minutes, then switch racks and bake for between 7 and 8 more minutes, watching for brown.  When done take out of the oven to cool but leave them in the pan.

Let them cool about 15 minutes.  While they are cooling make this basic glaze.  This glaze makes a lot, but I store it in a mason jar in the fridge for other uses.

1 cup vegan powdered sugar

1/3 cup hot water

1 tsp vanilla

Pour the powdered sugar in a bowl.  Add the water and vanilla and mix well until a glaze is formed.

When your doughnuts are done cooling remove them from the pans.  Be careful, some make break here but we just use those as testers!  Drizzle the glaze over top and either eat warm or let cool.

A few notes:  1)   I think frozen blueberries would work but I haven’t tried them.  Please let me know if you do.  2)  I think all coconut sugar would work but again, haven’t tried it.  3)  These don’t necessarily need the glaze, but they taste more muffin-like without it.  Still tasty, though.  4)  We can’t use potato starch at my house due to an intolerance but that’s what I’d use instead of the cornstarch if you want to sub it out.

I’d love to know if you try these!  My family gobbled them down!

Strawberry Shortcake, Vegan Style

Yesterday afternoon E and I were talking about what we wanted to bake.  I suggested blueberry muffins.  She said that sounded good, or maybe strawberry shortcake.

Fast forward a few hours and Mark texts me that he was thinking strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry shortcake it is!  But not just any strawberry shortcake, a non-traditional vegan strawberry shortcake!

Now, I need to point out, that since T is at sleep-away camp this way week I am trying to use up some of my stash of non gluten free flours, so this one is not gluten free as written.  I think, though, that subbing out a gluten free flour mix would probably work.  I haven’t tried it so if you do, please let me know.  The directions are made to be RA hands friendly, so they include some household machines like a food processor and a stand mixer.  You could certainly mix the cookies by hand and use a hand mixer to make the sauce.

Strawberry Shortcake, Vegan Style

1-2 cups fresh strawberries

1/2 cup organic sugar, divided

1.5 cups self rising flour (or 1.5 cups flour plus 2.5 tsp baking powder & 1/4 tsp salt)

6-7 tbsp dairy free butter (I used earth balance from the tub and it was just fine)

1/2 cup dairy free milk

1 can coconut milk, chilled (I put mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes but the fridge all day would work too)

1/4- 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Slice the strawberries and mix with 2 tbsp sugar.  Cover and refrigerate while working on the other components.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.

In the food processor put 1/4 cup sugar and the flour.  Pulse until combined.  Add the non-dairy butter and pulse until it is just starting to resemble crumbs and you can tell that the butter is no longer in big clumps.   Then turn on the food processor and slowly add the non-dairy milk until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.

Take out a clump of dough about the size of a golf ball.  In your clean hands first roll it into a ball and then pat it into a relatively flat circle.  (You could definitely roll the dough out but my hands do not like that!)  Put the circle on the prepared pan and repeat with the rest of the dough.  When done take the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and sprinkle it on top of the rounds.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until they are starting to brown on the bottom.  Leave them on the sheet to cool.

If you have the chance to chill your stand mixer’s bowl and mixing attachment before doing this next step that would be for the best, but it’s not imperative.

While the cookies are cooling pour the can of chilled coconut milk into the stand mixer.  Mix for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, scraping the sides if needed.  Then add the vanilla and continue to mix.

To assemble your strawberry shortcakes put a nice scoop of strawberries in a bowl, add a cookie, and top with sauce.  Beautiful and incredibly tasty!

We found that crumbling the cookie up on top worked the best for ease of eating.

But however you eat it, it’s good!

Papaya Smoothie-ness

Given the chance, I’m going to sleep in.  Let’s just put that out there as what it is, fact.  So during the summer and on the weekends I often sleep in.  A lot of those weekend days, by the time I’ve gotten up, Mark has already been to the store and the kitchen is clean.  I know, am I a lucky woman or what?

For me it’s sort of like opening a gift, seeing what fruits and veggies he has bought.  This weekend he brought home a papaya.  Man how I love how they look!

Usually I juice them, and they have made some of my favorite juice ever.  But can I admit something?  (Is this the ‘Jen admits her faults post??’)?  The juicer was dirty and I didn’t feel like cleaning it.  Yep.  This incredibly yummy recipe came along because I was lazy.  Oh well, grab the goodness where you can get it!

So I decided to make a papaya smoothie.  I figured ‘the worse that can happen is that it’s yucky.’  But it was good.  Really good!  And while the orange color is a little different, I thought it was beautiful!

Papaya Smoothie makes 2-3 servings

1/2 papaya

2 kiwi fruit, peeled

2 frozen bananas

1/8-1/4 cup coconut milk

I have found that when your papaya is ripe that the easiest way to get the flesh out when you don’t care how it looks is to use an ice cream scoop!

Scoop the papaya into the blender.  Add the peeled kiwis, the bananas broken into chunks, and the coconut milk.  The amount you use is determined by how thick you’d like it to be.  Blend until nice and smooth.

It looks thin right away but thickens very well as it sits.

Drinking this makes me think of sitting on a far-away island near the ocean.  Even if I’m sitting in my house contemplating the next load of laundry I need to do.  Yes.  It was that good!

Yellow Squash Chips – Or “Have Aliens Kidnapped my Children?”

I’ve had a lot of yellow squash lately in my CSA box.  A lot.  And I’ve used it in all sorts of ways; Two recent incarnations are here.

That’s chilled  yellow squash soup and summer squash paella.  While contingents of the family did enjoy them, none of them got the response of “When can you make more??” or “The last one is MINE!”  Until tonight.

And it’s the least pretty of the recipes, as well as the easiest.  But this is the one the kids fought over.

Yellow Squash Chips

One to Two Yellow squash, cleaned

Olive oil  (I use spray in an atomizer – You could put some on a paper towel as well)

Coarse Salt

Heat the oven to 225.

Using a mandolin (or a knife with very steady hands – Mine could never do this!) slice the yellow squash very thin.  Spray a baking sheet with some olive oil or rub some on with the paper towel.  Place the sliced squash on the sheet.  They can touch, they will shrink quite a bit.  Spray or rub on a little more olive oil, and then sprinkle on some salt.

Bake for 45 or so minutes.  I’d start checking around 35.  You want them to be just starting to get dark.

The kids, seriously, fought over these.  They said they tasted like potato chips (T is intolerant of potatoes so we don’t get those much here) and T begged me to make more.  This one was a win!

I’m super excited to be part of Allergy Free Alaska’s first Whole Foods Friday!  🙂

And, since this is part of my CSA haul, I certainly couldn’t forget In Her Chuck’s What’s in the box? CSA link!

It’s been awhile since I joined Wellness Weekend but I think this one fits!

And how can I resist joining something called Healthy Vegan Fridays?

Raw Veggies Corn Salad

This is the first year we’ve gone with a CSA.  We’ve chosen Taylor’s Fresh Organics and get to pick up a nice bag every week.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do so I was very excited to start this year, and it’s been wonderful.  It’s definitely helped me to “taste summer” by having the freshest fruits and vegetables imaginable.

This week’s bag, among other things, included both corn and cantaloupe.  Some corn got boiled as usual, since T begged and begged for some to be prepped this way.  I will admit that I ate it with absolutely no adornment because it was that good.  And we all (ok, I) squealed when eating the cantaloupe because it tasted fresher than any I’ve ever tried.  And let me tell you, the Eastern Shore is the home of the ‘lope so I’ve had me some ‘lope.  But I love it plain and unadorned.  For me ‘lope doesn’t get any better than that.

But with half the corn I felt compelled to make something a little special since this goodness only comes around once a year.

Last summer I read some things about eating raw corn, but knew that I would only try it with fresh organic corn.  So now was my chance.

Raw Veggies Corn Salad

4 or so ears raw organic corn

1 large organic tomato

1 raw organic zuchinni

1/4 cup sweet onion

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

½ tbsp. agave syrup

Salt & pepper

Husk the corn and clean well to remove the silk.  Scrape the corn off the cob into a bowl with a knife.

Cut the zucchini, the tomato, and the onion into a small dice and toss with the corn.

Mix the dressing together and pour over, using salt and pepper to taste.

Let sit for several hours for flavors to meld.

This is very fresh tasting, with a hint of sweetness.  There is a definite taste of the lime but I really enjoyed that.  This is one of those recipes that’s only made at one time of the year so, if you have some very fresh organic corn, it’s worth trying.  I figure I’ll be able to make it a few more times this summer and then the taste will be a memory until next summer.  It’s kind of fun that way, to be honest!

I’m sharing this recipe with Fit and Fabulous Fridays, Walking on Sunshine, and Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!  And I was so excited to find out that there is a blog party specifically about what is in your CSA box!  So I’m going to link this to What’s In the Box!

Coconut Watermelon Banana Milkshake

It’s hot out.  It was hot out yesterday and it’s still hot out today.  Unlike yesterday, however, I wasn’t wearing a heart monitor so I could get in the water.  Today’s water adventure took place at Assateague National Seashore, one of my very favorite places on earth.

After about 4 hours in the sun jumping waves, walking, and watching ghost crabs, we were ready to go home, after a quick stop for ice cream for the others in my family since I’m the only vegan.  You might think I would be jealous.  Nah.  I had this to come home to:

And this is a Coconut Watermelon Banana Milkshake.  Long name but darn good drink on a hot day like today!

Coconut Watermelon Banana Milkshake  Serves 2 (one if you’re really hot!)

1 cup fresh watermelon, chopped

1-2 cups coconut milk ice cream, coconut flavor

1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 frozen bananas, broken into pieces

In your blender contraption (mine is a Vitamix) put the watermelon, the ice cream, and then lime juice.  Blend it until mostly combined.  Then add the frozen bananas and watch the color change a bit and things get nice and creamy.

Very quickly mine became

I wasn’t jealous of that ice cream stop at all.  This was good!

I’m linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.  This is definitely better for you than a traditional milkshake with all the fruit and you could make your own coconut ice cream to decrease the sugar even more!