Category Archives: pie

The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake You’ve Had in Your Life Just Happens to be Vegan and Gluten-Free!

There’s no dessert quite like cheesecake. Smooth, creamy, sweet, decadent — what’s not to love? However, most of the cheesecakes you encounter in restaurants and coffee shops are made with tons of dairy and gluten. Since we love this delectable confection so much, we decided to make our own, using plant-based ingredients. The filling utilizes cashews and coconut milk, blended to perfection. Stunned by our stellar results, we decided to share the secret with you. You can thank us later.

CRUST INGREDIENTS

1 cup packed medjool dates, chopped
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
pinch of sea salt

FILLING INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 small lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (about 1/3 small can)
pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

vegan whipping cream
additional chopped walnuts and/or pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour cashews into a container filled with boiling water and let them soak, uncovered for one hour. Meanwhile, chop the dates and place them into a blender or food processor. Blend them until they turn into a thick paste. You may need to add a bit of water for smoothness.

Remove dates from blender or food processor and set aside. Wash and dry the interior, then pour in walnuts. Blend until they achieve a fine consistency. Add dates to the walnut mixture and blend together for a couple of minutes. They will be sticky, so add a little more water if necessary. Be careful — you don’t want your crust to be runny!

Press your mixture into a round cake pan or deep pie pan and spread thoroughly. Use a large spoon to tamp down the surface. Set the pan aside and prepare filling ingredients.

Wash and dry blender or food processor one more time. Drain the cashews, then place them into blender/food processor. Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract and spices and blend for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be creamy and frothy. Pour it over the pie crust, making sure it is evenly distributed.

Place the pan in your freezer for 3-4 hours. Remove, thaw slightly, and dig in! You can top your creation with additional chopped walnuts and/or vegan whipping cream if you desire. But this cheesecake tastes heavenly all on its own!

Serves 4-6 people. Guests will be your friends for life. This is the best cheesecake you’ve ever tasted, guaranteed. You’ll want to make it again and again. It’s an excellent Thanksgiving dessert, and we’ve been known to have it for breakfast (but don’t tell anyone). Leftovers can be frozen for several weeks, and keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Don’t expect them to last that long.

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You Won’t Be Able to Stop Eating This Vegan, Gluten-Free Rhubarb/Pear/Almond Crumble!

It already feels like autumn where we live, and we’re craving warmer, heartier foods. Of course, sweet desserts are delicious any time of the year. We recently modified a traditional rhubarb/pear/almond crumble recipe by substituting Earth Balance for butter, and gluten-free flour for the whole wheat kind. Our results were stellar. You’ll keep going back to the pan for this dessert — again, and again and again. Try your hardest not to devour the entire thing!

FILLING INGREDIENTS

2-3 Bartlett pears, depending on size (red is great, but yellow will do)
2 long stalks fresh rhubarb
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly packed turbinado or coconut sugar
1/2 cup light gluten-free flour (We like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose)
fresh grated zest of one lemon
pinch of sea salt

CRUMBLE INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/4 cup lightly packed turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 teaspoons vegan butter or margarine such as Earth Balance

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Cut pears into thin slices and cut rhubarb into small chunks. The rhubarb’s texture may seem much harder than the pear’s, but both will soften nicely while baking and achieve the same consistency. Using a large bowl, mix the pears and rhubarb together with the other filling ingredients. Set on counter to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Grab another bowl and combine the crumble ingredients, except for the butter or margarine. Cut the butter or margarine into small pieces and stir into the mixture. It’s okay if it comes out a bit lumpy, since the butter/margarine will melt in the oven, anyway! No point in worrying when you’re so close to your goal!

Pour the filling into a square pan and spread evenly. Spread the crumble mixture across the top and sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way! Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool, but not too much! Your crumble is best served hot.

Call 3-4 of your best friends and tell them to come over immediately, so the dessert won’t be gone before they arrive. The crumble serves 4-5 people with ease. We love it as is, but you can get fancy with added vegan ice cream and/or whipped cream. With so much sugar, this dessert is not a diet food, but it IS 100% vegan, gluten-free, and scrumptious. Welcome, autumn!

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All-American Apple Pie That Just Happens to be Gluten-Free and Vegan!

Fourth of July is almost here, and for many folks, this day means barbeques and picnics. Quite a few of us have fond memories of chowing down slice after slice of apple pie. Even if you’re following a vegan, gluten-free diet, you don’t have to miss out on this aspect of the celebration! Our version is beyond delicious. The crust’s rich, buttery flavor comes from coconut oil. We made a lattice-style crust, because we like its visual appeal. You’ll be delighted by this scrumptious delicacy!

PIE INGREDIENTS
5-6 apples, sliced, peeled, and cut into chunks (try a variety of different apples for a flavor kick)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2/3 cup coconut sugar
4 tablespoons plant-based milk (coconut or almond is best)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon tapioca flour

CRUST INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/4 cup almond meal (also known as almond flour)
1 1/4 cup gluten-free pastry flour (plus more for rolling)
2/3 cups water

INSTRUCTIONS

Place coconut sugar in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and fry on stovetop until slightly bubbly. Do not burn! Add milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and apples, and continue heating for about 10 minutes. The apples should be a bit soft, but they don’t need to be cooked through. Add tapioca flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from stovetop and set aside.

Prepare crust by combining flours and coconut oil with water. The dough should be pliable but not sticky. Add more flour if the dough adheres to your fingers. Separate dough in half. Grease a pie pan with coconut oil or Earth Balance. Take the first dough section and press it across the entire bottom of the pan, creating a thin and level surface. Press dough around the edges of the pie pan with your fingers. You can tamp down the edges with a fork.

Pour apples into the pie pan, spreading them evenly. Depending on the size of your other dough half, you can either roll out a circle and place it over the top of the pie, or create a lattice crust with long, narrow dough strips. Either way, your pie will look lovely and taste delicious!

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Cool on countertop, but don’t let it get cold. Apple pie tastes best hot and fresh from the oven! Serve as is, or with some vegan ice cream or whipping cream. Serves 4-6, and if you have leftovers, they’ll keep in your refrigerator for several days. Happy Independence Day!

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole is Delicious Any Time of Year!

When we think of sweet potatoes, we usually envision Thanksgiving dinner. However, this vitamin-packed, naturally sweet vegetable is great during any season. Did you realize that sweet potatoes are high in fiber, and filled with vitamin C, potassium, vitamins B3, B5 and B6, copper and magnesium? They’re one of the most nutritious foods you could ever place inside your mouth. And so good! If you have leftover applesauce, this recipe is a great way to utilize it. You can take this casserole to a Fourth of July potluck as a side dish, or serve it at home with a salad and/or loaf of gluten-free bread. The possibilities are endless! For a festive touch, we used purple sweet potatoes for our recipe, but you can use the more common orange ones, as well.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups sweet potatoes (approximately 4 small or 2 large)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT the iodized variety)
pinch of ground nutmeg or cloves
1 cup chopped pecans
extra pinch of cinnamon for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and roast in your oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour until thoroughly soft. Remove from oven and cut in half. Allow the pieces to cool. Scoop the softened portion from the skin and discard or eat the skin. Place sweet potato pulp in blender or food processor with the applesauce and combine thoroughly. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on your stovetop and pour into mixture. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg (or cloves), and salt and continue blending. Your mixture should be smooth and creamy, but not runny.

Ladle the mixture into a square baking pan and sprinkle chopped pecans across the top. Be sure to spread them evenly. Add a sprinkle of extra cinnamon if you desire. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until the casserole bubbles slightly around the edges, and the pecans are a dark brown color (but not burned).

Remove from oven and allow to cool on your counter. Serves 4-6 people as a generous side dish. This casserole is so sweet, you can even enjoy it as a dessert! Pairs well with a side of vegetables, salad, brown rice, quinoa, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. If you have leftovers, cover tightly and keep them in the refrigerator. Delicious whether hot or cold! And don’t forget the gluten-free beer or wine. Every day is a reason for celebration! Bon Appetit.

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Celebrate Warm Spring Nights With Grilled Millet/Buffalo Sauce/Ranch Sandwiches!

Usually, when we think of millet, we envision birdseed. However, this crunchy, high-protein grain is delicious as a sandwich spread when it’s combined with spicy buffalo sauce and creamy vegan ranch dressing. The consistency is slightly cheese-like, and the flavor is out of this world! You can make the buffalo sauce as mild or spicy as your heart desires. It takes only about 20 minutes to whip up this dish. A perfect choice if you’re in a hurry! The ingredients are inexpensive, if you’re on a budget, your meal won’t break the bank.

BUFFALO MILLET INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup uncooked millet
1 cup water
1 tablespoon hot sauce (we used Aardvark Sauce, our favorite)
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vegan butter (we used Earth Balance) or olive oil
pinch or two of sea salt and garlic powder

BUFFALO SAUCE
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1-2 teaspoons melted vegan butter or olive oil

RANCH SAUCE
1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (we used almond, but coconut is great as well)
1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

ADDITIONAL SANDWICH INGREDIENTS
Red pepper strips
chopped cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine millet ingredients in medium-sized saucepan and cook for 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Meanwhile, prepare your sauces in separate bowls. Mix together buffalo sauce ingredients, adjusting spice levels to your taste. Prepare ranch dressing by mixing together all ingredients, adding extra milk if mixture is too thick. You’ll most likely have some left over after you’ve made your sandwiches, so it will double as an excellent salad dressing.

Take a piece of gluten-free bread and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Pack cooked millet mixture on top, and then sprinkle with a liberal helping of buffalo sauce. Layer on red pepper slices, and cover with a generous amount of ranch dressing. Press another piece of bread on top to make a sandwich.

Fry sandwich in olive oil on stovetop on medium heat setting until golden brown on both sides. Remove from burner and serve hot. Cut sandwich in half if it’s too messy to grasp. You’ll love the creamy texture and surprising heartiness of this delicious meal.

Serves 2-3 hungry people. This dish pairs well with a small salad (use some more of that ranch dressing!) and, of course, gluten-free, vegan beer or wine. You’ll be surprised and delighted to discover how much you like eating millet. Bon appetit!

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Celebrate Barbeque Season With Tofu/Melon/Pepper Skewers

It’s May already, which means the official beginning of barbeque season! Some of you might be catching whiffs of your neighbor’s meat-based cuisine and wondering what on earth you can cook that didn’t come from an animal. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with these delightful tofu/melon/pepper skewers! The marinade is light but zesty, due to the inclusion of red pepper flakes, and the heat from your grill will impart a subtle crispiness to the tofu. You won’t even miss the meat, and your carnivorous friends may even ask you for a bite or two. Make sure they ask nicely.

INGREDIENTS
I block (14 ounces) tofu
1 red, yellow, or green pepper
¼ melon of your choice
½ red onion
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Dash of sea salt

SWEET CHILI LIME DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of sea salt

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS (For skewers)
Cherry tomatoes
Pineapple chunks
Tempeh pieces

INSTRUCTIONS
Cut tofu, pepper, onion and pepper (and other ingredients, if desired) into large, bite-sized chunks. Mix tamari, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a small bowl. Put tofu chunks in marinade and let them sit for approximately half an hour. Afterward, remove tofu from marinade and place on skewers, alternating with peppers, onion, melon, and any other vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle additional tamari mixture on top. Vegetables and tofu should be pressed together on skewer, but not too tightly.

Place skewers on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently. Tofu should be slightly browned and a bit crispy around the edges. Vegetables should be soft but not mushy. Remove from grill and serve with dipping sauce. You can serve this tasty dish by itself, or with a small salad and/or loaf of gluten-free bread. We put ours on a bed of fresh arugula and served it with a dab of light, zesty lemon dressing, and it tasted great. We think you’ll agree.

Serves 2 hungry people, or 3-4 not-so-hungry people. We know from experience that the dish pairs exceptionally well with vegan, gluten-free beer. Hopefully you can enjoy this fun meal on a warm evening, while seated in your yard while the last rays of sunshine beam onto your plate. Bon appetit, and relax –it’s almost summer!

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You’ll Go Wild For This Sweet But Tart Vegan, Gluten-Free Key Lime Pie

It’s almost summer, and for many of us this means pie. Not just any pie, mind you, but the kind that will stimulate your senses and cool your tongue at the same time. What pie is more summer-y than key lime? The traditional variety utilizes condensed milk and eggs, but there’s no need for those ingredients when you have coconut milk and cornstarch! The finished product will have a slightly jigglier texture than the non-vegan variety but will still look beautiful and taste delicious. You can purchase a store-bought crust (make sure it’s vegan and gluten-free), or create a simple one from almond flour, tapioca flour, and flaxseed. Our finished crust had a nutty flavor, but you can add a couple of tablespoons of coconut sugar to the batter if you prefer a sweeter crust.

CRUST INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ cup fine almond flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground flax
5 tablespoons water
1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar (if you want a sweeter crust)

CRUST INSTRUCTIONS
Place flax seeds in small bowl with water and let sit 10-15 minutes until seeds thicken a bit. Combine in large bowl with almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut sugar (if desired). Mixture should be slightly damp but not sticky. Roll into a flat, thin circle and press into pie pan (greased beforehand with vegan butter or coconut oil). Place crust inside freezer for 20 minutes, then remove and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until browned around the edges.

PIE INGREDIENTS
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 small limes)
1 teaspoon lime zest (grated from one or more lime skins)
½ cup real maple syrup (just say no to pancake syrup)
1 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

PIE INSTRUCTIONS
Put all ingredients in medium-sized pan and heat on stovetop at medium setting. Stir constantly so the cornstarch doesn’t clump. Bring to boil, then simmer for 7-10 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from stove and pour into crust. Cover pie securely and place in refrigerator to set for at least six hours.
Serve as is or garnish with lime slices and vegan whipping cream (yes, it exists). Do your best not to eat the entire pie at one sitting. Serves 4-6 guests, and we guarantee you won’t have any left over. As soon as you’re done, you’ll already be planning your next baking spree.

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