Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  At my house this means baking, lots of baking.  I have to make the family’s favorite pies like sweet potato, pecan, and of course pumpkin.  But in a family that has a child who’s allergic to eggs, nuts, and dairy none of these pies will do.  So for my grandson Jett we make a special Vegan Pumpkin Pie.  He loves it!

This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is super easy to make, it contains no dairy or eggs.  We have been making it for Jett every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s something he totally looks forward too.  By the way it’s tasty enough to serve to the whole family so if you don’t want to make 2 types of Pumpkin Pie go ahead and just make this Vegan Pumpkin Pie.  If you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan they might not even notice.  Yes it’s that good!

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 15 or 16 oz. can or box Organic pumpkin pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup Organic Coconut Milk  –  don’t shake the can before opening, scoop up and use the fat creamy white portion on the top

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup Organic Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar (you can use cane sugar if you can’t find coconut sugar)

1/4 Cup Cornstarch

1 Unbaked Pie Shell  – homemade or frozen (be sure it’s allergen free)

Directions:

Mix Dry Ingredients except corn starch together and set aside

Mix Pumpkin Puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup together until well blended

Add mixed dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix very well

Sprinkle cornstarch in 2-3 increments over the pumpkin mixture making sure to stir cornstarch into the mixture very well – you don’t want lumps

Pour pumpkin mixture into unbaked pie shell

Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean

Do not over bake, once tester comes out clean remove from oven and set on the counter, center may still be soft and wobbly when shake, it will set firm as it cools.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.  I serve it with spray canned coconut whipped cream I buy at Safeway next to the Rediwhip.

 


Vegan Pumpkin Pie
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Vegan Pumpkin Pie
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Mix Dry Ingredients except corn starch together and set aside
  2. Mix Pumpkin Puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup together until well blended
  3. Add mixed dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix very well
  4. Sprinkle cornstarch in 2-3 increments over the pumpkin mixture making sure to stir cornstarch into the mixture very well - you don't want lumps
  5. Pour pumpkin mixture into unbaked pie shell
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean
  7. Do not over bake, once tester comes out clean remove from oven and set on the counter, center may still be soft and wobbly when shake, it will set firm as it cools.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. I serve it with spray canned coconut whipped cream I buy at Safeway next to the Rediwhip.
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Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

A warm and healthy Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie loaded with so many beautiful flavors….where do I start? The beautiful beefy filling? The crispy Parmesan cheesy top? Or the creamy layers of pumpkin?

This recipe has been handed down to me by my one and only mother. I may only ever change a couple things, but really, this is perfection.

The beef mixture inside this Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is like beast mode a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator of Shepherd’s Pie…or Cottage Pie. Whichever one rocks your socks. So much happening it may not be like your normal average Shepherd’s Pie, but since when are we normal anyway?

One slice of this mountain of glory and you’ll be so full and fulfilled in every way possible, you won’t want a nothing else after it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg | 2lbs butternut or kent pumpkin , washed, peeled seeded and cubed (I usually use 1/2 a kent pumpkin)
  • 3 large potatoes , washed, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat butter/spread of choice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 medium carrots , peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red capsicum/bell pepper , seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • 500 g | 1lbs ground/mince extra lean beef
  • 2 ripe tomatoes , diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • salt to season
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock (I use Vegeta)
  • 2 tablespoons gravy powder , whisked in 1/4 cup boiling water (until free of lumps): or you can substitute the gravy
  • powder with cornflour/corn starch.
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves , washed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C | 400F. Combine pumpkin and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Alternatively, microwave or steam them until soft. Drain well, add the butter/spread and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large pan over medium – high heat. Add onion, carrots and capsicum, and cook stirring for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add beef and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and vegetable stock powder, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add gravy powder or cornflour/corn starch mixture. Cook stirring to combine all ingredients together until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
  3. Evenly spread half the pumpkin/potato mash into a large oven proof baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over the top, and spread remaining pumpkin mash over the top of the beef.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).
Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
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Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
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Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies.  It’s the world’s most popular cookie!  Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie.  It is one of my favorites!  But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy.  They are simply delicious!

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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries.  I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms.  But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum!  They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate.  They go great with a cold glass of milk!

I use a chocolate cookie dough, milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips, that’s why they’re a triple treat!  I use the best ingredients I can find to make these cookies, skimping is not an option.  I use Guittard Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Vallrhona Cocoa Powder.

Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools.  In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly).  I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often.  I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had.  But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!

But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever.  Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom!  Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!


Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars together using medium speed of an electric mixer
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla
  3. In a small mixing bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder
  4. Mix into egg mixture - dough will form
  5. Stir in milk and white chocolate chips
  6. Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees
  7. Using 1 Oz. scoop or a 2 tbs. measure drop a ball of dough onto a silicone mat or parchment covered baking sheet about 3" apart
  8. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon to make a 2" circle
  9. Bake for 25 minutes - do not over bake
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes
  11. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely
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Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken – Homemade BBQ Sauce

Barbecued chicken

The 4th. of July is surely a day for barbecuing.  So what are you grilling on Independence Day?  Tired of the same old same old?  Why not grill some finger licking good Barbecued Chicken?

Barbecued Chicken is one of my summer favorites and it took me a while to figure out how those barbecue joints make their delicious barbecues.  Was it the sauce?  Or is there a marinade?  Well, after much searching I found out it takes both!  Yup a really good rub AND a really good sauce is what it takes for some restaurant style Barbecue.  Click here for my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub you’re going to need it to make your Best Ever Barbecued Chicken this weekend!

So really there are 3 steps to making the Best Ever Barbecued Chicken:

  1. Rub the chicken parts with my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub and let rest AT LEAST 30 minutes and not more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. (Use 1/4 of the BBQ Chicken Rub for 8-9 pieces of chicken.  Drizzle 2 Tbs. Olive Oil on the chicken parts then massage the rub into each piece making sure it’s completely covered.  I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use any part or parts you like.  The rub works better on skinless parts so I’d advise you to remove the skin.  Place chicken in ziplock bag and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours.  If using chicken that has been resting in the fridge for more than 30 minutes place chicken on counter 30 minutes before grilling so that temperature goes down to room temp.)
  2. Grill the marinated chicken perfectly.  Click here for grilling tips.
  3. Baste chicken with my yummy homemade Barbecue Sauce – baste the last 2 minutes for grilling and after the chicken is cooked – you can also serve barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.

So here’s my super yummy Homemade Barbecue Sauce.  The recipe makes about 2 quarts.  I keep the sauce in quart sized mason jars in the fridge.  It keeps for about 3 months.

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Ingredients:

4 Cups Ketchup

1 Cup Blackstrap Molasses

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar – Packed

1/2 Cup Seedless Blackberry Preserves

2/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbl.  Basic BBQ Chicken Rub  (click here from my recipes)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy.

Simmer 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.

Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Best Ever Barbecued Chicken - Homemade BBQ Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and whisk together until preserves are no longer lumpy
  2. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and use or transfer to jars for storing.
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Summer officially begins in 4 days!  So get out that grill and get ready for some finger licking barbecue meats smothered in homemade Barbecue Sauce!

When it comes to barbecue sauce nothing beats homemade!  I know why bother when there are literally dozens of different bottles and jars of barbecue sauce out there; each one boasting that they’re the very best!  Not to mention there are so many different types of barbecue sauce on supermarket shelves you don’t know which one to buy.  I know I get confused and end up pretty much choosing one at random, or choosing the one that’s on sale, then getting home only to find out I really don’t like it.

Well making your own barbecue sauce takes the guess work out of it and you know you’ll the it!  But before I give you my recipe for homemade barbecue sauce let me ask you if you’ve got the rub.  Yup that extra yum comes from the meat rubs you use before you slather on the barbecue sauce!

So if you don’t have your own recipe for meat rubs or don’t have a favorite brand to use then check out my chicken rub and my beef rub.  They’re both delicious!  I always have a jar full of these spice combos to use year round.  Just click on the rub for the recipe and tips about using them.

Once you’ve rubbed your meat down and let it soak up all those spices you’re ready to grill!

Grill your meat until it’s almost done then brush on the barbecue sauce and grill just until it almost reaches your desired doneness.  Then remove meat from grill and place it in a covered pot to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Don’t forget to serve a bowl of barbecue sauce on the side for those folks who want to add more.

Now scroll down for my homemade barbecue sauce recipe.  Happy grilling!

 

Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Easy Homemade Barbecue Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until everything is well combined and sugar has been absorbed
  2. Place in serving bowl or in jars for storing
  3. Store in the refrigerator. It will last about 2-3 months.
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