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
Servings:
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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Delicious Chicken Marsala

Delicious Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

I have been in search of the perfect Chicken Marsala for years.  I think one of the best ones I’ve had was at the Trevi Italian Restaurant in the Forum Shops in Las Vegas.  I’ve yet to find something similar and believe me I’ve tried it at many different restaurants.

Since I can’t exactly fly off to Vegas every time I’ve a yen for Chicken Marsala I did the next best thing.  I wend in search of the best Chicken Marsala recipe I could find.  I’ve actually found several that were pretty good, but with a bit of tweaking here and there I was able to come up with this delicious recipe which everyone in my family loves.  In fact it’s good enough to serve company which is what I did when my daughter’s in-laws came to visit.  They loved it too!

First of all a little background on Chicken Marsala.  I know it’s a classic Italian dish offered at many chain Italian restaurants like Magiano’s, Carabba’s, and Olive Garden.  Like I said everyone seems to have their own version of this dish!  But if you go to a local restaurant in Italy and asked for Chicken Marsala I’m pretty sure they won’t know what that is.  I can’t recall seeing this dish at any of the restaurants in Italy, sort of like asking for Fettucine Alfedo, they don’t have that there!

Chicken Marsala is actually an Italian-American dish that is more than likely a variation of the traditional Italian Scaloppina dishes of which there are many versions in Italy.  Chicken Marsala dates back from the 19th. Century and originated with English families who lived in Italy where Marsala wine is produced.

The dish is composed of thin slices of chicken breasts that are lightly floured and sauteed in a pan.  It is then covered with a sauce made from a Marsala wine reduction.  Some recipes call for the addition of mushrooms, herbs, and tomatoes.  Really the variations are many, but I prefer the simplest variation with just mushrooms so that I can savor the lovely Marsala sauce.

When I make it at home I prefer to serve it with a simple garlic mashed potato side dish, but you can also serve it with a side of Poor Man’s pasta; a simple yet tasty pasta dish.

 

Delicious Chicken Marsala
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Delicious Chicken Marsala
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine Flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.
  2. Melt 2 tbs. butter in the olive oil in a frying pan.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and dredge thru flour mixture
  4. Fry chicken breasts in oil butter mixture until both sides start to turn brown.
  5. Remove from pan and place in a covered dish or pan.
  6. Add 2 tbs. butter to the remaining oil and saute mushrooms until juices come out and mushrooms are cooked.
  7. Add wine, chicken stock, and garlic to the mushrooms and simmer about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half
  8. Add heavy whipping cream and cornstarch mixture to the pan - it should slightly thicken. If it's too thick add up to 1/2 cup of wine to thin to desired consistency.
  9. Return cooked chicken to pan and spoon sauce over it.
  10. Cook on stove top until chicken is heated thru.
  11. Gently stir in 2 tbs. of butter.
  12. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
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Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

As many of you know one of my daughter’s gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas last year.  It took a few weeks of staring at the box before I actually opened it; all those buttons were a bit intimidating!  But once I made my first recipe, Instant Pot Beef Stew, it was instant love!  Now I don’t know what I’d do without it!  So I’ve been exploring possibilities and one of my new favorites in this Instant Pot Mongolian Beef.

Mongolian Beef is a family favorite and we always order it when we dine at Chinese Restaurants, we love the tender morsels of beef in its delicious sauce.  I’ve tried to make it at home, after all it’s just a basic sitr fry, but I could never get the meat to be so tender.  I’d tried all sorts of cuts except filet mignon, I mean seriously who’d use filet in a stir fry?  Whatever I did I could never get it as tender as the restaurants do; that is until now!  It never occurred to me that the secret was in the cooking method.  I mean all the recipes said fry the meat in a wok or a pan, I’m guessing you’d get very tender meat if you stir fired filet mignon, but at over $15 a pound that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon!

Well it seems to me the secret to tender beef is to pressure cook it!  Enter the new love of my life, the Instant Pot!  When I adapted my Mongolian Beef stir fry recipe to the Instant Pot the whole dish changed!  It transformed from a pretty good stir fry to a tender delicious restaurant worthy dish!  This Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is seriously delicious!

But it’s not only yummy, Instant Pot Mongolian Beef is easier than stir fry!  What?  Easier than stir fry?  How is that possible?  First of all my original recipe has me marinating the meat for at least an hour; no need to marinate Instant Pot Mongolian Beef so that cuts kitchen time down a bit.  And stir fry requires you to, um, well, stir what you’re frying; with the Instant Pot Mongolian Beef stirring  is kept to just a few minutes to brown the meat.  And best of all from start to finish you could get Instant Pot Mongolian Beef on the table in about 30 minutes!

I serve it over steamed white rice which I make in my  Zojirushi Rice Cooker.  You can even make bowls and bentos with this recipe!

So here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Mongolian Beef!

Ingredients:

2 Lbs. Flank  or Sirloin Steak cut into small thin slices

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil or vegetable oil will work if you’re allergic to sesame seeds or don’t have sesame oil on hand

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Water

2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar

1 Tbs. Molasses (or you can skip the coconut sugar and Molasses and use 2/3 cup dark brown sugar instead)

1 Tsp fresh minced ginger

3 Tbs. Cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water

3-4 stalks green onions cut to small pieces

1 Tsp Sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:

Turn Instant Pot to Sauté and place oil inside inner pot

Heat oil about 1 minute

Place small amounts of beef in pot and brown both sides – about 2 minutes

Remove browned meat from pot and brown remaining meat in small batches until all meat is browned

Add garlic to pot and cook about 1 minute

Add soy sauce, water, worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses, and ginger into the pot and mix well

Turn pot to manual and adjust time to 12 Minutes

Return meat and any juices that seeped out to the pot

Place lid on making sure the valve is set to Sealing

When timer goes off move valve to venting to quick release the pressure

Remove lid and stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce is thickened

Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.


Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
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Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté and place oil inside inner pot
  2. Heat oil about 1 minute
  3. Place small amounts of beef in pot and brown both sides - about 2 minutes
  4. Remove browned meat from pot and brown remaining meat in small batches until all meat is browned
  5. Add garlic to pot and cook about 1 minute
  6. Add soy sauce, water, worcestershire sauce, sugar, molasses, and ginger into the pot and mix well
  7. Turn pot to manual and adjust time to 12 Minutes
  8. Return meat and any juices that seeped out to the pot
  9. Place lid on making sure the valve is set to Sealing
  10. When timer goes off move valve to venting to quick release the pressure
  11. Remove lid and stir in cornstarch mixture until the sauce is thickened
  12. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
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Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef StewLast Christmas one of my daughters gifted me an Instant Pot Lux80.  (There it is in the box.) I have to admit it looked intimidating; took me almost a month before I took it out of the box, and only after watching videos and reading lots of internet articles.  Now what exactly is an Instant Pot you may ask.  The best answer would be that it’s a crockpot on steroids.  It can do just about everything a crockpot does but it does it faster.  That’s why it takes only 35 minutes to make Instant Pot Beef Stew!

35 minutes to make tender falling apart beef stew!  Yes I kid you not the actual cooking time for Instant Pot Beef Stew is 35 minutes!  And yes the meat, you can use even the least expensive cuts, are literally falling apart!  Ok, the actual time I spent making Instant Pot Beef Stew was closer to an hour, that included chopping, browning, AND cooking and venting.  So really dinner was ready in about an hour.  Sure beats cooking stew in your crockpot all day!

Can you tell yet what I first made in my handy dandy new gadget?  Yup, you got it I made Instant Pot Beef Stew!  And the best part is it doesn’t take a lot of planning.

When I made beef stew in my old crockpot I had to thaw out the beef the night before then get up early to chop veggies and brown the beef on the stove top.  I had to do all that before I could toss it all in the crockpot and press cook.  Now it wasn’t that big a deal, that is until I realized what my new Instant Pot could do!  I didn’t have to thaw meat the night before, I could actually toss semi-frozen meat in the pot if I wanted to!

instant pot beef stew

Did I mention that my Instant Pot Beef Stew turned out amazing?  My family raved about it!  In fact I had made a big pot – the model I have is 8 quarts – and we had the left overs for dinner the next day!  So without further ado here’s my recipe!  Hope you love it as much as we do!

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Ingredients:

3 Lbs. Beef Cut into 1″ cubes – you can use any cut of beef you want, I usually use a chuck roast

2 Tbs.  Olive Oil

1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning

1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbs. Minced Garlic

1 Large Onion Cut in large pieces

2 Cups Baby Carrots

2 Cups Baby Potato Medley

2 Cups Celery Cut in large pieces

3 Cups Beef Broth

1 Cup Tomato Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 Cup Corn Starch

1/4 Cup water

Directions:

instant pot beef stewPrep ingredients – Cut all the meat & veggies to size

Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don’t want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices

Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté

When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot

 

Instant pot beef stewBrown all the sides of the beef

Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well

Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce

Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot

Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes

Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position

When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure

Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water

When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid

Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.

Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!

Left overs can be stored in the fridge for a day or so, stew always tastes better the next day!  Or for longer storage place stew in freezer safe containers, label with date, and freeze until needed.  It will keep in the freezer for about 2-3 months.  Reheat in the microwave or stove top.

 

 

 

 

instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
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instant pot beef stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Prep ingredients - Cut all the meat & veggies to size Separate Beef from the veggies as you will be using it first and you don't want the veggies sitting in raw beef juices
    instant pot beef stew
  2. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set on Sauté When pot is hot enough place cubed beef into pot Brown all the sides of the beef  Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, worcestershire sauce, and mix well
    Instant pot beef stew
  3. Switch pot off and add veggies, beef broth, and tomato sauce Stir well making sure to scrape off any meat or seasoning at the bottom of the pot Set Instant Pot on Manual and adjust time to 35 minutes Secure lid making sure the valve is on the sealing position
  4. When pot beeps wait 10 minutes then set the valve to venting to release remaining pressure Meanwhile dissolve cornstarch in water When pressure has been completely released remove pot lid Stir in cornstarch water to get desired thickness.  If you want thicker sauce add more dissolved cornstarch slowly until you get the thickness you want.   Serve with steamed rice or some nice crusty bread to sop up all that meaty goodness!
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Mushroom & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts In Creamy Sauce

Mushroom & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts In Creamy Sauce

stuffed chicken breastsAre you searching for that perfect dish to impress your guests with this summer?  I know you want something that looks impressive but is fairly simple to make.  You just want them to think you spent hours slaving away  in the kitchen; but you really just want to pop something in the oven while you snuggle up to a good book.  Well I’ve go the perfect dish for you!  °

Well perhaps super easy is a bit of a stretch.  You do have to put some effort into making stuffed chicken breasts, but not a whole lot, really I mean it.  You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already.  With just a little bit of prep time (before popping everything in the oven) and a few minutes to make the sauce you will have time to sit down and read a book or take a short nap while it’s cooking.

You can serve this dish with a side of pasta for a very satisfying meal.  Add a tossed salad and you’ve got a great meal to serve to friends and family!  Seriously your main ingredients are garlic, mushrooms, cheese, and chicken what’s not to love?

Need more chicken recipes?  Try my Chicken Souvlaki Skewers it’s amazing!

 

Mushroom & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Sauce
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Mushroom & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Sauce
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Ingredients
Stuffed Chicken Breast
Creamy Sauce
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F
  2. Melt Butter in oven safe skillet
  3. Add garlic and saute about a minute. Add sliced mushrooms, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Set mushrooms aside and allow to cool while you prep chicken breasts
  5. Wash breasts and pat dry with paper towel
  6. Rub onion powder, salt, and pepper on each breast
  7. Horizontally slice each breast at its thickest part. Do not slice through. Leave it attached to form a pocket.
  8. Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese in each pocket
  9. Fill each breast with the sauted mushrooms and seal each breast with a couple of toothpicks.
  10. Remove any extra mushrooms from the pan. Leave any juices in the pan.
  11. Heat this pan and the juices and add the stuffed chicken breasts.
  12. Sear both sides of the breasts until they are golden brown.
  13. Cover pan and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  14. Remove from oven and place chicken breasts on a serving dish to keep warm while you make the sauce
Creamy Sauce
  1. Heat pan with chicken juices on stove
  2. Saute the garlic until fragrant
  3. Add Half & Half
  4. Bring to a simmer and add grated parmesan cheese and any remaining mushrooms
  5. Simmer until cheese has melted
  6. Slowly stir in dissolved corn starch to thicken
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Add parsley
  9. Either add chicken back into this pan or pour sauce over chicken to serve
  10. Serve with a side of your choice of pasta
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