Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

I celebrated Thanksgiving with Mark’s family this year. With only 6 of us at the table, it was a little more subdued than my family’s usual 20 person feast. Not that a small Thanksgiving is a bad thing. We watched a lot of football, played soccer with Reggie, Mark’s Family’s dog, and I went for a nice 5.5 mile run outside. Sadly, I had to work on Black Friday, but unlike everywhere else open, work was painfully slow.

This was also the first year I had a lactose-free meal… it was a little hard to accept that my 22nd Thanksgiving would not include butter, cheese or cream. What is Thanksgiving without those things?

It actually ended up being pretty dang good… I ate a ton of Brussels sprouts, cornbread stuffing made with veggie stock and acorn squash roasted in maple syrup. AND vegan pumpkin pie with gluten free crust! (Mark’s dad is gluten free).

The condensed milk was swapped with coconut milk and thickened with agar agar instead of eggs. Agar agar is basically ground up red algae and when heated and mixed with water it becomes a gelatinous substance. Oh the wonders of biology. I picked up some agar agar and the other necessary ingredients (vegetable shortening and tapioca flour) at the local coop, in bulk.

I also picked up King Arthur’s new gluten free multi-purpose flour… It was the best gluten free flour I’ve worked with and I was supporting local! As an added bonus, it doesn’t contain xanthan gum like some other gf flours… xanthan gum can cause upset stomachs in some people.

Source

The crust was kind of labor intensive, there are many crucial steps and some tips that I picked up from Simply Gluten Free.

  • make sure everything is cold… put ice in your water and put shortening in the freezer for 30 minutes before using it
  • use a food processor to incorporate the shortening.. it will make the crust flakier
  • skimp on the water… the dough should only stick together when pressed with your fingers
  • let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour before rolling… it lets the moisture distribute evenly
  • don’t try to roll the dough out…. extrude it by placing it between two floured sheets of wax paper.
  • use the highest quality ingredients you can afford… it really does make a difference, especially the flour

Since gluten-free baking is a tricky beast, I didn’t really stray from the original recipe. The dough had the consistency of shortbread cookie dough, and was pretty prone to cracking which can be frustrating to a perfectionist like me. I think next time I’d just buy a pre-made gluten free crust, but it was defiantly worth the experience. Plus, I wanted to use my festive little leaf cookie cutters before fall ends.

For the Crust,  from Simply Gluten Free

1/2 cup of organic vegetable shortening (I used spectrum brand)
2-4 tablespoons of water (I used 3)
1 1/4 cups of gluten free multi-purpose flour, such as King Arthur
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Follow the tips and directions here, a lot of the steps are crucial so follow it closely… it’s also a long process. Don’t start it at 9 pm like I did.

For the Pie, from the Blender, a William Sonoma Blog

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of maple syrup (look for kosher label to ensure its vegan, if need be)
1 can of coconut milk (14oz)
2 tablespoons of tapioca flour (found in bulk section)
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
splash of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of water
2 teaspoon of agar agar powder, (not flakes or bars, found in bulk section)
 

Blend together the pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut milk, tapioca flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and vanilla extract, in a large bowl and set aside.

In a sauce pot bring the 3/4 cup of water and agar agar to a boil, stirring constantly. Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes then stir in the pumpkin mixture and return to a boil. Let thicken for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring it constantly.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours, until set and firm. Serve chilled or at room temp.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup

It was so nice to head home to my parents house for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it’s got all the great food of Christmas minus the pressure of gifts, so you can really focus on what matters… spending time with family. I was so caught up in everything that I only took a picture of the centerpiece. My mom picked it up at the Christmas market in Union Square in NYC when she went last week.

She gave me the centerpiece to take home for my table to make it a little more festive and seasonally appropriate.  Looks pretty good if I do say so myself… now we just need some Christmas decorations for our fireplace and we’re all set for the holidays. (We’re not getting a Christmas tree this year since we’re headed home for a few weeks around Christmas, but next year we WILL have a tree)

This soup is “souper “quick to throw together in a big pot on the stove. It’s packed full of vitamins and protein and it’s pretty darn tasty… though, as Mark pointed out, the broth isn’t quite that photogenic. (Sorry for the lame pic this week, no good lighting or adjustment of shutter speed could make the broth look good, but I promise it does taste good). Anywho, after all of the overeating on Thanksgiving, this soup can set you right back on track towards healthy eating. I paired it with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on cheddar bread from Normal Bread, our local bakery… this bread is so good, it super cheesy tasting and it’s made with high quality ingredients, no preservatives and they slice it for you right in front of your eyes. Plus it’s always good to support local food.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium red potatoes, diced

3 cups veggie broth

3 cups of water (maybe a bit more)

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning

2-14 oz cans garbanzo beans

3-4 cups of kale, chopped

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, include juice

2 cups of broccoli

Black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes until translucent. While they sauté, chop all the other veggies. Add in the potatoes and garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Then add in the stock, water, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then add in beans, kale, tomatoes and broccoli. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then add black pepper to taste.

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