Pie, pie, pie. There’s nothing better. I’ll take pie over cake any day.
Apple pie is always a frugal option because you likely only need to buy the lemon and the apples for about 5 bucks.
It’s really hard to mess up an apple pie, believe me, I’ve tried, but it always tastes good.
It’s not Friday, it’s Pie Day! It’s not apple season, but they seem to be the only pie fruit I can get right now. My approach to apple pie is to keep the peels on, and cut uber-thin slices. White sugar is not allowed under any circumstance, (brown sugar only!) and my favorite secret: brush the top of the baked pie with a makeshift caramel made of 1/2 cup fresh, unfiltered apple juice, 1/4 cup melted earth balance, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbs corn starch and 1/2 tsp vanilla. You can save leftover caramel for a topping on each served slice. I bought a few extra apples and juiced them myself for the sauce, but an easier approach is to buy some cider from the store.
Despite all my yammering above, apple pie is simple, and one of the most stress-free things you can bake. Even if you take the peels off, cut thick slices or use entirely too much cinnamon. So feel free to ignore the caramel sauce stuff and just make the simple pie below, which is great as it is.
- 3 large green apples, skins intact, sliced paper-thin
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbs cornstarch
- 2 Tbs dark brown sugar
- 2 pie crusts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pre-bake your bottom pie crust for 5 minutes in the pie pan, if you desire.
2. Put sliced apples in a large bowl, then add all other ingredients through the brown sugar. Toss well to coat apples evenly.
3. Pour your apple mixture into your pie crust add holes to the top of your pie crust to properly vent – allows moisture to escape so your pie doesn’t get soggy.
4. Bake pie in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 and bake for a remaining 20-25 minutes.
Posted in Baking | Tagged apple, baking, caramel, cinnamon, pie, vegan | 4 Comments »
Comfort food! This creamy, satisfying noodle dish hits all the right notes. The earthy portobello mushrooms and the hints of white wine and worcestershire make what I thought was a gross,blah dish into something really delicious. I could eat it every day for all three meals. My mom made it once and I hounded her for the recipe for a long time. Once I finally had it, I put it into the standard meal rotation. Look for the no-egg noodles next to the egg noodles in your store. They exist! I promise. Serve this great dish with a side of your favorite veggies and salad to round it all out.
Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3/4 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced then cut into 1 inch pieces, cut stems into nice chunks
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
- Heaping 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
- 2.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (Tamari style)
- 1 tsp worchestershire sauce (The Wizard brand is vegan)
- Dash of dry white wine (cooking sherry is acceptable substitute)
- 8 ounces dry no-egg noodles
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles, and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside. Do not overcook!
- At the same time, melt “butter” in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic then cook, stirring until softened. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and add mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are limp and browned. Remove all contents of pan to a bowl, and set aside.
- In the same skillet, stir in vegetable broth, being sure to stir in any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced by 1/3. Reduce heat to low, and return the mushrooms and onion to the skillet.
- Stir together the sour cream and flour in a small bowl until fully incorporated; then add to mushroom mixture in pan. Mix well. Continue cooking over low heat, just until the sauce thickens. Add soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce and wine. Taste for any tweaks you may desire.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss sauce with noodles in the pan….and voila.
NOTE: If you want to double this recipe, you can keep the sour cream and flour measurements the same, but double everything else. I’ve found this works well. And feel free to add a handful of chopped parsley for some lovely green color at the end!
Posted in Dinner | Tagged dinner, mushroom, noodles, stroganoff, vegan | 2 Comments »
After making scramble the same way forever, I finally had a breakthrough.
Tastes eggy and delicious. No actual salt used.
I had an abundance of shiro miso paste and wanted a new way to approach our standard tofu scramble. I thought of a recipe I sometimes use for vegan mac ‘n cheese that includes miso, which gave it a complex cheesy flavor. So I just went for it and it turned out to be my new favorite concoction. What I didn’t expect is that the miso made it taste “eggy”. It was a pleasant surprise after I’d abandoned using black salt to accomplish that many moons ago. It only made the kitchen smell like sulfur. And who liked eggs for the sulfur odor? Bleh. Down with black salt, hello miso.
Here’s how it’s done: break your drained block of super-firm tofu into LARGE chunks, add to oiled pan on medium. Dust the tofu with turmeric and paprika. Add one chopped shallot, then stir and cook until the shallot pieces are soft and the tofu has firmed up a little bit. Mix 1 Tbs of miso with 2 Tbs of very hot-almost boiling- water in a little container until it is all dissolved. Add this liquid to the tofu, then stir until the tofu fully absorbs it. Break tofu into smaller chunks as you stir. Turn heat down, add a dollop of dijon mustard, and cook a little more until the tofu is fairly dry. Then sprinkle some vegan cheese shreds on top. It is ready when the shreds have melted. You can add a blop of earth balance at the end if you like, this makes it a little richer. This scramble is softer and creamier than my other recipe, which results in a more toasted, golden brown tofu. I think this makes it even more like well-done scrambled, custardy-eggs. The crowning glory to this could be finely chopped chives! I just thought of that. But darn, I already took that photo.
Mushroom Variation: Start with a big blob of earth balance in the pan on medium-low, add half the diced shallot, (reserve the other half) sliced crimini or white mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until slightly browned, then set aside. Without washing the pan, make the scramble as described above with the remaining half diced shallot, then before the dijon mustard, add the mushrooms back in and stir well until finished.
Posted in Breakfast | Tagged breakfast, miso, scramble, tofu, vegan | 2 Comments »
Better than bagged and cheaper!
Another bonus: no palm oil involved!
Cost: $7.50 for 1.5 weeks worth of granola for two adults
I’m sure it’s not low-calorie, but it’s certainly less caloric than anything with oil and sweeteners. You can spread the mixture evenly to make it more loose and cereal-like or you can lump it into the pan to make it more “clumpy”.
There are lots of pricey, raw nuts involved, but here’s how to make this dish super cheap. Go to a store with a vast bulk section. Buy only the exact amounts of all ingredients listed, (Even the cinnamon!) and you will be amazed at the low cost. My store has maple syrup in bulk too, so I bring a little container and dispense precisely 1/2 a cup of maple syrup. Therefore, I only pay a fraction of what I would if I’d gotten a glass container off the shelf. I don’t make the mistake of buying a huge container of oatmeal when I really only need 3 cups. That way I don’t have a bunch of it sitting around. Same goes for the nuts. Bulk is always cheaper, and prevents build-up of ingredients in the pantry.
- Cooking Spray or something else to grease the cookie sheet
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (no substitutions, I’ve tried and regretted many.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup juicy raisins (I think big flame raisins cook best)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
- Grease or spray your large cookie sheet.
- Roughly chop all the nuts
- In a big bowl combine the oats nuts, cinnamon and salt, then mix well.
- Pour in the maple syrup, combine well, then add the raisins last. (This prevents hard, gummy raisins.)
- Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully to be sure you don’t overcook towards the end.
- Once cooled, put your fresh granola in an air tight container and enjoy for many days to come!
Posted in Breakfast, Snacks | Tagged breakfast, granola, maple, nuts, vegan | 7 Comments »
Ahh..portobellos. The steak of the mushroom world. (Actually trumpet mushrooms are really meaty too, but I digress.) This is one of those sandwiches that has one big portobello in place of a “patty” of some sort. I have been making this sandwich for the two of us for years, so this will be the first time I put it in writing. I am happy to share it! The sauteed zucchini strips add nutrition and flavor, while the zingy aioli accents the dark portobello flavor. Enjoy!
For the Burger (Makes 2)
- your favorite burger buns
- 2 large portobello caps, cut stems down so the whole cap is flat, if necessary
- a handful of mixed spring greens
- yellow onion, thinly sliced into circles
- one small zucchini sliced into wide, thin strips
- earth balance
- Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
For the Aioli
- 1/2 cup veganaise
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 small head of garlic, pre-roasted, cooled and removed from their pods.
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Oil pan with olive oil, turn heat to medium-low.
- Lightly sauté the onions and zucchini strips together in the pan. Both sides of zucchini should be softened and just golden, NOT brown or crisp. Onions should be softened at same time zucchini is done. Remove from pan, and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium, re-oil pan and place mushrooms gill-side down until they start to sizzle. Spread a little earth balance on smooth tops of mushrooms, then flip over, gill-side up.
- After the ‘shrooms start to sizzle again, sprinkle a little liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and spread a little earth balance along the gills.
- Continue to watch the mushrooms, flipping occasionally and keeping the pan lubricated with oil and/or butter as you go along. Mushrooms are done when they are shrunken and soft. You can press down on them occasionally to help them cook through.
- While mushrooms are cooking, add your buns, flat side down in the same pan until they are toasted. They will absorb some of the yummy liquids and toast at the same time.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, blend up your aioli sauce in a food processor. Add the mayo, roasted garlic, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. Set aside.
- Lightly squeeze the mushrooms and drain the liquid off the pan. Remove buns before they burn, of course.
- Assemble the burgers like-so: bottom bun, aioli, greens, zucchini, mushroom (flat side down), more aioli on top bun…and done!
Posted in Sandwiches | Tagged aioli, buns, burger, garlic, portobello, sandwich, vegan | 2 Comments »
Serves 3, Total Cost: $5.00
This is the most delicious quick rice I’ve ever had. The fragrance will make you swoon. The flavor is curry, but there’s no curry powder involved. It’s so cheap and simple you’ll whip it up quickly without a trip to the store. I modified this from the very cool and helpful site, Budget Bytes. I changed the amounts to make it taste better and added peas for more nutrition. I also think some fried tofu cubes would make a good addition. Raisins and cashews, too! Enjoy.
- 1 cup jasmine rice, dry
- 3 Tbs earth balance
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced in garlic press
- 2 big bay leaves
- 1.5 cups veggie broth
- Warm the earth balance, turmeric, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon in a pot over medium heat. Stir and heat until the earth balance has melted.
- Add dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for a few minutes to toast the rice and spices. This toasting stage is very important. Make sure the rice gets well-coated. Stir and toast until the fragrance fills your kitchen and the rice makes a slight popping sound.
- Add broth and bay leaves to the pot. Place a lid on top, increase the heat to high, and bring the pot to a rolling boil. As soon as it reaches the boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer with lid on for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.
- After letting it simmer for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes with lid in place.
- Fluff and serve.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch | Tagged jasmine, rice, rice bowl, tumeric, vegan, yellow rice | 10 Comments »