MINI PUMPKIN PIES WITH SPELT CRUST
2 cups spelt flour
1 tbsp cane sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp vegan butter, cold
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, cold
6-8 tbsp filtered water, ice cold
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 tbsp sucanat
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp fine sea saltIn a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with your fingers until a dough starts to form. It’s not going to be a perfectly smooth dough, FYI. So don’t spaz out over its unsightly cracks. Divide the dough in half, pat into discs, then wrap with plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Allow the dough to reach room temperature before using.In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, sucanat, and coconut milk; whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a light boil then remove from heat and sift in the tapioca starch, xanthan gum, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt; whisk vigirously for 20-30 seconds. Set the mixture aside to cool. This can also be made ahead and refrigerated, in an air tight container, for up to three days.Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil one 12 cup non-stick muffin pan and one 6 cup non-stick muffin pan; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with spelt flour. Roll out one of the discs of dough until it is about 1/8″ thick and use a 3″ round, fluted cookie cutter to cut the dough. Transfer the dough pieces to the muffin wells, and shape them to fit. Repeat process with the second disc of dough.Bake the mini pie shells at 350˚F for 4 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from oven and spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin pie filing into each of the shells. Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to three days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Yield: 18 mini piesWHIPPED CREAM
1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp powdered sugar (or more, if desired)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extractRemove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and scoop out the thick, white layer of fat on top. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the coconut water, then store the remainder for later use (in smoothies), if desired. Using a handheld electric mixer, cream the coconut milk fat, 1 tablespoon of coconut water, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract on high speed for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Use immideately.
Yield: about 1 cup
RAW CACAO NIB COOKIES
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces
1/2 cup raw almonds
1-2 tbsp raw nut milk (or water)
3-4 tbsp cacao nibsPlace the dates in a small bowl and cover with water; let soak for 15-20 minutes and set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the cashews and almonds into a fine meal. Once the dates have finished soaking, discard the soaking water and add the dates to the food processor. Blend for 20-30 seconds, just until the dates have combined. Add the nut milk and blend for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture forms a smooth dough. The longer you blend, the smoother the dough will be. Remove dough from the food processor and mix in cacao nibs.Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until firm, then transfer to an air tight container for storage. Cookies will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator, or several months in the freezer – but they never last that long.
Yield: about 24 cookies
14 oz extra firm sprouted tofu
3 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp filtered water
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Dash of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp organic canola oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped red cabbage
Salt and pepper, to tasteRemove the tofu from it’s packaging and drain water. Wrap in a dishtowel and set a heavy pot (or two) on top; let the pot work it’s magic for 10 minutes. If you want to skip this step, you can – but you’ll have to cook the tofu a bit longer. When the tofu is finished pressing, crumble it into a large bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, water, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon; set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and onion; sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the crumbled tofu and stir to combine with the vegetables. Pour the peanut butter spice mixture over the tofu and toss to evenly distribute. Add the spinach and cabbage, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring/flipping every few minutes. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan to get all of the roasted pieces (those are the best part) off the bottom. Once cooked, add the salt and pepper. Scramble can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to three days.
I typically serve tofu scrablmes with herbed quinoa or a side of roasted potatoes (cut into 1/4″ thick disks, tossed with a bit of oil and salt, then roasted at 400˚F for 15-20 minutes).
Yield: 2-3 servings
Dude is batshit crazy, but I love him nonetheless.
RAW CASHEW CREAM
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces
4-6 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup raw nut milk (or water)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight (the longer you soak them, the better – especially if you don’t have a high speed blender). 30 minutes before preparing the cashew cream, add the dates to the cashew soaking bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Once soaked, drain the water and transfer the cashews and dates to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the nut milk and vanilla bean; blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
LIQUID VARIATIONS:1/4 cup liquid = very thick cream; use as frosting for raw layer cakes
1/2 cup liquid = semi-thick cream; use to fill raw tarts or pies3/4 cup liquid = light cream; use to fill raw tarts or spread over baked goods1 cup liquid = sauce-like cream; use as a fruit dip or drizzle over desserts3 cups liquid = thick cashew milk; great as a raw ice cream base
On the first morning, we rose early and walked four blocks, in the dark, to my favorite cafe. We conversed over warm, caffeinated beverages and good eats, and sat there until crowds of thirsty people cluttered the entrance, making the place much too stuffy for our enjoyment. High on sugar and caffeine, we took a trip to the natural grocer (dad’s first!) and picked up necessary ingredients to make cake, gumbo, pizza, more cake, and nachos. We headed back to my place and got to work on the gumbo; me chopping the vegetables, him preparing the roux. We made coffee (twice!), and laughed over our mugs about the impending election and how funny it is that he wound up with a bunch of liberal kooks for children. We savored lunch at one of my favorite sushi restaurants, followed by cappuccinos (yup, more coffee) on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art. If you’re keeping track, that was a handful of my favorite places, all in one day, with one of my most beloved people in the galaxy – it just doesn’t get much better, folks.
If you’re wondering where this cake comes into play, let me tell you – this is a watered down version of one of his favorites: chocolate stout cake with Irish cream frosting and whiskey ganache. But since I only make that cake on St. Patrick’s Day or dad’s birthday, I decided to make a special rendition of it to celebrate my old man’s arrival to the Mile High City.
And dad, just in case you forgot – you’re my favorite. Thanks for being all sorts of awesome.
CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE WITH WHISKEY GANACHE, FOR DAD
3/4 cup unbleached flour
6 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup soft silken tofu, blended
1/2 cup extra stout beer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
3 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp Irish whiskeyPreheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly oil a 3 cup bundt pan with oil and/or coat with cacao powder; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, sucanat, salt and baking soda. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, silken tofu, stout beer and vanilla extract; whisk until clump free. Transfer batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake at 350˚ for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Dust with cacao powder, if desired.While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache. Add the chocolate to a small mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the almond milk and whiskey to a boil, pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let cool for 10 minutes then pour over cake. Cake will keep in an air tight container for up to five days.
Yield: 4-6 servings