Monthly Archives: October 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Donuts

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A few weeks ago, I bought a Norpro 3980 12-Count Nonstick Mini Donut Pan
on Amazon, with the intent of making some kind of healthy donuts this fall instead of the fried, sugary ones that present themselves at every turn each fall. After resisting bags and bags of donuts at Eastern Market two Saturdays in a row,   I decided today was the day. Unfortunately, I was short a couple of ingredients, but my husband decided to make my pregnancy dreams come true. I wasn’t going to make him find the gluten-free section for flour, so these are regular floury vegan donuts. Next time I’ll try gluten-free so I can make them even healthier.

These were easy and turned out great. I just googled “vegan pumpkin donuts” and found my way to Vegenista, which had posted the recipe originally from blogger Bad Mama Genny. Both blogs look great!

Because my donut pan is a mini donut pan, I wasn’t sure how long to bake them. I tried 8 minutes — the time posted for the recipes on the pan’s packaging — but they weren’t done yet. So, I did the full 12 minutes listed on this recipe and it was perfect. I iced some of them and put coconut sugar or cinnamon-sugar on the rest.

These came out great! A really fast and easy recipe, sweetened with maple syrup and moistened with pumpkin and banana. I’ll definitely be making these again.

Ingredients
• 2 c. flour
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
• 1/3 c. oil (I used sunflower)
• 6 Tbsp. maple syrup
• 1 banana, well-mashed
• 1 c. pumpkin puree
• 2 Tbsp. almond or other non-dairy milk

Icing
• 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 4 Tbsp. almond milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients.

2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate large bowl.

3. Add dry to wet ingredients slowly, mixing along the way.

4. Now it’s time to add them to your oiled donut pan. I wasn’t sure where to begin, so I went with my old stand-by for whenever I need to fill something. I spooned the dough into a large Ziploc bag, snipped off of a corner and piped it into the donut pan.

5. Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees. They remove easier from the pan if you let them cool first, but really it wasn’t hard when they were warm. Drizzle with icing (feel free to add sprinkles, chopped nuts, etc. at this point too if you like) or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar right out of the oven (I found it stuck better to the bottoms).

 

Forks Over Knives Cheesy Baked Ziti

I’ve been preaching about Forks Over Knives since I saw it in theaters years ago, follow them on Facebook, read all the articles. I’ve seen it in action. I know a man — for whom money is no object and could afford any medical treatment he needs — who eliminated his hereditary heart disease and cholesterol issues by following a fat-free, vegan diet like Forks Over Knives advises. (His ‘bible’ was  “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the docs behind Forks Over Knives.)

Forks Over Knives isn’t necessarily fat-free — there are nuts in many recipes including this one, but can usually be easily omitted. One thing it (and others, such as the Happy Herbivore series and Fat Free Vegan) has taught me is that you don’t need to use oil nearly as much as you have been. For example, to start this recipe you saute onion and garlic — but in a little bit of water instead of oil. Most recipes can be done this well (it certainly helps if you have nonstick pans).

I finally sprang for the cookbook a few weeks ago and am glad I finally cracked into it. There are tons of recipes on the FOK website too, so no need to buy the cookbook if you don’t have it.

This recipe was really easy and my whole family loved it — 10-year-old recovering picky eater included. I baked this in a 2-quart glass dish instead of a 9 x 13 pan as recommended. I’m not sure it made much of a difference, but it was kind of overflowing a bit. Because the pasta portion was thicker (vs. being more spread out in a 9 x 13) I took the end of a spoon and “poked” holes throughout the dish after I poured the cheese sauce on so it could seep down a little. Again, not sure if this was necessary, but it came out cheesy and delicious. And we only made it through not quite half of the dish, so there are plenty of leftovers. Expect more out of the Forks Over Knives book. It’s kind of amazing that health can taste this good.

Serves 6
Ingredients
• 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (I bought some. I think dried would be fine though)
• 28 0z. can diced tomatoes (I got plain, but basil/garlic/Italian herb,etc would be great)
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 lb. whole grain pasta (I went with gluten-free brown rice pasta)
• 1 recipe FOK No-Cheese Sauce, below

No-Cheese Sauce
• 1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
• 3 Tbsp. cashews, toasted, optional
• 1 Tbsp. tahini, optional
• 1 c. nutritional yeast
• salt to taste

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta in salted water until just al dente or a little undercooked (it will finish in the oven).

2. Make N0-Cheese Sauce. Combine all ingredients in high-powered blender in order listed and puree until smooth, adding 1/4-1/2 c. water as needed to get blending going and reach desired consistency. Puree until smooth.

3. Place diced onion in a large saucepan and saute over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until the onion starts to brown, adding 1-2 Tbsp. water when needed to keep onion from sticking.

4. Add garlic and oregano and cook for one minute.

5. Add diced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for about five minutes.

6. Drain the noodles and add to the tomato mixture. Mix well and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.

7. Pour No-Cheese Sauce over top and bake at 375, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. (My acorn squash was still finishing up at 400, so this cooked at 400 for the first 15 minutes or so. Worked out just fine!)

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Brown Sugar

It’s always a good season for squash, I think, but right now they’re everywhere. I made this easy side dish to go along with a new main dish tonight (more on that later). I make this for clients all the time but have never made it for my own family! I think it was C’s first time eating squash in quite a while — I remember the last time it certainly wasn’t her favorite but her taste buds seem to finally be coming around to all the veggies I’m shoving her way these days! D LOVED it. Definitely a winner for him.

It roasts for more than an hour in the oven, so you have to make sure you have time to occupy the oven for that long, but it’s so easy — prep time is about 5 minutes.

Ingredients
• acorn squash (1/2 to 1 per person depending on the size)
• butter (1/2 Tbsp. per half — I used Earth Balance vegan sticks)
• maple syrup (1 tsp. per half)
• brown sugar (1 Tbsp. per half)

1. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place in a 9 x 13 or other glass dish face up, with about 1/4″ to 1/2″ of water in the bottom of the pan.

2. Melt butter and coat inside and top rim of squash halves. A pastry brush works the best here, but you can work with what you’ve got.

3. Sprinkle 1 packed Tbsp. of brown sugar in each half.

4. Drizzle 1 tsp. of maple syrup into each half.

5. Roast at 400 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes or until squash is soft and tops are a little brown.

It is easiest to dig right into your acorn half with a spoon. Enjoy!