Sunday, September 29, 2013

Creamy, Vegan Potato Leek Soup, Crock-Pot Style

My grandmother gave me a bundle of freshly harvested leeks today.  She has a beautiful garden and needs help eating her harvested goodies. :)   Tonight I made Matt and I vegan, creamy potato leek soup in the crock-pot. 
What is a leek??  
A leek is part of the onion and garlic family.  It looks like a very large green onion and has the same light green-onion taste.  The edible part of the leek is the white up to the light green part of the bulb.  You can eat the green tops, but they are very fibrous and tougher to eat.   I dice my leeks into 1/4 inch sections and saute in a pan, or cook them in a soup. 

If you want to make this comforting fall soup, 
you will need:
4 leeks
4 medium red potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
32 ounces of organic veggie stock
1 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
 optional: bread bowls

Chop the leeks and potatoes, then throw them in the crock-pot.
 Drizzle in the olive oil.
Add the salt, pepper, and bay leaf. 
Look at how cute and tiny my new sea salt shaker is...
Pour in 32 ounces of organic vegetable stock, and turn the crock-pot on low.  Let this cook for about five hours. 
After five hours...
Whisk the flour and soy milk in a small bowl.  The flour will thicken the soup to give it a creamier texture. 
 Add the soy milk and flour mixture to the soup,
Then mix it in with a large spoon.  Let this cook for 20 minutes. 
 After 20 minutes of cooking the soy milk/flour mix, add the freshly chopped parsley.  Let this cook in the crock-pot for the last 10 minutes.
I highly recommend using a bread bowl.  It makes this such a comforting meal.
Enjoy.  This soup tastes best on a cold, fall or winter night.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

How To Make: Easy Artisan Dutch Oven Bread

I always thought Artisan bread was very difficult to make.  Boy, was I wrong!  Let me show you how to make easy artisan bread, dutch oven style.
You will need:
  • 1 tsp. fast acting yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 Cups flour (The flour I used: 2 cups bread flour, 1 cup high altitude flour)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
Mix together the yeast and warm water.  Let this sit until the yeast has dissolved.   
Pour in the flour and salt.
Slowly mix these ingredients until it forms a ball.
I like to let my bread rise in a clean bowl, greased with olive oil.
Place the ball of dough in your clean, greased bowl.
Cover and let the dough rise for about 8-10 hours.
Mince rosemary and garlic.  This is optional, but I highly recommend this step.
Put your dutch oven in a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven.  Let the dutch oven heat up for about 15 minutes.
 Take the rising dough out and place it on a floured surface.  Carefully fold in the rosemary and garlic.  Don't knead. 

Be careful to take the dutch oven out.  Use a pastry brush to spread olive oil in the pan and on the top of the dough.  

Place the dough in the dutch oven and cover.   Cook at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes. 
Take the bread out of the oven.  You will know it's done when it's golden-brown, and you tap on the bread and the crust doesn't bounce back.   
let the artisan bread cool for about 10-15 minutes.  It will be much easier to slice. 
This loaf of artisan bread was so fluffy on the inside with a hard crispy crust.  Matt said it was better than the bread at our local bakery, and that's saying a lot! 
The next loaf I make, I think I will add apples and walnuts.
I can't wait!! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fat-Free Two-Ingredient Kettle Corn

This kettle corn is ridiculously easy and delicious.  
What you will need:
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt   
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Air popper for popping the corn

The freshest popcorn kernels make the best popcorn.  The kernels that I used today are grown and packaged in my hometown.  I buy from Orson GyGi

Step one:
Turn on your air popper and pour in the kernels.  

Place a large bowl below the spout of the air popper.  If your bowl is too small, the popcorn will go all over the place (I know from experience). :) 
 Step two: 
Drizzle agave nectar and grind sea salt over the hot popcorn, then shake the bowl to mix the two ingredients.  You want every piece of popcorn to have agave nectar and salt on it. 
Step three: 
Put part of the popcorn in a smaller bowl and devour.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vegan Pear, Plum, and Apple Crisp

What a perfect crisp fall evening to make a vegan dessert with pears, plums, and apples.  This is my favorite time of year.  
I have so much fruit that is ready to be eaten.  I decided to combine them all in one easy pear, plum, and apple crisp. This is a super-fast and easy vegan dessert.      


  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 pears
  • 3 plums
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance spread 
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt to bring out the flavor
  • Juice of half a lime
 Wash your fruit.
 Peel, core and slice the apples and pears.
Slice the plums.  No need to peel them. 
Add the prepared fruit to a greased cast iron pan and squeeze 1/2 a lime over the fruit.  The lime prevents the apples from browning.
In a medium-sized bowl add: 
brown sugar, flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and Earth Balance spread.  
Use a fork to mash the ingredients together.  
Keep mixing until it becomes a chunky, moist texture.
Sprinkle the mixed ingredients over the the fruit.  Make sure to cover the whole pan. 
 Cook in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. 
Take the dessert out of the oven and let cool for about five minutes.  
Serve and indulge.
I love my whipped cream.  You can make your own vegan whipped cream by whipping together coconut cream and lime juice.  It makes the best whipped cream ever!!
 Beware, you will want to eat the whole pan! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Apple Cider Frosting

It's becoming fall and this is the time of year that I love to bake!  
I had a friend from work give me a super easy recipe for pumpkin cake.  I looked at the recipe and modified it to make healthier, vegan cupcakes. 
This is what I used:
For the cake:
one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
one box of white cake mix
two teaspoons cinnamon
one teaspoon nutmeg
one cup vegan chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecans (chopped)
1 tub of vegan Tofutti cream cheese (room temp.)
2 cups powdered sugar
squeeze of a fresh lime
one packet of Instant Spiced Apple Cider
Pinch of salt to bring out the flavors

Get the cream cheese for your frosting out of the fridge and set it aside.  It takes a while to become room temperature. 

Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir together until there are no clumps in the batter.
Add the chocolate chips and pecans.  
Fold the chocolate chips and nuts into the mix with a spoon.
Quick tip I learned over the years: 
spray the cupcake liners with Pam.  The cupcakes won't stick to the liners and you won't loose part of your cupcake to the paper.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are golden-brown and cooked all the way through. 
Let your muffins cool before frosting.  While the muffins are cooling, make this super easy cream cheese apple cider frosting.
Add the room temp. cream cheese, apple cider packet and powdered sugar and blend.  This will be thin and more like a glaze than a frosting.  Add the lime juice, 1/4 cup pecans, and salt to taste.   Spread over your cooled cupcakes.  
Make sure to share.  Everyone will enjoy these amazing fall cupcakes!