Vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes, your next party touchdown

So we’re doing something different this year in the Chubby Vegan abode. Last year, both Chubby Vegan dad and I did a fantasy football league, but they weren’t together and he was far more serious than I was. This year, we’ve started a couples fantasy football league amongst our friends and while it just started, I have a feeling it’s going to be quite the ride. 

 

For those of you not consumed by football or interested in it merely because you want to beat all your favorite couple friends, last night was the opening game of football season.

Seattle and Green Bay faced off, which mean my running back, kicker and defensive special team were all playing. Needless to say I ended up with some pretty sweet points.

And not only were my fantasy points sweet, the vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes I made to celebrate the beginning of football season surpassed that.

Let me repeat that one more time: vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes.

VEGAN. MAPLE. BUTTER. BACON. CUPCAKES.

Yeah, don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really sure if I actually like football, or if I just like an excuse to bake delicious treats, partake in some pumpkin adult beverages and get together with friends.

Needless to say these bad boys were a hit.

And just in face you’re not a football fan either, I give you full permission to makes these cupcakes JUST BECAUSE. (Not that you need permission. Or a reason. JUST DO IT!)

Vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes
(makes one dozen)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Frosting ingredients:
1 stick vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 TBS vanilla coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
(You can add a few drops of food coloring if you want, we purchase ours from a nearby natural parenting store, it’s locally made, natural and vegan)

Candied ‘bacon’ bits: 

1 ounce Bac’Uns (vegan bacon bits)

2 TBS pure maple syrup

2 TBS brown sugar

sprinkle of cinnamon

Cupcake directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in almond milk and applesauce. Add vanilla and maple extract. Stir in softened vegan butter and maple syrup. Whip with hand or stand mixer on high for two minutes. Pour into cupcake wrappers and fill a little over half full. Bake for 20 minutes. 

While the cupcakes are baking, in a small skillet on medium heat, saute the vegan bacon bits, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir frequently and cook for three to four minutes. The mixture will be gooey and smokey smelling.

Frosting Directions:
Soften the vegan butter (soften, not melt) and then in a medium bowl, mix butter, vanilla coconut milk and extract. Blend in powdered sugar with a hand mixer. Stick in the fridge to thicken up for an hour. 

Once the cupcakes have cooled, either spread or pipe on the frosting. Top with the candied bacon bits. Listen to everyone rave about how delicious they are! 

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Kickstart your fall with this vegan lasagna soup!

In case you haven’t heard of it, September is the Vegan Month of Food! For the last three years I’ve participated in it and it has been a blast. Unforunately this year, because of vacation, softball, work, home life, it just wasn’t in the cards for me to sign up and give it my all.

But fear not — I’ve still got some killer recipes headed your way that I’ve been holding onto for a while. I kicked it off with a killer recipe for vegan maple butter bacon cupcakes, which, you might want to run out and make now if you haven’t already. Because they’re that good.

This week I’m going to let you in on my latest secret — vegan lasagna soup. You may not know this about me, but I’m a fan of making soups out of complicated casseroles and dinners. What can I say? I adore lasagna, but all that layering, saucing and noodling just makes me go bonkers. So after having a lasagna craving for the last few weeks, I decided it was time to address it.

And because fall is just a week away, this might just be the perfect hearty soup to help you welcome it’s perfect temperatures, hoodies, leggings and cute boots with open arms (Warning: I’m pro-leggings. As long as you’ve got something to long on top to cover those unseemly lines, I say rock the leggings like pants all ya want. And I do).

This soup is super delicious. And hearty. And so so so filling. And I promise you’ll want to make it again. And again. And maybe again.

Vegan lasagna soup
(serves 8-10)
Ingredients:
1/2 box (or 8 ounces) of your favorite pasta
1 LARGE (we’re talking the 28oz variety) can of diced tomatoes
1 24-oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or your own homemade recipe, whatever floats your boat)
2 cups white sauce (see recipe below)
1 package of Gimme Lean vegan sausage
1 8-oz package of mushrooms (white or baby bella, whatevs)
1 large sweet onion, diced up
1 small bag frozen carrots (cut in coins)
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 big can (46 oz) vegetable juice, we opt for the low sodium variety
1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (we used Daiya)
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1 TBS minced garlic
Splash of olive oil for sauteing

White sauce ingredients & instructions:
2 TBS vegan butter
4 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups plain almond milk

Melt vegan butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once it’s melted, stir in all purpose flour. Whisk until it makes a runny paste. Whisk in plain almond milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and then lower heat to a simmer and stir, for three to four minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Prepare first and set aside.

Soup instructions:
In a large pot, bring vegetable juice to a boil. Add pasta and reduce to medium heat, stirring consistently so the pasta doesn’t stick. Add carrots. Tear Gimme Lean vegan sausage into small chunks and add to pasta and vegetable juice. Try to keep your hands damp as it helps to keep sausage from sticking to you.

In a large skillet, saute kale and garlic in a little olive oil on medium heat for five-seven minutes. Add mushrooms and cook another five minutes. Add entire contents of this skillet into soup mixture. Take your white sauce and add it to the soup mixture along with spaghetti sauce. Add diced onion and Italian seasoning. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in one cup of Daiya vegan cheese. Cook for another five minutes and you’re DONE!

You can «garnish» this soup with more Daiya shreds, vegan parm or vegan ricotta (Tofutti makes a pretty solid one!), or serve all by it’s lonesome and prepare to have your socks rocked.

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Vegan butterscotch coconut thumbprint cookies

Happy FIRST day of FALL!

Little factoid about me? Fall is hands down my absolute favoritst time of year. SO much my favorite that I actually make up words to describe how utterly fantabulous it is. (It’s OK if I make up words, I was an English major, so when we graduate we receive a card that allows us to do this).

No but for reals, we’re all giddy with excitement for the changing colors, the fall smells, the bonfires, football games with friends, haunted hayrides and pumpkin-infused everything!

But before we bust out all things pumpkin, which, well, we’ve done a lot around here, I’ve got one fabulous cookie up my sleeve that says farewell to summer and all of its awesomeness, while welcoming fall with a warm bear hug.

Now there’s one trick about this recipe. In order to give it the shazam it needs, you’re going to have to hop on the internet and buy something you may not have bought in a very, very long time. Vegan butterscotch chips. Yes, they exist, yes they’re worth the $5 price tag for a 10-ounce jar. Don’t overthink it. I usually order these with a bit batch of stuff from VeganEssentials when getting all my Christmas Cookie needs (yes, I do that in like, September. I’m prepared!)

The butterscotch is essential in this recipe as it plays off the subtle coconut notes and then gives in to a chocolate drizzle in the most perfect way EVER. Seriously, you’re so welcome for this awesome little cookie.

Vegan butterscotch coconut thumbprint cookies 
(Makes 24 smallish, but oh-so-good cookies)
Ingredients: 
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
10-ounce jar vegan butterscotch chips

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened vegan butter, sugar and applesauce. Add salt, baking powder and coconut flakes. Stir in flour. Roll cookie dough into one-inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Squish them down a little bit and make an indent in the middle with your thumb (they should still be about 1/2 inch thick or a little less when you are done with them, don’t squish them flat!) Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges turn golden. 

Allow to cool on a rack. Once cookies are cool, melt the vegan butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on small increments, taking out and stirring frequently (you don’t want to overcook them!) Using a small spoon (or a baby one if you have it handy!), smooth melted butterscoth chips into the cookies’ indentations. Allow to cool. 

To give these cookies some serious pizzazz, melt vegan chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (the same way you did the butterscotch chips). Spoon melted chocolate into a ziplock bag and cut a small tip off one corner. Squeeze chocolate over cookie in a zigzag pattern. 

Enjoy. Share. Impress. Hug fall. These cookies do it all. (I also use my English degree to rhyme). 

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Gilligan’s coconut curry soup, straight off the island: Throwback Thursdays

Well friends, this isn’t my usual early post. Life happened and my Thursday was absolutely swamped.

But never fear, we had a delicious dinner inspired by a very, very popular throwback show: Gilligan’s Island!

While I wasn’t exactly an avid fan of the show myself, I know it was a big hit and and I know the gist of what it was about. Adults, stranded on an island, with goofy ole Gilligan bumbling stuff up at least once an episode. While they never officially made it off the island in the television series, there were made-for-tv movies which got the group off the island, only to wind back on it again, off again and eventually they turn it into a resort and call it home.

This coconut curry soup we made is probably something they’d serve at the resort. It’s got an awesome, mild flavor thanks to the yellow curry and the veggies and rice make this a filling soup for dinner!

Gilligan’s coconut curry soup
(Serves four)
Ingredients:
1 regular-sized can full-fat coconut milk (you want the creaminess, don’t skimp out for fewer calories)
2 cans of veggie broth
1 cup water
1 8oz bag of shredded carrots (you could use coined or just whole carrots, I had shredded in the fridge)
2 red bell peppers
1 medium onion
1/2 a head of broccoli
1/2 a head of cauliflower
1 cup cooked brown rice
3 yellow curry bouillon cubes (we used Edward & Sons)
Sprinkle of salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
In a stock pot, cook coconut milk, veggie broth and water on medium high heat. In a small saucepan, boil your carrots until they’re super soft (about 15-20 minutes for shredded carrots), set these aside. In another saucepan, cook brown rice. Once warm, stir in three yellow curry bouillon cubes. Dice up all your other veggies (pepper, onion, broccoli, cauliflower) and toss it in the liquid. Continue to cook on medium heat. Stir in rice once it’s done. Take your boiled carrots and puree them in a food processor. Stir this into the soup, it’ll help give it some thickness. Sprinkle in pepper and salt to taste.

Serve with a splash of hot sauce if you want to get really wild and crazy!

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Veganizing Melrose Place, sliders style: Trashy Tuesday

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog here and there, you’ll know that we got rid of our cable a year ago. Now, I’m forced lucky enough to fill my occasional downtime with reruns of shows Netflix has in its line-up; ones I watched in my childhood, when I was supposed to be sleeping.

One of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures: Melrose Place.

Don’t worry, folks. Despite the fact that I was only seven years old when the show first aired, I had absolutely know idea what the hell I was watching. After rewatching the first few seasons on Netflix, I realized how utterly naive and innocent I was as a child. All the sexual tension and innuendos were lost on my pre-tween mind. I just watched it because I wasn’t supposed to … and because the cast from 90210 (another show that completely went over my head) appeared on it.

Another thing I missed out on the first time around while watching Melrose Place was how much time the cast spent at Shooters. It’s some kind of bar and grill, with pool tables, high tops and lots of beer. Occasionally though, when the cast makes it out in the daytime, we get to see them actually eat food there. And the food they always prefer? Burgers and fries.

Ah, crazy Melrose Place kids, you can sleep with everyone under the sun and swap partners like it’s the era of free love and peace, but you can’t ever eat anything not on a bun or fried?

So instead of doing a traditional burger and fries, I decided to spice it up some (because that’s one thing Melrose wasn’t lacking — spice) and make an updated version of Shooter’s burger and fries.

And thus, the Jalo-peen-yo business sliders and house chips were born. (I know that’s not how you spell jalapeno, FYI, I was trying to be funny and do a play on words, pronounce it likes this: All-up-in-yo. Giggle.

Jalo-peen-yo business sliders and house chips
(Makes 12 sliders and enough chips for four)
Slider Ingredients:
One cup lentils (once you cook them, they double, so it’ll end up being like two cups)
1 package of Lightlife «sausage» (it comes in a tube, it helps bind and bring a little extra flavor)
1 wedge of Daiya Havarti jalapeno garlic cheese
1 bulb of fresh garlic, diced (yep, the whole thing folks, at least you’ll be vampire free!)
6 fresh jalapenos, diced (you can alter this some to your tastes, six was just the right spicy for us)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 TB hamburger seasoning

House chips Ingredients:
3 parsnips, thinly coined
2 carrots, thinly coined
Olive oil (enough to drizzle on chips)
Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Cook one cup of lentils for 20 minutes, mash up. Knead in sausage. Cube Daiya into quarter-inch pieces (this will melt as you fold it in). Smoosh together. After dicing up your garlic, jalapeno and onion, smoosh these into the mix. Add seasoning. Refrigerate for an hour.

While the «burger» mix is setting up, we can get our «chips» ready. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thinly coin your parsnips and carrots, the thinner the better. (Ours were a little bit thicker than a nickel, so if you can achieve something thinner you might want to bake for less time).

Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, take out, turn them over or «fluff» them up and then bake another 20 minutes, until you see them curling up slightly with crispy edges. You can take these out and let them cool.

We made our sliders a little bigger than our buns, so we rolled them out to about hackey sack size. Once you smoosh them down you want them to be about half-an-inch thick. Cook them in a saute pan with a light coating of olive oil on medium to medium-high heat for three-five minutes on each side. These burgers will form a crispy outside and a cheesier, gooier inside, the perfect combo!

Share with your friends, or, just keep them all to yourself and pretend they’re better for you because they’re smaller and have lentils in them.

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Let your crock pot do the work: Vegan cheesy garlic bread

A few months ago I made my first batch of vegan monkey bread ever. Actually, I made my first batch of monkey bread ever  (vegan or not).

It was basically by luck that I stumbled across accidentally vegan refrigerated biscuit mix, but because I don’t   like to rely on those types of things I decided to try a dinner version of monkey bread with my own dough mix.

And because I’ve got a lot of crock pot soups and dinners in your future, I figured it’d be rude not to provide you with this uber delicious vegan cheesy garlic pull apart bread … courtesy of your crock pot.

So this recipe CAN be done if you can get your hands on three small canisters of vegan refrigerated biscuit dough, but if you’ve got some extra time, just give this homemade version a whirl.

Vegan Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread
(serves 6-8)
Ingredients:
3.5 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cup almond milk
1 stick vegan butter (any kind will do)
2 TBS minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup vegan parmesan (I used Galaxy Foods Vegan Sprinkles)
1 TBS Italian seasoning

Directions:
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in vegetable shortening until the mixture is coarse crumbles. Stir in milk and knead for three to five minutes. Roll into 1/2 inch thick dough and then using a cookie cutter or knife, break off 50-cent sized pieces of dough. Coat your crock pot with cooking spray and then align the pieces along your crock pot. My crock pot is a biggie, so I don’t really have to layer very many of these pieces. If you do, it’s not a big deal, just add 30-60 minutes to your cooking time.

Once the pieces are layered, take a stick of butter and melt it in your microwave. Add the minced garlic into melted butter and pour over your dough mixture in the crock pot. Top with parmesan cheese (feel free to add more or less to taste) and Italian seasoning.

Cook on high for three hours or until the edges and top of the bread is golden brown. (It took my crock pot about two hours and 45 minutes, but a friend who has a smaller one needed almost four hours).

Celebrating pumpkin awesomeness this Fab Five Friday

I’m not sure if fall is my favorite season because of the cooler temperatures, the ability to wear hoodies and your most comfortable pear of jeans, the pretty leaves or the pumpkin flavored everything.

From homemade pumpkin lattes and pumpkin pie oatmeal to pumpkin spice cinnamon buns and pumpkin macaroni and cheese, there has been no shortage of crazy delicious pumpkin recipes churning out of my kitchen.

Except, apparently, there has.

After perusing through fellow Veganmofoers’ blogs, I stumbled across two more pumpkin recipes that never even crossed my pumpkin-obsessed mind.

Over at Fo Reals Mom, she’s been busy professing her love to pumpkin goodies and fall weather as well. In addition to professing her love, she also was kind enough to provide a recipe for Pumpkin gnocchi with spicy  pepita pesto. Holy moly I can only say it certainly looks as good as it sounds. This might be one of those savory pumpkin recipes I just have to try for myself. Because seriously, can you ever go wrong with gnocchi?

And after I eat a heap of that pumpkin gnocchi, I figure it’s only fair to follow up dinner with a pumpkin dessert as well. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I have yet to actually make a successful vegan rice crispy treat. I should probably divulge that it has less to do with them being vegan and more to do with my inability to follow a recipe. But TahiniToo’s Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats just might be enough to persuade me into trying to make these sticky, but oh-so-delicious squares one more time.

Once I fall into a sugar coma, I’ll probably need some ridiculously tasty muffins to wake me up from it. Have I mentioned lately my addiction to muffins. They’re like the marriage of something sweet but something that «sounds» like it’s good for you. (Definitely note the quote marks). Kirsten’s Kitchen’s fruit explosion muffins are no exception to this rule. They look absolutely amazing. And with all that fruit jam-packed in (see what I did there?) how can they not be at least a little bit good for you?

After I drooled over all these pumpkin and fruit dishes, I stumbled across Colorado Vegan’s Freestyle Edamame Dip. My little girl Pearyn is basically obsessed with all things edamame, so I can hardly wait to try this out as a sandwich spread for her preschool lunches. Not to mention it wouldn’t hurt me to eat a few more green veggies/protein anyhow.

And since I included something remotely healthy in this round-up, I figured it would only be right to move onto a dessert again. Not only was I basically in love with the name of this blog, but the pictures of Veg*n Amuse Bouche’s Ponche Cupcakes left me with the urge to run out and buy all of the ingredients needed to make these. I’m not sure what Ponche means, but it has something to do with utterly delicious orange and cinnamon together, so it can’t be wrong.

With less than a week left of VeganMofo 2012, I can’t help but wonder what the rest of you have in store for the remaining days.

Tune in here for more crock pot recipes, I’ll be rounding out with dessert ones, not to mention I’ll be announcing the winner of my free crock pot giveaway!

Vegan crack potato casserole a la crock pot

If you were to search the term «crack potatoes» on say Pinterest, you’d be overwhelmed with a copious amount of crazy delicious looking potato casserole dishes. We’re talking potatoes every style, from roasted to mashed to hashed, smothered in layers of sometimes cheese, meats and other cholesterol-ridden items.

Lucky for the cruelty-free folk, crack potato casserole is oh so easy to veganize now that Daiya has blessed us with wedges.

So for my very first recipe of VeganMofo 2012, I decided to kick things off with a really cheesy, really decadent, perfect for Sunday morning when you just don’t care how many calories are in your crack potato casserole.

The best part about this recipe? You just pop it in the crock pot and call it day, seriously, it’s that easy. This is one recipe that requires very, very little supervision (which is kind of essential when it comes to being the work-from-home mom of a toddler with another one on the way in December).

Vegan Crack Potato Casserole
(Serves 8-10)
Ingredients:
2 lb bag of frozen potato variety of your choosing (I opted for hash brown)
1 12 oz container of salsa (I say splurge on the fresh variety with extra cilantro)
1 Daiya jalopeno garlic wedge (go all out and use the WHOLE thing)
1 container or 12 oz sour cream (vegan, of course, Tofutti is my go-to)
1/2 cup plain almond milk
1 garlic glove minced

Directions:

Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or butter (vegan of course) and dump your frozen potatoes in your crock pot.Turn it up on high. Stir in sour cream, salsa and garlic. While it sits, grab your Daiya wedge and cut into thin, thin slices (like really thing rectangles).

Slice thin rectangles into tiny strips. (I wouldn’t advise using a shredder for Daiya wedges as they’re really soft and creamy, you’ll get more buildup than it’s worth. Also, use the wedge, it’s way creamier and makes for a more gooeyfied casserole as opposed to the shreds). Stir in the entire cut-up wedge. Pour the milk over the potatoes and place the lid on your crock pot.

Let it sit for two hours.

Take a peek at it (let the smell invade your house), stir to make sure there’s nothing too crunchy on the sides and splash a little more almond milk on top if it looks dry (but it really, really shouldn’t). Turn on low and let it cook for one more hour with the lid off. Website maintenance and support.

Pair with your favorite vegan breakfast item, like a pudding pancake or some pumpkin bread (since it is fall after all) or just completely stuff your face with this. Either way, it’s going to become your favorite guilty breakfast item yet.

Slow cooker applesauce, a side dish you don’t want to miss

My husband and I grew up quite differently.

He lived in the middle of nowhere, in a town where the closest McDonalds was 45 minutes away (seriously, that’s what qualifies as middle of nowhere), on enough land that has family maintained a small farm for their own goods.

He had foods straight out of his ground and apple pie and applesauce straight from a tree.

I, on the other hand, have lived within 10 minutes of at least three McDonalds my whole life.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I was on an actual farm and my apple pies usually consisted of the drive-thru McDonalds variety (don’t lie, they WERE delicious) and my applesauce from good ole-fashioned Motts.

To be honest, I didn’t understand why on Earth someone would want to make their own applesauce. It seemed like an awful lot of work to go through cooking the apples, spicing them right and smashing them all up (I picture the grape stomping scene from «I Love Lucy») all by yourself to just have applesauce at the end of it. Now to bake a homemade apple pie, well I would have grown the apples myself.

And then, my slow cooking VeganMofo theme happened and I decided it was time to simplify the whole applesauce making. Thanks to my Crock Pot and my stick blender I’m ready to admit it.

I’m a homemade applesauce conformist.

This recipe is seriously so easy and so much fun to doctor to your own tastes, I have a feeling you’ll wonder what took you so long to leave the applesauce on the shelf.

Slow cooker applesauce
(serves 8-10)
Ingredients:
8 large apples (if you have to ask yourself if they’re large enough, they’re probably more medium.), try to ignore the stigma of «eating» vs «cooking» apple here. We’re going to throw them in a pot and cook them forever, get wild. I used two honeycrisp, two jonagold, two gala and two fujis.
2 TBS butter (I know, it’s weird, it’s not normally in «applesauce,» but I feel like homemade applesauce should be eaten warm and what better way to enjoy it than with a few pads of butter?)
1/4 cup almond milk (this mixed with the butter allows the apples to not stick and burn anywhere)

2 TBS brown sugar (just to add a bit of sweetness)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
Juice from one lemon

*Side note: This can be successfully made using just apples and a little lemon juice, just make sure to grease up the crock pot before hand. Being the Chubby Vegan Mom I had to take applesauce and try to make it taste like pie*

Directions:
Peel and chop up all the apples into quarter-size pieces. (The smaller you make them the shorter the cooking time).

Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice out (be careful not to drop lemon seeds in there!). Quick tip, to get the lemon juice all flowing, before cutting the lemon just roll it on the counter a few times with your hand, applying slight pressure. When it starts to get squishier the juice will come out easier.

Add in your butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Stir around and make sure all the apples are coated. Add brown sugar and cinnamon powder.

Cook on high for three hours, stirring  3-4 times to keep the apples cooking evenly.

After three hours, take your stick blender (we got ours at a second-hand store for $5, woot!) and pulverize the apple chunks until they reach your desired consistency (we like it pureed). You could also do this by hand (it would result in slightly chunkier sauce or in your blender, which would seriously mix it).

Serve with a little brown sugar on top if you’ve got a sweet tooth like me or for a splash of color and something fun, add some broken cinnamon candies into the sauce and stir. You can keep this stuff in the fridge for two weeks (although it probably won’t last that long) or you can freeze it in separate containers to use for baking or just one-time serving needs!

Seriously, if you can peel an apple, you can make homemade applesauce. Trust me.

Week three VeganMofo Fab Five Friday

Something incredibly odd happened this week.

While I perused through page after page of drool-worthy photos, I found myself craving more savory dishes than sweet! (Can we just go ahead and chalk that up to a pregnancy craving?)

I’m so blown away by what everyone is coming up with, half of the recipes I came by I had to do a double take because they didn’t even LOOK vegan!

So with two months left to carry around this growing child, apparently I’m going to need a lot of savory vegan food, who wants to come over and cook for me?

For starters, I think my husband would love me more if I made Baker Bettie’s Vegan Cheddar Ale Soup. I’m not even kidding about this folks. I seriously think he would award me the «Wife of the Year» award if I made this soup just ONCE. Between his love of ales and my love of cheddary soups, I’m pretty sure if I ever find myself in the dog house I can quickly get my exit if I whip up a batch of this stuff.

And if that’s not homey, curl up on the couch enough for you, then the vegan corn beef on rye at Inspired Vegan Eats will probably fit the bill. I seriously stared at this photo for at least five minutes trying to figure out how on earth it could be vegan. I thought I was in Heaven when I figured out how to make my own seitan, but I’m pretty sure that we’ll be making this recipe at least 1,000 times before St. Patricks Day even rolls around.

And just because I’m not completely devoid of ingesting something sugar-filled, I can’t help but mention the Jolly Fox’s Vegan Apple Sour Cream Pie. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty confident in my vegan apple pie. It’s the first pie I learned to truly make from scratch and I’m damn proud of the lattice crust I can whip up for it. But I have never, ever even thought about adding some sour cream to it for a different flavor profile, and now I can’t stop thinking about how much richer it will make it.

Now that we’ve tackled a fabulous compilation of comfort food, I challenge everyone to take a peek at North Vancouver Vegan’s Baked Vegan Schnitzel. Between the (genius) tahini batter to the crushed pretzel «breading» this vegan spin on a traditional German meal had my wishing I was sitting in her kitchen. Not to mention the awesome-looking asparagus with a really simple, but delicious looking cream sauce on top. Talk about a 30 minute taste of Europe!

The last dish that caught my eye this week was the allergy-friendly pesto from Mary Alice Nests (how cute is that name?). I have yet to actually try making my own pesto, although I know many a vegan swear by it, but I’m a sucker for a delicious basil-based sauce on top a bed of rotini. Um, yum. And I have a feeling I’ll be following her suggesting and trying this on a pizza as well, because it looks to good not to!

What were some of your favorites this week? I’m having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that VeganMofo2012 is more than halfway over.

Speaking of over, have you entered to win my super awesome free crock pot yet? Do it, do it!