Quick and Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Yummy yummy yummy I have Fruit Crisp in my tummy!


….apparently I’m 5 years old. Anyways I thought I’d share the recipe for this easy vegan Fruit Crisp that I made on Vegan Bites this week, because it’s so incredibly simple. I usually eyeball these crisps because I’m lazy and because they are quite forgiving, but below you’ll find a general guideline for making your very own Fruit Crisp.

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This recipe serves 2. You can easily double, triple, or quadrupole it, depending on how many people you’re feeding or how hungry you are.

I used peaches, but you can use whatever tickles your pickle or whatever fruit happens to be spoiling around your house. Frozen fruit works well, too.

I suggest using almond or oat flour. This makes it gluten-free if you care and delicious regardless of if you care. If you don’t have these flours, you can use all purpose.

This tastes amaze with non-dairy or ice cream or whipped cream. DO IT.

Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Fruit Crisp

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes, but need at least 1 hour to freeze
Servings: 2, easily doubled

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fruit (I used peaches today, frozen berries are also fab)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar -1/2 tablespoon lemon juice -3/4 cup oats -1/4 cup flour (I recommend almond or oat, AP is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup brown or coconut sugar (regular will also be okay)
  • 1/4 cup softened non-dairy butter
  • cinnamon
  • dash salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Chop fruit into even pieces, add lemon juice, sugar, and toss. Place in well-greased baking pan.
  3. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix. Cube softened butter and mix in.
  4. Cover fruit with oat mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is tender and top is crispy.
  5. Serve with non-dairy ice cream or coconut whipped cream!

Weekend Eats Recap: November 20-23rd, NYC

So I’ve never done one of these posts before, where I recap what I ate for a few days. A lot of bloggers do it every day, or post weekly updates on every meal they ate that week. Personally I love to read these and I have no idea why. Why is it so darn interesting what someone you don’t even know in real life ate for a week or a day? I don’t know. Maybe because you can get inspired for new ideas based on something they ate? Or inspired to try a new restaurant or cuisine? I do not have the answer to such questions, but I thought I would try out the whole what-I-ate thing once on this blog and see how it went.

my old stomping grounds !

my old stomping grounds ! #nyu

So heres what I ate from the evening of Thursday, November 20th-Sunday November 23rd while I was back home in good old NYC. Per usual, I ate a lot. I eat constantly. This might be why I’ve never done one of these posts before. I snack so often that I forget to take pics of like 80% of what I eat (yes, all my obnoxious food-instagramming is only a tiny portion of my actual overall food consumption). Anyways, here are my eats for those 3 days in photos and words. Honestly everything I had was great. And it made me excited and eager and anxious to return! NYC, I’ll be back soon ;-). In the meantime, here are my EATS:

Thursday, November 20th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • 2 slices Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Raisin Bread (THE BEST bread EVER – has replaced my Ezikel habit…seriously try it; it’s softer and more delicious, and it’s local to my hometown, Milwaukee, although it is available at Whole Foods nationwide) + almond butter and a sliced banana. I also had coffee with soy creamer and chamomile tea on my way to work.

Snack:

  • a sliced pear with cinnamon and almond butter

Lunch:

  • Leftover spaghetti squash marinara, small salad, veggie burger on more Angelic Bakery bread with sriracha, and a big old glass of almond-coconut milk (trying to use things up before leaving for the weekend).

Snack on the plane from MKE–> NYC:

  • half a Kashi peanut butter bar, an apple, a banana, half an almond butter sandwich on more Angelic Bakery bread (#addicted)

Dinner:

  • Beyond Sushi takeout. I landed late at night (like 9:00pm) and got dropped off at the 14th street location to pick up sushi for my friend and I. I had the November Roll of the month, which had Sweet Persimmons, Roasted allspice Turnips, grilled Heriocot Verts, and was topped with Seaweed Salad. It wasn’t my favorite roll of the month (that would go to the one they had in August), but it was delicious none-the-less and fun to try Persimmons, which I’ve been meaning to give a whirl for a while. I also had my go-to favorite roll. The Sweet Tree, with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Alfafa sprouts, and 6-grain rice. AMAZING AS ALWAYS. I love you so much, Beyond Sushi.
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November Roll of the Month

The Sweet Tree Roll

The Sweet Tree Roll

Snack:

  • Remaining half of Kashi bar + a few bites of chocolate, after which I face-planted into a pillow and slept!

Friday, November 21th, 2014:

I woke up early and although I usually immediately eat and drink coffee, I was sleeping at a friends and didn’t have a kitchen to use. I had a meeting in Brooklyn at 10 and decided to take a train from Union Square and swing by the Farmer’s market on the way. I ended up grabbing stuff at Whole Foods, cause I saw it as a one-stop place for coffee and food and was running short on time.

Breakfast:

  • Coffee with soy milk, a big-old whole-wheat NYC bagel with peanut butter, and a giant organic Gala apple which was one of the best apples I’ve had in a while. I had to eat this breakfast on the train because I was so low on time, and I felt super obnoxious being that person. I figured it would be no biggie but the train ended up being SUPER packed, but my blood sugar was super low so I wallowed in a corner and ate my apple and half my bagel. Once I could see/think/again, the train was at the Wall Street stop, and like 90% of the people got off. And then I had a whole train car basically to myself to eat the remaining half of my bagel in peace. Lol. #alittlelate

Lunch:

  • After running around Brookyln and back to Manhattan and meeting a friend for coffee quickly, I ended up not eating until around 3 pm, by which time, I happened to be near the Union Square Whole Foods again. I was so hungry and grumpy and indecisive of what to eat, and I remembered I had a $50 Whole Foods giftcard on me so I opted to hit the EPIC Whole Foods hot/cold food bar for lunch. It was perfect because I had no idea what I was in the mood for and the millions of options could all end up in my bowl together. This is my favorite way to eat. Buffet styles are the best, cause I like to try EVERYTHING. I spent $12 on my mixture of salads and grain salads and tofu dishes and falafel chunks and dumplings. I also grabbed a sprouted roll and 3 Mast Brother’s bars and an unsweetened iced tea to use up my $50 giftcard. #freelunch sort of. #winning. I ate upstairs overlooking the park and charged my phone and sat down for a while and people watched. It ended up being perfect.
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this + a million other things at Whole Foods. YUM.

Snack:

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Snack #2:

  • A mini cupcake from Magnolia Bakery (they have minis now !!!)

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Dinner:

  • I met two of my favorite people/friends Joanna and Cassie for dinner at Peacefood, a vegan restaurant in the village. It was late, I had walked 15 miles that day according to my iPhone tracker, and I was HUNGRY. Like, I needed a sandwich hungry. I ordered the Vegan Cheeseburger with Cashew Cheese, Avocado, Caramelized Onions, Sprouts, Tomato, Lettuce, and some drippy delicious sauce. I inhaled it.
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Vegan Cheeseburger at Peacefood NYC. SO GOOD.

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best sandwich of my life. i inhaled it. 

  • We had dessert at Peacefood, too. Strawberry Shortcake and a giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich exploding with frosting. The 3 of us split these two. SO GOOD.

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Saturday, November 22th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • Shocking fact (not): I ended up leaving my purse at Peacefood, so I headed back in that direction early the next morning. The nearest subway station is Union Square, so I ended up, once again, grabbing some food there. I had the BEST Vegan Blueberry Muffin like, ever and another organic Gala Apple (it was just too good the day before). I have to recreate those muffins. I think they used spelt flour, and I think that did the trick. I ate that on my way to pick up purse and visited a friend who works at an East Village coffee shop, where I got some free coffee with soy milk and some free granola with soymilk. Yummies.

Snack:

  • banana purchased at a bodega #nyc and half a Kashi peanut butter bar

Lunch:

  • I ended up NEEDING food when I was at Dominque Ansel with friends later that day so I ordered real food there, which I’ve never done before. I had a delicious salad with Endive, Sprouts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pear, Caramelized Pecans, and a Truffle Vinaigrette. The salad was delicious and the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and caramelized nuts were so flavorful that I, thankfully, didn’t need that vinaigrette. Which was nice, because to me, that dressing had a very strong flavor, and was a bit too much for me. I like truffle, but only in small amounts. I found the dressing a bit overpowering, but enjoyed the salad nonetheless.
Salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

  • I also had a DKA from Dominique Ansel:
DKA!

DKA!

  • And took a selfie while eating lunch with Dominique in the background. I’m really creepy. Whatever. I idolize him.

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Dinner:

  • I met up with another amazing friend for dinner. We ended up at Peacefood again, which was honestly fine by me. The dinner was early and I’d eaten lunch and a pastry a few hours earlier, so I wanted something lighter. I ordered the Asian Greens Salad with Jicima, Tempeh, Carrots, Greens, and some delicious Peanut Ginger dressing. I’ve ordered this salad many times, and it’s always fresh, flavorful, and light-yet satisfying. It’s still my favorite salad there…minus perhaps when they have the Protein packed Kale Salad on the specials menu.

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  • I wasn’t going to get dessert cause I had just had some, but then my friend ordered carrot cake and I ended up eating half of it because it was so fucking good. (Sorry Olivia…) Great meal, great conversation, great friend. 🙂
  • In other news, Amanda Seyfried (aka Karen from Mean Girls) was dining near us. I tried snapping one creeper pic as I sat down, but it was blurry and I felt rude attempting again, and was also soon distracted by food.

Bedtime Snack:

  • remaining half of Kashi peanut butter bar, more chocolate

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • I grabbed some trendy pour-over coffee (with soy milk) at a hipster-y coffee place with my friend Cassie, and ate a banana and an apple and half another Vegan Blueberry Muffin to fuel me up for the day.

Lunch:

  • I met my friend Minhye for lunch at Chelsea Market. I tried to talk myself into eating something “different” but desperately wanted Beyond Sushi again. So I got it. I got a Mighy Mushroom Wrap and another Sweet Tree Roll. I’m not usually into mushrooms, but this wrap is honestly amazing. I get it without the mushroom-y sauce on top and ask for an extra hot sauce. It’s literally so good I almost cried eating it. It was randomly VERY nice out so we ate outside upstairs on The Highline. It was awesome.
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Beyond Sushi on The Highline

  • And went for a stroll. The Highline Park is now fully open, and totally awesome. WALK IT!

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Snack at the Airport:

  • Plane delays = grumpy/hungry me. I had a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with soy milk, a whole-wheat bagel with vegan spread, and highly overpriced apple and banana. #airportfood. I also ended up eating an Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Bar and a Cashew Cookie Larabar that I found in my backpack. I love finding food in my backpack. What a win. I also had some tea and a mini bag of mini pretzels on the plane.

Snack at Home:

  • I got home around 11:30 and needed a second dinner before showering and going to bed. I ate a bunch of veggies with dip and crackers and another veggie burger with an Angelic Bakery whole-wheat wrap and hot sauce/ketchup and chopped lettuce. I then downed a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and some almond coconut milk and called it a night.
my helper.

my helper.

So that’s it. All my eats last weekend. Lots of fruit and granola bars and carbs and veggies. Like 90% vegan. Pretty standard to my typical eating, but also more eating out than usual. In case you care, which you probably don’t. But it was kind of fun to recap it. Maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe not. That’s sort of the fun of having your own blog. You can experiment. I wonder if anyone is still reading. Doubtful. If you are, leave a comment below and I’ll send you a special surprise. Lol. Have a good day!!

xoxo,

K-Bakes

Blackberry Fruit Dumplings

The Fruit Dumplings from East Side Ovens are things of beauty. It’s this little pocket that sort of looks like a rounded out star / mini hand pie, filled with delicious, sweet, fruity goo in the most perfect flakey crust. It’s what dreams are made of.

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East Side Ovens sells them in local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. They don’t advertise themselves as being vegan at farmer’s markets, but after stumpling into a sampling promotion at the Health Hut last month, I learned that all of their products are totally dairy free! #win. I wonder why they don’t advertise this way at markets. My guess is so that people who aren’t particularly open-minded about vegan baked goods don’t automatically skip over their delicious goodies. Which I’m sure, sadly, a lot of people would. But no one does! These babies sell like HOT CAKES every place they’re available. Which is awesome for the little local business, and proves that if people aren’t told any different, many don’t even know they’re eating something vegan when secretly they are. #tricky

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Last Monday I was having a good day, even after work. I was in a happy pants mood and wanted to celebrate so I popped on into Health Hut to celebrate. Because I reward myself with health-food grocery shopping because it’s like my favorite hobby. I know, right? I’m the coolest and most exciting human you’ve ever met.

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I bought these cherry dumplings from East Side Ovens while I was at the Health Hut. They also have really good rhubarb ones. And many other kids. But last Monday, all Health Hut had was cherry. And cherry is one of my top 5 favorite fruits of all times. So cherry it was!

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I brought them home and ate one that night. I saved one for Tuesday and looked forward to it allllll afternoon while I was working. I could not wait to get home and make coffee and have my cherry dumpling. So I got home from work and got my coffee going and put my dumpling on the counter. Then I went upstairs to pee and get my phone charger. Five minutes later I return downstairs. And like, certainly more than half of my fruit dumpling had mysteriously vanished. I’m not pointing any fingers but I’m 100% certain it was Pita. OOF.

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I was sad, but still savored what was left of my little dumpling. Actually, in retrospect, I’m lucky she didn’t eat the whole thing. And like honestly, if she did, I couldn’t have blamed her. They’re just so yummy. Perfect combo of crunchy/flakey crust, gooey sweet fruity filling, and sweet crunchy frosting glaze white stuff. Heavenly. I made her promise we return the the Health Hut soon to get more and just to go gawk at the Health Hut because it’s so beautiful and has so many fine, healthy, delicious food products. Wow I love grocery shopping. I really need a social life.

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Anyways, this event also sparked me to want to make my own fruit dumplings, so on Sunday Funday I gave it a whirl and whipped up these babies. I used blackberries, because we had leftover frozen blackberries in the freezer from when I made these wonderful wonderful Blackberry Cornmeal Pancakes (seriously, make them). You can use whatever berry or fruit you’d like. Frozen berries worked really well in this dish, as you cook ’em down anyways.

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The end result was much like the Fruit Dumpling experience from East Side Ovens, with a few differences: you still get the crunchy meets gooey/fruity/sweet. Except these are a little less, puffy, I guess you could say. Next time I’m going to try layering the dough to make it puffier and flakier. We’ll see. These are more like a crispy tart. Still wonderful and delicious in its own right, just a slightly different crust texture than the OG. But cooking is all about making things your own anyways! So next time you want something delicious that will fill your heart and soul with joy and your kitchen with wonderful wafts of fruity pies, whip up a couple of these babies. Not only do they sort of look like stars, they taste like them, too. 😉 #cheesy #corny #gowithit

xoxo, kbakes !

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Easy

Makes 2 small fruit pies [serves 2]

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 1/4 cup cold coconut oil or non-dairy spread such as Earth Balance
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cups cold water

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (or any berries/fruit!)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanila extract

Ingredients – Glaze:

  • Either drizzle 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt (that’s what I did)
    • OR combine 1/4 cup nondairy spread at room temperature (such as Earth balance) with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar using a hand mixture or kitchen aid mixture until well-combined. Add almond milk and/or more powdered sugar as needed until desired consistency is reached

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor, combine whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse until mixed well. Cut up coconut oil or non-dairy spread into pieces, sprinkle into the food processor, and continue pulsing until well slightly combined. Add 1/4 cup cold water and pulse until a loose crumbly dough begins to form. If needed, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3.  Removed dough from food processor and form into a ball. Wrap or place in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.

4. Meanwhile, combine blackberries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the fruit mixture is the consistency of a loose jelly.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut in half. Roll each half into a thin circle.

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6. Place half of fruit mixture in the center of each circle of dough.

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7. Fold over one edge of the circle like an envelope so that the crust covers about 1/4 inch of the fruit, but the majority is still in the center. From the top of this fold, fold over the two sides diagonally to make an obtuse angle covering the right and left corner of the top fold.

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8. Repeat at the bottom; this time fold the dough inwards so that the center is exposed but the edges are framing the fruit. Press down dough to seal any potential points of leakage (such as the edges) as necessary.

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9. Repeat with second circle. Place dumplings onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 22-30 minutes until the crust has browned and the bottom easily releases from parchment paper if you try to peak at/lift up a corner. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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10. If desired, add as much or as little glaze or icing as you’d like. Enjoy ! 🙂 I used coconut yogurt, but if you want to make a vegan buttercream, simple combine 1/4 cup non-dairy vegetable spread with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar using a hand mixture or kitchen aid mixture until well-combined. Add almond milk and/or more powdered sugar as needed until desired consistency is reached. Decorate to your heart’s content.

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Bow Ties with Pears, Spinach, Walnuts, & Cherries in Rosemary Garlic Sauce

[Disclosure:] “By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Once upon a time I went out to dinner in New York with my friend Michelle. She really wanted a hearty bowl of pasta and we were both too tired to travel far, so after some yelping, we ended up at this adorable Italian restaurant a few blocks from my apartment called Spina. It was candlelight and had a charming server with an accent and for reasons beyond my explanation we were the only two at the restaurant. This has never happened to me anywhere, let alone New York City. It would have been totally romantic if it was a date. But instead we cracked terrible jokes and girl chatted and probably audibly burped a lot.

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Anyways, I got this one ravioli dish that was had handmade ravoili stuffed with some sweet pear filling and covered in rosemary sauce. I almost didn’t order it, but as if the server read my mind when I was debating about it aloud, he said (in an Italian accent): “Miss, if you are worried about the dish being too sweet, do not worry. It is not. It is perfect.”

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I looked back up into his beautiful eyes, and ordered in blind faith. He was absolutely correct. I still think about it all that ravioli all the time. It was one of those dishes so unusual you just want to keep eating it. So I did. I finished it all. I was so full I didn’t even want to get dessert after (!!).

Anywho, this is one prime example of pasta being what dreams are made of. I love me some good pasta. Nothing will ever be as good as my grandma’s (I will share my closest recipe to hers at some future time), but in the meantime, there are plenty of other creative ways to play with pasta.

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There’s also this misconception that pasta is an auto-fail for being healthy. This is false. In Italy, it’s often a small portion, served with salad and other vegetables, either incorporated into the pasta or on the side. And pasta is full of energy-providing carbohydrates and has a solid amount of plant-based protein (extra points if you use whole wheat varieties!). So when enjoyed with veggies, or in this case fruits AND veggies, pasta is certainly part of a healthy meal. It’s also cheap and filling, which is a double win for pretty much everyone. Carbs are wonderful, aren’t they? You all probably know my favorite hashtag already: #carbs5ever

This dish was inspired by the one I had in New York. It would also be really great with linguine noodles. I just had bowties on hand and bowties are fun. Anyways, it’s a relatively light, sweet, intriguing pasta dish with fruits AND veggies. The pears and cherries are intriguing and sweet, and the rosemary sauce provides a balancing bite. The spinach adds color, umami flavors, and a boatload of nutrients, while the walnuts provide protein, omega-3s, and crunch. It’s also vegan, so it appeals to those with dietary preferences and dairy intolerances. The mash up of different flavors and textures makes this pasta dish fun and interesting to just. keep. eating.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Level: easy

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta (I used bowties)
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 1/4 cup almond, soy, or regular milk
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary, dried or fresh
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup crushed or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Bring 6 cups water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

2. Mince garlic. In a sauté pan, add enough olive oil to cover the bottle of the pan and warm over medium heat. Add minced garlic and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

3. Slowly add almond milk and rosemary, and increase to medium-high heat. Allow the sauce to cook down and thicken, until about 1/3 its original volume. Add salt and pepper, more to taste if desired.

4. Thinly slice pear. Place pear slices into simmering sauce and cook until pears are tender, about 4 minutes.

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5. Add spinach and cooked pasta to the pan and toss with a spoon or tongs until pasta is coated with sauce. Spinach should wilt slightly in the process. Top with crushed walnuts and dried cherries, and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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 6. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin-Apple Spice Fruit Roll-Ups !

Another beautiful fall day = another reason to put fall flavors in EVERYTHING. Fall is my favorite flavor season. I practically live for squashes and sweet potatoes and root vegetables of all sorts so when they are at their peak of bounty and freshness I am basically a full-grown kid in a vegetable-candy store. Do you know what else I love almost as much as fall veggies? Apples. Which also happen to gracefully be at their freshness peak in fall. C’mon now – one bite of any fresh fall apple and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Fall apples just taste different. Aka fresher. More like the orchard. Juicier. Tangier. Sweeter. More magical. Fresher. All at once. They are perfect.

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So let’s hear it for fall produce. #gofiber. But you know what else is wonderful about fall? PIE SEASON. To quote my sister, “pie fixes everything,” and in our family we believe that all life moments are pie-appropriate. However, in the fall, they seem to pop up more on menus and in homes, particularly those that follow the fall-flavor theme. Pumpkin and apple are regular Thanksgiving favs, and all-year-round favorites for me.

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So why not – when presented with a dehydrator theme for September for The Recipe Redux – combine all the flavors of apple and pumpkin into a yummy, portable snack that’s junk free and nutritious? And thus, Pumpkin-Apple Spice Fruit Roll Ups were born. Inspired by pie, made healthy and delicious by nature/you and your oven. These are easy as, well, pie, but a great way to give you a glucose boost in the afternoon without making you feel sluggish and icky. They’re perfect study or hiking snacks and make magnificent adorable additions to lunchboxes. What they lack in flourescent color, they make up for in flavor. You won’t regret making these, I promise.

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{A side note about The Recipe Redux – the Recipe Redux is a super cool network of bloggers who make healthier, delicious recipes and submit them into contests every month based on a theme chosen by the group. It is the only recipe contest founded by registered dietitians ! I’m inspired by many of the blogs and hope you’ll creep around the links below and find some other good stuff. I personally am excited to see the other dehydrator recipes and I’m VERY thrilled to be a part of it this month and looking forward to entering in months to come!}

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Back to the roll-ups: they’re incredibly simple to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to dehydrate in your oven while they fill your entire house with magnificent spicy-sweet-pie aromas. If you can hold out for those 3 hours though, you’ve got yourself a week’s worth of delicious goodies at your fingertips. You can do it. Just remember, pie [flavored things] fix everything.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Level: easy

Ingredients:

  • 3 large apples
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

Directions:

1. Peel apples and chop into small cubes. Place in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (about 3 tablespoons) and cook until very tender, about 20-30 minutes. You could also do this in the microwave, using a microwave safe bowl and cooking increments of 2-3 minutes, checking tenderness after each increment.

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2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cool apples in the refrigerator, then place in a food processor or blender with the canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Blend until a smooth baby-food-like purée.

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3. Line a baking sheet with a sil-pat or parchment paper. Pour apple-pumpkin mixture over the baking sheet and using a spatula, spread mixture to make a thin, even coat covering the pan.

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4. Place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours, until the fruit-roll ups look leathery, putty-like and have darkened a bit. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Use a kitchen shears or sharp paring knife to cut into strips or rolls. If you want to make roll-ups with the traditional peel-off wrapper component and everything, place first transfer the whole fruit leather from the sil-pat onto a clean sheet of wax paper, then cut into one-inch strips with a kitchen sheers. Roll up and place in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy~!

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Impromptu Summer Kale Salad with Cherries, Walnuts, Sweet Potatoes, & White Nectarines

Call me a basic bitch, but I really enjoy kale salads.

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I know, I know. So cliché. Just eatin’ ma raw superfoods! *insert hand flipping emoji girl here* But truth be told, there is something I really like about kale salads. And it’s honestly the only way I’ll eat kale. For some reason, when it’s cooked it makes me really uncomfortable. I feel like it’s tougher and gets slimy. This is just my opinion and if you disagree, I can respect your affection for cooked kale. But for me, it’s about the #raw the kale salad, which is not only trendy, but also tasty. [So trendy, in fact, while I was writing this post and eating my salad, it popped up on my mini-feed that my friend Caty blogged a kale salad simultaneously over on the east coast. you go Caty. You eat that kale].

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My favorite kale salad has kale, sunflower seeds, diced apples, sweet potato cubes, and goat cheese with a lemon vinaigrette. Today I didn’t have apples or goat cheese or lemons and am very low on sunflower seeds. So I did some improve with some seasonal goodies. And it turned out delicious! I’ll post my other kale salad recipe another time. But this one screams summer and I’m a huge fan of using seasonal produce so for now it’s goin up first.

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A lot of people like dried fruit in salads. Personally I’m all about the fresh fruit in salads. To me, it just feels more appropriate to have fresh fruit with my fresh vegetables and I think the fresh fruit adds juiceness and crunch that dried does not. That said, this recipe would also be great with dried cherries, especially in the winter. But as cherries are in season and happen to be among my top 3 favourite fruits, today they will go in my salad. Especially when it’s kale. The sweet/tart juicy cherries and nectarines just contrast nicely with the slightly bitter and tough kale. Speaking of fruit, I did a slightly sweeter play on my traditional lemon vinaigrette with orange juice. I dug it. I thought it worked nicely with the fresh fruit. Go fruit. Go vegetables. All hail kale. etc.

Ingredients: [serves one, can easily be doubled/tripled]

  • 2 cups raw kale
  • 1 white (or regular) nectarine
  • 1/3 cup cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts

For vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • salt to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cube sweet potato and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until cubes are tender. If you’re feeling lazy or impatient or hungry (which usually all occur simultaneously in my case), cube the sweet potato and microwave for about 4 minutes, until the cubes are tender.

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2. Dice nectarines, and de-pit and dice cherries.

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3. Wash and chop kale and place in a bowl. Add fruit and sweet potato cubes. Top with nuts.

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4. In a small dish, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk with fork. Drizzle over your salad and enjoy a zillion delicious nutrients.

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Fudgy Vegan Double Chocolate Muffins – with a Surprise Ingredient [Watermelon!]

I like chocolately muffins. I like to dip them in almond or soy milk, or mash them up into Greek Yogurt. It makes a great substitute for a froyo creation when I’m too lazy to seek it out. I kind of like those VitaTop muffin things. The chocolate ones. But they’re expensive and I tend to only buy them when they are on sale at Target. So that’s a bummer. But I can get by.

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In addition to chocolate muffins, I also like the challenge of vegan baking. I always have. No, I’m not currently vegan. I am, however, a vegetarian of f 13+ years and recently have been progressing towards a more plant based diet.  Lately I’ve just been more and more into earthy stuff and the challenge of creating things with stuff straight from motha nature (also this book doe…). Now I know that baked goods aren’t something you’d typically pick off a tree, but I really genuinely do enjoy vegan baking sometimes. Buttercream is a beautiful thing and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’m a bitch for ice cream, but there’s something to be said about vegan baked goods. Sometimes, without all the mingling flavors of eggs and butter and other stuff, I believe you can actually taste the flavors more intensely. In fact, some of the most pure tasting and flavorful ice creams/gelatos and pasteries I’ve had have coincidentally be vegan. So be open minded, friends. And open mouthed.

These muffins, like a lot of other vegan baked goods, are rly fudgey and intensely chocolatey. Both great things.

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I’ve seen a lot of vegan baking recipes that use applesauce to add sweetness and texture to baked goods. This is a great trick. I do it all the time. And I almost did for these muffins. But then I also realized I had a boatload of watermelon which I happened to be snacking on while I started baking. So I decided to experiment with pureeing some up and using it instead of applesauce in my recipe. Why? Why the hell not. It’s nutritious and delicious just like applesauce added some natural sweetness and tons of moisture and a springy bite to the muffins.

Do these taste like watermelon? No. Not really. They mostly just tasted really chocolately. That’s not the point though. The point is that I like to experiment and this substitution happened to work splendidly. It also has inspired me to play around with baking with watermelon. Perhaps I will actually try to use it as a flavoring agent in a future baking project. Anyways, happy eating.

[Ps – there’s a half marathon recap after dis recipe.]

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup coca powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk (can use regular if not going for vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup pureed watermelon
  • 1 + 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (double check for non-dairy if you’re vegan, or don’t if you don’t care)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar and set aside for at least 10-15 minutes. This will allow it to curdle. It’s like DIY buttermilk. It will provide leavening and acidity to the final product.

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3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.


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4. Use a food processor or blender to puree a cup of cubed watermelon.

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5. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add one cup chocolate chips.

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7. Line a muffin tin (tray? whatever) with 12 muffin cup things. Spoon batter into each. It may help to use an ice cream scoop for this. Trust me here it’ll change your life.

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8. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup (or more) chocolate chips all over the top of the muffins.

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9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, clean bowl with spatula via your mouth. Your dog may park herself in front of the oven and watch you do this.

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10. Cool completely and eat. These taste better cold. I would recommend storing them in the fridge. They taste fudgier that way.  And/or mashed up into Greek Yogurt.

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