Vegan Pear & Cranberry Galette

Pear&Cranberry-1.jpg

Christmas is by far my most favorite holiday.  It’s a holiday that gives you permission to indulge and dive right in to your favorite holiday cookies, cakes, and pies. Tis the season! No regrets! I decided for myself at least, to take a different approach.  So, I made this Vegan Pear & Cranberry Galette with a whole grain crust and sweetened with coconut sugar.

As much as I love sugar, these days I’ve been redefining what my sugar intake should be.  As I get older, I’m noticing my body is not processing/digesting sugar the way it used to.  And that’s fine!  Although I eat a largely plant based diet, I tend to over indulge in snacks that often contain refined sugars (store bought graham crackers, for example).   Excessive bloating occurs, even if I am getting it in at the gym.

So, I’m re-shifting starting with this delicious galette, that is faintly sweet, but bursting with flavor from the tangy cranberries and juicy pears.  It’s full of fiber, loaded with Vitamin C and will look awesome on your holiday table. 

Happy Holidays!!

Pear&Cranberry-3.jpg

Vegan Pear & Cranberry Galette//1-9-inch galette, serves 8

dessert galette pastry
adapted from Fine Cooking
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) vegan butter
2/3 cup ice water

filling
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 lbs. pears, ripe but not too soft, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of choice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup almond flour

In a large bowl or food processor, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the chilled butter until the butter is evenly distributed, but still large, visible pieces.  Add the ice water all at once to the flour and butter.  Mix the dough until it begins to come together.  Gather the dough with your hands and shape into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Roll out the dough into a circle approximately 12-inches in diameter.  The rolled-out dough does not have to be perfect.  Slide the dough into a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.  Combine the cranberries, pears, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flour in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon almond flour over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border.  Place the fruit filling over the almond flour.  Begin to fold the borders up around the fruit.  Dot the fruit filling with additional vegan butter. (This will give the galette filling a nice glossy sheen). 

Transfer the galette to the oven and bake until the crust is golden, and the fruit is tender and bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stew w/ Whole Wheat Potato Rolls

turkey stew.jpg

This After Thanksgiving Turkey Stew is plain and simple requiring minimal ingredients: leftover turkey, canned tomatoes, sweet potato, green beans and fresh herbs.  If you’re anything like me, I’m usually over Thanksgiving food by day two.  By this time, I’ve either cut up and frozen the remaining turkey or if the mood hits me, I’ll make this Turkey Stew.  It came together rather quickly, which is much needed after laboring over the stove preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner.  The Whole Wheat Potato Rolls were leftovers from Thanksgiving and added another level of excitement to the mix.  I’ve been eyeballing this recipe from B. Smith’s cookbook for awhile, but I needed the perfect time and inspiration to make them.  They came out tender, soft and moist.  The perfect accompaniment to the Turkey Stew.

You can use what ever you have on hand to make the stew.  I already had cooked sweet potato and I used frozen green beans.  If you’ve gone a little overboard with Thanksgiving dinner (mac and cheese, stuffing, potato salad, pie and so on), this stew is clean eating at its best.  Add quinoa or brown rice for extra fiber if you’d like.  Serve in soup bowls and use the bread to dip up the yummy tomato broth.

Enjoy!

turkey stew-exposurefixed.jpg

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stew w/ Whole Wheat Potato Rolls//makes 4 servings

turkey stew
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 ½ cups green beans, fresh or frozen
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

In a 2-qt sauce pan, sauté onion and garlic over medium high heat until translucent.  Add diced turkey, sweet potato, rosemary, thyme and the stock.  Bring to simmer.  While simmering, add the green beans.  Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once done, ladle soup in individual soup bowls.  Serve immediately. 

Note: If using frozen green beans, add the last 5 minutes of cooking to avoid over cooking the green beans.

whole wheat potato rolls//makes 12 rolls
adapted from B. Smith’s Entertaining and Cooking for Friends

1 large potato (12 ounces), peeled and cubed
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2/3 cup milk, warmed (105 to 115 F)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cook the potato in boiling water salted water until tender.  Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, and mash the potato well.  Set aside.

Cool the reserved potato cooking liquid to between 105° and 115° F.  Then stir the yeast and the sugar into the liquid and let the mixture stand until it is frothy (about 10 minutes).  Meanwhile, stir the flours and salt together in a large bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast mixture, warm milk, eggs, melted butter, and mashed potato.  Add 3 cups of the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes, until very smooth.  Gradually add more of the flour mixture to form a dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gradually knead in the remaining flour.  Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth.  It should be soft but not stick. If necessary add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and turn it over once to coat the top with grease.  Cover the bowl loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Grease 12 large muffin cups.  Punch the dough down and divide it into 12 pieces.  Shape them into smooth rounds and place them in the muffin cups.  Cover as before, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F.

Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna

Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna.JPG

With Thanksgiving in a mere 2 days, I decided to make my favorite go to dish, Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna, adapted from Martha Stewart Living.  I didn’t fiddle with the recipe (adding this, subtracting that) as the recipe is phenomenal as is. Creamy, decadent, and filling, this will add a nice addition to your Thanksgiving table if you’re vegetarian or you’re just not that into turkey.

This lasagna, like most lasagna recipes requires a bit of prep.  However, I really enjoy the prep as I tend to zone out so to speak.  I grab a glass of wine, turn on my fav tunes, and begin ceremoniously chopping, mashing, stirring, frying until I get to what all that was for.  The assembly line of noodles, squash, ricotta, repeat and so on.  The finale of it all of course, is a golden brown, cheesey, masterpiece that will look awesome on your holiday table, but also weekend dinners.

Once the lasagna is complete, serve alongside a nice crisp salad, and enjoy.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna//makes 8 servings
Adapted from Martha Stewart 

lasagna
3 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-pound whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
½ pound fresh mozzarella, grated, about 2 cups
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
4-oz finely grated parmesan cheese
1 package lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.

While, squash is baking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8-10 minutes.  Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. 

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Combine ricotta, heave cream, egg yolks, mozzarella, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.  Season with salt.

Pour olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add sage and cook until gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.

Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash ½ of it with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth, leaving the other ½ in whole pieces.  Alternatively, you can place ½ of the squash in your food processor and pulse until smooth.  Gently stir in the crispy sage and stock.  Season with salt and pepper.

For the assembly, spread ¾ cup of ricotta mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish or 9x13 inch rectangular baking dish.  Top with a layer of noodles.  Spread ½ of the butternut squash mixture over the noodles.  Top with a layer of noodles.  Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles.  Repeat layering (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta).  Sprinkle parmesan over ricotta mixture and top with additional mozzarella cheese. 

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes.  Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve.