Mini Apple Pies (for Pi Day!)

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Pie for pi day!

I halved a chowhound recipe to make just enough dough for two small pies + extra dough for cutouts to decorate the top with (using a cookie cutter).

Pie crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • lemon zest, optional

Instructions: Combine flour, salt, and sugar, (and lemon zest if using) in food processor and pulse a few times. Add in butter and pulse again until butter is about pea-sized. Remove blade from food processor. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water and mix using spoon. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of ice water, if necessary for dough to come together– try not to add more than you really need.

 

Filling:

  • Two apples, diced: one Granny Smith, one red one (for a balance of sweet and tart)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or regular sugar if that’s all you have)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger

Instructions: Melt butter in pan on medium, then add diced apples to pan. Add salt, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices. Continue to cook until apples are soft. Remove from heat and let cool in the fridge.

 

Pie:

Roll out pie dough and then place into small pie pans– or just into circles to make a galette if you don’t have small pie pans. Add cooled filling, and then top with some more rolled out pie dough. You can make fun shapes here, or just do something standard/boring, it doesn’t matter because either way it will be delicious. Allow to cool/firm up in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pies until dough is crispy and golden brown.

Lentils and Chickpeas with Vegan Chorizo

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This is great on top of white rice for dinner, or with an egg for breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup soy chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Sautee onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add chorizo and cook another few minutes, until slightly browned. Add lentils and chickpeas, then cook another few minutes. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings if anything seems off.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

vegan mac

Recipe adapted from here, here, and here
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups water (!! measure this out, it’s actually important this time!)
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • boiled vegetables from above
  • remaining water from the veggie pot (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for about half a day
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound pasta
Instructions:
  1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add in the sweet potato and onion. Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until everything is soft and can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate pot, start boiling the water for the pasta. Cook 16 oz. of your favorite pasta, according to directions. Drain and transfer pasta back to pot.
  3. Start making the cheese sauce. Spoon out the boiled vegetables and transfer them to a blender. Add in the remaining boiled water from that pot. Be careful, it’s very hot! Add in rest of the ingredients for the cheese sauce. Blend it up and be sure to let heat out or else it can explode.
  4. Taste test and add in extra salt or pepper, if desired.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Mix until well combined.

Vegan Pizza + Vegan Parmesan

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Make-ahead pizza dough:

Yields: 2 lb. dough: enough for 8 cracker-thin crusts, 4 Neapolitan-style crusts, or 1 Sicilian-style crust plus some leftover

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dry yeast (fast-rising or active dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 19 oz. (4-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Optional: wheat flour and/or cornmeal (see notes below)

Directions:

Pour the water into a 3-quart bowl or large, lidded plastic food container. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the oil, salt, yeast, and sugar. Don’t worry about dissolving all of the ingredients; just stir well to combine. Don’t bother “proofing” the yeast, either—it shouldn’t fail if used before its expiration date.

Add the flour and mix until uniformly moist. The dough will be quite wet; no kneading is necessary. (Personally, I used 3 3/4 cups AP flour, 1/4 cup wheat flour, and 1/4 cup cornmeal in my dough- and I really liked the resulting texture.)

Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap or partially cover the plastic container (leave the lid open a crack to let gases escape). Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature. The dough will fully expand and may even begin to collapse within this time.

Do not punch down this dough—it will collapse on its own and later shrink while it chills in the refrigerator; it will never regain its height, and that’s OK.

Refrigerate the dough, loosely covered, for at least 3 hours before using.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. After 2 days, tightly cover the dough in its bowl with plastic wrap to keep the surface of the dough from drying out. You can also freeze the dough in well-wrapped 1/2-lb. balls for up to 3 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Variations
  • Whole-wheat dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) whole-wheat flour for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 2 Tbs. additional water.
  • Cornmeal dough variation: Substitute 5 oz. (1 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal for the same weight of unbleached all-purpose flour, and add 1 Tbs. additional olive oil.

Pizza: 

Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees. Gather any toppings you would like, including sautéed veggies, fresh veggies, sauce, pesto, marinara, cheese, etc. (I used thinly-sliced potatoes, vegetarian sausage, and sundried tomatoes, pesto, marinara, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and basil.)

Roll out dough- I made 4 large-ish personal pizzas. Keep dough from sticking with a dusting made from a combination of flour and cornmeal.

Place doughs on pans (ideally, ones with holes in the bottom to allow dough to get crispy, but really whatever works) and pre-bake for about 5 minutes– until it’s not sticky anymore.

Add sauce/ toppings (keeping it light so it doesn’t weigh down dough) and bake until dough is golden brown– about 10-15 minutes.

Bonus Vegan Parmesan Recipe

This is the best fake-cheese ever. It tastes nutty like real parmesan, and only takes about 3 minutes to make. But you need a food processor or blender, and probably a trip to Whole Foods for the nutritional yeast.
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
 
Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.

Lentil-Chickpea Burgers

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Recipe adapted from here

Note: SO  GOOD.

Ingredients:
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1/4 medium yellow or white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 cups cooked green or brown lentils
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas (or canned)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (or whatever you have- I used instant steel cut oats)
  • Handful fresh parsley leaves, optional (not shown in pictures)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce, sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs, such as oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • Vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
  • Burger extras: buns, avocado, tomato, BBQ sauce, red onion, etc
Instructions:
  1. Cut carrot and onion into chunks and add to food processor with garlic.
  2. Add to the food processor: towel-dried lentils and chickpeas, eggs, oats, handful of herbs (optional), all of the spices, salt and black pepper. Process only until the mixture has the consistency of a chunky hummus (err on the conservative side here). Add some cornmeal and/or flour to the mix if it seems too wet to form into patties.
  3. To prepare the burgers: Divide the lentil mixture into 6 portions and shape them into patties about 1-inch thick. Dust the patties lightly with flour/cornmeal on both sides.
  4. To cook the burgers: Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, cook the veggie burgers in batches. Cook until the burgers are crispy on the bottoms and the mixture holds together, about 4½ to 5 minutes. Flip the burgers carefully with a spatula and continue cooking until the second sides are firm and brown, about 4½ to 5 more minutes. Transfer the burgers to a plate, then add more oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining burgers until they are all cooked through.

Lentil Tacos

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Recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 package (about 1 ounce) taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 8 taco shells
  • toppings: salsa, avocado, sour cream (I used lactose-free plain yogurt)

Preparation

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic and salt until onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lentils and taco seasoning. Cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover lentils and mix in yogurt/ sour cream.  Cook uncovered until mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Mash with a rubber spatula. Spoon 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Add toppings.

Coconut-Curry Fish With Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant

Simple, delicious, and easy to make! But all the photos turned out really ugly.
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 3/4 pound eggplant, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (12 ounces total), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 sprig basil, plus leaves for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless cod, bass, or halibut fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • Steamed rice, sliced Thai chiles, and lime wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Stir together coconut milk, curry paste, and eggplant in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes and basil sprig; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, until potatoes are almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

  2. Generously season fish with salt and nestle into skillet until partially submerged. Cook, partially covered, gently shaking skillet a few times, until just cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove basil sprig. Serve with rice, topped with basil leaves, chiles, and lime wedges.