Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam

I can’t believe I am posting this publicly.  This jam is our go-to gift reserved for those we love and appreciate.  It has been a hit with every recipient and a coveted gift item by many.  I can it in multiple batches and have it on the shelf with recycled bows and ribbon nearby for any impromptu gift giving moments.

It’s gorgeous in the jar.  And tasty on toast on a cold winter morning.  A family favorite for every holiday and a sure guest at the dinner table when we have company with a loaf of fresh baked bread.  So here you go, from our home to yours, a holiday gift giving sensation:  Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam.

Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam

3 c pears, crushed, peeled and cored
2/3 c dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 c unsweetened apple juice
1/4 c lemon juice
5 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pouch (3 oz) liquid pectin

Prepare canner, jars and lids (or skip this step if you are planning on freezing the jam.)

In a large pot combine all ingredients EXCEPT PECTIN (I can’t even tell you how many times I have forgotten this.)  Over high heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it cannot be stirred down.  Stir in pectin.  Boil hard stirring for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Bottle in prepared jars.  Cook in water bath canner for 10 minutes (20 in altitude) plus 5 minutes uncovered.  (Or if freezing, ladle into jars or tupperware and freeze.  That easy, just not shelf stable.)

For more detailed instructions on canning, go here:  http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

VVP: Cranberry Maple Compote

It’s that time again, bring on the VVP!
Who’s coming to the table:  The bright and beautiful cranberry.

Through the years, cranberry sauce has gotten a pretty bad wrap.  Give thanks to the trusty can o’ cran that plops out a gelatinous cylinder of cranberry goo with a nice, big “schluup.”  Great entertainment, but just not appetizing.

A couple years ago I discovered this little recipe.  No, big recipe.  It is chock full of goodness!  Made with fresh cranberries, pecans, fresh and dried fruit and the fabulous fall flavors cinnamon and nutmeg.  One taste and I was in love.

The only problem with the recipe is the large amount of sugar, especially being on an alkaline vegan diet.  So this year the cranberry compote recipe has gotten a facelift.  Welcome maple.

Cranberry Maple Compote

12 oz fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled and pureed in the blender
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 pear, peeled and diced
1 c water
1 c chopped dried fruit (mix it up and have fun!  we love dried pineapple, cherry, cranberry if you’re sticking with the theme, I think a little crystallized ginger could be good for an added kick)
1 c chopped pecans
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
maple syrup, to taste (I used 1/4 cup but my sweetness sensor is pretty low these days.  You could add anywhere from 1/4-3/4 c maple)

Bring water to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and add all other ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until the cranberries burst.  Remove from heat and let cool.

I made a double batch this time around, measured it into 1 1/2 c portions, and stored it in the freezer.  Great to pull out for the holidays.

Some other ways to use your super delish cranberry sauce:

Eat it with a spoon!
Make a parfait with your favorite plain yogurt and granola
Layer on top of crackers and vegan cream cheese for finger foods
PB+Cranberry Sandwich?  Potential…
I’m thinking a ginger graham cracker crust with vanilla bean vegan ice cream topped with cranberry sauce.  Mmmmmm.
Mix in your morning oatmeal
Use as a topping for pancakes or filling for crepes
A tart spread for a savory sandwich

So there you have it.  Cranberry Maple Compote.  Love it.

Go Back

The previous VVP dish is found in Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen here:
http://kellisvegankitchen.com/

Go Forward
Cook to Love is the blog next in the potluck.  Visit it here:
http://cooktolove.com/

Oops- sorry friends!

VVP is really in 11 hours and 20 minutes. Didn’t know we were set to military time when I scheduled it. Sorry for a triple email day! Have to keep the chain intact. :) Come back again for over 100 amazing vegan recipes tonight in the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chili

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chili

2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 bell peppers, diced (rainbow colored!)
1 jalepeno, diced (keep seeds for more heat)
1 large yam, peeled and diced
4 cups water
1 Tbl veggie bouillon
1 can tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans beans, drained and rinsed (we did 2 black and 1 kidney)
2 Tbl chili powder
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat oil in large pot with onion and saute until start to turn clear.  Add peppers, chili powder and sea salt.  When softened but not mushy  throw in garlic for 30 seconds.  Add water, sweet potato, tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, bouillon, and cinnamon.  Cook until yams are done.  Enjoy the healthy deliciousness!

Supersize me! Autumn Stuffed Banana Squash

This is one large meal where there is no guilt in supersize portions.  And it’s not primarily made of corn, unlike some *other* supersized options out there.

I’ve been dreaming of stuffed squash for the last month.  So colorful.  So flavorful.  So fun!  And with these wholesome ingredients you can’t go wrong. When we found this beauty at the farmers market, I knew the time had come.

Chopping this super size squash in half provided great entertainment for the kids, a task that proves challenging for me every time, apparently it is a talent I just may never master.  Thankfully squash is forgiving.

Autumn Stuffed Banana Squash

1 Banana Squash (or a few smaller squash of your choice), halved, seeded, and ends chopped
3-4 Tbl olive oil
3 c. cooked quinoa (I cooked mine in veggie broth)
juice of 1 lemon (add a little zest for extra flavor)
2 apples, cored and chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 c. pecans (thinking of toasting these in the skillet for a few minutes next time so they maintain more crispiness)
1 c. raisins
Sage, 1 Tbl. fresh or 1 tsp. dried
sea salt and pepper to taste
optional veggie cheese of choice to sprinkle on right before serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rub 1-2 Tbl olive oil onto flesh of halved squash.  Rub in salt and pepper (to taste).  Lay flesh down on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes (30 for smaller squash.)

While it bakes, add 2 Tbl. olive oil, onion and celery to skillet.  Cook until softened and shimmery.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.  In a large bowl toss apple with lemon juice.  Add quinoa, pecans, raisins, sage and sauteed celery and onions.

Pull the squash out of the oven, flip over and fill with quinoa stuffing.  Cover with foil and bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until flesh is soft in the center.

ETW: Fong’s Fine Chinese Dining

This photo sums up my entire post- maybe it was serendipitous that we happened to sit down at the happiness table.  It was exactly what I needed after a long, busy day that involved being on my feet for the 14 hours before I finally got to eat dinner.  I was truly famished and ready to eat anything vegan the restarant could throw at me.  These were my options: (happy day indeed!)

I went with the Buddha Supreme, add tofu, spicy and served with brown rice.  Plus many glasses of water and lemon wedges.

I devoured it!  With grace of course.  Enjoyed every delicious bite.  And left a very happy, very satisfied girl.  Two thumbs up from this hungry vegan.

Banana Pat-a-cake Bliss

Why pat-a-cakes?  Because I love playing pat-a-cake with my daughter and I LOVE these pancakes!  Not kidding, best “baked” good I’ve eaten in the last 4 months of veganism.  A perfect start to a cool fall morning.

Bonus points:  they are alkaline, gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan and just plain awesome.

Banana Pat-a-cake Bliss

1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 c coconut oil, plus more for greasing skillet

2 Tbl ground flax plus 6 Tbl. water, stir together and let sit for a few minutes
2 c unsweetened almond milk plus 2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbl maple syrup

2 over ripe bananas, mashed

Mix dry ingredients together.  If you don’t have oat flour, just throw some oats in the food processor and make your own.

If your coconut oil is in a solidified form, cut it into the dry mix.  If it’s liquified because your house is nice and warm, mix it into the wet ingredients.

Mix liquid ingredients together and combine with the dry.  Add in banana.  I like to keep some banana chunks for happy flavor bursts, so if you’re like me, don’t mix the batter too well, just until combined.

Heat skillet to medium.  Melt 1/8 tsp coconut oil in skillet (I did this before each round, the bananas like to stick.)  Scoop 1/4 c batter per pancake (any bigger and they got moody about flipping.)  Cook until golden on each side.

Top with your favorites!  We love applesauce, apple butter, yogurt, or frozen mixed berries cooked down with a little cinnamon and sweetener.

Amended from a recipe found on this site.