Homemade Applesauce

This recipe to accompany my last post, Vegan Potato Pancakes. Applesauce is soooo easy to make. And it tastes so much better fresh. I used Golden Delicious apples because they are my favorite, but any red apple will do. I also don’t use that much sugar because I honestly don’t think it needs it. Apples are sweet enough as it is, just a little bit more sugar makes it a treat.

This recipe makes 4 servings, but can be easily multiplied to make more.
Applesauce

6 red apples (I used Golden Delicious)
1 cup water
2 tbs of sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Peel the apples and cut the fruit off the core. Chop the apples. Don’t worry too much about size and evenness at this point, just get them smaller.
Put the apple pieces and all remaining ingredients in a pot. 
Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer then cover.
Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the apples are so tender you can’t even stab them with a fork without them falling apart. 
Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

You can leave it this if you want it really chunky. For smoother sauce, pulse it in the blender for minute. I left a few chunks in mine.

Serve it as side dish, a snack, or even dessert!

Apple Walnut Salad with Tofu

Part of my prenatal care includes a nutritionist, which I think all prenatal programs should have. An expert separate from your OB/GYN that just focuses on how you are eating and proper weight gain. As knowledgeable and beneficial my nutritionist is, I am kind of annoyed with her. I told her I was vegan—no animal products, honey, or eggs. Then we went over my diet. She said it was one of the healthiest she has seen in awhile. Then she went over my blood work. Again, is was amazing. And she had no complaints about my weight gain so far. Then she hits me, “I am sorry, but legally I need to classify you as nutritionally high risk.”

WHAT? High risk nutritionally? Because I chose to break from the standard American diet and not to eat meat loaded with fat and antibiotics? Or dairy loaded with hormones?

Then she reassured me that I am healthy and the baby is healthy, so all that matters. It’s just a legal term. Her only suggestion was I eat one more serving of leafy greens every day. So I have made this giant, veggie-packed salad for lunch most days now.

And yes, this salad has plain tofu. If you do not like the taste of plain tofu (I actually do), you can marinade and cooked it first. But honestly, with all the dressing and veggies, you don’t even notice the tofu.

Apple Walnut Salad with Tofu
3 cups leafy greens (any combination of dark lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, etc.), washed and dried
1/4 cup carrots, chopped or shredded
1 Fuji apple, chopped
1/4 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
3 oz extra firm tofu,  drained and cubed
2 tbs Annie’s Lite Goddess Dressing
Cracked black pepper, to taste

In a big bowl, mix together all the ingredients. It’s that easy!

You can use any dressing you like, but Lite Goddess is amazing! This is just not for pregnancy, but make a great lunch for everybody. The nutrients of the dark green vegetables, vitamin C from the apples, vitamin A in the carrots, and healthy fat from the walnuts. I even suggest throwing in some avocado chunks too. High risk pregnancy my ass…

Vanilla Pancakes with Apple Compote

I just made this recipe up Sunday morning for a nice treat. It’s easy and came together quickly. I used the Mexican Vanilla my mom brought back from her trip to Mexico.  I make small pancakes because they are easier to manage.

This recipe makes two servings, 5-6 small pancakes total.

Vanilla Pancakes
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp Vanilla

Spray a pan with cooking spray.

Heat the pan over medium heat.

While it heats, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix just until combined, it is okay to have a few lumps.

Once the pan is hot, pour about 1/6 of the batter into nice circle on the pan.  Repeat 2 to 3 more times, depending on how much space you have on the pan.

Once the bottom browns lightly, flip and brown lightly on the over side.

Repeat the previously two until all the batter is gone.

Apple Compote
2 Honey Crisp apples, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 cups water
1 tbs cornstarch
Dash of salt

In a small sauce pan, add the chopped apples, sugar, and water.

Bring the pan to boil over medium-high heat.

Continue to boil until the apples soften slightly and turn a light golden color.

Reduce the heat and add the cornstarch and salt.

Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Then remove from the heat and top your pancakes with it.

Flavorful and fluffy pancakes with sweet crisp apple compote, good way to start the day! I had some soy bacon on the side.

Vanilla Apple Pie

What does a nerd do when it is her day off and Pi Day? Make a Pie to celebrate!

Speaking of work, you may have noticed that I have not been posting as much lately. I got a new job, and it is great but very busy. I will get better about posting as I settle in more. Michael started a new job too, so I decided to make us both something special tonight for all our hard work.

I thought a pie for Pi Day would be nice, but a giant pie for the two of us is just impractical. So I made two mini pies. Michael requested chocolate or apple pie, and I went with apple because it is easier to make.  My parents went on a trip to Mexico a few weeks ago, and my mom send me some Mexican vanilla extract, and I have been wanting to use it all week.  I thought it would be a nice addition to classic apple pie.

Vanilla Apple Pie
1 pie crust, frozen or homemade (I used frozen)
4 Fuji apples, pealed and cubed
1.5  tbs vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbs cornstarch
Pinch of salt

If using frozen pie crust, let it thaw first.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray two small ramekins with cooking spray.

Roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface. Cut circles out of the pie crust that are a half inch larger than the radius of the ramekin. It’s okay if they are not perfectly round and there should be left over crust pieces.

Press the crust circles into the ramekins, reshaping them to fix it if need be. Make sure you press them in firmly and seal the edges as best you can.

In a small bowl, mix together the cubed apples, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt. Taste and adjust as necessary to your tastes.

Fill each ramekin with half of the mixture. They should be filled to the very full.

Take the remaining crust pieces and shape them into two circles large enough to cover the top of the ramekins with some overlap.

Now cover the ramekins with the pie crusts and seal the edges firmly. I crimped the edges with a fork to  make sure it seals properly and to make it look pretty.

Cut a small X on the top.

Sprinkle the crust with a little extra sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling starts to bubble up.

Let cool and enjoy a piece of 3.14159265….that’s as far as I know off the top of my head!

Baked Apples

I was very sad yesterday when my mom texted me to tell me Steve Jobs, one of the cofounders of Apple Inc., passed away from pancreatic cancer. I looked at the text on my iPhone, a device his company developed that revolutionized mass communications, and my heart sank. Coming from a big techie family, his life and accomplishments were well-known in my home growing up. Whether you’re a Mac or PC person, you cannot deny that he helped change the world. You might not be able to read this very post right now if it wasn’t for his vision (and because I am typing this on a Macbook). I like what my brother posted as his Facebook status, “Steve, I was hoping you would stick around for “One More thing…” ”  

In honor of Steve, I decided to make baked apples. Many factors can trigger cancer, and diet is one of them. This is one of the main reasons I became a vegan. There are so many unknowns in this world and I want to give myself the best fighting chance of living a long, healthy life and proper nutrition is a good way to do so. Keeping that in mind, I made my apples a little bit differently. I did not use any butter. If you use nice ripe apples, their own natural juices will be enough to help it brown. I also did not use white or brown sugar. Most white sugars are processed using animal bones to remove the color so they are not vegan anyways. Not to mention it lacks any nutrients. Brown sugar is just white sugar with regular molasses added, so it isn’t any better. What I did use is black strap molasses. Yes, it is a processed sugar byproduct, but it does have some important minerals like iron, manganese, copper, calcium and vitamin B6. If you are going to eat sugar, it might as well have something beneficial in it. But, just like any processed food, it should be eaten in moderation. You cannot control the future, but you can control your actions now in order to have a better future. Steve is proof that all the money in the world cannot buy you health. Do all you can to prevent cancer. 




Baked Apples

4 Granny Smith apples

1/2  cup rasins

1/2  cup dry oatmeal 
1/4 cup black strap molasses 
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger 











Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Core the apples, but make sure you leave the bottom intact. If you have an apple corer, I really suggest using it. It can be done with a pairing knife but it’s a little tricky. 

In a small bowl, combine together the remaining ingredients. 






Fill the apples with the mixture. I stuffed mine pretty well. 






Place the filled apples in a baking pan. Fill the pan with about 1/4 of an inch water. 
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The apples should be tender, and the filling golden and caramelized. Let them cool a bit before eating. You can also cover the pan with foil before baking if you don’t want your filling that crunchy. 
Thank You Mr. Jobs. You changed the world and taught a whole generation to “think different.”