Pumpkin Pie

I was hesitant to post this because I was afraid of letting the secret out.  You see, I’ve fed this to so many people over the past few years, even the type of folks that would never willingly try tofu, and everyone loves it.  Even my dad, who normally doesn’t like pumpkin pie.  Ahem.  But it totally contains tofu and you’d never know, like, at all.  It is truly a winner and without a doubt, the best pumpkin pie, in taste and texture, of any I’ve ever had.  Pinky swear.

Pumpkin Pie

16 oz pureed pumpkin (not canned pie filling, but just plain pumpkin)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 10 oz package silken tofu (regular silken, not low fat)
1 unbaked pie shell, store bought or homemade

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine the pumpkin and sugar.  Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, blend thoroughly.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350°F and bake for another 60 minutes.  Let it cool a bit (on a window sill if you’re feeling old fashioned!) before serving.

– Crystal

Strawberries Galore

Sometimes, in our strawberry off-season, I get lured into buying those plastic cartons of strawberries shipped from god-knows-where that are quite anemic, whitish on the inside and sort of bitter, from the grocery store.  It’s easy to get used to that taste and think that’s what strawberries are supposed to taste like.

And then you take a little trip one Saturday to your local Pick-Your-Own strawberry farm, and bite into one of those juice little gems right off the plant, and you think, this is what a strawberry is supposed to taste like.  

Wasting no time, I brought our pick home and got to work.  I had my heart set on trying a no-cook freezer jam, so I could preserve some of the amazing taste of summer fruit for more dark, wintry days.  I picked up a couple packs of this stuff, and followed the directions for that.  I liked that brand of pectin because it requires far less sugar than other kinds.  Anyway, the freezer jam method is pretty much the same for each brand of pectin you use, just the measurements vary a little bit.  Crush/chop fruit (I used a potato masher), add sugar, mix in pectin, et voila.  The great thing about freezer jam is there is no sterilization of the jars required, and the jam ends up tasting like the fresh fruit instead of cooked down fruit.  

I ate some with a spoon.
Next up was pie.  My go-to recipe for strawberry pie is Kittee’s Strawberry Pie.  It is perfect in every way, and doesn’t require any weird gelatin to set it up.  (Gelatin is gross, by the way, it’s made from animal bones and skin – yup, that’s what jello is made of.)

It sort of fell apart – oh well!
And all of that only used up one of the two containers of strawberries we have.  I’m going on an all-strawberry diet for the next week.
– Crystal

Avocado Pie and Dinner Out

I love this recipe like woah.  I’ve made it a number of times – it’s creamy, rich and tangy – it leaves your tongue buzzing from the lovely lime flavour.

Since it’s our vacation week, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Veg Out, which is this great all-vegan restaurant where we live.  Their menu changes quite frequently which is nice, but they always have some great old standbys like vegan fish and chips (!) and tempeh hot wings.  We had the crispy cremini and shiitake mushrooms with a srirache aioli to start.  I decided to go for the chick-pea-nut burger, which was this massive peanutty-tasting thing topped with caramelized onions, sprouts, tomato, pickles, avocado, lettuce, and a sriracha-spiked mayo.  I had it with their daily soup, sweet potato lemongrass.  Trevor had the jerk tempeh with rice and beans and a side of sweet potato cornbread + a bottle of Grasshopper wheat beer!

– Crystal