DDD #69 – Vegan 4-Layer Pumpkin – Cheesecake – Chocolate – Pecan Pie

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image below to watch the video.


You can easily eliminate any of the layers without any great loss to the overall deliciousness of this pie – so – give it a try – why don’t you!

 

Please note – this pie needs AT LEAST 6 hours in the fridge (overnight being ideal) before you cut it so making it the day before is best.

INGREDIENTS

Vegan Buttery Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup VERY COLD vegan butter

4-6 TBS VERY COLD water

Chocolate Layer

1/4 cup vegan heavy cream (see heavy cream replacement idea below)

1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Cheesecake Layer
8 oz vegan cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vegan egg (see my egg replacer note below)

Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 2/3 cups unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 cup vegan heavy cream (see heavy cream replacement idea below)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 vegan eggs (See my egg replacer note below)

Pecan Pie Layer
1 cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 vegan eggs (See my egg replacer note below)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

Egg Replacer

I pureed 14 ounces of silken tofu & used 1/4 cup of it for each “egg” in the recipe.  You can do this or use your favorite egg replacer.

Heavy Cream Replacer

I used 1 can of full fat coconut milk blended with one can coconut creme.  You can do this or use your own favorite heavy cream.

 

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl or food processor, mix the flour & salt.  Slice the butter up & work it into the flour.  I did this in my food processor by pulsing it until it was all crumbly. Little chunks of butter in the dough are okay.  Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.  Don’t add so much that it gets sticky or gooey. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling layers.

PECAN – Combine the eggs (see replacer idea above), sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl.  Stir in pecans.  Set aside.

CHEESECAKE – In a medium bowl or food processor, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, then add vanilla and 1 “egg.” Beat mixture until smooth.  Set aside.

PUMPKIN – In a large bowl or food processor, combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream (replacer idea above), the 2 “eggs,” vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.

CHOCOLATE – Melt the chocolate & “heavy cream” in a pan.  Set aside.

 

Roll the dough out on a heavily floured surface.  Flour the top of the crust if it begins to stick to your rolling pin.  Roll it out a few inches larger than your DEEP pie dish. Carefully fold the crust in half twice so it looks like a pie wedge.  Put it in your pie dish & unfold.  Trim the edges if you like & crimp the rim with your fingers.

When oven temperature is at 400 F, line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly oiled/buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack.  Turn oven up to 425 degrees.

 

When the crust is ready, pour the chocolate layer in & freeze for 20 minutes.

Next, pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chilled chocolate layer, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes.

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When the oven is 425 degrees, remove the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it.  Cover the crust edges with foil & bake the pie for 10 minutes.  Lower heat to 350 & bake another 25-35 minutes or until the pumpkin is beginning to set but is still soft in the center.

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Remove pie from oven and carefully spoon the pecan layer over the pumpkin layer.

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Keeping the edges covered in foil, bake another 60-75 minutes or until the pecan layer is bubbling & set at the edges.  The center can still be soft.

Let it cool & then refrigerate for AT LEAST 6 hours – overnight being ideal.

 

 

 

DDD #27 – Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Reposting this recipe because it now has a video to accompany it.  Click the photo below to watch.

These are easy.  The only thing is that the dough can be really sticky.  I only used as much flour as I need to make the dough manageable without using so much it lost all tackiness.  I didn’t want flour to overwhelm the other ingredients.

These were not initially as popular as the ones I made HERE

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that used egg & chicken hot dogs – but they all got devoured eventually. These ones in this recipe have a rougher, more rustic appearance than the smoother & more professional looking ones using egg – mainly because of the rolled oats.  Either way – dogs eat these things up & you can feel good about what you are feeding them.

Here are the three babies I cook these for:

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Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 heaping cup peanut butter

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

2 cups flour

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the ingredients until you have a dough that is workable – adding water or flour as needed.  Roll it out to a desired thickness – I go about 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick & cut it up into treats.  You can cut with a knife or cookie cutter.  Bake them on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes on each side.

Cool & serve to lucky doggies!  If you don’t – your dogs might look at you like THIS!

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pretty much everybody has a pumpkin or two around at this time of year.  After they have served their Halloween purpose – there are a lot of great reasons to re-purpose them.  Reason number one – fresh pumpkin puree (seen above).  That can be used in many recipes – soup, pasta sauce, pie filling, panna cottagnocchi, dog biscuits, dog treats, and even as a healthy additive to your dog’s dinner.  Pumpkin is a great canine diarrhea cure.   You can toast the seeds (seen blow) as a healthy snack.  The recipe for toasting the seeds is HERE.

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So – today I made this dish.  It is delicately flavored & creamy & delicious.  I made this vegan but real cheese would also be nice.  You could use canned pumpkin but I made mine fresh.

Homemade Roasted Pumpkin Puree

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pumpkin (I used two small pie pumpkins & got about 4 cups of puree from them)

Water

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the tops off & then pumpkins in half (or quarter them, if your pumpkin is large), seed them (keeping the seeds for roasting!) & roast for about 40-50 minutes or until the skin is soft & the meat is fork tender.

Let them cool a bit & then scoop out the meat & puree in a food processor or blender.  I added about 1 cup of water to mine to thin it enough to blend.  Add a bit of S&P.

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta with Fried Sage (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked & drained

3 cups pumpkin puree (recipe above – or canned unsweetened)

20 fresh sage leaves

4 oz (vegan) cream cheese

1/4 – 1/2 cup of (vegan) Parmesan

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

2 TBS (vegan) butter (or olive oil)

2-5 oz coconut milk

1 – 3 tsp crushed red pepper (optional or to taste)

S&P

Potential garnish: some reserved fried & crumbled sage, chopped parsley, grated (vegan) cheese or Parmesan

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DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter & fry the sage a few minutes being careful not to burn it.  Drain them on a paper towel.

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Add the pumpkin puree to the sage butter & add the rest of the ingredients – except the coconut milk – and maybe reserving some fried sage for garnish.  Once the other ingredients are combined – add as much coconut milk as you like – either to taste or to achieve the level of creaminess you desire.  My puree was pretty thin so I only added about 2 oz of coconut milk.  Season with S&P.

Add the pasta & heat through.

Serve with garnish of choice.

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Vegan Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Roasted Golden Beets, Swiss Chard & a Collard Green & Pepita Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I have never gotten into spaghetti squash. In fact – I don’t know if I have ever had it before today.  I knew it made a decent & guiltless pasta substitute but – when I want pasta – I want PASTA.  The one exception to this is my shirataki (zero calorie) noodle pho – seen just above.  I can eat that for lunch every day.

Still – I intentionally ordered a spaghetti squash from Farm Fresh to You this week to force myself to try it and I am glad I did.  It was easy to use and, while not convincing as pasta, it was good enough that I did not mind & it is so guiltless!

I made a collard green & pepita (pumpkin seed) pesto for this.  Click that link for the recipe or use your own favorite pesto variety.  It makes no real difference.  The real revelation here is how satisfying the spaghetti squash is – so – try it at least once.  I added roasted golden beets – you guessed it – because I had some.  They are a lovely addition but not critical.  As to the chard – you could use any other greens you like, instead.  If you are not vegan – tossing some Parmesan or goat cheese in this could be nice, too.

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Vegan Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Roasted Golden Beets, Swiss Chard & a Collard Green & Pepita Pesto

Serves  2 VERY well – more if used as a side

INGREDIENTS

Collard Greens & Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto – or 1 cup of other pesto

1 large spaghetti squash

6 Swiss chard leaves – spines removed but retained & chopped with the leaves (or about 2 cups)

3 (or more) golden beets – leaves & ends trimmed off

Olive oil

S&P

Garnish – either a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan or other vegan cheese or (if you are not vegan) real cheese (I used grated Asiago here)

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Ignore those collards there.  🙂

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the squash in half & scoop out the seeds.

Trim the beets & cover both the beets & squash with a bit of olive oil & some S&P.

Wrap the beets in foil.  Put the squash face-up on a cooking sheet & put the bundle of beets on the sheet, too.  Roast for 45-60 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Depending on the size of your beets – they might take longer.  Allow everything to cool.

When cool enough to handle – scoop out the squash flesh & set aside.  Rub the skins off the beets under running water & cube them.

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Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the chard over high heat.  I added about 1/4 cup of water to help steam the chard into wilting completely.  Add the beets & the spaghetti squash & combine.  Heat through.  Using two forks – stir in enough pesto to suit your taste.  Combine.  Season with S&P.

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Garnish maybe with an extra dollop of pesto or nutritional yeast or some cheese (vegan or otherwise).

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Collard Greens & Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto (Vegan or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Pestos are easy & can be made many ways – with all different greens & all kinds of nuts.  This pesto today is the result of some wilting collard greens that I had in the fridge.  HERE are several other pesto concoctions of mine.

I made this with Asiago cheese but you could use nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan, instead.  Your call.  I blanched the collards (as you should with any greens for a pesto) because it brings all the vibrant green back & your pesto color pops!

Collard Greens & Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto (Vegan or Not)

(makes about enough for 4 servings of pasta – if you like your pesto used sparingly)

10-12 collard leaves – spines removed & chopped (or two cups chopped collards)

2.5 oz raw pepitas

1/3 cup Asiago/Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan)

1/4 cup olive oil

1-4 garlic cloves (to taste)

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice (just a bit to preserve the green color)

S&P

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Ignore that Swiss chard there.  😉

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DIRECTIONS

Blanch the chopped collards in boiling water for a minute or two & drain.

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor.  Season with S&P.

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Any extra – you can freeze in sandwich bags – flat in the freezer.

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Cauliflower & Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Red Curry – or – Ginger & Garlic

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I am offering two ways to make this soup because the red curry one has, essentially the same flavor profile as my Vegan Spicy Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry – seen above.  I had a lot of extra of those ingredients so it made sense just to use them.  But – if you prefer less spice & a nice ginger flavor – I will post that recipe here, too.

This soup is easy & filling & can be completely pureed or partially pureed – leaving some chunks & texture.

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If you are using fresh pumpkin – don’t throw those seeds away!  Make my EASY Homemade Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – seen above.

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Cauliflower & Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Red Curry – or – Ginger & Garlic

Makes a lot – enough for 8-10

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower – cut into florets

1 pumpkin about the size of the cauliflower – peeled & cubed

2 leeks – sliced

2 TBS turmeric

Olive oil

1-2 (15 oz) cans of coconut milk (depending on how much produce you have & how thick you like your soup

4 cups water (or veggie stock)

S&P

GARNISH – sour cream (I used vegan Tofutti brand) or cilantro or basil on the red curry version.

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for the red curry

2 TBS red curry paste

6 kaffir lime leaves – leaves slit to release flavor (as above_ or 1 TBS lime zest

juice of 1/2 lime

OR –

for the ginger garlic

2 TBS minced fresh ginger

1-4 cloves of garlic – minced

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower in a little olive oil & roast for 20 minutes.  No need to turn them.  Set aside.

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Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil & cook the leeks until soft – maybe 5 minutes.

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Now add EITHER:

2 TBS red curry paste

6 kaffir lime leaves – leaves slit to release flavor (as above_ or 1 TBS lime zest

juice of 1/2 lime

OR:

2 TBS minced fresh ginger

1-4 cloves of garlic – minced

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Cook for about a minute on high heat & then add pumpkin, coconut milk, water or stock & turmeric.  Bring to a boil & cook until the pumpkin is soft (this will depend on the size of your cubes).

Add about half (more or less) of the cauliflower & puree the soup.  I did this with an immersion blender but a regular blender is fine – just do it in batches & BE CAREFUL you don’t burn yourself.

Taste for seasoning.  Add salt or pepper or more curry paste or more lime or even stir in a bit more fresh ginger – depending on which version you went for.  If the soup is too thin, cook it with the top off until it thickens.  If it is too thick, add more water.

Heat the soup through & serve with a few whole roasted cauliflower florets in each bowl.  Drizzle with sour cream – if you are using it.  Serve!

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Chocolate, Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Pecan Layered Pie with a Shortening-free Pie Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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(Photo of the slice of pie above is from Parsley, Sage & Sweet)

I am not much of a baker.  I almost never eat sweets & I live alone so – making a pie or a cake just means 1) I get fatter and 2) lots of whatever I made gets thrown away.  The exceptions to this rule are birthdays & holidays.

Last Christmas, I made a Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart but if you click that link there you will find out how that tart met a violent & untimely end.

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This year, I worked all day on this barely tweaked adaptation of Parsley, Sage & Sweet‘s multi-layered pie & was petrified it would meet a similar fate or that I would drop it getting out of the car or tripping on steps.  I am happy to report that the pie made it all the way to the dessert table but before that happened – this happened:

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That is to say, we ate a LOT of food & consumed even more wine so that, by the time we were cutting into the pie, I was holding one eye closed to keep from seeing two of them.  Two pies, that is.  I was pie-eyed when it was pie time and, thus, took exactly zero photos of the pie once it got sliced up.  So, I have no lush portraits of the interior of this baby but I can tell you – it was delicious.

I can also tell you it took a long time to make but that was due to a number of factors.  1) I made the crust from scratch.  You need not do that.  You could use a ready made crust.  2) I roasted my Halloween pumpkin & made the pumpkin pie layer with fresh pumpkin puree.  This is a very easy step to skip.  Just use some unsweetened, canned pumpkin.  Easier still, use canned pumpkin pie mix.  3) each layer needs to chill, even freeze, before the next layer can be added or it will all blend together.  It will all get blended in your mouth when you eat it so taste is not the concern.  But, if the layers blend, it won’t look like what Parsley, Sage & Sweet achieved up there.

You can easily eliminate any of the layers without any great loss to the overall deliciousness of this pie – so – give it a try – why don’t you!

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Shortening-free Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup VERY COLD butter

4-6 TBS VERY COLD water

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, mix the flour & salt.  Slice the butter up & work it into the flour.  I did this in my food processor by pulsing it until it was all crumbly.  Little chunks of butter in the dough are okay.  Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.  Don’t add so much that it gets sticky or gooey.  Wrap in plastic wrap & chill while you prepare the pie layers.

When you are ready to assemble the pie, roll the dough out on a heavily floured surface.  Flour the top of the crust if it begins to stick to your rolling pin.  Roll it out a few inches larger than your DEEP pie dish.  Carefully fold the crust in half twice so it looks like a pie wedge.  Put it in your pie dish & unfold.  Trim the edges if you like & crimp the rim with your fingers.  Put this in the freezer & heat your oven to 400 degrees.  From Parsley, Sage & Sweets:

When oven temperature is at 400 F, remove the pie shell from the freezer and line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

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Chocolate, Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Pecan Layered Pie

Chocolate Layer

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy cream

Cheesecake Layer
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg

Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 2/3 cups unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree (If using fresh – simply cut up & seed a pumpkin.  Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender to a fork.  Puree with just as much water as you need to get it blended smooth.)
1 cup heavy cream (you can use evaporated milk, if you prefer)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pecan Pie Topping
1 cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the crust or use a pre-made one.  My crust was a tad under-cooked – as you see in these photos but it cooked up fine when all was said & done.

If making fresh pumpkin puree – follow directions HERE.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate & heavy cream in a double boiler (or a smaller pan set in a larger pan with boiling water in it).  When blended & smooth – pour this into the par baked pie crust.  Put this in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, then add vanilla and 1 egg. Beat mixture until smooth.

Next, pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chilled chocolate layer, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes.

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In the mean time, in a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream, the 2 lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.

Remove the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Combine the eggs, sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl.  Stir in pecans.  Remove pie from freezer and carefully spoon the pecan layer over the pumpkin layer.

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Place pie on the middle rack of your preheated oven.  Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if browning too quickly, but you will eventually have to cover it  to prevent excess browning some time toward the end.  Keep checking every 20 minutes.

Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 60 to 75 minutes.  It really depends on your oven.  The the pecan pie topping should be dark and bubbling a bit.

And – once you’ve done all this work – be sure to get some good photographs of the results before succumbing to your alcoholic desires!  You will want to remember this baby!

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Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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These are easy.  The only thing is that the dough can be really sticky.  I only used as much flour as I need to make the dough manageable without using so much it lost all tackiness.  I didn’t want flour to overwhelm the other ingredients.

These were not initially as popular as the ones I made HERE

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that used egg & chicken hot dogs – but they all got devoured eventually. These ones in this recipe have a rougher, more rustic appearance than the smoother & more professional looking ones using egg – mainly because of the rolled oats.  Either way – dogs eat these things up & you can feel good about what you are feeding them.

Here are the three babies I cook these for:

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Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 heaping cup peanut butter

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

2 cups flour

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the ingredients until you have a dough that is workable – adding water or flour as needed.  Roll it out to a desired thickness – I go about 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick & cut it up into treats.  You can cut with a knife or cookie cutter.  Bake them on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes on each side.

Cool & serve to lucky doggies!  If you don’t – your dogs might look at you like THIS!

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi with Three Sauces: Orange Cream, Pumpkin-Sage & Pistachio Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I used a 29 oz can of pumpkin for this recipe & it made a BOATLOAD of gnocchi.  Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

At any rate – this recipe will produce three cookie sheets of raw gnocchi – like this:

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I would say each of those sheets represents four very healthy servings.  You might want to cut this recipe in half.  Not wanting to turn orange from pumpkin consumption, I opted to freeze the bulk of these.  To do that, I put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer & when the gnocchi were frozen solid, I chipped them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags – each containing a single serving.  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Another note, these gnocchi are vegan.  In the past, I have made potato gnocchi & they required eggs.  These do not & I like any opportunity to skip the use of eggs & dairy (though there is lots of dairy in two of the sauces).  However, the resulting gnocchi were more dense than the potato variety – even though I was careful not to over flour them & even rolled & cut the dough while it was still a bit tacky.  I am not sure if that is true because of the lack of eggs or maybe the wet pumpkin just combines differently than baked potato – but – just know these are pretty substantial – maybe even a tad chewy.  I will make potato ones soon, which come out a bit lighter.

As to the sauces I made – I wanted to avoid the traditional fried sage & brown butter sauce, mainly because it is how pumpkin things are always served.  These sauces might have photographed better with a white gnocchi beneath them (especially the green pistachio pesto which wasn’t pretty on the orange gnocchi) – so do not be thrown by the images here.  I must confess, I underachieved in the photography department here partly because I had color combos that were not ideal and, primarily, because I had three different gnocchi to photograph & I wanted to EAT them before they got cold.  I had my friend Mike taste all three sauces with me.  He liked the lemony pistachio pesto & the orange cream best.  I thought the orange cream was a tad sweet, despite the fact that there is no sugar added.  Maybe the California Cutie I used was too sweet for this recipe – and a regular orange would have been better.

I liked the pumpkin cream sauce but, in the future, will add much more fried sage (which I can eat like chips).  I liked the pistachio pesto – but I think it might be better served with a more neutral flavored gnocchi.  All the sauces are VERY easy to make & all would do well over pasta – so – if they sound good to you but an hour of rolling gnocchi does not – just open a box of penne or something & use the sauces on that.

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Homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS

1 29 oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp nutmeg

5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

1/2 tsp each of S&P

DIRECTIONS

On a floured surface or in a bowl – combine the ingredients, adding flour incrementally just until the dough is no longer sticky.  Knead the dough for several minutes until it is soft & pliable.

OR – stick everything in your bread machine & run it on the pasta dough cycle.  This is what I did.

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Divide the dough onto sections about the size of a child’s fist & roll each out into snakes that are about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut the snakes into pieces (under an inch) and either use them as they are or roll them over fork tines to get a texture or use this awesome tool I got on Amazon for a few bucks.

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Let them rest on a lightly floured surface (or refrigerate) until you are ready to cook them.

To cook – simply boil water, add gnocchi & boil until they float to the surface.  Drain & top with your sauce & devour!

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Orange Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 orange – zest & juice

2 TBS butter

3/4 cup vegan heavy cream

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Zest the orange – set zest aside.  Juice the orange – set juice aside.

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Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the zest – reserving some for garnish later.  Let this cook on medium heat until it begins to thicken.  Add the cream & cook until it begins to thicken.  When it reaches a consistency you like – add S&P.

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Pumpkin-Sage Sauce

INGREDIENTS

olive oil

2 TBS butter

20 fresh sage leaves

1 small onion – diced

3 cloves garlic – minced

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup vegetable (or other) stock (I use water & veggie bouillon)

1/2 cup vegan heavy cream

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DIRECTIONS

Heat  butter with a little olive oil in a frying pan.  When hot – add the sage leaves & fry for a minute of two – until they begin to brown.  Drain on paper towels.

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Add onion & garlic to the pan & saute until they soften.  Add the pumpkin, stock & cream & simmer until it thickens.  Reserve the fried sage to top the gnocchi as garnish.

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Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup shelled, roasted pistachios

1/3 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1 TBS lemon juice

1/4 olive oil

1 tsp each S&P (or to taste)

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in a food processor to create a paste.  Add water if you feel it is too thick.

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To assemble your gnocchi, just top hot gnocchi with either the orange cream garnished with orange zest or the pumpkin-sage sauce & the crumbled, fried sage or with the pistachio pesto with some crushed pistachios as garnish.  Get likkered up & gorge!

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Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Hey!  Have you heard?  I wrote a really funny & dirty novel!  www.BathingBook.com.   Check out the reviews on Amazon!  Why not buy a copy?

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I try to feed my dogs the best stuff possible whenever I can afford to.  Dog treats, however, are constantly in the news because of recalls – so the only treat I give my dogs are pieces of these hotdogs that I buy for about $1.19 a pack.

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The phrase “chicken treats” gets a very dramatic response from all my kids.  speaking of – here are my kids:

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That is Memphis, Dexter & Moxie.  They make me very happy.  So – I decided to experiment with making them some treat other than the hotdogs.

I wanted to keep them as grain-free as possible but I did end up using a cup or more of whole wheat flour.  The bulk of the flour I used was besan, or chickpea flour, that I buy cheaply at my local Indian market.  I found this on the internet:

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are legumes, like lentils and peas. Chickpea flour is high in easily digestible protein, which your dog needs a lot of.

Anyway – I blended the dough in my food processor, rolled it out on the counter & cut it up with a bone-shaped cookie cutter.  I added two chicken hotdogs to the dough because I couldn’t predict how my kids would respond to these treats & I didn’t want them to be a complete bust.  As it turned out – they are CRAZY for these.  Next time – I might omit the hotdogs & maybe add peanut butter.

Also – pure pumpkin puree is really good for dogs and a MIRACLE cure for doggy diarrhea.  Just mix some into a food they love & let the healing begin.

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Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

2 eggs

3 cups chickpea (or rice or wheat) flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 chicken hotdogs – pureed (optional)

1 tsp salt

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DIRECTIONS

Combine ingredients to a dough either by hand or in a food processor or bread machine.  Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.

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Roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick & cut it – either with a cookie cutter or with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet greased with cooking spray (or lined with parchment paper) for 15 minutes & then turn them & cook another ten minutes.  Allow to cool & serve them up to happy pups!

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Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

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Carrot & Pumpkin Lavender Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 29 oz can Pure Pumpkin

3 cups chopped carrots

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups half and half

2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender blossoms (http://www.amazon.com/JR-Mushrooms-Specialties-Culinary-Lavender/dp/B0002NYO20)

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

3 TBS raw sugar

Sour cream and/or half & half for garnish

Cilantro or mint sprig – decoration only.  🙂

Boil the water and add the lavender. Remove from heat and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the lavender out of the water with cheesecloth.

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In a saucepan over medium fire, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic and onions for 3 minutes.

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Add the chopped carrots and stir for 5 minutes.  Pour in the wine and let it boil. Add the lavender infused water and bring it to a boil; reserve 1/2 a cup of lavender water.  Add the canned pumpkin.  Mix well.  Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Let it cool. Once it is cool enough to blend without risk of scalding yourself, puree it in a blender in batches until smooth.

Melt the butter in a pan.  Add the half and half, the remaining lavender water and mix well.  Add this to your pureed carrots & pumpkin. Mix well. Add nutmeg, ginger, sugar and season with salt. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and pour a thin stream of half & half in a pretty pattern into each bowl of soup.  Add a dollop of sour cream (if you are using it) and garnish with cilantro or mint sprig (if you have it).  Parsley or sage would also work.  It is just decoration after all.  Crack fresh pepper over each bowl & serve.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Chocolate Graham Cracker Base & Shaved White Chocolate

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Pumpkin Panna Cotta with a chocolate graham base & shaved white chocolate.

Served in recycled, glass yogurt containers.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta (from the NY Times)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin, squash or sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

PREPARATION

1.
Put 1/2 cup of the milk in a 6- or 8-cup saucepan, and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend together the remaining milk, cream, pumpkin, sugar and cinnamon. The mixture should be perfectly smooth, so it is best to use a blender.
2.
Turn the heat under the saucepan to low, and cook the milk, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin dissolves. Pour in the cream mixture, and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until steam rises. Turn off the heat, and ladle or pour the mixture into 8 4-ounce ramekins or other containers.
3.
Chill the panna cotta until firm, and serve, with creme fraiche or whipped cream if you like.
YIELD
8 servings
I added crushed chocolate graham crackers to the bottom and shaved a nice, white chocolate bar over the top.