Apple Cheesecake Vegan Creme Brulee

The fall weather has officially started here in Coastal Massachusetts. This weekend I started raking, trimming back trees, turned off the Central Air, and opened up all the windows in my house. The cool air made the sheer window coverings sweep the floors from the wind like a chiffon wedding dress. It was a beautiful weekend. I could smell chocolate chip cookies and ocean air from my deck and I even kicked it off with a trip to the Brimfield Antiques Fair which just screams “Welcome Fall”. Together my mother and I picked up a red rocking horse for my nephew Nolan, a few records for my new record player, a set of silverware that completed a set I had inherited which was just dumb luck!, a buddha painted in reds and blues and gold for my side garden to go just underneath the chimes, and a poster from the 1980’s when a friend of mine ran for office which I will make him sign because it was such a fun find! Who doesn’t love a gigantic yard sale? I would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a good time at these events. I then went over to my aunt’s to help her pack up her apartment to move to her dream destination. I am so proud of her. I know she appreciates a good dessert. So this weekend I worked on puddings.

Fall is the time for puddings both warm and cold. There are bread puddings (my mom’s favorite) and the more exciting french puddings like the creme brulee and then there are the puddings I would never eat like black pudding. My favorite has always been a vanilla bean creme brulee with a good crunchy crust and a thick custard filling but not to sweet to offset the brulee. My parents would bring us to brunch on Easter and Mother’s day and I would always run over to make sur ethe hotel had the little ramekins of this dessert. So I tried to replicate it now as a vegan with a few fall fun flavors. This is my first of a series of three I will post this week (all tested and approved by the omnivore husband). They are all easy to prepare (35minutes max) but the cooling process (2hrs min.) causes it to be something you have to make in advance. Since everyone in the office was talking about apple picking on Friday we shall start with apple! Enjoy!

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Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake Creme Brulee

Ingredients:

  • 1/2cup raw cashews
  • (2) Macintosh Apples Cored, Peeled, Diced
  • 1/4cup maple syrup
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1tablespoon agar agar powder (this is vegan gelatin powder found in the asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1tablespoon arrowroot powder/starch (don’t use cornstarch due to the high heat, arrowroot is better)
  • 1 1/4cups Soy Creamer
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon-1tablespoon Apple Pie Spice (depends on your pallet, I use a little more)
  • 1/2teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s)

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Preparation

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

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If you do not have a high powered mixer soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight so that the batter will not be grainy.

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Cook

Preheat oven to 375degrees.

Fill a casserole dish with water to go halfway the height of the ramekins or jars you in tend on placing the brulee mixture in. I have used both mason jars and square ramekins before and both come out well.

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Pour batter into each ramekin allowing a little space so that they do not spill over as the casserole dish will be heavy with all the water in it. You need to be careful not to allow water into the ramekins.

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Cook for at least 30 minutes or until the batter is wiggly but not liquidy and slightly firm on top.

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Chill

Take ramekins out of the water with tongs and place on a towel on a drying rack. Let cool 15 minutes and then transfer into the refrigerator for 2-4hours.

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Brulee

After the creme is completely firm and chilled through and you are ready to serve. …Take sugar, sprinkle a good layer on each creme top, and brulee with a hand torch until the sugar bubbles, browns, and quickly hardens.

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Serve Immediatly.

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Serves 6. WW Points 6.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Fillo Primavera: Veggie and Cheese Filled Pastries

I love that there are so many types of pastry and dough on the market that are vegan. Mostly because Crisco and Shortening are vegan, not healthy, but vegan none the less. So when I was craving something like a Beef Wellington pastry I thought oooh I bet I could make those with fillo dough, pie dough, Pillsbury Croissant Dough, or even pizza dough! So for my first attempt I didn’t go straight to the Gardein Beef but instead to some veggies and Daiya cheese but please feel free to try these with any type of faux meat, vegetable, cheese, or even fruit! The Farmer’s Markets are brimming with good things lately so I encourage you to experiment with this. Make an eggplant parm fillo or even a butternut squash one with a pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar try a dessert fillo with peaches and earth balance , sugar, ginger, and cardamom. Whatever you can imagine will fit perfectly in this dough!

Fillo Primavera

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Fillo Primavera

Vegan Fillo Dough

  • 1 box Organic Fillo Dough
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 block Daiya Havarti Cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Dehydrated Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: 1 Container of Victoria Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce or Rao’s Marinara Sauce (Victoria Vegan Alfredo Sauces are available at www.veganessentials.com and Rao’s Sauces are available in most grocery stores including Whole Foods)

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Prepare!

  1. Chop all veggies into tiny pieces to accommodate the fillo packages that will go in the muffin pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray muffin pans lightly with olive oil.
  4. Cut fillo dough into squares twice as large as the muffin tin holes.
  5. Place at least 3 sheets of the fillo dough square into each muffin tin hole.               Fillo Dough
  6. Spray dough with olive oil, sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Spices.
  7. Place chopped veggies and crumbled cheese into each fillo muffin.                                                                   Fillo Filling
  8. Add 1-2 tsp of optional sauces at this time like Victoria Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo or Rao’s Marinara.         Fillo Filling 2
  9. Sprinkle tops with more salt, pepper, and spices.
  10. Bring excess dough to a point and twist. Spray with olive oil and a sprinkle of finishing salt.

Cook!

fillo primavera baking

  1. Bake for at least 15minutes or until the dough on top starts to darken and the dough separates from the sides of the muffin tin. It may take longer depending on how dense your cups and what types of ingredients you filled it with.      Fillo Baking Done
  2. Note: Use more fill sheets for juicier fruits and veggies and less for more dense foods like chicken and broccoli.
  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Savory Chicken Pot Pie

Lately, I have been addicted to Food Network Star. It ended the other night and the pie man lost but that didn’t make me lose the inspiration he created on screen. He could make anything into a pie. When I saw that grilled cheese pie with the short ribs I started to drool. I have actually been lucky enough to visit his restuarant in DC on my April road trip and was suprised to see they always feature multiple vegan pies there! However, I do not know how to make a vegan short rib equivalent so I started googling savory pies and looking at his pie shop menus. Chicken pot pie and chicken pie came up a lot in all these searches.

When I was a kid my mother would make Chicken Pot Pie a few times a month I swear. My father was always traveling and I can only imagine how stressed my mom was, so a one pot/pie meal was something she could throw together from all the leftovers during the week and we would have our bellies full. We either got it from scratch or in the box from Willow Farms that was fresh and local and a good alternative. My favorite however was just chicken and stuffing or potatoes. After watching Food Network and then googling for hours I decided I was going to make a chicken pie that was half chicken pie and a smidge chicken pot pie. I called my husband and told him to pick me up some pie crust on the way home. I was lucky because he got the refrigerated vegan pie crust from Whole Foods instead of the boxed kind and defrost was not needed.

NOTE: He is such a good sport about supporting my culinary undertakings without question.

I then embarked upon my first ever savory pie attempt and the stars must have aligned because it was the most delicious pie I had ever made. I don’t say this lightly because I make an amazing chocolate strawberry pie but this one was unbelievable. The crust was just a little sweet and perfectly flaky and the filling was hearty and subtle with an aroma of calming rosemary filling the house and the slight crunch of the diced broccoli stalks just finished it off. It will be ideal when Autumn hits. My husband, the resident omnivore, even had two slices before I was done with my first.

So let me tell you how I did it and you can make this for your Meatless Monday or meatless anyday or meatless everyday!

pie cut out

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Savory Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Pie

INGREDIENTS:

Filling

  • 1 Container Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Chicken Strips (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/4 of an onion ciabatta bread square (8×8) (or any bread you have leftover just add extra onions)
  • 1 carmalized onion diced into tiny pieces or 1/3 cup of dehydrated onions (which I prefer)
  • 2tbsp Rosemary
  • 2tsp Thyme
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp black freshly ground pepper
  • 1tsp granulated garlic

Sauce

  • 1cup Almond Milk
  • 1/3 cup Tofutti Sour Cream
  • 1/3 cup Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
  • 1/4 block of Daiya Havarti Cheese
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 1tsp salt

Pie Crust

  • 2 Vegan Refrigerated Pie Crusts from Whole Foods
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Dehydrated Onions

Finishing

  • Olive Oil for Misting the top only
  • Pinch of salt

pie slice

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COOKING:

Prepare Filling:

  1. Dice Beyond Meat Vegan Chicken.
  2. Dice into very small pieces broccoli.
  3. Dice cubed bread and soak in warm water for 3 minutes. Remove and add to mixture.
  4. Toss all ingredients of filling until well combined.

Prepare Sauce

  1. Place all sauce ingredients in sauce pan on Medium heat and stir until melted and well combined.
  2. Take off heat and add filling until all contents are covered in sauce.

Prepare Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  2. Take both pie crusts and knead in spices and salt until well-distributed through dough.
  3. Press 1 crust dough back into pie pan and then place parchment paper and pie weights on top for precooking. If you do not have pie weights you can use canned veggies with the paper ripped off or dry beans you have on hand to weigh down the crust and keep it from bubbling up while you precook the dough. Do not forget to precook the dough or the filling will cause it to come out raw. Precook until lightly golden.
  4. Knead second dough with spices and salt. Roll out to twice the size of original dough as this will cover the heaping pie.
  5. Take pie crust out of oven and fill with filling/sauce mixture. It will be dome shaped on top. Press in and condense. The Beyond Meat chicken is already cooked so you do not have to worry about raw meat.
  6. Once all the filling is in the crust cover with the second seasoned dough. Tuck in the edges so that it forms and thick layer that has no holes at the seam of the pie pan.

pie oven 2

  1. Cut air holes on the top of the crust to allow for steam to escape. I say 4 1 inch slits always work out well.
  2. Mist lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top.
  3. Bake at 425degrees for approximately 30minutes or until crust is golden on top .

pie done oven

Eat. Serve. Enjoy.

Serves 8-10.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Savory Chicken Pot Pie

Lately, I have been addicted to Food Network Star. It ended the other night and the pie man lost but that didn’t make me lose the inspiration he created on screen. He could make anything into a pie. When I saw that grilled cheese pie with the short ribs I started to drool. I have actually been lucky enough to visit his restuarant in DC on my April road trip and was suprised to see they always feature multiple vegan pies there! However, I do not know how to make a vegan short rib equivalent so I started googling savory pies and looking at his pie shop menus. Chicken pot pie and chicken pie came up a lot in all these searches.

When I was a kid my mother would make Chicken Pot Pie a few times a month I swear. My father was always traveling and I can only imagine how stressed my mom was, so a one pot/pie meal was something she could throw together from all the leftovers during the week and we would have our bellies full. We either got it from scratch or in the box from Willow Farms that was fresh and local and a good alternative. My favorite however was just chicken and stuffing or potatoes. After watching Food Network and then googling for hours I decided I was going to make a chicken pie that was half chicken pie and a smidge chicken pot pie. I called my husband and told him to pick me up some pie crust on the way home. I was lucky because he got the refrigerated vegan pie crust from Whole Foods instead of the boxed kind and defrost was not needed.

NOTE: He is such a good sport about supporting my culinary undertakings without question.

I then embarked upon my first ever savory pie attempt and the stars must have aligned because it was the most delicious pie I had ever made. I don’t say this lightly because I make an amazing chocolate strawberry pie but this one was unbelievable. The crust was just a little sweet and perfectly flaky and the filling was hearty and subtle with an aroma of calming rosemary filling the house and the slight crunch of the diced broccoli stalks just finished it off. It will be ideal when Autumn hits. My husband, the resident omnivore, even had two slices before I was done with my first.

So let me tell you how I did it and you can make this for your Meatless Monday or meatless anyday or meatless everyday!

pie cut out

___________________________________________________________________________________

Savory Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Pie

INGREDIENTS:

Filling

  • 1 Container Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Chicken Strips (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/4 of an onion ciabatta bread square (8×8) (or any bread you have leftover just add extra onions)
  • 1 carmalized onion diced into tiny pieces or 1/3 cup of dehydrated onions (which I prefer)
  • 2tbsp Rosemary
  • 2tsp Thyme
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp black freshly ground pepper
  • 1tsp granulated garlic

Sauce

  • 1cup Almond Milk
  • 1/3 cup Tofutti Sour Cream
  • 1/3 cup Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
  • 1/4 block of Daiya Havarti Cheese
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2tbsp dehydrated onion
  • 1tsp salt

Pie Crust

  • 2 Vegan Refrigerated Pie Crusts from Whole Foods
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Dehydrated Onions

Finishing

  • Olive Oil for Misting the top only
  • Pinch of salt

pie slice

____________________________________________________________________________

COOKING:

Prepare Filling:

  1. Dice Beyond Meat Vegan Chicken.
  2. Dice into very small pieces broccoli.
  3. Dice cubed bread and soak in warm water for 3 minutes. Remove and add to mixture.
  4. Toss all ingredients of filling until well combined.

Prepare Sauce

  1. Place all sauce ingredients in sauce pan on Medium heat and stir until melted and well combined.
  2. Take off heat and add filling until all contents are covered in sauce.

Prepare Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  2. Take both pie crusts and knead in spices and salt until well-distributed through dough.
  3. Press 1 crust dough back into pie pan and then place parchment paper and pie weights on top for precooking. If you do not have pie weights you can use canned veggies with the paper ripped off or dry beans you have on hand to weigh down the crust and keep it from bubbling up while you precook the dough. Do not forget to precook the dough or the filling will cause it to come out raw. Precook until lightly golden.
  4. Knead second dough with spices and salt. Roll out to twice the size of original dough as this will cover the heaping pie.
  5. Take pie crust out of oven and fill with filling/sauce mixture. It will be dome shaped on top. Press in and condense. The Beyond Meat chicken is already cooked so you do not have to worry about raw meat.
  6. Once all the filling is in the crust cover with the second seasoned dough. Tuck in the edges so that it forms and thick layer that has no holes at the seam of the pie pan.

pie oven 2

  1. Cut air holes on the top of the crust to allow for steam to escape. I say 4 1 inch slits always work out well.
  2. Mist lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top.
  3. Bake at 425degrees for approximately 30minutes or until crust is golden on top .

pie done oven

Eat. Serve. Enjoy.

Serves 8-10.

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti Dish with an Alfredo Sauce

When I was a kid my family would go to Applebee’s on a regular basis and then to the movie theatre next door. We loved these trips. My brother would always order the Chicken, Broccoli, Ziti dish with a side of garlic bread. I began to order this dish as well. It was always a hit. It was only my second favorite to the chicken fingers because of their honey mustard sauce which even today I am sure has some sort of addictive drug in it and is made out of magic, but I digress.

*Please note: They have nothing vegan at Applebee’s anymore even their salads and side item veggies have meat or dairy in them 😦

My brother and his wife gave birth to a son this past month. So in honor of his new son (Nolan) and what will surely be his new son’s eating habits, I will post my recipe for a veganized Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti. I must also make note that my step children and husband beg for this meal and state it is their favorite dinner and they are all omnivores.

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Nolan’s Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti

Alfredo Sauce

1/4 block of Daiya Havarti

1-2cups of Silk Soy Creamer

1/4 cup of Olive Oil

1 dash of thyme

1 dash of nutmeg

1 tbsp granulated garlic

Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

“Chicken”

1 boxed container of Beyond Meat (R) Lightly Salted Chicken Strips

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Broccoli

2 heads of broccoli

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Ziti

2lbs of boxed ziti

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PREPARATION

  • Boil a large pot of salted water.
  • Add 2lbs of boxed ziti. Cook until al dente drain.
  • Wait to place in serving bowl until other items are done.
  • Dice Chicken Strips into cubes place in frying pan on medium with olive oil salt and pepper and sautee until hot. Place to the side.
  • Preheat oven to 450degrees.
  • Take the stems of the broccoli heads. Then cut into small 1-2 inch florets and slice each floret down the center so it has one flat side.
  • On a cookie sheet toss broccoli with an ample amount of olive oil until well covered and the cookie sheet is as well. Toss with a good amount to salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  • Place broccoli in oven for 25-28minutes. Or until crispy and roasted with carmelized edges. Small pieces may appear burnt.

roasted broccoli

  • In a sauce pan place oil, salt, and pepper until warm then add cream and cheese. If it appears to thin as it cooks down feel free to add a cornstarch/arrowroot slurry or some Galaxy brand parmesan cheese or even nutritional yeast (“nooch”).
  • When sauce is complete add chicken to it until well combined and then toss with pasta.
  • Last add roasted broccoli and toss lightly into mixture.
  • Serve hot. Crusty bread is always a great side choice as well!

Enjoy!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Happy Pi Day! Try a Savory Pizza Pie today.

I have lots of pie recipes already on my page but I figured on “Pi” day we should post some more!

My favorite pies are always fruit pies but we cannot forget savory pies! I just tried Amy’s frozen Shepherd’s Pie and love it! The Tamale Pie is good as well, but not my favorite if I had to pick. Today in honor of “Pi” day I brought an Amy’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie for lunch. I am very excited about it.

So if we think some more there are tons of “pies” in the world to make. Mud pies, cream pies, fruit pies, pot pies, meat pies, Quiche pies, and pizza pies! So in honor of Pi Day, below is my favorite Pizza Pie Recipe!

pizza 2

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Vegan Cheese Pizza Pie

1 refrigerated or home-made pizza dough

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of Rao’s Marinara Sauce or Tomato Basil Sauce

1/4 Cup Shredded Fresh basil (you can use a few tbs of dried if you don’t have fresh)

1/2 to 1 bag of Daiya Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 to 1/2 of a block of Daiya Garlic Jalapeno Havarti

Olive Oil Spray (I have my own sprayer but you can buy it too)

Chili Garlic Infused Olive Oil or “Pizza Oil”

Kosher Salt

Granulated Garlic

pizza 1

I preheat my oven on 450degrees and place my pizza stone in the oven on the center rack. It is pretty important to get the stone as hot as possible. It make the crust crispier. If you use a pizza pan or a cookie sheet it will be softer but still delicious. If you want the exact stone I have, it is at Crate & Barrel. As you can tell I am a fan of them and I registered their for my wedding.

I then place some flour on a baking sheet and put my dough on top. I buy pizza dough from Whole Foods (frozen section) or a local grocery rather than make my own half the time because I am lazy lately. It is just as good since dough is usually just salt, water, flour, yeast.

I get both sides lightly coated with flour and get flour on my hands and start to stretch out the dough by placing my knuckles inside the center and gently rotating in a circle and stretching outward. Do not toss it or create holes by overstretching. You can also just hold the edge of the dough and shimmy around the edge letting the dough naturally stretch by hanging and rotating it .

When it is slightly thin in the center and still a little thick on the edges I sprinkle a small amount of salt on the stone and then place down my dough directly on the hot stone with the oven open. Please be careful while you do this. It will be hot in there. I pull the rack out slightly so that it doesn’t tip and I don’t have to reaching into the hot oven all the way. You can always remove the stone and place it on the stove top but its super hot and heavy.

I then lightly spray the dough with olive oil on top. Then sprinkle the edges with salt and garlic so the crust is seasoned well. If I have dry basil I will sprinkle the whole top with it for extra flavor in the dough.

I then place the tomato sauce in the center and spread it out with a spoon. Do not use too much sauce it will make the cheese to liquidy when it melts. It should appear thin in areas.

Now sprinkle the mozzarella evenly and lightly. I use between 1/2 and 1 whole bag per pizza depending on the size of the pizza. Use your own judgement but cover the pizza so that you can still see sauce. Then add the basil so it is thoroughly integrated across the cheese. I cut my basil up with herb scissors. I am pretty obsessed with them and use them often for a variety of things. The basil really brings out the right flavors in the Daiya so I always say basil is required!

Next pinch out small balls of the Havarti Daiya from the block and drop it on the pizza every inch or two. This really makes the pizza divine! it adds a little spice but makes the pizza appear beautiful like chunks of mozzarella have melted and browned on top.

Last drizzle with the pizza oil. I use one I got at Crate and Barrel but it is no longer for sale here is the review though. Here is a similar kind for sale online in the UK. All it is made up of is olive oil infused with chili pepper or cayenne pepper, garlic, oregano, and rosemary. You can always make your own. I will when mine runs out!

Now you just place it back inside the oven, close the door, and wait for the magic to happen. It takes at least 15minutes if not twenty. I just look for brown crust and bubbling top. It will look a little liquidy on top but when it cools it will be perfect. My test is to have brown spots on top and then the spatula going under the dough feels the dough is hard and crispy.

Take out, let rest 5minutes, serve hot, and enjoy!

pizza 3

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This is by far the best pizza recipe I have come up with in the last two years of trying. I am such a pizza snob now because of it. I cannot express how much my husband and his omni friends love my pizza. Please try it out on everyone and report back. This was my mission to make so I really want to hear your opinions, see pictures, and everything!

Much love, The Hippie Gypsy