Vegan Pork Chop w/ Apples Sautéed in Maple Reduction.

Today I thought I would tell you a story about pork chops, but it turns out I don’t really have one. What I do have, is a story about the first pig I met in person. My parents took my brother and I into a pet shop when we were just littles. I loved pet shops because I have loved animals my entire life and have always been fascinated by them. In this particular pet store, we met a baby black piglet. He was a friendly fellow and he wagged his little curl with such enthusiasm. He snorted a bit and was eager for pettings and treats.Even my parents were a little enamored with him and I could see that my mom was really thinking about getting him. We ended up leaving him at the pet store, but I’ve never forgotten him.

When I think back on him and know what I do now about the nature of the domesticated pig, I can’t believe I ever ate them. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve eaten pork. I stopped eating pork and beef long before I became vegan or even vegetarian. I know bacon and pork belly are popular menu items because they taste delicious. But do you know what else is delicious? COCONUT BACON. And this vegan pork chop. 🙂

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Apple Sour Cream Pie.

This MoFo has started to get the best of me. I am le tired! But so many posts left to do. What really helps me is writing my posts in advance and then just pasting them here when I’m ready. I never think recipe writing is lengthy until I actually sit down to do it. Enough of that. I took the last of my apples from apple picking and made them into pie and German apple cake. You’ve seen the apple cake, but now for the pie. I saw a sour cream pie over on Eat the Love that I really wanted to make, but haven’t gotten around to it. It’s blueberry-rhubarb which sounds incredible, but blueberries are over and I didn’t freeze any. I may still use frozen….those frozen organic wild blueberries a Whole Foods are actually quite delicious. Okay, apples, I’m talking apples. Apples and vegan sour cream. A relatively gross sounding combination which turns out to be crazy delicious all in your face.

Apple Sour Cream Pie

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Just a Cheesey Apple Muffin.

I love, love, love apples and cheese. There are other fruit/vegan cheese combos that I love, but apples and vegan cheddar were meant for each other in the best kind of way. Since apple picking, I had an insane amount of apples that needed to be created into something delicious and preferably with vegan cheddar cheese. Since, I’ve done everything from scones, grilled cheese and a buckle, I thought hey!! How about a cheesey apple muffin?!? And then cheesey apple muffins were made.

 Cheesey-Apple Muffins

Ingredients:

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1c whole wheat flour

1 tsp sea salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cinnamon

½ c unbleached cane sugar

1 c unsweetened non-dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used So Delicious Almond Plus)

1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer (dry–not mixed with water)

½ c neutral tasting oil (like safflower or canola)

1 c Daiya cheddar style shreds

2 apples, chopped ( I used Honeycrisp–that I bought at the orchard. They don’t offer u-pick on those as girls like me would devour the entire orchard in like….an hour…… but Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or many others would work just as well)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the vegan buttermilk (non-dairy milk + apple cider vinegar) as well as the oil. Stir until just combined. Then add the cheese and apples and fold in to combine. Using a ¼ c as a measure, scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. You’ll end up with a little extra batter, so you can prep an additional muffin tin for a few extra or mini cake or loaf pan if you’d like something with a different shape. Bake for 18-20 min.

Muffins are delightfully moist from the apple bits, not too dense. 🙂

Apple Pickin’ + Apple-Cherry Pie w/ Cardamon & Black Pepper.

I had another glorious day on a farm last weekend. Just….glorious. A few friends and I headed to the Oak Glen area of Yucaipa to get our apple pick on. My favorite farm in the area is Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, so that’s where we went. I’ve been to other farms out there and again, this one has been my running favorite for the past few years. Not only are they super helpful and friendly, but they have the best fruit. They offer u-pick raspberries, strawberries and several varieties of apples. While Riley’s is not a certified organic farm, all of the fruit is chemical free. I went a few years ago and got the best Gravenstein apples I’ve ever had, but they are no longer available for u-pick. The farm did have Granny Smith, Spartan, Red & Golden Delicious for u-pick when we visited though. Score. Super sweet 4 variety of u-pick apple score. 

We arrived at the tail end of raspberry season, so pickings were a little slim. Danielle and Brian combed the through the raspberry bushes and were able to get a pretty decent yield. The photos above are from a few years ago when I hit up the farm at the very beginning of apple season and the berries were out of control amazing. My friends and I left with a ton of them and I had to end up freezing a bunch because I went overboard.

Gravensteins from days of yore

On our recent visit, we were blessed with a beautiful, slightly overcast but cool day. It was the perfect backdrop for the day.

First up we headed to the Red & Golden Delicious part of the orchard.

Red Delicious Perfection. Photo by Danielle of Look Pretty.
Golden Delicious

The gangs all here picking Granny Smiths: Danielle, Brian, Michelle
Granny Smith

 

 

 

I’m always happy at a farm. 🙂
The yield: The two little ones in the bottom left corner are the only Spartans I was able to get. I took home a ton of Granny Smith & Red Delicious, as they were the most ripe.

And you know I wouldn’t go apple picking without making a pie when I got home! 😉 This is the third Apple-Cherry pie combo, I’ve attempted. While the others weren’t awful, I think this one def hits the spot!

Apple-Cherry Pie w/ Cardamon & Black Pepper

Ingredients:

2 pie crusts (use your favorite recipe)

3 c Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

2 c tart cherries

1/2 c plus 2 tbsp unbleached cane sugar

1 1/2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour

1 tbsp cherry brandy

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cardamon

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

pinch salt

a few shakes of freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium or large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Roll out your crust and lay it into your pie plate of choice. If you’re feeling fancy, roll a little bit of black pepper into your crust. In retrospect, I should have done that and probably will next time. 🙂 Once you’ve got your bottom crust in your pie plate. Go ahead and add the filling. If a lot of juice has accumulated in your mixing bowl, add 3/4 of it and discard the rest. Now, you can do any type of top you like. I did lattice and cut out some little leaf shapes with the scraps. Feel free to just cover up the whole pie though if you don’t feel like lattice or shapes, but remember to cut some vents for steam.