Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
+ BEETxBEET GIVEAWAY!
I love the vegan clothing and awareness company BEETxBEET and that they stand up for our animal friends, but I love owner, activist and girl boss Jacky Wasserman even more. We've been friends for a few years now after meeting at a vegan Oktoberfest and interviewing her about her company back where she first started. She works her ass off saving animals and making rad clothing, which has expanded from a few humble t-shirts to hats, notebooks and sometimes even customized cup cozies! She's had some great new, clever shirts come out lately so we decided to team up and create a recipe based on each of her most popular styles - and pair them each with a giveaway of the t-shirt itself! We made some great meals we think you guys are going to love - and then got to eat them ALL. Haha, but only to make sure they tasted perfectly before we shared them. Promise. (Ahh, the life of a food blogger. It's rarely glamorous, but it is full of taste-tests!)
The first shirt we're repping is one of my personal faves, the 'In Plants We Trust' shirt. It is available in Men's + Women's styles, but I especially love this crop-top cut version. We paired it with a Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas + Apple Cider Vinaigrette because it is the perfect fall meal - and it's packed with plants! The tart apples and tangy dressing help balance out the sweet of the cranberries, and the pepitas make a great crunch at the end. This salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and is a great starter before a meal or as a meal in itself.
You can get the recipe by scrolling down a bit. To enter the giveaway to WIN your very own 'In Plants We Trust' tee, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and fill out the widget. We'll let the widget randomly choose one winner and we'll email that person directly for size information + gender preference. GOOD LUCK!
INGREDIENTS Apple Cider Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon each salt + pepper
4 cups mixed greens
2 green apples, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
DIRECTIONS In a blender combine online oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you don't have a blender or would prefer more of an oil + vinegar style dressing, simply mince garlic and whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the mixed greens, thinly sliced apples, cranberries + pepitas. Drizzle with dressing and serve!
NOTES Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Clafoutis, pronounced KLA-FOO-TEE, is a French dessert that is custard-y in texture and studded with fruit. Cherries seem to be the traditionally paired flavor, but since cranberries are in season and have such a great tart flavor, we used them instead. They work nicely to balance out the sweet, eggy flavor and texture of the cake, and they taste all kinds of seasonal with a bit of added orange zest. It works as a breakfast dish or dessert, and is an impressive looking one, at that! This recipe is deceptively simple and makes you seem like a real chef, especially when you start throwing around words like 'clafoutis' and 'aquafaba'. If you haven't jumped on the aquafaba train, you can check out some more info on other recipes we've used it in, like our Easy Chickpeasy Breakfast Burritos + our Homemade Marshmallow Fluff. We used aquafaba in this dish because it so closely mimics the protein structure in baked goods that eggs do, and helped to almost perfectly mimic the texture of a traditional clafoutis. We considered using flax or chia eggs, but I just don't think it would've given the same texture, and like we said before, texture is key in this dish. Anyway, enough chatting. You get it. Fancy dessert, very little work. So what're you waiting for? Let's eat!
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon aquafaba
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup fresh cranberries
powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine almond milk, aquafaba, sugar, melted butter, vanilla and orange zest. Add in the flour, whisking until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch cast iron pan or baking dish. Scatter the cranberries over the top and place the whole pan into the oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until dough is puffed and golden along the edges. Remove from the oven and let it sit at least 2 hours to set. The result should be very custard-like, a thick 'pancake' similar to flan.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar + serve!
Aquafaba is the magical liquid drained from a can of beans. Garbanzo or white beans work best. You can read more about that here.
Texture is key in this dish. Don't dig in too early or the base won't set properly. It might seem undercooked or a little jiggly when you first pull it out of the oven, but I promise, that's what you want. However, if the sides haven't browned up, you'll want to keep it in a few extra minutes.
Cranberries not your jam? Use your favorite berries or stone fruit here instead!
***We've gotten a LOT of questions about this recipe. I swear it is as easy as it looks BUT PLEASE read through the entire recipe completely before beginning. And yes, your pan should be greased...like its says. :) ***
Winter Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Persimmon, Pomegranate,
+ Cranberry Vinaigrette
It's getting all kinds of wintery up in here! Okay, so not like actually wintery because I live in Southern California where there is seemingly eternal sunshine - but winterish. Definitely more wintery in some places than others, but tomorrow it is officially December. Almost Christmas, and New Year's and 2016...but before that, we have a hard, long holiday season where the weather is cold and the sweets are always around and maybe you just can't possibly stomach another baked good. I get that. So here I am, offering friendship and a meal that'll pick your immune system off the floor and right the balance of good bacteria in your belly. It's packed full of fall + winter foods and drizzled with a tangy cranberry vinaigrette, which nicely rounds out the sweet and savory flavors. It's easy, it's delicious - let's EAT!
4 cups spinach mix OR mixed greens
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 persimmons, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch wedges
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sweet white onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon champagne OR apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup OR agave nectar
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash spinach and arrange on a serving plate or in a large bowl.
Slice sweet potato rounds, arrange onto a lined baking sheet and drizzle with the coconut oil. Add a sprinkle of salt + pepper, if you like. Roast them for 20-25 minutes, flipping about halfway through.
While the sweet potato roasts, prepare the persimmons, pomegranate arils, and pepitas and set aside.
When the sweet potato is finished, dress the greens with the sweet potato slices, persimmon wedges, pom arils, and pepitas.
To prepare the vinaigrette, simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until dressing comes together. Adjust to your tastes as needed.
Toss the salad in the vinaigrette or drizzle it over the top, serve, and enjoy!
Serves 2-4, depending on portion size.
Another easily customized dish. Don't have sweet potatoes? Use squash! Don't have pumpkin seeds? Try sunflower seeds or dried cranberries. The must make here is really that tangy, fall-friendly vinaigrette - it tastes great!
The day(s) after Thanksgiving are my favorites. Instead of dressing up and stuffing my face, I get to lay around the house is the coziest of sweat pants, stuffing my face with leftovers. Things just always seem to taste better the next day. And these are no exception! There's not so much a recipe here as a meal idea and a great way to get creative with leftovers. We like sliders because they're easier to whip up than a whole sandwich and still taste great, plus they help us use up our yeasty dinner rolls before they hit that 2nd day after mark and start getting a little...rock hard. Anyway, you get the idea! A little less talking, a little more assembling tiny, adorable leftovers finger sandwiches. Let's eat!
4 dinner rolls
1/4 cup goji cranberry sauce
1/2 cup cranberry apple walnut stuffing
1/2 cup celeriac mashed potatoes
1/2 cup easy miso gravy
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
In a microwave or over the stove, reheat your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers.
Cut dinner rolls in half, then top with cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes + a hearty dollop of gravy. Garnish with fresh thyme, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
These are pretty customizable. Use whatever leftovers you have!
I'm a little embarrassed telling you this, but I used to LOVE canned cranberry sauce. I haven't eaten it in a few years, since I started making my own, but growing up that was my jam. I looked forward to Thanksgiving just for the ribbed, cylindrical maroon-colored jelly that would PLOP onto a plate and get passed around. It had no chunks, no texture, was just smooth as jello and sweet as could be. It was probably made with corn syrup. I'd probably think it tastes a little gross now. So instead of trying it again and ruining my beautiful memories of smearing it on yeast rolls and eating it alongside my mashed potato and gravy pile, I have decided to remember it as it was: perfect, and delicious. And make a better version! Something much more adult-friendly and gut-friendly. This cranberry sauce is super easy and whip up and is packed with goji berries, a superfood similar in flavor and color to cranberries, but packing a whopping 100% of your daily value of Vitamin's C + B2. Plus they contain all 11 essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. Its the wayyyyy healthier, just as tasty, much more enjoyable version of the crap I used to eat, and I think you're gonna love it too. Did we mention there are just 4 ingredients in this sauce? 5 if you count water! Easy peasy. Let's eat!
INGREDIENTS 1 cup water 3/4 cup maple syrup 3 tablespoons lemon juice
12 oz. of fresh cranberries (we bought a bag at Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup goji berries
DIRECTIONS Rinse and drain cranberries.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water, maple syrup and lemon juice. Add cranberries and goji berries, bring to a boil, and cover.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until about 3/4 of the cranberries have popped open and the juices are beginning to thicken. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes, whisking several more times.
Remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate at least two hours to set before serving.Enjoy!
NOTES Makes about 3 cups.
This sauce can easily be made the night before and refrigerated until ready to be enjoyed.
Sauce saves well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
For years, the only stuffing I'd ever eaten was the weird, kinda mushy, from-a-box version that only came out at our place on Thanksgiving and Easter. And it was okay, but I had no idea what I was missing. I don't remember the first time I had a crusty, moist homemade stuffing, but it changed my mind forever. Once you've had the real thing, you just can't go back. This year I'm tackling stuffing and officially making it my favorite side dish. It tastes great smothered in mashed potatoes and sopping up gravy, and packs much more flavor than you'd imagine for such a quick + easy recipe. It's sweet and savory and looks lovely with all the color from the vegetables peeking out. The walnuts add just a touch of texture and earthy flavor, and the apples and cranberries balance everything out. Missing an ingredient? Sub in something else you love! This recipe is easy to make your own and tastes great just about anyway you serve it. Let's eat!
8 cups stale sourdough bread, cut into 1-in. cubes
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium red apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon each salt + pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cube up your stale bread and set it aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, celery and onions until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add apples and cranberries and continue to cook until apples soften, about 3-4 more minutes. Sprinkle in walnuts, sage, salt and pepper and toss to incorporate.
Pour the vegetable mixture into the bowl with the cubed bread, and stir. Pour vegetable broth over the mixture, stirring to evenly coat all the bread with liquid. The bread will absorb most of the liquid, but there should be some left.
Pour the entire stuffing mixture into a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until stuffing is becoming golden brown and making the kitchen smell delicious. Pull it from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!
To reheat, you can place the entire baking dish back into the oven covered in foil, removing the foil about halfway through cooking. Or if you have a microwave, feel free to use that.
If you don't want to use sourdough bread you can substitute your stale bread of choice.
With just under a week left until Thanksgiving, we're rounding up the last of our favorites- the ones that are making the table this year. Part of our planning includes making a few dishes the night before the big day. It's considerably less stressful the morning of, and reduces the chances of an ingredient being forgotten in a dish
(which always happens, and is the worst).
I know by about 1 pm I'll be dizzy from whisking things into deliciousness. Hopefully by 3 pm I'll be enjoying a holiday libation and relaxing. When you prepare dishes like this ahead of time, though, you might even get to drink before 3.
Did we mention there are just 5 magical ingredients in this zesty, chunky sauce? Its vegan, gluten-free, and uses real maple syrup to sweeten things up. The secret ingredient, sweet white miso, adds a little earthy taste to the sweet maple undertones and chunky, tangy cranberries. The lemon compliments the cranberries beautifully and keeps the whole dish from being overly sweet. We hope it finds a nicy, cozy corner on your Thanksgiving table this year. You deserve to treat yourself to some of the easiest, best cranberry sauce you've ever had.
1 twelve ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 cup water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
Rinse and drain cranberries.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and miso until miso has completely dissolved. Add cranberries, bring to a boil, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until about 3/4 of the cranberries have popped open and the juices are beginning to thicken. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes, whisking several more times.
Remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate at least two hours to set before serving.
Garnish with grated lemon peel tendrils, a few whole cranberries, or a lemon twist.
Can easily be made the night before and refrigerated until ready to be enjoyed.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks.