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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fennel and Apple Soup for One

I love fennel and I have lots of recipes that bring its slight licorice taste to the fore. Combine it with turmeric (which is really good for you), and apples (available all year ‘round), and we’re definitely talking about comfort food and health in the same sentence.

1 TBLSP grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 leek, white part only, halved and sliced
1 sprig thyme, leaves minced
1/3 fennel bulb, chopped (fronds reserved for garnish)
½ medium green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 TBLSP walnut pieces, toasted
Salt and pepper
1 cup water or veggie stock
Maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper
Fennel fronds
More toasted walnuts

  1. In a small but heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the leeks and thyme. Sauté until the leeks are soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the fennel and apples and give it a stir. Add the turmeric and stir again. Keep sautéing until the fennel starts to soften, about another 4 minutes.
  3. Add the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add in the water or stock and heat to a boil. Simmer until all the veggies are very soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a blender and whirl away until it’s very smooth and velvety. Check the seasoning and return to the pot.
  6. Bring it back to a boil and serve hot with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh black pepper, fennel fronds, and more walnuts.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Turkish Walnut Soup for One

This is my new comfort food. It whips up fast, it’s refreshing and creamy at the same time, and the interesting combination of sweet and savory will keep your taste buds dancing until the soup is gone.

¼ cup shelled walnuts
1 TBLSP olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
½ orange, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup juice, 1 ½ TBLSP zest)
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable stock or water
2 TBLSP plain soy yogurt
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

  1. Roast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and g fragrant. Put the walnuts on a cutting board to cool slightly, the chop them coarsely.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the shallot and garlic, and cook until the shallots have softened and become translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped walnuts, orange zest, juice, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute.
  4. Puree the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender with a few TBLSP of the stock or water. 
  5. Return to the saucepan and add in the rest of the stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat, stir in the yogurt, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if you like. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Celeriac, Leek, and Fennel Soup for One

This tasty little soup comes together in just a few minutes, really as soon as the vegetables are cooked. The unusual combination of flavors will have you thinking you’re eating in a fancy restaurant. As a bonus, you can serve it hot in the winter and cold in the summer.

½ TBLSP olive oil
½ leek, white parts only, sliced (about ½ a cup)
½ fennel rib, sliced, plus fronds reserved for garnish (about ½ cup)
1 ½ cup water or vegetable stock
¼ celeriac bulb, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about ½ cup) (you can substitute potato)
Walnuts for garnish

  1. In a small but heavy pot, heat the oil. Add leeks and fennel and cook for 7 minutes, until softened, stirring often.
  2. Add the water or stock and the celeriac and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the celeriac is tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor and whirl until it’s fairly smooth.
  5. Return it to the pot (if necessary) and reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with fennel fronds and walnuts. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Broccoli and Faux Cheese Sauce Soup for One

This little treat doesn’t take long to whip up, and you’ll be glad you did! Broccoli is available most of the year, too. Best of all, the “cheese” sauce makes extra, so plan to drizzle it over a pizza, toast, potatoes, steamed veggies, or scrambled tofu!

For the Soup:
1 TBLSP olive oil
¼ medium sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/3 cup peeled and chopped celeriac (or potato)
1 ½ cup water (or vegetable broth)
½ TBLSP nutritional yeast
Juice of one lemon wedge
Pinch of onion powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 TBLSP fresh parsley, minced, plus more for garnish

For the Cheese Sauce:
½ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (or any gluten-free option--even corn-starch will work)
1 teaspoon non-dairy butter
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon plus 1/3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of onion powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Make the Soup:
  1. In a skillet, heat the oil, onion, and garlic over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the celery, broccoli, and celeriac, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the water and nutritional yeast and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the celeriac is fork-tender. Toss the parsley in at the last minute, so it just wilts but doesn’t cook all the way soft.

Make the Cheese Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and flour together until the clumps are all gone.
  2. In a small pot, melt the faux butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and milk mixture, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add in the nutritional yeast and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Add the mustard, garlic and onion powders, and salt and pepper, and whisk frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat once thick or it will burn.

Assemble the Soup:
  1. Transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender, and whirl away until almost smooth.
  2. Put it in your serving bowl, and drizzle the cheese sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

German Chocolate Cake for One

What could be better than chocolate, coconut, and pecans? Baking them into a cake, of course!

For the Cake:
1 2/3 TBLSP cocoa powder
3 TBLSP all-purpose flour (you could substitute spelt or almond flour for gluten free)
1/8 teaspoon salt
I 2/3 TBLSP granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 teaspoons vegetable or coconut oil (you can also substitute applesauce or mashed banana)
3 TBLSP almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:
1 cup pecans
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 TBLSP powdered sugar (or increase maple syrup to 3 TBLSP)
3 TBLSP coconut or other vegan butter
3 TBLSP shredded coconut

Pre-soak the pecans and dates for the frosting for at least two hours. Four is better. Eight is best.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two ramekins well.
Make the Cake:
  1. Thoroughly combine cocoa powder, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Add in the oil, milk, and vanilla, and stir until it makes a nice smooth batter.
  3. Pour the mixture divided evenly into the ramekins. You’ll want to bang them gently a few times to get the air bubbles out.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick inserted comes out dry. Wait for them to cool before removing them from the ramekins.

The cakes need to be completely cool before frosting them. Tra-la-la!
Make the Frosting:
  1. Soak the pecans and dates in enough water to cover them. You need to do this early, because baking and cooling the cake won’t take that long and you’ll need a few hours to properly soften the nuts. Drain them completely.
  2. In a blender, combine pecans, dates, water, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and butter (all of the frosting ingredients except the coconut), and blend well, until it’s smooth, like frosting.
  3. If the frosting seems soupy, strain it. You should be able to spread the frosting with a knife and have it stick to a vertical surface.

Assemble the Cake:
  1. Frost one of the little cakes and sprinkle a little coconut on it.
  2. Set the other cake on top of the first one, and frost it too, and then work your way down the sides.
  3. Sprinkle more coconut on top and press coconut into the sides. Top with a few pecans for decoration.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zucchini Frittata for One

Some days just need a more substantial breakfast. Or maybe it’s brunch. No wait—you’ve been working hard all day, what you really need is a special dinner. Whenever you decide to serve it, you’ll enjoy this lovely meal.

1 TBLSP olive oil
¼ onion, chopped
¼ zucchini or summer squash (or a mix), sliced into half-moons or other bite-sized shape
1 clove garlic, minced
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
5 olives, diced (I mixed both Kalamata and green olives)
3 oz. (about 1/3 package) of silken tofu
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
4 teaspoons almond milk
Dash of turmeric
Pinch of kala namak (black salt) (optional—adds an eggy taste)
1 ¼ TBLSP chickpea flour (or other flour of your choosing)
1 teaspoon arrowroot
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Warm the olive oil in an oven-proof saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and zucchini in there for 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and olives and continue to cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the tofu, nutritional yeast, almond milk, turmeric, and kala namak until it’s smooth. Then add the flour, arrowroot, and salt and pepper, and whirl it until just barely mixed in. 
  4. Distribute the zucchini and onions evenly over the bottom of the saucepan. Then pour the tofu mixture over it, spreading it to make sure it covers all those tasty bits.
  5. Cook the little guy.
    • You can cook it on the stove top for 15 minutes on medium heat, flipping, and cooking the other side for another 15 minutes.
    • You can put it in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes. I like this method because the flipping can go badly, and this is more traditional anyway.

Serve immediately. I like to garnish with fruit, but you could add toast, a green salad (for brunch), or cashew cheese with it. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Creamy Mac ‘n’ Cheeze for One

It’s cold and rainy out there. You come in, shake the rain off your clothes, and go and stare bleakly at the refrigerator. The last thing you want is reheated leftovers or a cold salad. Ta-da! Here’s a quick and easy way to warm up those cold toes! It’s (one of many variations of) Mac ‘n’ Cheese! Yay!

2 TBLSP raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in water (you could also use sunflower seeds)
2/3 cup dried macaroni
¼ cup peeled celeriac –celery root (use potato if you can’t find it)
1 TBLSP diced carrots
1 ½ TBLSP chopped yellow onion
3 TBLSP water (use from the boiled veggies for extra flavor)
1 TBLSP almond milk (or the non-dairy milk of your choice)
1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
A squirt of fresh lemon juice
A shake of salt (or to taste)
A shake of garlic powder (or to taste)
A shake of turmeric (optional)
A dash of grated nutmeg for the top

  1. Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water, al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring a cup and a half or so of water to boil in a small pot, and put the celeriac, carrots, and onion in there. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are soft and tender. The smaller you chop ‘em, the faster they’ll cook.
  3. Drain (saving the water for later) and blend the veggies in a food processor or blender. Add a slosh of the cooking water or tap water along with the cashews, milk, yeast, juice, salt, and garlic powder, and keep blending away until it’s super smooth.
  4. Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss some nutmeg at it to garnish.

  • Put the sauced and stirred macaroni in a baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown.
  • Mix in chunks of Tofurkey Beer Brats or other faux meat of your choosing.
  • Decorate with avocado, parsley, sliced olives.
  • Amend with a blop of faux sour cream

Monday, December 15, 2014

Apple Pie Cheesecake for One

This little pie will make you happy. It’s just the right blend of sweet and tart, crunchy and creamy, and, because apples are available for most of the year, you can make it any time! Yay!

For the Crust:
½ cup whole pecans
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon superfine flour (like coconut, tapioca, brown rice, chickpea—your choice)
1 TBLSP vegan butter, melted

For the Filling:
1 teaspoon almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choosing)
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
3 ounces extra firm tofu
A slosh of vanilla extract
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 shakes of ground cinnamon
1 shake of ground cloves
1 TBLSP superfine flour (coconut, tapioca, brown rice, chickpea—your choice)

For the Topping:
½ medium-sized grannysmith apple
1 teaspoon vegan butter, cut into small bits
4 TBLSP packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch mixed with 2 teaspoons very cold water

To Make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. In a blender or food processor, grind up the pecans, sugars, and flour until it’s a rough crumb.  
  2. Stir in the melted faux butter with a fork until it’s well mixed. I just put a small bowl with the faux butter into the microwave and then dump the crumby mixture out of the food processor into it.
  3. Press this lovely crumb into a small pan or ramekin until the crust is about ¼-inch thick. It should climb up the sides, too. I use a single-serving quiche pan that’s about 4-inches across.
  4. Bake for 10-13 minutes.

To Make the Filling:
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it on.
  1. Place almond milk, lemon juice, tofu, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and flour in a small bowl, and stir until roughly combined.
  2. Transfer to food processor and whirl away at it until it’s very smooth. No lumps!
  3. Spread the filling into the baked crust, smoothing the top. It should be a little mounded, as it will fall slightly during the cooling process.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes. It will be slightly firm to the touch and golden brown.
  5. Turn off the oven, but leave the pie in there for an hour.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack until room temperature, and then let it languish in the refrigerator for a few hours before making the topping.

To Make the Topping:
  1. Slice the apple thinly, peels on.
  2. Toss the apple slices with the faux butter into a small sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until the apples are soft and there’s a lot of liquid in the pan.
  3. Add brown sugar, and let it cook over medium heat until it bubbles.
  4. Add in the corn starch and water, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Let it cool slightly before applying to your cheesecake.

Final Assembly:
  1. Top the cheesecake with the topping and refrigerate for a few more hours, or overnight, until it’s all firm.
  2. Devour with the ravenous longing you’ve been suffering since you began making this recipe.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Persimmon Swirl Scone for One

My friends have a persimmon tree, and they gave me some fine examples of perfect fruit. They’re gorgeous to look at, fun to cook with, and deliciously sweet. That doesn’t mean I can’t use them in something sweet, though. Look out!

For the Compote:
2 ½ TBLSP persimmon pulp (no skin or seeds, please), Hachiyas are best (it took about half of a small one)
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
Pinch of lemon zest (about 1/6 of the lemon)
½ teaspoon lemon juice (1 thick slice’s worth)
A dash of freshly grated nutmeg
For the Scone:
½ TBLSP chia seeds
1 ½ TBLSP cold water
1/3 cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
2/3 TBLSP vegan butter
1 TBLSP dried cranberries or raisins
1 TBLSP almond milk

Make the Compote:
  1. Combine the persimmon pulp, sugar, zest, juice, and nutmeg in a small pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, and then stir frequently until it’s thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Make the Scone:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  1. Grind chia seeds in a mortar and pestle or blender long enough to make a coarse meal (not a flour). (You can skip the grinding—the taste is a little less robust, but the seeds produce the same texture.) Place the ground seeds in a small container (or leave in the mortar), add 1 ½ TBLSP of cold water and stir briskly. Let sit for five minutes (while you mix the rest of the ingredients). The goopy result is a substitute for ½ of an egg, so if you’re not a vegan, you can use half a beaten egg.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt). A cereal bowl is plenty big enough.
  3. Cut in the butter with a pastry knife or a fork until it’s the texture of cornmeal.
  4. Stir in the dried fruit.
  5. Add in the chia goop and the almond milk. Mix briefly and press into a flattened circle on a lightly floured surface, about ½ inch thick.
  6. Put about half of the compote onto the circle of dough. Fold the edges in, and then, enjoying the gloopiness of it, smudge the little packet a bit, so that the compote mixes in. It gets slippery very fast, so don’t worry too much about getting it evenly distributed. It won’t really marble either, because the dough gets wet fast. Consider it a semi-mix.
  7. Reshape the dough into a disk, about ¾ of an inch high. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Place it onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Use the balance of the compote to top each bite before you eat it. Yummy! In the photo, you’ll see that I enjoyed it with a little vegan cream cheese too. Oh boy. I made yummy noises all morning! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quinoa-Crusted Pizza with Squash and Tahini for One

Get out the extra napkins, because you’re gonna need ‘em. This delightful little gluten-free treat is fun to make, fun to eat, and fun to lick the plate after! You will be doing that. There will be a little extra of the tahini drizzle, so plan to smear that on something later in the day, as you will want a reprise of this pizza again and again.

For the Crust:
½ cup quinoa, thoroughly washed and soaked in water for 8 hours, and drained
A pinch of salt
¼ - 1/3 cup water
For the Sauce:
1/3 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¼-inch chunks (about 1 generous cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
A pinch of sea salt
For the Drizzle:
4 teaspoons tahini
1 TBLSP nutritional yeast
Several shakes of onion powder
Several shakes of garlic powder
1 TBLSP freshly grated horseradish (optional—you could use hot sauce, if you wanted)
2 ½ teaspoons white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
A pinch of fine sea salt
4 TBLSP water (more, If needed to make it thin enough to drizzle)
For Toppings:
1/3 cup cooked chickpeas or other bean, rinsed and drained well
1/3 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, diced
6 black olives, sliced or diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet, pie tin, or baking dish with parchment paper.

Make the Crust:
  1. Put the soaked quinoa, salt, and ¼ cup of water into a food processor. Whirl away. The result should be about the consistency of pancake batter. If it’s too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, let it drip into a strainer for a few minutes.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Make the Sauce:
  1. In a small pot, boil the butternut squash until it’s fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Put the squash into a food processor or blender with the oil and salt, and process until it’s smooth.

Make the Drizzle:
  1. Put the tahini, yeast, onion and garlic powders, grated horseradish, vinegar, salt, and water into a small bowl and whisk until it’s smooth. Or you can use a food processor or blender. It’s your decision.

Assemble the Pizza:
  1. When the crust is out of the oven, spread a thick layer of the squash sauce over the top of it and fling chickpeas all over it.
  2. Put the crust back into the oven for 3-5 more minutes, until everything is warmed through.
  3. Pull the warmed pizza out of the oven and top with cilantro, green onions, and olives. Drizzle with the tahini sauce.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sugar Cookies for One

Any time of year is just right for sugar cookies, and the winter holidays make them especially inviting. This recipe makes a dozen little cookies rather than the usual two or three. You’ll want the extras, and they keep pretty well if you don’t gobble them up all at once. Try to wait until your tea is steeped, at least. 

1 ½ TBLSP water
½ teaspoon flax seed meal
6 TBLSP all-purpose flour
Pinch of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 ½ TBLSP vegan butter
3 ½ TBLSP powder sugar
1 teaspoon non-dairy milk (I like almond milk)
A splash of vanilla extract
A splash of almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  1. Combine the flax and water in a small bowl and set it aside to think about becoming egg-like.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cream in the butter and powdered sugar until it’s all a nice mixture.
  4. Add in the flax glop and mix that in too, along with the milk, vanilla, and almond extracts.
  5. Roll the dough into a ball, and refrigerate for a half an hour.

  1. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, and cut into nice shapes. This can include things like circles and squares, if those are shapes that appeal to you. Don’t feel that you have to invest in a collection of cookie cutters.
  2. Bake them for 18 to 20 minutes until slightly golden.

  • Dust the bare cookies with granulated sugar before baking.
  • Dust the bare cookies with a mixture of 1 TBLSP granulated sugar, and 2 shakes of cinnamon.
  • Grind up ¼ teaspoon of cardamom and sneak it into the batter with the extracts. Yummmm.
  • Switch out the almond extract for a lemon wedge’s worth of juice and a half teaspoon of poppy seeds. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great recipe for cakes, cookies, scones, muffins--pretty much any time you'd like some frosting.

½ TBLSP vegan butter, softened
2 TBLSP vegan cream cheese, softened
A splash of vanilla extract
¾ cup powdered sugar
Drops of food coloring
  1. Combine the vegan butter and cream cheese until it’s fluffy.
  2. Add the vanilla, and stir until well-combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time. You might not want all of it, if you want a thinner drizzly frosting. You might want more of it, if you want a thicker frosting that you can make into peaks.
  4. Add the food coloring. Or not. It's pretty when it's just white, too. 

  • If you want to make it pretty colors, divide the frosting into small bowls and mix in the food coloring of your choice. Go lightly!
  • Sprinkles. Need I say more?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Deep Dish Apple Pie for One

There’s nothing so classic as an apple pie. You don’t have to make it deep dish, but I found this pretty purple one for $2, so I piled the apples high. They shrink a bit when you bake them anyway. The interesting twist in this little pie is the pinch of ground cloves. 

For the Crust (make this crust twice—doubling doesn’t come out as nicely):
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 TBLSP shortening or vegan butter
1 ½ TBLSP ice water (or half vodka)

For the Filling:
1 medium large apple—about ¾ cup of apple slices (I like gala or grannysmith)
Juice of a lemon wedge
1 TBLSP granulated sugar (use more or less, depending on the tartness of your apple)
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
½ teaspoon cornstarch

Make the Crust
It may seem silly to make this twice when you could just double the recipe. Believe me, I’ve tried it. Something breaks down in the science between a full-sized pie crust (serves 8) and this little guy, and the dough can be tough. So just do it twice. You don’t have to wash anything between times.
  1. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Then add the water/vodka and mix until it holds together in a very soft dough. (Vodka is a pie-maker’s trick. If you use it, the crust will be a little lighter. In such small quantities, though, you may not notice the difference. The alcohol burns off, so you don’t taste it, but, like the water, it evaporates and leaves little fluffy openings in the dough.)
  3. Form the dough into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just squish it together until it holds.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle or square.
  5. Put the dough, still flat, in the refrigerator for an hour or two (overnight is fine). I use the same waxed paper that I roll it on (speeds clean-up), slide it onto a plate, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. You might prefer plastic wrap if you have a lot of stinky things in your fridge.
  6. Now do the whole thing again. Don’t worry. It only takes 7 minutes.

Make the Filling:
  1. Peel, core, and quarter the apple. Slice it into thin pieces. You might want to cut it into eighths, since we’re making such a tiny little pie. They’ll snuggle up more closely that way. You decide.
  2. Give the slices a squirt of lemon juice, turning the pieces to make sure that everybody gets a chance to play with the lemon juice.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and cornstarch.
  4. Stir the sugar combination gently into the apple pieces. Everything should have a little furry coat.

Assemble the Pie:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease up your pie dish with spray oil, canola oil, or vegan butter. Mine is about 4-inches wide on the bottom and must be close to 5-inches across at the top. 
  1. Drape the dough designated to be the bottom crust into your prepared pie dish. Gently manipulate it into all the corners of the dish, patching any tears with pieces from the edges. Don’t worry about the edges for now. Just let them be free-form and happy.
  2. Place the filling into the bottom of the crust, snuggling it around so that it fills the dough completely. If it mounds up, that’s a good thing, because it will shrink a bit during baking.
  3. Cover the filling with the dough designated to be the top crust. Trim the edges of both crusts to be about ½ inch wider than the pie dish. Crimp the edges together with your fingers. You can make a pretty pattern by alternating in and out ripples, you could press a fork’s tines into it to make a neat pattern, or you could just leave it free. If you want to, decorate the top with any scraps of dough.
  4. Poke holes with a knife or fork at artistic and regular intervals in the top crust so that the apples inside can bubble up through somewhere. In a 4-inch dish, you’ll want about 6 holes. More is fine.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees, and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is golden and the contents are bubbling busily. (If the crust seems to be going too fast, you can make a little hat for the edges out of aluminum foil. Just fold a long strip of it in half and crimp it to fit snuggly against the edges of the crust.)
  7. Cool completely on a rack before making a complete monster of yourself and devouring suddenly. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Apple Ginger-Spice Cookies for One

This little treat makes me happy. The combination of molasses and applesauce speaks to my childhood and at the same time is a very grown-up combination. It’s a puffy and light cookie, and I’m very glad that the recipe makes three of them. This and a cup of tea and my happiness is complete! 

5 TBLSP all-purpose flour
Pinch baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
Two shakes of ground ginger
A hefty shake of ground cinnamon
A dash of ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 ½ teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ teaspoons molasses (I used blackstrap, but you could use plain, if you want a less bold taste)
1 ½ TBLSP granulated sugar, plus 1 TBLSP for rolling cookies
¼ apple, peeled and finely chopped apple (I like Grannysmith, but use whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat it with cooking spray.
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, and molasses. Add 1 ½ TBLSP sugar to this mixture.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and fold it in. It will be a stiff dough. When it’s mostly combined, add in the chopped apple. Don’t over mix it!
  4. Roll the dough into rough balls and roll each ball in the remaining TBLSP of sugar. I got three balls, each a little bigger than 1-inch in diameter.
  5. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and flatten them a bit.
  6. Sprinkle any remaining sugar lightly over the top of the cookies.  
  7. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are dry and the bottoms are golden brown. Cool them without moving them in the pan or they will crumble. They stiffen up as they cool. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Scone for One

Are you looking for something luxurious and comforting in the morning, but you don’t want to make a big production out of it? Guess what! This little apple scone solves that problem easily.

For the Scone:
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 TBLSP brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/3 TBLSP cold vegan butter, cut into pieces
½ apple, peeled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 ½ TBLSP applesauce
3 TBLSP almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)

For the Topping:
A slosh of almond milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

For the Glaze (optional):
2 TBLSP confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon applesauce
Slosh of almond milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make the Scone:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Chop in the vegan butter with a fork or a pair of knives or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  2. Add in the apples, stirring gently.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the applesauce and almond milk together.
  4. Add the applesauce mixture to the apple and flour mixture, stirring gently. You might need a few more drops of milk to make the dough hold together. It shouldn’t be wet, though.
  5. On the prepared baking sheet, pat the dough into a rough round (or two), about 1-inch high. If you want, cut it (them) into wedges or in half, but you’ll be devouring the whole thing all at once, so it’s really a matter of how dainty you’re going to be about it.

Make the Topping:
  1. Brush the scone(s) with almond milk. I slosh a little into a tiny bowl or a tablespoon and use the back of a teaspoon or my fingers, but you could use a brush if you’re fastidious.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle it liberally over the top of the scone(s).
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden. Let it cool as long as you can stand it on a wire rack. You can certainly eat this warm from the oven, though.

Make the Glaze (optional):
  1. In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, applesauce, and almond milk until well combined. You might need less almond milk if your applesauce is very wet, so go lightly. You don’t want it running completely off your scone(s). I like to make the glaze while the scones are baking so it has a chance to harden up a little.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the scone(s) as soon as it (they) are cool enough.

  • You might toss some walnuts into the dough with the apples.
  • You might also toss some raisins into the dough with the apples. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Walnut and Apple-Stuffed Squash for One

With its herbed stuffing and warm squash, this apply treat is comfort food of the finest order. Savory apples? Why not!?!  

1 cup firmly packed diced whole-grain bread (you could substitute a grain, like rice or quinoa)
1 TBLSP olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
½ large apple, peeled and diced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 TBLSP chopped fresh parsley
A pinch of dried thyme
2 leaves of fresh sage, thinly sliced
2 TBLSP finely chopped walnuts (or other nut)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 TBLSP apple juice
Half a squash, such as acorn, pumpkin, or butternut, cleaned of seeds, and with a nice open space to pile the stuffing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Place the squash half cut-side-down on a large baking sheet for 20 minutes. (With the bread, the squash will have roasted for about 30 minutes total before you stuff it.) 
  2. Toast the diced bread on the same large baking sheet in the oven by spreading it in a single layer and stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion over medium heat, until soft, about 5 minutes, maybe less. Add the diced apple and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the bread cubes, the onion and apple mixture, and the scallion, parsley, thyme, sage, walnuts, and salt and pepper. Once it’s well mixed, drizzle in the apple juice and mix to just moisten the mixture. You want to make sure that the bread is wet, for sure.
  5. Pull the squash out of the oven and turn it over. It should be starting to soften up a bit. Stuff the opening in the squash with the apple mixture and settle it on the baking sheet. If there’s any stuffing left over, put it into a nice ramekin. Of course, if you’re anti-squash, you could bake the whole batch in a small casserole.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes. When the stuffing is golden brown and still moist, and the squash is squishy when you poke it with a fork, it’s finished. You might need to add water to the bottom of the pan if the stuffing is cooking faster than the squash. The water will keep enough moisture in the oven for everything to turn out just fine. If you need to, cover the stuffing with a bit of foil so it won’t burn while the squash is finishing up cooking.

  • Replace the bread with rice or another grain.
  • Bake the stuffing separately and roll seitan strips around blobs of it. Fasten the rolls with a toothpick and sauté in a little bit of oil.
  • If you can eat bell peppers (I can’t), it would probably be nice stuffed in there.
  • Wrap a piece of lavash or a burrito-sized tortilla around some of the cooked stuffing, add a little faux sour cream or cheese and some greenery and call it lunch.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Apple and Pumpkin Soup for One

The days are turning chilly and so for Day 4 of Apple Week, it’s time for some nice soup. Bake some crusty bread (like Garlic Buns for One or Fluffy Biscuit for One, or even Naan for One) and dine like the royalty you know you are.

Olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ a medium sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, de-seeded
½ of an apple
¼ of a medium yellow onion
1 TBLSP olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic
3-5 TBLSP almond milk (or the non-dairy milk of your preference)
¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
A pinch of ground cardamom
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a baking sheet.
  1. Slather a little olive oil and salt and pepper on the cut side of the pumpkin or squash. Roast it cut-side-up on the prepared baking sheet for 20 minutes. Turn it on its tummy and roast for another 20-30 minutes, until the flesh is soft when you poke it with a fork. 
  2. While the squash roasts on its back, slice the apple and onion into wedges and arrange them on the same baking sheet when you flip the squash to its tummy. (So the apple and onion will roast for the last 20 minutes.) 
  3. For the last 10 minutes of roasting time, toss the garlic in there too. You can peel it later, if you want, but I like to peel it first.
  4. When they’re all cooked and cooled enough to handle, scrape the pumpkin or squash meat into a blender or food processor. Add the apple, onion, garlic (skinless, please), milk, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Puree until smooth. If it’s too thick, add water or more milk. I like mine fairly thick.
  5. Reheat it in a saucepan on the stove.

  • Try it with coconut milk and coconut oil instead of the nut milk and olive oil.