recipe: vegan pumpkin pie tarts

It’s almost Halloween!!

Full disclaimer- this recipe takes awhile to prepare. It is my promise though, that it is so worth it! Having fresh ingredients always makes a huge difference. As always, you don’t have to make this dairy-free. Simply substitute vegan butter and almond milk for those with lactose.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Makes 24

Ingredients:

(For the tart crust)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup cold water

(For the filling)
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, mashed
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Steps:

1. To begin, start with a large pie pumpkin. Cut it in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and stringy bits. Using a large spoon, remove the inside flesh. Then place it in a food processor or blender, and blend until it becomes a smooth paste. (This took me upwards of 20 minutes in a blender. Be sure not to add water! It will get there eventually.)

2. Prepare the tart crust. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease the muffin trays and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and butter. Mix well at first, then knead by hand in the bowl. Slowly add the water, ensuring that it is well-combined before adding more. In the end the dough should be somewhat sticky but mostly crumbly. 

3. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Continue to knead until it is ready to be rolled out, cut into 24 circles, and place in the muffin cups. Once you have completed those steps, it is time to fill them.

4. Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, almond milk, eggs, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Beat over medium speed for 2 minutes, ensuring that it is completely combined. Then scoop the filling into each tart, filling no more than 3/4 full. Place the tarts in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until filling has firmed up and tart shells have turned golden brown. Remove, let cool, and top with your favourite dairy-free (or not) whipped cream or ice cream! Or, just eat them as is.

Emory

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making breakfast the most exciting meal of the day

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Most people agree that breakfast is the most important meal you have each day. Having a good breakfast can be the difference between having a good or bad day, but it can be all too easy to neglect this part of your day when you fall into a poor routine. Families should always work hard to avoid this trap.

To help you out with this, this article will be exploring some tips that will help you to keep breakfast exciting, all without compromising on the healthy foods that you want to serve. You don’t have to spend much time working on breakfast when you fall into the right pattern with it.

Why Is Breakfast So Important?

Before we explore some ideas to help your breakfasts, it makes sense to think about why this meal is so important. Your body will work to digest food during the night, often leaving people with very little energy when they wake up. Eating a good breakfast can help to solve this problem, giving you the fuel you need to conquer the day and make the best out of the time you have.

This is even more important for children, with their time at school being heavily impacted by the breakfast they eat each morning. This will be the first meal they have before they do a whole morning of work, making it crucial that they are able to focus on the things they are doing. In the long run, this could have a serious impact on your child’s education, and this is worth considering when you are preparing breakfast.

What Makes A Good Breakfast?

While most people will want their breakfast to be tasty, there is more to this meal than mere flavor alone. You also need to make sure that your breakfast provides you with energy that will be released slowly throughout the day. Having an overly large breakfast can make you feel too sleepy, making it worth thinking about the portion sizes you serve on days when people have things to do.

Using Fresh Ingredients

While it doesn’t guarantee a healthier breakfast, using fresh ingredients will help when you are working on this side of your daily routine. There are loads of fresh ingredients out there that can allow you to make delicious breakfasts. Fruits are great for this, but options like meat, bread, and dairy products can also make for a very satisfying and healthy breakfast.

Making Cooked Breakfasts

Alongside using fresh ingredients, making cooked breakfasts can be a good way to improve the meals you make each morning. This isn’t something that you have to do each and every day, but it can help to make the mornings in your house happier when everyone wakes up to something delicious to eat.

There are loads of cooked breakfast options out there, and many of them are very healthy. You can find recipes online to help you with this, giving you the chance to improve your cooking skills while you make breakfasts that the whole family will love. Options like oatmeal, tasty egg waffles, and even toast can all be great for this, providing you with easy meals that will get everyone in your family ready for the day.

Having Plan B

It will be hard to make cooked breakfasts each and every morning for your loved ones. This makes it worth having a plan B in place for the days when you don’t have the time or energy to handle your breakfast. Cereal can be a good choice when you are looking for options like this, but you need to make sure that you aren’t eating this each and every day.

Getting Everyone Involved

Getting the whole family involved at breakfast time can make it harder to finish the meal, but it will also make it far more fun for your kids. You can have everyone work to come up with their own breakfast ideas throughout the week, making the whole experience something that your kids can enjoy. Of course, though, you have to make sure that their choices are both healthy and affordable.

As you can see, making sure that you and your family get to enjoy good breakfasts each morning is easier than you might expect. This can be achieved while also making this meal more exciting, giving you new things to eat each day without making you bend over backward in the process.

** This was a contributed post.

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managing those pregnancy cravings

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It’s one of the most common things that people talk about when they are pregnant, or even just when they are asking you about your pregnancy. But pregnancy cravings are commonly misunderstood, and it is actually not often the case that they are all that strange or out there. That being said, this does happen, and if you are keen to try and eat as healthily as possible, you might want to learn how best to manage those pregnancy cravings from the start, as they start to come. Let’s take a look into this in some detail right now.

Understanding Cravings

First of all, it can be helpful to try and learn a little about cravings to help to understand what they are about, why they happen and so on. That in itself is often an important aspect to gaining more control and improving how you approach your own pregnancy cravings, so it is certainly something that you are going to want to think about. Cravings occur most likely because your body is simply desperately trying to nourish the baby, and it probably also has something to do with the fast-changing hormones in your body at the moment. These hormones can make your sense of smell stronger, meaning that food tastes all the more delicious!

Eating A Good Breakfast

One of the simplest ways to help with cravings is to ensure you are eating a good breakfast every day. Eating a hearty, healthy breakfast makes it much less likely that you will have the desire to snack throughout the day, whereas if you skip breakfast you are opening yourself up to more and more cravings as you progress through your day. So it really is important that you are eating a healthy breakfast every morning to try and keep some control over this as best as you can.

Allowing Snacks

Even if you are trying to be the best possible pregnant mother you can be, there is nothing wrong with a very occasional snack and once or twice giving into your cravings. That doesn’t mean that you are a terrible mother, unlike some might have you believe, and it doesn’t mean that you are going to fall down into uncontrollable territory either. If you like, you can cook some home-made snacks to help make them healthier – check out this donut recipe for instance if you are after something sweet.

Gently Exercising

There is a lot to be said for having some gentle exercise when you are pregnant. They say you should get about 30 minutes of exercise a day, so if you can manage that you are doing well. You will find that exercising helps to reduce your need for eating so much, and your cravings are likely to go down because you’ll be regulating your hormones a bit better too. Get some gentle exercise, and you can see how much easier it makes it to keep your cravings at bay every day. This is a simple and effective approach you can take.

** This was a contributed post.

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recipe: spinach, tomato & artichoke skillet chicken

This recipe is one that you can play around with. I left the options open for the type of spice on the chicken, type of oil, and really even the chicken itself! You can use any kind, so long as it’s boneless. The most important things are the vegetables and the sauce. If you adhere to what is written, yours should taste pretty similar and utterly, utterly amazing.

Spinach, Tomato & Artichoke Skillet Chicken

Ingredients:

(For the chicken)
4 tbsp oil, any kind
4 boneless chicken breasts
Chicken spice, any kind (such as Mrs. Dash)

(For the sauce)
1/4 cup butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half cream
1/2 cup grated cheese, any kind (such as parmesan or mozzarella)
1 tsp chopped basil leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 cup spinach
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped

Steps:

1. Heat oil over medium in a large skillet. Season the chicken on both sides and add to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on either side or until cooked through/browned. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Throw in the garlic and cook over medium heat. Meanwhile, add the flour, chicken broth, cream, cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until thickened. Finally, add the spinach, tomatoes, and artichoke and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes until heated through. Put your favourite pasta on a plate and top with the chicken and sauce. Enjoy!

Emory

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recipe: gluten and dairy-free lasagna

Not only is this lasagna gluten-free and vegetarian, but I also made mine with dairy-free cheese! Talk about healthy! But you can certainly substitute some cheddar or mozzarella cheese for the dairy-free kind, as well as add a bit of hamburger meat (provided you have cooked it beforehand). This is something that I love to make in the summer months when we have a ton of fresh garden vegetables and only about 20 minutes to cook up a feast! It’s amazing!

Gluten-Free Vegetable Skillet Lasagna

Ingredients:

2 tbsp oil, any kind
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 cup spinach
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups grated cheese, any kind
Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Steps:

1. Heat oil over medium in a skillet. Lay down a layer of zucchini. Spread the spinach on top, as well as the mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and 1 cup of cheese. Then add the remaining zucchini and cheese. Add desired amount of salt and pepper.

2. Cover and continue to cook over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Then remove, slice, and serve!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (two on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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