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Chocolate Dream Pie (vegan + gluten free)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps13 Comments

Since marrying my husband, I’ve become a sucker for chocolate. It’s strange because I was never a huge fan of the creamy stuff. I was more into candies that were sour, gummy, and fruity. Alas, turns out the chocolate in Europe really is good stuff. To top it off, chocolate compliments a lot of different flavours, which makes it pretty versatile in my eyes. AND pure cocoa is technically vegan - as long as there is no added milk, etc.. Win, right? 

I remember tasting my first chocolate cream pie. Since I always loved pudding, it was pretty much a dream come true to have crust added to it too (who doesn’t love a good crust?!). I set out to make one of my own that had no heavy whipping cream in it, but still had a creamy, chocolate texture.

Chocolate Cream Pie (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

This particular crust came out of sheer need. I didn't feel like wrestling for a flaky crust, and I had some nuts in my freezer and dates in my pantry, so this crust was born. I apologize to those with nut allergies, but you can make the filling with any kind of crust that works for you!

The topping is also DIY optional. I've included a simple recipe below, but if that's not your thing, you do you! I'm constantly switching out things when I cook or bake so I always expect people to do the same. I also know people who stick to the letter of the law when following a recipe, so I've included the steps for each part of the pie below.

Also great about this pie? Aside from the crust, there is no baking required, and is quik to whip up. Just patience while it sets. It makes for the perfect dessert in the summer since it needs to be served cool.

Chocolate Cream Pie (vegan + gluten free) | www.maplealps.com

Chocolate Dream Pie (vegan + gluten free)

What you need:

For the Pie Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cups original almond milk

  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk

  • ⅓ cup cane sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder

  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

For the Crust:

  • 1 cup almonds

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 1TBSP chopped dates

  • 1/2 TBSP maple syrup

  • 2 TBSP vegan butter

 

For the Whipped Topping*:

  • 1 can coconut milk refrigerated overnight

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 TBSP maple syrup or agave (to sweeten)


Optional:

Extra cocoa powder and toasted coconut for garnishing

What to do:

To make the crust:

1) Prep pie dish by lining with parchment or greasing and preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2) Put nuts and dates into the food processor and pulse until you have a nice meal consistency

3) Add your mixture to a bowl and mix in the maple syrup and butter well until a dough forms

4) Press dough evenly into prepared pie dish

5) Bake for 12 minutes and allow to completely cool before making the filling

To make the filling:

1) Add everything to a large pot.

2) Bring to slow boil, stirring/whisking constantly to avoid burning and clumping

3) Pour into prepared pie crust

4) Refrigerate for several hours (at least 4 hours) to set 

To make the whipped topping:

1) Right before serving, make the whipped topping by opening coconut milk and scooping out the solid part of it into a chilled bowl (be careful not to get much liquid into your bowl).

2) Add vanilla and maple syrup and whip with hand mixer.

3) Apply to pie as desired - spreading it over the top, or adding a dollop to each piece - really, whatever you want :)

* Note: Alternatively, you can use your favourite store-bought vegan topping

 

Are you a fan of cream pies?


 

Vegan Corn Chowder

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

The best thing about Autumn (besides fireplaces, candles, fuzzy blankets and cuddling, that is) is soup. I love soup. All sorts of soup. I could eat soup year-round to be completely honest. I have been holding on to this recipe, just waiting for the perfect moment to share it with you all, and I decided that instead of waiting until it was cold out, I would share it now so that you can brace yourselves for it!

Autumn is indeed coming.

Vegan Corn Chowder | www.maplealps.com

So my mom and brother came to visit and just left after two weeks. I hadn't seen the two of them in two years, so I was so excited and was literally bouncing off things I couldn't wait! Two weeks went by way too quickly, and even though we did a ton of fun stuff, I felt bad because they came just as I was prepping my life and classroom for the school year to start. It was a total bummer, but we are hoping to visit them for a few days at Christmas. They allegedly had a good time despite helping me haul desks and label books, so that is good I suppose. 

Anyway, back to the soup: Growing up, corn chowder was seriously my favourite. I actually loved (and still love) soup in general, but I could down bowls of this if I was in the mood. Even today, I love enjoying a hot bowl of this on a chilly day. Since we just concluded a lovely visit with my family, I thought it would be appropriate to [finally] share this recipe. It's a bit different than the original but still tastes delicious.

By the way, this soup has cashews in it. If I get enough nut-free requests, I'll share that version too ;-)

Vegan Corn Chowder | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Corn Chowder
Makes About 12 Cups of Soup

3 small potatoes
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 TBSP homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 stalk celery
3/4 cup cashews
2 cups water
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 1 TBSP dried)
4 cups corn
2 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth

1) Dice onion, pepper and potatoes and put in a large pot with 4 cups of vegetable broth.
2) Bring to a boil, and then a simmer. Add salt and garlic powder
3) Blend the cashews, celery, water and rice until smooth. Add the parsley and blend for a few more seconds
4) Add cashew mixture to the pot
5) Put 2 cups of corn and 2 cups of water in blender. Blend and then add to the soup.
6) Add the remaining 2 cups of corn to the pot
7) Add salt to taste
 

 

What's your favourite soup when the weather starts getting chilly?


 

The Most Delicious Cashew Cream Sauce

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps13 Comments

I cannot tell you half of the raving I hear about this sauce. I made it for a vegan lasagna a couple of weeks ago, and let’s just say, I made sure that the spatula got every last drop of it out of the blender. The spatula didn’t have any left on it by the end either if you catch my drift.

The Most Delicious Cashew Cream Sauce | www.maplealps.com

We discovered that this sauce is good on everything. We put it in our fajitas, added some to our enchiladas before (and after!) baking them (goodbye vegan cheese!), and my husband even likes spreading it on his bread in the mornings! My guess would be that it would make a fantastic vegan queso...just putting that out there. Must experiment more to find out.

The stuff is gold - and not just because raw cashews are expensive.

I think I have officially found my cheese alternative, and I am crazy excited to share it with you!

The Most Delicious Cashew Cream Sauce | www.maplealps.com
 

Cashew Cream Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 ¼ c raw cashews (soaked overnight or for an hour in hot water if you don’t have a high speed blender)
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ c nutritional yeast flakes

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until very smooth


Have you tried a cashew cream sauce before? Tell me about it below!


 

Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps21 Comments

After the holidays and travelling for so long, the last thing I wanted to do after I came home was cook. There's nothing worse than coming home after living out of a suitcase for 2 weeks and having to come up with a complete meal when the fridge and pantry are basically empty. It's not motivating in the least.

We ended up running to the grocery store and making some paninis with our panini grill, but I was reminded later that I probably had some freezer meals left over. 

I love freezer meals. Once in a while I'll do a huge cooking haul, and prep meals enough for the month. The freezer is a wonderful thing, especially on days I don't want to cook, or know I will be too busy to do so. It's mostly for the benefit of my husband, who requires good and balanced meals. I suppose I do too, but I'm honestly the eat-cereal-for-dinner kind of gal when I'm too tired to care. 

On those days, it's very handy to have my freezer stocked with some of our favourite meals. It's win-win, since I don't really have to cook, and we still get to enjoy a homemade meal. That being said, we don't eat a meal from the freezer every day - I'm not that lazy! Today I'm going to share with you one of our favourite freezer meals!

Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

I've been experimenting with all sorts of enchilada recipes, but I keep coming back to this basic recipe, since it's quick, simple, and still really yummy! Spinach is probably my favourite thing to add to dishes, so naturally, I love this.

On meal prep days, sometimes I will make double the amount so that our freezer is always full of enchiladas! 

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com
Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

They're quick to make up too, which makes Sunday prep days really painless. I can't complain when something is easy, and still tastes like a lot more effort went into it. 

I'm hoping to share some more freezer friendly meals soon, but for now, try this one out. You will love it.

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

For the Enchiladas

  • 15 oz. can black beans

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • 6 oz. baby spinach

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small red onion

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheese (optional)

  • Green onion for garnish

  • 10 large tortilla shells

Sauce (or use this recipe)

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1/2 C tomato paste

  • 1/4 C flour (I use whole wheat white flour)

  • 2 TBSP olive oil

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder

  • salt/pepper to taste

1) Make the sauce by heating olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add tomato paste, flour and spices.

2) Whisk for about a minute and add broth, slowly bringing it to a boil.

3) Reduce to simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Add salt/pepper for taste and set aside.

4) Saute red onion and garlic until softened. Add spinach and cook until slightly wilted.

5) In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and add onion, garlic and spinach mixture. 

6) Fill tortillas with mixture and roll tightly

7) Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with some enchilada sauce and line the dish with rolled enchiladas, seam side down.

8) Pour remaining sauce generously over the enchiladas. Sprinkle some cheese on top (optional)

9) Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes

10) Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onions and try it with some homemade vegan sour cream

Freezer Friendly: As mentioned, I love freezing these for a quick meal on a busy weeknight. To freeze, line rolled enchiladas up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm and ready to transfer to a freezer bag. 

Freeze enchilada sauce separately. 

To prepare, heat up sauce slowly in a saucepan and prepare as normal (see above). Bake covered for about 30 minutes and uncovered for another 20, or until done. 

 

Do you prepare meals in the freezer? Let me know if you try this or anything else by posting to social media and tagging #MapleAlps!


 
 
Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burgers

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps23 Comments

This weekend we celebrated Fall with a Fall Fest, complete with a hayride, veggie dogs and all the potato salad you could imagine. Now, we do love veggie dogs, but I think I've finally reached my limit for the year. Interestingly enough, we haven't had one burger bonfire, and I think next summer, we'll have to make that happen. Until then, I'll be experimenting with some patties, and sharing them with you.

In all honesty, these burgers are a result of wanting to use up leftovers in the fridge. Just goes to show, that your fridge can indeed be carrying treasures you didn't think of.

"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burger. Delicious! | www.maplealps.com

Beans are a serious staple around here. Once I started understanding how to prepare and keep them so that I don't have to buy cans of the stuff anymore (cheaper and healthier to buy dry!), life became so much easier. I had made some enchiladas with these beans. Since I had plenty left, I figured a burger would be the perfect project. 

I wanted something more "meaty" in texture, however; something a little chewier... That does sound strange now that I type it out, but I'm just going to leave that there. I decided to add some TVP and see what happened. 

"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burgers. Delicious! | www.maplealps.com

Because the beans were already cooked, it cut down greatly on prep time for these delicious burgers! I even called a friend to come over for lunch, and did we feast! We topped them with fried onions and had sweet potato fries on the side.

"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burgers. Delicious! | www.maplealps.com

1 ½ C black beans - cooked (you could use canned too)
2 C TVP
1 large yellow onion - caramelized
¾ C vital gluten flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sea salt
BBQ sauce

1) Soak TVP in about 2C hot water for ten minutes and drain well
2) While soaking, caramelize your onion and set aside - low heat and slow cooking is the key!
3) Add back beans to food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Add caramelized onions and pulse until a paste forms.
4) Add paste, drained TVP and spices to large bowl. Mix well and then add vital gluten flour.
5) Combine and start creating patties out of the mixture. You will get 8-10, depending on the size.
6) Heat a bit of oil in the pan and place a few patties in to pan fry. Slather each side with BBQ sauce and flip. 
7) Serve with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burger. Delicious! | www.maplealps.com

PS: If you prefer something gluten-free, try these Juicy Smoked Chickpea Burgers


We love these topped with fried onions and with sweet potato fries on the side!


"Meaty" Black Bean Vegan Burgers | www.maplealps.com