Completely Board Post #12: Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

My family got together yesterday to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  Her birthday is actually on August 17, but that’s another story.

It’s easy when we celebrate her birthday *on* her birthday because I know the sweet should be something summery.  But what do you do for a birthday party just a couple days before the official start of fall and it’s over 80 degrees outside?  I found the perfect answer on my Pinterest board: Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream.

I used this recipe from MindBodyGreen that boasts only 5 ingredients.  I have a bit of a pet peeve of recipes boasting few ingredients and then one of them being something like “yellow cake mix”?  Hello…there are probably 12 ingredients in that.  But, since the “offense” here was pumpkin pie spice (actually a mix of 4-5 spices that I always have in my kitchen), I won’t ding them on that one too badly. 😉

I set out to try the non-ice cream maker version just to let y’all know how it worked.  I was making a double batch and after 2 hours of the mixture being in the freezer I could hardly see any progress.  I’m sorry I can’t report on this for people that don’t have an ice cream maker, but I only had 2 hours left until the party. I switched over to the ice cream maker version.  I followed the instructions on my ice cream maker (use cold ingredients, freeze the canister for at least 30 minutes, churn for about 30 minutes).

So do you want to see it?

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream

It was as delicious as it looks.  Seriously, it was pretty much everything I hoped it would be.  Creamy, sweet but not too sweet, pumpkiny and spicy.  The only thing I did differently was add about two pinches of salt to enhance the flavor/offset the sweet and churned for about two more minutes to mix it in.  It didn’t taste salty, but I really do think it brought the pumpkin and spice flavors out a little more

This will be made at our house again.  and again.  I’ve also gotten the confidence and inspiration to try some new flavors.

It does freeze hard after a few hours after returning it to the freezer, so eat it soon after churning and then when you go back for more (because you will go back for more), you’ll need to let it sit out and soften a bit so you can scoop it out.  After you’ve done this and refrozen it, it’s becomes a tiny bit icy, but not so much that it’s a deterrent.  I’ve had a few scoops since the party.

I sent some home with my nephew and he said he was going to mix it with his espresso and make a frappe.  I now officially think he’s a genius.

Speaking of my nephew, he’s getting married in a few weeks.  After the party we were going through old family photos to find ones of him growing up for the wedding slide show.  I came across this one of me in my red checked zip-up polyester jumpsuit.  Based on the hairstyle, I figure I was in second grade so we’re talking 1978.  My sister told me she remembers it definitely had bell bottoms.  Second grade me would have liked the ice cream too.

Second Grade Dawn

Completely Board Post #4: Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are good for Saturday morning brunch.  So when I saw this beautiful Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole, I was so there.  Seriously…pumpkin, coffee, and a sweet crumble crust all wrapped up with the protein-y goodness of quinoa.  How could it be a miss?


The author of original recipe over at Healthful Pursuit said she liked it even better the next day cold.  So, I set out Friday night to whip up this bad boy.  I’d have a little snack of it on Friday night and then look forward to it cold for part of Saturday morning’s breakfast.  Mmmm…so excited.

The directions were easily followed and it cooked pretty much as expected (I had to add 5 minutes cooking time to the first cook of the quinoa).  I got out my little bowl and dug right in.  And? Meh.

It wasn’t bad.  And I could see where other people might like it, so don’t let me completely discourage you.  But, I didn’t love it.  I couldn’t even put my finger on what I didn’t like.  I couldn’t tell if it was too much spice or too little, or something completely different.  That sounds strange, I know, but that’s what happened.

Not willing to give up on a casserole based on a pumpkin spice latte (sounds amazing, right?), I had another helping for breakfast on Saturday.  I ate it cold as suggested.  And? Still meh.

My two lovely Vegan MoFo testers (my mom and my sister) had basically the same reaction.  My mom even liked it less because she doesn’t generally like quinoa anyway.

On the upside, I did learn that you could cook quinoa in the oven in a casserole dish.  I see this having some yummy, savory applications (vegetable broth, quinoa and mushrooms, anyone?)

So there you have it.  This pin is one that I’ll just delete once I get the quinoa to liquid ratio required for baking quinoa.  Not a total miss I guess, but not one I’d bother with again.


You can find the recipe by clicking on the image of my original pin below

Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole

It’s my Veggieversary – or – the One where I finally try a Pumpkin Roll.

I have a Pinterest board that I call “Would be great to veganize (and most likely deglutenize and desoyatize)”  It’s for all those recipes that I think are beautiful, but are going to take more effort on my part.  Ok, it’s really for those recipes that I’ll probably never get to.  The recipe that made me start the board over a year ago was Libby’s Pumpkin Roll.

Pretty much anything with pumpkin is going to whisper my name.  But, when you put a creamy filling inside, it is screaming loud and clear.

Since today is my 6th veggieversary, I figured it was the perfect time for me to try something big.  Something I really wanted to get right. I was setting myself up for some big baking win.  Or an epic fail.

Do you want to judge?  Check this baby out…

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Pumpkin Roll | Veg-am

For more pumpkin goodness (and to keep from using a cream cheese analogue), I replaced the original cream cheese filling with a creamy pumpkin filling.

The filling is super sweet, so you may want to keep the pieces small.  The original recipe says 10 servings.  I estimate I’ll get about 14.   But, if you’re like my sweet-toothed mother who said she didn’t notice that it was super sweet,  you might want to stick with 10.

Yum.  Happy veggieversary to me.

Pumpkin Roll, gluten-free, soy free | Veg-am


Pumpkin Roll with Pumpkin Filling


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1½ Tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer
  • 6 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup soy-free Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a 15×10 jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.  Lightly oil and flour the paper.  Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

For Cake: With a fork or whisk, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, combine the egg replacer and water until foamy, about 30 seconds.   Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until it thickens up, about 2 minutes.  (It won’t be as thick as eggs, because the ener-g can’t be whipped in the same way, but the sugar/egg replacer come together nicely).  Beat in pumpkin until just combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until well combined and all lumps are gone.  Don’t use the beaters for this or you’ll risk gumminess. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 15-17 minutes* (see note 3) until top of cake springs back when touched.  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel.  Carefully peel off paper.  Roll up cake and towel together working from the narrow side.  Cool on wire rack (about an hour)

For Filling: Beat earth balance, powdered sugar, pumpkin and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth.  Refrigerate until cake is cool.

Carefully unroll cake.  Spread pumpkin filling over cake.  Reroll cake.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.


1. Use a non-terry style kitchen towel or you may end up with some of it on your cake.  Be sure you really sugar that towel or it will stick to the cake.
2. I don’t own a 10×15 pan.  I used a larger one and just didn’t spread the batter all the way to the edges, but did do it as evenly as possible.  It still did fine.  One edge was a little thin so it got a wee bit crispy.  No matter, it still rolled and all I had to do was slice that one end off. In fact, before serving to company, I would cut a tiny slice off the other end too because it makes for a cleaner/prettier edge. There’s nothing wrong with the ends though, so save them for later :)
3.  The original recipe says 13-15 minutes.  All my gluten-free baking seems to take just a little bit longer.  But, if you’d be more comfortable checking at 13 – go for it.



A pre-emptive post on my wonky internet connection

My internet has been acting pretty wonky lately. Saturday was the second Saturday in a row where I had little to no connectivity. It was working yesterday, but they’re supposed to send a technician out today. In case they disconnect the service to work on it and are unable to straighten it out today, I just wanted to let you know that in honor of my 6th veggieversary being today, this happened.

“This” is a gluten free, soy free, vegan pumpkin roll with a pumpkin filling.  I’m hoping that the post, and the “real” photo, will be coming later today.

Pumpkin Roll, gluten-free, soy free | Veg-am

Classics are Classics for a Reason: Pasta Bake

Entertaining Thought #8:

Classics are classics for a reason.  They have stood the test of time.  No matter what has come after them, people still keep coming back for more.

That goes for music  like What a Wonderful World (quite possibly the best song of all time)

It also goes for food.  Classic dishes are good when you’re having friends over for dinner.  They’re good for potlucks, picnics, meetups and socials. They’re even good when you just want to eat at home all by yourself.  They’re especially good when the folks you’re entertaining aren’t quite as open to trying new things as you are.  Pretty much the only time I wouldn’t recommend most of these dishes is when you’re hosting an appetizer/finger food party.

So for the next few days, I’m going to stick with some classics or variations of them.

Today, I’m going to start with one of my favorites: the pasta bake.

If you can make spaghetti in marinara, you can throw it in a casserole dish, top with a little Daiya mozz or breadcrumbs (or both!) and bake it. It’s probably the easiest and most popular pasta bake there is.  But today, I’m going to tell you how I make my favorite pasta bake.

It’s the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Carmelized Onions and Sage Breadcrumb Topping from Veganomicon (click for original recipe)

When I first saw this recipe in Veganomicon, I was pretty sad because it was so gluten-y and soy-filled.  So in case that’s where you’ve been, be sad no longer!  A couple easy fixes and all this autumnal goodness can be yours.

1.  Replace the pasta with a gluten free pasta.  I use brown rice pasta for this one.  This particular time I used the Tinkyada spirals, though usually I use Trader Joe’s penne.

2.  Replace the breadcrumbs with gluten-free bread crumbs.  I’ll be the first to admit the Food For Life Brown Rice Bread isn’t the best straight out of the pack.  But, it’s great for breadcrumbs (and croutons, and stuffing).  It knows how to get its crisp on.

3.  Use soy-free Earth Balance in the breadcrumb mixture(or other non-dairy soy-free butter replacement).  This is something that didn’t exist when I went soy-free so I know what it’s like to do without.  Thankfully, we don’t have to any more.  If you don’t have access to it though, a little oil in the mixture would work too.

4. For the cashew ricotta replace the tofu with 1-1/2 cups (a standard can amount) of cooked navy beans and 1/2 cup of water.  I soaked the cashews for an hour or two beforehand too, just to help with the creamy factor (but you don’t have to – just blend until smooth)  A side note – if you’re making the ricotta for another use, you might want to use a bit less water, but for this it’s perfect)

All I can say is that my mom and sister, while sad for me, weren’t all that disappointed when they found out my cancelled dinner meant they got to eat this.

Taking Care of Yourself (with a Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte)

Entertaining Thought #3: 

There’s a primary reason people come to your home.  It’s not to give it the white glove test.  It’s not to review the food.  It’s to see YOU!  So the best way to be a good host is to take care of yourself.  Appreciate the good things about you.  Get enough sleep.  Get enough exercise.  Eat your fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Give yourself ample time to do what you enjoy.

One of the things I enjoy most is being behind my camera with no particular agenda.  This past weekend I was in Nashville for a wedding and I had one extra day to do whatever I wanted.  I went out armed with my camera and enjoyed capturing lines, color and texture. Enjoying the beauty outside of me calms the inside of me making it more beautiful too.

Here are a few of the shots I captured…

I can’t tell you the things that really make you happy.  You’ll have to figure that out on your own.  But I bet the things that calm you the most are really simple.  Find them.  Draw from them.  Be YOU!

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” -Kurt Cobain

Something else that makes me happy is when fall arrives. I am a member of the school that believes that fall=pumpkin spice lattes.  Unfortunately, I’ve recently had to give up coffee.  Yes, even decaf.   (Thankfully, I am getting to the point where I may be able to try it again soon!!)

Lucky for me, while ambling through my local Trader Joe’s with my mom, she spotted pumpkin spice rooibos tea!  Really?!  Pumpkin. Spice. Rooibos.  No barley, no soy lecithin.  Woohoo!

Armed with my favorite Gilmore Girls coffee mug, I set out to make a tea latte.

Besides being good for keeping me happy, it would be great to serve to guests with brunch, with Thanksgiving dessert or with Christmas breakfast.

Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte

3/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp brown rice syrup
1 cup hot water
1 pumpkin spice rooibos tea bag

Add the brown rice syrup to the almond milk in a small saucepan.  Whisking often, warm it up until it is just below a boil.

Steep the tea bag in the hot water for 5 minutes.

Pour both the tea and the almond milk in your favorite coffee mug, sprinkle a little extra cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves if desired and whisk it all together.  Enjoy warm spicy pumpkiny goodness!

Notes: I used unsweetened almond milk.  You might want less syrup if yours is sweetened.
Make sure you whisk it really well if you add the extra spices..  I ended up with a tiny bit of nutmeg at the bottom of the mug.  I think it might even work better if the extra spices were cooked in with the almond milk and brown rice syrup.  It was good without it too, but that kicked it up a notch.

1 food 5 ways, Navy Beans, Way #3: Pumpkin Bars

Sarah’s pumpkin cookies and my first ever almond milk pumpkin spice latte (Thanks, Benelux Cafe!!) have got me in the pumpkin spice mood. I used this (non-vegan) bean based blondie recipe as inspiration and added my favorite fall flavors! They aren’t super sweet, so if you roll that way you would definitely need to add more molasses or sugar. You would, of course, have to adjust otherwise to make up for it. The lightly sweet molasses and the mild pumpkin flavors make me think they’d be perfect for a nice fall brunch.
Pumpkin Bars
(You could call these something like Navy Bean Pumpkin Bars or Gluten Free Beany Bars, but I figure why scare people?)
1-1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups cooked navy beans
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9×9 baking dish.
Using a fine mesh sieve, sift together the brown rice flour, arrowroot, cream of tartar and baking soda into a large bowl. Set aside

In a good blender or food processor, blend the remaining ingredients until really smooth.

Pour the bean-pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.
Spoon the batter into baking dish and smooth with a rubber spatula.
Bake until top has cracks in it, bars start to pull away from sides of dish, and toothpick comes out (mostly) clean, about 40 minutes.
Place on wire rack to cool completely. Slice into bars and serve.

An old recipe brought back to life: Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe is based on an old recipe that my mom picked up at a Weight Watchers meeting a long time ago. I don’t know if the recipe actually came from WW or from a member of the class. The copies we have are all run off on a copy machine, are handwritten with a drawn pumpkin outline on it. To let you know just how old it is, the original recipe calls for Sweet N’ Low! And it lists exchanges instead of WW points. I haven’t seen a recipe like that in a long time.

Well, I’ve veganized it and replaced the Sweet and Low with sugar. So, it’s no longer the no sugar added, reduced fat muffin that told you to eat 6 full size muffins as one serving! I never could do that. But they are pretty darn tasty and with all that pumpkin and carrot (and now almond meal and flax), still pretty nutritious. Because they are different nutritionally, I have figured out the nutritional information for these and posted them below the recipe.

Because of the low flour content/high pumpkin content, these are a dense chewy muffin rather than a cakey one. They taste pretty much the same (other than no artificial sweetener taste) as the originals, but I call them better because they are now vegan, have essential fats, and are no longer full of artificial anything.

Better than WW Mini Pumpkin Muffins (Makes 22 mini muffins, 11 servings)

  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 6 Tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5 Tbsp ground flax
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the ground flax, together in a medium bowl. Set aside Mix the flax and water with a fork until you have a gelatinous (egg-like) mixture. Add the vanilla and the pumpkin puree to the flax mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined. Fold in the grated carrots. Raisins or nuts are optional and yummy additions. I left them out this time and they are not included in the nutritional information. If you choose to use them, fold them in after the carrots.

Lightly oil a mini muffin pan and fill to the top with muffin batter. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Because of the nature of these muffins, the bounce back test and the toothpick test wont work. They will be lightly set and browned on top.

Nutritional information (serving size 2 mini muffins)

  • Calories: 96.6
  • Fat: 4.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3g
  • Carb: 11.5g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sugar: 4.5g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Weight Watchers points: 2

For me, comparison to a product/recipe I already like is helpful. So I looked up a chocolate coconut LaraBar. These are one of my favorites, but because of the sugar content (not to mention the cost) I have to limit them to the occasional treat. 4 mini pumpkin muffins have slightly fewer calories, less fat, half the saturated fat, more protein, and half the sugar!


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