Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Baking pies always brings me back to my pie hustler days (you can read about in my About Me page ). While I’m a fan of a good pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, most traditional recipes call for a can of sweetened condensed milk. I thought that by offering to bring the pumpkin pie to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year, I could ensure it’s dairy-free so I could enjoy without feeling awful the next day.

I  spent the past few days recipe testing to get this pie absolutely perfect before sharing with you all, and after getting feedback from my trusted panel of taste-testers (my lovely coworkers), this pie was confirmed to be just as delicious as any dairy-filled pumpkin pie! I’m convinced no one in my family will notice, and those who do probably cheated and read this post. Give this spin on tradition a try! I promise you’ll be amazed.

A couple things to note…

I experimented with Gluten-Free pie crust while I was recipe testing, but it was very hard to roll out. The pie pictured below was made using regular all-purpose flour because being Gluten-Free is a dietary preference for me and not a food sensitivity/allergy issue.

If you want to make this pie Gluten-Free, you can substitute the all-purpose flour out for Gluten-Free flour mix, but be warned that it is very prone to tearing! You could more easily make mini pies in a cupcake tin, but if you want one full pie, I would suggest buying the crust. Trader Joe’s now carries pre-made Gluten-Free pie crusts! Pick one up and call it a day.

I had some whole nutmeg in my spice drawer, so I used a micro plane to freshly grate some into the filling. This is by all means not necessary, but definitely provided some extra wonderful warm spice notes 🙂

If you’re feeling fancy and want to decorate with some cut outs like I did, bake them on a lined cookie sheet separately from the pie, and then add once the pie is cooled. If you add the raw cut outs to the pie and then cook, you’ll end up with some veeeeery crisped designs due to the hour-long bake time.

If you’re feeling extra fancy and want to top your beautiful pie with sugared cranberries, here’s the instructions I used. They were quick to make and turned out so pretty!

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie

For the filling:

3 large eggs

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1 C full-fat coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 t sea salt

1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

2 t pumpkin pie spice

1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

For the crust:

**Note that this recipe makes a double crust so you have extra dough for cut outs. Feel free to half it if you are keeping it simple!

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour

8 T vegan butter, chilled (I use Earth Balance)

6 T vegetable shortening, chilled

1 t salt

2 T sugar

5-6 T ice water

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Method:

In food processor, combine all crust ingredients besides water, and pulse to combine. Add water 1 T at a time, until it starts to ball together. (This happened at about 5 1/2 T for me). Turn onto floured surface, and smush together into two flat disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Use rolling pin to roll out first disk of chilled dough on floured surface, ensuring that it’s at least 2 inches wider than the pie plate you’re using. I use this silicone baking mat, and love that it tells me when my crust is rolled to the correct size!

Carefully transfer rolled pie crust to pie plate and crimp edges.

In large bowl, whisk all filling ingredients together and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Tip** Use pie crust shield or make your own out of aluminum foil to keep your crust from getting too brown!

Let the pie cool for at least two hours before serving, and top with dairy-free whipped topping or ice cream. Enjoy!

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

I will start by saying that this recipe is magical because it’s the ONLY way my husband will consider eating brussels sprouts. Yes, he is a grown man. When we met, Matt convinced me that he wasn’t a picky eater, but as the years went on, it became  clear to me that this was just a courting strategy. The man has a list of things he really dislikes, and most of the time I’m nice enough to avoid them in my recipes. Brussels sprouts are probably #1 on that list. However, there is a pizza place down the street from us that makes Detroit style pizza, and they have one non-pizza item on their menu; brussels sprouts salad. I’m pretty sure Matt didn’t know exactly what he was eating the first time we shared it as an appetizer, but now that he associates brussels sprouts salad with pizza, it’s fair game.

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I used my food processor to shred fresh brussels sprouts as the base for the salad, and then just added whatever I had sitting in the fridge. Fresh cranberries, parsley, radishes, and a simple balsamic dressing made for a vibrant and fresh salad that I will now be making all the time! The one thing I wish I remembered to add would be slivered almonds for a nice crunch, so I’ll be sure to include those next time. Pecans or pine nuts would also be great in this.

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This salad will be a great side dish for holiday parties, but is simple enough for any weeknight meal! You can add your protein of choice on top- grilled chicken or crumbled bacon would be delicious- and swap out the vegetables and fruit based on  what you have available. It’s very versatile and colorful. In fact, with all that red and green in there, I couldn’t help but notice it looked a lot like Christmas…TOO SOON, I KNOW.

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Brussels Sprouts Salad

Makes 4-6 servings

For the Salad:

6 C washed fresh brussels sprouts, shredded

1 C sliced radishes

1 1/2 C fresh cranberries (chopped apples would also work)

1/3 C finely chopped flat leaf parsley

1/3 C slivered almonds

For the Dressing:

1/3 C balsamic vinegar

2 T dijon mustard

2 T honey

1/3 C good quality olive oil

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

Assemble salad by layering shredded brussels sprouts with sliced radishes, cranberries, parsley, and almonds.

Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Enjoy!

Tip** If you won’t be finishing the salad in one sitting, keep dressing on the side or leftovers will be soggy.

Stuffed Acorn Squash (Whole 30 & Paleo)

My mom always baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, until it was so soft it was basically falling away from the skin. The top would perfectly caramelize, making the whole house smell like Thanksgiving. When I make it now, one bite brings me straight back to eating dinner as a family at our kitchen table in the house on Parkside.

I had some organic pork sausage in the fridge this week and thought the best way to kick off my squash marathon would be by stuffing the one I’m most familiar with a bunch of yummy things!  I have to say that this turned out so delicious, I’m inserting it into my week night meal rotation for the rest of the year. If you don’t like one or two of the stuffing ingredients, just sub it out for something else! This meal is so hearty and flavorful, I believe it has the power to convert even the weariest of the squash-avoiders.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Makes about 4 servings

2 acorn squashes

1 T olive oil or coconut oil

1 lb bulk pork sausage (sugar-free if you’re doing Whole 30/ Paleo)

1 small onion diced

1 celery stalk diced

1 small apple diced

3 handfuls chopped kale

1 t dried rosemary

1 t dried thyme

1 t garlic powder

Pinch of allspice

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 C golden raisins

1/3 C chopped pecans

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley for garnish

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Method:

Heat oven to 400°

Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Brush with oil and salt. Place cut side down on baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for about 35 mins, or until soft.

Meanwhile,  brown sausage in a pan over medium heat until no longer pink. Keep fat in there! It adds so much flavor. Add onion, apple, and celery, cooking until soft. Add kale, and stir until wilted.

Add all seasonings, raisins, and pecans. Stir until combined and remove from heat. Spoon into prepared squash and top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!