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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Turkey? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Turkey! Thanksgiving Dinner for A Vegan’s Delight!!!

"So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world."
-   John Clare, November

Ah November... with its golden daylight hours, short though they are and that Harvest Moon. I saw it last evening when I treated myself to a sidewalk cafe dinner at Luella's - a wonderful little neighborhood joint.

That moon hung heavily in the night sky, opalescent like a glimmering stone pendant dangling from the neck of a beautiful Nubian woman.

I sat under the canopy of a tree, the night lit only by one lone candle on an outdoor table at the sidewalk cafe beneath the starry sky. The air was balmy, redolent with Asian spices and the faint scent of motor oil from the passing cars. A trolley had just clanged past me ringing its bells, carrying its burden of clueless tourists aimlessly snapping their cameras at random sights and meaningless landmarks.

Yet the night was so glorious and I felt so fortunate to be alone with my thoughts,  I became filled with a yeasty benevolence toward all of mankind - even godforsaken tourists.

I raised my flute of sparkling rose' to them as they passed, clicking away.

I then realized that Thanksgiving was just around the corner and that it was time for me to post that Vegan blog I had promised my friend Mia ages ago.

Thanksgiving Dinner is a good place to start.

It's a tough time to be a turkey, though:

Unless, of course, you're a turkey with Vegan friends. Then you have no worries!
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that eschews the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

Vegans do not eat any animal products.


Not butter, not cheese...  hell... not much chocolate.
Life without ice cream???
So it makes you imagine they may not be the happiest people on the planet.
How could they be?

“A human body in no way resembles those that were born for ravenousness; it hath no hawk’s bill, no sharp talon, no roughness of teeth, no such strength of stomach or heat of digestion, as can be sufficient to convert or alter such heavy and fleshy fare.

But if you will contend that you were born to an inclination to such food as you have now a mind to eat, do you then yourself kill what you would eat. But do it yourself, without the help of a chopping-knife, mallet or axe, as wolves, bears, and lions do, who kill and eat at once. Rend an ox with thy teeth, worry a hog with thy mouth, tear a lamb or a hare in pieces, and fall on and eat it alive as they do.

 But if thou had rather stay until what thou eat is to become dead, and if thou art loath to force a soul out of its body, why then dost thou against nature eat an animate thing? There is nobody that is willing to eat even a lifeless and a dead thing even as it is; so they boil it, and roast it, and alter it by fire and medicines, as it were, changing and quenching the slaughtered gore with thousands of sweet sauces, that the palate being thereby deceived may admit of such uncouth fare.” ~ Plutarch

What a buzzkiller THAT guy was, eh? His Moralia is chockfull of such pithy little pronouncements.  Quite unlike Plutarch, my pal Mia. Mia is the nicest sweetest most upbeat person I know. Guess what? She's a vegan. I promised her a menu that she could enjoy and proudly serve to her meat-eating family. 

When I promised myself I would make a Thanksgiving Menu for Vegans I must say I was worried... but I love a challenge! And, believe me, creating a Thanksgiving meal without butter, or cheese or cream, not to mention the star attraction: The Turkey, is challenging. I have often concocted and served side dishes for vegetarian friends during holiday celebrations making delicious stuffings, lasagnes, and other casseroles with featured chestnuts, pumpkin and squash, but they all used butter and cheese. A celebratory meal without dairy? Seemed so unreasonable!

Well... I was astounded at all the options available to the dedicated homecook once you got out of the old mindset of needing dairy and meat to make food palatable. What I absolutely did not want to do was use so-called meat substitutes. They are rank, awful mealy things with little flavor, tons of chemicals , and besides, isn't the point of veganism (and vegetarianism) to get away from the  animal murder culture? Well, then? Why would you eat pretend meat? You shouldn't look for meat proxies or substitute, you should eschew the idea of all things fleshly. I should think the idea of any meat would be repugnant. Therefore I was determined to use fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains only, to recreate a cornucopia of autumn harvest goodness. I stayed away from legumes, though beans are lovely and hearty, they didn't feel particularly celebratory to me. I prefer not to use dairy substitutes like vegan "cheese" or  vegan "eggs" either -  although, perhaps, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread is okay for those of you who feel you must use something "creamier" in texture than oil.

Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian and yes, even, Italian cuisine makes for delicious dairy and meat-free options, I really had to edit myself (nearly impossible for me ). I am offering only a few items that I think will make for an elegant, festive Thanksgiving. Dishes that are approachable, not overly time-consuming and still fall within the American holiday culinary paradigm.  I kept the dishes Mediterranean-based for the most part. For those of you who are not vegan but have vegan guests over for the holiday, any of these dishes will work beautifully for them. I would offer the pumpkin ravioli and the quinoa-stuffed acorn squash as entrees for them and try preparing either the salad, the caponata or the Brussel sprouts for everyone, so that your vegan guest can enjoy a side, too. Obviously, you can make lovely roasted sweet potato casseroles, or mashed yams with a vanilla-infused coconut cream, if you want more traditional side dishes with a twist, easy enough to make without my guidance. Sage, squash, chestnuts, fruits, root vegetables, mushrooms and nuts are the jewels of autumn. I chose to use those abundantly.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the lives we have and the relative bounty that our country does offer us. There are many in the world who are not gifted with our freedoms, nor our good fortune to live in a time and place where you can actually contemplate and plan what you're going to make for dinner.

Let's not forget that!

So my suggested menu for A Vegan Thanksgiving Extravaganza is as follows:

Creamy Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms

Avocado, Blood Orange, Fennel, Sweet Potato, Pomegranate, and Hazelnut Salad

Harvest Stuffed Acorn Squash

 Pumpkin Ravioli w/ Trumpet Mushroom, Chestnuts, Walnuts & Fried Sage Leaves 

Sicilian-style Caponata

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Ssam Bar-style

Pumpkin Pie - Vegan-style


Creamy Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms 

Creamy without the cream, this beautiful luxurious dish is what the holiday feast is all about. Garnish it with one roasted chestnut, a few slices of the mushroom & a drizzle of your best olive oil and no one can say vegans don't really enjoy food.

This soup also makes an excellent base for a sauce to go over pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli, so double the recipe! You'll be glad you did.

A note on caramelizing onions or shallots:

Do it while the soup is simmering, slice the shallots/onions very finely, saute` them over low heat in a small pan, until they turn nut brown, don't add salt while they are cooking - salt leeches out water & will boil the onions instead of making them all brown and sugary. Do keep an eye on them, stirring occasionally, but don't stir too often. Just often enough to keep from burning. They contain about a gram of  naturally occurring sugars per tablespoon and those sugars will rise to the surface and provide a lovely lacquer. They will take 20-30 minutes, depending on the amount. Use one whole onion, or 4-5 shallots. The more better, they store readily, and are easily re-heated. 


  • 1/3 cup dried Porcini mushrooms 
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 small parsnip, diced
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig each bay leaf, thyme, parsley tied together in a bundle with cheesecloth or else just bind them together)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock (look for a high quality low sodium brand or make your own)
  • 1-1/4 lb. of coarsely chopped peeled roasted fresh chestnuts or 12 ounces jarred or vacuumed packed
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • caramelized onions or shallots (optional)
  • Fresh Porcini would be grand, of course, especially sauteed and added at the end as a garnish. They are costly but available this time of year, just one would do admirably and add immeasurably to the meal, or you can substitute fresh shiitakes, trumpets mushrooms, any wild mushroom, you like
  • Cashew Cream** to drizzle (recipe below)


  1. Combine porcini and 2 cups of water in a medium bowl. Let stand until porcini soften about 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil and add carrots, celery, parsnips and shallots. Saute until tender & then add the bouquet garni and stock.
  3. Using slotted spoon, reserve a few slices for garnish, and transfer the remainder of porcini into sauce pan. Add the porcini liquid to the pan, too, but be careful to strain it well first, avoiding getting any of the sediment from the mushrooms into the pan.
  4. Add chestnuts, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth then return it to the sauce pan. If you have an immersion blender like I do you can blend the soup right in the sauce pan instead of transferring it to a blender. They are really handy tools and cost relatively little. Just be sure to get the cordless variety. Much more convenient to work with.
  7. Bring the soup back to a simmer after thoroughly blending then adjust seasonings to taste.
  8. Garnish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil or **cashew cream (recipe included), a chestnut, leftover or freshly sauteed porcini and caramelized shallots. 

Can be prepared a day in advance. Just don't garnish it until you are ready to serve.

** Cashew Cream 

  • Raw Cashews -1/2 cup
  • Water - 1/4 cup

Prepare cashew cream. In a blender or food processor, add cashews and water until smooth. Best done in a high-powered blender on the highest setting. Set aside until you are ready to drizzle it on the finished dish.


Avocado, Blood Orange, Fennel, Pomegranate, Sweet Potato and Hazelnut Salad

A good starter: elegant, colorful using the season's fruits and veggies, making your holiday table festive, beautiful. Pomegranate seeds are loaded with antioxidants, add a nice juicy pop on your tongue and a bit of crunch. Very sensual. It's no wonder Persephone couldn't resist them and wound up back in Hades, but I digress.   If seeding*** them seems like too much trouble just, buy the loose seeds or skip them altogether, but do add avocado and orange supremes (slices of orange without the pith). It will give the salad a silky mouthfeel that you won't want to miss... 


  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled, roasted sweet potatoes (about 4 large ones)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Hazelnut oil (or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 Fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 1 Carrot, shredded
  • 8 cups lightly packed mixed greens: kale, arugula, escarole, spinach, radicchio or green-leaf lettuce - any leafy green you like. I used kale.
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts (which you will toast, then coarsely chop)
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, then cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 Blood Oranges, segmented and removed from their skins into "supremes". 
  • The seeds from one pomegranate (or a cup loose - some markets do sell loose pomegranate seeds for purchase.)
  • Allspice (ground)


1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place hazelnuts on a lined cookie sheet, sprinkle a bit of of allspice on them and bake for about 5-7 minutes. Using a spatula, periodically stir the nuts, so they do not burn. Remove when fragrant. Then chop coarsely. 

3. Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Add greens, fennel bulb, carrots, walnuts, avocado, orange segments, and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Toss again. Spoon warm or room temperature sweet potatoes over salad. Toss lightly .

**Notes On Seeding A Pomegranate 
To seed a pomegranate, first you need to expose the seeds. Using a chef’s knife, halve the pomegranate across the equator. Next, use your knife to make small cuts in the membrane (the white part) in each pomegranate half. 

Working over a bowl, take a sturdy wooden spoon and hit the back of the pomegranate half several times. The seeds will fall out into the bowl. Turn the pomegranate and continue until all the seeds are extracted. 


Submerge the scored pomegranate half in a bowl of water and gently pry it apart into sections. Working in the water, gently pick out the seeds from the membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the surface. Discard the membrane and fish out the remaining seeds. Drain them on a paper towel and pat dry. The seeds will last 3 days in an air-tight container.


 Pumpkin Ravioli w/ Trumpet Mushroom, Chestnuts, Walnuts & Fried Sage Leaves 

Fried sage is one of those miraculous discoveries that you happen upon and wonder where it has been all your life. It's the secret lover you never knew you had. Crisp, savory, delicate, aromatic - it adds aplomb to any dish it graces, truly transformative, but is especially lovely when paired with this simple but elegant pumpkin ravioli dish. The busy cook needs one holiday dish that practically makes itself, and this pasta entree is such a one. Using the chestnut soup that you've (hopefully) already made as a base, buying your local market's uncooked pre-made vegan pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli saves lots of time and energy. Not every dish has to be made from scratch. In fact, not every dish should be, it is a culinary conceit to think that we can out-do a finely-produced ready-made product, so long it is of high quality. Every market carries vegan-style ravioli these days.

The addition of sliced jarred chestnuts, sauteed King trumpet mushrooms make this luxurious; although chanterelles, porcini, maitake (a.k.a. Hen of the Woods Mushrooms) would work beautifully in this dish. If those fungi prove to be a little too un-popularly priced  for your slender wallet, portobello mushrooms would be a more than suitable substitute. You want something dense and shroomy that you can slice thick and sear over relatively high heat. Clean your mushrooms by dampening a kitchen (or paper) towel with water and wiping to get rid of any excess debris. Dry thoroughly.

 A garnish of crumbled Italian Amaretti cookies or even plain old gingersnap biscuits atop the finished dish gives your palate an additional sensory thrill. Think of this dish as a holiday within a holiday.  


  • 3 12-oz. packages of vegan-style pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli 
  • 1-1/2 cups of Chestnut Porcini soup (see recipe above)
  • 6-8 ounces of cleaned King Trumpet Mushrooms, sliced thickly, stems on
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 6 whole roasted chestnuts, thinly sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying - just have the bottle handy and pour enough to cover pan
  • 6 Italian Amaretti cookies (or Gingersnap cookies), crumbled
  • Fried Sage leaves*** (recipe below)


  1. Heat salted water up in large pasta pot to a boil. Cook ravioli according to package directions, erring on the side of being al dente (Cook it a minute less than the package recommends, slightly undercooked is preferable to slightly overcooked. There is nothing outside of a limp handshake that is more off-putting than flaccid gummy ravioli. The ravioli will cook a bit more as you reheat it in the sauce anyway.)
  2. When pasta is done lift ravioli out of water using a slotted spoon, placing the pasta in a pre-heated pasta bowl. Set aside. Leave pasta water over a low heat in pot. You may need it to thin out the sauce later.
  3.  Heat a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the surface. Add a pinch of coarse salt to the oil. Add mushroom slices to the pan in a single layer, careful not to crowd them. If necessary, sear the mushrooms in batches.  Let them sear on one side without disturbing them for 2 minutes or so. Then flip them over and sear the other side until soft. Remove from pan. Add to the pasta bowl with ravioli.
  4. Using the same saute pan used for the mushrooms, add a bit more olive oil, saute shallots until translucent and aromatic. Add sliced chestnuts, brown slightly. Then add reserved Chestnut Porcini soup to the pan to reheat.
  5. When sauce is warm, add ravioli & mushrooms to the creamy chestnut mixture over low heat, gently combine. If the pasta looks dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water, until the consistency of the pasta pleases your eye. Once the pasta is thoroughly heated and the sauce is incorporated, take off heat, place in warm serving bowl.
  6. Garnish ravioli with fried sage leaves, chopped walnuts & a very light dusting of crumbled cookies. Give the dish a light toss to incorporate the garnish, careful not to saturate the garnish or break the lovely sage leaves you so painstakingly fried to a perfect crisp. 

***Fried Sage Leaves:

  • 1 bunch fresh sage, rinsed, dried, stem ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Coarse salt (I'm into Red Himalayan these days)


  1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  2. Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Set aside as garnish. 


Harvest Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 6

Consider this side dish the picture of autumn's bounty. Cranberries, apples, pecans and sage flavor a
delicious stuffing you eat while scooping out spoonfuls of sweet, tender acorn squash.


  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 cups cooked rice, barley or quinoa
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water and drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped sweet potato or carrot, steamed until just tender
  • 1/2 cup grated peeled apple
  • 1/2 cup pecans, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 acorn squash
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Roasted red peppers, for garnish. Roast them yourself or buy prepared fresh from your favorite deli or the deli section of your market. Don't used the jarred variety. They are far too briny and limp. (optional) 
  1. In a small pan, sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until so, but not browned. 
  2. Place in a large bowl and add rice, cranberries, sweet potato, apple, nuts, parsley, and sage. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice acorn squashes in half, and scrape out seeds and strings. Place face down in large casserole or roasting pan and fill with 1/2 inch of vegetable stock, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  4. Remove, reserve any remaining stock, and place face side up in pan. Fill each cavity with about 1/2 to 2/3 cup stuffing. 
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and any remaining stock, and cover tightly with foil. 
  6. Bake until squash are cooked and slightly soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. 
  7. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.


     Sicilian-style Caponata 

    This eggplant-based dish has different varieties throughout Italy, most popular in the regions of Sicily, Naples, and Genoa. This recipe is for the vegan-friendly Sicilian Caponata. Eggplant, like mushrooms, is a truly meaty vegan choice. It is dense, chewy and absorbs the flavor of whatever it is cooked in admirably. Serve on its own as a side dish for the gluten-intolerant,  with warm crusty baguette for the bread-lovers, or over penne, even spaghetti squash - if you want another main course option. 

    Serves 3-4

    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 eggplants/aubergines, chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
    • 6-8 plum tomatoes, diced
    • 1 carrot, diced (optional)
    • 2 tsp fresh basil 
    • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
    • 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    • 1-2 tbsp capers
    • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • a few grinds of pepper
    • pinch of red pepper flakes
    • a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar
    • 1/4 cup of golden raisins (optional)


    1. In a large braising pan, over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add celery, peppers, onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic, saute for 5 minutes.
    2. Remove aromatics from pan, set aside. 
    3. In the same pan add more olive oil, then add eggplant, let it fry in one layer for one-two minutes, before stirring. 
    4. Then add everything else to the pot, and simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes. Serve!


    Roasted Brussel Sprouts Ssam Bar-style

    Deep fried Brussel sprouts are a  popular dish at Ssam Bar in  Manhattan. They will be roasted  in a hot oven instead of fried. Too  messy. It will still give them that  nutty sweetness and caramelized  exterior.

     It's a great dish with Asian flair.  I would pair it along with the rest  of this Thanksgiving  extravaganza with any Alsatian Riesling or Gewurtraminer you like as long as it isn't a VT (Vendange Tardive).

    Those are really costly and dessert-like. Such unctuous honeyed viscous nectar is best appreciated on its own. 

    **Note:  Puffed rice can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
 Dressing, without mint and cilantro, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature and add herbs before using.
 Brussels sprouts can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Chill, uncovered, until cool, then cover. Reheat, uncovered, in a 350°F oven until hot, 10 to 15 minutes. The dish will be fine without the puffed rice, of course. It just adds another element of texture. 


    For the sprouts

    • 2 lbs. brussel sprouts, trimmed & halved lengthwise
    • 3 Tablespoons canola oil (Do not use olive oil. It has too low a flash point and will turn acrid and bitter in high heat)
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or butter substitute

    For the dressing

    • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (preferably Tiparos brand)
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh red Thai chile, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds

    For puffed rice

    • 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal such as Rice Krispies
    • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice blend)

    Garnish: cilantro sprigs; torn mint leaves; chopped scallions


    1. Roast brussels sprouts:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.
    2. Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, then arrange, cut sides down, in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, without turning, until outer leaves are tender and very dark brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Add butter and toss to coat.
    3. Make dressing:
 Stir together all dressing ingredients until sugar has dissolved.
    4. Make puffed rice while sprouts roast:
Cook cereal, oil, and shichimi togarashi in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet and stirring, until rice is coated and begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally.
    5. Finish dish:
 Put Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl, then toss with just enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with puffed rice and serve remaining dressing on the side


    Pumpkin Pie - Vegan-Style

    There are an incredible amount of truly delectable desserts that are dairy-free. Of course, one can enjoy eating a raw cool crisp apple or a buttery pear, or make a crumble with any fruit using a variety of grains and nuts mix it with a "buttery" vegan spread and bake it all in the oven, then serve with a delicious scoop of dairy-free frozen coconut "ice cream". Coconut Bliss is a brand that comes in innumerable flavors. But it's Thanksgiving, and to me, pumpkin pie is the classic dessert to serve on this holiday. The use of full fat coconut milk here helps to replace the dairy and is being touted as a healthier alternative by those who make it their business to tout. The health industry being what it is these days, I wouldn't dare suggest this was healthier, in 5 years experts may revert back to the mean and tell us coconuts and pumpkins are poisonous. Quien sabe? In any event, no one bakes a dessert with their health as their primary concern. Savor is what we are looking for. Satisfaction. Pleasure. Indulgence. I usually skip desserts, and prefer a bit of runny cheese with my glass of rotten grape juice,  Napoleon's Epoisses comes to mind as a first choice, as does a Neal's Yard Stilton, but on Thanksgiving? I want a slice of sweet, custardy, luscious, tongue-coating cultivar of the squash plant pie - after all, it is a native American. 

    Ingredients for the Filling

    1 can (15oz) pumpkin or sweet potato puree
    1 (13.5oz) can full-fat coconut milk
    1/4 cup rolled oats (20g)
    2 tbsp ground flax
    1/3 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
    2 tablespoons of molasses
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

    Total Time: 45m
    Yield: 1 pumpkin pie

    Instructions for the Filling: 

    1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
    2. Make Crust (recipe below) 
    3. Blend all ingredients together until smooth
    4. Pour into a prepared pie crust (recipe below) in a 10-inch round pan. 
    5. Bake 27 minutes (it will still be underdone after this time, which is desirable)
    6. Allow it to cool on a wire rack
    7. Refrigerate at least 5 hours uncovered for the pie to thicken and “set.

    The Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup superfine sugar of choice
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (80g)
2-4 tbsp ice cold water 

Preheat oven to 375F. 
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. 
    3. Add oil and stir. Add water as needed until it just sticks together but is not gummy. It should look like coarse meal
    4. Press evenly into a 10-inch pie pan on the bottom and up the sides. This crust will not roll out well. 
    5. Put the crust in the oven and immediately increase the temperature to 350F. (The crust will rise, so either use pie weights during baking or poke holes in crust with a fork and just press the pie crust back down afterwards.) 
    6. Blind bake 15 minutes. Let cool.
    7. Add filling. Bake.

    Happy Thanksgiving!