Perfect Vegan Pancakes with Cranberry Ginger Glaze

There is really no better way to say hello to the weekend than with a hot breakfast on Saturday morning. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my breakfast throughout the week revolves around what works in less than 10 minutes.

But on Saturdays, the morning is mine. I can be leisurely. I can take my time. It’s one of my favorite things about the weekend.

And this morning seemed especially appropriate for a nice Saturday breakfast – drizzly and grey, my favorite.

I love all kinds of breakfast foods, but my husband has a sweet spot for pancakes, so that was his special request this morning. Since I’m all about seasonal goodies, I decided to spice up regular old pancakes with a special Autumn-y glaze – Delicious, with a capitol “D”!

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Both recipes I used this morning came from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She’s written a ton of awesome vegan cookbookes like Veganomicon (AMAZING!), Appetite for Reduction, and Vegan with a Vengance, just to name a few. Check her out at The Post Punk Kitchen. I’m a big fan!

(I’m dying to get my hands on a copy of her newest cookbook, Isa Does It! It was just published at the end of October.)

Vegan Brunch has recipes for other goodies like Pumpkin French Toast, Tomato Rosemary Scones, and Chocolate Beer Waffles, just to wet your appetite a bit. ALL the recipes drool-worthy!

But anyway, getting back to business…

Perfect Vegan Pancakes (only slightly modified)

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1/3 cup water

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 sp pure vanilla extract

Cooking spray

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Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl.

Preheat large  skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

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Spray pan with light coat of cooking spray. Pour pancakes one at a time and cook until bubbles form on top and the top looks somewhat dry. This may take about 3 minutes at first, but be careful as the skillet gets hotter – it will take less time. Flip pancake, cook for another minute, then VOILA! Pancake!

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**I recommend making a double recipe of you’re anticipating having more than two people or if you want to have leftovers or if you have a very hungry husband in the house.

Cranberry Ginger Glaze (optional, but phenomenal, so just make it already, okay?)

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 ¼ cup water

1/3 cup sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

¼ cup pure maple syrup

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Combine cranberries, water, and sugar in sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil – do this slowly because this will easily boil over. After it comes to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Uncover and let simmer for another 10 minutes (mixtures should end up reduced by about half).

Remove from heat, grate in ginger.

Let cool for 30 minutes and then add maple syrup.

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Now go brew some coffee and enjoy some homemade brunch! And have a lovely rest of your weekend.

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Autumn Fruit Crisp

I originally planned to make an amazing blueberry cobbler today, but when I got to the grocery store and saw the ridiculous price of the blueberries, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them.

I was getting ready to leave when I spied the massive pile of pears right in front of the door. Bingo!

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Pears are at their best in the fall, and I have never really baked with them before so today was my golden opportunity to experiment! Since I was already at the grocery, I turned to my emergency recipe source: MOM (yeah, not my iPhone like you were expecting. I don’t have the patience to use 3G while I’m in the grocery store, okay?).

She found a recipe to send to me, so I grabbed a few pears, some apples, and maple syrup and headed home.

So now you know the truth… I’m no old seasoned pro when it comes to pear apple crisps. I’m quite the opposite, actually. When I’m planning for my blog, this is not my ideal. It’s a little scary committing time and money to a recipe that could be a total flop. But with pears, apples, and cranberries, how could anything go wrong?

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I was giddy to get started on this recipe when I got home. I love baking with seasonal foods. It’s fun to only be able to use things for a short time because it makes creates so more anticipation as that season approaches! In the summertime, I can’t wait to gorge myself on home grown tomatoes and homemade pesto. In the fall, it’s Honey Crisp apples, anything pumpkin, as you know, and anything involving cranberries – cranberry muffins, cranberry relish, etc.

Take note: fresh cranberries are only sold in between October and December, so stuff your freezer full of them while you can!

Anyway, despite my fear of failing on my first try with this recipe, it did not disappoint. In fact, it completely exceeded my expectations! This is the best crisp I’ve ever had! No joke, people. It’s the perfect combination of everything. The cranberries are the perfect undercut for the sweetness of the pears and the apples. The cinnamon and allspice compliments the flavors of the fruit exquisitely. The toasted pecans in the topping add the delicious nutty flavor and crunch. I could go on all day!

I know what I’m making for the family on Thanksgiving (and eating for dinner tonight).

*WARNING: This is a highly photogenic dish to make. Be prepared for several delays as you pause to take pictures of the beautiful fall fruits. AH.

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Autumn Fruit Crisp (adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Filling:

6-8 cups of cored and sliced pears and apples (I used 2 pears and 1 apple in mine)

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen

Juice from 1 lemon

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

Mix filling ingredients together in medium size bowl.

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Pour 8-9” baking pan or pie dish (needs to be at least 2 inches deep either way)

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Topping:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup chopped and toasted pecans

  • I toasted them in a skillet on the stovetop on medium heat for about 5 minutes. You can also toast in oven for 10 minutes on at 325 degrees.

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup of nondairy butter (I use Earth Balance nondairy spread) – may need to be melted a bit.

1/3 cup turbinado or brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

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You can use the same bowl for mixing the topping together after you pour the filling into the pan. I’m all about having less clean up!

Combine all topping ingredients in medium size bowl. Mix together until it has the texture of wet sand.

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Spread the topping over fruit until it’s evenly distributed.

Bake for about 40 minutes until the fruit is soft (test with a toothpick).

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Best served warm and with a cup of black coffee. 

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Mom’s Best Vegetarian Chili

I always try to stay neutral with my favorite season because I think they all bring something important to the table and each have equally enjoyable aspects, you know? BUT I have to say… there really is something special about the fall. I try to play it cool every year, as if I’m not that obnoxious girl that is giddy with the anticipation of cooler temperatures and a change of wardrobe. Nevertheless, I’m the giddy girl. I can’t even deny it. I love getting out my sweaters, my jackets, and my boots. I take pictures of leaves. I buy most any pumpkin-flavored product they put on the market. I eat candy corn. You know the drill.

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The arrival of autumn signals the arrival of the time for all things cozy – mulled wine-scented candles, bonfires, apple cider, and best of all, chili!

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Chili is definitely a “cozy enhancer,” shall we say. It goes well with football games, card games, movie nights, etc. My mother has developed an amazing vegetarian/vegan chili over the past couple of years. She’s pretty much got it down perfectly!

Chili is also a great way to use beans, which are wonderful things! Eric and I always keep cans of black, red, and garbanzo beans in our cabinet because they always make for a quick and hearty meal. If you happen to have the time to make a fresh pot of beans, that’s also wonderful! It just takes a little time.

Beans of any sort:

Soak beans overnight in large bowl of water.

Rinse several times and then put beans in large pot and fill/cover with water (about ½ inch over the beans)

On medium heat, slowly (I mean, slowly) bring beans to a boil.

–       I emphasize slowly because beans boil over easily and make the stinky-est mess ever! You don’t want to have to deal with that on your stovetop, so just be patient.

–       A layer of foam will form on top of the water. If you want to be sure to avoid it boiling over, take a spoon and scrape this foam off and dispose of it.

Once the beans have reached a boil, turn them down to low heat and cover. Let them cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Add 1 – 2 tsps of salt when finished.

If you have the time to do this / if you remember to soak your beans the night before, fresh beans are delicious! In the chili I made today, I made the red beans fresh this morning. The black beans and garbanzos I use are from cans. Canned beans will always work equally well for any bean purpose! Especially for chili :)

Mom’s Best Vegetarian Chili (from the kitchen of Sally Bennett)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp basil or oregano

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp cumin

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp salt

2 tsp brown sugar

1 quart of vegetable broth or broth from beans (I prefer broth from beans – so much easier! And don’t sweat trying to figure out whether it’s exactly 1 quart or not. As long as you add all of the liquid from the cans or broth from cooked beans, there will be plenty of liquid!)

2 cups (1 15-oz. can) cooked small red beans

2 cups (1 15-oz. can) cooked garbanzo beans

2 cups (1 15-oz. can) cooked black beans

2 zucchini squash, chopped or shredded

Saute onion, carrots, and red pepper in olive oil.

Add garlic and cook veggies until soft.

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Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, broth, and beans.

Simmer for 30-45 minutes (until flavors are blended)

(Please pardon our horribly dirty stovetop)

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Add chopped zucchini and stir.

Excellent served with cornbread.

Delicious with lots of freshly-squeezed lime juice on top.

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Have a cozy evening, folks!