Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

I don’t know about you, but this whole “arctic-blast” thing is no fun when the Oklahoma wind is rushing past you and through your coat at 20 mph. Cold weather absolutely calls for a rich, creamy soup!

This soup recipe can be done in your slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stove top. We used our instant pot on the slow cooker setting and it worked like a charm. I’m really starting to love this thing. PLUS it gives me the opportunity to get rid of our crock pot. Score!

butternut squash soup

My parents were over in T-Town this past weekend and instead of going out for dinner like we normally would, I decided that we would cook a full-vegan meal for them at our home. We served this soup, rosemary roasted veggies, and homemade croutons. It was a hit! Now we have left over soup that will be marvelous for lunches at work.

The best thing about this soup other than its one-pot creation, is that you don’t have to do any fine dicing or slicing. You just roughly chop everything and toss it in. It’s the most magical thing to not have to spend half an hour chopping ingredients. You do have to peel and de-seed the squash and the peppers and then roughly dice all the ingredients but it takes minimal effort.

This soup is peppered and not sweet like you might find at a restaurant. We use Serrano peppers and cracked black pepper to kick through the sweetness that the squash already possess. If you don’t want it peppery then I suggest adding a table spoon of maple syrup at the end of the cooking time to take the edge off. This is certainly not something I consider spicy!

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Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cold weather calls for hot soup. This slow cooker delight is sure to warm you up on a cold winter's day.


Ingredients


– 2 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and roughly chopped
– 1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
– 2-3 Serrano peppers, de-seeded and roughly diced
– 1 TBS rosemary
– cracked black pepper to taste
– salt to taste
– 3 C homemade vegetable stock or water, add a half cup more to thin if you find it is too thick
– 1 C coconut cream
– 1 TBS maple syrup (optional)
– croutons or crackers to garnish

Directions


1. Prep first three ingredients and add to the bowl of your slow cooker.
2. Add the rosemary, pepper, salt, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine.
3. Set your slow cooker on low heat for 8 hours.
4. Once the 8 hours is over, use an immersion blender or high-speed upright blender to combine ingredients until creamy and no chunks are left. If using upright blender, pour back into the bowl of the slow cooker.
5. Add coconut cream into the blended mixture and stir.
6. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add more vegetable stock until you get your desired consistency. I did not have to use any additional vegetable stock because I like for my soups to be very thick.
7. Adjust salt if needed and add maple syrup if desired.
8. Turn slow cooker to “keep warm” and ladle soup into bowls. Top with croutons.
9. Enjoy! Keep leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.
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Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

This loaf of herby goodness is a warm, satisfying bite of home for me. It has a zesty and full bodied flavor and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious served toasted with vegan butter or cream cheese.

tomato basil bread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a carb problem. Pasta, pizza, bread, more bread, sweet breads, muffins – you name it, I probably love it! I was looking back at my old blog site (https://hellobrownlow.blogspot.com/) and found that my love for food came straight outta Pinterest. My oldest blog name used to be “Amanda the pinterest baker”. Carbs AND sugar, double yum!

Since my first blog, I can see myself maturing (slightly) and making food that I really love. Food that makes my late-twenty year old self think, “this looks delicious and is worth my time to make” . I do less DIY craft projects and spend more time cooking and looking for ways to save money. More money saving ideas on are their way, but first BREAD!

My mom was never a bread maker, but she was the person that drove us to Panera Bread to pick up bagels, bread, and pastries. This tomato basil bread absolutely reminds me of a time when my brother and I would fight over the last slice of tomato basil bread my mom bought from Panera earlier in the week. We would throw down for the last slice of toasty, buttery goodness. I’m sure we would be more civil now that we are both in our twenties but that is yet to be determined.

Vegan tomato basil bread.png

This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser. It can be made in a dutch oven (pictured) or in a traditional loaf pan.

Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

– 3.5-4 cups of bread flour
– 1 3/4 cups of basil spaghetti sauce (or other roasted vegetable sauce from a can)
– 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
– Cooking Spray

Directions


1. Heat spaghetti sauce in pan to 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While sauce is heating, in a large bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour and the yeast.
3. Remove sauce from heat once it is up to temperature. Gently pour 3/4 of the sauce into the flour/yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour in and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the moisture from the sauce thoroughly.
4. Once the moisture is absorbed,if the dough is very wet add the additional flour a quarter cup at a time. Once it is to a slightly sticky but firm consistency, turn out on to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
5. Once kneaded, spray the inside of a large bowl lightly with cooking spray and put dough in. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let double in size (approximately 45 minutes to an hour)
6. After the bread is doubled in size, punch down. Transfer to your baking dish (dutch over or loaf pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. The dough is ready once you are able to touch it and not have it spring back.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Test for doness at the 30 minute mark. If time is still needed, place back in over for another 10 minutes. The bread may start to color too darkly if using a loaf pan. If this occurs, cover with foil the remaining 10 minutes. Cover with lid if using dutch oven.
8. After baking, place on wire cooling rack. Let sit for 1 hr before slicing.
9. Stores in sealed container for up to one week (but who are you kidding? It won’t last that long.)

{Vegan} Eggplant Parmesan

Happy Sunday! Sunday at our house is our favorite day to meal plan and cook. We often make this eggplant “Parmesan” on Sundays since we have more time to cook and relax.

This recipe does take a while so plan for 30-45 minutes of active time and 20 minutes of cook time. But for how long it takes to cook is well worth it. We have had traditional (read: dairy filled) versions of eggplant parm before and they don’t taste nearly as good as this. This isn’t soggy and isn’t loaded with (too) many calories. Served over a garlicy red sauce and noodles, it is a comfort meal worthy of a Sunday dinner.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Sundays during the summer often call for BBQ ribs and pork belly, but in our house, Sunday is comfort food day. We (meaning my husband) bakes bread, I make cookies and meal plan, and we have a dinner together that took effort to make. During the week we rush around and I plan “quick” meals for every evening, but Sunday is full of taking our time and enjoying the processes of cooking.

This eggplant parm is vegan, however if you’re a dairy-holic, you can sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the eggplant and bake an additional five minutes after the regular cook time is over. I suggest that you serve this with a fresh salad and oven roasted veggies. The oven is on already, might as well make the most of it!

This recipe has multiple steps which will require you to use a lot of your kitchen. You will need a colander, 3 small to medium sized bowls, parchment paper, large cookie sheet, a spatula or tongs, a pot for the pasta, and a pot for the sauce. Enlist your significant other or kids to help clean up as you go!

Eggplant Parm {Vegan}

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Get ready to impress with this non-dairy eggplant parm. It is warm, comforting, and easy to make.


Ingredients

– 1 large eggplant
– 1 c. all purpose flour
– 1 tbsp. arrow root or cornstarch
– 1/2 c. dairy free milk (I used almond milk)
– 2 c. panko bread crumbs
– 1 16oz can tomato sauce
– 1 package spaghetti
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
– 1 large carrot, diced
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tsp. paprika, separated
– 1 tbsp rosemary
– 1 tbsp thyme
– pepper to taste
– salt to taste

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Fill a large pot with water and place on stove to heat up to a boil.
2. Take your washed eggplant and cut it into 1/4 inch thick slices (coins). Lay the eggplant slices in the colander, trying not to overlap too much. Lightly run cold water over the eggplant for a few seconds and then heavily salt. Let stand for 10 minutes.
3. While your eggplant is resting, get three small bowls ready. Bowl 1 will be milk and 1 tsp paprika, bowl 2 is flour, arrowroot, and 1 tsp paprika, and bowl 3 is panko and 1 tsp paprika.
4. After 10 minutes is up, lightly rinse the eggplant and lay flat on a clean, dry towel. Make sure the eggplant slices are fully dry before starting the dredging process.
5. To completely dredge the eggplant, dip the slice in milk, then flour, then milk again, and finally dip it in panko. In each bowl, make sure to completely coat the slice. After it is completely coated in milk, flour, and panko, place the eggplant on a large, parchment paper covered baking sheet.
6. Once all slices are on the baking sheet, bake in oven for 10 minutes.
7. During the first half of the bake, saute garlic, onion and carrot with olive oil in a deep saute pan. Once the vegetables have started to caramelize, add in canned sauce along with the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Let simmer until the eggplant is done cooking.
8. After the first 10 minutes of cook time, pull the eggplant out of the oven and flip over each slice. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Put spaghetti in water to cook.
9. Once your timer goes off after 10 minutes, the eggplant, spaghetti, and sauce will be finish. Serve immediately.

Easy Vegan Baklava

I have a new love that is phyllo dough. Which probably means I’ve been watching too many episodes of The Great British Baking Show. I was so excited to make something that I absolutely love! I also thought I was going to make my own phyllo dough. HA! Just get store bought. I looked at many recipes for homemade phyllo and oh my stars… I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not patient enough to roll the dough that thin.

Trader Joe’s has the best/least expensive phyllo out there that I know of. The sheets of dough are perfectly flat, not torn, and smooth. The best part? Dairy and eggs aren’t listed in the ingredients. Hooray!

There are a few tricks to working with phyllo. You’ll want to prep every other element of this dessert before you even think about taking that dough out of the package. That package will need to set in your fridge for at least 30 minutes before use. To keep the dough from drying out when you are using it will require a damp kitchen towel and cling wrap. After the dough is cut to the size of your dish, you will lay out a piece of cling wrap on your counter and place the dough on one side and loosely cover it with the rest of the wrap. On top of that you will put the damp dish towel. While you’re working you will need to keep it covered like this.

Easy Vegan Baklava

Work fast my friends!

Easy Vegan Baklava

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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This wonderfully simple, but oh-so delicious baklava is a dessert to impress with it's many flakey layers.


Ingredients

– 1 package of store bought frozen phyllo dough, defrosted in fridge
– 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips, roughly chopped
– 1 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped (I used peanuts and almonds)
– 1 cup melted nut butter
– 1/2 cup melted  vegan butter
– 3/4 cup water
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tbsp. liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9×9 baking dish and set it a side in an easy to access space.
2. Chop chocolate chips and nuts. Mix in a small bowl. Warm nut butter in a separate bowl in microwave until just melted. Warm butter in a small dish in the microwave until melted. Set the chocolate chip mix, the nut butter, and the oil aside near your baking dish at your work station.
3. Pull the phyllo dough from the fridge. Prep your station to keep the dough from getting dry. Cut the dough down to the size of your dish.
4. The first layer is six sheets deep. Pull two sheets of dough from your pile, holding the sheets together butter one side. Place the butter side down in the dish. Repeat 2 more times.
5. Evenly distribute 1/3 of your chocolate chip mixture and nut butter mixture on top of the last layer of phyllo in your dish. Take two sheet of phyllo, holding the sheets together butter one side, place butter side down in the dish. Repeat two more times with the remaining mixture.
6. Repeat step #4 to create the top layer of your baklava. Lightly brush the very top layer of exposed phyllo with butter.
7. In a diagonal motion, cut the baklava into diamonds. Place in the center of your oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the baklava is golden brown and starting to flake.
8. While the baklava is baking, mix the sugar, water, and liquid sweetener in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for at least 15 minutes. It is best to do this toward the end of the baking time so it is hot.
9. Bring the baklava out of the oven when it is done and carefully pour your hot sugar water over the baklava. It should bubble in the dish from the heat. Leave to rest and cool for at least 3 hours before serving.