Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vegetable Dumplings

This weekend my sister and family came to visit. It was a fun filled weekend. I love when our kids are together, there really are  no better friends growing up, than your cousins.

The highlight of the weekend was taking my daughter (11) and her son (9) to an indoor skate park in Philadelphia.  They had such a good time and my sister, and I had fun watching them, catching up and even getting a little shopping in (yes, the skate park is in the mall!).

A close second to the skate park adventure was being up early on Sunday morning to make dumplings with my sister.  She had requested we make them for the kids (her kids love them) and it has been a while since I have made them so we had a bit of a cooking adventure.

The result was some very tasty dumplings. And what a great way to get some extra veggies into the kids!

We served them with a soy/agave dipping sauce (not pictured) that was the perfect compliment. The recipe made about forty dumplings so there was some leftover to freeze, too. Bonus.

Vegetable Dumplings

For the dumplings:
1 package vegan wonton wrappers (read ingredients carefully, many contain egg)
2 cups finely minced shitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper finely chopped
1 baby bok choy, steamed and finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
Small bowl of water

For the dipping sauce: (Note: quantities are approximations as I did not measure)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 chopped green onion
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 small squirt sriracha sauce

In a saute pan over medium heat add the olive oil.  Saute the garlic and mushrooms until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Put the chopped spinach in a large bowl and add the sauteed mushrooms and garlic while still hot (this will allow the spinach to wilt slightly.  Add all the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the wonton wrappers and mix until well incorporated.

To assemble the wontons, Place one wonton wrapper on a clean work surface and place about one teaspoon full of the filling in the center of the wrapper.  Wet the outer edges of the wonton wrapper with water, using either a small pastry brush or your finger.

Bring the sides of the wonton wrapper toward the center forming a pouch. Pinch closed around the filling and ensure air is removed from the dumpling. Alternatively, you can fold the wrappers in half over the filling forming a triangle or semi circle, depending on the shape of your wonton wrappers.

To cook, steam the dumplings for four to five minutes.

Whisk together the sauce ingredients and serve alongside the dumplings.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

I have been seeing lots of posts suggesting the use of canned cinnamon rolls as the basis for an apple pie of late. What a great idea!  Super simple to do, and as far as I am concerned the more cinnamon the better!

But what's a vegan to do? Those canned cinnamon rolls in the blue tube? Nope, not gonna cut it.  Luckily, I recently discovered canned cinnamon rolls in a red tube.  They are made by the Immaculate Baking Company and they are just awesome.  The whole family loves them, we have them on Sunday mornings for breakfast on occasion and they are sticky, sweet, cinnamony goodness.  Far better than those that come in the blue tube in my opinion.

I made my pie with a premade apple pie filling. Even though most of what I read said not to use a premade filling I decided to give it a try. It worked out just fine.  I am sure it would be great with a home made filling, too. Perhaps if I am feeling a little more ambitious next time I will do that. And there will definitely be a next time!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

Crumb Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

1 package vegan canned cinnamon rolls

1 jar vegan apple pie filling (I used Baker Naturals)
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put the flour, brown sugar and butter into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter mix the ingredients until large clumps form.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface roll each of the cinnamon buns until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate pressing the rolls together and up the sides of the pie plate to form a crust.  You may wish to cut some of the cinnamon rolls in half prior to rolling and placing in the pie pan.

Mix the apple pie filling and cinnamon and place on top of crust. Top with the crumble mixture and bake at 375 for about one hour until the top is golden brown. Cool for at least one hour.

Prior to serving, place the cinnamon roll icing in a microwave safe dish and heat for 15 seconds or so. Drizzle over slices of pie and enjoy.