Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars are given a fall twist with pumpkin, spices and a vegan shortbread crust! 

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars-Vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars are given a fall twist with pumpkin, spices and a vegan shortbread crust!

I was all about the apple desserts last week and this week, I’m jumping into the pumpkin dessert pool with two feet with these vegan pumpkin cheesecake bars! For the longest time, I wasn’t really a pumpkin fan (give me pecan pie > pumpkin pie anyday), but now that I’ve finally nailed (more…)

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole was a dish it took me a while to warm up to, I mean, it has mushrooms in it people, MUSHROOMS. p.s. I hate mushrooms, always and forever. At Thanksgiving I was always first to dive into the mashed potatoes and gravy and last to get at the stuffing and green bean casserole (stuffing is still iffy for me). After a while, I discovered that, um this casserole has crispy fried onions on top and gets all bubbly and delicious, so let’s give it a try. Needless to say, I ended up loving that crispy/bubbly combination, but didn’t so much love the condensed creepy mushroom soup that went into making it. Last year, I made a version of vegan green bean casserole from Fat Free Vegan that satisfied my craving, but still, it had mushrooms, so I wasn’t totally sold. I love a good caramelized onion, so I knew I wanted to be heavy on the caramelized onion and crispy onion, super low on the mushroom part.

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Casserole

After tinkering and trying to get at that crispy on the top, bubbly in the middle texture, I finally landed on this vegan green bean casserole compromise. Once I figured out that I didn’t need all the extra steps of caramelizing the onions separate, making a roux before putting everything together, etc., things got a lot easier. The best thing about this casserole is that, just like its original counterpart, it’s a mix and bake kind of dish. Rather than dirtying 2 extra pans and waiting even longer for the casserole to be ready; mix, bake, top, done! The filling becomes all bubbly and crispy on the edges, while the top is crunchy and beans get nice and cooked all the way through. At first, I thought I would want the green beans to stay crunchy, but it turns out, I like them nice and overdone. You might think this is a crime against vegetables, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Mushroom-Free Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Casserole

The crispy onions on the top are optional, but really, it’s Thanksgiving, so why wouldn’t you? Sidenote: I gave my dad a whole can of those crispy french fried onions as part of his birthday gift one year, because we used to have to buy 2 cans around Thanksgiving, one for him and one for the casserole. He doesn’t eat them straight out of the can anymore, but seeing that container always makes me think of him popping it open to swipe a couple handfuls of fried onions.

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Oil Crust

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Oil Crust Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Oil Crust

Last weekend, my fiance and I went to a lovely little apple orchard/pumpkin patch about 30 minutes away, complete with caramel apples and a pick your own apple orchard. Unfortunately, all the carving pumpkins were into a sad state of rotting, but the sugar pie pumpkins they had near the register were perfect for roasting and pie making. I never liked pumpkin pie until fairly recently (probably the last 5 years or so), because I usually went for sweet, sticky pecan pie over the pumpkin variety. I think the main reason I didn’t like pumpkin pie was that I hadn’t had real, genuine pumpkin pie made from a roasted, real deal pumpkin. I also tend to have an aversion to one-texture desserts (I’m looking at you puddings, flans, and custard pie), but am slowly warming up to them as I discover how to make them myself.

I par-baked the crust a little too long initially for this pie, which made it a little difficult to cut when it was fresh, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly. The filling recipe for this pumpkin pie came straight from Oh She Glows, who tends to be my go-to for fail proof recipes. Feel free to use Earth Balance instead of the coconut oil in the crust, but I don’t usually keep EB around and coconut oil seems to always be on hand. I’m glad our little pumpkin patch ended up having the pie pumpkins to make this beauty, I might be a pumpkin pie lover after all!

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