Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

vegan sweet potato pie

Here is a vegan sweet potato pie recipe that I found on YouTube. For now, this will be the one I’ll be making to bring to the holiday gatherings. In the past, I have always been asked to bring desserts. Are desserts my specialty? Hmm…well, we will see what happens this year because anything I bring will be plant-based. I hope you like it.

More desserts/sweets for you to try.

Not-So Cheese Sauce

I have been sharing this cheese sauce for about 6 years now. I always make it when we are having Tex-Mex food or having a pot-luck type dinner with friends. Everyone is always amazed at how great it tastes. Pairs wonderfully with crunchy tortilla chips. I don’t miss cheese at all. (Side note: I quit cheese about 8 years ago and haven’t had a cold, the flu or even seasonal allergies ever since then. Loving it!)

The original recipe (and also, the name I believe) comes from Vitamix, but I’ve made a few adjustments. I have tried recipes that use steamed potatoes (in place of potato starch) and carrots and even onions, but this one is my favorite. Here is my go-to recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ TBS lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pimentos , canned or jar OR use 1 roasted red pepper, peeled (of course, you can roast a red pepper over an open flame or broil in the oven)
  • ½ cup raw cashews (or almonds)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 2 TBS potato starch (or tapioca starch) mixed with 1/4 cup cold water

Optional Add-ins: Taco seasoning, salsa, jalapenos, etc.

Notes prior to getting started:

1 – I suggest soaking the cashews and definitely the almonds if you do not think that your blender can thoroughly blend the nuts without leaving crunchy bits in the mixture. I always remove the brown hull/skin when using almonds, or I buy them already removed (blanched almonds).

2 – As an alternative to raw cashews and raw almonds, you could try raw nut nutters. ( I haven’t personally tried this option, just a suggestion.

3 – I have been successful with substituting almond flour in place of using almonds and substituting cashew flour in place of cashews – in both instances, I was satisfied with the outcome.

4 – I sometimes substitute green chiles for pimentos. This allows the cheese sauce to appear more creamy white instead of being tinted red by the pimentos.

Vitamix Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the Vitamix.
  2. Set machine to 1, turn on quickly increasing speed to 10, and then to High.
  3. Blend for 3 – 7 minutes until steam forms and you can see it coming from the lid’s vent.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top
  5. Reduce speed to 7, remove plastic plug from the lid and add boiling water and potato starch mixture.
  6. Continue to blend until thickened, usually no longer than 1 minute.

Blender Plus Stove-top Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the blender.
  2. Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top in a saucepan
  3. Once you have a well-blended “cheese” mixture, add it to the saucepan along with the boiling water, bring back to almost boiling temperature.
  4. Reduce the heat under the saucepan and slowly pour in the potato starch mixture while continuing to stir until thickened.

Salad Dressing No/Low Oil

No Oil Dressing

So, why would anyone want a no oil salad dressing*?

  • Eliminate IBS Symptoms (Oils can trigger IBS and acid reflux)
  • Difficulty digesting fats. Perhaps you don’t produce enough of the lipase digestive enzymes, you need to give your gall bladder a rest, or had your gall bladder removed.
  • Reduce calories – just 1 TBS of oil contains at least 100 calories.
  • Savings – if you use oils in your salads, you want to use the best possible oils so that you get the best nutritional benefit. Never use hydrogenated oils in your salads because they overload your digestive system.  A healthy, cold-pressed oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, cost more than hydrogenated oils, but are better for your health – or you can  just leave oils out and save on your food budget.
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar is my top choice)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • 2 – 3 fresh sprigs of parsley
  • 2 – 4 drops of Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 – 2 TBS color bell peppers (or 1/2 – 1 TBS dried)
  • 1 – 2 TBS chia seeds (this will thicken the dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (use an Italian blend or mix single herbs of oregano, rosemary, dill, etc)
  • up to 3/4 tsp salt (I wouldn’t use anymore than that)
  • dash to 1/8 tsp pepper
* If you desire a garlic flavor though, the best way is to opt for a modified “low-oil” version and add 1 TBS of a garlic infused oil for flavoring. This would still be low-calorie since you won’t be using the entire recipe on one serving of salad.
 
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.

Cashew Cilantro Cream Sauce

I had just bought a new bunch of cilantro and I removed all the stalks and leaves that were loose because I didn’t want them to go “bad” at the bottom of the jar. (This is how I keep my herbs fresh in the fridge.) So I was left with a bunch that I wanted to use up in a hurry. I decided to make an alternative to the cheese topping for the variety of plant-based tacos that I eat very often – so I searched the internet looking for a cilantro sauce. This was the first to appear. I found it at The Baking Fairy’s website (see below), but here is my recipe. I think next time I will definitely try fresh garlic (1/2 to 1 clove) and fresh onions (1/8 inch slice), yet this recipe is still a good one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/4 cup cashew milk (or any unsweetened nut milk, I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup or more of cilantro (packed tightly)
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno (I only had jalapeno juice from my homemade pickled jalapeno peppers)
  • 3/8 – 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/8 – 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3/8 – 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • a little pepper is also a nice addition
Directions:
  1. Add all ingredients except for the nut milk to a blender and blend.
  2. Add nut milk as needed until you get to your desired consistency.
The original recipe for this sauce was found at https://www.thebakingfairy.net/2017/05/sofritas-tacos-cashew-cream/.

Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Marinara Sauce

This was really yummy. The texture of the eggplant mixed with diced tomatoes was right on target in this marinara sauce. I made the sauce in my InstantPot (love that appliance).

I cut the eggplant into cubes and just added it to the pot along with tomatoes and other seasonings and voila! I was done…

…except for the cooking of the pasta. Sometimes I cook the pasta in the Instant Pot too, but lately I seem to have trouble with getting perfect pasta …and my guess is that it’s probably because I was cooking gluten-free pasta. I think the better outcome has been with wheat pasta. (If anyone has any helpful hints on cooking gluten-free pasta in the InstantPot, please let me know. Thanks in advance.)

Back to the sauce..I cooked the eggplant until it was mushy. I liked it best this way because it was easy to combine with the tomatoes. The mixture of these two vegetables are superb. Yet, I call this a marinara because it’s very light vs. being more dense and doesn’t have any tomato paste which would make the sauce thicker.

This recipe makes about 2 – 3 servings. You can easily double it.

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant
1 small can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced onions
1/8 cup of chopped bell peppers (your choice)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp or so of dried herbs (basil, oregano, Italian herb mix,

spinach to stir into pot after cooking or directly onto the plate (I prefer fresh)

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into the inner pot.
  2. Press manual, then adjust settings to 6 minutes.
  3. Allow natural release (if you have enough time to wait)
  4. Adjust seasonings
  5. Stir in spinach (optional)
Stove-Top Directions:
  1. Cook onion and garlic on low heat until soft. I prefer using water to steam the vegetables, so that I don’t have to add oils to cook with.
  2. Add eggplant and a little salt to help soften, then cook about 5 minutes while stirring frequently.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and remaining seasonings. Cook, covered over low heat until everything is very soft and (I prefer) mushy. Make sure your pan isn’t too high and use a small burner so the sauce doesn’t burn. This step may take about 10 more minutes. 
  4. Adjust seasonings
  5. Stir in spinach (optional).
Note: That is a corn-based pasta in the photo. Gluten free pastas that contain corn seem to cook the best.

Homemade Catalina Dressing – Oil-Free

I had a mango and a red bell pepper and recall making a dressing out of the two a while back. But this time, I added a few more ingredients. Then end result is a dressing that reminded me of Catalina Dressing, but this one is Oil-Free.

Catalina was my salad dressing of choice when I was a child and likely when I was also a teen. Of course it was from a bottle and one that is a very popular salad dressing brand. (OKAY, I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing that, but there are really more healthy options…such as the one I’m about to give you below.)

Granted, my salad as a child only consisted of cucumbers, tomato and iceberg lettuce. Yeah I guess, it’s a good start for anyone, but I finally learned that I love all vegetables and now I rarely eat a salad made of only 3 vegetables. Okay…enough of reminiscing about my childhood, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 small mango (Ataulfo mangos are the perfect size)
1/4 of a small to medium red bell pepper
1 TBS apple cider vinegar (use lemon juice instead for Sadkhin Diet)
1 clove garlic, small
1 – 2 inch piece of zucchini or cucumber (if more liquid is desired)
salt to taste (approx 1/8 tsp, optional)

Other possible add-ins:These are optional add-ins that are similar to most recipes that you will find online for Catalina Dressing.

  1. Honey (if you need it sweeter, but Ataulfo mangos are usually very sweet)
  2. If you want/need the extra “good” fat, add some extra virgin olive oil
  3. Tomato slice or 1 tsp tomato paste
  4. Onion slice or onion powder
  5. Dash of paprika
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.  Use as desired.
I just poured it all on top of my salad and dug in. YUMMY!

No Oil Italian Salad Dressing

Hi everyone. I promised that I would post this recipe and I am fulfilling my promise on the same day! (Amazing!) I had to leave home and get a cubicle at the library in order to focus on doing this, but I really feel that it’s so important for me to share the recipe.

 

So, why would anyone want a no oil salad dressing? (FODMAP FRIENDLY version below)

  • Reduce calories – just 1 TBS of oil contains at least 100 calories.
  • Savings – if you use oils in your salads, you want to use the best possible oils so that you get the best nutritional benefit. Never use hydrogenated oils in your salads because they overload your digestive system. Click here for more information about choosing healthy oils. A healthy, cold-pressed oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, cost more than hydrogenated oils.
  • Difficulty digesting fats. Perhaps you don’t produce enough bile, need to give your gall bladder a rest, or had your gall bladder removed.
  • Eliminate IBS Symptoms (Oils can trigger IBS and acid reflux, (FODMAP FRIENDLY version below)
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar is my top choice)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 – 3 fresh sprigs of parsley
  • 1 tsp raw honey (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 – 2 TBS color bell peppers (or 1/2 – 1 TBS dried)
  • 1 – 2 TBS chia seeds (this will thicken the dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (use an Italian blend or mix single herbs of oregano, rosemary, dill, etc)
  • up to 3/4 tsp salt (I wouldn’t use anymore than that)
  • dash to 1/8 tsp pepper
      optional: I would only use the following when using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix
  • 1/4 of a small apple*, peeled
  • 2 inches of cucumber, peeled
Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.  Use as desired.
 

This recipe has been revised to make it more FODMAP Friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar (raw apple cider vinegar is my top choice)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
  • 2 – 3 fresh sprigs of parsley
  • 2 – 4 drops of Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 – 2 TBS color bell peppers (or 1/2 – 1 TBS dried)
  • 1 – 2 TBS chia seeds (this will thicken the dressing)
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (use an Italian blend or mix single herbs of oregano, rosemary, dill, etc)
  • up to 3/4 tsp salt (I wouldn’t use anymore than that)
  • dash to 1/8 tsp pepper

* If you desire a garlic flavor, the best way is to opt for a modified “low-oil” version and add 1 TBS of a garlic infused oil for flavoring. This would still be low-calorie since you won’t be using the entire recipe on one serving of salad.  

Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix.