You know how Christmas smells like pine trees? Well in my house, autumn has a smell too. Apple crisp. Baking this recipe on a brisk, sunny day, burnt-orange leaves falling past the windows, the aroma of cinnamon and apples wafting from the oven, there is a fleeting moment when I feel just like Martha Stewart. Of course I have to take care to keep my eyes tightly closed so I can’t see the curtains that need hemming and the floors that need scrubbing, but the moment is lovely while it lasts. Try this easy recipe and you too can have a home that smells like Martha Stewart’s. When the feeling passes – it always does – you can indulge in a bowl of scrumptious apple crisp to ease your disappointment!
The recipe that follows is my clean, vegan version of a buttery old favorite. Your mouth won’t know the difference but your body will thank you. Brad had been eating the old version for years before I switched things up and he never even noticed a change. There’s still plenty of sugar and fat in this dessert, but it’s entirely plant-based and whole grain.
Autumn Apple Crisp (vegan)
- 4 heaping C sliced, peeled apples *use Gala, Macoun, or another variety that is firm and tart
- 1 tsp brown sugar plus 1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 C spelt flour *use whole wheat flour if you can’t find spelt flour
- 1 C old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/8 C chia seeds
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/3 C coconut oil
- 1/3 C non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
TIP: You will need 6-8 apples to produce 4 heaping cups of thin apple slices. Use an old-fashioned, hand-crank apple peeler/corer/slicer to make quick work of it.
- preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
- combine the apple slices with 1 tsp brown sugar and the lemon juice in the bottom of a 9×12 glass baking dish
- in a large bowl, mix together the rest of the brown sugar with all the dry ingredients
- add the coconut oil and margarine to the dry ingredients and mix it all together with your hands until it is completely combined and forms large crumbs
- spread the crumbly mixture all over the top of the apples in one thick layer
- bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees
Can be served warm or cold. My favorite way to enjoy it is warm with a scoop of non-diary vanilla ice cream.
Autumn has arrived. The leaves are falling, the nights are cooler and I have returned to the kitchen. I love a cozy Sunday afternoon in a warm sweater and thick socks, the football game on in the background, an aromatic pot of chili bubbling away on the stove.
Not just any chili though. This chili recipe has been a long time in the making. It wasn’t until last year that I finished it’s fine-tuning. I knew my work was done when Brad, the in-house chili connoisseur, started to request it with an almost annoying frequency. (I’m telling you, the man LOVES chili).
A few unconventional ingredients pack both flavor and nutrition. Pumpkin puree provides a luxurious mouth-feel and ups the beta carotene and fiber by a mile. Unsweetened cocoa supplies a blast of antioxidant power while adding a surprising depth of flavor. A heaping scoop of chia ensures a healthy dose of calcium and the many herbs and spices double up on antioxidant power and taste. In addition to all that, this dish is full of fresh veggies and hearty legumes. It makes a wonderfully nourishing meal on a blustery fall day.
This recipe can easily be adapted for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. As always, CSA ingredients are in bold type.
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 lb. lean, organic, grass finished beef *for vegan/vegetarian version, omit or replace with a meat substitute
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 scant T KC BBQ sauce
- 1 28-oz can organic crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-0z can organic tomato sauce
- 1 15-oz can organic pumpkin puree ( or 2 C homemade pumpkin puree)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 heaping tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp corriander
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili (add more if you like it spicy. You could also use cayenne pepper)
- 1 T agave nectar
- 2 16-oz cans organic red kidney beans, drained (or 4 C cooked, dried beans)
- 1 16-0z can organic black beans, drained (or 2 C cooked, dried beans)
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 T chia seeds
- in a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute the onions with the olive oil
- when the onions have softened, add the garlic and ground beef and cook until browned
- add the bell peppers and season with 1 tsp salt and black pepper
- add bqq sauce and stir until peppers have softened
- add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and pumpkin
- add herbs and spices, agave nectar and remaining tsp salt
- stir in beans, cocoa and chia and simmer until flavors are melded (20-30 minutes)