These are the fastest Instant Pot apple turnovers you’ll ever eat. They come together in half an hour, from apples to filling to baking the puff pastry. Want a quick alternative to an apple pie this holiday season? You’ll definitely want to give these a shot.
November is my absolute favorite time of year. Yes, okay, it’s my birthday month (two weeks to go!), but it is not just that. November is home to Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday. No gifts, no pressure. Just family and the food that warms our souls as we gather around the table. This month, I plan to take you through my must-have Thanksgiving recipes. And I would be remiss if I started with anything other than my ultimate Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.
Well, it’s been a hot minute! The month of August was probably the most intense of 2020. Physically, emotionally, extracurricularly, work-wise, just…everything. I have hardly spent any time in the kitchen, let alone had time to test recipes and take photos. Until last week, when my body (nay, my heart, and soul) started craving focaccia bread after I saw someone bake it on the Food Network. Suddenly, all I wanted was to create some of it for myself and shove it in my face. What a great side dish, I thought to myself! This will go great with dinner! Well, my friends, this garlic and rosemary focaccia bread actually became dinner. And that is absolutely okay because sometimes we need food that fuels our hearts and souls, not just our bodies.
For those of you that have been around the blog for a hot minute, you know that I have an interest in making my own pantry staples. But aside from challah bread, I have not ventured much into enriched loaves. Until now! I always thought you needed milk and butter to make light and fluffy sandwich rolls. I had tried making them with aquafaba (a la my challah recipe), without much success. But since making these fluffy, vegan sandwich rolls, I do not think I could ever go back to the store bought version.
So, during this quarantine my husband has developed a weird, fringe benefit at his workplace: almost limitless bananas…? I know, I know. It’s pretty weird, but when he goes to work, more often than not he comes home with a large bunch of bananas. Sometimes they are perfectly ripe, sometimes still green, and sometimes starting to go brown and spotty. If the bananas don’t get taken home, he says, they go in the trash, regardless of their state of ripeness. A total crime, right!? As a result, I have piles of bananas at my disposal: smoothies, banana chips, and chocolate covered frozen banana slices abound! But what about when those bananas go too brown? Well, peanut butter banana bread. Duh.
It’s really difficult to think about where I even want to begin with this post. I have not left my home in days, save to walk a very grumbly dog. The thread of COVID-19 is very present in our home, as my husband is a healthcare worker out on the front lines of fighting this virus. Yeesh. I go back and forth between feeling like I am over panicking and then not panicking enough, and my brain has been firing on all cylinders. An overactive brain can be problematic when your home is 400 square feet. Where can I send all that energy. What do I do? What can I do? It is difficult, feeling like you have an abundance of time and an overwhelming lack of resources. To answer that question, I have compiled a free, downloadable plant-based pantry stock up list.
I sat down at my computer and I began to think about what a chronic planner like me would do given more warning in a scenario like this one. How can I prepare for next time (oh good God, will there be a next time? This is where my brain begins to spiral out of control before I snap it back to reality. To focus on the task at hand.) I understand that this is a little late and that most of us are already isolating or outright quarantining. That a trip to the grocery store is no longer the casual thing that it was just a month ago. That said, better late than never, right?
It is all the things that I currently have in my pantry: these are my must-haves. I have broken the list down into several, easy to follow categories, should you find yourself able to get back to the store or place an order of food online. Maybe you are looking at this list and thinking that you already have quite a few of these items. Fantastic! If you’re looking at it and thinking to yourself, “well, shoot,” that is also okay.
I understand you might also look at this and think that there are things missing, like frozen vegan mock meats and bread (who doesn’t buy bread?) My storage space is very limited and my freezer is tiny. So when we are talking about preparing for a long-term stay at home or stocking up for a future emergency, I don’t have a place to freeze tons of bread or keep a lot of Gardein products. I need to be judicious with what I keep and where I can store those things. Instead of bread, I store homemade soups. Instead of frozen mock meats, I have smoothie packs for a quick serving of greens and protein.
My goal over the next…however long this lasts, is to show you how to cook from a plant-based pantry. That big flavors can come from a small pantry. That limitations foster creativity! That eating a lot of beans does not have to get boring. I promise. So, print the list, comb over your pantry, see what you’ve got, and join me on this culinary adventure.
As you can see from the title of this post, I do not have a recipe for you this week. I did quite a bit of experimenting and testing (some very exciting things coming your way soon!), but an unexpected crises kept me from being able to finalize as I normally would. Ah, life happens. Emergencies happen and I am human. I stepped away from my kitchen and camera to help some dear friends look for a very sweet, but very traumatized dog that bolted from them due to a scare. As a friend, and as a vegan for the animals, that needed to come first.
(Unfortunately, he still has not been found, but I have very high hopes for their boy’s safe and swift return!)
Recipes shall resume next week on their regular schedule. For now, I will bring you my top 5 must have cooking tools for my tiny kitchen! Some people have kitchens that are the square footage of my entire home. Visualize that for a moment: how on earth can I cook with such limited storage space? Well, I have few tools, but the ones that I do grant valuable counter and cabinet space really pack a punch in terms of value and usability.
Note: None of the links in this post are affiliate links, nor is this post sponsored in any way. I just wanted to make it easier to share the things I love using with all of you!
Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ingredients list in this one pot, easy vegan chili! Chili is one of the most forgiving foods in the culinary world, and if the thought of chopping this many vegetables sends you down a rabbit hole anxiety, don’t worry about it. Buy pre-chopped. Buy frozen. Keep a jar of already minced garlic in your refrigerator. I’m certainly not going to judge you. This is a safe, lazy, space. I promise.
This chili also has a secret: it causes those eating it to burst out into spontaneous, delighted laughter. No joke.