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Sweet Earth’s Asian Inspired Meals

There are many products that I have been incorporating into my meals lately that have been delicious. There are some foods that I put into my recipes, or I go out and purchase something that is quick to make on the side along with what I am already having. Asian meals are one of my favourite things to eat because there are so many different types of sweet and sour chilli, chilli sauces, and other delicious things that can be put into your recipes. I prefer really spicy foods so chilli sauce is my top condiment to be putting on the dishes I make that have an Asian spin on them.

I have found some products that have helped me transition to a better diet as well as provide some alternatives for when you want to try new foods. Specifically, I love products from Sweet Earth because of the diverse option in flavours. Over the past few years, my love for this brand has grown considering how their companies have expanded and they have put out so many new products.



(photos by Danielle)

The first meal I have been a huge fan of is Sweet Earth's Pad Thai noodles. These are great for if you are in a hurry. Sometimes I have class right after work so I only have time to be at home for a few minutes. Even on those nights, I try to cook my own meal instead of something in the microwave. Ingredients include noodles, bean sprouts, radish, peanuts, seasoned tofu, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, snow peas, green onions, soy sauce, garlic, along with some spices. This meal can be healthy and has high levels of vitamin A, iron, calcium, and vitamin C.

I am also a huge fan of General Tso’s Tofu from Sweet Earth as well. I have this meal paired with sushi from a restaurant I ordered takeout from. When I order out, I usually get some veggie sushi rolls and I have sauce at home to put on it to make it spicy. For the picture below, I have avocado rolls and sweet potato rolls. There are many options at most Asian restaurants and they have different choices, which makes it easy to try new meals!



(photos by Danielle)

The General Tso’s Tofu has delicious ingredients including broccoli, tofu, brown rice, soy sauce, red bell peppers, and other spices. This is also great for a lot of the same nutrients that the Pad Thai had as well. The flavour is amazing and it has been one of my favourite meals to eat that is quick to prepare.



These foods have been some of my favourites for a while now and I hope some of you check them out. If you have not tried any of Sweet Earth’s products I would recommend them. The brand has plenty of options and a lot of them are allergen friendly as well. I hope some people try some of these out over the weekend. Target, Giant, and Wegmans are great places to find this brand if you are looking to try this or you want to expand on the varieties you have already tried from them. Everyone have a wonderful weekend and I hope amazing things happen to you! Happy Friday!
-Danielle

Vegan Pecan Pie




    Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope everybody had a fantastic weekend! I am excited to be writing yet another recipe for you guys, and it is something I do hope a lot of you enjoy!

    This week I would like to use a recipe we learned in school. VEGAN PECAN PIE! Courtesy of the Culinary Institute of Virginia having a nutrition program, we had a course in that program called "Alternative Baking". Which was really fun because we got to learn the different types of dietary needs, and the many alternatives to those diets (i.e. Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Raw/Paleo, etc.) for all those yummy desserts everybody wants to have! Anyways, the two areas I enjoyed the most was vegan, and gluten free. Learning how to make pecan pie was a lot of fun as well. A few of the groups in our class got to make the vegan pecan pie (Pictured above). And it was quite an easy recipe to put together.



    There is not a whole lot to be done with this recipe either. We are just omitting the eggs, and substituting the butter in the recipe, but everything else stays the same. Remember when we talked about how we can put some tofu in certain foods or desserts as a substitute? That's right, this recipe calls for none other than silken tofu!! Tofu is a great substitute for when a recipe originally calls for eggs. It is a great binder for desserts like this. But if you recall, I did give out a little warning about what types of Tofu to use! That's right. This recipe requires silken tofu because it is easier to puree, and overall works better when it comes to desserts. You should use extra firm tofu ONLY if you are looking for a hearty replacement for certain dishes (it stays in shape for the breading and frying process). Silken tofu is the best to use for desserts, smoothies, souffles, etc. IF you end up using extra firm tofu, your pecan pie will look just like the one in the picture below. I tried pureeing, chopping, blending, everything you can imagine to that extra firm tofu to try and get it smooth enough for this recipe. Unfortunately, it did not work out at all and ended up ruining my pecan pie.



    Overall, the texture for me was odd at first because I knew there was tofu in the dish. And usually, once you know there's something in there, it is all you focus on tasting. BUT, once I actually opened up my mind to the idea of adding tofu to pecan pie, it really was not bad. I did not think it was sweet enough in my opinion, but I did not want to break away from the recipe. If you prefer your pecan pie sweeter, add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract and an additional 1/4 cup of maple syrup. Overall, I hope y'all enjoy this recipe. We are getting closer to the holiday season guys! If you have any recipes you want us to write about, please feel free to message us!

Have a great rest of the week!
-Maranda



Ingredients for Pie Crust:


  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter
  • 6 Tablespoon vegan shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Additional 9 Tablespoon water
Directions for Pie Crust:

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and cut in vegan butter. 
  • Carefully work water into the dough. (pour in some of the water, and start to mix it with your hands). This recipe is good for 2 pie crusts. So cut the ball of dough in half.
  • Wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap, compress it until it looks like a disc, and put in the chiller for 1 hour. 
  • Roll out your vegan pie crust. And carefully put it in the pie plate. Don't worry if it starts to rip, that will happen. Just try your best to carefully piece it together.
  • Tuck in the edges, if you have a bag of beans, place that in the center of the pie crust and bake at 325 for 8 minutes. If you do not have a bag of beans handy, just use a fork and poke around the pie crust so it won't rise. 
Ingredients for Pecan Filling:

  • 7 ounces sugar
  • 7 ounces brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 12 ounces SILKEN tofu
  • 4 ounces non-dairy milk
  • 4 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans
Directions for Pecan Filling:

  • Heat sugars to boil. Boil lightly for 10 minutes. The mix will thicken.
  • Off heat, add the margarine and melt. Cool to room temperature.
  • Puree the tofu, non-dairy milk, and corn starch until silky smooth. 
  • Combine this mix, the salt, and vanilla.
  • Add sugar mix to tofu. Mix and combine. 
  • Place pecans into pie shell and add filling.
  • Bake at 325 until set. (20-30 minutes)


Veganism and Nonviolence: How They Complement Each Other



If you became vegan, it’s likely that you did for a majority of reasons. Sometimes it’s for the environment, sometimes for health reasons, and most often for the animals. These are all valid reasons to start eating a diet free from animal products and the violence that comes from a meat-eating lifestyle. I have had to ask myself a question lately though, after seeing some posts on a vegan group on social media about a man being killed by a bull in a bullfight. Some individuals on that group were glad that a man was killed (very horribly I will add), saying he (and others that harm animals )will get what they deserve if they come to an end like this. There was no compassion in their responses, and I began to ask myself; is this really the way that those of us with open minds to the harm done to others should really react?


When we start the journey to care for other sentient beings, and find that we cannot justify consuming them just to satiate our appetite it seems to me that it should add an opening for us to start caring about quelling the violence in other areas. At least that is the way that it was for me, veganism was a logical step in my path towards peace with all things. So I have a very hard time understanding people’s viewpoints where they wish harm on people involved in things that harm animals. While it is true that what they are doing is horrible and I detest that animals have to suffer at the hands of man but I can’t be pleased that the humans have (or would) suffer or lose their own life.




The truth is that most of us vegans were meat eaters at some time and did consume animal products before we were aware of the terrible cost of that and what it entails. While some of us may not have willfully harmed animals (such as this bullfighter, or someone that is involved in animal agriculture) we still were a part of this at some point. So if we can come back from that, why can’t other people? I would hazard a guess that even the most hardened meat advocate has a chance in his or her life to change from this to a compassionate diet if given the right information, time and stimulus.


I myself was a very die-hard meat eater up until a year ago and even then it took me more than half of that to finally decide to become fully vegan. I used to say emphatically that I could NEVER give up meat, that I liked it too much, that I hated vegetables, etc. Many people tried to convince me that there was a better diet out there for me but the truth is that I just had to come to a point in my life that I could not keep eating (and living) the way that I was. I had to put into action the beliefs that I was coming to understand, and one of those was non-violence.

The concept of Ahimsa (which basically means non-violence) was very intriguing to me at this point. Ahimsa basically means abstaining from violence, but it has a deeper meaning than just not going out and killing someone. Ahimsa also means that you try your best to not harm anyone, with your actions, words, and even thoughts, and that can include yourself. While this may seem unattainable, I believe that striving for this concept is what could make our world a more peaceful place. This concept also further increases the need for veganism, as you cannot try to practice Ahimsa and still eat a diet with animal products.

I hope that this article will prompt you to think about how veganism and non-violence come together, and maybe this will lead you into a deeper understanding of some of the ways that we can promote veganism as a stepping stone on the road to peace in ourselves, in others, and in the World.

The Easy "How To of Veganism"





What is the equation for veganism? Is there one? Absolutely! So, not a Math problem? Well, it may be more of one than you think! I refer to the solution to many things as that of Veganism, the destruction of the environment, human health, animal life, the high incidents of PTSD found amongst factory farm employees to name a few. So, how do we become part of this Veganism solution? Let us have a look. . .

1.      Start slowly :

Some people transition well with the ‘ cold turkey ‘ way of doing things, but statistics show that for long-term/sustainable lifestyle changes, the majority fare far better with gradual changes, that said, I highly recommend the ‘go at your pace’ approach, or simply ‘take it slowly’. What is most comfortable for you will work best for you.

2.      Fraternize with like eaters who have succeeded - Real life support:

Food is often part of social events, and many new vegans feel isolated. A few sure ways to avoid this are: a) Join local groups and/vegan potlucks b) Find Vegan Societies c) Network with online groups d) Seek out local vegan events e) Attend meetups. f) Start your own event or meetups etc. These ways are guarantees to your meeting and making friends of like persuasion in this regard.


3.      Have enough calories:

One of the greatest downfalls of new vegans especially on a high fruit and vegetable diet is to not consume enough calories. As fruits and vegetables contain higher quantities of water and fibre yet fewer calories than standard foods, undereating is a common mistake. It may be prudent at the beginning to track actual caloric intake with say the App Chronometer.

4.      Stop buying into the protein craze/myth:

Over the years, especially with the strong influence of the information control by the meat and dairy industry, the stated daily intake of protein tends to be somewhat inflated, along with the preferred source of same. Follow Dr Colin T. Campbell for more information on this, particularly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiQ4e_dKUbM. It is more than possible to achieve sufficient amino acids from plant food sources, of course, each person’s requirement will be different, and however, over time it will become easier to ascertain what your daily percentage is. Note also that, this will vary as well based on things such as age, activity level, season and even gender. Simply do not be obsessed with being deficient unless you are 1. Not


5.      Find what type works best for you:

The vegan lifestyle can be approached in many different ways, as far as diet goes, the various options include: Raw Veganism, Cooked Veganism High Carb, Low Fat Veganism, Dr Sebi’s Alkaline Veganism, 80/10/10 Raw Veganism, 80/10/10 Veganism, 90/5/5 Veganism, The Starch Solution, and the list continues. I believe finding what suits you, your lifestyle, health needs and geographical location is what is most important.


6.      Keep it Whole Foods, simple without going expensive: Focus on vegetables and
fruits:

One of the numerous myths about veganism is that veganism is expensive, is truly a myth. Besides of course the fact that the meat and dairy products are subsidized, a vegan diet kept in its most simple form, say largely or fully raw with as many fresh local in-season foods is by far the most economical and moreover sustainable as well as the one I recommend.

These 'How To' tips are not in the least difficult to incorporate, I, therefore, challenge all to give it a try.

Jan P. López

On the Go Snacks!

Having a crazy schedule does not always have to hinder your healthy eating. I try to stay away from overly processed foods, but when you are constantly on the go it can be challenging. On the days where you have to be away from home for hours, it can be difficult to pack snacks that will not perish after a few hours. Transitioning to a cleaner diet, I usually try to have some fruits and vegetables as snacks first so they do not go bad in my bag, and then if I am still hungry, I move on to the packaged snacks, which I use as a last resort.

I usually go to Target or Trader Joe's to get some of my snacks. Lately, I have also realized that Home Goods is a great place to buy snacks as well. These places all have delicious snacks and compared to many other products on the market, many of the foods I find at these places have what I prefer in a snack. When I am snack shopping, I prefer to purchase products with a short ingredient list that is easy to pronounce and ingredients that are considered whole foods. If there is high fructose corn syrup or any other similar ingredients, I will put it back on the shelf. If I do reach for processed foods, I try to make sure it is minimally processed.


(Photos By: Danielle)

The snacks I got for this grocery haul include Protes, which I got in Spicy Chili Lime and Zesty Salsa. These chips also come in Barbeque, Coconut, and Caramel. Protes are great for protein and appropriate for people who avoid GMOs or are gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. These are pretty allergen friendly just like the rest of the products in this post. I also LOVE the “15g protein,  zero-g guilt” slogan on their package!

(photos by Danielle)


Beanfields are also another one of my favourites and for this trip to the store, I bought Pico De Gallo, Jalapeño Nacho, and regular Nacho. They have many other flavours that are just as delicious as the ones I got during this trip. Some of the other vegan varieties include black bean, white bean, barbecue, and sea salt. If you can not find these during your trip, there is also a very similar brand to this called Late July. Both of these brands are great for nachos and I recommend their varieties.

Natures Bakery has also put out some wonderful products. In this trip I bought, the dark chocolate brownie flavour. These are great for if you are vegan or unable to have dairy for health reasons like me. These are a great alternative to still get that flavour, but in a healthier way. These brands are wonderful because there are so many that are accommodating to allergies and you do not have to sacrifice taste because of a health condition or dietary restriction.


Primal Pantry Bars are other products that I purchase from time to time. I have tried several flavours of the Primal Pantry products and I have been pleased. The varieties I have tried include hazelnut cocoa and cherry brazil nut. Their website also shows that they are putting out an acai berry super seed variety that I am eager to try if I find it in stores!

Chia Seeds are also a top item I purchase because they are great paired with so many things including smoothies and oatmeal. All of these products have been favourites of mine for a while now and I hope others have had great experiences with these products as well. I hope everyone has a great weekend and if you go grocery shopping I recommend trying some of these products. Let me know about some of your favorite on the go snacks!

-Danielle

Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe



I am lucky enough to have a family that tries to accommodate my Vegan lifestyle as much as possible. The other night we were having soup beans and cornbread for dinner, and my family planned in advance to make sure everything was vegan. For the Soup Beans, they replaced the ham broth with veggie broth. For the Cornbread, we veganized one of our favorite cornbread recipes.


I had never really made cornbread of any kind on my own, so my Step Mother (Amanda) was nice enough to help me with this. She makes some of the best baked goods I have EVER had. If we were being completely honest, she took the lead on this. I helped cut up Jalapenos and forgot to wash my hands before I touched my face. If you have ever done that, I do not need to tell you how uncomfortable it is! Needless to say, I was not much help during this process.


To make the perfect Cornbread, a cast iron skillet is a necessity! If you do not already have one, I recommend this one! Using a Cast Iron skillet is the perfect way to get the perfect crust on the Cornbread and it makes a world of difference! Amanda also mentioned that this recipe would make amazing Vegan Cornsticks! To make Cornsticks, you would follow the same recipe and instructions below but you would cook them in a pan like this one!



For this recipe, we had a few jalapenos laying around so decided to throw those in as well. I don't know about you, but I LOVE Jalapeno Cornbread!


For this recipe, you can use your favorite egg substitute. I prefer unsweetened applesauce you could also use a chia seed or flax seed slurry. Check out the graphic below for more plant-based egg substitute options. To make a Vegan buttermilk, we took almond milk with 1 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar. After mixing the almond milk and vinegar you let it sit for 10-15 minutes. I have used this Vegan buttermilk hack on many different occasions and it always turns out well!


What are your favorite vegan recipe hacks? Let me know in the comments below!


Happy cooking!

~Stella~



Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe
Makes 1 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet

2 cups whole-grain cornmeal finely ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups vegan buttermilk (1 1/2 cups almond milk plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar let it sit for 10 minutes)
1/2 cup of applesauce (or 2 "eggs" worth of your favorite egg substitute)
5 tablespoons of coconut oil or vegan butter melted
2 jalapenos finely chopped.

1. Preheat a 9 inch (seasoned) cast iron skillet in a 450 degree F oven for at least 10 minutes
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. Make a well (hole) in the center of the mixture and drop in the vegan buttermilk, eggs, and melted coconut oil. Use a fork to mix the wet and dry ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet, and bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This will take about 23 minutes. 



Vegan And Gluten Free Donuts



    Happy Tuesday everybody!! As always, I hope everybody had a great weekend! This week, I decided to go down the similar vegan route, but I also want to talk about another lifestyle: Gluten-free. FThe gluten-free diet consists of omitting gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, grains, barley, and rye. Usually, people who follow this diet, are people with Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is when your body cannot break down and absorb the proper nutrients in gluten, and as a result, does damage to the small intestines.

     A list of products that people cannot have while on the gluten-free diet are as follows: Wheat, Barley, Rye, Bulgur, Couscous, Farina, Semolina, Spelt, and All Purpose Flour. Most foods that have gluten are soups, bouillon cubes, French fries, processed cheeses, mayo, ketchup, and processed packaged foods (TV Dinners), etc. 

     Now that we have grasped what a gluten-free diet is, and what is 'allowed' or what the body doesn't tolerate, let's discuss how we are going to make doughnuts. Vegan AND gluten-free!
So for a typical doughnut, the ingredients that we will be substituting are as follows: bread flour, egg yolks, and sugar. (Surprisingly, not a lot needs to be altered which is fantastic!).



First, we will start with the vegan substitutes.
Egg yolks: use egg substitutes. Some brands are also gluten-free like Energ-G Egg Replacer. It uses potato and tapioca starch as main leavening agents. , I used applesauce, but you can always add water instead.

Sugar: You can use just about any alternative. I personally used Monk Fruit sweetener. It makes it REALLY sweet and I highly recommend that sweetener for any sorts of baking. 

    Now for the gluten-free portion. For the flours, you can actually buy gluten free bread flour, or gluten free all purpose flour. Others use potato starch, tapioca starch, or brown rice flour. I prefer brown rice flour when it comes to donuts. Always keep in mind that when you're using an alternative, that it will change the taste or texture.

I had a great time making these donuts, but there was a lot to learn. I made some with holes and without holes. Just as a heads up, the donuts with the holes tasted a lot better. For me, I really enjoyed making (and eating the donuts). But if you stick with the gluten-free recipe, also keep in mind that it may come out slightly more dense than a typical donut. Again, this factors of what type of flour you use, and how much of it you use. I really hope you guys enjoy this recipe!!!



Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sorghum powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp molasses

Directions

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully incorporated
  • Lay out the dough on a cutting board (not fully flat, but spread out)
  • Take a circular cookie cutter and start cutting out your donuts (if you have a mini circular cutter as well, you can use that to cut out the center hole, otherwise don't worry about that).
  • Lay out your donuts on a pan and cover it. Since most homes don't have proofers, what I do is isolate the product in a room (so the bathroom for example), and then I will turn on the heater and let it proof for 10-20 minutes. (it may take longer, but always check to make sure they're not proofing for too long). 
  • Your donuts are ready to be made! Go ahead and fill it 1/3 full of vegetable oil. Turn on the temp on medium heat. Wait until you see the vegetable oil start to bubble.
  • Start dropping your donuts in the pot, frying the donut for about 5-7 minutes on each side. 
  • Take out your donuts and lay them on a cookie rack so that the vegetable oil can drain. 
  • You can eat them as is, or roll them in some cinnamon or powdered sugar! Or glaze them. (Use rice milk, and vanilla extract, heat it up until almost boiling, then just spoon it over the donuts).

Enjoy!






7 Tips For Buying Products That Last




It was requested on our Youtube channel to talk about my opinions on Fast Fashion and I did just that in our latest video (it can be found at the bottom of this article). When I was pulling together my ideas for the video, I thought it would be really cool to also talk about tips for buying items that last.

When I was a teenager I had no idea how to buy items that would last. I would just find something I really liked at the store and I would wing it. Sometimes it would last, and sometimes it would not. As I got older and more concerned with how my actions affected the internet and the world around me, I started to care more about purchasing items that would last.

These are my tips and tricks for buying items that will last



-Avoid red and orange items. Red and orange items always fade first. This rule only applies when buying clothing and anything that is made out of fabric. If red is your absolute favorite color, then you might want to make sure that you will be able to redye it at a later time.

-Items that last a long time, also tend to cost more. Items that last longer cost, in some cases, 30% more than it's lesser quality counterparts. This doesn't mean that every item that cost more will last longer, you also want to check the quality of the item you are purchasing.

-Avoid purchasing products made out of plastic. Not only is plastic horrible for the environment, it is not very durable either. Try buying items that are made out of wood, metal, or glass.

- Check and see how "bendy" it is. For example, when I am purchasing a cutting board I always pick it up and see how easily it can bend. If it gives easily, then it may not be the best choice. The easier it bends the easier it will be to break it.



- Try to avoid the newest fashion trends. The more fashionable something is, the less likely it will last very long. There are new trends every few months, so those items are only meant to last a few months.

- Learn to make simple repairs. Unfortunately, items will have some wear and tear after years of use. This is when it is useful to know how to repair it or know of a service that can repair it for you. I have found, that you can find easy to follow tutorials on Youtube for most simple repairs.

- When an item finally reaches the point where it can no longer be used for its original purpose, try to upcycle it! Make it into something else that you can use. If it is completely broken and can not be reused, make sure that you are recycling that item correctly so it does not end up in the landfill.


Vegan Apple Pie Recipe!!

We’ve had an exciting week, my sister, Sam turned 25 years old today! She has been my best friend since I can remember, and she's always been the most supportive of my vegan lifestyle. When I want to try a new vegan restaurant, she joins me. When I try to make a traditional comfort food vegan, she's my taste-tester. I take her opinions to heart and she always gives it to me straight.

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Sam is unique in every way. Even when she celebrates her birthday, she doesn't want a traditional birthday cake, she asks for pie. Apple pie.

For about 3 or 4 years now I've baked her an apple pie, and my mom also brings a store bought one to the party. Sam isn't shy about her opinions (BRUTALLY honest is putting it lightly), and in past years my pies have been not sweet enough, too crusty, and had ugly lattice work.

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Last year's pie... the bottom crust was too thick!
Every year I try to perfect the recipe, so when she told me today that my apple pie recipe was the best she's ever tasted, I could have cried. When the rest of the family started complementing the taste, I started daydreaming about opening a bakery and serving vegan fruit pies nationwide.

Vegan Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 3-5 Granny Smith apples depending on size
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour, separated
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening or coconut oil (I used Crisco today)
  • 3/4 cup ice cold water


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I already had everything but apples to make this

1.Peel and thinly slice the apples, set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

     2. To make the pie crust dough, mix the 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the solid oil and mix until it has a crumbly consistency. Add the cold water, 1/4 cup at a time, until a flaky, dry dough ball forms. Try to make it as dry as possible while still staying together, because this makes a flakier crust.

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3. Split the dough ball into two smaller dough balls, and roll them both out as thin as possible while remaining even. To do this, I flip my pie pan upside down and use it as a guide to make a circle, then roll the cut-out circle out a little larger than the top of the pie pan.

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If there isn't flour all over your kitchen, you're doing it wrong.

4. To make the filling, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and juice of 1 lemon in a small bowl or cup. The lemon will clump the sugar mixture up, so be sure to combine well.


5. To assemble the pie, first lay one of the two dough circles inside your pie pan. Add about 1/3 of the apple slices to the pie, then top with about 1/3 of the filling mixture. Continue layering the apples and sugar mixture until you run out, with the remainder of the sugar mix on top. Cover all the filling with the second dough circle. Press together the edges of the pie crusts to seal, and I like to put a little design on top, so it doesn't steam inside.

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Apples and filling.


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pressed the edges together with a fork and tried to make cuts resembling the inside of an apple... Looks more like a sand dollar!

6. Top with a vegan "egg wash" of choice (or don't). I'll admit this is something I forgot about while making my pie. I did top it with a little sugar water, but next time I may use maple syrup and see it that will brown a little nicer. Bake for about 30-40 minutes! My pie was a little brown around the edges, that could have been avoided by putting tin foil around the edge of the pie for the last 10 minutes.

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Happy 25th Birthday Sam!!

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Make a wish!
Shortly after she blew out the candles, we all dove right into the pie. It was delicious!
Do you guys celebrate your birthdays with something other than the traditional cake? Let me know in a comment!