It’s the time of year when just about every foodie magazine and television show is featuring something made out of pumpkin! So often, though, the recipes call for canned pumpkin puree. It will work, if you don’t have access to the fresh stuff, but making your own is not all that difficult! Start with a fresh, sweet, pie pumpkin. Organic is the best. You don’t want to use a jack-o-lantern pumpkin.

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In keeping with my make-it-from-scratch theme for my pizza, I opted to make vegan mozzarella cheese from scratch. I cheated a bit, because I used the recipe from this book: The book is “Artisan Vegan Cheese”, by Miyoko Schinner. The recipe is on page 44, and it’s called “Meltable Mozzarella”. Note: Read the entire post before you try this at home! This cheese is made in two parts. First you make a mixture of yogurt, oil and water, and allow it to “culture” at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

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On Monday, when I made pizza, my goal was to make it as much from scratch as possible. While the dough was a challenge, I already knew I could make pizza sauce easily! You can do this yourself, and don’t have to buy some Frankenfood brand in a jar or can. And best of all: you get to choose the seasoning! This is for a very basic sauce, lightly flavored with Italian spices.

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I love pizza. For years I’ve made regular (wheat) pizza dough from scratch without any problems. It was easy and we had home-made pizza fairly regularly. Since going gluten free, anything even vaguely bread related has been quite a challenge for me. But, once I got the flat bread figured out, I was pretty sure I could make pizza crust. Finally! Here’s my setup. Equipment stand mixer with dough hook

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In the Kitchen: Jicama

Daryl: Knarly, Dude! What is that thing? Sam: I dunno. I found it in the grocery store. I thought you might know what to do with it? Daryl: Ummm… Looks like a door stop to me! OK, enough fun. This thing is a Jicama! (And it actually is gnarly, as you’ll see in a bit.) Jicama, also called a Yam Bean or Mexican Turnip, is the tuberous root of a Mexican legume vine.

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Do you buy canned refried beans? A lot of people do because they can’t figure out how to make a good, homemade version. But, if you make them yourself, you can control exactly what goes in them and make a healthier version. You’ll also save money, because dried beans are a lot less expensive than canned! I make all my beans in the crock pot. I find it much easier and they require minimal babysitting.

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Coleslaw is quick and easy to make… Even if you’re starting the dressing from scratch! It can be a side dish, or eaten as a snack. It’s great for picnics and tailgate parties. But how do you make a vegan dressing? Start with a commercial Vegenaise? Not me! This is how I make vegan coleslaw dressing. Here’s my setup. Equipment Blender Ingredients 8 oz soft (not silken!) tofu 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

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Aren’t these some of the prettiest milk bottles you’ve ever seen? I got these at the Container Store for about $4 each. The covers are plastic lined, and they hold a quart. (You can also purchase the covers separately.) If you need a lot of them, they are also available on Amazon, Quattro Stagioni Milk Bottle, Set of 12. A case sells for about $46, a bit of a savings.

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This is a basic, no bake, nut and grain crust for no bake pies. It’s easy to make, and easy to alter depending on the flavors you like and any allergies you may have. Here’s the setup for the one I’m making today. Equipment Food Processor 9-inch pie plate Ingredients 6 Medjool dates, pitted, cut in half 1 cup walnuts 1⁄2 cup pecans 1⁄4 cup almonds 2 tablespoons golden flax meal

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I recently got twenty pounds of California ripe tomatoes as an addition to my regular Bountiful Baskets. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, it looks like this: See, not quite as much as you thought it would be! These were ripe, meaty and delicious! I love tomatoes. They are really good for you, high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant! They also contain vitamin C (when eaten raw) and potassium.

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