Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

Welcome to rainbow week, where the focus is on colorful foods that span the spectrum! Though today’s recipe would be equally at home during international week: tender roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a Thai curry-inspired quinoa filling. But once I assembled these little beauties and saw how vibrant and colorful they were, I knew they’d fit perfectly during Rainbow Week. Just look at them, pre-oven:

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Gorgeous, no? And not so difficult to make, either. You’ll cook up some quinoa in a mix of water and coconut milk, adding more coconut milk towards the end to keep the filling nice and creamy — and to help it stay together. Think of it as more of a risotto than your traditional light and fluffy quinoa preparation. Mix in some sauteed ginger, garlic, and jewel-bright orange peppers, stuff everything into halved poblanos, and roast to perfection.

In the meantime, you’ll whip up a dead-easy sauce with just three ingredients: coconut milk, peanut buttery, and Thai curry paste (plus salt if you’d like). Drizzle it on just before serving and call it a day.

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Peanut-Coconut Sauce

Serves 2-3 as a main

For the peppers
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1 C + 1/2 C coconut milk, separated
  • 1 T Thai red curry paste (more if you like extra heat)
  • 1/2 T coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T ginger, grated
  • 1 orange or red pepper, diced
  • 4 poblano peppers
For the sauce
  • Scant 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 T Thai red curry paste
  • Dash salt (to taste)

First, start preparing the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, 1 cup coconut milk, and Thai curry paste to a medium saucepot and heat on medium-high. Stir to incorporate the paste. Heat until boiling, cover, then turn down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until all liquid is soaked in, stirring occasionally.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small pan on low and add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, watching closely so it doesn’t burn, then add the ginger. Stir to combine and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the diced pepper and turn the heat up to medium-low. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pepper is soft. Turn off stove and remove from heat.

When all the liquid is soaked in to the quinoa, remove cover, turn heat to low, and stir in the extra 1/2 cup coconut milk, adding a few tablespoons at a time and stirring when you add it, until just absorbed. Turn off heat.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚F, grab a 9″ x 9″ baking pan,  and prepare the poblanos for stuffing. Slice them in half, shake out seeds, and remove any pith.

To stuff the peppers, it’s easiest to squeeze them in one hand while using your other hand to spoon in the filling. Press down with the spoon to spread it throughout the pepper. Fill just to the top. (Reserve any extra quinoa for spooning over the cooked poblanos later.)

Place stuffed poblanos in a baking dish (see photo), cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

While baking, make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, salting to taste, and set aside.

When the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Notes
  • For a less spicy version, use four green bell peppers instead. Slice the tops off, remove seeds and pith, and stuff.
  • Feel free to add additional veggies to the quinoa mixture; just be sure to chop them small.

PIN IT!

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Italian Pepper Biscuits

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Week Two: International Week

According to the 2000 census, little old Rhode Island is the US state with the largest population of Italian-Americans (measured by percentage, not raw numbers): fully 19% of Rhode Islanders have Italian ancestry. Although I am 0% Italian on either side, I benefited from my Italian neighbors in a big way: the food. Yeah, yeah, sounds cliche and reductive, but it’s true; RI is chock-full of Italian bakeries and restaurants. From zeppoles on St. Joseph’s Day to iced anise cookies on Easter, even my decidedly non-Italian family enjoys — and bakes — Italian treats on the regular.

For the last day of international week, I’m departing from my British Isles theme and sharing a simple Italian treat: pepper biscuits, or biscotti di pepe. These savory treats pack a little kick thanks to black pepper, and they’re a lovely snack alongside a glass of wine or with your antipasto platter. Funnily, I can’t recall a single exact instance of eating these guys, but they’re familiar to me nonetheless; I think they’re sort of ubiquitous at Italian bakeries and on biscuit trays. And they’re naturally vegan (except for a pesky occasional egg wash).

Italian pepper biscuits

For my biscuits, I used the recipe here, because why reinvent the wheel with a time-honored classic? I did have a spectacular fail when adding the liquid to the flour mixture: I followed the ingredients, which had me mix everything on the countertop rather than in a bowl, but I didn’t make a large enough well for the yeast/water mixture and it went spilling all over the place. I also did not find this to be a particular stiff dough as the recipe suggests; in fact, it was remarkably wet and pliant. I added a little extra flour to compensate, but I’m not sure what happened there — I think it calls for too much oil. I also forgot to give them a second rise. So really, I massacred this recipe. But they still came out nice and peppery, with a soft chew and a lovely crumb.

Next time, I think I’d add fennel seeds for a little more complex flavor; many other recipes call for them. I might also try a non-yeasted recipe — they were breadier than I remember, without much crunch. And next time, I think I’ll make them alongside a batch of Italian wine biscuits, a slightly sweet, lightly purple hued biscuit that’s a joy to eat.

Easy Vegan Lunch: Spicy Noodle Bowl

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Week Two: International Week

Happy Saturday, friends. We’ve got houseguests this weekend, and I’m still not really in the mood for complicated cooking, so today I made a super-simple lunch that hit the spot: spicy noodles. I followed this recipe for the sauce, though I used sambal oelek instead of chili powder and served it with wheat noodles and sauteed peppers. Fiery, filling deliciousness. Next time I’ll reduce the sugar, but otherwise it was the perfect easy weekend lunch.

Quick noodle-y lunch.

A post shared by Kelly (@kelmishka) on

What’s your go-to lunch or meal when you don’t feel like cooking?

Chai Hot Toddy

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Week Two: International Week

It’s Friday, and I’m still bummed (understatement of the month) about the election. Given that last Friday I featured an alcoholic drink, I decided that I’d do the same thing this Friday. New MoFo tradition! And a way to salve my aching soul! So today I bring you a vegan chai hot toddy: the perfect beverage to sip on a cold night as you wonder what the hell went wrong and/or make plans to enact your vagenda of manocide.

How does this relate to international week, you ask? According to my sources (read: things I found on the internet), the hot toddy is a drink of British extraction by way of India. (Apparently there is an actual “toddy” palm tree, and the sap featured in the earliest of these drinks.) Today’s hot toddy differs quite a bit from its earliest form, and not just because we omit the toddy palm sap these days: the original British toddy was not hot at all, and was in fact served cold.

Vegan chai hot toddy // govegga.com

I think we can all agree that chilly November nights call for something warm, however, and you’d better believe that my hot toddy is gonna be piping hot. I typically make them with black tea, but today I decided to make it with chai as a nod to the toddy’s Indian heritage, and the warming spices are a perfect addition. I used a pre-made chai blend — this Bhakti Fiery Masala Chai is my current favorite. If you prefer a DIY version, try this chai masala blend. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to taste; depending on how fiery your chai is, you might want a little more agave.

Chai Hot Toddy

Serves 1

  • 8 oz hot water
  • 1 serving chai (tea bag or loose-leaf blend)
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • Dash vanilla extract (about 1/8 tsp; optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz. blended whiskey (don’t use your fancy single-malt here!)

Method

Pour the hot water over the tea bag and stir in the agave nectar and vanilla extract, if using. Steep to your preferred strength, then add remaining ingredients, stir, and enjoy.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Haggis Goes Vegan

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Week Two: International Week

If this post is brief, please forgive me. I’m heartsick about the election results here in the USA. Yesterday’s post was pre-scheduled, but I’m writing this on Wednesday night and still feeling pretty raw.

On Tuesday night — election night, before the results came in — I made the final stop on my British Isles food tour. Of course it had to be from Scotland, the only country I hadn’t yet covered. And of course it had to be haggis.

Vegan Haggis // govegga.com // recipe from Maple Spice

I’ve never had “real” haggis, but during our trip to Scotland a few years ago, Steven and I loved the veggie haggis at the Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh. I recreated that meal tonight by loading up a baked potato with Maple Spice’s fantastic vegan haggis recipe, which came together surprisingly quickly and with little fuss. Topped with an easy vegan gravy, it was toothsome, wonderfully spiced, and a great meal to fill me up before I became too nauseated to eat anything else for the rest of the night and much of today.

Some tweaks:

  • I used steel-cut oats instead of pinhead oats, but it looks like they might be the same thing.
  • I soaked my steel-cut oats a bit before adding them, but I would soak them for longer in the future. Their texture was a little too crunchy.
  • Lacking veg suet, I added some shortening. Not the same thing, but the fat helped all the ingredients come together.

What’s your take on vegan haggis? Ever tried it?

Welsh Cakes — Vegan Welsh Griddle Cakes

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Week Two: International Week

After featuring an Irish recipe on Monday and an English recipe on Tuesday, I figured it was incumbent upon me to hit all the nations of the British Isles. Today we go to Wales for a disarmingly simple treat: Welsh cakes. Traditionally baked on a cast-iron griddle over a fire, these subtly sweet biscuits typically feature currants. Given my lack of an open flame (well, other than my living room fireplace!) and dislike for raisins, I opted for dried apricot-filled cakes baked on the stove in a cast-iron pan. Close enough? Close enough.

Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Many traditional recipes also use a smidge of mixed spice, a spice blend not too common in the United States. Since the amount of spice in these recipes is so small (1/4 – 1/2 tsp), I opted instead to use a dash of a few spices. If you’re the type of person who panics when you see “a dash” or “a pinch” in a recipe, use a 1/8 teaspoon and fill it about halfway. If you don’t have all of these spices, again, no worries. Just use what you’ve got.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to Wales — it’s my last UK nation to visit, and trust me, it’s on my list! (Hello, have you seen how beautiful this country is?!) I’ll have to find some vegan Welsh cakes once I get there.

Vegan Welsh Cakes

Makes 14-16 cakes

  • 1 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (measured loosely)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch each of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and mace
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3 T vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used dried apricots, chopped small)
  • 1 Ener-G egg made according to package instructions, then whisked  with scant 1/4 C almond milk

Method

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your clean fingers, rub in the vegan butter and shortening to make a crumbly mixture.

Next, stir in the sugar and dried fruit, then add the egg and milk mixture. Combine to form a stiff dough, kneading with your hands if necessary. Tip onto a clean, floured surface and roll until about 1/4″ thick. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out cakes.

Preheat a cast-iron pan on medium-low and add a small pat of butter. When melted, add 5-7 cakes (depending on the size of your pan) and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until golden-brown. Flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side. Make sure that your cast-iron pan doesn’t get too hot and be sure to adjust the temperature between batches. If the cakes cook too fast on the outside, the middle will still be doughy.

Best eaten piping hot off the pan, with butter and a little sugar drizzled on top.

Notes

  • I opted for a commercial egg replacer (Ener-G) in this recipe because it seemed like a flax egg would be too obtrusive. Feel free to give it a try, though!
  • I used a vegan butter and shortening blend because some Welsh cake recipes require both butter and lard, and I wanted to provide a few different types of fat. (I like Spectrum Naturals shortening.) You can use vegan butter only, if you’d like.
  • Don’t let my personal issue with raisins/currents prevent you from trying the more traditional dried fruit!

PIN IT

Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Vegan Hand-Raised Meat Pies

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Week Two: International Week

If you read the title and thought, “Hmm, someone’s been watching The Great British Bake Off,” you’ve got it! Steven and I spent the past few months binging on all seven seasons, and I’m so very sad it’s ended for good. One positive note? I now have a massive list of British bakes to veganize and master! Perfect for international week. (Given yesterday’s recipe for Irish farls, it seems like I’m working my way across the British Isles!)

I recently tried my hand at vegan meat pies made with a hot water crust pastry. Lacking a pastry dolly (of course Paul Hollywood has a branded one for sale!), I wrapped my pastry around a glass and it worked just fine. My filling is relatively simple, just homemade seitan and lots of veggies, but you could use vegan sausage or beef crumbles and complementary vegetables.

Vegan Hand-Raised Meat Pies // govegga.com

Be sure to read through the recipe before beginning — hot water crust pastry can be temperamental, and you need your filling ready to go before you start the pastry. As it cools, it becomes difficult to work with.

Hand-Raised Seitan and Veggie Pies

Makes six pies

For the pie filling

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 1 cup seitan, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T ketchup

For the hot water crust

  • Follow the directions here. I added dried sage to my crust for a little extra flavor.

Method

First, prepare the filling. Heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium, then add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic, carrot, and leek and sauté for another 5 minutes or until all veggies are soft. Add the spices and seitan and cook for another 2 minutes, then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Turn off stove but leave on the burner.

Next, preheat your oven to 425˚F and prepare your hot water crust pastry according to the instructions here. Working quickly, use a small drinking glass (about 3″ diameter) to mark the base of the pie (don’t cut out this smaller circle), and use a knife to cut a rough circle around it — add about 1″ extra, for a circle about  4″ in diameter. Wrap the pastry around the drinking glass to form the pie crusts.

For the lids/tops, cut circles a little larger than the diameter of the pie crusts. (You can use another drinking glass if necessary.) Cut a small hole or slash in the tops. Place all raised crusts on a baking sheet. Add filling to the pie crusts, all the way to the top, then place the pie lids on top. Wet your fingers and gently crimp the crust to attach the lids.

Optionally, brush with an aquafaba wash before baking. You can also use pastry leftovers to add decorative leaves, etc.

Bake for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden-brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before eating.

Notes

  • Brushing the pastry crust with aquafaba will give it a nice shine akin to an egg wash. Alas; I was out of aquafaba the day I made these!
  • Feel free to experiment with the fillings — the crust is pretty good at holding it in, so something saucier would likely work just fine.

PIN IT

Vegan Hand-Raised Meat Pies // govegga.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: If you’re in the United States, I sincerely hope you’re voting today… and not supporting a candidate who represents the worst of humanity.

Irish Farls — Vegan Potato Scones

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Week Two: International Week

I spent summer 2007 with a group of fellow English majors studying Irish literature in — wait for it — Ireland. We packed quite a lot into those two and a half months: a week in County Mayo (“God help us!”), where we climbed Croagh Patrick and I enjoyed my first whiskey; a month in Dublin, where we took classes on James Joyce under one of the finest Joyce scholars around; a week in Galway, where we attended the Yeats summer school with folks from all ages and walks of life who just can’t get enough of the poet; and just under a month in Northern Ireland, where we focused on more contemporary (political) literature at Queen’s University in Belfast. (There was also a blissful week break in Spain, but that’s another story for another post!)

Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland

Beautiful Louisburgh, County Mayo, at sunset.

During our time in Belfast, we stayed in the student dorms at Queen’s and walked about a mile up the road for classes each morning. Breakfast was included in our stay, and it was your typical full Irish breakfast fare: meat, meat, and more meat. I was a vegetarian at the time, so the few non-animal items became my breakfast staples. I soon became enamored with potato farls, a simple yet oh-so-satisfying fried dough made with flour and mashed potatoes, and I’d enjoy two or three of them every morning. (You might’ve heard of them by another name; they’re called tattie scones over in Scotland.)

Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Queen’s University, Belfast

Fast-forward nearly 10 (!) years, and I’ve yet to have a farl again, despite returning to Ireland with Steven a few years back. What better time to make them than during the first day of Vegan MoFo’s international week?! I decided to make the farls as part of a full Irish breakfast. Alas, fate (read: a sudden lack of vital wheat gluten for making sausages) stepped in, and I scrapped my more ambitious plans in favor of making the farls by themselves. And that’s okay. They’re just as good dripping with butter and jam alongside a mug of strong tea as they are accompanied by sausages, bacon, mushrooms, scrambled tofu, and baked beans. Give them a shot for a weekend breakfast and let me know what you think.

Vegan potato farls (Irish potato scones) // govegga.com

Vegan Potato Farls (Irish potato scones)

Makes 8 small farls or 4 large

  • 1 lb Russet potatoes
  • 2 T vegan butter (plus more for cooking)
  • 1/2 C + 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out the dough)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 tsp salt

Method

Set the 2 T vegan butter out to soften.

Put a large pot of water on to boil while you peel and chop the potatoes into roughly equal pieces. Add to the pot and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes and add to a large mixing bowl, then mix in the butter and mash (see note below). Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a fork until a light, soft dough comes together into a loose ball. If it’s still sticking, add one or two more tablespoons of flour.

Move the dough to a clean, well-floured surface and separate into two equal balls (for small farls) or one single ball (for large farls). Roll out into a circle about 1/4″ thick, then cut in half and half again to form four triangles.

Preheat a pan on medium-low and add a small pat of butter. When melted, add 3-4 farls (depending on their size and the size of your pan) and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side.

Repeat with remaining farls until all are cooked. If necessary, keep in a pan in a warmed oven while cooking the remaining farls or preparing the rest of your breakfast. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Many recipes suggest using a potato ricer to get lots of air into the mashed potatoes. I don’t have one, and a fork worked just fine for me — the Russets break apart easily.
  • I used a cast-iron pan and it worked nicely; you could also try non-stick.
  • For extra-buttery farls, add a little softened butter to the side facing you just before you flip the farls in the pan. That way, both sides get cooked in butter.
  • If you don’t intend to eat these with jam, feel free to add black pepper or even chopped chives to the dough.

…and one more photo of County Mayo because it’s too pretty not to share.

Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland

Another sunset in County Mayo.

PIN IT

Vegan potato farls (Irish potato scones) // govegga.com

Comfort Food: Dal!

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Week One: Treat Yourself (and others)!

I’m actually going to stick with the daily prompt today because it’s a good one: comfort food! But I have an ulterior motive. As I mentioned during one of last year’s Sunday prompts, I am not on board with busy, on-the-go Sundays. I’m in the “be lazy and get ready for another work week” camp, for sure.

So today, I’m relying on something I actually wrote about just a few months back: dal! Dal is a definite comfort food for me. Creamy, filling, and eminently nutritious: what’s not to love? Plus, it’s beautiful.

If this picture is familiar, you’re right — I used it in my review of a fabulous cookbook, Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha. This chana dal was simple to make, a joy to eat, and it reheated well for leftovers. Perfection.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce

VeganMoFo 2016 graphic

Week One: Treat Yourself (and others)!

Just in time for the weekend, here’s a mouth-watering breakfast recipe for the whole family! Fluffy, cinnamon-y vegan pancakes studded with little bits of apple, topped with an oh-so-special sauce reminiscent of apple pie filling. Somewhere between decadent (thanks to that sauce) and relatively healthy (thanks to white whole wheat flour), these pancakes make for a special weekend breakfast that requires only marginally more work than regular old pancakes.

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

If a buttery sweet topping seems a little too rich for your blood, no worries. Read through the post-recipe notes for a lighter, fat-free sauce that works just as well but tastes a little less like dessert.

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce

Makes 10 pancakes

For the sauce
  • 3/4 apple, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 2 T Earth Balance
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T water
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash salt
For the pancakes
  • 1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Heaping 1 T ground flax
  • 2 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 C almond milk
  • Scant 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 apple, diced small

Method

First, add the Earth Balance to a small saucepot and melt on low heat while you prepare the apple. To do so, peel it and then chop 3/4 of the apple into thin half-moons (1/4″ thick at most). Chop the remaining 1/4 apple into very small dice and set aside.

Add the apple slices to the melted butter and then add all other ingredients. Stir to coat the apples, then turn the heat up to medium-low. When it starts bubbling, reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prepare the pancake batter.

For the pancakes, start by mixing the dry ingredients (excluding the flax and apple) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flax with the wet ingredients and let sit for about 30 seconds before adding to the dry mixture. Stir or whisk just until all ingredients are combined, then fold in the diced apples. You should have a thick, puffy batter.

Start heating your favorite pancake cooking device while the batter rests a bit. In the meantime, give your apple pie sauce a few stirs.

Cook pancakes in scant 1/3 cups full for 3-5 minutes on each side. Cooking times will vary based on your stove, pan, etc. For best results, place finished pancakes in a tray in a 200˚F oven to keep warm while you finish cooking. When ready, serve with the apple pie sauce drizzled on top.

Notes

  • You can certainly substitute another flour, but be mindful of the liquid ratio. For pure whole wheat flour, you might need a little more water; for all-purpose, you might need a little less.
  • For a lighter, fat-free sauce, heat 1/2 cup applesauce on the stove and mix in the sliced apples, spices, vanilla, and sugar. Forgo the lemon juice and water. Simmer while you cook the pancakes.
  • I have a dedicated non-stick pancake pan — this All-Clad 11-inch griddle. I never need to use oil or cooking spray!

PIN IT!

Vegan Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes with Apple Pie Sauce // govegga.com

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)