Mini Apple Pies (makes 12)

Happy {Almost} Valentine’s Day!

I was in a loving mood and made my roommates mini apple pies. There’s a secret ingredient in these that makes them so mouthwateringly delicious… it starts with L and rhymes with dove. Anyway, I thought these might be a cute treat for whomever you show some love to this V-day! I love all of my followers ❤

For the dough you will need:mini apple pie

For my dough I used Immaculate Baking Company pre-made crusts. If you want to make your own you’ll need:

2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1 cup of butter

1 tsp of salt

For the filling you will need: 

5 apples, peeled

3/4 cups of sugar

6 tbsp. flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

You will also need:

1 12-cup muffin tin

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425. You do not have to grease the muffin tin.

2. Roll out dough on a floured surface and use a 4-inch round bowl to cut out 12 mini pie crusts. Line each muffin cup with one crust, press the crusts around the top of each cup in a crinkle-cut pattern.

3. Peel and dice the apples into bite size pieces, spritz with lemon juice if you’re worried they might go brown too quickly. Then, in a large bowl, mix the apples, flour, sugar, and cinnamon.

4. Scoop just enough filling into each cup until it reaches the surface. It’s about 1/4 cup of filling.

5. For the top of my mini pies, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make heart toppers for the pies. You could do something similar, or make a criss-cross pattern, or simply leave them exposed.

6. Put a small square of butter on the top of each pie. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crusts are golden brown.

7. These are absolutely to die for right out of the oven. But, you can heat them back up again by sticking them in the microwave for 20 seconds. And don’t forget your milk!

Recipe found on Food.com… altered the time sequence and the crust pattern. 

Homemade Hot Chocolate (serves ~6)

One of the things I missed most when I had to say goodbye to soy and (most) dairy products was hot chocolate. There’s nothing better than curling up on a cold winter day with a blanket, a book and mug of hot cocoa. This recipe makes a great gift for someone, as well, because it is virtually allergy free and can be added to any milk (I’ve tried almond, cashew, and coconut milk with it).

Ingredientshot cocoa

6 tablespoons of Hershey’s cocoa powder

12 tablespoons of cane sugar

handful of mini marshmallows

 

Directions

Combine all of the contents together to make the mix. Then pour yourself a glass of milk and add in two scoops of the mix. For added sweetness I sometimes add a couple drops of vanilla extract. Heat for 2 minutes in the microwave and you have yourself a mug of homemade hot chocolate!

Disclaimer: Awesome Napoleon Dynamite mug not included. 

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

We have the best farmers market ever (yes, ever!) here in Athens, Ohio. Today’s harvest consisted of various squash, potatoes and parsnips. I love parsnips, but I only knew a couple of recipes for them so I bought them as a challenge. If anyone has some good parsnip recipes for me, put a link in the comments!

All of the credit for this recipe goes to Ina Garten at Food Network.

Ingredients

2 whole parsnips, peeled

2 whole carrots, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch freshly ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

pinch of parsely

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Cut the carrots and potatoes into quarters so that your pieces are large enough to cook down.

3. Place the carrots and parsnips in an oven-safe baking pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinke on salt, pepper and parsely.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender (check with fork).

5. Enjoy with a salad or as a side dish.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dip (serves ~12)

Party snacks are one of my worst enemies. From gourmet veggies dips to homemade salsa, it’s all a soy-filled nightmare. So, what’s a girl to do but bring her own party snack to pass around? This peanut butter chocolate dip is quite tasty and super easy to whip up!

Ingredientschoco dip

3/4 cups peanut butter (I use Peter Pan Peanut Butter)

1 cup of original almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla or imitation vanilla extract

2 tbsp. sugar or cane sugar

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Directions

1. Use a blender or electric mixer to mix all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips.

2. Stir in the chocolate chips evenly.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Serve with graham crackers, marshmallows, apples or even cinnamon sticks!

 

 

 

Spinach and Shells (serves ~4)

My roommate and I accidentally bought 5 lbs. of spinach and needed some inspiration for what to do with all of it! After searching high and low for a new and delicious recipe, we ended up making up our own… and boy was it goooood!

Ingredients

1 box of shell pasta

10 oz. of spinach (remove stems)

1 clove of garlic

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 red bell pepper

Directions

1. Boil the pasta and the spinach in the same pot for 8 – 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

2. While the pasta is boiling, mince the garlic and simmer it in the olive oil in a large cooking pan.

3. Slice the red pepper into thin strips and saute it in the pan with the garlic.

4. When the pasta is cooked, strain the pasta and the spinach, get as much water out as you can.

5. Saute the pasta and spinach with the peppers for about 5 minutes until the pasta becomes a golden brown.

6. When it’s ready, sprinkle on some feta or some mozzarella and enjoy!

Hearty Beef Stew (serves ~6)

After many failed attempts at making a mouth-watering beef stew, I have finally found THE ONE! The broth is thick, the meat is tender and the veggies are full of flavor. My family loved it! Let me know what your families think in the comments below!

Ingredients

1 lb of beef for stew, cubed

4 cups of beef Pacific Beef Broth

1 small can of Hunt’s tomato sauce

2 tblsp. of olive oil

2 tblsp. of sea salt

2 tblsp. of ground black pepper

1/2 cup of flour

4 large potatoes

4 carrots, peeled

2 celery stalks

1 garlic clove

2 bay leaves

a pinch of thyme

2 tbsp. of flour

Directions

1. Season the beef chunks with sea salt and ground pepper. Then coat them in the flour.

2. In small portions, brown the floured beef in a pan with the olive oil. After each portion is browned, set it aside in a bowl.

3. Combine beef broth and tomato sauce in a large stew pot. Then add the beef and all residual juices in the bowl.

4. Peel carrots and chop into 3 inch pieces. Cut the celery into 3 inch pieces, as well. Peel and cut the potatoes into large cubes. Then mince the garlic clove. Add the carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic into the pot with the beef.

5. Add the bay leafs and pinch of thyme to the pot. Stir the contents together.

6. Cover and let cook at medium heat on the stove top for 1 hr 45 min, stirring occasionally.

7. When 1 hr 45 min is up, stir the flour into 1/2 cup of water so there are no clumps and add that into the pot. For 15 minutes, stir frequently as the broth thickens. When 15 minutes is up, the stew is ready to enjoy!

Grilled Salmon (serves 4)

IngredientsIMG_4366

4 salmon filets

1 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. dijon mustard

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Directions

1. Melt the butter first and then mix in the honey, mustard, lemon, salt, and pepper.

2. Then dip the filets into the mix and place on the grill.

3. Depending on how well cooked you like your salmon (I’m a well-done kind of gal), it should take anywhere from 2-4 minutes a side.

4. These grilled fillets taste excellent on top of a salad or with a side of steamed veggies. Enjoy!

Holistic Health: Dr. Singha’s Detox Bath

For Stress Relief

DSG-44442-3I am only stressed out when I have nothing to do. I love being busy. In fact, the busier I am, the happier I am. But during slow periods like the holidays, I find that because I cannot put my energy towards work, I have to put it towards the small things… and I am one to sweat the small stuff! So, I’ve used this “me” time to try relaxing and Dr. Singha’s Mustard detox bath has helped quite a bit.

You just dissolve a tablespoon of the powder in a warm cup of water and add it to your bath. The instant I stepped in, I was transported to a better place. When my soak was up, I felt refreshed, relaxed, but also rejuvenated! I found the bath at our local Earth Fare and they had a neat little sample packet that is about four baths worth of powder, just in case your hesitant.

If you’re stressed out during the holidays and need a holistic remedy, try any detox bath. They relieve your body of pent-up toxins from things like processed foods, pollution, and medications. Detoxing not only clears your mind, but strengthens your immune system to prevent diseases.

If you have tried other detox bath products, share them below!

Deep Dish Vegan Apple Pie (~12 slices)

applie pie sliceI made this pie for my annual Christmas dinner with the family. In fact, I made the entire feast! And it was all soy-free! Not only did my family swoon over this pie, they were amazed at how delicious the ham, sweet potatoes, noodles, veggies and greek salad (+ dressing) were even though they didn’t have soy, dairy or egg! Ahh, sweet, sweet victory. Let me know how your pie turns out!

Pie Dough Ingredients

2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1 cup of butter

1 tsp of salt

Filling ingredients

6-8 assorted apples. I like to have a combination of Fuji, Gala and Pink Lady Apples.

1 tbsp. of lemon juice 

1/3 cup of white sugar

3 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. of vanilla or imitation vanilla extract

Utensils:

9 inch, deep dish pie dish 

Directionsapplie pie

1. First let’s make the dough. Mix the flour, water, butter and salt together and use your hands to knead it thoroughly. Once it is mixed, put it in the refrigerator.

2. Now for the filling! Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices. This process takes up to 20 minutes and your apples will begin browning before you’re done so continuously add lemon juice to the growing pile of sliced apples to prevent them from doing so.

3. Once the apples are sliced, add in the sugar, flour, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Then once it is fully mixed up, add vanilla extract.

 4. Take the pie dough out of the refrigerator and line a nine-inch, deep dish pie dish with the dough. Then add in the filling, do not add in the excess liquid, it will only make the pie filling watery.

5. Roll out the top layer of pie dough, place it overtop the filling, and press the edges together in a crinkle cut style.

6. Cut 4 small slits into the top of the pie. Cover the crust with foil so the edges don’t burn.

7. Place the pie into the oven and put a cake pan underneath to catch the drippings. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Then take the foil off the crusts and let the pie cook for 15-20 more minutes until the crusts are golden brown.

Starting Something New: Holistic Healing Section

I’m giving myself a pat on the back! It has been over a year now since I started Soy-Free Soul and I am blessed to say that I feel that I have no more challenges with my soy-free diet! When I first found out I was intolerant to soy, and many other foods that I ate regularly, I felt so lost. When I tried to search soy-free recipes online there wasn’t a single source to help me. Sure, the gluten-free, vegan, and even paleo diets are difficult, but there are communities of people and about a million sources to turn to when you’re in need. I was on my own. As I began to realize how difficult this change would be for me, the challenges kept piling on. Grocery shopping was a challenge. Cooking was a challenge. Restaurants were a challenge. It seemed that there were so many roadblocks that I was just meant to eat peanut butter and apples for the rest of my life. But, as you can see by my 45 or so recipes, I have found my way around again. I have found that the best restaurants are small business owners. They usually cook with locally grown and organic foods and will have a great big allergy guide for all of their dishes. And the best part about finding these places and trying these new foods is that I’ve learned more than just how to eat healthy. And that’s where this new chapter of Soy-Free Soul begins…

My Journey Toward Holistic Healing

Cutting soy and several other unhealthy intolerances that I had out of my diet essentially “cured” me. Before I cut it all out of my diet I was very sick. I had an incessant rash that would appear for a few days at time and then go away for weeks. I had horrible stomach/intestinal pain on a daily basis. I was fatigued and tired most days and would sometimes wake up feeling like my body was covered in bruises and I couldn’t be touched. And the worst symptom of all was my anxiety. I would have about three attacks a week, sometimes more, and my emotions were on a constant roller coaster. I felt like an elderly woman at 20 years old. But, when I cut soy out of my diet all of the pain and anxiety went away. I have only had a couple attacks in 18 months and I haven’t woken up a single day where I felt like I couldn’t move. But, I don’t believe this is all a miracle, I believe it is science. My nutritionist explained that soy is a genetically modified plant that is used as a “filler” for essential nutrients in pretty much all processed, or “junk”, foods. And soy can have very interesting effects on estrogen levels in both men and women. Too much estrogen in a woman’s body can make her emotionally unstable, which she believes caused my anxiety to be far worse than it otherwise should have been. Moreover, eating foods that you’re intolerant to can cause your body to respond in all types of ways. Your antibodies, which I like to think of as the army men in your body, fight off disease and illness and when you eat intolerant foods they have to fight what you’re eating instead of everything else. So, when you cut out those intolerances in your diet, the antibodies can fight everything else. Hence why the rash, the stomach/intestinal pain and the fatigue all went away when I cut soy out.

But I was on a journey of more than just feeling normal, I wanted to be healthy. Truly healthy. I read a study that antibiotics were causing food allergies in people of all ages. And so, for the past year, every time I have felt sick, I have holistically healed it. And after healing many sore throats, many headaches, many stomach aches, and even mild insomnia, I believe that it is possible to heal anything. So, I’m starting this new category of my blog to share more than just recipes. Of course, I’m not a doctor, but if you have the same philosophy about holistic healing and choose not to flee to the doctor every time you have a cough, these home remedies are worth a shot.

Thank you everyone for following me along my healthy journey, I hope my recipes have helped you. And don’t worry, as long as you’re following, I will continue cooking.

XO,
Cassie