More front-page news!

24 Nov

Nope. Not me. This time, the front page comes from Waynesville, NC, and my mom is on it! How awesome is that?!

In addition to being a professional chef, my mom is a member of the local Master Gardener Association, which is an educational group run through their county extension office. For the last few years, the Master Gardeners have worked with the first- and second-graders at one of the elementary schools to plant, care for and harvest their own child-friendly 3,000-square-foot garden. They even learned how to make their own compost! Recently, the students held a Harvest Festival where my mom taught them how to cook some of the vegetables they had grown and they got to taste a wide variety of foods that many of them had never even seen before. What a great way to introduce kids to a healthier way of eating. Way to go, mom! 🙂

The caption for her photo reads, “Professional chef Jackie Blevins demonstrates how to prepare spaghetti squash to the crowd of first- and second-graders. Blevins is one of nearly a dozen volunteers who work with children at the school’s garden.”

As I wrap up my month of blogging vegan Thanksgiving recipes, I couldn’t have chosen a more fitting dessert recipe — one from my mom’s first cookbook. Her recipe for Apple Crisp is amazing! By swapping the regular butter for Earth Balance and the flour for gluten-free all purpose flour, I easily converted a favorite dessert of mine into a vegan and gluten-free version. My mom serves this with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Since I didn’t have a recipe for vegan caramel sauce, I served this with Praline Pecan vegan ice cream. (If you can find a Caramel Swirl vegan ice cream, that would probably be even better!)

Warm Apple Crisp – Vegan & Gluten Free
serves 8 to 10

4 pounds Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup sugar
1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Place apple slices in casserole, sprinkle with brown sugar and toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter and rub with fingertips until pea-sized clumps form. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the apples and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

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