vegan & grain-free pumpkin pie (feat. qkatie!)

Thanksgiving in its modern sense is a pretty honest holiday — let’s get together with whomever we have around who we love and eat, enjoy being human (because we know that’s not always easy to do) and give thanks for the good that is in our lives.

I feel as though Thanksgiving is still what holidays were meant to be.  You don’t need to buy a ton of gifts at the mall to give to people, they don’t start selling decorations for it 2 months in advance, and people generally get less territorial about family members.  It really gets down to the core of why we celebrate, and I am absolutely into that.

spatula pumpkin pie1Thanksgiving can vary from kitchen to kitchen.  Some eat meat, some don’t.  Some can afford a huge feast, some celebrate whatever leftovers are around.  No matter your dietary creed, I do think that Pumpkin Pie is a pretty crucial part of the meal.  Or at least a delicious one.  Divine, really.  Like, please eat it if you wanna have a proper Thanksgiving.

slice-out-of-pumpkin-pieAnd that is why I am sharing with you this little genius thing that landed in my kitchen the other week.  An experiment gone well, and here’s why it’s the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had:

  1. The crust tastes like a pumpkin seed truffle.  No joke.  Truffle.
  2. The filling is perfectly creamy but leaves space for the taste of roasted pumpkin and spice.  A perfect compliment to such a decadent crust.
  3. Everyone can eat it: your diabetic Grandma, your hippie vegan cousin, or your “trying it” gluten-free girlfriend.  Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, sugar-free… this cake’s got it all.

I had the absolute pleasure of making this with the fabulous qkatie at my home in Paris.  We both did desserts with xylitol instead of sugar for our youtube channels.  For those who do not know what xylitol is, it’s a naturally-occuring sweetner found in birch trees.  Beware of that which is made from corn as it is more processed and less healthy, but the stuff from birch trees is pretty fantastic.

Check out qkatie’s recipe for a Molten Chocolate Cake here, using this special sweetener:

And here’s my Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe.  :)  Enjoy, and I hope that despite all the hard things happening in the world right now that you can still give thanks for what is good this Thursday.  <3

vegan (& grain-free) pumpkin pie

Serves 8-10
Prep time 5 hours, 5 minutes
Cook time 8 minutes
Total time 5 hours, 13 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (or sugar or date paste if you prefer)
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (or sugar or date sugar or agave/honey)
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • pinch lemon zest


*either use unsweetened canned pumpkin purée, or simply roast a pumpkin that you've cut into segments in the oven with olive oil and sea salt, scoop out the insides from the skin, then blend into a purée.
**take a can of coconut milk with at least 15% fat, and let set in the fridge to separate the fat from the milk.  Spoon out fat, and whip together with xylitol or sweetener and a pinch salt and vanilla.


Step 1 Prepare crust: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and roast pumpkin seeds for about 8 minutes, until just browned.
Step 2 Transfer immediately to blender/mixer and combine with 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup sweetener and a pinch salt. Mixture should resemble pumpkin seed butter, as the coconut oil will have melted.
Step 3 Prepare a spring-form pan by lightly oiling it. Spoon crust into bottom and make it flat, like a cheesecake crust. Let set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Step 4 Prepare the filling: Combine all remaining ingredients. Transfer to medium saucepan and heat over low heat until coconut oil has melted and the agar agar starts to make the mixture thick. You should be whisking it over the heat and for about 4 minutes.
Step 5 Complete the pie! Let the filling cool to room temperature about 15 minutes. Whisking it helps remove the heat and cool down faster. Remove your crust from the fridge or freezer, and spoon filling on top of it. Flatten the top, and set in the fridge for at least 5 hours. Can be made in advance. Stores in the fridge to keep the crust firm.
Step 6 To serve, cut yourself a hearty slice and top with your favorite whipped topping. I do highly suggest the coconut whip recipe**, as it's quick and easy and healthy and tastes delightful with the rest of the ingredients.



cucumber “paper” smoked salmon rolls

plated-rolls-second-one-platetwo-plates-cucumber-salmon-rollsI don’t know what came over me this morning and why I decided to do more work in this single meal than getting dressed and eating all my others meals combined.  Ah, but I do know: the texture, the cream, the smokiness.


rolled-in-plastic-cucumberI guess I could have just done cereal, but how fun is that? Read more


gluten-free tempura

The secret to traditional tempura batter is adding a bit of baking powder so that the panko batter rises a bit during cooking. In my version I replace the panko with gluten-free brown rice flour, which is full of minerals and fiber, and use my special technique to get the vegetables perfectly cooked on the inside, and the batter crunchy and fluffy on the outside.

I’ve been making a lot of tempura lately, and hope you do enjoy this quick recipe!


Read more

dungeness crab image

WARNING! Toxic Crab in California

dungeness crab imageYep.  As appetizing as the above photo may seem, it ain’t worth it this season.  Tragedy?  Eh… depends on your life experience, but surely not happy news.

SF Gate – Don’t eat Dungeness crab

Check out this article from the SF Gate reporting that Dungenese Crab Season this year is temporarily delayed and potentially cancelled due to toxic high levels of Domoic Acid in the waters/sand.

Be careful!  And tell your friends if they live in the region.  </3


pickled beets

We got real spooky this Halloween week in the Bubble Child kitchen.  Here’s a quick video on how to make Pickled Beets.  These are one of my favorite things to put on salads, or serve with a little goat’s cheese and some crackers.

Enjoy these year-round, but beware, the gruesome end to this video is uniquely Halloween.

Read more