Category Archives: Giveaways!

Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

This post has been a long time coming, and I am so glad that it’s finally happening! I was so excited when I learned about Kristy Turner, of Keepin’ It Kind, writing her first cookbook and it has been out for a couple of months now. If you haven’t seen it yet, PLEASE take a look at But I Could Never Go Vegan!.

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

This cookbook is filled with clever chapter subjects, like “I could never give up cheese”, “It’s all rabbit food”, and “wait, is chocolate vegan?”; all excuses and phrases that I’ve heard more times than I can count. Kristy makes sure to go over each excuse and give you a few awesome recipes that completely obliterate the notion that it’s hard to go vegan.

Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Not only do these recipes sound incredible, there are SO many gorgeous and vibrant photos in this book, all taken by Kristy’s awesome husband Chris. I won’t lie, I may be a little biased, as Kristy and Chris are two truly wonderful people and are friends of mine. This does not lessen the fact that they make a great team when it comes to Keepin’ It Kind and I am so glad to know them!

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Back to the food: I had a really hard time choosing which recipe I wanted to showcase from this book because seriously, there are so many amazing-looking dishes. But, I’m into casual eats, and my mom likes seafood-ish type things so the crab cakes sounded pretty easy and definitely tasty. The ingredients are easy-to-find, the process of making them was easy (even if I added too much oil to the pan at first), and they were tasty to all that tried them!

Vegan Artichoke Crab Cakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Kristy and her publisher were kind enough to not only share the recipe with you, but also to give you a chance to win a copy of her cookbook! (US residents only, please) So, go ahead and make these super delicious crab cakes and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

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Pressure Cooker Pulled Jackfruit

Pressure Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Sliders

I know that I did a jackfruit recipe not too long ago, but when I was flipping through JL Field’s awesome Vegan Pressure Cooking: Delicious Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes cookbook I couldn’t resist making it again. Plus, I had it on hand! I’ve been looking forward to using this book since JL first mentioned that it was in the works. I have two pressure cookers, and made a seitan recipe during the holiday, but I am still not super comfortable with using them. JL is a master when it comes to vegan pressure cooking, so who else better to write this cookbook?

Vegan Pressure Cooking by JL Fields

Not only are the recipes delicious, the photos are beautiful, courtesy of the talented Kate Lewis. She did a great job making this book visually interesting and totally drool-worthy, even with most dishes being similar in style. A couple of dishes that stuck out to me were the tempeh tacos, the loose-meat sliders and vegan “pepperoni” sausage (which may be my next recipe to make!). 

JL does a great job of breaking down average cook times of ingredients like beans and vegetables, as well as answering basic pressure cooking questions to ease your pressure cooker-paranoia. Her writing is fun and informative, just like she is in person! I may be biased because JL is a friend of mine, as well as a mentor, but she really is a fantastic person and awesome advocate for veganism.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Jackfruit

Back to the recipe, it was insanely easy to whip up. Dice, saute, pressure cook, and BAM, you’re done. Mind you the pressure cooker only needed to be at full pressure for 3 minutes. 3 minutes, people! While it was cooking, I finely chopped some green cabbage and tossed it with vegan ranch to make a super-quick coleslaw for my pulled jackfruit sliders. Once the jackfruit was done, I let the pressure out, gave it a quick stir and assembled my tasty meal.

Vegan Pressure Cooker Pulled Jackfruit

I will say, the recipe calls for a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper; with the coleslaw and a little extra ranch I felt like it balanced out, but by itself it was pretty spicy. If you like spice (as I do) go for it, otherwise, tone it down a bit. :) Now scroll on down to find the recipe and enter the giveaway for your own copy of the cookbook!

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Greens 24/7 and a Giveaway

Giveaway of Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

Last year, you may remember me mentioning a cookbook that I was doing the photos for. If not, that’s okay, my memory is pretty crap, too! 😉 One of the cookbooks that I worked on was Jessica Nadel’s, of Cupcakes and Kale, Greens 24/7! So far, this has been one of my favorite cookbooks to have done photos for; the recipes are beautiful and filled with colors, the ingredients fresh and Jess has a cooking style not unlike my own.

So, I thought it appropriate to give you the low-down on this book as far as what some of my favorite recipes are, favorite photos and overall thoughts on it. I can’t just do a simple review for this one, I’ve made every dish in it! For those of you who’d like to see more photos from the book, I posted quite a few on my photo portfolio site.

Kale & Herb Cornbread Muffins

To take you through the book, the first section talks about all different types of greens, then green vegetables/fruits, and some of the other specialty ingredients you will encounter in the recipe. There is also a sidebar about how Jessica and her family are vegan and why they choose to be (yay!). Then, you get a suggested week-long meal plan and after that you dive into the smoothies and breakfasts! My favorite breakfast recipe (hard to choose, though) was the Kale & Herb Corn Muffins, I’ve made them for friends since then and they are so good. I even made them with gluten-free flour, one time and they still came out tasty.

Chard & Coriander Pesto

Chard & Coriander Pesto

In the Green Sides and Small Bites chapter there are plenty of easy snack recipes, from dips to appetizers to food that you can take on-the-go. Truly, I love pesto, but it kinda seems like everything has been done. But, when I made the Chard and Coriander Pesto I was surprised by the new flavors and how well it all went together! As much as I love basil, cilantro in pesto was a refreshing break from it.

Waldorf Salad & Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Waldorf Salad & Caesar Salad with Tempeh Bacon

Even though I’m not typically into salads– as a vegan it’s easy to have an aversion to them because of being forced to eat sad ones while dining out– there are some good recipes with quite a variety in the soup and salad section. The soups range from light to hearty and same with the salads. I would say that the Caesar Salad with Tempeh “Bacon” was a simple favorite of mine.

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Say (Vegan) Cheese!

Are you all ready for a super informative excerpt from The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, by Karen Page? Today is National Cheese day, so it’s only appropriate that we delve into vegan cheeses! Read all of the way to the end so that you can enter to win a copy of this AWESOME book!

Say (Vegan) Cheese!
by Karen Page
(based on an excerpt from THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE)
Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page

Cheese addiction is one of the last things standing in the way of would-be vegans. Indeed, as my husband Andrew Dornenburg and I sought to reduce our consumption of eggs and dairy, we easily stopped buying eggs and butter and yogurt. A wedge of Parmesan cheese was long the last bit of dairy to be found in our refrigerator, however. And it took us months to evolve our regular order for our favorite neighborhood pie – a large ‘Shroomtown pizza on organic multigrain crust with roasted garlic from Vezzo in Manhattan’s Murray Hill – to evolve from “light cheese” to “half-cheese” to “NO cheese,” which is how we’ve been ordering it for the past several months even prior to our participation in “Veganuary.”

I interviewed bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) about the phenomenon for The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, and he shared that some people’s addiction to cheese is physical. “Nutritionally, [cheese] is awful – with a very high content of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium…It’s not just taste, it’s not just mouthfeel – dairy producets are unique in that they release casomorphins, and cheese has a much higher concentration of them than milk or ice cream,” he told me. “If I stuck a needle in your arm a half-hour after you ate cheese, there would be opiates in your bloodstream and attaching to your brain. While it’s not enough to make you drive dangerously or rob a convenience store, it’s enough to make you say the next day, ‘I think I’d like a little more cheese.’”

A cottage industry of vegan cheeses has sprung up. Vancouver-based Daiya cheese debuted in 2008, supported by a strong marketing campaign, and launched a retail line in 2010. Vegenaise makers Follow Your Heart debuted their line of Vegan Gourmet shredded vegan cheeses in 2013.

Portobello Trattoria PDX Vegan Restaurant

Many vegans enjoy branded vegan cheeses, which come in various flavors (e.g., cheddar, mozzarella) and often melt and stretch much as dairy cheese does. Just last week, Andrew and I enjoyed a vegan slice at The Slice of Life in Sebastopol, California, which we were told was made with shredded Follow Your Heart mozzarella-style cheese. We were impressed with its very mild flavor and melting texture – which is sometimes lacking in other brands.

I have to admit that I’ve been even more impressed with the flavor of some of the artisanal vegan cheeses I’ve tasted. In addition to serving cashew cheese on its vegan pizza, Portobello Vegan Trattoria in Portland, Oregon, serves an artisanal vegan cheese plate that has showcased cheeses from cheese makers across the country, including Field Roast, Seattle-based producer of Chao Cheese (herb-crusted, tofu-based cheeses), Door 86 (Nashville), Heidi Ho (Portland, OR), Kite Hill (Hayward, CA), Punk Rawk Labs (Minneapolis), and Treeline Treenut Cheese (Kingston, NY).

Vegan Cheese Rounds

The very best artisanal vegan cheese I’ve ever tasted was made by a woman named Lori Robin (above right) — who goes by Cheezehound – based in Fleischmanns, New York. Last July, we were houseguests of our omnivore actress friend Susan Dey, who couldn’t remember if we were eating vegetarian or vegan at the time, and bought some of Lori’s vegan cheese at a local farmers market for us. When we tried Lori’s peppercorn-flavored Brie-style vegan cheese (made with a combination of hemp seed milk and macadamia nut milk), we were truly floored. It turned out to be the first-ever vegan cheese we ever truly loved. (Thank you, Susan!)

Miyoko Schinner Artisan Vegan Cheese

Interested in trying to make your own? You’ll want to pick up a copy of Miyoko Schinner’s 2012 book Artisan Vegan Cheese, which is developing a cult following among vegan chefs and foodies.

And the next time you or your friends are trying to kick your dairy cheese habit, look to the handy chart in Chapter 2 (pp. 76-80) of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE excerpted here for other ways to tame the crave:

 

IF YOU ARE CRAVING….

 

This                                                    Try This Instead

 

cheese                                                  cashew or other nut-based cheese

 

cheese, cream                                      soy cream cheese

 

cheese, Parmesan                                Parma brand vegan “Parmesan”

 

cheese, ricotta                                     ground almond, cashew, macadamia or pine nut “ricotta” half nondairy cream cheese + half  firm tofu, mashed tofu “ricotta,” made from crumbled tofu

 

cheese, smoked                                   smoked tofu (e.g,. on sandwiches, in salads)

 

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