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?
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
Are you all ready for a super informative excerpt fromThe 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)
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.
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, PortobelloVegan 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).
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!)
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)
Now, let me say a little bit about my experience with this pressure cooker. I actually bought a different model from Fagor almost a year ago and have used it once. So, I’m not experienced with these AT ALL. But, was I excited to get another pressure cooker? Hell yeah! Once the Clipso showed up on my doorstep I excitedly opened it and was impressed with the quality of construction. This thing is heavy-duty. Not to mention, the awesome one-handed, latching system that really is a push of a button and that lid is locked on. I flipped through the instructions to make sure I had the basics down as far as cleaning and operating went. Then I started plotting what I was going to make in it.
I was chatting with my good friend Joni about all of the pressure cooker possibilities and how my mind was pretty stuck on grains and beans or maybe winter vegetables and squash. Then she suggested pressure cooker seitan. Say what? That’s brilliant! I went on to look at some tips from The Blissful Chef and Vegan Epicurean on times, and used my Stuffed Seitan Roast recipe with some minor changes. Naturally, I wanted to make it a wow-worthy dish for the holidays, so I thought that a simple and fancy red wine mushroom sauce would be perfect to top it off.
Honestly, I love making seitan because it is so damn easy. The only problem with big roasts is that they can take up to an hour or so to fully cook, and then you may have a slightly drier end result. After making this roast in the pressure cooker in just about 30 minutes, I’m SOLD. Unless I’m making sausages or something smaller, I can see this being the only way I make it from now on. The roast turned out flavorful with a great texture and an even cooking throughout, maybe just a little softer in the center but I liked that about it.
I can’t wait to try out different seitan flavors and applications in my pressure cooker, now! I must mention that there was quite a bit of cooking broth mixture left over in the pressure cooker so I saved it in a container to add to soup bases for more flavor. Wins all over the place!
Check out the recipe below and definitely keep it in mind for your upcoming Christmas dinners. Like I said, a beautiful seitan roast in 30 minutes! Plus, roasting some fingerling potatoes and making the wine sauce while the roast is cooking, works for reducing time spent in the kitchen and it’s all ready at the same time. Speaking of reducing time, the Zabada Kitchen handy is an awesome tool! Reusable, easy to clean and no harsh chemicals needed to aid in washing your dishes and kitchen when you have this thing in your hand. I’ll definitely be buying more of these in the future!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!