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.
You guys, the internet has been flooding with Buffalo recipes for the past week or so and it is making me crave everything spicy. Of course, I kind of did it to myself by sharing my Buffalo Chickpea Nacho recipe and Olives for Dinner’s Sriracha Habanero Buffalo Seitan. Mmm.. To be honest, I’ve had this idea for a long time. My mom got a recipe from one of her friends years ago that was called “Buffalo Chicken Dip”. Basically, this thing was heavy, spicy, creamy and outright addictive.
It has been a long, long time since I’ve had this dip, but I knew that I’d eventually have to veganize it. I even put it in my recipe idea note on my phone! What had immediately come to mind as far as subbing stuff out was to use jackfruit in place of shredded chicken, and for convenience-sake I used some vegan, non-dairy products. The spinach was my attempt to make this dip slightly less overindulgent. Ha!
Of course, if you don’t want to use pre-made products you can make your own vegan cream cheese, vegan ranch and vegan cheddar, just know that the measurements may be different. The reason this dip is so perfect for game day is that it takes about 5 minutes of prep and then 30 minutes of baking. Easy-peasy!
So, if you are into spicy, creamy, Buffalo foods, you should definitely try out this Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had garlic knots? If you have you know that they are delectable morsels of chewy dough, baked with garlic and either butter or oil and salt (non-vegan ones are topped with parmesan). Sounds awesome, right? Well, I’ve been making them at work lately and I had the idea — which I’m sure has been done a million times before — to make a sweet cinnamon version. I was drooling just thinking about it.
Honestly, these knots are pretty easy to make. I just took one of my recipes for pizza dough and altered it a bit, then rolled it out, brushed it, cut/folded it the brushed and baked. And maybe brushed again. Now, my cinnamon knots are not super sweet, so they are best served with the glaze dip that I have in the recipe. This way whoever is enjoying these incredible, little treats can adjust the sweetness to their liking.
What I love most about these is the ribbon of cinnamon and maple running through them, twisted around and baked to a golden hue. You can just tell by looking at them that they are going to taste awesome. Plus, you can enjoy these for breakfast, a snack, as an appetizer, or dessert! They’re pretty versatile and go great with a hot cup of coffee.
And look! I made a handy-dandy, step-by-step image that you can pin for later!
I’d love to try some different flavors for these, like a herbed savory one, maybe apple raisin, or cranberries? There are so many possibilities! What is your idea for a new twist (pun-intended) on these knots?
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)
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]!