vegansaurus!

02/11/2013

The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook launches today!  »

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Hi, Sarah E. Brown, Raw Sass here! Shameless plug alert: I’m the editor the following cookbook, but it’s OK I think because 100% of the proceeds go to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary so it’s really not my cookbook, it’s all for the animals! [Ed. note: Silly Sarah! Of course it’s OK, free stuff and self-promotion is why we write for this money pit]

The Queer Vegan Cookbook showcases the unusual, creative, and amazing recipes by beloved vegan chefs and bloggers! This cookbook features recipes that do not use animal products of any kind and are truly queer in an effort to expand the vegan culinary canon beyond traditional vegan cuisine, which tends to imitate the non-vegan food world (vegan ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, fake meat, mac n’ cheese, etc.)

The most delicious part of this culinary assemblage is that 100% of proceeds from The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook will go to Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in Woodstock, New York!

http://www.yourtimetravels.com/blog/?p=830
A Beautiful creature gets the love and respect it deserves at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary!

Everyone can benefit from adopting a diet that prevents cruelty toward animals. A vegan diet helps improve personal health and the health of the planet, and promotes freedom and joy for all human- and non-human beings.

Blueberry Avocado Salsa by Allyson Kramer
Blueberry Avocado Salsa by Allyson Kramer
Supercharged Superfood Nori Love by Mish DivineSupercharged Superfood Nori Love by Mish Divine
Cabbage Pie by Mariano Caino
Cabbage Pie by Mariano Caino
Glorious Green Wraps by Lisa Pitman
Glorious Green Wraps by Lisa Pitman
Ube (Purple Yam) Ice Cream by Allyson Kramer
Ube (Purple Yam) Ice Cream by Allyson Kramer
Easy Black Bean Enchiladas by Mark Hawthorne
Easy Black Bean Enchiladas by Mark Hawthorne
My Goodness, Green Goddess Smoothie by Marlie Centawer
My Goodness, Green Goddess Smoothie by Marlie Centawer
Chocolate Covered Potato Chips by Allyson Kramer                                                                                                         
Avocado Lime Cheesecake by Heather Pace
Avocado Lime Cheesecake by Heather Pace
Berry Lemongrass Granola with Coconut and Cashews by Ali Seiter
Berry Lemongrass Granola with Coconut and Cashews by Ali Seiter
Pau d'Arco Tea Elixir by Marlie Centawer
Pau d’Arco Tea Elixir by Marlie Centawer

This cookbook features the most delicious recipes from Carol J. Adams, Gena Hamshaw, Rory Freedman, Jason Allen, Allyson Kramer, Christy Morgan, Mish Wish, JL Fields, Lisa Pitman, Courtney Pool, Rande McDaniel, Marlie Centawer, Erika Reir, Eric Levinson, Mariano Caino, Sara Jane Kurpeski, Rochelle Koivunen, Jason Das, Joan L. Brown (my mom!), Stephanie Austin, Heather Pace, Kelly Peloza, Mark Hawthorne, Rachel Lee, Alessandra Seiter, Lee Khatchadourian-Reese, and Heidi George.

Visit QueerVeganFood.com to get your copy of The Queer Vegan Food Cookbook!

03/28/2012

Cookbook Reviews by Rachel: Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas  »


Overall Rating
: A-
Creativity
: B
Level of Difficulty
: Beginner to Intermediate
Best for
: Anyone looking for no-fuss ways to veganize their family celebrations.

You know how they call that time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s “the holiday season”? There are holidays all year round, it turns out. (Flag Day: June 14). What would fill the “seasonal” aisle of the grocery stores otherwise? So while you might think a cookbook called Vegan Holiday Kitchen should get reviewed in like, November (which happens to be when everyone else reviewed it), it’s with an eye to strategy and not simply a result of laziness that I bring you this late March report. This cookbook covers not only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, but Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Independence Day. Plus brunch, which I guess is its own holiday.

PSA: Passover starts after sundown Friday, April 6. Easter is Sunday, April 8. Holidays approacheth! Do you have a plan?

Nava Atlas had a clear purpose with this photo-heavy offering: honor tradition, add the vegan element, and create special-occasion meals that are fun, not stressful. To that end, her recipes tend to the simple and don’t shy away from shortcuts (canned lentils?!). But the lack of elaborate preparation or unusual ingredients makes this a really awesome resource when you’re looking to cook in someone else’s kitchen (like I did for Thanksgiving), or if you’re short on time, or if you just think complicated recipes are scary.

I’ve made a lot of stuff from this book over the last six months (though it’s not an everyday go-to), but somehow I failed to photograph most of it. Here’s the Red Wine-Roasted Brussel Sprouts everyone loved in November (pre-roasting):

And here’s a sandwich I made on the Vegan Challah, which came out really delicious, if not quite as flaky as the original (secret ingredient: squash!):

While some of the recipes are restricted to particular holidays or seasons (Passover = lots of matzoh, July 4th = grilling), it’s also fun to mix and match. At Christmas, we brought Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives, in theory a Rosh Hashanah offering, to a friends’ house for fancy dinner; it got devoured with compliments. 

Atlas is a good communicator: The recipes are written clearly and are easy to follow, and each is labeled at the top if it is or could be soy-, gluten-, or nut-free. I’ve wanted to tweak some of her instructions (less sweetener in the Agave and Mustard-Glazed Green Beans, for example), but haven’t had any disasters or failures, praise be.

My only major complaint is that, especially in the Thanksgiving and Christmas chapters, Atlas shies away from star-of-the-show, protein-heavy, centerpiece dishes that I think are pretty key to a vegan celebration. Stuffings and pilafs abound; hearty stews and tofus do not. Perhaps this is a rebellion against Tofurky, but I want my protein, dammit.

Anyway, this book will be my #1 go-to for figuring out what to cook in my mother’s kitchen to bring to a seder next month. I’d wanted to try the matzoh balls before writing my review, but I’ll just have to post about it later. 

Final verdict: Solid, crowd-pleasing recipes designed for simplicity. Especially valuable for the wealth of Jewish recipes, more than I’ve seen collected anywhere else.

01/27/2012

Chef Chloe to bring new cookbook, snacks to SF!  »

Have you ever desired perfect skin, long, shiny hair, the cupcake prowess of an international superstar, and earrings long enough to catch fish? Well, you can’t have these things, because chef Chloe Coscarelli already probably has a patent on them or something. And if she doesn’t, she should really get on that, because she is so damn cute!

Anyway, the winner of Food Network's first Cupcake Wars (is anyone else sick of shows with “Wars” in the title? Give Cupcake Peace a chance) is coming to Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco on Monday, Mar. 12, from 6 to 7 p.m., to debut her first cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen! Chloe is gonna talk at us about vegan cooking and her book. She’s gonna have a Q&A. She’s gonna sign copies of her book. AND she’s gonna stuff our faces full of treats. SHE’S GONNA DO IT ALL, folks!

I’ve been told the book features recipes for spaghetti “carbonara,” stroganoff with mushrooms, polenta cutlets, and her prize-winning cupcakes. I want to get really fat eating nothing but food made by Chloe Coscarelli, constantly, in some kind of dream IV tube that somehow also goes through my mouth.

12/14/2011

Cookbook Reviews by Rachel: Love Soup  »

This cookbook changed my life. Well, at least my cooking. The recipes in Anna Thomas’* 2009 Love Soup not only make dishes so good you’d sell your babies to eat more of them, but they demonstrate techniques and strategies that can make all your cooking better. It’s been one of my main go-to cookbooks for nearly three years. Even if you think you’re not into soup, this book will change your mind.

Case in point: the Roasted Turnip and Winter Squash soup I made the other night (those are roasted pine nuts floating in there; Thomas is big on garnishes). As usual, the recipe calls for roasting the key veggies before pureeing them into liquid ecstasy. Stellar trick! Everything tastes better roasted! This soup is divine!


This photo sucks because I took it with my iPad while eating leftovers in my cubicle. These soups don’t stick around long enough for pro-looking photography, pshaw.

Another trick she often recommends is to slowly brown onions until they’re caramelized and savory. This is so reliably delicious that I pretty much sneer now at any recipe with onions that doesn’t have you do this. Translucent, schmanslucent.

Roasting veggies, browning onions, and otherwise coddling your top-quality ingredients does take a while though, which why this is neither a weeknight nor a beginner book. But it’ll take your cooking to a new level without requiring you to go all kitchen-wench, either. Usually her extra steps (and the extra dishes to clean) are totally worth the effort and well explained. She might even convince you it’s worth making your own stock (it is).

All the Love soups are vegetarian. The majority are vegan and labeled as such; many more of them are a snap to adapt (leave out a garnish, or replace milk or butter). 

Thomas organizes the recipes by season and relies mainly on what you should be able to get at the farmer’s market that time of year. That strategy makes the book especially useful to, say, someone with a CSA share in Berkeley. So often I’d get a veggie box and wonder, “What can I do with celery root, turnips, and leeks?” or whatever, and Thomas would have the perfect recipe using that exact combo of seasonal ingredients.

This book is best if you own an immersion blender. It’ll probably make you want to buy one. And a stock pot. And a CSA share. And you’ll want to move to California, though my mother in D.C. loves this book even more than I do, so that’s not actually a requirement.

Some family favorites: Caramelized Cabbage Soup (my mom has served this at Christmas dinner), French Lentil Stew with Roasted Carrot and Mint (to die for), and the cohort of Green Soups that involve pureeing things like kale, spinach, and chard (my husband is obsessed).

The non-soup recipes are less spectacular; I’ve made some of her breads, but that’s not her strong suit.

Final Verdict: A fantastic staple for the kitchen library.
Overall Rating
: A
Creativity
: A
Level of difficulty:
 Intermediate
Best for:
Any home cook willing to put a couple hours into making something bomber, especially those who like cooking seasonally.

*For those of you following along at home, why yes indeed, that is the same Anna Thomas who wrote The Vegetarian Epicure back in the olden days. Ten bonus points for you!

11/08/2011

It’s a cookbook! It’s a ‘zine! It’s both! It’s adorable! It helps monkeys! It can be yours for a mere $9 + $2 shipping!
Straight from Etsy:

Hungry Monkey Vegan Cookzine has dozens of delicious recipes written by animal rights activists, as well as famous vegan chefs and benefits rescued lab monkeys!
There are several raw, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes as well! All proceeds go directly to benefit eight lucky monkeys who became “seized property” when an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey went bankrupt one year ago. One hundred percent of proceeds from this zine will fund a new outdoor shelter for these rescued monkeys to protect them from the harsh Oklahoma winter that is right around the corner. Beautifully illustrated by U.K. Illustrator Renato Stumpo with over 40 pages of awesomeness.

What a perfect holiday gift! Recipe I’m most intrigued by: Old Fashion Peanut Brittle Maple Bacon Cupcakes. W.T.F. O.M.G.

It’s a cookbook! It’s a ‘zine! It’s both! It’s adorable! It helps monkeys! It can be yours for a mere $9 + $2 shipping!

Straight from Etsy:

Hungry Monkey Vegan Cookzine has dozens of delicious recipes written by animal rights activists, as well as famous vegan chefs and benefits rescued lab monkeys!

There are several raw, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes as well! All proceeds go directly to benefit eight lucky monkeys who became “seized property” when an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey went bankrupt one year ago. One hundred percent of proceeds from this zine will fund a new outdoor shelter for these rescued monkeys to protect them from the harsh Oklahoma winter that is right around the corner. Beautifully illustrated by U.K. Illustrator Renato Stumpo with over 40 pages of awesomeness.

What a perfect holiday gift! Recipe I’m most intrigued by: Old Fashion Peanut Brittle Maple Bacon Cupcakes. W.T.F. O.M.G.

05/24/2011

Guest post: Adventures in DIY ice cream! Plus, a recipe!  »

You know those types of friends that you bond with specifically over one thing? Maybe it’s a particular TV show or a band that you secretly love? That’s the type of friendship that my buddy, Jack Shirley, and I have, except we bond over food, or more specifically: desserts.


Jack owns his own recording studio, The Atomic Garden Recording Studio in East Palo Alto, Calif., but he is also on a covert mission to single-handedly take down the ice cream industry and give all of his friends diabetes. Jack has been making his own vegan ice cream for about a year now, after getting an ice cream maker for a gift.

“I love ice cream, and when I went vegan, I realized that there is no good vegan ice cream,” explained Jack. He’s right; there’s always something off about it, and it never quite tastes like the real thing. Ask anyone who’s tried his ice cream, and they’ll tell you that he’s definitely on to something. “It’s way easier than anyone could imagine,” he said.

About a year ago, Jack and I started creating a master list of possible flavors, just in time for summer. Since then, the list has grown, and he’s still eagerly taking suggestions. He even offers it as a perk to bands who record with him. The first flavor he ever made was Orange Chocolate Chip, which he got out of the vegan ice cream cook book Vice Cream.

Vice Cream focuses on making dairy-free ice cream from a cashew- or a coconut base. “Cashew–based ice cream is pretty rare,” Jack said, as he explained why he thinks his ice cream is different from the other vegan ones sold in stores. “Cashew is a very neutral base, so I try to only use a coconut base when I want the flavor to taste like coconut.”

Jack told me that it wasn’t the easiest in the beginning because he didn’t follow the instructions very well. But, with constant practice, creativity with flavors, and a little bit of trial and error, he’s got it down. So here we are, a year later, and Jack doesn’t even bother to greet me at the door anymore. “Try this,” is what he usually says to me as he forces a spoon towards my unfortunately large mouth, knowing I won’t refuse. Little does he know, I’ve used our food-dependent friendship in order to get exclusive ice-cream-making tips!

Tip 1: Let the base sit in the fridge overnight.
Vice Cream claims that you can also stick it in the freezer for a short amount of time, but apparently overnight in the fridge is the way to go. Jack says this helps the cashew taste to dissipate, leaving an even more neutral base.

Tip 2: Use alcohol-free extracts.
The book calls for alcohol-free extracts for a reason! When you use alcohol when cooking, the strong taste of alcohol burns off. When you’re making ice cream, the lack of heat leaves the alcohol in, and it can change the flavor of your ice cream.

Tip 3: Use real vanilla bean!
Using real vanilla beans instead of extract actually tastes better, and will help overpower any residual cashew taste.

Want to try it yourself? Here are two basic recipes, adapted from Vice Cream.

Vanilla—Makes about 1 quart (average home ice-cream-maker size)
Ingredients

2 vanilla beans
2 cups organic cashews or cashew pieces
2 cups water
1 cup maple syrup (Jack uses agave nectar and it works pretty darn well.) 

Instructions
Cut the vanilla beans into small pieces, and grind them to a powder in a coffee grinder.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
Place the mix in the fridge overnight.
Pour the mix into your ice cream maker and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chocolate—Makes about 1 quart
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups organic cashews or cashew pieces
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. alcohol-free almond extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  

Instructions
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
Place the mix in the fridge overnight.
Pour the mix into your ice cream maker and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can serve it immediately (it has a nice soft-serve texture when it’s fresh out of the maker) or place it in the freezer to devour later.

If you’re bored with plain old vanilla and chocolate, get creative! Jack has made tons of different flavors. His favorites? Strawberry, blackberry vanilla chocolate chip, piña colada, key lime pie, and eggnog. If you’d like to suggest a flavor for Jack to attempt, go ahead and send him a friendly email.

Jack says it’s really a trial-and-error process, though. “Not every recipe in that book will give you amazing ice cream,” he said, but I think he was just being his usually cocky self.

There are two things that Jack knows really well in this world: music and ice cream. Now you know why I want a shirt that says “I visited Atomic Garden Recording Studio and all I got was this amazing album and some shitty love handles.”

Elysse Grossi is a scientist, a health educator, a vegan food fanatic and a co-owner of Sweet Cups, based in the East Bay. She grosses people out with her other blog, Under the Microscope. Laugh at her boring life on Twitter @glassheart.

02/02/2011

Vegansaurus Giveaway: The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions! Haley is the winner with “kim chee”!  »

Those geniuses Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen are at it again! They’ve written a new cookbook, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions: Veganize It! Foolproof Methods for Transforming Any Dish into a Delicious New Vegan Favorite, and it’s a goodie. Packed with recipes from Beer-Battered Corn Dogs (HELLO!) to Frozen Pot de Crème (HELLO!), this cookbook is outta control. They also have tips for replacing any animal ingredient in pretty much any recipe you could dream up. It’s not only a cookbook, it’s a real resource. Plus, it’s hella cute, easy to follow along, and Joni and Celine are so much fun to read. It’s a keeper.

If you want to win a copy (and you do! because you are a winner!), let me know a food that you like in the comments! Whatever is closest to a my favorite food (don’t try to get it out of me, it’s a SECRET! Just like everything surrounding food should be! Secrets! And lies! What!) will win. Or, you know, I’ll use random.org. We’ll run this until Tuesday, Feb. 8. May the best vegan win! Yes, this giveaway includes a judgement on your character!

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