Cookbook Review: Comfortably Yum by Allison Rivers Samson  »


I recently had to opportunity to test a few recipes from Allison Rivers Samson —she of VegNews' amazing “Veganize It!” column and owner of the delectable online confectionary Allison’s Gourmet! — new e-cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and trust me when I say: Lady knows how to create a recipe. From an INSANE mac and cheese to a mind-blowing Clam Chowder, I ate it all and then I ate it again. I also took some pretty horrible photos, because WHAT I AM NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER I AM AN EATER, but voila. Allison’s clam chowder via Allison herself:



A lot of love and care went into this cookbook. The recipes were tested numerous times and as Allison says, she’s done the culling for you. This is not a cookbook where you’ll make two recipes and then put it on your shelf and never use it again. This is a cookbook where you’ll make every recipe and add your favorites to your current rotation. They’re a delight for long time vegans and newbies to the art form. (And trust me, when you see how she spins a magic ingredient into mac and cheese, you will acknowledge that this is, indeed, an art form!) I’ve been cooking out of it all week, and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Maybe when I’m dead. MAYBE. I’ll probably come back as a ghost to devour all your Chocolate Salted-Caramel Pudding Parfaits. Some shit is worth haunting for. 


So yeah, if you’re looking to reinvent your mac and cheese or try your hand at making a simple yet tasty MELTABLE (!!!) vegan cheese, this is the e-cookbook for you! And, um, invite me over? (Please note: You might* have to pay for my plane ticket to your house but just know, I’m mediocre company and I don’t do the dishes!) (First class only.)

Oh, and $3 from each copy will be donated to the fabulous rescued farm animal sanctuary Animal Place, so you can feel good about stuffing your face with deliciousness. 

*definitely will.


Thoughts on Making My New Vegan Cookbook, by Molly Patrick  »


[This post is from Molly Patrick, co-author of the new cookbook, Bold Vegan - Food for the Body and Soul]

Did you know that New Mexico was part of the United States before you watched Breaking Bad?  (It’s okay. I grew up there and sometimes even I got confused. It’s not really new, it’s not really Mexico. What to think…)

Breaking Bad didn’t lie on two accounts: 1) New Mexico really is full of meth; and 2) there is nothing like the New Mexico sky.


I grew up in a teepee on a bunch of land in asscrack nowhere New Mexico (you guys, I swear I’m not lying. A teepee!!). I had no running water, no electricity and no plumbing for the first part of my life. I was a teenager when we got our first TV and it was (I kid you not) a black and white 10 inch (dear god, why would I make this shit up).

We had an outhouse until I was ready to graduate high school and I grew up without ever eating meat (to this day I have not tried the stuff).

Actually, that’s not entirely true. When I was six, my Godfather bribed me to eat a bite of turkey on Thanksgiving for $5. At six years old, $5 is like $500 so I totally did it. I also tried Chicken McNuggets once in high school. I gagged a little, kept the sweet and sour sauce and trashed the nuggets.

My unusual and socially awkward upbringing was the root of some of my disgruntled teenage years but as soon as I decided that being mad wasn’t a cool trend anymore I got over it. When I got a little older and discovered how (some) people of privilege operate, I had a whole new appreciation for the way I was raised.

It may not have been fancy but it was full of love, honesty, humbleness, grace and compassion.

Last year, I wanted to share a piece of my upbringing with my girlfriend, Luanne so we quit our jobs and headed South from the Bay Area to asscrack nowhere land. We were on a mission to write a follow-up to our first cookbook, Bold Vegan - Food of South East Asia.

Luanne is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (kind of like New York but in South East Asia) so naturally, she was excited to go to New Mexico to see the aliens.  

We were in New Mexico for seven months.

We wrote a cookbook, saw no aliens, tried no meth, saw countless jaw dropping sunsets and sunrises (see pics), soaked our bodies in natural hot springs, played in the snow and drank beer in the sun. We also ate lots of green chili (another one of New Mexico’s little secrets).

I created the recipes, Luanne tasted them, Luanne styled the photographs and I took the pictures. We had an awesome fucking time. I highly recommend quitting your job and doing something bat-shit crazy that makes no sense at all at some point in your life (but don’t go to New Mexico in winter. That shiz is cold. We’re talking high desert @ 6,000 feet, people. Bur).

Here are two recipes from our new cookbook, Bold Vegan, Food for the Body and Soul. There is a discount for Vegansaurus readers! The promo code is:  vegansaurus and it will allow your guys to buy the instant download version of our new book for $10 (usually $14.99). [Ed.: YES!!!]

It is filled with 90 Western and Asian classic comfort food dishes. From Vietnamese Pho to Pot Pie and Creamy Alfredo Pasta to Green Onion Pancakes.

Brought to you from New Mexico, with love.

But first, some sample recipes:

Fiery Garlic Tofu


(gluten free if using gluten free soy sauce / nut free)


  • 1 14 oz. box (397g) firm tofu tofu, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 6 tablespoons organic cornstarch (45g)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil plus 3 tablespoons, divided (105ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided (3g)
  • 20 turns fresh black pepper
  • 10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 - 5 dried red chilies, cut in half (add more if you like more spice)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peeled and minced ginger (12g)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (15ml)
  • 6 tablespoons water (90ml)
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rounds (140g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (2.5ml)
  • Sugar Glaze (1 tablespoon (15g) brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon (15ml) water)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 2 inch strips for garnish


  1. Evenly spread out cornstarch on a plate.

  2. Cut tofu and dredge evenly in cornstarch. Set aside.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup (60ml) of the grapeseed oil in a nonstick pan.

  4. Place 1/2 of the tofu in oil. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns of black pepper.

  5. Cook for 9-10 minutes, turning so that all sides get brown.

  6. Take out of pan and place on a brown paper bag (placed on a plate) to soak up the oil.

  7. Place 3 more tablespoons (45ml) of oil in the pan and add the remaining tofu.

  8. Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 10 turns black pepper and cook for 9-10 minutes.

  9. Take out and place on paper bag.

  10. Use the same oil and pan and add the garlic, chili and ginger.

  11. Cook for 1 minute and then add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 6 tablespoons water.

  12. Add red onions and sesame oil and cook for 3 minutes.  

  13. Add the tofu back to the pan, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.

  14. Add the glaze and cook for an additional minute.

  15. Garnish with green onions.


  • Do not serve the red chilies, they are added for flavor, not to eat directly.

  • If you don’t like spicy then leave the red chilies whole.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes


(gluten free / nut free / soy free if using soy free Earth Balance buttery spread)

First, the Cheese Sauce


  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (1 1/2 cups / 240g)
  • 1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2 inch rounds (130g)
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced  (1/2 cup / 65g)
  • 2  cups water (475 ml)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread (70g)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (40g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6g)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (45 ml)
  • 3 turns fresh black pepper


  1. Place potato, carrot and onion in a pan with 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.

  2. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and add Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine.

  3. Pour mixture into a blender and blend until creamy, about one minute on medium. You may need to scrape the sides down from the blender a couple of times for everything to get incorporated.

  4. Add coconut milk to the blender and continue to blend until mixture is creamy throughout.

  5. Place into a bowl and add fresh black pepper.

Now, assemble the whole dish:


  • 1 recipe cheese sauce (above)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes, 1/4 inch thick (4 potatoes / 625g)
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread (45g)
  • 1 onion diced (1 cup / 120g)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk creamer (120ml)
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped (8g)
  • 1 tablespoons rice flour (30g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6g)
  • 3 cups of chard, chopped (175g)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)

  2. Slice potatoes and set aside.

  3. Heat Earth Balance in a skillet and add the onions, garlic and parsley.

  4. Saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.

  5. Add the flour and salt and stir for 30 seconds.

  6. Slowly pour in the creamer and stir until mixture thickens, 1-2 minutes.

  7. Turn off heat and set aside.

  8. Evenly spread 1/4 cup (60g) of cheese sauce on the bottom of a 8x11 baking dish.

  9. Place a third of the potatoes over the sauce, covering the bottom of the pan.

  10. Place half of the chard over the potatoes.

  11. Place a third of cheese sauce over the chard (about 1 cup / 230g).

  12. Repeat (another third of potatoes, the rest of the chard, another third of the cheese sauce).

  13. Add the last layer of potatoes and then pour over the remaining cheese sauce.

  14. With a spoon, evenly dollop the onion/garlic mixture on top of the cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika.

  15. Place in the oven and baked uncovered for 1 hour.


  • You can use any leafy green in place of the chard.

(I’m writing my bio in first person because I think writing about myself in third person is creepy)

If I’m not in my kitchen you will find me behind my camera, in front of my computer, on my meditation pillow, in a yoga class or watching Parks and Rec (I promise I’m not snobby – I’m not even good at yoga. It has been my lifelong dream to touch even my fingers to the mat in a forward bend. It still boggles me that I can’t do it given that my arms are disproportionately long).

I have helped open restaurants in New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona (including Nature’s Express in Berkeley, CA). Before I wrote cookbooks and opened restaurants I was a personal chef.

You can buy my cookbooks on my website, While you’re there you can drool over lots of free recipes, check out my guide to getting healthy, 21 Days to Awesome and, sign up for my emails where I share even more recipes and charming banter.

I am also a regular contributor to Mind Body Green, Happy Cow, One Green Planet and Vegan Housewives.

You can check me on Twitter, catch up with me on Facebook, look at my pretty pics on instagram or share my latest obsession that is Pinterest.

(oh, and I’m always accepting recipe development, food styling and photography work. Check my online portfolio here)


New Year’s Resolutions for vegans, part 2! What are yours?  »

That’s from my story at The Bold Italic about New Year’s Resolutions for different San Francisco characters, what are some other amazing New Year’s resolutions for vegans?

First, my turn! I’ve got more!

- Make out with Isa Chandra Moskowitz and/or Terry Hope Romero
- Veganize the turducken
- Be the person who finally converts Mark Bittman to complete veganism (you will get laid a lot with these bragging rights!)
- Get your vegan croquet club fully funded via Kickstarter
- Do not adopt another dog and/or cat and/or bunny and/or rat and/or etc.
- Purchase no more than 15 vegan cookbooks
- Build another house for when you adopt more animals and buy more vegan cookbooks

I’m not fully on my game this morning and I know there’s a million more! What are they?? Let us know in the comments and then let’s make the ultimate list and then we’ll print it out, laminate it, post it to our fridge (where we spend the most time ‘cause we’re vegan), and CONQUER IN 2012! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Please note, this is called part 2 because the lovely Samantha Cohen wrote a legit list for us a couple years ago. Question B: ARE YOU MAKING ANY OF THIS SHIZ HAPPEN? 


Good Housekeeping’s vegan cookbook has ARRIVED!  »

Remember how excited we were? Well, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Except that it’s here and you can order it! Now, go forward and get it for every grandma, grandaunt, great dame, great great grandma, and great grandcousin in your life TODAY. Point is, they should be old. Actually, I’m interested in cooking out of it because I’m dying to make a vegan Broiled Steak with Parsley Butter and serve it in a Jello mold. BAM!


Food porn: Vegan feast!  »

When you’re a poor college student and it’s your mom’s birthday, offer to cater her a vegan meal for her and her friends. But remember it may take all day. And remember to tackle those recipes you’ve been eyeing for all that time. These are some of the things I cooked for my mom’s birthday; and it was fucking nice to make her something worthwhile.

Moroccan Phyllo Crescent with Golden Tomato Purée and Red Beet Reduction [Millennium Restaurant Cookbook]

Almond biscotti dipped in dark chocolate, green tea-walnut biscotti [Millennium Restaurant Cookbook; Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar]

Tart trio: cherry tart, apple spiced tart, and wild blueberry tart (with accompanying (not pictured) crèmes anglaises: lavender, cinnamon-vanilla, and lemon) [Tart dough and crème anglaise base from cooking class at Madeleine Bistro]

I’m kinda thinking there needs to be a VEGAN, am I right ladies [and gents]?!

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