Rawsome Vegan Baking Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

rawsome-coverI’m happy to be hosting Emily von Euw on her blog tour for her gorgeous new book Rawsome Vegan Baking today! Emily has also brought a copy of her book for lucky reader. Follow the instructions at the end of the post to enter. Be sure to also check out my interview with Emily on Chic Vegan too!

 

tahini-coffe-cups-sm

Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

Simple, sublime, stylish . . . sassy? Okay, enough with the alliteration. These are just plain yummy. I know not everyone has a major sweet tooth like me, so this recipe is for those folks. Tahini is delicious, but it is also quite bitter. It has a strong nutty flavor (from the sesame seeds it’s made of) that goes perfectly with savory meals. However—its nutty bitterness can still work wonderfully in desserts as well. Here, it’s combined with salt and coconut oil to make a shell encompassing sweet coffee-date cream. Can you say yum!? Probably not, because your mouth will be too full of these terrifically tasty tahini cups . . . Duh. Did it again.

 

Makes: 6 cups

 

TAHINI SHELL

  • ⅓ cup (80 g) tahini
  • ⅓ cup (79 ml) melted coconut oil

COFFEE CREAM

  • 1 cup (175 g) pitted dates
  • ½ cup (118 ml) strong brewed coffee, or as needed
  • Salt

 

TO MAKE THE SHELL: Combine the ingredients by hand or in a food processor until smooth. It will be a bit watery but the coconut oil will harden up in the fridge. Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of 6 cupcake liners and put in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until solid. Set aside the other half of the tahini mixture.

 

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Put all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth and very thick, adding the coffee, as needed. This could take a few minutes, and you may have to stop the food processor to wipe down the sides a few times so everything continues to combine evenly.

 

ASSEMBLY: Scoop a dollop of the filling into each of the hardened bottoms in your cupcake papers. Pour enough of the remaining tahini mixture on each to cover the dollop. Put back in the fridge for about 20 minutes, or until solid, then sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

 

 

Follow the instructions below to enter to win a copy of Emily’s book Rawsome Vegan Baking. US residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Friday, April 4th.  Good luck!

Isa Does It!

Isa Does It

 Isa does it again! Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a reputation for writing cookbooks full of flavorful, foolproof recipes, but she’s outdone herself with her newest opus. Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vega Recipes for Every Day of the Week is a beautiful 320 page hardbound book packed with hilarious stories, cute artwork and gorgeous photos – oh yeah, and a bunch of yummy recipes too! The dishes are easy to make and come together quickly using easy-to-find ingredients. This book is perfect for everyone: omnivores trying to eat less meat, new vegans, and seasoned cooks looking to add some creative dishes to their repertoires.

 

Stew

Isa Does It features 150 recipes, most of which come together in half an hour or less. The dishes include soups, salads, pastas, stews, chilis and curries, stir-fries and sautés, Sunday-Night suppers, breakfasts, desserts and more. All of the recipes are made with whole-food ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. Isa also includes secrets and shortcuts for restaurant quality cooking, simple ways to improve your cooking time, plan-ahead kitchen strategies, knife techniques, kitchen tips and ingredient swaps for common allergens. What more could you ask for in a book?

 

 Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl

I’m usually a little leery of really large cookbooks, mainly because they’re overwhelming and there are so many recipes that I don’t know where to start. (And they usually won’t stay open in my cookbook stand!) With Isa Does It, I didn’t know where to start, but in a good a way. My copy is already dog-eared, covered in food stains and somehow I managed to break the hardcover spine. (And the colorful pages complement my retro kitchen very nicely while propped up in the cookbook stand!) I’ve made about 10 dishes so far, and each one has been better than the last. I’m not sure which one has been my favorite… Maybe the Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu and Kale? Or Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Penne? No, it must have been the Tempeh Orzilla!

 

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Isa Does It is my new, favorite go-to cookbook! Have you been cooking with Isa Does It? What have you made so far?

 

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Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson

Vegan Pizza

A coworker once told me that she could never go vegan because she would never be able to give up pizza. I told her that I eat pizza all the time and she said “yeah, but it’s not the same thing.” I agree with her. Most of the vegan pizzas I’ve eaten have been much more tasty and creative than the standard pies I ate as an omnivore. Julie Hasson has more inventive ideas for pizza creations that I could ever think up in her book Vegan Pizza, 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes.

 

Sweet Potato and Kale

Julie starts the book out with a pantry primer and tips and tricks for pizza making. Recipes include several dough variations (including a gluten-free dough), house-made meats such as sausage crumbles, and cheesy sauces and spreads.  And of course, there are are pizza recipes to put it all together. Pizza recipes include classics such as Garlic, Sausage and Onion and Tomato Basil, and farmer’s market pizzas like Sweet Potato and Pineapple and Jalapeño. There’s also a “Not Your Usual Suspects” chapter with recipes for a Chili Mac pizza, a Cowboy Pizza made with smoky soy curls and jalapeños, and a burger crumble Pub Pizza. If you like your pizza with more of a global flair, try the Thai Peanut Pizza or the Bibimbap Pizza. Of course, there’s also a chapter for dessert pies, with recipes for Babka Pizza, Coconut-Caramel Pizza and a Raspberry Crumble pie.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI tried made several pizzas with the recipes in Vegan Pizza, including the Smoky Wild Mushroom and Potato Pizza, the Broccoli and Cheddar pie and the Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza. All were super easy to make and super delicious. The dough recipes are easy to follow and bake up nicely and the cheese sauces I tried were all rich and creamy.  The pizza recipes lend themselves easily to creativity for those who don’t like to follow directions (you know who you are). In a few cases I sautéed veggies, added onions and sprinkled on some vegan cheese for a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’. 

 

Broccoli and Cheddar

Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza proves that no, vegan pizza is not “the same thing” – it’s much, much better.

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate programs helps me keep this blog running. Products discussed in this post were given to me free for review, but the opinions are my own. 

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina

Becoming VeganThe beginning of each year is almost always accompanied by resolutions to make changes: lose weight, eat healthier, manage stress, exercise more, etc. If you’ve resolved that is the year that you will finally go vegan, or if you’re already vegan and want to make sure you’re eating an optimal diet, Becoming Vegan, Express Edition is the book for you!

 

When I went vegan in 2001, Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina was one of the first books I bought. Veganism wasn’t nearly as mainstream as it is now, and even though I had already been meatless for almost a decade, I was concerned about getting essential nutrients. The original book was published in 2000, and since so much has happened in the vegan world since then, the authors have recently released the revised Express Edition.

 

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition is chock full of just about everything you ever wanted to know about vegan nutrition, and it probably contains some info that you didn’t even realize you wanted to know! This revised book offers new evidence of the health benefits of a vegan diet, expanded information on phytonutrients, in-depth coverage of all the essential nutrients—calcium, protein, essential fatty acids, good carbs, and vitamin D and B12, and a thoroughly updated food guide.  Guidelines are given on how how to follow a balanced vegan diet for infants, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as seniors. There’s also info on maintaining a healthy weight, getting fit and optimal nutrition for athletes. This new version of Vegan Express also contains a chapter on compassion, which gives insight into the treatment of animals for food production, as well as information on what animal agriculture is doing to the planet.

 

This streamlined “express” version of Becoming Vegan is extensive, yet easily understandable. A larger a more in-depth, fully referenced Comprehensive Edition of Vegan Express (which will be about 624 pages) will be out in the spring of 2014. The larger edition will be geared toward health care professionals those with a keen interest in nutrition.

 Brenda and Vesanto

Be sure to check out my interview with Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina on Chic Vegan too! 

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate programs helps me keep this blog running. Products discussed in this post were given to me free for review, but the opinions are my own. 

Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan

Better Than Vegan

Chef Del Sroufe managed to reach 475 pounds on a vegan diet high in processed foods such as pastries, soda, potato chips and soy ice cream. After joining the Wellness Forum and working with Pam Popper, he cut out processed foods, sugars and oils, and he began eating a whole foods vegan diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. He lost 240 pounds and in his new book Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds, he shares is weight loss story along with his favorite recipes. With the recipes in Better Than Vegan, Chef Del proves that the healthiest diet can be the most delicious. The book also contains cooking tips, health advice and a pantry primer. If you’re new to vegan cooking, are trying to lose weight, or want to improve your overall health, Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan is for you!

 

Chef Del makes a stop here on his blog tour today with his recipe for Breakfast Burritos and copy of his book Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader.

 

BreakfastBurritos

Breakfast Burritos

Serves 4

 

This tofu scramble is made with lite firm tofu and then baked instead of fried, so the fat content is greatly reduced.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 pound lite firm tofu, pressed and mashed to the consistency of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 10- or 12-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa (store-bought or your favorite homemade)

 

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sauté the leeks, red bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are translucent and tender. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper, turmeric, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tofu and mix well. Spread the mixture on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the scramble from the oven and stir in the cilantro. To make the burritos, divide the scramble between the four tortillas and spoon some salsa over the filling. Fold the ends of each tortilla over the filling and roll it up.

 

I have a copy of Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. US and Canadian residents only, please. The contest ends at midnight eastern time on Sunday, January 12th. Good luck!

My 10 Favorite Cookbooks of 2013

2013 was the Year of the Vegan Cookbook. I like to stay on top of new releases, but I just couldn’t keep up this year. There were books to cover just about “I could never go vegan because I can’t give up ___ (fill in the blank)” that I’ve ever heard. Cheese, pizza, chocolate – you  name it, there was vegan cookbook about it, making it easier than ever to adopt a vegan diet. There were cookbooks for seasoned vegans, cookbooks for newbies, cookbooks for vegans living with omnivores, cookbooks devoted to baking, cookbooks full of grilling recipes, cookbooks for gluten-free eating – pick a subject and 2013 had a vegan cookbook to cover it. 

 

My top 10 list covers the books I’ve been using the most this year. There were other cookbooks that came out this year that might be list-worthy, but I don’t have them. Yet. People often ask me what my favorite cookbook is, and I can never give them an answer. They’re all different, and I love them all. There are standouts though, and these are the books that stood out for me in 2013.

 

Vegan-ChocolateVegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan – Two of my favorite words in the English language are “vegan” and “chocolate”, so Fran Costigan already had me as a fan for her newest cookbook Vegan Chocolate before I even set eyes on it. After I set eyes on it, she had a fan for life. Vegan Chocolate is a beautiful hardcover book packed with the most gorgeous, mouthwatering photos of cakes, pies, cookies and other drool-worthy chocolatey treats that I’ve ever seen. Beware – you may be tempted to eat the book’s pages. With Vegan Chocolate, Fran proves that veganism is not about deprivation at all.

 

 

Isa Does ItIsa Does It by Isa Moskowitz – Isa does it again! Isa has a reputation for writing cookbooks full of flavorful, foolproof recipes, but she’s outdone herself with her newest opus. Isa Does It is a beautiful 320 page hardbound book packed with hilarious stories, cute artwork and gorgeous photos – oh yeah, and a bunch of yummy recipes too! The dishes are easy to make and come together quickly using easy-to-find ingredients. This book is perfect for everyone: omnivores trying to eat less meat, new vegans, and seasoned cooks looking to add some creative dishes to their repertoires.

 

 

Shannon_BettyGoesVeganHCBetty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon – The Shannons were awarded the VegNews Cookbook of the Year for their veganization of the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook, and rightly so. I can’t imagine that it was an easy task to veganize so many meat and dairy laden recipes, but the Shannons were able to do just that. The result is a cookbook full of classic comfort food dishes that even a hardened omnivore would appreciate. In Betty Goes Vegan, you’ll find vegan versions of recipes that were popular in 50s and 60s, such as Quiche Lorraine, Tuna Casserole and Corned Beef(less) Brisket with Cabbage. I can almost see Betty Draper serving up these dishes at a Sterling Cooper Draper Price dinner party. What makes Betty Goes Vegan truly unique are the personal stories and fun facts sprinkled throughout. The history of the famous Betty Crocker signature, the origin of Bisquick, and tips for modern-day Bettys are just some of the tid-bits you’ll find here. The Shannons playful personalities show through in their writing, making this a cookbook you might want to curl up along with a cup of tea with and read like a novel, instead of just relegating it to use in the kitchen. 

 

 

GGFVEAroundWorldGreat Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World by Allyson Kramer – Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World is a follow-up to Allyson’s first book Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. Allyson is an expert on gluten-free vegan fare. Some may think that a vegan diet is restrictive enough, and restricting it even further by removing anything containing gluten means that there’s not much left too eat – and what is left is bland and tasteless. Allyson blows that myth out of the water with her flavorful, creative recipes. With more and more people being diagnosed with celiac disease, and even more people discovering that they’re gluten sensitive, Allyson’s books are very needed in today’s marketplace.

 

 

Vegan PizzaVegan Pizza by Julie Hasson – A coworker once told me that she could never go vegan because she would never be able to give up pizza. I told her that I eat pizza all the time and she said “yeah, but it’s not the same thing.” I agree with her. Most of the vegan pizzas I’ve eaten have been  much more tasty and creative than the standard pies I ate as an omnivore. Julie Hasson has more inventive ideas for pizza creations that I could ever think up in her book Vegan Pizza. There are recipes for crusts, sauces, cheeses and, of course, pizza recipes to put it all together. Pizza recipes include Scalloped Potato Pizza, Thai Peanut Pizza, Bibimpa Pizza and even dessert pies such as Coconut-Caramel Pizza. No, it’s not the same thing – vegan pizza is much, much better.

 

 

Cheesy VeganThe Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm – Most people are reluctant to even consider going vegan because they’re hooked on cheese. Cheese is highly addictive, and I had a hard time giving it myself, but it is possible. There are a lot of great new plant-based cheeses on the market now, but if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make your own, John Schlimm will show you how easy it is with his newest book The Cheesy Vegan. Cheese recipes include cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, feta and brie, as well as ricotta, bleu and cottage cheese. Once your cheese is ready, John will help you cook a delicious dish with it. Recipes range from breakfasts and lunches to side dishes and casseroles, and there’s even an entire chapter dedicated to mac and cheese.

 

 

JazzyVegetarianClassics_FrontCoverJazzy Vegetarian Classics by Laura Theodore – You’re probably familiar with Laura Theodore from her PBS cooking show Jazzy Vegetarian, which is now in its third season and can currently be seen on the Create channel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her new cookbook Jazzy Vegetarian Classics is the companion book to the show, and all of the recipes to the delicious dishes that Laura cooks up on the show can be found within its pages. On the television show and in her cookbooks Laura focuses on flavorful, classic meatless dishes that can be made without strange or hard-to-find ingredients. These are the kind of meals that you can easily serve to your omnivore friends at a dinner party, or your picky-eater family members at the holidays. Chances are that they won’t even miss the meat.

  

 

vegan-slow-cooking-for-two-123715l2Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester – What could be better than coming home from work to find a hot dinner cooked and waiting for you? Maybe waking up to find a hot breakfast waiting for you, but really, there aren’t too many things that are better than that. (Well, other than cats, chocolate and snow days.) For that reason, I love using my slow cooker, and I also recommend using them to my health coaching clients who lead busy lifestyles. Kathy’s first cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker is the book that got me to use my slow cooker on a regular basis, so I was pretty excited to start using Vegan Slow Cooking for Two when it arrived. I have heard people say that slow cooker meals all tend to taste the same, but that’s a not a problem with the dishes in Vegan Slow Cooking for Two. The recipes are so varied that you can cook from it for months and never feel like you’re eating the same thing twice.

 

 

Nut-Butter-Universe-CoverNut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson – If you take a look at my massive vegan cookbook collection (It really is massive. Seriously, I have a problem), the one name you’ll see the most is Robin Robertson’s. Robin churns out cookbooks at an impressive rate, and her no-nonsense cooking style has made her one of my favorite authors. This time around Robin wrote about one of my favorite subjects: Nut Butters. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of spicy peanut sauce, but I’m also a big fan of cooking with nut butters in general. I love swirling almond butter into my oatmeal and adding a few spoonfuls of cashew butter to my stews. I’ve also recently begun to use nut butter in the place of oil in baked goods such as muffins and banana bread. Nut Butter Universe is full of recipes like these and such much more. There are recipes for everything from soups and starters to main dishes and desserts. 

 

 

Baking Books

Easy as Vegan Pie by Hannah Kaminsky, Cheers to Vegan Sweets by Kelly Peloza and Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage – Okay, I realize a three-way tie at number ten actually makes this a list of my top 12 favorite cookbooks, but I just had such a hard time deciding! I haven’t done much baking this year, so I will admit that I haven’t made anything from any of these books yet, but I have sat down with all three and perused them from cover to cover. They’re all packed with delicious sounding recipes and gorgeous drool-worthy photographs – food porn at its finest!

 

What were your favorite cookbooks of 2013? 

 

 

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Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester

vegan-slow-cooking-for-two-123715l2

What could be better than coming home from work to find a hot dinner cooked and waiting for you? Maybe waking up to find a hot breakfast waiting for you, but really, there aren’t too many things that are better than that. (Well, other than cats, chocolate and snow days.) For that reason, I love using my slow cooker, and I also recommend using them to my health coaching clients who lead busy lifestyles. Fortunately for all of us, Kathy Hester wrote Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just For You, which is great for small families or families of omnivores who have one or two vegan members. 

 

Lentil Quinoa Tacos

Kathy’s first cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker is the book that got me to use my slow cooker on a regular basis, so I was pretty excited to start using Vegan Slow Cooking for Two when it arrived. The book starts out with a little slow cooker primer along with some info on ingredients that may be unfamiliar to those new to a vegan diet. The first chapter is dedicated to easy do-it-yourself staples like seasoning mixes and homemade seitan. Kathy also introduces her Ahead-of-the-Game Big Batch of Cooked Onions for those who like precooked onions in their slow cooker dishes. Other chapters are dedicated to breakfasts, appetizers, soups, stews and chilies, one pot meals, taco and sandwich fillings, and drinks and desserts.

 

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I have heard people say that slow cooker meals all tend to taste the same, but that’s a not a problem with the dishes in Vegan Slow Cooking for Two. The recipes are so varied that you can cook from it for months and never feel like you’re eating the same thing twice. The meals I tried were Mushroom Bourguingon with Pasta, Tomatillo and White Bean Chili (which I added some kale to), and Lentil Quinoa Tacos. Each one was delicious and better than the last! There are many more dishes on my to-try list such as Greeen Beans with Black Bean Sauce and Tofu, White Bean Quinoa Gumbo and Cheezy Butternut Squash Macaroni.

 

Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast in the slow cooker is a breeze. Simply place all of the ingredients into your slow cooker before going to bed, turn it on and wake up a delicious breakfast in the morning! There’s lots of variety here too. I tried both the Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Breakfast Quinoa and the Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burritos. Well, they were supposed to be burritos, but I only had small tortillas, so they turned out to be breakfast tacos, which is even better!

 

Apple Crumble

Most people probably don’t usually associate desserts with slow cookers, but it’s possible to make cakes, brownies and even cookies in your crockpot. I opted for a quick Chai-Spiced Apple Crumble for dessert, mainly because my fridge is overrun with apples. It only took an hour to cook, so I was able to prepare everything before I cooked our dinner, and dessert was ready for us when we were ready for it.

 

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I have a Cuisinart 3 1/2 quart slow cooker, and it’s usually filled to the brim or overflowing when I follow recipes in other slow cooker cookbooks. Kathy recommends using a small 1.5 quart slow cooker for the recipes in Vegan Slow Cooking for Two, but everything cooked up just right in my medium-sized one. I did double a few of the recipes, but for the most part, the dishes were perfect for both Dennis and I, and there was usually enough leftover that one us could have lunch the next day.

 

Chili

If you often find yourself too busy to cook in the evenings, you really need to get your hands on Vegan Slow Coking for Two by Kathy Hester. The dishes come together quickly, so you can just pop the ingredients in your crockpot before work and you’ll come home to a tasty hot meal in the evening. The recipes are varied and creative, the ingredients are easy to find and the meals are delicious. The book is also packed with with mouthwatering photos from photographer Kate Lewis, so you might just find yourself flipping through it and drooling over the pages.

 

Be sure to check out my interview with Kathy on Chic Vegan too! http://chicvegan.com/interview-series-kathy-hester/


 

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Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan

Vegan Chocolate

 

Two of my favorite words in the English language are “vegan” and “chocolate”, so Fran Costigan already had me as a fan for her newest cookbook Vegan Chocolate before I even set eyes on it. After I set eyes on it, she had a fan for life. Vegan Chocolate is a beautiful hardcover book packed with the most gorgeous, mouthwatering photos of cakes, pies, cookies and other drool-worthy chocolatey treats that I’ve ever seen. Beware – you may be tempted to eat the book’s pages.

 

Hot Chocolate Mexican-Style LR

I did a little work for Fran over the summer, so not only was I able to get a sneak peek at this masterpiece, I also got to sample some of her decadent homemade chocolate treats: brownie bites, truffles, ice cream shell, chocolate hazelnut spread, cake, ganache and more. Each one was better than the last and this chocoholic always went home happy. 

 

Cashew Cream Truffle Squares LR

As a vegan I’m often asked if it’s possible to make dessert without eggs and dairy products, and I’ve also had people tell me that they could never be vegan because they could never give up chocolate. (Chocolate is vegan by nature, but the way. It’s not vegan when candy bar manufacturers add milk and butterfat to it.) In Vegan Chocolate Fran proves that not only is it possible to make luscious vegan desserts, but they can be rich and sinfully chocolatey as well. This book is packed with recipes for chocolate cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, truffles, puddings, ice creams, drinks and more. I can guarantee that you can win over even the most die-hard carnivore with any one of them. 

 

Brownie Pudding Cakelettes LR

Fran begins the book with a list of ingredients that are helpful to have on hand for vegan baking, as well as a list of kitchen equipment essentials. She also includes a chocolate primer, with information on storing chocolate, what the different percentages mean and the different types of chocolate. Each chapter begins with Fran’s tips for successful treats, troubleshooting recommendations, and helpful information such as how much frosting is needed for a sheet cake and how to make cake crumbs for decorating. Kate Lewis’s photos of Fran’s creations are works of art, and this book should be on display on your coffee table, rather than tucked away in your bookcase.

 

Chocolate Raspberry Pie LR

Vegan Chocolate is a must have for any chocoholic, avid baker, and vegan foodie and it makes a great holiday gift. Be sure to check out my interview with Fran on Chic Vegan too! 

 

Lemon Olive Oil Truffles LR

You’re in luck, because Running Press sent me an extra copy of Vegan Chocolate and I had Fran autograph it, so I could give it to one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight EST on December 1st. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!

 

 

The Vegucation of Robin

Vegucation of Robin

I’m not a fan of Howard Stern, so until I received a copy of The Vegucation of Robin from Avery Publishers, I didn’t know anything about his sidekick Robin Quivers. I didn’t know that she had recently been battling cancer, and I certainly didn’t know that she follows a vegan diet. 

 

In The Vegucation of Robin, Robin Quivers talks about her health issues and the battles with her weight that’s she’s dealt with for throughout her life. She also talks about food addiction and attempts at cleanses and diets. It wasn’t until basketball player John Salley recommended a vegan diet and referred her to a vegan healer that Robin really changed her diet and lifestyle for good. She now credits her vegan diet for saving her life and helping with her speedy recovery after surgery to remove a tumor, and realizes she would have been much worse shape if her diet had been different.

 

The Vegucation of Robin is part memoir, part health book and part cookbook. In part 2 of the book, Robin lays down a primer for a healthy vegan diet: eat more vegetables and cut out the junk. She also talks about detoxing and cleanses, as well as self care – something so many people neglect. Part 3 is all about the food and it’s packed with lots of healthy, easy-to-make recipes such as Roasted Broccoli au Gratin, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Scallion-Tomato Tofu Scramble. Robin also offers up suggestions for special meals, such as Thanksgiving and summer cookouts.

 

I enjoyed this book. Quite often health books tend to just rattle of facts and be rather dry, but since The Vegucation of Robin is about Robin’s own journey, it’s full of humor and personality. While this book might not be for seasoned vegans, I would recommend it to any omnivore who is looking to add healthy dishes into his or her diet, since the recipes use easy-to-find ingredients and are easy to make. I know that to the outside world, vegan food can sometimes seem weird or foreign – I’ve even heard the world “fake” used twice in past week – but there’s nothing strange here. I would also recommend The Vegucation of Robin to those who are struggling with their health, as I know that reading about another’s health issues and how she overcame them can be very inspiring.

 

I have an extra copy of The Vegucation of Robin and I would like to give it one of you. Follow the instructions below to enter. The contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday, November 24th. US residents only, please. Good luck!

 

Vegan Holiday Kitchen Giveaway

Vegan Holiday Kitchen Nava Atlas’s Vegan Holiday Kitchen came out in the fall of 2011 and it instantly became my go-to cookbook for the holidays. Polenta, Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing and Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Hint of Chocolate have both become mainstays on my Thanksgiving table, and I’m counting down the days until I can make them again this year. I love the simple recipe for Agave and Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts so much that I don’t even wait for the holidays to make it. The Red Quinoa Pilaf with Kale and Corn recipe is the perfect way to introduce someone to quinoa and I often make it with my health coaching clients when we discuss grains. 

 

Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Holiday Kitchen is not only perfect for Thanksgiving cooking, but it’s also perfect for cooking up delicious meals for Christmas, Hanukkah and beyond. Nava also shares recipes for Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Easter, as well as Independence Day and other summer holidays. There’s even a chapter with recipes for brunches and potluck dishes. Nava offers tips on how to plan our your holiday meal, what to cook ahead and what shortcuts you can take, and there are helpful tips and tidbits sprinkled throughout the book. Each section has sample menus that you can mix and match and there are plenty of recipes that will keep you coming back to this book year after year. The recipes all use standard ingredients that can be found at any grocery store, so omnivores won’t have any problems finding ingredients when they’re cooking dinner for vegans, and non-vegans won’t find anything “too weird” or foreign to them. In addition to being chock full of delicious recipes, this is a beautiful hardcover book full of mouthwatering photos, making it perfect for gift giving!

 

Dianne and Nava

Speaking of gift giving, I just happen to have an extra copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen that Nava autographed the last time she was visiting New Jersey, and I’d like to give it to one you. Follow the instructions below to enter. The contest ends at midnight on Sunday, November 17th. US residents only, please. Good luck!

Dr. Fuhrman