Vegan Tacos Guest Post, Recipe and Giveaway

Vegan Tacos CoverI’m thrilled to be hosting Chef Jason Wyrick on his Vegan Tacos blog tour today. Jason is her with tips on pairing drinks with tacos, a recipe for margaritas from his new book, and a chance for you to win a copy of Vegan Tacos.


If you don’t have a copy of Vegan Tacos yet, run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy one, because this is one cookbook you’re going to want in your collection. Chef Jason Wyrick says this book isn’t just about tacos, “it’s about bringing the authentic Mexican taco experience into the vegan world.” He did tons of research, improved his Spanish skills, and even traveled to Mexico in order to write about and veganize traditional tacos. Some of the tasty tacos you’ll find within the pages of Vegan Tacos include Vampire Tacos (named after the way the tortilla curls up and resembles bat wings), Guacamole Tacos, Cactus Tacos, and Tacos Veracruz. There are fusion tacos, dessert tacos, and even breakfast tacos. You’ll also find recipes for everything that goes with tacos, from fresh tortillas and drinks to hot sauces and salsas. It’s not all just recipes though, Jason also delves into taco  history and anthropology, and taco culture, and he also talks about his family’s personal experience with Mexican cuisine.


Without further ado, here’s Jason…

Tacos, Tequila and Mezcal

Tacos, Tequila, and Mezcal: How to Pair Your Tacos with the Right Drink

While there isn’t really a wrong drink to serve with tacos, the right drink can make the experience truly memorable. Coffee, tea, handcrafted sodas, beer, tequila, mezcal. Where to start? When it comes to choosing the right drink to serve with your delicious taco creations, a few simple guidelines can point you in the right direction.


1. Choose Similar Flavor Elements, Not Combative Elements

I think a good drink should serve as a palate cleanser between bites, but it should absolutely never serve as a palate fighter. More important than choosing a drink that contains elements found in your food (high notes, citrus notes, caramelization, etc.) is choosing one that does not actively fight those notes. For example, a crisp vanilla soda served with some spicy tacos tempura dressed with lemon or lime sounds pretty good. A crisp vanilla soda served with tacos topped with pickled onions sounds, let’s just say, not so good. That’s why this rule is the most important of all.


2. Dark Roasted vs. Smoky vs. Crisp Beers

While there are seven different major flavor-profiles for beer, I typically parse them down into these three categories when deciding what to serve with my tacos. Here’s a simple set of rules. If a taco has heavy, deep flavors, like caramelization, roasted garlic, grill char, etc., then go with a heavier flavored beer like a dark roasted beer or a smoky beer. If the tacos have bright, clean flavors that you get from ingredients like lots of lime, pickled onions, or fresh herbs, pair them with a clean crisp beer. This way, the flavors of the beer complement the flavor of your food instead of fighting with it.


My Recommendations: Stone Smoked Porter and North Coast Brewing Brother Thelonious Ale for the heavier flavored tacos. For the brighter tacos, Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA is perfect.


3. Two Types of Heat Call for Two Types of Drinks

I find there are two types of heat. There’s that intense heat that hits you right up front. It makes your tongue jump and if you’re a spice addict like I am, you can’t wait to take another bite. Think chiles de arbol, fresh serranos, and habaneros. Then there is the type of heat I call a back-end heat. It takes a few seconds to build, but when it does, it feels like it suffuses your entire mouth. Think chipotles, roasted guajillo chiles, and fire-roasted chiles.


For the up-front heat, I prefer crisp light beers and wines. Like the intense up-front heat, they tend to show their flavor profiles right away. For the back-end heat, I prefer full-bodied beers and wines. These drinks tend to take a few seconds to assimilate, just like tacos with a back-end heat. It’s all about matching elements.


My Recommendations: For the up-front heat, I like Dos Equis, Tripel Karmeliet, or a Gewurtztraminer or a Sauvignon Blanc. For the back-end heat tacos, I like Bohemia Obscura, Gulden Draak, or even a strong Riesling. The wines are all white because they tend to play nicer with all the elements of a taco.


4. Tequila or Mezcal?

Tequila typically has a smoother taste than mezcal, while mezcal is a little more complex and smoky. When a taco has grilled, smoky, or caramelized flavors, I prefer the smoky complexity of mezcal or tequila anejo. Tequila anejo has been aged one to three years, allowing it to develop fairly complex flavors. When a taco has citrus flavors, fresh herbal flavors, or lighter veggie flavors, like lightly cooked zucchini, I prefer tequila blanco or tequila reposado. Tequila blanco has only been aged for about a month and is pretty straightforward and clean in taste and reposado is right between a blanco and an anejo. The cleaner flavors of these tequilas seem to pair well with fresher flavors in tacos.


Note: Don’t waste your money on expensive tequila or mezcal if you are serving those with your tacos. Your tacos will overwhelm some of the nuance of those drinks. Either serve those higher end drinks before or after taco time so you can fully appreciate them. During taco time, I typically go for a mid-range tequila or mezcal. Keep in mind that because mezcal is not as popular as tequila, it’s produced in small specialty batches, so it’s a bit pricier. Finally, make sure your bottle does not say “gusano de maguey.” That means it has a worm.


My Recommendations: The Casa del Sol and Casa Noble lines of tequila are reasonably priced, outstanding tequilas. For Mezcal, I’ve been enjoying Los Amantes and Del Maguey.


5. Playing Nice with Capsaicin Means Stronger Drinks!

Capsaicin is the molecule in chiles that generates heat. The more capsaicin, the hotter the taste. Capsaicin, however, is not water soluble. That means if you drink your tacos with water, tea, coffee, or soda, they are going to taste spicier because the water will wash the capsaicin molecules all around your mouth. Because soda is fizzy, it will pop that capsaicin around even more! If you want your food to taste spicier, these drinks are perfectly fine.


Capsaicin is, however, alcohol soluble. That means the more alcoholic your drink is, the more the heat will be toned down, and not just because you consumed copious amounts of it. The alcohol will dissolve the capsaicin and tone down your food. To notice an effect, though, you’ll need a drink with a strong alcohol content. Beer does not usually do the trick. Plus, it’s fizzy and mostly water.


One exception to this is agua frescas. Agua frescas are cold, sweet, smooth drinks. Usually, they are based on pureed fruits or berries. Because they are cold, they are refreshing and because they are sweet, they balance the sensation of heat.


My Recommendations: Consider a sipping drink like tequila blanco or even something strong like whiskey. My real preference, though, is to keep a pineapple or mango agua fresca on hand.




Grilled Lime Margarita

Grilled Lime Margarita with Mesquite Smoked Salt

Margaritas are great when they are made with fresh lime and good alcohol. It’s a classic drink that’s now part of the Mexican experience. I wanted to change things up a bit and make something a little darker, a little more mysterious and alluring. That’s what the mezcal and the smoke are to me. It permeates the entire drink, from the char of the grilled limes to the smoky mezcal to the shot of smoked salt on the rim of the glass. You can, of course, forgo grilling the limes and just use regular salt and good tequila blanco to make the classic margarita, but I hope you find the smoky version I created here to a sultry companion to your tacos.


Makes 4 Drinks



  • 8 large limes, cut in half diagonally (see note)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 4 shots mezcal or tequila reposado or añejo
6 tablespoons (2 shots) Cointreau or other good quality orange liqueur
  • Mesquite smoked salt
  • Sprinkle coarse sugar
  • Option: Make it spicy by placing a dried chipotle meco at the bottom of each glass


I cut limes in half diagonally because it exposes more surface area of the lime to be grilled and it also makes them easier to juice.


Grill the limes until they develop blackened char lines. This will take about 5 minutes. Ideally, you should do this over a wood fire, but you can still do it with a gas grill. Flip the limes over and grill the round sides of the lime halves. This will further cook the lime and mellow out the flavor. Juice the limes into a pitcher or a bowl. Keep the lime rinds Stir the agave into the lime juice until they are thoroughly combined. Mix in the shots of mezcal and Cointreau. Take the inside of the juiced lime rinds and rim 4 margarita glasses. Sprinkle mesquite smoked salt and just a touch of sugar around the rim of the glasses. Add the margarita mix to the glasses and serve. This should be served at room temperature and not over ice, which does not play well with the smoky components.


From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.
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Greek-Inspired Salad with Tofu Feta and Tahini Dressing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A few years ago, I was sent some soy feta samples to try, and I quickly became addicted. I made greek-style salads for lunch for weeks on end. When I ran out, I was able to find the vegan cheese at both my local Whole Foods and Fairway Market, but either both stores discontinued it or the manufacturer started making it. Earlier this year I decided to try to make my own feta using tofu. The end result wasn’t a 100% match for feta, but it had a nice taste and worked well with my favorite salad. My Greek-Style Pizza with Tofu Feta recipe is actually based on this salad, and is pretty much the same dish in pizza form.



Greek-Inspired Salad with Tofu Feta and Tahini Dressing

Tofu Feta

  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Salad

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded (about 1 large head or two small heads)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 12-14 ounce can or jar artichoke hearts, quartered (not the oil packed kind)
  • 4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, chopped



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Directions: For the Tofu Feta:

  1. Crumble the tofu into large chunks and place in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the tofu. Toss gently to combine.
  4. Place the dish of tofu in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.

For the Tahini Dressing:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to use. Sauce will thicken after sitting for a while. Add water when ready to use, if necessary. 

Assemble the Salad

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Top the salad with the tahini dressing, and toss to coat. Add the tofu feta.
  3. Divide salad into 4 bowls and enjoy! 

Serves 4

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Indonesian Broccoli and Tempeh with Spicy Peanut Sauce


This is a recipe I’ve posted before, but it’s so good it’s worth repeating. In my health coaching practice, I meet a lot of people have never tried tempeh before, or who have tried it and didn’t like it. I’ve found that this dish is a good way to introduce people to it, as it shows tempeh’s versatility. Often people who have previously said they don’t like tempeh have ended up loving it after trying it cooked this way with broccoli and peanut sauce. The first step in this recipe is key, as it helps to get rid of the fermented taste some don’t like, and it prepares the tempeh to absorb the flavors of the spicy sauce that’s added later.


This is the recipe I  be demonstrated on Saturday at the Bethlehem VegFest. If you joined me at my demo, thank you! If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed:




  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 8 ounce package tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1  bell pepper, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts




  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and sear for 3 minutes on each side. Add the water or broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons of tamari. Cook tempeh for 5 more minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer to  a plate and let cool, until it’s easy to handle. Crumble by hand until no large chunks remain.
  2. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over high heat. Add the onion and saute for several minutes, until it starts to become translucent. Add broccoli and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes, until they begin to brown.
  3. Mix together the coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, chili sauce and remaining soy sauce. Add it to the skillet with the crumbled tempeh and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve with brown rice and garnish with crushed peanuts. Enjoy!
Makes 3-4 servings

Greek Pizza with Tofu Feta

Greek Pizza with Tofu Feta

As an omnivore, pizza for me used to be crust, tomato sauce, cheese and a topping – pepperoni when I ate meat and mushrooms while I was a vegetarian. Now as a vegan, pizza has become much more creative and flavorful. Who says we need to stick to the rules of using tomato sauce and cheese? Why not put chickpeas and tahini on a pizza? This pizza was inspired by my favorite lunchtime Greek salad. I originally made it with vegan Soy Feta that had been sent to me to review. After I ran out of the samples, I found it at the local Whole Foods, and quickly became an addict, but sadly, they no longer carry it. Rather than give up on my favorite salad altogether, I set about making my own “feta” with tofu. While it doesn’t taste exactly like feta cheese, it has a similar flavor, and it compliments this pizza quite nicely.



Tofu Feta

  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Pizza

  • 12” or 15” prepared pizza crust
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (about ½ a cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 or 5 pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 2 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Sprig of chopped fresh oregano, or a sprinkle of dried


Greek Pizza With Tofu Feta


For the Tofu Feta:

  • Crumble the tofu into large chunks and place in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
  • Mix together the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the lemon juice mixture over the tofu. Toss gently to combine.
  • Place the dish of tofu in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.

For the Tahini Dressing:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to use. Sauce will thicken after sitting for a while. Add water when ready to use, if necessary.

Assemble the Pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Preheat crust, if necessary.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and cook for just a minute or two more, until it wilts.
  3. Spread the spinach mixture over the crust. Layer on the rest of the ingredients with the exception of the tahini sauce.
  4. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Drizzle on the tahini sauce, slice into 8 pieces, and then eat ‘er up!






Green Goddess Kale Chips


I bought my dehydrator with the sole intention of making kale chips about 4 years ago after having my first chip at a friend’s house. Since then I have made other foods, such as raw bread or crackers, but kale chips are the dehydrator’s bread and (vegan) butter so to speak. Throughout the summer it’s usually loaded with chips, and we like to snack on them on Sunday nights, while watching TV. This recipe for Green Goddess Chips is one of my favorites, and the house smells heavenly while they’re drying. In really humid weather, the chips can get kind of soggy, but they crisp back up after another hour or so in the dehydrator. I’ve included directions for baked chips here, for those who don’t have a dehydrator. Be sure to keep an eye on them, as kale can burn very easily in the oven.


Green Goddess Kale Chips

Green Goddess Kale Chips

  • 1 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari or nama shoyu
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablepoons chopped chives
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large bunch of curly kale


Green Goddess Kale Chips


  1. Blend all ingredients except kale in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding more water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, pour dressing over kale and massage the kale until it is well coated.
  4. For raw kale chips, arrange the kale in a single layer on a dehydrator tray covered with a teflex sheet. You’ll need two to four trays depending on the size of your dehydrator and the amount of kale you have. Dehydrate on 105° for six hours. Remove the teflex sheet and place the chips directly on the dehydrator tray. Return the chips to the dehydtrator for two more hours.
  1. For cooked chips, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange kale chips in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll need two or three baking sheets, depending on how much kale you have. Bake until the kale chips begin to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. If the chips aren’t totally dry, carefully flip them over and bake for 5 or 10 more minutes. Watch the chips closely to make sure they don’t burn.






Kathy Hester’s OATrageous OXO Giveaway


oxo-giveaway-graphic-800pxI’m quite excited to be one of the hosts of Kathy Hester’s giant OATrageous OXO giveaway this week! To celebrate the upcoming release of her new cookbook OATrageous Oatmeals, Kathy has partnered with OXO for an epic giveaway of OXO goodies. One lucky winner will get a box of OXO kitchen gadgets and a copy of Kathy’s book. Just follow the instructions at the end of the post to enter. 


oatmeal-coverNot only was I a recipe tester for OATrageous Oatmeals, Kathy also included one of my recipes in the book! OATrageous Oatmeals will change the way you look at oatmeal, because Kathy Hester, shares recipes for dishes like Italian Veggie and Oat Sausage, Veggie Oat Taco and Oat Pizza Crust Topped with vegan sausage crumbles made from Steel-cut oats. She also includes new takes on traditional favorites like Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and Strawberries and Cream Overnight Refrigerator Oats. Every recipe I tried while testing was an absolute winner!


finalOATragouscollageIn addition to the OXO giveaway, Kathy has a special offer for those who preorder OATrageous Oatmeals. Pre­order the book for $15.06 and you have the chance to get over $25’s worth of goodies. Just be one of the first 100 people to email your OATrageous purchase receipt to with your full name, mailing address and phone number (for delivery purposes only). Kathy has some other surprises for everyone who pre­orders including an OATragous newsletter with not-­in-­the-­book oat recipes and special coupons.


Kathy has also shared a recipe from OATrageous Oatmeals with us today, as a little sneak peek of what’s inside the book.


sausage-crumblesSteel-Cut Oat Sausage Crumbles

makes about 2 to 3 cups

gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free

This is one of my favorite staples and I keep some in the freezer all the time for last minute pizzas.  The spices give it a traditional Italian sausage flavor. The oats give it a chewy texture and the spices even turn the oats the color of sausage. It’s at home on a pizza or sprinkled over biscuits and gravy.


  • 1 cup (237ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (40g) steel-cut oats
  • 2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon regular



  1. Preheat oven to 350 and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan add the water and oats, bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes covered. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes while stirring to help get some of the moisture out. Remove from heat and add in the spice mixture and mix well.
  4. Spoon the oat mixture onto the parchment paper and try to distribute it as close to evenly as possible. Then tear a second piece of parchment paper and put on top an flatten the mixture as much as possible.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then pull out and cut lines into the sausage with a spatula. You aren’t trying to move it, just to make more places for steam to escape.
  6. Bake for 5 more minutes. This time scrape and break up the sausage into crumbles with the spatula.
  7. Bake 5 more minutes and it should be easy to crumble. You can sprinkle on pizza and you can even freeze the leftovers for another time!


From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester printed with permission of Page Street Publishing


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Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes from Plant Power by Nava Atlas

Plant powerBestselling vegan author Nava Atlas has a new book coming out in September, and she’s giving VeggieGirl readers a sneak peek today with this recipe for Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes. Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes will be a must-have guide to transform your kitchen, plate, and life with more than 150 delicious and versatile plant-based recipes for every day of the year. Eating vegan doesn’t have to be about sacrifice and substitutions. With Plant Power, Nava celebrates the bounty of natural foods and teaches everyone—from committed vegans to those who just want more plants in their diet—how to implement a plant-based approach to their lives—easily, practically, and joyfully, every day. Plant Power will be available on Sept. 2, 2014,


Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes

Seriously—who needs fake meat when you can make hearty, beautifully textured dishes using grains and beans? This serves up deliciously on rolls, but if you’re not a bread person, you can serve the mixture in a lettuce-leaf cup or atop a corn tortilla. Serve with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes and any slaw-style salad. Fresh corn on the cob when in season is a great addition as well.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons broth or water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or one15- to 16-ounce can (drained and rinsed)
    pinto or red beans, coarsely mashed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 15- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 whole grain rolls, English muffins, or mini-pitas



  1. Combine the quinoa with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil, broth, or water in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and sauté until both are golden.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except the bread of choice, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, loosely covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the skillet stand off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle further and for the quinoa to absorb the tomato flavors.
  4. Evenly spoon the filling over the bottoms of whole-grain rolls, cover with the tops, or serve open-faced.

Serves: 4 to 6


Nutritional Information:
Per serving: 252 calories with oil, 223 without oil; 5g fat with oil, 2 g fat without oil; 400 mg sodium; 44g carbs; 9g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 11g protein


Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.  


Strawberry Lemon Sangria


Sangria seems to be a summertime party essential. I serve this drink quite often at warm weather gatherings and it’s always a big hit with my guests. I’ve seen recipes that use sugary sodas and lots of white sugar, which I don’t think are needed since fruit added a natural sweetness. I like to use flavored sparkling water, as it adds a little extra fruitiness to the boozy drink, but you can use plain if you can’t find it. Fresh strawberries can be used in the place of frozen, but I prefer to use frozen fruit as it acts like ice and helps keep the drink cool while I prepare for my guests. 1 cup of rum makes this drink quite strong, so cut it in half if you want your sangria to pack less of a punch.


Strawberry Lemon Sangria


  • 1 bottle white wine (make sure it’s vegan!)
  • 1 cup silver rum
  • 1 quart (33.8 oz.) bottle lemon flavored sparkling water
  • 2 tablespoons agave, or to taste
  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen strawberries
  • 6 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Ice


Strawberry Lemon Sangria


  • Mix together the wine, rum, sparkling water, agave, strawberries and lemon. If you aren’t serving the sangria right away, chill it in the fridge until you are.
  • Add the ice when ready to serve.
  • Serve and watch it disappear!








Raw Kale Slaw

Raw Vegan Kale Slaw

When I first started this blog, I had just been diagnosed with food sensitivities, and I wanted to document how I was dealing with them, what I was eating, and how I was feeling. (I now don’t believe my so-called sensitivities weren’t very serious, and that most of the symptoms I was suffering from were due to an ovarian cyst attached to my intestines, but that’s the subject of another post.) I didn’t really type out recipes back then, but I had done a sort-of recipe post for kale slaw, a favorite summertime side dish of mine. I made this dish quite often in the summer of 2010, when I did the original post, and I remember taking it to a potluck where it was gone in seconds, and guests were upset that I hadn’t brought more with me.


Looking back my original post now, I’m wondering if I really did use that much mustard, and it seems like it must have been a little on the soggy side with that much water in the dressing. I’ve reworked my original recipe to make the dressing a little thicker and less mustard-filled. If you like your slaws with less dressing, just add a little of it at a time until it’s too your liking and save the rest for another salad or even a sandwich. Shredding the kale and carrots goes faster if you use a food processor.


kale slaw


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large bunch of kale, shredded or cut chiffonade style
  • 2 carrots, shredded or julienned
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds



  1. In a high-speed blender, mix together the cashews, water, lemon juice, mustard, salt and garlic until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Mix together the kale and carrots in a large bowl. Add the cashew dressing and mix until the vegetables are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle the slaw with the sesame seeds
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or two let the flavors mix.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature.







Asparagus and Tomato Tart with Cashew Ricotta

Asparagus Tart with Cashew Ricotta Sometimes finding new recipe inspiration can be difficult. Most people draw on meals of their childhood and veganize family favorites. I grew up eating a lot of boxed macaroni and cheese, rice-a-roni, and frozen TV dinners, which I have no desire to recreate. I do sometimes get inspired to veganize dishes when looking through non-vegan magazines, as is the case with this Asparagus and Tomato Tart. I recently came across a recipe that looked quite tasty while flipping through Self magazine, but it used frozen puff pastry, two kinds of cheese, and eggs. It wasn’t too difficult to veganize, and the resulting dish was fresh and light and perfect for warm summer days.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Ingredients:

  • 2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for two hours or more
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 10 sheets of 13”x18” fillo dough, thawed according to the package
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about ¾ lb)
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Asparagus Tart with Cashew Ricotta Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the cashew ricotta, process the raw cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and water in a food processor until fluffy and ricotta-like. This could 5 to 10 minutes. You may need to stop the food processer and scrape down the sides with a spatula a few times. Set aside
  3. To make the crust, Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Lay down one sheet of fillo dough on top of it. Keep the rest of the fillo sheets covered with a clean, wet kitchen towel to avoid drying out. Quickly brush the sheet with a thin layer of olive oil using a pastry brush. Layer another sheet on top of it, and brush that one with a thin layer of olive oil. Continue this step until all of the sheets are layers and brushed with oil.
  4. Gently roll the edges of the dough in towards the center to form the crust’s rim. Brush with a small amount of olive oil to help keep it in place.
  5. Carefully spread the cashew ricotta over the crust. You may need to use your hands to avoid tearing the fillo dough.
  6. Layer the tomato slices to top of the ricotta.
  7. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus. Gently toss with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Layer them on top of the tomatoes. Press down lightly to ensure the veggies are firmly in place in the ricotta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle the cooked tart with lemon zest and chopped fresh basil leaves.
  10. Using the parchment paper, carefully slide the tart from the baking sheet to a cutting board to slice it.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings   VVLPButton1-300px

Dr. Fuhrman