Product Reviews

Fall is here and it is time to get baking!!  I love this time of year and especially getting together with family and friends to enjoy delicious food.  

Vegan for the Holidays covers all the details any holiday cook requires to create the perfect celebration.  From assembling a party menu to planning a multicourse feast, you'll get ideas for establishing modern, more healthful food traditions.  Zel Allen is the author of this beautiful book that celebrates feasts for Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. Some of Zel's recipes include: Cranberry-Pear Compote, Lemony Carrot Soup, Autumn Vegetable Roast, Red Cabbage and Apple Stir-Fry, Baked Maple Sweet Potatoes, Apple'n' Cream Pie, Pumpkin Apple Nog, Winter Almond Chowder, Santa's Swanky Salad, Raisin-Nut Cabbage Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce, and many many more delicious recipes!  All the tools you need to create some super comfort foods. Food, after all, is a powerful bonding agent that seals warm memories of cherished occasions. You will love this book and The Nut Gourmet book. You can find Zel in Vegetarians in Paradise or  Zel's Vegan NutGourmet. 

My family absolutely loves soups, so Zel's Sweet Potato Soup on page 121, caught my eye.  Sweet potatoes
 contain vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, B vitamins, potassium
and even iron. In fact, Whole Foods considers sweet potatoes one of the healthiest vegetables we eat.  Healthy antioxidents abound in sweet potatoes. This sweet potato soup is delicately sweet, thick and creamy.  This soup will make a roomful of hungry partygoers happy.  Sprinkling pecans and raisins on top really adds the perfect taste to this yummy soup.  I hope you will give it a try.

Also check out Barn-Burner Chili from Zel's book at The Health Seeker's Kitchen It looks super Yummy and I will be making it soon.

Sweet Potato Soup
Printable Recipe                                                                                                                      
7 cups water
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup raisins, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans for garnish

1.  Combine 4 cups of the water, sweet potatoes, and onion in an 8 to 10-quart stockpot.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

2.  Let cook briefly.  Use an immersion blender to process the soup in the stockpot until smooth and creamy.  Alternatively, put the soup in a food processor.  Process in batches until smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl.

3.  Return the soup to the stockpot.  Stir in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper, and enough of the remaining 3 cups of water to reach desired consistency.  Adjust the seasonings.

4.  Warm the soup over medium-high heat, ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with raisins and pecans if desired.

Awesome, awesome, awesome book!
Definitely on my list of "must buys" and highly recommended. And I am picky,

I am so glad that the publisher for this book sent me a review copy Because the recipes kick a meat eaters burgers tush. The book bring lots of humor mixed with tons and tons of flavor.  I was laughing pretty hard at some of the titles of his recipes...hilarious!

What I can say for sure is that if you just bought this book for the tempeh bacon recipe alone, it would be worth it. After you make this recipe once, you will never want to buy store tempeh bacon again. Its so so good! And so much cheaper to make it yourself! You get 5 times as much bacon for the price of one store bought package, and it freezes awesome for quick meals later on. The marinade is super healthy, and just stuff you will have on hand! I am kind of obsessed with it actually. Behold, the amazing-ness...

You make the marinade, place it in a large glass Pyrex type dish to sit (I just let mine sit in the fridge overnight). It takes just minutes to throw this together...

And then the next day it is ready to go. You can cook them in a skillet, or bake in the oven. We turned outs in to a simple but favorite BLT style sandwich. Delicious!

 I also tested his recipe called "The Portly Fellow". Again, amazing! I loved it so much I got permission to give you all the recipe for this one! I loved his method for cooking the portabellos! You thinly slice them across the cap of the mushroom after they cook and you get these long, thin, "deli meat" type slices that you can pile on your sandwich, and it makes it so much easier to eat that way.

He has some great YouTube videos and you can watch him slice the mushrooms in action HERE!
It also has caramelized red onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a very yummy sun dried tomato and white bean spread! I had this for two days in a good! There are a ton of other recipes I'm dying to try now from the book! If you want comfort food like burgers, buffalo style wings, hearty breakfast sandwiches, meatballs, etc. done not only vegan, but healthy, this is your book!

To purchase your own copy, CLICK HERE

Oh, and get the recipe for this amazing sandwich below!  Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

If this sandwich were a person, he would be a round, top hat–wearing gentleman in an old-timey suit with a pocket watch, monocle, and cane. And despite his size, he would eat sandwiches in a dainty fashion. That makes me smile.
Makes 2 sandwiches

2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and wiped clean
22 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 cup sliced red onion
2 ciabatta rolls, halved and toasted
2 cup Sun-Dried Tomato and White Bean Spread (see recipe
1 roasted red bell pepper, halved 
1 small handful baby arugula
1 medium tomato, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the mushrooms with 2 teaspoons of the oil, the vinegar, and a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Place the mushrooms in the smallest roasting vessel that will hold them. The smaller the vessel, the more of the delicious mushroom juice that will collect during cooking, so make sure the vessel has sides. You can make one out of foil if need be. On a baking sheet, toss the onion slices with the remaining 2 teaspoon of oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper, and spread them out. Roast both the shrooms and the onion for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft. Remove the mushrooms and onion from the oven, and let cool, making sure to reserve any mushroom juices that have accumulated. Cut the shrooms thinly on the diagonal, so that you create wide, flat slices.
Now you’re ready to assemble! Remember those shroom juices you were trying to preserve? Drizzle them on the bottom half of each of the ciabatta rolls (if there’s not enough, don’t get your butt-
hole all a-pucker — just drizzle some additional oil and vinegar on the ciabatta to compensate), and smear the top halves with the bean spread.
Assemble each of the sandwiches from the bottom up in the following order: bottom ciabatta half, sliced shrooms, roasted pepper, roasted onion, arugula, tomato, and bean-smeared ciabatta half.

Sun-Dried Tomato and
White Bean Spread
This is also a great dip for chips or veggies. Store extra in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Makes about 2 cups
 2 cups drained freshly cooked cannellini beans or one
15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 medium basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
 In a food processor or blender, puree the beans, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, water, and garlic until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude ©2012 by Brian Patton.  Published with permission of New World Library

I was given the pleasure of reviewing a copy of Chloe Coscarellis new cookbook that just hit bookstores this week. If you don't know who this adorable vegan chef is yet, then where have you been?!!! No no, I'm kidding.  But just to updarte you a little, she was the first vegan baker to bring home the win on Food Networks Cupcake Wars, which was very exciting to all vegans and vegan bakers! We all already knew how delicious vegan baked goods are, but she really brought that to the masses and I'm sure intrigued many to want to give vegan goodies a try! Way to go Chloe! She has also had several other appearances and publications in various news articles and magazines bringing wonderful vegan food to mainstream media. And shes just plain adorable to go with it. Many excited fans of hers have been eagerly awaiting her new cookbook.

I don't know about you guys, but I love  a cookbook full of beautiful color photographs. And this one definitely comes with some mouth watering pics to get you motivated to get in the kitchen! I would say that her food in her book has a level of familiarity and "comfort" to it, as well as being easy to prepare.

The first dish I made from the book was this Pineapple not-so-fried rice. It was an absolute delicious pairing of sweet and savory. I swapped using extra firm tofu for some homemade seitan that I already had n my fridge and that worked wonderfully in the recipe as well! 

Its brown rice, pineapple chunks, cashews, pease, marinated tofu or seitan in soy sacue, and some curry and coriander spicing. So so yummy!

I also tried the Double doubel drive-thru Bruger. I think the photo speaks for itself. Don't tell me this doesn't make you hungry!

The recipe suggests using tempeh or brown rice as a base, and I went with tempeh, which I think helped it really hold together great and gave it very good texture. The burger is also filled with toasted walnuts, lentils, and some onions and garlic. Topped with her special sauce and all the fixins of a gereat burger, both my husband and kids loved this one and leftovers keep beautifully in the fridge for quick burger making the next day!

A few other dishes I made (but didn't get a chance to photograph) were the Fettuccine Alfredo. Again, delicious!  I stuck with the recipe but added in some sauteed mushrooms and also some sauteed kale.

And, last but not least, I made the salt and vingar baked fries. This was possibly my favorite thing I made. I totally had a "why didn't I think of this" moment while we were eating them, and unfortunaly they were gobbled up so fast I did not get a chance to photograph these either. They are the baked fry version of salt and vinegar chips, which I love!  I will be making these again, and again, and again!

There are several other things I am dying to make, specifically in the dessert section of the book. Think baked donuts and her award winning cupcakes.

If you are looking for a new cookbook full of great recipes and beautiful photographs, I highly recommend this one!

To get your copy CLICK HERE!

1 comment:

  1. I just discovered your wonderful blog and am now a happy follower. The sweet potato soup looks wonderful.