"veganize it! + giveaway

I'm back for the third week in a row, and with another cookbook review. It seems that more than flowers are sprouting up for spring.

This new book is from Robin Robertson - another in the "win" pile! This is called Veganize It! Easy DIY Recipes for a Plant-Based Kitchen (AMAZON, B&N).

As always, Robin is very thorough and imparts tons of information in this newest volume. As the title indicates, this book turns non-vegan ingredients and recipes into delicious vegan ones! Robin starts with a pantry list then moves into ingredients to know and also shares a few basic tips and tricks. Then come the recipes!

The chapters range from DIY Dairy-Free and Egg-Free, Too, and Plant-Based Meats to Vegan Charcuterie and Instead of Seafood, to list a few.

I decided to test the book thoroughly and make as many of the ingredients at home as was called for in the recipes - because although Robin gives you basic recipes to veganize, she also assembles those recipes into a dish.

For my first main recipe I chose to make Cheesy Sausage Biscuits because I figured it would make a wonderful breakfast dish with some tofu scramble. This recipe includes DIY ingredients such as vegan butter, Maple Breakfast Sausage, nondairy milk and vegan sour cream. Although all of these recipes are in the book you can certainly use store-bought ingredients when you like. I decided to make the sour cream and the sausage:

The sausage was easy and quick to make and it was as promised: delicious.

The sour cream was just as easy to prepare and just as tasty. I used the remaining sour cream to make a salsa-ranch dressing. Yum!

When you add all these ingredients together, it makes this cheesy, sausage-y, fluffy and buttery biscuit. We all really enjoyed these! In fact, the biggest problem was that I didn't make enough!

The next main recipe I wanted to make was Cheesy Steak-Out Sandwiches. This recipe needs Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, Cheddary Sauce and either portobellos or seitan. I chose to make Baked Seitan Roast because I have a mushroom hater in the family.

I am a seitan lover and this simple roast was wonderful, especially in this sandwich.  I also made the Cheddary Sauce, which was equally amazing and brought this sandwich up another level.

Wrap all these scrumptious ingredients into a freshly baked roll and you have this perfect sandwich! If you are wondering if mushrooms would do this justice, I can assure you that it would!

This book is definitely an asset to your collection - or the beginning of your collection of cookbooks! It is unique and varied enough that the book is worth its price in gold. It has recipes such as scrapple, hot dogs, wellington, ribs, omelets, feta, butter, jerky, pepperoni, sea scallops, fish-free fillets, oyster sauce, kimchi, pasta, ganache, and the list goes on!

Robin has offered to share a recipe with you and since I focused so much on seitan for my review, I wanted to show you some more range and am sharing Robin's Clam Free Chowder.

After the recipe, be sure to enter the contest to win Veganize It! from Robin and her publisher. It's easy to enter - leave a comment (and be sure I can contact you, should you win!) Contest is open to US residents only and will conclude April 3, 2017. Good luck!

Photo by William and Susan Brinson.

Text excerpted from VEGANIZE IT! © 2017 by Robin Robertson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo by William and Susan Brinson.


Oyster mushrooms star in this vegan interpretation of New England clam chowder made with diced potatoes, onion, and celery with a creamy, cashew-based broth. If oyster mushrooms are unavailable, substitute white button mushrooms, chanterelles, or a combination of both.


2 tablespoons vegan butter
8 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dulse or nori flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
½ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaves, dulse, thyme, Old Bay, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then decrease the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the liquid smoke.

2 While the soup is simmering, blend the cashews and 1 cup of the almond milk in a high-speed blender until smooth. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the cashew mixture and the remaining 1 cup almond milk. Stir in the reserved mushrooms and heat the soup for a minute or two until hot. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot, garnished with the parsley.