Apr 20, 2012

tester - catch up

I am taking the opportunity to catch you all up on what I have been doing recently since it is so glaringly obvious that it isn't blogging!

As you know, last year I was testing for Tami's Grills Gone Vegan cookbook, which is yet to be released, but I keep hoping it will be out for summer grilling. From those delicious-days-gone-by, I tested dreamy recipes such as:

Tami's Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Seitan Salad with Nuts and Fruits
Grilled Leek Spread

And then Tami asked me to test for her sandwich cookbook, co-authored with Celine Steen, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, which has a September 1 release date. I am so excited! This will be the definitive vegan lunch/sandwich book. So amazing:

Two Tomato Tango

Tofu Pomegranate Pockets

Sushi Wrap
Surprise! (Is anyone, really?) These two mad-cappers are at it again! This time creating a  whole grain baking book. Yes, again, I couldn't resist. My time is valuable and I wouldn't want to test anything that I didn't find worthy, or frankly, for any cookbook I wouldn't purchase myself, so when Tami asked if I was interested, well, for sure! 
Whole. Grain. Baking.
 I believe I have at least 4 cookbooks on my shelf on the subject, and not any one I go to as a resource. Either the book is not actually "whole grains" or it isn't vegan (and baking, as we know, is a science, not an art: difficult to ad-lib) or just plain sucks.

Needless to say I was intrigued. Turns out, these women are truly using whole grains: oat, barley, amaranth, rye, corn, wheat, ...you name it, they use it. And, get this, it tastes great! Even my kids like the goodies I've made. 

Here are some teasers:

Wheat Wonder Crackers

Pizza Your Way

Olive Round
Delectable, right? And I haven't even gone down the sweet route, yet!

All this has been horrific on my hips, but I am not done, yet.

While testing for Tami and Celine last year, I was also doing a bit of cooking for Robin Robertson's up-coming slow-cooker cookbook. As an ubber-busy mom, this was another one of those cookbooks that I found a wealth of value in. I applied for testing when Robin posted the need on her blog and she accepted. This book, Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker, is slated for an October release. Just in time for the holiday onslaught, when we could all use a bit of a break after all the holiday preparation during the day; nice to have dinner ready. Well, that describes my entire year, excluding the holiday factor. Can you relate?  

Here are a few pics of Robin's recipes:

Root Vegetable Bisque

Seitan Posole

Lentil Chickpea Curry

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
That's right. All from a slow cooker.

Last month I got the opportunity to test for Robin again. This time a One-Dish cookbook. I have her first One-Dish Vegetarian Meals cookbook and love it. I figured this would be another cookbook I test for that wold benefit me more than the chef. 
Right again. 

Here are some of the pictures from this new book:

Potato Salad with Avocado Dressing

Jamaican Spinach and Red Bean Soup

Bulgur and White Bean Bake with Cabbage and Tomato

One-Dish meals mean there are no sides needed - it is a complete meal in one dish. Great idea and certainly a headache saver. 

There you have it. Hopefully some of these books will be available for you to get your hands on. In the meantime, rest assured that whatever cookbooks I receive as compensation for testing these recipes, will all be up for grabs in upcoming blog contests. 

Until next time, keep eating well. 


  1. VA, as always, your photos have me drooling. You are sooo good! We are fortunate to have you as a tester, and a friend.

    Grills should be out a year from now, so it's still a waiting game.

    Thank you for showcasing our stuff!

  2. Wow. Just wow. These, all, look SO good.
    Looks like we have a wealth of new and innovative books to look forward to.
    Although not posted here, your picture of the Fritata (sp?)looks amazing, and it alone would be a reason to buy the book for which it was tested.
    Thanks for sharing these. Truly awesome.

  3. You are a testing machine! I knew about the sandwich and the whole grain baking book, but this is the first I've heard of the grilling book! I can’t get over how many delectable meals you’ve gotten to test, it seems I need to start making some extra room on my cookbook shelf.


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