Showing posts with label bakery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bakery. Show all posts

Mar 16, 2017

ultimate vegan cookbook for instant pot

First things first - I promised to announce the winner of Becky Striepe's 40 Days of Green Smoothies (KindleAmazon)! This is an amazing book that will help you on your way to forming the healthy and delicious habit of enjoying a green smoothie daily. Since posting the review last week I have treated myself to another week of this invigorating habit and I love it!

The winner of the ebook 40 Days of Green Smoothies is: .... comment number 5 - Jennifer Bliss! Please contact me so I can get the book to you! Congratulations!

Now for some new business:

This new book by Kathy Hester is just what you need for your Instant Pot.  

I have 2 Instant Pots myself, sitting on the kitchen island and in use almost everyday (and I even have one in the garage, in case one of the in-use ones breaks). I purchased them during Amazon's holiday sales, but if you don't have one, you might consider getting one now and not wait another 9 months. 

Kathy's book speaks directly to the Instant Pot users and the book is a wealth of information: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot (Amazon).

There are a lot of wonderful features of this book: each recipe has a full color photo! the book lays flat when open, Kathy's first chapter is Five Recipes to Start You Out, Kathy provides a chapter on Quick and Easy Homemade Staples, and even has a chapter devoted to Cook it All at the Same Time: Layered Meals with Sides that you can prepare in one cooker all at once. I have to say that I think that's my favorite chapter. Kathy even has a chapter devoted to Desserts. 

This book has Soy-free, Gluten-free and Oil-free options throughout and that should makes most everyone happy. 

Now for what I cooked!

The first thing that caught my eye was Vegan Cauliflower Queso. I love cheese sauce and I am always looking to discover new ways to make cheese sauce with whole foods. Kathy's sauce was on point! Rich, thick and just what a cheese sauce should be.

Then I tried the Southern Breakfast. This recipe is from the Cook It All at the Same Time chapter. You cook the grits layer and the scrambled tofu layer (and then I added collard greens that I cooked with the rest of the layers) in the Instant Pot. There are tricks to cooking everything together, which Kathy shares in the book. This was an easy and delicious breakfast meal!

Next I tried a one-pot meal from the Fast and Comforting One-Pot Meals chapter: Ricotta Penne Pie. This was another delicious meal, but because I used Toffuti brand Ricotta it came out a bit too sweet. Kathy has a ricotta recipe in the book, one I should have taken the time to make!

Finally, we tried the Easy Andouille Jambalaya from the Fast and Comforting One-Pot Meals chapter. This recipe uses vegan andouille links from the book (but, again, I used store-bought links because of time restriction). This was mighty delicious and it made plenty to last for a few meals. 

Now for a recipe for you to try! How about a healthy and delicious dessert? Kathy has graciously offered to share her Holiday Orange Spice Cake! The photo below was taken by Kathy, along with all the other gorgeous photos in the book!

Holiday Orange Spice Cake

Recipe from The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot by Kathy Hester. 
Printed with permission from Page Street Publishing.


1¼ cups (150 g) whole wheat pastry flour (or *use a gluten-free baking mix)
1½ tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cloves

½ cup (120 ml) orange juice with pulp (about 1 medium orange)
⅓ cup (80 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tbsp (14 g) ground flaxseeds
3 tbsp (41 g) melted coconut oil (or **use applesauce)

2 tbsp (12 g) orange zest (or 1 tsp orange extract)
¾ cup (75 g) dried cranberries or diced dried dates
½ cup (55 g) chopped walnuts or pecans
Oil a 6- or 7-inch (15- or 17.5-cm) Bundt pan and set aside.


For the dry ingredients, mix the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and cloves in a medium-size mixing bowl.

For the wet ingredients, Combine the juice, syrup, flaxseeds and oil in a large measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Fold in the mix-ins.

Spread the cake mixture into your prepared pan and cover with foil.

Put the steel insert into your Instant Pot, pour in 1½ cups (355 ml) water and add the stainless steel steam rack with handles that came with your Instant Pot.

If your pan does not fit inside the rack handles, you will need to fashion some handles out of aluminum foil to lower the pan into the cooker. Tear off two pieces of foil about 3 feet (1 m) long, fold each one lengthwise two times. Lay the foil handles out on the counter in a plus sign near your cooker. Place your pan in the center, where the two pieces cross. Pull the handles up and carefully lift the pan into your Instant Pot.

Place the lid on with the steam release handle set to sealing, or closed; cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Once the pressure indicator goes down, remove the lid, lift out the pan using the foil handles and remove the foil that’s covering the pan.

Let cool so that it cuts easier; it will crumble if cut warm.

Nov 19, 2016

cranberry bliss bars

Starbuck's, the coffee shop, has a treat called Cranberry Bliss Bars. Although I've never had it (was Starbuck's even around 16 years ago?) because it isn't vegan, I can attest that this vegan version is most certainly delicious.

The original version uses white chocolate chips, and while you are more than welcome to, I find that bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips are much easier to find vegan. But if you have them, use them!

The batter is very simple - flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, aquafaba, vegan butter, sugar, chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

Once creamed together, fold in the chocolate and cranberries and press into a 12X12-inch pan, or a 1/4 sheet pan. The size is really inconsequential as long as the batter is about 1/2-inch thick.

While the cookies bake and cool make the cream cheese frosting. If you really don't like it too sweet you can cut the frosting ingredients in half and frost the base very lightly.

After they bake and cool, trim the sides and cut the bars into triangles. Once frosted the bars will soften up a little and the frosting will harden a bit, making stacking possible. If they last that long, these bars are good for up to a week. Enjoy with tea or coffee.



Cranberry Bliss Bars
Makes about 12 bars

1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons aquafaba**

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

4 ounces nondairy cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons orange juice (zest orange first)
2 cups confectioner sugar, sifted after measuring
2 teaspoons orange zest
3/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Add the butter, sugar, ginger and salt to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to cream well. Add the aquafaba a tablespoon at a time to help achieve a homogeneous mixture. Combine the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Mix well and add to the butter mixture. Mix well using the hand mixer.
2. Add the 1 cup of cranberries and the chocolate chips. Mix well using a wooden spoon. Line a 12x12 baking sheet (or a 1/4 sheet pan) with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Add the dough and press into the pan. The dough should be about 1/2 -inch thick. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes; do not over bake. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a cooling rack.
3. Frosting: Combine the cream cheese, salt and juice in a medium bowl. Mix well using a hand mixer. Add the sifted confectioner sugar and mix again. Add half of the zest.
4. When completely cool, frost the bars, reserving about 1/4 cup of the frosting. Add the 3/4 cup cranberries on top of the frosting and drizzle the remaining frosting over the cranberries. Add the rest of the orange zest. 
5. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the large rectangle. Cut in half and cut each half into 3 rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half diagonally. Allow the frosting to set overnight. If the bars are too crunchy allow to sit uncovered until they soften a bit. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Sep 28, 2016

roasted garlic chickpea pizza

Last week I shared with you my Refrigerator Dough recipe. This week I'm using it to make a garlic-lover's pizza. I am a garlic lover and often times I hold back when writing recipes, but this one is full-on garlic and I make no excuses or apologize. #sorrynotsorry

Let me start by saying that if you haven't made this dough and have it handy in the fridge, you are missing out on easy meal times. The dough can be made into flatbreads, rolls, focaccia, pizza and even frybread. Check it out HERE (video) or HERE (printable) and whip up a batch; it lasts for up to 7 days!

This pizza boasts whole roasted garlic, a garlic sauce and garlic sauteed chickpeas and artichokes. It also has sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and arugula, to round things out.

I roasted the garlic in the air-fryer and it was ready in about 8 minutes! And without any oil! I was thrilled.

The garlic sauce is a quick cashew-based aioli that is blended with some of the roasted garlic, before the remaining garlic gets thrown onto the pizza.

Like I've said before, the dough is ready when you need it and it is very easy to roll. If it is giving you any problems, just let it warm up for 15 minutes, while the oven is preheating.

A well-dressed pizza is always a welcome sight!

Bake it until it is golden brown and crisp. Top with arugula and more ailoli and you are all ready to enjoy a classy pizza night.

Roasted Garlic Chickpea Pizza 
Serves 4

Garlic Aioli Sauce:
1/3 cup raw cashew pieces
2/3 cup non-dairy unsweetened, plain milk (plus more as needed)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vegan lactic acid (optional)
4 cloves roasted garlic**
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Chickpea Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
8 garlic cloves, sliced 

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 pound Fridge Dough or other pizza dough
Vegan shredded cheese (optional)
Roasted garlic**
4 soft or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
12 kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup arugula

1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 475-degrees F. Use a pizza stone if you have one. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm. Combine the cashews, milk and nutritional yeast in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a small blender and add the lemon juice, lactic acid (if using), garlic and salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding a few tablespoons of milk as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning and set aside.
2. Chickpea: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, artichokes and garlic. Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes, but do not burn the garlic; stir often. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3. Pizza:  Combine the pizza sauce with 2 tablespoons of the garlic aioli. Divide the dough into 4 (or 2). Roll or spread the dough on a parchment paper, out to about 1/4-inch thick. Spread a thin layer of tomato-aioli sauce. Add cheese, if using. Top with the chickpeas, sun-tomatoes and olives. Bake for 6 minutes on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Remove the paper from under the pizza, using tongs or a spatula if needed. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 7 to 9 more minutes. 
4. To serve, cut into slices, top with arugula leaves and more sauce. 

** Roasted Garlic. Divide a garlic head into the cloves; do not peel. Air-fry for about 8 to 14 minutes at 330-degrees F. Check the garlic after 8 minutes; if it is soft it is ready. Do not burn. Alternatively, pan-fry the garlic with the paper on. Use a dry cast iron skillet and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Peel the garlic when cool. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Sep 26, 2016

chocolate sugar cookies (aquafaba recipe)

It is officially fall! And the very first holiday we encounter is Halloween. As someone with children, especially vegan children, Halloween has always been important to me because of all the treats that they encounter that aren't vegan.

I remember when they were very little and we'd go trick or treating; they would go up to the houses, get their "treats" and when we got back to the house, we would trade their non-vegan (or non-vegetarian many times!) with our homemade or online-bought (no luck finding anything in stores at the time) vegan treats.

In a way, it was a double bonus for them because they got two activities for the price of one. As they got older, they went with their friends and traded candy with them instead of us. Luckily for us, they never felt cheated out of all the non-vegan treats; our kids always knew why we were vegan. Of course, at that young age, it wasn't in graphic detail, but simply because eating animals is wrong.

Now that they are older (youngest will be 17 in February) and all in college, the only thing that has changed is that they no longer trick or treat - not that some of them still don't want to! The "treat" part is still on their minds, however, and when the treats are adorable in one way or another, it makes it all the better.

These cookies are just fun enough to treat adults and kids alike - and they go over well with the cook, too. This is a very easy chocolate sugar cookie to throw together, roll and bake.

This is a chilled dough, so it is important to plan accordingly. This batch will make about 30 to 40 cut cookies.

Roll them to be just a tad thicker than 1/4-inch and bake them for about 10 minutes. Cool them on the baking tray until they firm up, about 3 minutes, and cool them completely on a cooling rack before icing.

There you have it! Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Makes about 30 to 40 cut cookies

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) vegan butter
3 tablespoons aquafaba**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa, regular or Dutch-processed***
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Vegan frosting or royal icing, for decoration

1. Combine the sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Cream the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer until homogenous. Add the aquafaba and vanilla and mix again. 
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a small bowl. Sifting will eliminate the lumps in the cocoa.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer the batter to a wax paper and fold over well. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a little thicker than 1/4-inch. If the dough is breaking a bit, set aside to warm up for a few minutes. Cut the dough using cookie cutters and transfer to a baking sheet prepared with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to firm up on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool to the touch.
4. Decorate the cookies using frosting or royal icing. If using royal icing, allow to completely dry before stacking. 

** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.

*** Dutch-processed cocoa is lighter in color and less bitter because it is alkalized. Regular cocoa will make a darker cookie, but it is a bit more bitter and more harsh in flavor. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Sep 19, 2016

caramel apple cupcakes (aquafaba recipe)

Treat time! I am sharing a really delicious cupcake recipe with you, but, be warned, it is decadent. It uses a homemade caramel sauce that is to die for, but is best left as an occasional treat.

Caramel Sauce is made by melting sugar and cooking it to a light amber color. The darker the color, the stronger the caramel flavor. Take care that it doesn't reach toffee stage, which is actually burnt sugar.

When the sugar is at the right color, you add milk. I tried making this with high-protein soymilk (one I use to make yogurt with) but it burned the caramel sauce to a crisp, so I recommend using a low-protein milk, such as lower protein soymilk or, better, yet, if you aren't allergic, store-bought almond milk.

Add caption

Then you stir and stir until the re-crystallized sugar melts again. Attach a candy thermometer and cook the syrup until it reaches about 228-degrees F. Yes, get a candy thermometer if you will be making candy. The cheaper ones are as low as $5 [AMAZON] or the better ones are below $10 [AMAZON], but I recommend a digital thermometer. This [AMAZON] is the one I use.

The batter is made with tart apples, but you can use whatever you like - I've made them with all kinds of apples. You drizzle the cooled cupcakes with that amazing caramel sauce and serve these treats right away.

Because caramel sauce can be a bit tricky to work with, I've made a video detailing this recipe.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes 
Makes 6 cupcakes/ 1/4 cup caramel sauce

1 tablespoon vegan butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup low-protein nondairy milk (commercial almond milk works well)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup neutral oil
6 tablespoons aquafaba**
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups diced tart apples
2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

1. Caramel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and melt the sugar, stirring as needed to melt as much of the sugar as possible. Cook the sugar only until it is turning a light amber (any longer and the sugar could burn). Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk. The mixture will bubble and foam up. Stir until the crystallized sugar dissolves again, using a sturdy wooden spoon. Take it on and off the heat to facilitate this. 
2. When most of the sugar has melted, return the pot to the heat and add a candy thermometer. Cook the caramel, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 228-degrees F. Very gently remove it from the heat and set it aside for a full 15 minutes. This will help prevent it from crystallizing. When it is cool, stir in the vanilla. Chill the caramel to firm up and warm it up to melt it if using from the fridge.
3. Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Prepare a 6-tin muffin pan with cupcake liners and oil spray or just oil spray. Combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Combine the oil, aquafaba, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and the apples and fold to combine. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins and bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 
4. Cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool the cupcakes completely before adding caramel. Add the caramel and nuts right before serving. 

** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Sep 12, 2016

refrigerator dough (aquafaba recipe)

Last week I shared with you the Katsu Banh Mi recipe, with a promise that I would also share the Refrigerator Dough recipe that I used to make the rolls.

Here it is! The aquafaba in this dough makes the finished product extra crisp and crusty - it really is an amazing texture.

This dough really couldn't be any easier; even the water temperature can be cold since it is a refrigerator dough and there is no proofing the yeast***. There is very little kneading and it just basically proofs in your fridge overnight. That really is the only drawback -- it needs to at least proof for 8 hours in the the fridge and cannot be used proofed on the counter as in the traditional sense.

Once it is done proofing, it is a firm dough that needs very little to no flour to roll out.

In addition to making baguettes,

this dough is also great for making pizza - either thin or thick crust. The crust is superbly crispy and chewy, all at the same time.

And it also makes great focaccia bread! Crispy focaccia bread is really amazing and this dough makes an excellent one. Add any topping you want (or none) and you have a great bread to enjoy with a pasta dish, or use it to make my Pizza Burger.

It also makes awesome crusty breadsticks, rolls and fry bread. I recommend you have a batch in the fridge at all times, know, for those unexpected hankerings.

Because this dough makes so many things, I made a video to accompany the recipe, complete with how to make pizza, focaccia, rolls, breadsticks and baguettes.

Refrigerator Dough

Makes rolls, bread sticks, pizza, focaccia, banh mi baguettes, fry bread, etc.

3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (add 2 extra tablespoons if the rolls and baguettes are too soft)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast***
3/4 cup water (cold or warm)
1/4 cup aquafaba** 

1. Dough. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix well. Combine the water and aquafaba in a measuring cup and add to the flour mixture. Knead the mixture until the dough comes together. Spray a 6-cup bowl with oil spray, add the dough, cover with a plate and chill at least overnight. The dough will last about 5 days in the refrigerator.
2. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into the number of pieces recommended below. Only lightly flour the work surface to allow for traction while rolling.
3. Pizza. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place a piece on a parchment paper and push it out into a circle; the size depends on whether you like thin crust or thick crust. Add toppings and bake for 6 minutes. Remove the paper and continue to bake until crisp about 6 to 8 more minutes.  
4. Focaccia. Preheat oven to 425-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a 1/8 sheet pan (10x6-inches). Add the dough and push it out to fill the pan. Use your fingers to make deep indentations in the dough, all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Cover and set aside to rise, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with salt, another tablespoon of olive oil and add any toppings, such as thin sliced tomatoes or olives. Bake until crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Breadsticks. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a cigar shape, about 8-inches long. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and set aside to rise, about 90 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Brush the breadsticks with the seasoned oil and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes.
6. Baguettes. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Flatten a piece into a rectangle about 6-inches long. Fold the top thirds down onto itself and fold the bottom third up onto itself. Crimp the edges and roll into a football shape. Set on a baking sheet, cover and proof to almost double. Slash the loaves using a very sharp knife and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.

*** If you are absolutely positive that your yeast is alive, there is no reason to proof it first. If you are unsure, then warm the water to 110-degrees F and add the yeast. Set it aside to bubble for 5 minutes. If it bubbles and foams it is alive and well. Proceed with the recipe. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Jul 26, 2016

jazzy vegetarian + giveaway

Jazzy Vegetarian is on the Create Network and some PBS stations! In fact, the 5th season began in May, but it is never too late to catch the show being rebroadcast. I checked my local (local, yes, but not where I live, sadly!) Create Network and even Jazzy Vegetarian Season 1 is being aired, so, yes, you can catch Laura Theodore almost twice a week, if not more.

Laura Theodore is the Jazzy vegetarian who brings healthy, accessible and easy meals to every table. This season's theme is Vegan-easy meals and the season has an accompanying cookbook: Laura Theodore's Vegan-ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet [AMAZON, B&N]. I reviewed this book last year; check it out.

"This fifth season of the award-winning Jazzy Vegetarian show is filled with fabulous, ved-ucational guests, and plenty of jazzy-licious, plant-based recipes. From Sunday Brunch to a Garden-Fresh Dinner, Laura Theodore — with help from celebrity guests like Lidia Bastianich, Julieanna Hever, and Rickey Medlocke, (lead guitarist of the legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd); — cooks healthy, delicious food for family and friends."

So, what kinds of dishes does Laura prepare on the show? Recipes like:

This delicious salad was a breeze to make and tasted really delicious. Laura suggests that you can use tamari almonds, which gave me the idea to use wasabi almonds. So good! Watch Laura prepare this dish on Create right HERE!

Then I made these amazing crabcakes. They are so simple to prepare, but deliver big. Laura makes this recipe into 8 cakes, but I'm from Texas - everything needs to be bigger, so I made 4 cakes, extra thick:

While flipping through the book I noticed an(other) easy salad recipe, but this one with a quick feta. I had to try it!

So very easy and yummy! The tofu feta is surprisingly delicious, given the simple recipe that it is. I threw in a few slices of jalapeno, simply because I love spice and I used fresh herbs since they are growing in my garden; a small garden, but herbs it does have.

Finally, I wanted to make something I knew my family would love - seitan! You can watch Laura make this dish on Create Network right HERE. Laura uses easily bought seitan, but I like making my own seitan (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats [AMZON]) because it is more flavorful, tender and moist. And since we like our Seitan Piccata with a bit of sauce, I tightened it up with a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry (mix 1/2 cup broth with 2 tablespoons starch and add it at the end; cook for 30 more seconds).

Of course, we had to have a side with this delicious meal and we chose another caper dish - Cauliflower, Broccoli and Caper Medley.

If you would like to make any of these recipes, get yourself Laura's Vegan-Ease cookbook [AMAZONB&N]! All these recipes are in the book, plus menus, tips and tricks and plenty of vegan-ease recipes to keep you well fed.

Make sure to catch Laura's Jazzy Vegetarian show on Create Network or PBS stations on Wednesdays and Sundays. Check the schedule for Create Network right here at the link.

What? You don't get Create Network in your area, either (just like me) and Jazzy Vegetarian hasn't been brought to your PBS network, yet??? First, write to your cable network to get Create Network and then pen an email or letter to your local station to start airing Jazzy Vegetarian. The more people ask, the quicker we can get Laura to be broadcast everywhere.

In the meantime, head over to Laura's website and pick up a few Jazzy Vegetarian DVDs. You can get the 3-disk DVD collection HERE. If you would like other combo packs of DVDs or cookbooks, head over HERE to check out the selection.

Because I really love Laura and what she is doing to help the animals and people, and because I love her recipes, I am giving away her 3-disk DVD collection (the one I linked to above), so be sure to enter below by commenting on this post. If you go and check out Laura's Jazzy Vegetarian Facebook page, come back and post a SEPARATE comment for a SECOND chance to win the DVDs! Score!

I will be picking the winner on August 9th, midnight. Only US entrees, please. Thank you and good luck!

Laura is sharing a recipe from the show and it is just in time for summer: Strawberry Mountain Pie! Thanks to David Kaplan for taking the great photo of the pie

Photo by David Kaplan

Strawberry Mountain Pie
Makes 6 to 8 servings / Ease Factor 2        

This delightful and delicious pie provides the perfect showcase for seasonal organic strawberries. The filling is so creamy you will not believe it’s based in raw cashews and tofu. Easy to assemble and super yummy!


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan cookie crumbs or vegan graham cracker crumbs (see note)
3 to 5 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini
1½ tablespoons nondairy milk


16 ounces extra-firm regular tofu
8 ounces soft silken tofu
1⁄3 cup raw cashews
1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegan white sugar or your preferred dry sweetener


16 ounces organic strawberries
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2½ teaspoons filtered or spring water

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the crust, put the cookie crumbs, 3 heaping tablespoons tahini and 1 1⁄2 tablespoons nondairy milk in a medium-sized bowl and combine using a large fork or dough blender. Add more tahini until the crumbs are moistened, but still crumbly in texture (up to 5 heaping tablespoons of tahini in all). Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes. Put the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

While the crust cools, put the extra-firm regular tofu, silken tofu, cashews and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the tofu mixture over the cooled crust. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is slightly firm to the touch (center of the filling will still be very soft). Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes.

While the pie bakes, trim 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch off the wide end of each strawberry. Then, when the pie is out of the oven but still warm, arrange the strawberries, flat end down, in a pleasing pattern on top of the pie, gently pressing the end of each strawberry into the filling so it stands upright. Put the preserves and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk together. Spread the preserves evenly over the top of the strawberries using a pastry brush or small spoon.

Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours before serving. Carefully cut the pie into slices (the filling will be soft). Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep for about 2 days.

Chef’s Note: To make cookie crumbs, put  1 1⁄2 to 2 cups of broken-up vegan cookies in a blender, and process to coarse crumbs. Add more cookies, as needed, to make the amount of crumbs needed for this recipe.

Amount per serving, based on 8 servings:  166 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 7g Protein; 57mg Sodium; 23g Total Carbohydrate; 12g Sugars; 2g Fiber

Recipes from Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet © Laura Theodore 2015, Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC. Reprinted by permission. More information at and