Apr 18, 2013

"grills gone vegan" + giveaway

Are you ready for grilling season? I am! I just received Tamasin Noyes' new cookbook -
 And you guessed it, .. . it is time to give it away! Cookbook contest!

 The above wrap is Smoky Buffalo Tofu Wrap, complete with cashew-based buffalo sauce and home-smoked tofu (recipe is in the book). During testing I tried my hand at indoor-smoking using a pot and lid. Although it was a bit of a mess because of clean-up, lining the bottom of the pot with foil and covering it well with foil to prevent smoke-escape would have been my follow-up way to do it, but instead, I splurged and got a stove-top smoker. Of course, I have to cover this one tightly with foil as well, but it works great. 

Grills Gone Vegan was the first cookbook I tested for, and although it has taken next to forever to release, it is here and beautiful. It is packed with grilling advice, recipes for salads, appetizers, main meals, sauces, desserts, bread, pizza, paella... let me show you. Here's the visual...

Black Bean Burger

Blushin' Russian Tempeh Panini

Broccoli and Cheeze Calzone

Charred-Leek and Dill Spread

Porcini and Sausage Paella

Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Teriyaki Portobello 

Tomato-Arugula Flatbread

Cinnamon Swirl

Fantastic looking dishes, right? And all of them were prepared on a grill!

I have to tell you, I was a bit of an over-achiever with my first testing experience and tested over 100 recipes for this book; it was quite a challenge to pick and choose which pictures to post here!

So, how to win your very own Grills Gone Vegan just in time for summer? Post a grilling-related comment and check back May 10th to see if you are the winner as chosen by Random.org. Sorry, US residents only.

After this book is given away, I will be following it with another contest to give away Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Tamasin Noyes and Celine Steen - another book I tested for and therefore am passing on the tester-awarded copy of the cookbook. 

On a personal note, my family is packing up our belonging, minus a bunch of junk and furniture, and heading out to Southern California - San Diego - on June 1st. Exciting! We love Chicagoland, but the weather (cold) and the long winter (no sun) are getting to us. Besides all of that, my son, Mikel, won the Steve Mendelson Memorial Award and College of Lake County's Purchase Award for his conte crayon drawing "Destruction Past." He is interested in attending University of Southern California, so it makes sense to move out there for multiple reasons. 

Mikel and "Destruction Past"

Anyway, leave your comment and get ready for grilling season. This book is a MUST have for anyone who likes grilling, likes grilled food or is just plain hungry. 
Go get a copy!  

Apr 1, 2013

frito chili pie with authentic vegetarian texas chili

Have you become tired of hearing that "authentic" chili has no beans in it, only beef? I certainly have had it! It might be true that back in the "good ol' days," while our forefathers were rustling cattle, there were no beans to be found on the range, only the animals who were being herded to be in the stockpot in the first place. But does that really mean that we should stop the progression and evolution of the chili? I think not. As times, tastes and even the human species evolves, it is time to redefine what "authentic chili" means. After all, we don't have live birds flying out of pies in the civilized world anymore either. Authentic, maybe; desirable, not.

Not only are legumes a welcome culinary and nutritional addition to chili, they are darn tasty to boot. 

So what makes my chili "authentic?"  In a thought, it isn't the animal products that make an authentic chili "authentic," but the spices, the chilies and, heck, I'll even agree to excluding tomatoes that have come to muddy down the chili flavors. But beef? Doesn't make the chili.

This chili has 7 different dried chilies, black beans, coffee and Tex-Mex spices such as cinnamon, allspice and cumin. Not a single muted chili powder in sight. That is what makes a Texan Chili authentic - not the cruelty.

And all this to make Frito Chili Pie, as requested by hubby. Frito chips are vegan and interestingly only contain around three ingredients. Healthy, maybe not, but really good. You can melt vegan cheese over the casserole or use my Cheese Sauce, which is the option we went with. Toss some jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes and other taco ingredients on top and have a Tex-Mex feast.