May 10, 2013

stuffed cabbage + "grills gone vegan" winner

RECIPE UPDATE: this dish has been tested and revised and will be featured in the upcoming cookbook "Everyday Vegan Eats," by Zsu Dever.

I am so excited about this recipe! 

My dad used to cook this dish almost every single day for over twenty years at the restaurant. Although I had seen it being prepared many times, unfortunately, I paid little attention to the nuances of the recipe. It took many years and many trials to finally be able to replicate this dish to fit my remembrance. 

Stuffed Cabbage can be made two different ways. First is Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage using sauerkraut and the other is the Jewish way, with sweet tomato sauce. The latter is what I clearly remembered. The filling in stuffed cabbage is typically of ground beef and rice. Replacing the ground beef with a ground vegetarian protein is relatively a simple matter, however, it is too easy to create a dry, pale version of the original. 

To combat the dry filling of ground vegetable protein and rice, I decided to use arborio rice in lieu of the regular white rice. The arborio rice, once cooked risotto-style, becomes creamy, adding much needed moisture and a binding quality to the filling. This worked beautifully! We loved it! The tomato sauce is a very easy three-ingredient mixture. My dad, I am sure, would be proud.

The Stuffed Cabbage needs to cook for quite a while to ensure that the leaves are tender. A slow cooker comes in handy for this purpose, otherwise simmering it on the stove until tender is good enough.

Now, for the contest winner:

Comment Number 3...Nichole.
 Please contact me in the next few days to claim your prize. 
veganaide (at) yahoo (dot) com

Return for another cookbook giveaway in a few days as I kick-off
 "Whole Grain Vegan Baking" Blog Tour. 
This was another cookbook I tested for and Tami Noyes and Celine Steen want me to give away a copy. I will also give you a sneak peak at a recipe from the book. 
Come back on the 14th for your chance to win!

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 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!