Apr 29, 2018

"Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan" + giveaway

Hello web-land!

I have exciting news for all of you!

I am one of the final folks reviewing Laura's newest cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan [AMAZON] and am hosting a giveaway for a copy of the book to one lucky US resident!

For those not able to take part in the giveaway, I am sharing an exclusive recipe - one that hasn't been posted yet (that Google and I can find, anyway - please don't tell me if you do find it elsewhere; let me live in my bubble).

This will be the third time I am reviewing Laura's books. HERE is the first one and HERE is the second one. They both come with their own special recipes, so are definitely worth a look.

More in the great news department: The Jazzy Vegetarian Season Six will start on May 28th! Catch it on Create TV or on Laura's station: HERE.

The newest book in Laura's collection of offerings is Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan.

This is Laura's fourth cookbook and I could hardly wait to see what she came up with this time! I find something new in Laura's book with regular frequency, so for me, this was really exciting!

This book comes with a collection of Laura's Top Ten lists for things such as egg substitutions, two-ingredient recipes, cheese substitutes, etc...

And of course, my favorite thing in all of her books: the menus!

I am such a sucker for menus! I love to serve 'complete' meals and a menu is a great way to make sure of that -- all headache-free.

So that's where I started, the Menus. And this is what I found:

Yeah, I am  a brunch-aholic. I love reviewing brunch items because, frankly, brunch is hard to make vegan, with all the cheese and eggs that are usually involved. Laura seems to have made it with perfection.

And then I looked at the ingredients in the recipes and the ingredients in my fridge. We get CSA so we don't always have just exactly what is called for, so a bit of editing of the menu brought me to this...

So, "Wow! Weekend Brunch 2" was born.

And then I realized I didn't get blueberries this week, but I did get strawberries, so the cake turned into Strawberry Tea Cakes. Since dessert usually has to be made well beforehand, the cake came out of the oven first -- smelling amazing, by the way.

Next on the game plan was the Fabulous French Toast Bake. I bake all our bread (except pita and other large flatbreads) so this mal-formed 50%-whole wheat loaf was destined to become toast.

(Why bake bread at home: store bought has its own legacy of troubles, but for me the biggest is the plastic bag they come in. I can buy great, organic, wholesome, delicious bread, but they come in plastic bags. To save the plastic, I bake our bread.)

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo for the French Toast Bake due to cook's error.

Simply put, I messed up the directions (my fault, 100%) and the bake didn't look like it should have and I didn't want to taint Laura's recipe. In any case, it came out tasting great and disappeared as soon as I put it on the table.

The other main dish on the menu is a quiche cup. Zucchini season is already on us here, in San Diego, so these miniature quiches, Zucchini Quiche Cups with Rustic Bread Crusts, were destined to be. 

This is a really simple recipe but supremely tasty. My eldest daughter couldn't keep her hands off them! Nicely done, Laura. She is extremely discerning!

How about, instead of a fruit salad, confetti fries? See how my brain works? Not very logically, I'm afraid. 

The recipe, Colorful Confetti Fries, calls for sweet potatoes and russets, and ... (you can probably see where I'm going with this) ... my CSA brought me kholrabi and sweet potatoes, not russets. 

Nevertheless, Laura's recipes are pretty flexible and this one was no exception. Any root vegetable would be great here so don't be shy.   

In addition to the root vegetables being air-fried and the zucchini in the quiche, I wanted to serve another vegetable.

I saw this recipe in the book: Green Beans and Tomatoes. I happen to have both in spades right now, and the recipe was so easy, and looked so good, that onto the "Wow! Weekend Brunch 2" it went!

Isn't it a pretty color combination? Pretty food also happens to taste good!

To round off the menu, a drink is always appropriate. 

In fact, when I told my daughter that we were having the brunch, her first question was what kind of drink will we be having with it. Her usual go-to is a big batch of some kind of iced tea, but she was very happy with Laura's Green Julius Smoothie

To make up for the lack of a photo of the French Toast Bake, I offer you a photo of the complete Strawberry Tea Cakes. They are both spectacular dishes. 

As always, first I want to share a recipe with you from the book. This time I wanted to pick something that was not shared already and something that shows you that this isn't just a brunch book, it's also a lunch, dinner, snack, dessert book! 

It is full of healthy and delicious recipes that are easy and pretty fast to make. And each one has Laura's unique Jazzy spin. 

Take the recipe below for a spin, or have a look at some of the other recipes being shared on this tour:

Tex-Mex Salad Bowl  shared by Veggies Save the Day
Miso Parsley Humus  shared by Veggies Inspired 
Root Vegetable Lentil Trio Stew  by V Nutrition and Wellness
Lemon Maple-Cranberry Muffins shared by Veganification
Banana Pecan Coffee Cake shared by Vegan Nook
Potato Spinach Fritatta shared by Heal, Grow, Blossom
Sensational Stuffed Manicotti shared Finding Happy in Healthy

I am sharing this amazing-sounding Gingered Portobellos dish. After you get the recipe, make sure to enter the giveaway for a copy of Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan [AMAZON]  :


WinJazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan [AMAZON]
When: April 29 - May 7, 2018
What: Giveaway on Zsu's Vegan Pantry. [LINK TO HERE]
Who: US Residents only
How: Enter in the Rafflecopter below

Gingered Portobello Steaks

These delicious mushroom steaks taste and look much like a conventional steak, making a great substitute for a meat entrée. I like to serve this snazzy dish for dinner parties, but it is easy enough to make for a weeknight meal, too!

3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
6 large (or 8 medium) portobello mushrooms, washed and stems removed
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Line a rimmed baking sheet, large enough to accommodate a single layer of the mushrooms, with unbleached parchment paper. Brush about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (in a thin layer) on each mushroom cap, then flip the mushrooms over and arrange them gill-side up on the prepared baking sheet.

To make the marinade, put 21/2 tablespoons of olive oil and the tamari into a small bowl and briskly whisk to combine. Add the ginger, garlic, maple syrup and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine. Spoon an equal amount (about 2 teaspoons or so) of the marinade evenly over the gills of each mushroom. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let the flavors marry.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the mushrooms for 35 to 50 minutes (see note) or until they are almost soft. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mushrooms are golden and becoming caramelized.

Let the mushrooms rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer each mushroom onto a cutting board and cut into thick slices, on the bias. Serve 1 to 2 mushrooms per person, with rice, quinoa, or potatoes and a green veggie on the side.

CHEF’S NOTE: Baking time will vary depending upon the thickness of your mushrooms. Thinner mushrooms will require a shorter baking time, while thicker mushrooms will need to bake longer.

Recipe by Laura Theodore, from JazzyVegetarian's Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, ©2018, reprinted by permission. 

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Dec 6, 2017

"kitchen creativity" + giveaway

Greetings to you, the reader! I hope that all has been well with you and your loved ones; it's been a tumultuous past year, no matter what part of the world you call home, so I wish you all the best.

About Me

In case you are interested, a bit of catch up, in the next few sentences, and then I want to share a very special book with you - that is, if you are even the slightest bit interested in cooking the food you eat.

Current Events

My girls and I are in the middle of the Fall 2017 mid-terms at the community college, and it is intense. My son has been off this semester, having graduated with a bachelor's from UC Berkeley in Spring of 2017 and is awaiting the start of his graduate degree-career in film at USC in the coming spring. My husband is currently working from home (about a year now) and I am pursuing a computer science degree. That's about it - in a nutshell.

Future Events

I'll begin posting more in the coming weeks, as I am testing out a few things in the kitchen. Since going back to school, I just simply do not have the time to spend in the kitchen that I used to; there is just so much that needs to get done!

I preach balance all the time and part of that compromise involved pulling time away from the kitchen. There is family to be with in the midst of all of the chaos and that is more important than how fancy a meal can be. Occasionally, yes, all the time, no.

I *had* been cooking two meals a day (all by myself for the most part), but now, with this plan, the meals are divvied up more evenly among the family members. I thought the plan might be of interest to some folks.

Review - Kitchen Creativity* by Karen Page

As I teased above, if you are interested in cooking the food you eat, I want to share with you Karen Page's new book, Kitchen Creativity. You might remember that I reviewed Karen's last book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, and I absolutely adore it! Happily, I can't recommend her newest book enough.

Very briefly, the book is:

"..Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg's latest book [is] an exploration of the culinary creativity of the world's best chefs, and profiles Chefs Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones of LA's Crossroads alongside award-winning chefs from the world's best restaurants like NYC's Blue Hill, Daniel, and Le Bernardin"

It is about being creative in the kitchen, in both small and significant ways. This is a very simplistic description, but extremely accurate. The best part of the book is that the authors explore all the dimensions and paths to becoming more creative in the kitchen, but they do it in such a way that you can choose how intensely you want to pursue this creativity.

Karen and Andrew break it down, step by step, and give you the tools you need to accomplish the goals you set yourself. You can either learn bits and pieces - such as how to season food or how to pair flavors, or you can follow their plan from Stage 1 (Mastery), to Stage 2 (Alchemy), to Stage 3 (Creativity), on your way to becoming a chef.

The book is divided into two parts, Part I: The Creative Process in the Kitchen and  Part II: A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities: The Lists. Let's explore these a bit.

Part I: The Creative Process in the Kitchen 

This is the part where you learn how the creative process works and how to implement it. Based on the three stages I mentioned above, you are given the map from novice to expert. Along the way you learn how to master the fundamentals of cooking, how dishes we call classics today, were avant garde yesterday.  You will learn how flavors play well together and what makes a  proper flavor profile. Finally, you will learn how to cook with all your senses and how to create dishes yourself.

Part II: A World of Infinite Culinary Possibilities: The Lists

The second part consists of lists. But the lists aren't just lists; they are recordings of changes the world has seen, with ideas and opportunities to explore them or just delve deeper into a rabbit hole.

Within this part you will find lists of seasonal ingredients, seasonal dishes, mocktails, sensitivities and aversions, trash-to-treasure dishes, holiday dishes, nostalgia foods, salt-baked foods and even super bowl foods!


I fear that I really am not doing justice to how amazing this book is!

*Kitchen Creativity, (although not vegan or vegetarian), is one of those books that contains such important information, that to ignore it because it is not exclusively vegan would be a shame. Note that the book is not animal-centered and while there are featured quotes from non-veg chefs, there are no in-your-face animal ingredients. For example, I searched the list for "chicken" and, while there is "chickpea water", there is no list for the former. Karen is newly vegetarian and you can tell that is so by the content of the book.

How about owning a copy yourself? Karen and Andrew are offering to give a copy to one lucky US resident. The book is a beautiful, hefty, hard cover volume, reminiscent of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

Enter for your chance to win! Good luck!

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