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Vegan Planet: October 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


How Do I Love Momos?

Let me count the ways….
I love my momos steamed. But I love them even more when steamed first and then sautéed in a little soy sauce. Most of all, though, I love momos when liberally doused with spicy tomato achar — a “must have” accompaniment for any serving of momos.

If you’ve never had momos, you’re in for a treat — especially if you like all manner of Asian and Indian food like I do.  Momos are Nepali stuffed dumplings, similar to stuffed wontons or gyoza, with a flavorful vegetable filling.  What seals the deal is the achar sauce, which is made with lots of tomatoes, hot chiles, garlic, cilantro, and spices. The sauce is so good, there is rarely any leftover, but when there is, it’s great scooped up with chips.

I wish I could share the recipe, but I can’t right now because it’s scheduled to be in an upcoming issue of VegNews magazine in my Global Vegan column. For now, the above photo shows some of the yummy momos in achar that I made recently -- the photo was taken just seconds before they were devoured.

If you live near a Himalayan or Nepali restaurant, consider stopping by for some vegetable momos and let me know if it was love at first bite for you, too.

Other News:
Cookbook Giveaway on Vegan Appetite: Head on over to Vegan Appetite for your chance to win a copy of Vegan Unplugged — the pantry cookbook (with recipes ready in 15 minutes) that also doubles as an emergency guide for when the power’s out.

Other, other news:
My Black Bean and Butternut Chili from Party Vegan is featured in this week’s Splendid Table newsletter!

On Tuesday, November 2, I will be the guest blogger on

On Wednesday, November 3, I will be a guest on the Jazzy Vegetarian radio program.

And, finally....

Recipe Testing Has Begun:  All of the recipe testers for my next cookbook have been chosen and contacted and the testing has begun!  Thanks again to all who e-mailed me or otherwise contacted me about testing.  It was a tough decision because I’m sure you’d all be terrific!

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Friday, October 22, 2010


Call for Testers Ends Tonight

It’s been raining recipe testers! Honestly, I am so overwhelmed (as well as happy, thrilled, amazed, and astonished) at the tremendous response to my request for recipe testers. I have been literally inundated with e-mails from scores of very talented and enthusiastic people. Did I mention that I’m overwhelmed? I wish I could choose all of you, but then you’d all only need to test like a single recipe!

I had originally thought it would take a week to accumulate enough stellar testers, but I literally have received more volunteers than I can handle in just two days. So, I’m setting the cut-off date for the call for recipe testers to end tonight at midnight.

To everyone who has expressed interest in testing recipes: It’s going to take me a few days to sort through all the e-mails and make the difficult decision of who to choose, but I’ll be in touch before the end of next week with those who made the list.

And to everyone else, I want to express my gratitude for your interest in helping me, your kind words for my work, and most of all for your enthusiasm for cooking vegan! I’m sure you’d all do a great job testing and I only wish I didn’t have to keep the recipe testers to a manageable number because I know I’d enjoy working with you all.

Thanks so much for your support!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Recipe Testers Needed

Special Announcement:  I’m busily working on another cookbook (yes, another one!). The recipes will soon be ready for testing, so I’m looking for a few dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who would enjoy testing some of the recipes.

Here’s the criteria I’m looking for in a recipe tester. You should:
• enjoy cooking with a variety of vegan ingredients
• be detail-oriented and good at following recipes. (previous testing experience a plus)
• agree to provide a critique of each recipe tested. (ability to provide photos of tested recipes a plus)
• be willing to test at least 15 recipes between now and January 31st.

If this sounds like you and you’d like to help me out with some recipe testing, please send me an e-mail and tell me why you’d make a good tester.

I know there are lots of great testers out there, so let me hear from you no later than October 27th so I have time to make what I’m sure will be a very tough decision in choosing just a few wonderful cooks to help with the testing.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


“Party Vegan” Halloween Menu

With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween ideas.  I’ve always enjoyed making food that fits the occasion, and few occasions are more fun to cook for than Halloween.  Even when I’m not throwing a special Halloween party, I like to make a special “orange and black” dinner on Halloween “just because.”

Below is the Halloween menu from my new book Party Vegan. As you can see, each menu item is orange and black, which looks positively “spook-tacular” (sorry, couldn’t resist) when served together.  Best of all, you don’t need a party to enjoy these recipes since each dish can be enjoyed individually anytime. 

For my own Halloween dinner this year, I’ll be making the Black Bean and Butternut Chili shown above (recipe below) and a batch of these adorable pumpkin muffins. 

To go with the chili and muffins, I’ll also make a tossed salad garnished with black olives and shredded carrots, of course. (By the way, these photos were taken by Tami at Vegan Appetite, who also tested many of the recipes for this book.)

— Menu —
Halloween Boo-ffet
Black Olive Tapenade with Carrot Sticks and Orange Bell Pepper Strips
Black Bean and Butternut Chili
Savory Pumpkin Muffins with Black Sesame Seeds
Black Rice Salad (with grated carrot, diced orange bell pepper, etc.)
Orange-Carrot Cake with Dark Chocolate Icing

Here’s the recipe for the chili:
Black Bean and Butternut Chili
This flavorful chili makes a great centerpiece when served in a large pumpkin shell. You can also serve it in a crock pot on the “keep warm” setting. (This recipe is from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons.)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 1/2 cups cooked or 3 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the squash into 1/4-inch dice and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, squash, carrot, and bell pepper, if using. Cover and cook, until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and chipotle. Stir in the apple juice, chili powder, allspice, sugar, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Uncover and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Brownies, Blondies, and Cupcake. Oh my!

The recipes for this plate of tasty treats can be found in my new book Party Vegan.  I don't know about you, but this looks like a party to me!  This photo is courtesy of Tami at Vegan Appetite who tested these recipes for the book.

This week, my dessert-making skills were put to the test with the Top Chef: Just Desserts vegan challenge sponsored by Vegansaurus.  Here's a photo of the winning dessert I was charged with veganizing.  The full name of the dessert is: Mango Panna Cotta, Acai Fluid Gel with Mango Sorbet and Basil-Lime Syrup.  Get the full story (and my recipes) at Vegansaurus.

Over at Vegan Unplugged, three lucky winners have been chosen to receive a copy of Vegan Fire and Spice, American Vegan Kitchen, and Vegan Unplugged.  Congrats to the winners!

Coming soon:  Sample recipes and menus from Party Vegan.  Also, a special announcement. So, stay tuned!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Cookbook Giveaway x3

That’s right!  Three, count ‘em, three vegan cookbooks are being given away on Vegan Unplugged to celebrate the three year anniversary of my hubby Jon’s publishing company, Vegan Heritage Press.

I’ll be back later this week with a food post, but for now, I just wanted to let everyone know about this great contest.  Enter to win a copy of your choice of Vegan Unplugged (written by Jon with recipes by me — quick and easy pantry recipes ready in 15-minutes or less), American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes (a compendium of amazing comfort food recipes), or Vegan Fire and Spice (my cookbook of spicy and savory recipes from around the world).  Head on over to Vegan Unplugged and enter now!

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