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Vegan Planet: September 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Quick-Fix Vegan Preview

It’s almost time!!  My newest book, Quick-Fix Vegan will be officially available next week, so I thought I’d give you a little preview of what you can expect. The book contains 150 recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less of active preparation time.

To clarify, Quick-Fix Vegan is a totally different book from my previous book, Quick-Fix Vegetarian.  I like to think of them as companion volumes.  If you liked Quick-Fix Vegetarian, then you’ll love Quick-Fix Vegan. The photo above is a tester photo of the Asian Vegetable Pancakes (photo by Lori Maffei).  Picture below is a tester photo of the BBQ Pinto-Portobello Sandwich (photo by Andrea Weaver).

I'll post more photos in the coming weeks, and a few sample recipes.  For now, though here’s a tour of more of the recipes you’ll find in Quick-Fix Vegan:

Moroccan Pumpkin Hummus
Red Bean-Chipotle Dip
Bruschetta with Sicilian Greens
Curried Puff Pastry Nibbles
Vegetable Fritters
Easy Artichoke Puffs
Jerk-Spiced Kale Crisps
Super Nachos
Shortcut Mushroom-Artichoke Risotto
Zucchini Frittata
Green Chile-Tofu Migas
Tofu “Scampi” with Spinach
Ginger-Sesame Seitan with Spicy Basil Snow Peas
Spicy Smoked Portobello Tacos
Chipotle Corn and Quinoa
Seitan Domburi with Unagi Sauce
Korean Hotpot
Smoky Chocolate Chili  
One-Pot Pasta Primavera
Rotini with 10-Minute Tomato-Olive Sauce
Ziti with Roasted Cauliflower and Tomatoes
Linguine with Artichoke and White Bean Alfredo
Ziti with Brasciole-Inspired Tomato Sauce
Rotini with Creamy Avocado-Herb Sauce
Orechiette with Puttanesca Pesto
Skillet Lasagna
Spicy Peanut-Hoisin Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
Quick Vegetable and Quinoa Soup
Island Black Bean Soup with Mango Salsa
Sweet Potato-Spinach Soup
Coconut Corn Chowder
Roasted Asparagus Soup
Creamy Greens Soup
Asian-Style Noodle Soup
Chard and Red Lentil Soup
Chesapeake Chickpea Sandwiches
Sloppy Portobellos
Vietnamese Tofu Wraps
Burrito Scramble
Seitan Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Avocado, Dulse, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
Nicoise Salad Wraps
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad
Panzanella with Grilled Vegetables
Burmese Ginger Salad
Rainbow Rotini Salad
Quinoa Salad with Apples and Walnuts
Sicilian-Style Orzo Salad with Walnuts and Raisins
Deconstructed Bahn-Mi Salad
Corn, Red Beans, and Blueberry Salad with Spicy Mango Dressing
Mac and Cheezeburger Bake
Pecan-Crusted Maple-Mustard Seitan
Moroccan Vegetable Packets
Tuscan Kale Lasagna
Indian Shepherd’s Pie
Special Spicy Empanadas
Tempeh Normandy 
Antipasto Pizza
Snowballs in Hell  
Lemon-Cashew Cream Sauce
Three-Nut Cheeze Whiz
Spicy Tomato Achar
Hoisin Miso Marinade
Oil-Free Mango Dressing
Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
Mix-and-Match Pesto
Butterscotch Apple Cookies
Molasses Ginger Cookies with Blueberries
Apple Turnovers
Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Shortcut Baklava
Tiramisu Parfaits
Catalan-Style Crème Brulee
Ginger-Cashew Chocolate Truffles

....and lots more!  Quick-Fix Vegan is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available wherever books are sold on October 4.  Please "Like" Quick-Fix Vegan on Amazon and help spread the word about this new book on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter. After you've had a chance to enjoy the book, I hope you'll also post a review on Amazon.


Thursday, September 15, 2011


Fettuccine Alfredo Primavera

Back in May I promised to share with you the recipe for this fabulous gluten-free pasta dish that our friend Francis Janes made for us when he and his family were visiting with us from Seattle.  So here it is September and I’m finally getting to it.  I didn’t mean to procrastinate, but life has been, let's just say, more hectic than usual these days.

Anyway, Francis calls his recipe Fettuccine in a White Sauce with Spring Vegetables. I like to call it Fettuccine Alfredo Primavera. (It tastes just as good no matter what you call it.) And despite the “Spring” in its title, it’s also terrific any time of year, no matter what vegetables are in season. (I know firsthand that this is great made with zucchini or broccoli in place of the asparagus.)

As you may know, Francis was chef/owner of Café Ambrosia in Seattle, so if you’ve never sampled his cooking, now’s your chance.  Here’s his recipe — better late than never!

Fettuccine in a White Sauce with Spring Vegetables
This great gluten-free recipe was developed by my friend, Francis Janes, a very talented vegan chef.  (btw, you can easily make this soy-free as well by using soy-free Earth Balance and a soy-free nondairy milk.)

1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and blanched until just tender
1 cup sautéed sliced shiitake or cremini mushroom caps
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips
1 green onion (green part only), cut into 1 inch lengths
1 package Tinkyada brand fettuccine (gluten free)
3 tablespoons Earth Balance or vegan margarine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons brown rice flour
2 cups vegetable broth (try Imagine organic no-chicken broth)
1 cup soy creamer or unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (Red Star brand large flake)
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the asparagus, mushrooms, artichokes, bell pepper, and green onion as suggested and set aside.   
Prepare pasta as per instructions and drain. Rinse with cold water to prevent from sticking. Transfer the pasta back into the pot and toss with the olive oil. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the vegetable broth and soy creamer and warm over medium heat.
In a large sauté pan, melt the margarine over medium heat. With a whisk, incorporate the brown rice flour into the melted margarine until thoroughly combined. Ladle the warm broth into the sauté pan while constantly stirring with whisk. Add more broth or soy milk in small amounts if sauce is too thick. When the sauce is at desired creaminess, blend in the sea salt and nutritional yeast. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Add the reserved vegetables to the pasta. Pour in the white sauce and mix well, tossing gently to combine, and heating for a few minutes, if needed. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serves 4

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Thursday, September 8, 2011


Hot Dogs Wellington

About once a year, usually around Labor Day, we get a hankering for hot dogs.  For the most part, we stay away from highly processed foods, and I’m actually not crazy about the vegan hot dogs available in my area anyway.  (In fact, I’m working on perfecting my own healthy vegan hot dogs, but it’s still a work in progress.) 

This year instead of the usual dog-in-a-bun, I made some fancy-pants hot dogs, or as I like to call them, Hot Dogs Wellington.  (You know how much I like to "play" with food!)

First, I grilled the hot dogs and then put them on a plate to cool.  I made a small batch of impromptu chili by combining some TVP granules with ketchup, relish and chili powder.  After heating the chili to bring out the flavor, I let it cool as well.  While the hot dogs and chili were cooling, a sheet of vegan puff pastry was thawing.

To assemble, I cut the pastry into 4 equal pieces and rolled them out a little. I then spooned a line of the chili onto each piece of pastry, topped it with a hot dog, topped the hot dog with mustard, and nestled a thin strip of dill pickle next to the hot dog.  The pastry was then wrapped around the hot dog and its toppings and baked until nicely browned.

Served with coleslaw and some extra mustard, this made a very fun — if not exactly traditional — Labor Day meal.  I can’t wait until next year — by then I will be using my own hot dog recipe!  


Friday, September 2, 2011


Pistachio-Stuffed Grapes

When I saw a pile of humungous seedless green grapes at the store last week, I said, "Wow, those are so big, you could stuff them!"  So what else could I do but follow through on the idea to see how they'd turn out.

I happened to have some leftover ground pistachios from the Baklava Palmiers (see previous post), so the base for my stuffing was obvious. Almost like destiny.  As if fate had played a hand in making these stuffed grapes a reality.

I wanted to add a little sweetness to the pistachios for the filling so I blended them with an ever-so-small amount of peach jam.  I then hollowed out several grapes, and viola.

I was surprised by two things:
1. They're easier to make than I thought they'd be.
2. They taste even better than I thought they would.

They taste so good in fact, that Jon and I were popping them in our mouths as fast as I could make them.  Somehow, I managed to snap a quick pic of a few of them, just to show you how cute they are. I garnished some with mint, others with a whole pistachios.  Some had a little grape cap.  Fun with grapes!

Notice my "shiitake happens" mug in the background.  I love that mug.  I got it at the mushroom "museum" in Kennett Square, Pa.

More fun with grapes:  You probably already do this with grapes, but for a quick and refreshing treat, remove seedless grapes from their stems, wash the grapes well, dry them, then freeze them for a refreshing frozen treat.  So good!


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