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Vegan Planet: March 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011


Party Vegan Giveaway!

Yes, it’s that time again! Time for another cookbook giveaway. This time the prize is not one, but two copies of my latest cookbook: Party Vegan!

Now that Spring has arrived, there are lots more reasons to party — not that you need a reason to celebrate with good vegan food. There’s Passover and Easter coming up, then there’s Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day, and on through the summer when we have more casual gatherings, potlucks, picnics, and cookouts.  But everyday can be a reason to celebrate, too. Reasons like:

• TGIF — anytime there’s no work the next day is a reason to party!
• Game night — all you need is a board game and a bowl of popcorn.
• Pizza night — self explanatory!

To enter the giveaway:  just leave a comment at the end of this post telling me your favorite “everyday” way to party vegan.  That’s it!

For a second chance to win:  Link to this post from Facebook, Twitter, or your blog and then leave a second comment here to let me know.

If you already have Party Vegan:  You can enter too!  (It makes a great gift — or you can use it for your own giveaway.)  And, while you’re at it, consider telling others about the book by posting a brief review on (thanks!)

Two winners will be chosen at random on Thursday, 3/31 at midnight and will be announced on Friday, April 1.  So tell me, how do YOU like to party vegan?


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Monday, March 21, 2011


Hummamole: One Good Dip Deserves Another

I wanted to make a dip to go with some chips and couldn’t decide between guacamole and hummus. So I took a vote of my fellow snack-ees. The vote was tied, two each. Solution? Hummamole!

This dip combines everything we love about both guacamole and hummus in one bowl. Both the hummus and guacamole lovers gave it a thumbs-up. Best of all, it’s fun to say “hummamole!” Another thing I like about it is that it’s higher in protein and less expensive to make than regular guacamole. (Avocados were $2 each in my supermarket this week!) You’ll find the recipe for Hummamole in my new cookbook, Quick-Fix Vegan which comes out in October and is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

In the meantime, check out Party Vegan for lots of other great dips. Hey, how about this Olive-cado Dip?

Olive-cado Dip
The piquant flavor of green olives combines with creamy avocados for a tasty variation on guacamole. Serve with your favorite chips. This recipe is from Party Vegan by Robin Robertson © 2010 John Wiley and Sons.

3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup pitted green olives, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons minced red onion
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped, for garnish

1. Place the avocados in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and mash with a fork.
2. Add the green olives, serrano, onion, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with kalamata olives. Serve immediately.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


St. Patrick’s Day Colcannon Fritters

It doesn’t have to be March 17th to enjoy colcannon — it's great any time of year.  What's not to love about kale and mashed potatoes in one dish? Of course, St. Patrick’s Day is always a good excuse to make it.  This year, I’m enjoying colcannon two ways!

For dinner, I’m making Colcannon-Topped Irish Stew from Party Vegan.  It’s hearty, delicious, and a great one dish meal that really needs no embellishment to make a great dinner anytime.  If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day bash, you might want to include some of the other recipes on the menu, like the soup, salad, dessert, or a loaf of Whisky and Soda Bread. 

We'll be having the Pea Green Soup for lunch that day.  Bright green in color (because it’s made with fresh or frozen green peas — not dried), it tastes like Springtime. Along with the soup, I'm serving some special St. Patrick’s Day colcannon potato pancakes. Most people are familiar with potato cakes or latkes made with raw grated potatoes.  In my family, we always had that kind, but my mom also made a version using leftover mashed potatoes combined with a little onion, flour, and seasoning.  We called this version “stove rags" because they were cooked on the coal stove, which is how my grandmother made them. 

The Colcannon “Stove Rags” are an ideal accompaniment to the Pea Green Soup.  As you can see in the photo, I even made a few mini-fritters to float on top of the soup.  (You can see my little shamrock plant peeking into the photo, too!)

Here’s the complete St. Patrick’s Day menu from Party Vegan, that can be enjoyed in whole or in part on March 17 — or anytime!  I call my menu “Potluck of the Irish.”

~St. Patrick’s Day Menu~
Pea Green Soup
Irish Whiskey and Soda Bread
Colcannon-Topped Irish Stew
Shamrock Vegetable Salad
Creamy Lime-Pistachio Parfaits

Here's the recipe for colcannon fritters -- if you have leftover mashed potatoes and kale (or leftover colcannon!) -- they're quick to make -- and so good!

Colcannon Fritters
These are delicious served hot with a little vegan sour cream and Tabasco. If you’re making the Pea Green Soup, make a few mini-fritters to float on top of the soup.

1 1/2 cups cooked mashed potatoes
1 cup cooked chopped kale
1/4 cup minced scallions
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or tapioca flour, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Neutral vegetable oil, for frying

1. Preheat the oven to 250° F. In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, kale, and scallions.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Add a little more flour if the mixture is too sticky.
2. In a large nonstick skillet or griddle, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat.  Drop the batter by the heaping tablespoonful onto the hot skillet.  Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total.
3. Transfer the cooked fritters to a heatproof platter and keep warm in the oven while you fry the rest. Serve immediately.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Mmm... Migas!

Whether you make your own tortillas or buy them ready-made, there almost always seems to be a few leftover that end up getting dried out. Used to be, I’d feel them to the squirrels, but ever since I started making migas, the squirrels have had to find new snacks.

Made with strips of tortillas, migas are a great way to use leftover tortillas. This popular Tex-Mex skillet dish is traditionally made with eggs and so my vegan version is made with tofu. It’s basically a spicy tofu scramble made with green chiles, salsa, cumin and other seasonings, and, of course, the tortilla strips. I like to top migas with diced avocado and salsa.

Vegan sour cream and chopped tomato are also good toppings. Migas can be as spicy as you want them to be, depending on your choice of hot or mild salsa and hot or mild green chiles. My fast, easy, and flavorful recipe for Green Chile Tofu Migas will be in my new cookbook, Quick-Fix Vegan, coming out this fall.

In other news….. 
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you probably know that my book, Vegan on the Cheap has gone back for its fifth printing.

I’m also excited to report that VOTC is being recommended by Kathy Freston. In what she calls “The Budget Veganist,” on Facebook, she’s posted some recipes from VOTC (Tuscan White Bean Pizza and Almost-Instant Chickpea-Tomato Soup, so far), stating: “I hear people sometimes saying that eating vegan is expensive, but that's just not the case! Here are some of my favorite recipes from Robin Robertson, from her terrific cookbook Vegan on the Cheap. Each recipe seen here from Robin is less than $1/serving!”

Coming soon…
Some tasty ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day — and — another cookbook giveaway!



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