Dinner and Dessert at the Big Vegan Potluck!

1 11 2011
Take the Tour, Comment to Win

Well, dear reader, it’s week three, and time for some totally satisfying, delicious vegan main courses and yes, DESSERT!

Welcome to the party a new wave of talented visiting chefs, all of whom bring the magic mojo to their kitchens all across America.

This week, each of the new posts has a FREE BOOK to give away, if you post the winning comment. I am still giving away a book here, so comment by the end of the week and you will be in the running for a FREE BOOK!.

For even more fun, tomorrow you can visit the Chronicle Books website, where I will be guest blogging about the potluck, and the wonderful staff at Chronicle will have posted their own in-house potluck results, for Big Vegan fun ala San Francisco.

Eating plant-based was never so fun, with all these lovely bloggers who have taken the time to post photos and articles. It’s truly a Big Vegan feast, served in bits and bytes.

DAY 3:

Green and Red Spaghetti

Sandra Gutierrez

http://www.sandraskitchenstudio.com/

Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Beans

Robin Robertson

http://veganplanet.blogspot.com/2011/11/big-vegan-virtual-potluck.html

Spanish Chickpea Fritters

Julie Hasson

http://www.juliehasson.com/2011/11/big-vegan/

New Potato Rendang with Green Beans

Pat Tanumihardja

http://theasiangrandmotherscookbook.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/rendang-recipe/

Sundried Tomato-Kale Calzones AND

Pumpkin Cherry Bundt Cake

Leinana Two Moons

http://vegangoodthings.blogspot.com/2011/11/double-big-vegan-whammy-calzones-cake.html

Peanut Butter Tart with “Ganache”

Tara Desmond

http://crumbsonmykeyboard.com/2011/11/01/call-it-what-it-is-peanut-butter-tart-with-ganache-recipe/

DAY ONE:

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples

Leinana Two Moons

Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins

Caron Golden

Maple Barley Granola with Pecans

Robin Asbell

DAY TWO:

Mango-Jícama Salad with Lime Dressing and Pepitas    

Susan Russo

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2011/10/cookbook-review-big-vegan-by-robin.html

Armenian Red Lentil Stew with Sesame Brown Rice

Bryanna Clark Grogan

http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/big-vegan-potluck-day-2-armenian-lentil.html

Korean Miso-Tofu Soup

Nancie McDermott

http://nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/big-vegan-potluck-with-korean-miso-tofu-soup/

Squash Quesadillas with Cranberry-Jícama Salsa

Jill Nussinow

http://www.theveggiequeen.com/blog/

Please read, comment, and take a moment to scroll through these wonderful blogs. Every one of these writers has great articles, recipes, and books that might just make you a regular reader.

Follow them all on twitter, too. This week we have twitterers Julie Hasson  @everydaydish, @TaraMDesmond, Sandra Gutierrez @sandralatinista, Robin Robertson @globalvegan, and Leinanan Two Moons @vegangoodthings.

Week two’s writers  twitter handles are Susan Russo @foodblogga, Bryanna Clark Grogan @veganfeaster, Nancie McDermott @nanciemac, and Jill Nussinow @theveggiequeen.

Week one’s are Caron Golden @carondg and Leinana Two Moons@vegangoodthings, and of course, me, @robinasbell.

Don’t forget to comment on all the posts if you want to win a copy of Big Vegan. If you are a twitter user, you can also tweet why you go vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by midnight November 4 to enter to win a copy.





Big Vegan Virtual Potluck Week 2-Visit all the Stops for Vegan Recipes and Fun!

25 10 2011

Take the Tour, Comment to Win

Drumroll please, or maybe we should ring a virtual dinner bell. Today kicks off phase two of the Big Vegan virtual potluck. Thanks to a very talented group of bloggers, my new book, Big Vegan, is getting a web-wide showcase. Last week, three of us made breakfast.

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples

Leinana Two Moons

Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins

Caron Golden

Maple Barley Granola with Pecans

Robin Asbell

Don’t forget to comment on all the posts if you want to win a copy of Big Vegan. If you are a twitter user, you can also tweet why you go vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by midnight November 4 to enter to win a copy.

 TODAY’S MENU:

Mango-Jícama Salad with Lime Dressing and Pepitas    

Susan Russo

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2011/10/cookbook-review-big-vegan-by-robin.html

Armenian Red Lentil Stew with Sesame Brown Rice

Bryanna Clark Grogan

http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/10/big-vegan-potluck-day-2-armenian-lentil.html

Korean Miso-Tofu Soup

Nancie McDermott

http://nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/big-vegan-potluck-with-korean-miso-tofu-soup/

Squash Quesadillas with Cranberry-Jícama Salsa

Jill Nussinow

http://www.theveggiequeen.com/blog/

Please read, comment, and take a moment to scroll through these wonderful blogs. Every one of these writers has great articles, recipes, and books that might just make you a regular reader. Follow them all on twitter, too. Their twitter handles are @foodblogga, @veganfeaster, @nanciemac, and @theveggiequeen. Last weeks are @carondg and @vegangoodthings, and of course, me, @robinasbell.

Big Vegan is filled with recipes that you and your family will love, and this stellar group will show you just how appealing Big Vegan food can be!





Big Vegan Virtual Potluck Day 1:Breakfast!

18 10 2011

Today is the launch of my big virtual blog tour. Rather than jet around the country, my recipes are being made all over the country by talented bloggers. I hope you will click on Leinana and Caron’s links and visit their outstanding blogs for two more breakfast treats.

Leave a comment at one or all of our blogs, and you will be entered to win a copy of Big Vegan at each one. Go to twitter and tweet your reason for going vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by November 4 midnight CST, and you will be entered in the twitter contest, too.

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples

Leinana Two Moons

http://vegangoodthings.blogspot.com/2011/10/baguette-french-toast-with-cream-cheese.html

 

Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins

Caron Golden

I hope you are hungry, since we have a hearty breakfast to share today.

Maple-Barley Granola with Pecans

As for my breakfast, I picked a recipe that I make often. It’s not the showiest or the most photogenic, but dangit, I love it. I’ve been a connoisseur of granola since my early days working in whole-grainy bakeries, where we often had a house granola. We made it by hand in huge batches, measuring mountains of soft, fluffy oats into a deep container before pouring jug-fuls of liquids over it all. I can remember mixing up deep vats of the stuff, up to my elbows in oats, oil and syrup. We believed in whole grains and didn’t care about fat. The granola was rich, tender and sweet, and usually loaded with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Good times.

In the years since, I’ve had plenty of time to experiment with granola. I’ve even written about it for Taunton’s Fine Cooking, who published my piece on granola as a holiday gift years ago. I wrote granola recipes for Veggie Life, too, once upon a time.

One of the things I really like in granola are chunks. Adding some flour and other ingredients that will stick together and create slabs of granola is one of my fave tricks. That makes the best granola for eating with your fingers. It’s almost like cookies, broken up in a bowl of milk. To achieve this, I add some flour and either protein powder or gluten flour, and some liquids to hold it all together.

That extra protein will help carry you through to lunch, along with the high-fiber, nutrient dense whole grains. Pack a baggie of this granola just in case you need a snack-it’s great just eaten as is.

Maple-Barley Granola

Oats reign in the cereal world, but did you know that barley has more of the heart-healthy starches that make oats the recommended grain? Beta-glucans are a kind of starch that lowers cholesterol, and barley has more of them. It also makes a hefty, tasty rolled flake that you can make into a delicious granola. If you can’t find rolled barley, you can use rolled oats.

Serves 16

2          cups/170 g rolled oats

2          cups/170 g rolled barley flakes

2          cups brown rice crispies

1          cup/115 g pecan pieces

½         cup/60 g whole wheat flour

½         cup/40 g vegan protein powder or gluten flour

1          cup/240 ml maple syrup

½         cup/120 ml canola oil

2          tsp vanilla extract

½         tsp salt

Ready to mix

1. Preheat the oven to 300° F/150° C/gas 2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, barley, rice crispies, pecans, flour, and protein powder . In a large bowl or a blender, combine the syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and spread the oat mixture on the pans.

2. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the granola with a spatula and bake for 20 minutes more, until it is lightly toasted. Cool the granola on the pans completely on racks, then transfer to airtight containers or zip-top bags.Keeps for a couple of week, tightly closed, or put it in the freezer for a couple of months.

Toasty Crunchy Granola





It’s Almost Here! The Big Vegan Virtual Potluck and Book Giveaway

14 10 2011

Dear Readers, it is a very exciting day. The planning for this has been in the works for a while, and I’m just thrilled to be able to announce the first day of our virtual potluck.

What is a virtual potluck, you ask?

Well, thanks for asking. For the next three weeks, a host of talented, wonderful bloggers are going to be posting dishes that they made from my new Book, Big Vegan. Each of them will also be hosting a giveaway of the book, so if you visit their blogs and comment, you may well win a FREE copy!

On each successive Tuesday, we will be posting and linking to a series of blog posts, culminating in a final post on the Chronicle Books webpage, linking back to all the blog posts from the potluck over the three weeks. Chronicle will also be doing a potluck within their office, and posting on November 4.

If you really want to win a copy of Big Vegan, you will have lots of opportunities, just by visiting these great blogs and making comments, but we are not stopping there. Another giveaway will be going on on twitter-just tweet why you decided to go vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan. You must tweet by midnight CST on November 4th to be considered.

Of course, you can order Big Vegan anytime, in case you are not one of the lucky winners.

I hope you enjoy these tasty blogs and tweets, I’m really proud of the plant-based cuisine that we are sharing with the internet world. This is a group of such wonderful chefs, writers and bloggers that I know you will want to visit and follow their work in the future, as well.

DAY 1 Post October 18

Maple Barley Granola

Robin Asbell

Robincooksveg.wordpress.com

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples

Leinana Two Moons

vegangoodthings

 

Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins

Caron Golden

http://www.sandiegofoodstuff.com/2011/10/robin-asbells-big-vegan-blogger-potluck.html

DAY 2 October 25


Mango-Jícama Salad with Lime Dressing and Pepitas    

Susan Russo

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/

Armenian Red Lentil Stew with Sesame Brown Rice

Bryanna Clark Grogan

http://www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com/page/page/3115952.htm

Korean Miso-Tofu Soup

Nancie McDermott

http://nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com/

Squash Quesadillas with Cranberry-Jícama Salsa

Jill Nussinow

http://www.theveggiequeen.com/blog/

DAY 3 November 1

Green and Red Spaghetti

Sandra Gutierrez

http://sandraskitchenstudio.com/

Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Beans

Robin Robertson

http://veganplanet.blogspot.com/

Spanish Chickpea Fritters

Julie Hasson

http://www.juliehasson.com/

Sundried Tomato-Kale Calzones AND

Pumpkin Cherry Bundt Cake

Leinana Two Moons

vegangoodthings

Peanut Butter Tart with “Ganache”

Tara Desmond

http://crumbsonmykeyboard.com/





Big Vegan is Officially Out!

2 10 2011

It's Big, It's Vegan!

Well, it has taken about two years, but the official release of Big Vegan, Over 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy, All Delicious has arrived.

Actually, I spent October 1 at a lovely signing event at Linden Hills Coop Grocery in St Louis Park, serving up samples of the Creamy Squash and Millet Soup with Chipotle.
Here is a link to my Big Vegan Trailer Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bh1a-5Q2r4&feature=youtu.be

Of course, I did some early events, like my trip to New York to teach vegan at the Natural Gourmet Institute and The Institute for Culinary Education a couple of weeks ago. But, the official launch is now.

A Happy Class at NGI

So, what is so big about Big Vegan? Well, it is literally, kind of big. About 500 pages. It’s the biggest book I have ever written, packed with plant-based recipes. As big as it is, I had room to sprawl out and come up with recipes for things that I think are really useful and handy, like how to make your own cashew almond cheese, seitan, and mayonnaise. I even had room for a sauces chapter, where I made up some really tasty sauce recipes, and some simmer sauces, that you can make and have ready for times when you just want to throw some stuff in a pan and have a meal in a few minutes. There’s a grilling chapter, if you find vegan grilling to be a mystery.

But mostly, Big Vegan is filled with recipes in which I endeavored to inject as much flavor and excitement as I could. I’ve heard it too many times: “vegan food is blah, vegan food is weird, etc etc.” It kills me that people make those kind of judgements. Vegan food is food. By and large, the same food omnivores eat alongside their omnivorous ingredients. So what is the big problem with it?

Well, if you are vegan or cook vegan, you have a number of preconceived notions to overcome. The most benign of those is that our food is bland. That’s not hard to prove wrong, if the notion-holder is willing to have a taste with an open mind. Then you get the other biases. Vegans are a pain, vegans are preachy, vegans hate food and have some kind of eating disorder that sucks joy from the universe.

Well, all I can say is, I will do everything I can to make joyful, happy vegan food and spread the word. I believe in meeting people where they are-by which I mean, helping them to eat more plants, whatever their diet-style. Meatless Mondays, Tofu Thursdays, or a total vegan transformation seven days a week, all move people toward a more sustainable path.

I hope you will take a look at Big Vegan, and consider trying plant-based foods made from the recipes.

Watch here for upcoming virtual potlucks and book giveaways, where I and several other bloggers will be preparing, photographing and writing about recipes from Big Vegan.





World Vegetarian Day Is October 1st, Non-Vegetarians Can Win $1,000

25 09 2011

Plants!

We are kind of between holidays right now, Labor Day is over, Halloween is coming up, but did you know, October 1 is World Vegetarian Day?

Sure, it’s time to tart contemplating your pumpkin carving design, and deciding on your Halloween treats. But don’t miss out on another important date coming up- October first is World Vegetarian Day. It’s the kick-off of vegetarian awareness month, and according to the organizers at the North American Vegetarian Society, it’s the day that we should make the effort to bring more non-vegetarians into the fold.

http://www.worldvegetarianday.org/pledge-vegwin/

This “open enrollment” day is announced on their website, where you can get cards and materials for convincing friends and family to pledge to go veg for the month. If they are willing, they can sign up to win a $1,000 prize at the end of the month, or $500 for a weeklong commitment, or $250 for making it a whole day with no meat, fowl or fish. If you pledge to go veg, your name will be entered into the drawing, and some lucky person will get not just a healthier body, but a nice chunk of change.

Of course, we all have to decide whether to try to convert the people around us. The hard sell can really turn people off, and guilt or preachiness are equally likely to backfire. That must be the idea behind the cards you can get from the website- you can just hand them over, and see if it clicks. We all know people who are omnivorous who could go meatless for a month without a second thought, but they have no desire to give up meat permanently. We also all have people in our lives who don’t want to hear about it, try it or even think about it. Just knowing that there are vegetarians out there seems to irritate them. Approach this person at your own risk.

Maybe if you open with the $1,000 prize, you will have a better outcome.

Living well is the best advertisement for the plant-based lifestyle, but sometimes a little nudge helps carry someone just a little closer to change.





Win Free Peanut Butter For A Year, or $200!

8 04 2011

 

Mmmmm, creamy pb bliss

Vegetarians and peanut butter are a great and timeless love story. We met as little kids, played together, hung out at lunch, and gradually it blossomed into a lifelong relationship. Sure, along the way we might have briefly dated almond butter or flirted with hummus, but when we really needed someone in our corner, it was good old peanut butter.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Peanut butter is marriage material, really. Easy to own, low maintenance, and of course, affordable, peanut butter has a permanent place in 70% of American homes. What other high-protein food is so easy to keep on the shelf, and so easy to eat?

Peanut butter is always perfect for a sandwich, and you probably made your first pbj as soon as you could be trusted with a butter knife. But peanut butter is way more versatile than that. It’s long been a solid staple in places like Africa, where peanut, or “groundnut” stew is a lifesaver for hungry people. Peanuts abound in delicious Asian cuisines, like the spicy peanut sauces of Thai cooking, or Creamy tangy Chinese noodles. Mexican moles often toss in some peanuts, as well, blending the sweet, rich butter with spices for a deliciously complex sauce.

Well, if your mouth waters thinking of peanut butter sauce slathered spring rolls or peanutty mole over rice, you are in luck. The Southern Peanut Growers are running a recipe contest, and the top ten recipes will get you free peanut butter for a year.

Yes, that’s right, you come up with a savory main course, one with fewer than 10 ingredients that takes less than an hour to make, and enter it in the contest. For every recipe entered, they give a jar of peanut butter to someone less fortunate. The people at pblovers.com will select the top ten recipes, and the top three recipes will be prepared, photographed, then rated on facebook, so other peanut lovers will do the voting. If your recipe is in the top 10, you score 12 jars of peanut butter heaven, delivered to your doorstep. If you win, you get a $200 gift card.

Peanut butter is so much more than just sandwiches or cookies. Strut your stuff in the kitchen and help some hungry people get some healthy food, and maybe you will be a winner!

Here are the links to the contest:

http://peanutbutterlovers.com/pbjmyway.htm

http://www.pitchengine.com/southernpeanutgrowers/southern-peanut-growers-extends-pb-my-way-challenge-deadline-to-april-30/136545/

A Link to a previous blog on peanut butter with a Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe and lots of health info:

http://robincooksveg.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/peanut-butter-the-vegetarians-pal/

A recipe for a simple Indonesian Peanut Sauce:

Gado-Gado Sauce








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