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Holiday Cookbook Giveaway

Pantry Pasta Salad

Tis the season! To celebrate, the nice people over at Vegan Heritage Press are holding a whopper of a Cookbook Giveaway.  Inspired by my new cookbook, Cook the Pantry, the giveaway is a photo contest.

It’s called “The Cook the Pantry Photo Contest” and it’s going on now through December 15, 2015. To enter, simply take a photo of your favorite vegan pantry meal and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Be sure to tag Vegan Heritage Press and use the hashtag #CookThePantryBook so they can see it. That’s it!  And you can enter as many times as you like! Here are the prizes:

The Prizes:

1st Prize: A set of 7 Vegan Heritage Press cookbooks: Cook the Pantry signed by Robin Robertson, Vegan Richa’s Indian KitchenThe Abundance DietVegan BowlsVegan TacosThe Lusty Vegan, and World Vegan Feast.

2nd Prize: set of 3 Vegan Heritage Press cookbooks: Cook the Pantry signed by Robin Robertson, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, and Vegan Bowls.

3rd Prize: a copy of Cook the Pantry signed by Robin Robertson.

You can post as many photos as you’d like between now and December 15th, 2015. The more photos you post, the greater your chance of winning. Everyone can participate, however, prizes can only be shipped to US addresses.  The winners will be chosen at random and announced on December 18, 2015, on the Vegan Heritage Press blog.

I want to stress the point that your photo can be of ANY vegan dish you make from pantry ingredients (it doesn’t have to be from my book!). 

Of course, if you’d like a delicious pantry-powered recipe to inspire you, try this Pantry Pasta Salad from Cook the Pantry (shown above, photo by Annie Oliverio). It makes an easy and festive-looking addition for a holiday party or potluck.

Pantry Pasta Salad

One of the great thing about this recipe is that the portion size is easy to adjust. To increase the volume, cook an entire pound of pasta and add additional pantry goodies, such as olives, roasted red peppers, or pine nuts. You can also add fresh vegetables and herbs (see optional additions).  This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson (c) 2015 published by Vegan Heritage Press.

8 ounces bite-sized pasta of choice
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 6-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup thawed frozen baby peas
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3 sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed or reconstituted dried), cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons capers, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper
Optional additions: halved cherry or grape tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped scallions, chopped celery, grated carrot, leftover cooked or steamed veggies such as broccoli or green beans, chopped fresh parsley or basil

Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain and run under cold water, then drain again and transfer to a large bowl. Add the beans, artichokes, bell peppers, peas, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, agave, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to break up and distribute the garlic. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Add any optional add-ins and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
Makes 4 servings

Again, here’s how to enter the Great Cookbook Giveaway:

  1. Make a meal with everyday items from your pantry. (You can make ANY of your favorite dishes that use pantry ingredients  — they don’t have to be from the Cook the Pantry cookbook.)
  2. Take a picture of your meal.
  3. Post your photo on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram and tag Vegan Heritage Press.
  4. Use the hashtag #CookThePantryBook
  5. That’s it!

Good luck!!!

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Vegan Thanksgiving

TG Leftover Pizza 018b

I’ve been making a stuffed seitan roast for Thanksgiving every year for nearly 30 years, so naturally, I have to put a “spin” on it every so often.  Usually, I like to be creative with the leftovers, but it occurs to me that these so-called Thanksgiving leftovers would make great main events on the actual holiday.  So here’s a round-up of some of my favorite creations over the years, beginning with the Thanksgiving Pizza shown above.

Then there was this Thanksgiving “Pie” — a spin-off of the Almost One-Dish Thanksgiving Dinner from 1,000 Vegan Recipes which includes layers of seitan, tofu, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a puff pastry crust.


I’ve also transformed the various Thanksgiving dinner components into a tower — complete with green bean casserole on top and surrounded by a cranberry-enriched brown gravy:

Thanksgiving Tower 11-24-10 043b

One time I layered everything into a “cake” frosted with mashed potatoes:

TG Cake w slice IMG_0679

And another time I made T’day yuba-wrapped spring rolls:

Thanksgiving Spring Rolls 11-24-10 044a

Most often, however, our holiday meal looks like this:

TG Dinner Plate 2012 7101a

or like this:

Pastry-Wrapped Seitah Roulade

The infamous green bean casserole is usually present on my table.  Sometimes it looks like this:

TG Grn Bn Cass 2012 029a

But I’ve been known to serve a “deconstructed” version as well:

Decon Green Bean Cass 11-14-11 003a

And don’t forget dessert:

Pumpkin Cheesecake drizzle 1c

I hope this post gives you some “food for thought” to make this a delicious and compassionate Thanksgiving!



Spinach & White Bean REV

Today’s recipe is another of my favorites from my new book, Cook the Pantry.  This one is for White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas and it couldn’t be easier or quicker.  The recipe calls for canned beans and frozen spinach, but you can certainly use home-cooked beans and fresh spinach if you have them on hand.  The recipe easily doubles or triples, depending on how many hungry mouths you have to feed. Serve with your favorite salsa and lunch (or dinner!) is served.

White Bean and Spinach Quesadillas
Makes 2 servings
Frozen spinach and canned white beans combine with garlic and spices to make a delectable filling for these hearty quesadillas. No cheese needed. Serve with your favorite salsa. This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Ann Oliverio.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Salt and ground black pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 large flour tortillas

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the beans, lemon juice, coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring, until the spinach is cooked and the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes. Mash the beans well while cooking. Set aside.
Place two large tortillas on a flat work surface. Divide the spinach mixture evenly between the tortillas. Spread the filling mixture evenly on half of each tortilla. Fold the remaining half of each tortilla over the half with the filling and press gently to enclose and spread the filling close to the edges.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Arrange the quesadillas in the hot skillet, one at a time or both, depending on the size of your skillet. Flatten with a spatula and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the quesadillas and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve hot.


The winner of the Vegan-Ease Giveaway is: Cathy whose favorite easy meal is My favorite easy meal is a burrito made with a large whole grain tortilla filled with on-hand cooked beans, grains, and veggies.  Thanks to all who entered!  Cathy, please email me with your mailing address so a copy of Vegan-Ease by Laura Theodore can be sent out to you. And a big thanks to Laura for allowing me to host a giveaway and share her vegan omelet recipe!  Speaking of Laura Theodore….I will be her guest next Wednesday, November 18 on Jazzy Vegetarian Radio.  Be sure to tune in!


omelet 3

I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Vegan-Ease, the new cookbook by Laura Theodore, aka The Jazzy Vegetarian. In this book, “ease” is the operative word.  In addition to being easy to prepare using easy-to-find ingredients,  each recipe also includes an “Ease-Factor” ranking from 1 to 3 to make meal-planning a breeze. The book also features a selection of menus to help put it all together.

The recipes include everything from  delicious sides like Roasted Baby Artichokes, and baked delights such as Lemony Cornmeal and Cranberry Muffins, to main dishes such as Vegetable Quesadilla Bake, and a temping array of desserts, salads, and soups including Roasted Cauliflower and Green Pea Soup.

Laura has graciously allowed me to share with you a recipe from the breakfast section of the book for Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet.  PLUS!! she has also allowed me to offer a copy of Vegan-Ease to one lucky winner.

To enter the Giveaway, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me what your favorite easy meal is.  That’s it!  Enter now — the giveaway closes on Sunday 11/8 at midnight.  The winner will be announced on Monday 11/9. (U.S. only, please.)

Now here’s that yummy omelet recipe…..

Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet
Makes 2 servings / Ease Factor: 3

I tried for years to create a tasty vegan omelet, so I was super excited when I came up with this oven-baked version. Because a tofu-based omelet is more delicate than the classic egg version, I have developed a jazzy method for helping it to stay together when serving. It takes a little bit of extra fuss, but is well worth the effort.

2 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
5 to 6 cups very lightly packed baby spinach, washed and dried
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1?8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1?8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (for dusting top)
¼ cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat with vegan margarine a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch round sauté pan or skillet with tight fitting lid.
Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared skillet by overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Top the tomato layer with all of the baby spinach, pressing it down slightly.
Put all of the tofu “egg” layer ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the spinach, smoothing the top as you go. Dust the top of the tofu layer with the additional 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully cut the omelet into two servings, by slicing down the middle. Gently lift one-half of the omelet out of the pan, using two very large, flat spatulas. Place it tomato side down onto a rimmed dinner plate. Place a second rimmed dinner plate of the same size firmly over top of the omelet and quickly flip it over to invert the omelet so the tomatoes will now be facing upward. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vegan cheese, if desired. Then, use the spatula to gently fold the omelet over. Proceed plating up the second half of the omelet in the same manner.
Spoon the sauce that remains in the bottom of the pan over each omelet. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Amount per serving, based on 2 servings: 188 Calories; 11g Fat; 2g Saturated fat; 21g Protein; 107mg Sodium; 7g Total Carbohydrate; 2g Sugars; 4g Fiber

Recipe © 2015 Laura Theodore, published by Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC, reprinted by permission.



Black Bean Noodles for Halloween


If you’re looking for a fun dish to make on Halloween, look for these black bean noodles.  They’re made with just black beans and water — no additives — and they’re vegan, gluten-free, high in protein, and low in carbs. I buy them on Amazon, but I”ve heard they are also available at Costco.

My favorite way to use these noodles is in Asian dishes like a noodle salad or stir-fry.  I even featured them in my book Cook the Pantry in a recipe called Manchurian Black Bean Noodles.  (I generally don’t use these noodles in Italian recipes because I’m a purist when it comes to Italian food, and the taste and texture is different from Italian pasta.)

So I made the Manchurian Noodles for dinner last night with the addition of some diced carrots for Halloween — but I forgot to take a photo!  Coincidentally, my FB friend Birgit also made the Manchurian Noodle recipe from my book last night — but SHE remembered to take a picture.  So, with her permission, I’m sharing her photo of the dish — her’s doesn’t have the carrots in it, but I highly recommend adding some cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash if you make this for Halloween.

manchurian black bean noodles

Here’s the recipe:

Manchurian Black Bean Noodles
Serve with a green salad or make it a one-dish meal and top it with a cooked orange veggie for Halloween!
Note: If you don’t have black bean linguine, you can use any noodles you may have on hand. This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press.

1 (8-ounce) package black bean linguine (or other pasta)
1 tablespoon safflower oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped scallion, optional
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional

Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and
ginger, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the soy sauce, sambal oelek, ketchup,
vinegar, sugar, onion powder, and cayenne. Add the black beans and water and bring just
to a boil, stirring to mix well. Partially mash the beans while stirring to make a thicker
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer to a large serving bowl or individual shallow
bowls. Top with the sauce and garnish with scallions and cilantro, if using. Serve hot.




Spaghetti Lo Mein + Giveaway Winner

Spaghetti Lo Mein3 LoRes

Today I’d like to share my recipe for Spaghetti Lo Mein from Cook the Pantry.  It’s one of my go-to weeknight dinners and can be ready in the time it takes to get Chinese takeout.  Only this version isn’t loaded with oil and msg!  Another thing I like about this recipe is its versatility.  You can make it with any noodles you like such as rice noodles or other gluten-free noodles; you can change up the veggies too, using cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, or another favorite in place of the broccoli.  You can also include some stir-fried tofu, seitan, or tempeh instead of the optional Soy Curls. And of course, you can adjust the heat and other seasonings to suit your own taste.

Before we get to the recipe, it’s time to announce the winner of Proteinaholic, the great new book by Dr. Garth Davis and Howard Jacobson.  The Random Number Generator has chosen: Birgit Davis.  Congratulations, Birgit!  Email me with your address and a copy of Proteinaholic will be sent out to you.

Now, here’s that recipe for Spaghetti Lo Mein from Cook the Pantry.  If you already have Cook the Pantry, I hope you’ll do me a favor and post a review of the book on Amazon to help spread the word.  And if you don’t have Cook the Pantry yet, check it out — it’s only $12.76 on Amazon and is loaded with easy recipes using on hand ingredients that get you in and out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or less!

Spaghetti Lo-Mein
Makes 4 servings
If you don’t have fresh vegetables on hand for this recipe, substitute frozen stir-fry vegetables, cooked according to package directions. This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by: Annie Oliverio.

8 ounces spaghetti
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 tablespoons tamari or other soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
1 tablespoon safflower oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sliced scallions
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 cup reconstituted Soy Curls (optional)

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. About 3 to 5 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli. Drain the pasta and broccoli and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, combine the tamari, hoisin, sesame oil, and sriracha, if using. Add the water and sherry, if using. Mix well and set aside.
Heat the safflower oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrot, scallions, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Soy Curls, if using and stir to combine. Stir in the reserved noodles and the sauce mixture, and cook for a few minutes, tossing gently to combine until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot.


Cook the Pantry