Penne Arrabbiata + “Cuban” Black Bean Soup

Hello VegCooks!

First off, I want to say thank you for all of the thoughtful comments in response to my request for feedback about how useful the VegCookbook Club Story Swaps are to you, and if I should continue to do them. I’m going to mull over all of your great suggestions and figure out what would be best for the Club and fun for me ( :

Last week, I made two dishes from The Vegan Table by our February VegCookbook Club author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

The Penne Arrabbiata was very yummy and quick to make.  I added a ton of  extra garlic and served it with a side of Nate’s Zesty Italian Meatless Meatballs. This was my first time trying Nate’s Meatballs and they were delish.

pasta arrabiata

I also made the “Cuban” Black Bean soup. It has a strong banana flavor (the recipe calls for three bananas) that I simultaneously liked and didn’t like, if that makes any sense. I liked the “Caribbean” flavor of the soup, but sometimes the banana flavor was too weird. I served it with slices of Italian Field Roast Sausage and avocado to give it a little more savory flavor.

"Cuban" Black Bean Soup

What have you been VegCooking?


 VegCookbook Club Story Swap

30 Day Vegan Challenge

Color Me Vegan

The Joy of Vegan Baking

The Vegan Table

Vegan’s Daily Companion

Kale Chips, Penne with Veggies, Three-Bean Chili, Warm Spinach Salad + Garlic and Greens Soup

Hello VegCooks!

Sorry it’s been so long since I did a round-up/VegCookbook Club Story Swap. I think I’ve mentioned that I have a new, almost full-time job, and I’m having trouble finding time to blog here regularly.

Plus, y’all been cooking up a storm. It’s hard to keep up! Over the three weeks, 25 of us have made and shared almost 120 recipes from our January and February VegCookbooks!

Just out of curiosity, how useful/interesting are the VegCookbook Club Story Swaps to you? Should I continue them, or do you follow along with people’s VegCooking on your own?


Since I last posted a round-up a few weeks ago, I’ve made a bunch of stuff from The Vegan Table by our February VegCookbook author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau:

I made the Three-Bean Chili last weekend for the Super Bowl. Very yummy and so colorful. I didn’t include the suggested cayenne powder ’cause I’m a spiciness wimp. I’ll definitely make this again.

Three Bean Chili

This is the second time I’ve made the Warm Spinach Salad, but this time I used 3/4  of a cup of balsamic vinegar rather than the suggested 1 cup because my notes said, “Good, but less vinegar, or more oil.”  It was just as good the second time, but still too vinegar-y. I’ll use even less vinegar next time.

Warm Spinach Salad

I also made the Garlic and Greens Soup last night. It’s raining like crazy this weekend in the Bay Area, and lots of people at work have been sick, so it seemed like a good time to eat a head of garlic.  The soup has a surprising sweetness that I really like, but it’s not very filling. If I make it again, I will add white beans, so that it can more of an entree soup.

Garlic and Greens Soup

Last weekend I also made the Penne Pasta with Fresh Vegetables, which was delicious, but it doesn’t make great leftovers. Because the vegetables are fresh, they get increasingly soggy and limp with each day. I would only make this again if I knew it could all be eaten the day it was made. I would also sauté the Field Roast Sausages in a separate pan before I added them to the the dish to give them some crispiness.

Penne Pasta with Fresh Vegetables

Last month, I tried two more recipes from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean by our January VegCookbook author, Lindsay Nixon. I liked Scott’s Burrito fine, but decided that I prefer for my burritos to be a little warm.

Scott's Burrito

The last thing I made from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean was the Kale Chips. I made a mistake that I’ve done before when making kale chips: I wash the kale and then put it in the oven without drying it off first. Don’t do it! It take for-ev-ah for them to crisp.

Kale Chips


 VegCookbook Club Story Swap

February: The VegCookbooks of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Color Me Vegan

The Joy of Vegan Baking

The Vegan Table

Vegan’s Daily Companion

January: The VegCookbooks of Lindsay Nixon

Happy Herbivore

Everyday Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean


What have you been VegCooking?

Our February 2014 VegCookbook Author: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Everyone seemed to enjoy cooking from one VegCookbook author’s collection last month, so I thought we’d do it again in February!


Our February 2014 VegCookbook author will be Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Colleen is the author of six books:

30-Day Vegan Challenge


Color Me Vegan (our February 2013 VegCookbook)


The Joy of Vegan Baking


On Being Vegan


The Vegan Table (our February 2012 VegCookbook)


Vegan’s Daily Companion


To learn more about Colleen, check out some of her social media channels:

If you’re a newbie here, you can read about how to participate in the VegCookbook Club on our About and Love Notes pages. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com.

Salad in a Jar, Smashed White Bean Wrap + Hot Chocolate

Lunch is my least favorite meal. If we lived in a culture where we all went home for a big mid-day meal, then I might like it, but most lunches are sandwiches in baggies, soggy salads, or leftovers in Tupperware. Not my idea of fuel for the middle of the work day, so last week I tried a couple recipes as possible lunch options:

Lindsay's Fave Salad in a Jar
Lindsay’s Fave Salad in a Jar

I went a little crazy with the ingredients, so it didn’t all fit in one jar. I actually really liked this and love the construction. You put the dressing and less porous ingredients on the bottom of the jar, so that when you flip it over, the dressing goes all the way through. The inclusion of a sweet potato and garbanzos beans made it pretty filling, although I still had to bring more snacks to eat throughout the day. I made it twice and will make it again.

Smashed White Bean Wrap
Smashed White Bean Wrap

This was also tasty, but not enough for my lunch appetite. I made it twice and the second time I brought it to work with Lindsay’s Fave Salad in a Jar, which filled me up.

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

After all that healthiness, it was time for a treat! I was too lazy to blend the ingredients in a blender (as suggested), so I just melted them in a pot and used my IKEA milk frother to blend them together right in the pot. I’ll make this again too.

VegCookbook Club Story Swap

Happy Herbivore

Everyday Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean

Happy Herbivore Meal Plans, blog and/or website

What did you VegCook last week?

P.S. We got a nice shout out in the Omar Niode Foundation blog post, Let’s join Online Food Book Clubs.

Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Creole Black-Eyed Peas + Carrot Soup

“I never knew that Instagram could be a community. But what I discovered last week was a group of people all cooking out of one vegan cookbook author’s recipes, sharing their photos, tips and reviews on Instagram.”
~ Healthy Girl’s Kitchen
Healthy Girl's Kitchen

Happy New Year and a big welcome to all of the new VegCookbook Club members.  Seems like a lot of new folks have joined us this month, in part because of a blog post by Wendy of Healthy Girl’s Kitchen (Thanks for the post, Wendy, and thanks, Eve, for introducing Wendy to the VCBC!).

If you’re here for the first time, you can learn more about how to participate on our About page. This month, we’re cooking together from Lindsay Nixon’s VegCookbooks.

Let’s jump right into the VegCookbook Club Story Swap! Feel free to let me know if you see any boo-boos in recipe names, which VegCoobook they come from, etc.  It’s fun to have everyone cooking from so many cookbooks, but it’s hard to track it all!

Happy Herbivore

Everyday Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean

Recipes from Lindsay’s website

December review of our 2013 VegCookbooks

So far I’ve made three Happy Herbivore recipes:

1. The Harvest Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean.  I liked this, but it’s a lot for a single serving. I would have liked more dressing, but I know that the small amount of dressing is what keeps it low calorie. I ate half for lunch and half for dinner. It was actually yummier for dinner ’cause all of the goodies fell to the bottom ( :

harvest salad

2. Creole Black-Eyed Peas from Lindsay Nixon’s January 30th eNews. These were fine on their own, but were kicked up a notch to yumminess by eating them with a side of Field Roast Sausage!

Creole Black-Eyed Peas

3. Carrot Soup. What I really like about the Happy Herbivore recipes are that they are simple, quick and use accessible, whole ingredients. This a very simple, quick and nutritious soup that, because of the minimal ingredients, was a bit plain for my tastes. Pretty though!

Carrot Soup

What have you been VegCooking?

Butternut Bisque with Coconut Swirl + Cast-Iron Stir-Fry + Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff

Your votes are in! The VegCookbook you enjoyed cooking from the most with the VegCookbook Club in 2013 is . . . Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz! Your second choice was Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton, and third was Crazy Sexy Kitchen.

Since our last round-up, I made three more recipes from Isa Does It: The Butternut Bisque, which was good. We’ve been having it as a “starter” over the past few nights.

Butternut Bisque

The Cast-Iron Stir-Fry which I *loved* (I made it in a wok). I’ll definitely make this again, but will probably top it with less basil and no avocado.

Cast-Iron Stir-Fry

And the Tofu-Mushroom Strogonoff. The sauce for this recipe was phenomenal and I’ll definitely make it again. It had way too much tofu for my tastes, so I would cut that back next time. Yummy.

Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff

Below is our last round-up for 2013. Some of you early birds have already begun trying recipes from our January 2014 featured VegCookbook author, Lindsay Nixon!

VegCookbook Club Story Swap

Lindsay Nixon’s VegCookbooks (January 2014)

Isa Does It (November)

Betty Goes Vegan (August)

Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (July)

Vegan on the Cheap (May)

How It All Vegan (April)

Vegan Brunch (March)

Color Me Vegan (February)

Crazy Sexy Kitchen (January)

What have you been VegCooking?

Poll: Which Was Your Favorite 2013 VegCookbook?

Hello VegCooks!

2013VCBCIt’s time to vote for the VegCookbook you enjoyed cooking from the most with the VegCookbook Club in 2013! The VegCookbooks are listed in the poll (below) in the order that we cooked from them.

A big thanks to all of you for being such fun and enthusiastic cooks.

When I started the VegCookbook club two years ago, I wrote in my first post:

My hope is that the VegCookbook Club will:
• Be a fun and creative community
• Provide inspiration, support and motivation for us to eat less animal products
• Encourage us to cook more often for ourselves, our family, friends and community

You’ve made my hopes into a reality. Thank you!