Monthly Archives: October 2012

Stuffed Shells, Coconut Mashed Yams, Tuscan Bean and Green Soup, and More!

I made *lots* of yummy dishes during our last days of cooking from Chloe’s Kitchen, our October VegCookbook. My favorite dish was the Coconut Mashed Yams. I mean, how can you go wrong with yams, coconut milk, and maple syrup?

I also liked the Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce, but the sauce was a bit too spicy for me. I would reduce the amount of red pepper flakes next time.

The Tuscan Bean and Greens Soup Over Garlic Toast was also delish (you can’t see the toast ’cause it’s under the soup).

I also made the Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew, which was yummy, and  . . .

. . . the Simple Side Salad with Shallot Dijon Vinaigrette. The dressing was too strong for me. It called for one shallot, which I read as the whole shallot  “head.” Next time, I’ll use one shallot “clove.”

I really, really enjoyed cooking from Chloe’s Cookbook in October, and almost all of the recipes were super delish. What did you think of it?

I’m looking forward to cooking through Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook with all of you in November.

Our November and December VegCookbooks: Forks Over Knives and Vegan Holiday Kitchen

The vote for our next VegCookbook was so close between Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook, and Vegan Holiday Kitchen that I’ve decided that we’ll cook  from one in November, and one in December.

Our November VegCookbook will be Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year by Del Sroufe. One thing to note is that the first print run of this cookbook has errors in it.  According to

“We are now shipping only corrected editions, but some copies already in circulation may require an errata slip (a correction of the book, which can be downloaded here). If you’re unsure whether your version requires the errata slip, please refer to page 52. If your version refers to “cinnamon stick” in step 1 of the ‘Polenta with Pears and Cranberries’ recipe list, please download the errata sheet.”

The cookbook is a spin-off from the documentary, Forks Over Knives. You can learn more about the film at and follow them on Twitter at @ForksOverKnives

Our December VegCookbook will be Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More Than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions by Nava Atlas.

For those of you who have been cooking along with us since summer, you’ll remember that we cooked from Nava’s cookbook, Wild About Greens, in July. You can learn more about Nava, and all of her fabulous VegCookbooks at, and follow her on Twitter at @Veg_Kitchen and at @navaatlas2.

I used Vegan Holiday Kitchen last year for a lot of my Thanksgiving dinner. You can see photos on my Have Fun * Do Good post, Meatless Monday: 2 Soups, 1 Salad, 2 Casseroles + Cosmos Apple Pie.

I’ll post a round-up of the final recipes I tried from our October VegCookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen, on Wednesday.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of  Vegan Holiday Kitchen.  Also, the cookbook links are attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after you click on one of the links, I receive a small percentage of the sale, which I’ll probably end up spending on more cookbooks!

What Should Our November VegCookbook Be? (Poll)

It’s time to choose our November VegCookbook. I picked out 4 for you to vote on in the poll below.



Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution by Kris Carr



Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year by Del Sroufe


Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet by Terry Hope Romero


Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More Than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions by Nava Atlas

Please vote by Sunday, October 28th, so that I can announce the November VegCookbook next week.

Full disclosure: I received review copies of Vegan Eats World and Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Also, the cookbook links are attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy something after you click on one of the links, I receive a small percentage of the sale, which I’ll probably end up spending on more cookbooks!

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Pasta Italiano, Chana Masala and More!

I made up for last week’s minimal cooking by trying *lots* of dishes last week.

My favorite was the Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  They are ridiculously good. The combination of nuts, maple syrup and brussels sprouts is out of this world. The recipe called for hazelnuts, but my grocery store doesn’t carry them, so I used walnuts instead. This was a surprisingly filling dish. Even though you’re gonna want to eat a ton (’cause they’re so yummy), they’ll fill you up in a jiffy.

I also made the Pasta Italiano. I like that it has white beans and veggies in it, and it’s tossed with a sauce made from pureed white beans. Super protein! The recipe called for asparagus, but asparagus is out of season right now (and very expensive!), so I used broccoli instead.

The Classic Roasted Vegetables were good, but when I doubled the recipe, I used the higher recommended amount of olive oil (1/2 c), which was too much.  When I make them again, I’ll use the smaller amount (1/4 c).

I was pretty tired the night I made the Easy Peasy Pasta Salad, so I made a little boo boo. The sauce calls for 3 T of tomato paste and 2 T of Dijon mustard. In my bleariness, I switched the amounts and used 3 T of mustard and 2 T of tomato paste, which made the sauce rather mustardy.  The pasta was still good, but I’d like to make it again with the right proportions (:

Finally, I made the Chana Masala and Garlicky Greens. Both were good, but I wish the Chana Masala made more.  If I make it again, I’ll make it with the other “Indian Buffet” recipes in the book: saag aloo, vegetable biryani, and garlic naan, so I can have more leftovers!

What did you VegCook this week?

This is our last week to cook from Chloe’s Kitchen together.  What recipes do you still want to try?

Peanutty Perfection Noodles from Chloe’s Kitchen

Last week was busy, so I only had a chance to try one recipe, The Peanutty Perfection Noodles from our October VegCookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen.

They were crazy good. After the success of the Chinese Takeout Chow Mein, I was brave this time, and used the full amount of chili-garlic sauce. It was the perfect amount. Not too spicy at all.

I only made two modifications. The recipe called for brown rice noodles, which I couldn’t find, so I used linguini. It also said to shred the carrots, but the photo in the book made the carrots look more like carrot sticks, so I sliced them up into thin slivers.

I’ll definitely make this again.  It was delicious and created lots of awesome leftovers (:

What did you VegCook this week?

Pancakes for Dinner, Chow Mein + Fettucine Alfredo from Chloe’s Kitchen

I had a delicious week of cooking from our October VegCookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen. Howabout you?

Today, I made Pancakes for Dinner for our Sunday lunch.  There are some good vegan pancake recipes out there, but they aren’t always as fluffy as I’d like them to be. These were yummy and fluffy.

Earlier in the week, I made Chinese Takeout Chow Mein which was soooo good. She really got the sauce right with a combination of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, veg broth, and chili-garlic sauce.

The recipe calls for either spaghetti, or “Asian noodles.” I used spaghetti, and it tasted great (I thought the spaghetti might give it a weird flavor). I only used 1 of the 2 suggested teaspoons of chili-garlic sauce ( I thought it might be too spicy), but I think we could handle 2 teaspoons next time. I also didn’t add bean sprouts, ’cause I don’t like them.

Finally, tonight I made Fettucine Alfredo for dinner, and it was delish. Similar to the Penne alla Vodka, pureed cashews make the sauce creamy.

When I made the Penne alla Vodka last week, I boiled the cashews for 10 minutes, and drained the water, as recommended.  But when I put all of the sauce ingredients in my blender, the cashews just ended up in a mushy mess in the bottom of the blender.

This time, when I made the Fettucine Alfredo, I didn’t soak the cashews, and blended the sauce in my food processor for a long, which worked much better than my blender, and made a yummy, creamy sauce.

What did you VegCook this week?

Avocado Toast, 5-Minute Salad, Garlic Bread, and Penne alla Vodka

I’m loving our October VegCookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen, so far.  Howabout you?

I’ve tried four dishes. The Avocado Toast was crazy simple and crazy delish. Who would think to put olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and avocado on toast? YUM!

On Saturday, when I had more time to cook, I made a full meal from Chloe’s Kitchen: Penne alla Vodka, Chloe’s Favorite Five-Minute Salad, and the Best Garlic Bread in the World.

The penne was good, but a little tart, for my taste. It needed a little sprinkling of sweetener.  We had enough sauce and penne for leftovers, so on Sunday night I added sauteed peppers and an onion to the sauce, which sweetened it up.

I’ve made Chloe’s Favorite Five-Minute Salad twice. I wouldn’t say it takes five minutes, but it is quick, especially the dressing, which is just some rice vinegar, salt, pepper, and a mashed up avocado.  The first one I made was better than the first. For some reason, my second try was kind of bitter. I’m not sure if it was the tomatoes ( I used cherry tomatoes the second time, and a whole tomato the first time), too many scallions, or the lettuce (I used a head of lettuce the first time, and a baby romaine mix the second time).

My favorite recipe, not surprisingly, was the Best Garlic Bread in the World. It has quite a bit of nutritional yeast on it, which I thought was yummy, but is something to keep in mind when serving it to folks unfamiliar with that distinctive flavor.

What did you VegCook this week?

P.S. I have three blogging classes coming up in October:
Oct. 14 (Berkeley, CA): Tea & Cupcakes with Creative Bloggers
Oct. 16-Nov. 6 (Virtual): Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art & Play of Blogging
October 27
(Berkeley, CA): Blogging for Writers: Build an Audience for Your Work