Monthly Archives: May 2013

Our June VegCookbook: Meatless by The Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living

meatless by the kitchens of martha stewart livingWhile bookstore browsing over the Memorial Day weekend, I flipped through a copy of Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes by The Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. The photos are beautiful, and all of the recipes look simple and good.

Even though the VegCookbook Club’s tagline is “Cooking Our Way Through Vegetarian and Vegan Cookbooks Together,” we’ve never cooked from a vegetarian cookbook. I think it’s time! One of the reasons I started the VegCoookbook Club was to create a welcoming, friendly space for people who are in all of the stages in their VegCooking journey (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, meatless on Monday, newbie).  I’m hoping that by cooking from Meatless in June, some new folks will join us (:

I think a lot of you are vegan (although I’m not sure). There are lots of vegan recipes in the book, as well as vegetarian recipes that could be adapted. Here are some sample recipes:

If you’re new to the VegCookbook Club, you can read about how to participate on the VegCookbook Club’s About page, and read about folks’ experiences on the Love Notes page.

I’m looking forward to cooking through Meatless with you in June!

Your Biggest VegCooking Challenges Are…

Last month, I asked y’all to vote in a poll about your biggest VegCooking challenges. Three choices received the most (and equal) amount of votes:

1. No time to cook and/or shop.

time flies







2. Cooking for my non-veg family member(s).









3. Making food my partner likes.

So, what I’d love to know, is:

What do you do to work with these VegCooking challenges?

Flickr photo credits:
Time flies by Robert Couse-Baker.
Veggie Dog at Dougiedog in Vancouver by Jennifer of
Sad eyes by Hannah K.

Comfort Loaf with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Comfort Loaf with Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Happy Meatless Monday, VegCooks!

Last week, I made the Comfort Loaf with Creamy Mushroom Gravy from our May VegCookbook, Vegan on the Cheap. I wish I had as much success with wheat gluten as all of you who have been raving about the Wheatballs, but I have yet to make anything myself with wheat gluten that turned out well : (

My Comfort Loaf was OK, but not great. It crumbled when it came out of the loaf pan and was a funny texture. The Creamy Mushroom Gravy, on the other hand, was fantastic.  Soooooo yummy, and it made a lot.  I’ll definitely make it again, especially during the colder months and holiday season.

VegCookbook Club Story Swap

What did you VegCook last week?

P.S. I’ll announce the June VegCookbook on Wednesday!

Penne-Wise Peanutty Pasta + Blushing Fettucine Alfredo

Hello VegCooks!

So sorry for the delay in getting our weekly round-up posted. I started a new consulting gig yesterday, and some friends threw a party for me lat night – just because! How nice was that?

Anyway, last week I tried two more pasta dishes from our May VegCookbook, Vegan on the Cheap: the Penne-Wise Peanutty Pasta + the Blushing Fettucine Alfredo. Both were delicious.

I didn’t make any changes to the Penne-Wise Peanutty recipe, except to exclude the crushed red pepper.

peanutty pasta

I also didn’t make any changes to the Blushing Fettucine Alfredo recipe except that I used Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce, rather than making the Marinara Sauce recipe in the Vegan on the Cheap.

Blushing Fettucine Alfredo

VegCookbook Club Story Swap

What did you VegCook last week?

Curried Vegetable Salad and Baked Ziti from Vegan on the Cheap

Happy Meatless Monday, VegCooks!

Last week, I tried two recipes from our May VegCookbook, Vegan on the Cheap: the Baked Ziti and the Curried Vegetable Salad.

Curried Vegetable Salad

I *loved* the Curried Vegetable Salad. So good, and very filling. I used sweet potatoes/yams instead of white potatoes, dried apricots, instead of raisins, and Vegenaise, rather than homemade vegan mayo. This would be a great dish to bring to a potluck (just make sure no one is allergic to nuts, or soy), or to make on a Sunday night to take to lunch during the first part of the week. I’ll definitely be making it again. Yum.

Vegan Baked Ziti
The hubs loves Baked Ziti (with real cheese), so I’m always looking for a vegan version that will be just as delicious; unfortunately, I have yet to find one. Don’t get me wrong, this recipe was totally fine (I ate almost the whole casserole myself during the week), I just think it’s hard to replace the cheesy, comforting yumminess of regular baked ziti.  I don’t like vegan cheese, so I didn’t sprinkle it on the top, as the recipe suggested. I think if I did, and I liked vegan cheese, it might have captured more of the baked ziti goodness. I also used marinara sauce from a jar (Newman’s Own) rather than homemade (as the recipe suggested), so that would make a difference as well.

What did you VegCook last week?

VegCookbook Club Story Swap

Spinach Spaghetti with Pesto from Vegan on the Cheap

Spinach Spaghetti with Pesto

Hello VegCookbook Clubbers!

I made one dish from our May VegCookbook (Vegan on the Cheap) last week, and it was a goodie: Spinach Spaghetti with Pesto. The recipe is actually called Linguine with Variations on Pesto, but I used spinach spaghetti, that had 7 grams of protein in it, instead of plain linguine. I topped it with some chickpeas sauteed in oil, with salt and pepper, for even more protein (otherwise, I’ll eat the whole pot of pasta!).

VegCookBook Club Story Swap
Because last week was the end of April, and the beginning of May, folks cooked from two cookbooks:

Vegan on the Cheap (our May VegCookbook)

How It All Vegan! (our April VegCookbook)

What did you VegCook last week?

Tuscan White Bean Pizza Recipe from Vegan on the Cheap

tuscan white bean pizza from vegan on the cheapIf you haven’t gotten your copy of our May VegCookbook,  Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson, yet, be sure to check out the sample recipes on her website, and the recipe for Tuscan White Bean Pizza that she was nice enough to share with us, below. Enjoy!

Tuscan White Bean Pizza
Makes 1 (12-inch) pizza

The people of Tuscany come by the moniker “bean eaters” owing to their inclusion of fagiole in everything from soups and stews to this creamy protein-rich pizza topping that will help you forget all about mozzarella cheese.

This recipe is from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson © 2010. Used with permission.

For dough:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm water

For topping:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 ripe plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced

1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Stir in the water until combined then use your hands to knead it into a soft dough.

2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed so it doesn’t stick. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature in a warm spot until double in volume, about 1 hour.

3. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and gently stretch and lift it to make a 12-inch round about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the round to a floured baking sheet or pizza stone. Use your fingertips to form a rim around the perimeter of the dough and let rise in draft-free place for 20 minutes. Place the oven rack in the bottommost position of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

4. Make the topping: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, salt, and pepper.

5. Mash the beans to break them up, then stir in the broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is creamy, about 8 minutes. Stir in the basil and set aside.

6. To assemble the pizza, spread the bean mixture evenly on top of the dough round, to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Arrange the tomato slices on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is crisp and browned, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Splurge a little: Add sliced pitted kalamata olives when you add the tomatoes. Garnish with thin strips of fresh basil leaves.

If you’re new to the VegCookbook Club, you can read about how to participate on the VegCookbook Club’s About page, and read about folks’ experiences with on the Love Notes page.