Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Cookbook Review and Giveaway. Plus Oil-Free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Vedged Out 12 Days of Christmas.

DSC_0003Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, pg. 226

Are you on Linked In? Laura Theodore is one of the many great connections I’ve made on the Linked In network this year. She asked me if I would be willing to review her cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. You can probably tell that I love reviewing cookbooks, and I’d heard so many good things about her cookbook!


There are so many lovely things about this cookbook. First off, it’s a hardcover, which is a rarity for cookbooks these days. There are tons of full color photographs, which I appreciate since it helps you visualize the food you’ll be making. Another thing I adore about this book is that nearly every recipe uses common ingredients that can be found in almost any grocery store. There are only a few recipes that you’ll need to make a trip to the health food store to get any special ingredients. At the beginning of the book, Laura helps you with menu planning by pairing together which recipes (and the Jazz music to go with it) will go well together for whatever occasion, from casual to having guests for dinner.

Oh, and last but not least, even though the book is titled “Jazzy Vegetarian Classics,” all the recipes in the book are 100% vegan. (as you’ll see in the subtitle below, Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites).

DSC_0001Quick Tomato Salad, pg. 123

DSC_0011Polenta Pizza, pg. 158

Most of the recipes in this book are oil-free and there are many that are gluten-free. Only unrefined sweeteners and whole grains are used throughout, making this book every bit as healthy as it is delicious.

DSC_0009Raspberry Tofu Smoothie, pg. 84. It’s incredibly healthy, but almost tastes like you’re eating ice cream for breakfast.


Now let’s get back to these whole-grain, oil-free Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. My kids didn’t even notice the oil was missing. They just gobbled them up.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

*recipe used with permission

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour (I’m sure gluten-free flour could be subbed here)
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (grain sweetened variety works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple puree (see note*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons nondairy milk.

*Chef’s Note: to make the apple puree, peel and core 3 very large or 4 medium apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apples in a blender or a food processor until the consistency of smooth applesauce is achieved. Be careful not to liquify!


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the pecans and the vegan chocolate chips, and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the apple puree, vanilla extract and nondairy milk and mix just until incorporated. If the dough seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time. Alternatively, if the dough seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, a tablespoon at a time.

For each cookie, drop about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly using the back of a flat spatula.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool for about 10 minutes. Stored in and airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for about 2 days.



Buy the Hardcover copy of the book on Amazon here or get the Kindle edition here.

Or for a chance to win this amazing Giveaway, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday December 20th!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 23rd of December. GO!!

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Day 1: Free Vegan Lifestyle MagazineDay 2: Free Case of Butler Soy CurlsDay 3: Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique $25 Gift Card and Free Messenger BagDay 4: Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder or Product of Choice GiveawayDay 5: Tropical Traditions 1 Gallon Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway. Day 6: Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats, Allergy Free & Vegan Recipes. Cookbook Giveaway. Day 7: Extraordinary Vegan Cookbook Giveaway. Day 8: Emaline Delapaix, Music Download Giveaway.


Vedged Out’s Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Vedged Out Thanksgiving


Kick Ace Extra Sharp Raw Vegan Cheddar Cheese Ball, served with raw flax crackers and assorted vegetables.



Vedged Out’s Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute


Alexander’s Rainbow Salad with Kale and Orange Red Pepper Dressing from In Vegetables We Trust

rainbow-kale-salad-vegan-orange-red-pepper-dressing (1)photo used with permission 


Vegan Monologue’s Buttery Pan Rolls

You can also use whole grain white whole wheat flour in this recipe!

Amanda’s Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

(this is what we slathered the Brie En Croute all over! They were made for each other!)

sourdough bread


Lemon Seltzer Water

Cranberry Fizzy: equal parts cranberry juice and ginger ale

 Mains and Sides

In Pursuit of More’s Cashew Loaf (just make it, and you’ll want it as the centerpiece at every holiday!


Dad’s Wild Rice, Cranberry and Pine Nut Stuffing

Dad’s Pine Nut and Glazed Onion Mashed Potatoes


Vedged Out’s Sauteed Green Beans, Red Onions and Radishes

  • 2 lbs fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches radishes, washed, greens removed and quartered
  • ½ C. Toasted Slivered Almonds
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan heat the olive oil until glistening over medium heat. Add green beans, radishes and red onions. Saute until vegetables are crisp tender, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and peper and sprinkle with the slivered almonds.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Maple Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, lightly glazed with pure maple syrup and unrefined coconut oil


An Unrefined Vegan’s Apple Pie

applepie3photos used with permission

Razzleberry Pie 

Gabby’s No Bake Pumpkin Mousse Cake

An Unrefined Vegan’s Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Chocolate-Hazelnut Topping

Hazelnut cheesecake

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

Healthy Happy Life’s 4 Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie

and Vegan Ice Cream

Bake and Destroy. THE RADICAL HALLOWEEN EDITION. Review, Revenge Cookie Recipe and Giveaway.

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday by far was Halloween. My dad would bust out the bbq and fire up hot dogs for the whole dang neighborhood. Everyone came, warming up their cold little hands for a tasty meal amongst the sea of noxious candy. Of course it was also awesome that one of our neighbors brewed rootbeer in a giant cauldron and served it up while dressed as a cackling witch. We were lucky kids in that corner of Green Valley.

Revenge Cookies

One Halloween, I had the flu and couldn’t go trick-or-treating. I swear I thought it was a fate worse than death. I sobbed (and puked) on the couch in our front room as I watched out the front window and saw what seemed like hundreds of gleeful kids come eat hot dogs and enjoy the festivities.

I’ve always wanted to follow in the family tradition and grill up hot dogs too, but since I’m vegan now, and you can’t really give kids anything that isn’t store bought and pre-wrapped anymore without the parents having a heart attack, we do mini bags of potato chips, a savory salute to my childhood days.

Anyway, when I got a review copy of Bake and Destroy, it was like the perfect Halloween present had come early. I dare you to read through this book and not be thoroughly amused by the dark and silly humor whilst developing a sweet girl crush on bad-a** Natalie Slater.

Natalie Slater

First up, I made the Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot, which is made with Jackfruit, in an awesome BBQ sauce that will blow your mind. I also put it all over a deep dish pizza, but we ate it before I could get non-Iphone photos of it. Oh, the Vegan Mayo in the book that’s on this sandwich is so delicious and diabolically simple that it’s worth the purchase of the book alone: you’ll have no more guilt over eating oil-laden store bought vegan mayo, but you’ll also stop pretending that blocks of tofu seasoned with lemon juice and pureed, or the non-fat vegan mayo versions taste anything like real mayo. Stop fooling yourself kids. Her special sauce tastes even better than the real deal without clogging your arteries or leaving your taste-buds fully disappointed.

Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot
As for the Samoa Joe Cupcakes, well, I took these bad boys to a Halloween party. They won the competition for Best Dessert Overall. Yes, they were that good. People are still talking about them… What’s not to love about a luscious cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with salted caramel-coconut butter-cream and chocolate drizzle? Yeah, vegan desserts rock.

Samoa Joe Cupcakes

Samoa Joe 2

Even more awesome, was that my brother Abe (vegan siblings rock) was staying at my house for several days for a printmaking show and conference while I was testing recipes from the book. He fully worshipped them all. We had this totally legit Non-Cop-Out Tofu Scramble on his last morning. Since Abe mostly eats beans and rice, he was on the edge of pure vegan food bliss at every meal.

Tofu Scramble

These cute cupcake mummies made out of Natalie’s ridiculously simple Vanilla Cake Mix also went to the Halloween party. I got a second award for best themed dessert. Ah yeah.

Vanilla Cake Mix

Funnily enough though, the recipe I tested that made me the most nostalgic, was the Pretzel Dogs of the Dead. They were insanely delicious. You know I’ll be baking these up again on Halloween with a pot of chili and another batch of those Samoa Joe Cupcakes, even if I can’t serve them to the neighbor kids. (p.s. these really are vegan hot dogs, no animals were harmed in the making of this post). I made some of Natalie’s No-Honey Mustard to dip these in, but ended up using it as a delicious salad dressing instead after I forgot all about the dip.

Pretzel Dogs of The Dead

Now, for the awesome bit. I made these Cheryl’s Sweet Revenge Cookies (not in the book and based on the movie, The Evil Dead double bonus here) and there were so many, that I took a big part of the batch to a neighbor so I wouldn’t eat them all. Somehow during our discussion I found out that my neighbors know Natalie Slater and her mom. Some things are just meant to be.

Revenge Cookies 2

Cheryl’s Revenge Cookies

Recipe used with permission

Somer’s Note: I couldn’t help myself and added a half cup of mini-chocolate chips to this recipe to make them the ultimate “Everything Cookie.” They were amazing!


  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used half organic all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, your choice (I used a combination of sunflower seeds, whole almonds, cashew pieces, peanuts and hempseeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, your choice (I used cranberries, raisins and goji berries)
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut or whole rolled oats (I went with the coconut, but used unsweetened since that’s what I had on hand)

Method: Preheat your oven to 350º and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk the dry ingredients into a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the margarine until smooth and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk the ground flaxseed and water together until thick and gooey. Add this to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the nuts and fruit. Drop batter (2 tablespoons = one cookie) onto the  lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 dozen vengeful, murderous cookies (unless you are Somer and you make smaller cookies and end up with 3-4 dozen).

Cover Photo

Buy “Bake and Destroy” Good Food for Bad Vegans in paperback format on Amazon here or get the Kindle version for $9.99 here.

Visit Natalie Slater at her site Bake and Destroy here.

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Halloween on the 31st of October to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Friday the 1st of November. GO!!

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The Vegan Sloppy Joe and Tri-Color Cole Slaw


Recently, I came home from a family reunion vacation with a rotten cold. As a result, I didn’t go grocery shopping for about a week after coming home. I had some minced frozen seitan I’d made, some iceberg lettuce (shudder) and white bread (vegan) buns that someone in the family left in the shared vacation fridge, and some cabbage that had been in my fridge at home for ages, but refused to die (don’t you love how cabbabe is like that?). I came up with these Vegan Sloppy Joes as a desperate last minute dinner. I posted the photo on facebook as a bit of a joke, where it got a rousing lot of love and recipe requests, so I’m sharing this desperate dinner love with you, cause who doesn’t like sloppy joes? Just be responsible and use whole grain buns and romaine, K?

Vegan Sloppy Joe

  •  1 package seitan, finely chopped or minced in the food processor (I used homemade), you could also use grated tempeh or vegan veggie “meat” crumbles
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper (red or green)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 six oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce OR steak sauce (it’s vegan yo).
  • 1 tablespoon bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Saute the onion and bell pepper in a non stick pan sprayed with a bit of pan spray for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve on buns with lettuce (and maybe a bit of vegan mayo if that’s how you roll).


Tri-Color Cole Slaw

  • 2 cups each of chopped red and green cabbage
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cashew cream (from 1 cup raw cashews blended with 1 cup water, soak cashews for a few hours before blending if you don’t have a power blender, save excess cashew cream for another use.)
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. raw agave
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: Toss all ingredients in a large bowl, serve immediately.


Well me & the vegan sloppy joe got married. We got six kids and we’re doing just fine.

Warm Bok Choy and Roasted Veggie Couscous Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing. Guest Post from Kristy Turner at Keepin’ It Kind


I’m so delighted Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind is sharing a recipe with you today with this guest post. We’ve been blogging buddies from the very beginning (as she mentions below). If you haven’t all ready met Kristy, you need to head over to her site. The food and the photography will dispel any myths that vegans can’t eat a first class gourmet diet. All while using healthy and simple ingredients. This recipe today is one that I know I’d love, since bok choy is one of my favorite vegetables! Keep reading and I’ll share some links to my favorites from Kristy’s site at the end of this post.


Firstly, I want to thank Somer for inviting me here today. I have admired Somer since BVO (Before Vedged-Out). As I’m sure you all already know, Somer’s passion is inspiring, her enthusiasm is contagious, and her food is delicious. I know that Somer hasn’t been her normal self due to an unfortunate injury so it is my pleasure and an honor to help her out today.

I’d really like to say that in the summer, all of my meals are filled with an abundance of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables but that would be a lie. The truth is, in the summer, my laziness is at an all-time high.


This laziness creates a little bit of a back-up in my refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. I belong to a CSA and have a weekly box of organic, seasonal, and locally-grown produce delivered to my door. I love this delivery and look forward to it all week, but with my case of summer laziness, a lot of this produce just sits in my refrigerator until I can muster up enough ambition to do something with it.


Normally, I use produce from this delivery throughout the week, spreading it out over several meals. A couple weeks ago, however, I realized that I had barely used any of my produce and I had another delivery coming the next day. My dislike for wasting food trumps my laziness any day of the week so I pulled all of the unused produce out and created a super-easy meal packed with seasonal veggies. I roasted up some mushrooms, summer squash, broccoli and green beans. I briefly sautéed some baby bok choy with red cabbage and shallots. I tossed all of the veggies, along with a grain, with an incredibly simple, ridiculously delicious lemon caper dressing (seriously, it comes together in less than a minute). My husband and I could not get over how good this meal was. We even loved it as leftovers a couple days later. We loved it so much that I had to make it again.


Originally I made this dish with freekeh, a grain similar to barley, but for recipe-creation purposes, I chose to use something a little more common. This salad would be great with quinoa, millet, farro, barley, or freekeh (if you have some on hand) but for this version, I chose israeli (or pearl) couscous. I love this chewy little pasta/grain and it worked beautifully in this dish.


The star of this meal, though, is the lemon caper dressing. As I mentioned before, it’s stupid easy and this salty, tart dressing adds quite the little “zing” to every bite. If you wanted to add a little bit of protein to the meal, you could easily incorporate some chickpeas or another legume. You could also add/substitute other veggies if these don’t float your boat- roasted eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower or even asparagus would all work really well here.

This, my friends, is a perfect summer meal because a.) It’s packed with healthy veggies, b.) it’s delicious, and c.) it’s easy to make and comes together very quickly so you I have plenty of time to be lazy.


warm bok choy and roasted veggie couscous salad with lemon caper dressing

Serves 4-6


for the roasted veggies

  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and chopped into 1/2 inch-thick half-moons
  • 1 pound fresh green beans (or purple or yellow beans), ends trimmed and chopped in half
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets (stems can be included if desired)
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the bok choy and cabbage

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 bunches baby bok choy, bulb end trimmed
  • 1/2 head of red/purple cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the couscous

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup israeli couscous (or other grain)

for the lemon caper dressing

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill


roast the veggies

  • Preheat the oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the veggies out over the two baking sheets. Lightly spray them with olive oil (or drizzle with olive oil) and sprinkle the herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to fully coat.
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.

cook the couscous

  • Once the veggies are in the oven, you can prepare the couscous. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Once it is boiling, add the salt then the couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for about 15 minutes before checking. At this point, the water should have cooked away and you can fluff the couscous with a fork. If there is still water, cover and let sit until water has cooked away (You may have to drain some of the water at the end). Let sit until ready to use.

prepare the dressing

  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a cup wide enough to fit an immersion blender. Use an immersion blender to puree the capers and blend all of the ingredients together until it is mostly smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a blender, but you will likely have to scrape the sides several times until it is mostly smooth. Chill until ready to use.

cook the bok choy and cabbage

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy and cabbage and sauté until just beginning to wilt. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

assemble the salad

  • Combine the veggies, the couscous, and the bok choy/cabbage mixture in a large bowl. Give it a couple stirs to incorporate the ingredients a little more. Pour the dressing over the salad (You may need to re-stir the dressing if it has separated at all) and mix until it is all fully combined. Serve immediately. You can make this a day or two ahead of time but you may want to reheat slightly before serving. Enjoy.


Photography by Chris Miller

Thank you for having me here, Somer, and thank all of you for stopping by and reading! Have a great day! 🙂

Kristy Turner

To view more of Kristy’s incredible creations (these are just some of my favorites), click on any of the following links.

Clockwise: Sweet and Salty Ice Cream Layer Cake, Strawberry Shortcake Waffles, Jackfruit Enchiladas, Sunflower Cheddar, Seitan Mushroom Roast, S’more Cookies, Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches, Buffalo Cauliflower Wing PizzaButternut Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Pecan ParmesanChickpea Caulipots with Miso Mushroom Gravy

The China Study Cookbook: Review and Giveaway plus No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars Recipe!

Peanut Butter Bars Square

I had all ready watched and was blown away by Forks Over Knives before I read The China Study. When I read the book, the evidence and data presented there by T. Colin Campbell, PHD and his son Thomas M. Campbell, was simply irrefutable. I felt my convictions about plant-based eating deepen even more. Certainly, the book confirmed all that I wanted to know and learn about eating for health (indeed nearly every single health issue you can imagine can be improved through a whole foods plant-based diet).

So, I gave the book to my sister-in-law, she read it cover to cover on a flight home to Switzerland. She and my brother and their family went plant-based almost immediately. The book then got passed around amongst her friends and family. Some of those people went plant-based. I’m sure those people shared the book with their loved ones. That’s what we do when we find something phenomenal that can change lives. We share it with those that are precious to us so that they can understand the real data behind the whole foods movement and experience the joy of good health.

French Toast

Dr. Campbell mentions in the intro to this cookbook that people always ask him what he eats, and that undoubtedly he would give people a limited answer that would disappoint those wanting to make real lifestyle changes. Now you can discover for yourself the real “China Study Diet” His daughter, Leanne Campbell is the author of the cookbook. I love that they’ve truly kept it in the family to show how the Campbell family does healthy vegan.

Broccoli Salad

On quick review of the cookbook I was delighted to see that the recipes used simple ingredients, that the meals would be easy and quick to prepare AND that they would indeed be flavorful, despite the fact that none of the recipes contain oil, very little of them use sweeteners (and when they do, they use natural sweeteners) and all of the recipes are low in sodium. Also, Nearly every recipe has a lovely photo (a huge plus in my book, I like to see what the food I’m preparing is supposed to look like).

Chocolate Cake

I especially enjoyed Leanne’s explanation about feeding a whole foods plant-based diet to children. Not only do they thrive, but indeed their diets are likely nutritionally superior to all of their peers. (My own children do very well on a plant-based diet).

Ceviche Beans

Now, lets talk about the food. My husband, who’s not much of a treat guy, thoroughly enjoyed both salads I tested out of the book and asked for seconds of each. My daughter loved the Coconut Curry Rice so much that she begged for the last of it on the second day. As for the desserts, well I was happily surprised that the Vegan Chocolate Cake was moist and tender, even without the addition of oil, oh and the frosting tastes like a delicious chocolate pudding. My pickiest and youngest eater ate 6 slices of the Favorite French Toast in one day. He wanted it for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (by then I had to make another batch). I couldn’t blame him, it was truly delicious.

Coconut Curry Rice

As for the No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, well, we’ll just let the photos and the recipe do the talking. Enjoy.

Peanut Butter Bar Portrait

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These bars are rich, creamy, sweet and satisfying–everything a dessert should be! (recipe used with permission, of course).

  • 1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons rice or almond milk

1- Crush graham crackers in food processor. In a separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut and peanut butter. Stir in the crushed graham crackers.

2- Slowly add milk and mix. If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all the ingredients stick together. However, don’t make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.

3- Spread mixture evenly into a 9×9 non-stick baking dish.

4- In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.

5- Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tip: These make a great holiday treat and should be used sparingly.

Peanut Butter Bars Top View

Buy The China Study Cookbook here. Get the Kindle Edition here.

Buy it on the Publisher’s Site, BenBella Books here

China Study Cookbook

For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada onlyYou must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Friday the 26th of July to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 29th of July. GO!!

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Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxarella Pizza

National Pizza DayBringing this baby out of the archives in honor of Vegan Pizza Day Tomorrow. Enjoy Peeps!

Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxarella Pizza

Recipes follow:

1/2 recipe of the Solid Moxarella Cashew Cheese, grated

1 recipe No Rise Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Sauce

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Tofu

1 recipe Caramelized Onions

2 T. Chopped Cilantro 

First do these things the day before: 1- Make the cheese 2- Drain and press a block of extra firm tofu, stick it in a ziploc bag and chuck it in the freezer. Freeze tofu overnight, then defrost on the counter-top the next morning.

It’s Business Time

Solid Moxarella Cashew Cheese

(grate-able, plus it melts and browns baby)

This cheese comes together quickly, but you need to work SUPER fast while making it as it starts to set almost instantly. So try to work without interruptions while putting it together if possible.

  • 1/2 Package Pomona’s Pectin, about 4.5 teaspoons (you can find it at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores or purchase it online here)
  • 1 C. Ground Raw Cashews (soak for 4-6 hours if you don’t have a power blender or food processor)
  • 1 C. Water, plus an additional 1/2 cup for the calcium packet in the Pomona’s Pectin
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice
  • 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 T. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Method: Lightly oil small glass dish (square or round glass tupperware). Next, in a small lidded jar, mix 1/2 C. of water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Add cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to your power blender or food processor. Pulse until the cashews are finely ground, but don’t make nut butter! Add lemon juice and the melted coconut oil, pulse again til just combined.  Heat the cup of water til boiling in a small saucepan on the stove-top or in a heat safe container in your microwave. Immediately Pour water into power blender. Add half of the large pectin packet (about 4.5 teaspoons). Blend or process until smooth (power blenders give the smoothest, creamiest results). QUICKLY add 1/4 cup (HALF) of the calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Immediately pour cheese into the prepared dish and put in the refrigerator. Let set uncovered for a minimum of an hour. Remove cheese from the mold and place upside down on a plate. Return to fridge uncovered for a minimum of 4 more hours until firm enough to grate.

Next, make Sriracha BBQ Sauce

Sriracha BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 C. organic ketchup
  • 2 T. agave nectar
  • 2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t. molasses
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 2 t. Sriracha Hot Sauce (or to taste)
  • few grinds of black pepper

Method: combine all ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup

Next make Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Half of this recipe never made it to the pizza. It is so good!

Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Press any additional water from defrosted block of tofu as possible with a clean kitchen towel. Slice into pieces and then  press again with the clean kitchen towel. Put tofu in a bowl and drizzle with 1/4 C. above sauce. Put some parchment paper on a baking sheet and arrange tofu on it. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to get lovely little crispy bits.

Next make Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 jumbo sweet or red onion thinly sliced (or 2-3 regular sized onions)
  • 2 t. molasses
  • 1 t. salt and a few grinds of pepper

Method: Heat a skillet over high heat,add a cup of water and all of the above ingredients, occasionally stir and replenish water if skillet gets dry before the onions are completely translucent. Total cooking time can take 15-20 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5 to 3 C. caramelized onions.

Next make the No Rise Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust while the onions are caramelizing.

No Rise Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

  • 1.5 C. white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C. warm water
  • 1 t. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 t. sea salt

Method: in your favorite kneading apparatus (perhaps a bowl, and then your hands) combine all the above ingredients. Knead until elastic. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll with a rolling pin into the shape of a baking sheet, crust should be VERY thin. You can Press the whole crust recipe onto one large lightly oiled baking sheet, or make multiple thin crust pizzas. Set aside.

Assemble: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush remaining sriracha BBQ sauce over the thin crispy crust, layer caramelized onions over the sauce, next arrange pieces of the BBQ tofu over the onions,  sprinkle the moxerella cashew cheese over the whole pizza, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

Still following me? Phew, I thought I was getting a little long winded.

Oh, you’re still here and you want that salad dressing recipe too?

Chia Miso Cashew Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 C. Raw Cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours if you don’t have a power blender)
  • 1 1/4 C. unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaped T. white or yellow miso
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 T. dried chives or 2 T. fresh
  • 1 T.  dried parsley or 2 T. fresh
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • dash cayenne

Method: Blend all ingredients except chives and parsley until completely smooth. Add chives and parsley and pulse until just mixed in.

VVP Edition: Mini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites

Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon

Yeah, I invented a new vegan bacon, especially for the Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0. It might just be the meatiest and most versatile vegan bacon yet… You’re welcome.


Since I can’t just serve you bacon, (I mean, I could, but this is supposed to be the appetizer course). I’m sharing my take on some special bite sized BLT’s. For size reference, the plate I’m using in these photos only has a 3 inch diameter.

Collage 2

To assemble these little cuties, you’ll need the following: Mini Caraway, Onion and Rye Pretzel Rolls (recipe follows), Kimchi, store bought or homemade, Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon (recipe follows), sliced tiny grape and or sun sugar tomatoes, and Vegan Wasabi Ranch Dressing (1/4 c. vegan ranch dressing + 1 t. wasabi paste, stirred til combined)

Vegan BLT Sliders

Peppered Maple Jackfruit Bacon

  • 1 can young green jackfruit in brine (unsweetened) I bought mine from a local Asian Market
  • 1-2 T. liquid smoke (mine is concentrated, so I only used 1 T.)
  • 1 T. Bragg’s liquid aminos or coconut aminos for those with soy allergies
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil or melted unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. – 1 T. ground black pepper (depending on how peppery you want your bacon)
  • 1 t. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. unsulphered molasses
  • 1/2 t. sea salt (optional)

Method: Rinse and drain the jackfruit. Press lightly onto clean kitchen towels to drain any excess moisture. Slice jackfruit into very thin strips with a filet knife, it’s okay if some of it shreds. Jackfruit is kinda shreddy like that. Press sliced jackfruit on the clean kitchen towels again to remove additional moisture. Place jackfruit slices in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients to form the marinade. Pour marinade over the sliced jackfruit and gently toss to coat with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the jackfruit absorb the flavors. Preheat your oven to 425°. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange the jackfruit slices on it so they don’t overlap. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring a time or two and watching to make sure the jackfruit bacon doesn’t burn and that it gets nice and crispy (a fine line). Remove from oven and spread onto paper towels and let cool a bit before use.


Mini Caraway, Onion and Rye Pretzel Rolls

  • 1 1/2 C. unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. dark rye flour
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 C. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
  • 1 T. caraway seeds
  • 1 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 T. unsulphered molasses
  • 1 T. dried chopped onion or 1 t. onion powder
  • caraway seeds, sesame seeds and flaked sea salt for sprinkling on the rolls

Method: in a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (including yeast). Add the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon til combined. If mixture seems to dry, add warm water, a tablespoon at a time. knead dough for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and Let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled. Punch dough down, divide into 32 mini pretzel roll bites or 16 slider sized rolls. Lightly press each piece of dough down with your fingertips. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat (otherwise they’ll stick like crazy). Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size. In the meantime, bring to a boil: 2 quarts (8 cups) water with 1 T. kosher salt and 4 T. baking soda.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, Poach 4 rolls at a time, if doing bite sized, poach for 20-30 seconds, for slider sized 30-40 seconds, turning over halfway through poaching time. See photos of this method hereRemove rolls with a slotted spoon. Slash each roll a couple of times across the top with a sharp knife. Quickly sprinkle with caraway seeds, sesame seeds and flaked sea salt. Repeat until all buns are poached. Let rest while oven preheats to 400 degreesBake for 10-15 minutes for bite sized or 15-20 minutes for slider rolls. Please use parchment paper or a silpat to bake on, otherwise you will need a chisel and a hammer and quite possibly ruin your favorite baking sheet.


To start at the beginning of the potluck, click here:

vvpIf you run into any broken links along the way, (some bloggers show up a little late to the party) here’s a list of the bloggers in the potluck to help you get back on track. Pretty cool to see over 169 bloggers from all around the world flaunting their vegan awesome! Use the buttons below to Go Back to visit the lovely Bex (Sparkles) at Vegan Sparkles in Australia. Go Forward to see what The Singing Vegan brought to the party.



Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

My Foot is a Desert, my brother Abe McCowan’s final MFA Thesis Exhibit + Vedged Out Catering Menu and Recipes

All photos in this post courtesy of Chelle McCall

Menu for the Show

For all the recipes for the show, please click here


  • Curried Brown Rice Salad with celery, cranberries, green onion and cashews
  • Ultimate French Green Lentil Salad with radishes, red onion and capers
  • Stacy’s Pita Chips and Homemade Hummus
  • Organic Corn Tortilla Chips and homemade Fire Roasted Salsa
Vegan Cheese & Cracker Platter:
  • Pepperjack Cashew Cheese & Wheat Thins/Gluten Free Cracker option
  • Macadamia Nut Brie
Snack Cups:
  • Filled with Sesame Sticks, Coconut Shreds, mini vegan chocolate chips, tamari pepitas, pistachios, golden raisins, wasabi peas and amazing corn snack
Vegetable Tray:
  • Assorted Olives, Cucumber, Grape Tomatoes, Broccoli, Celery Sticks, Baby Carrots, with Cashew Vegan Ranch Dressing
Fruit Tray:
  • Strawberries, Watermelon, Grapes, Pineapples, Blueberries, Kiwi & Pears
  • Gluten Free  & Regular Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  • Gluten Free & Regular Vegan Lemon Bars
  • Iced Water
  • Homemade Ginger Ale Lemonade