Category: Books

What do Vegans Fry?

Things Vegans Fry includes some of my favorite fried foods. If you think things like falafel or tater tots are hard to make, this book removes that fear with step by step instructions.

Yes, I use oil. I use all sorts of things that the Healthy Folks want you to avoid. When I went to the Vegan Street Fair in NOHO, the longest line I saw, besides the line for tickets, was for Southern Fried Vegan. Proving my theory that vegans love fried food as well as any other kind of food.

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A Little Vacation

tree arch

I’ve obviously taken a little vacation.

No, I did not have anything ready to cover the two weeks I decided to disengage. It seems that my capacity for smooth content is about two months. Running a blog isn’t easy; coming up with ideas, writing and editing articles, cooking, and taking photos, cataloging and editing the photos, choosing what goes up when. Yes, many of the food bloggers make it look easy. Most of them started small, like me, then they gained staff. There are two of us that run this little corner of the web and, sometimes, we run out of steam. read more

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I Wrote a Cookbook!

Sometimes as a chef I am challenged to write down recipes. The birth of this blog and website were because my spouse said, “Did you write that down? Go write it down.” I had bits and scraps of paper floating around the house with scribbles of ingredients and amounts. But there was nothing formal. So I took to writing the ingredients and process down in a notebook, then transcribed it to the blog.

As the blog grows it gets a little harder to find the recipes. I wanted a way that you could find just soups, or just tofu. And the list goes on.

So I wrote a book...

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Bake and Destroy – Bad Vegans Deserve Good Food Too!

Bake and Destroy (Page Street Publishing, 2013) is a refreshing breath of air in a sea of new cookbooks touting the plant-based diet. Read the title again, Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans. Remember when I talked about not all vegan diets being healthy? I don’t have to be a good vegan to cook from this uncomplicated, straightforward cookbook. And neither do you.

And Natalie Slater does not disappoint.

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The Collective Culinary Journey

I love reading about food — history, memoirs, and yes, recipe books. I read some blogs; admittedly, I need to read more of them. What I’ve discovered is that I enjoy the collective story of the culinary journey.

I recently came across the blog Poor Man’s Feast, written by Elissa Altman, and the 2012  winner of the James Beard individual food blog award. Her writing is everything a food writer should be, and the blog is an amazing homage to memory, food, and her mother.

The Tenth Muse by Judith JonesRight now, I’m currently digesting The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food, by Judith Jones. As an Editor at Knopf Publishing Co. she is responsible for bringing us “Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, and Madhur Jaffrey, the Indian actress turned cook. The stories in the Tenth Muse are rich in American culinary history and rife with food memories. Sometimes I wish I’d had a young adulthood like that, taking notes on what and where I feasted. Jones brings into startling focus the recipes she tested for the cookbooks she edited as well as the joys of eating a simple meal. read more

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Even Good Chefs Have Bad Days

Dursmall onion sambaring a shopping spree a little over a week ago, I finally found fresh curry leaves, an important ingredient in the cookbook I’m working out of: Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India.

The recipes I chose to make were Beans Poriyal, Colocasia Roast (Small Taro root), Small Onion Sambar, and Curry Powder.  I also boiled potatoes for potato salad, and chopped cabbage for both coleslaw, and Bund Gobi. Much too much for the 12 feet of cooking space in the apartment.

I made the Beans Poriyal, and scorched the spices a bit, it still came out OK, but not great. Not overly fond of the taste. The Colocasia Roast is a labor intensive process. First you boil the taro root, then peel it, then dice it and cook it in the spices, and then roast it for a few minutes in the oven. I failed to turn on a timer when I put it in the oven and burned the Roast. What little I was able to taste was fantastic, and that just made me sad. read more

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Weekday Vegetarian as an Option

This is a guest post written by my Partner, D’Marie.

I have been a vegetarian for a long time, approaching twenty years now. I have been a full on vegan for three or four and wheat free for two.  This has been a long process, not an overnight change.

Even the initial decision to become a vegetarian, back when I was in college, was a gradual one.  I decided to slowly weed out different types of meat from my diet so that I could, one day, become a full vegetarian. At that point I couldn’t imagine becoming vegan.  And, because the idea of leaving behind meat was such a scary one, I was even slow on that count.  I remember explaining to friends that I was allowing myself to eat red meat only two days a week at first and poultry the rest of the week. read more

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The Conscious Cook Book Review

I've got The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen in my hands right now. Yes, it is a two year old book, but he is still making news.

I hadn't heard of him before because I wasn't following vegan blogs, and really don't have that much time. So I didn't catch reviews by those of you out there talking about the book. That's how I missed the news of a hot new chef making waves.

I cracked the book.

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Culinary Sleuth

baobab treeIn order to bring you the Food knowledge and History section of this blog, I have had to become part food anthropologist, part researcher, and part historian. Not to mention a bit of a botanist to keep track of all the genus of plant life I am reading about.

It boils down to this: the world is only so big, there’s only so many plant foods humans can consume without being poisoned. However, at least in America, our palates were watered down, and left bland, until the Food Revolution of the late 1980’s through the mid-1990’s. Food was brought back to life by the discovery that cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice weren’t just for desserts. We found out there’s more grain than just wheat, and there is more fruit out there besides bananas and oranges. read more

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April Reading List

Here’s the culinary reading list so far this month…

Salt: A World History: I know, we’ve seen this one before, but I had to send it back to the library before I was done reading. This time I intend to finish it. Salt has had a huge impact on our world, and how it shaped world history.

Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide: A comprehensive and thorough documentation of the approximately 350 foods that we humans consume.

Seeds of Change: Five Plants That Transformed Mankind: There is a newer edition of this book, Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind. Henry Hobhouse added cocoa to quinine, sugar, tea, cotton and the potato as foods that impacted history. I’m wondering why corn is not in there? read more

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans

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