One Dish Vegan Book Review, Recipe, and Contest!

Mac and Thai

Mac and Thai (photo credit Robin Robertson)

When I was invited to be part of the blog tour for One Dish Vegan, I quickly said yes. Robin Robertson was one of the first authors I tested for, and it is her  husband’s company that gave life to American Vegan Kitchen, my first cookbook which led to others:  Grills Gone Vegan, Whole Grain Vegan Baking, and Vegan Sandwiches Save the  Day (the latter two with Celine Steen.) I am very grateful to both Robin and Jon for introducing me to the vegan cookbook writing world.

Robin is a prolific and influential cookbook author. I can’t begin to imagine all the people who have either dabbled in vegan cooking, or committed to it after first getting their feet wet in her books. I can only reach a fraction of the people Robin has through her cooking. Robin’s latest release, One Dish Vegan, is full of easy recipes that are perfect for weeknight cooking, which is sure to draw even more people to the V side.

The book opens with Robin’s explanation that “one-dish” doesn’t necessarily mean “one-pot”, but that when this dish is placed on the table, it is in one serving vessel. This is followed by some very helpful information about stocking a vegan kitchen, as well as cooking times for beans and grains. Then we get to the most important part of the book: the recipes. The chapters include soups, salads, stews, chili, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and baked dishes. The recipes really are easy, have short ingredient lists, and are quick to get on the table. We had the Mac and Thai and really enjoyed it. Robin and the publisher are allowing me to share the recipe with you. I subbed broccoli for the asparagus, and used the tofu option. It was hearty and an interesting take on a traditional dish. Photo credit goes to Robin herself, as our days have been rather dark for photography and I didn’t do the dish justice.

In addition to sharing the recipe, Harvard Common Press is offering a copy to one lucky blog reader! Tell me one of your favorite one dish meals in the comments, or just say “hi”! The winner will be drawn randomly next week. US and Canada shipping are ok! If you already have a collection of Robin’s books, take note that this one is massive revision of One Pot Vegetarian. Many of the revised recipes are lower in fat, contain more whole grains, and offer gluten and soy-free options. There are also many new recipes, too! I look forward to exploring lots of the International recipes for which Robin is known.

Enter today! Good luck!

Check back the next 4 weeks for 4 more cookbook contests!

Mac and  Thai

Gluten-free Option | Serves 4

Leftover pad Thai was the inspiration for this macaroni pie with Thai flavors. It actually tastes like pad Thai, so I almost called it Pad Thai Pie. Instead of the white beans, you may substitute 1 1/2 cups crumbled firm tofu, if you like. Use rice noodles to make this gluten-free.


·        1 1/2 cups cooked white beans or 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained

·        1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk

·        2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

·        5 scallions, minced

·        2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

·        1 teaspoon rice vinegar

·        1 teaspoon peanut butter

·        1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

·        Salt

·        3 cups cooked linguine or soaked rice noodles (6 to 8 ounces before cooking)

·        1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1/4 cup water

·        1/2 cup chopped red onion

·        6 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into

·        1-inch pieces

·        2 garlic cloves, minced

·        1 small carrot, peeled and shredded

·        1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

·        1 cup thinly sliced white mushrooms

·        2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or vegan oyster sauce

·        1 tablespoon natural sugar

·        1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (optional)

·        2 tablespoons water

·        6 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

·        3 tablespoons crushed unsalted roasted peanuts

·        2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil

·        Lime wedges, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9- to 10-inch pie plate or quiche pan.

2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the beans, almond milk, nutritional yeast, half of the scallions, the lime juice, vinegar, peanut butter, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the noodles and mix well to combine. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil or water in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes to soften. Add the asparagus, garlic, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, and remaining scallions. Stir in the tamari, sugar, chili paste (if using), and water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the noodle mixture and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.

4. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Arrange the tomato halves on top of the mixture around the outer edge of the pan in an evenly spaced circle, pressing the tomatoes lightly into the mixture. Cover loosely and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle the top with the peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe © 2013 by Robin Robertson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press



Winner of Pies and Tarts with Heart!

Congratulations, #10: Cassi Conyers! I will try to contact you privately, but if you don’t hear from me, please send me your mailing address. I know you will love Pies and Tarts with Heart, which is packed with both savory and sweet recipes.

Because Celine and I are starting work on a new book, I don’t have a recipe to share with you today. Truth be told: I’m quilting a lot, too. But here is a photo of one my light (and easy!) dishes.

Edamame Salad

I promise that this won’t turn into a quilt blog, but I can’t resist sharing a couple of my recent creations. Apparently, my taste in quilting parallels my taste in cooking in some ways: I like bold flavors and bold colors.

Starry Quilt with Sophie!

Tipped Blocks

Be sure to check back soon for another cookbook contest and maybe even a recipe post! Congratulations again, Cassi!



Pies and Tarts with Heart

One of my favorite authors, Dynise Balcavage, has a new cookbook out! Lucky for me, I get to be part of her blog tour. Lucky for you, I’m giving away a copy of her book! Read on.

Dynise is one of my favorites for a bunch of reasons. Among them: her ability to write a common sense, practical recipe which ends up being so much more than the sum of it’s parts. Dynise uses ingredients you usually have, yet creates unique dishes with stunning results. She seems to have the attitude that it’s ok to indulge, and her writing tone (which I really like) feels like she is right there beside you when you do.

The book is well organized with chapters such as Traditional, Decadent and Creamy, Citrus Pies, Raw Pies, a big variety of Savory Pies, and more. Unless I am mistaken, there is a photo for every recipe. Yes, you read that right.

When I first flipped though the book to decide what to make first, I saw a lot of contenders. But being a sucker for all things lemon, I  knew it had to be the Lemon Fluff Pie. This pie is wonderfully light and lovely, with a perfect creamy texture. Because I have a hard time finding vegan graham crackers, I substituted a store-bought crust. While I’m sure it would be even better with a homemade crust, it didn’t miss a beat.

Growing up, my mom used to make an “angel pie”: a meringue crust with a lemony pudding filling, spread with whipped cream. One bite of this pie, and I was right back in that same place. I look forward to trying many recipes from this book and am happy this was my first choice.

Dynise and her publisher have generously offered a contest copy of Pies and Tarts with Heart! To enter, just leave a comment telling me what kind of pie is the hardest one for you to pass up. The winner will be drawn randomly next Sunday. Good luck, but if you aren’t the lucky winner, be sure to pick this one up. You’ll be glad  you did.

Check out the rest of the bloggers celebrating the releases of Pies and Tarts with Heart here.

To tempt you to buy this even more, check out this sneak peek recipe. (Recipe copyright Dynise Balcavage, 2013.)

Sorry about dark shot- but just know that this pie brightened our day!

Sorry about dark shot- but just know that this pie brightened our day!


Lemon Fluff Pie

Refreshment in a crust. This tart-sweet pie is filled with a creamy, lemony pudding punctuated with happy flecks of lemon zest, topped off with a fluffy cloud of Coconut Whipped Topping. It’s a light finish to a heavy meal. Because it’s no-bake and citrusy, it’s a summer dessert no-brainer. Who needs an oven with a pie like this?

Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) pie

1 All-Purpose Cookie Crust made with graham crackers or gluten-free graham crackers

½ cup (120 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon (8 g) agar

1 (12-ounce, or 336 g) container aseptic-packaged firm silken tofu (do not use refrigerated tofu; it’s too grainy for this recipe)

1 (8-ounce, or 225 g) container nondairy cream cheese

2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon extract

1 teaspoon arrowroot

2 tablespoons (12 g) finely grated lemon zest, plus extra for garnish

Pinch of turmeric, to boost yellow color (no more than 1/8 teaspoon)

2 recipes Coconut Whipped Cream or your favorite nondairy whipped cream


Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6).

Press the crust into a pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly before filling.

Pour the lemon juice and agar flakes into a small microwave-safe bowl.

Nuke for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the agar flakes are all dissolved and the liquid is very hot. Set aside and let cool completely.

In a food processor, mix the tofu, cream cheese, sugar, lemon extract, arrowroot, and lemon zest until creamy. Better to overprocess than underprocess. Add the lemon juice–agar mixture and continue processing.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, leaving ¼ inch (6 mm) of headspace. Do not overfill. If you have any extra, pour it into ramekins to make individual lemon puddings. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I suggest freezing for an hour before serving.

Catching Up!

Whew, I knew it had been a long time since I had posted a blog post. But I hadn’t realized it had been that long! Let me share some of my recent happenings with you!

We had these sensational focaccia for a game night with non-vegan friends. They loved them. The recipe is here.

I’ve been making a bunch of quilts and have started a new project to help Sanctuaries and other pro-vegan groups. Details can be found on Quilts for the Cause.

We finally made it to Deagan’s in Lakewood for their vegan night. I’d like to do this every Wednesday!

We visited Edgewater Park in Cleveland for the first time.

Check out the super successful soy yogurt I made! Recipe here.

We also went to the first ever Vegan Weekend at Melt and feasted.


Saw the cover of our next book, to be released in the spring… and signed a contract for another book!

And most importantly, celebrated our first year with Sophie.

Be sure to check back for a book review and contest, coming soon. In the meantime, tell me, what have you been up to?

The State of Vegan

Peach Pielets from Whole Grain Vegan Baking

Hey, Vegans! Our numbers are growing by leaps and bounds. It’s really cool, right? Maybe it’s time to reassess the most important aspect of being vegan. The actual idea of being vegan. It’s a huge shared bond, yet too often members of our community tend to turn on other members.  Sometimes it’s the “I’m more vegan than you” syndrome. Sometimes it’s just because we disagree with the the other person on a number of issues. Sometimes people just get on each others’ nerves.  Sure, we’re not going to like everyone. Just like there were teachers we liked growing up and some we didn’t; people are still people and we mesh with some more than others. What then? How about human decency and just being civil and courteous? It’s far more compassionate and productive than doing harm.

Let’s go back to that important part: being vegan.

We all started somewhere. My “hometown” isn’t the same as your “hometown”. We’ve all ended up in this incredible State of Vegan. We’ve followed many different routes to get here. Some of us took the road for the animals, others followed the road with the “Save the Environment” sign; some came this way for health; still others ended up here following a number of roads with countless detours and hills that seemed too high to climb. No matter how we got here, we’re here. Let’s share in our successes and in the sad realities that we face every day.  Let’s support each other rather than tear each other down. Let’s share our wealth of compassion and kindness within our community, so that we can all be a stronger force within our community and outside of it.

That’s all. Have a Peach Pielet. Recipe here.