Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Vegan Slow Cooker
Book Review and Giveaway


I was bubbling with anticipation for the release of my friend, Kathy Hester's first book, The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour. You may wonder why, because when I first heard that she was writing a book, I didn't even own a slow cooker. But I've been a fan of Kathy's blog, Healthy Slow Cooking, ever since I learned that she can whip up the most enticing oatmeal recipes in her slow cooker. (Rather, in one of her many slow cookers!) She drew me in with her recipe for Carrot Cardamom Oatmeal (inspired by Indian Carrot Halwa), and she kept me coming back to her blog every day with recipes like Vanilla Fig Oatmeal Topped with Baklava Filling and Pear Applesauce Cake Oatmeal. Although you can make any of her recipes on the stove top, since Kathy created them in her slow cooker, how could I not get one? Here's a photo of the Slow Cooker Kheer Oatmeal I made back in March. I think I ate this for breakfast everyday for two weeks! It was just that yummy!


When my copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker arrived in the mail, I had to stop what I was doing, rip open the package, and start picking out recipes to try! I was completely floored by the stunning collection of intensely flavorful recipes and gorgeous photographs nestled within its pages. (Kudos to photographer Bill Bettencourt. The photo of Balsamic Brussels Sprouts is downright sexy!) While I couldn't wait to dive in to each and every recipe in this book, quite possibly the most exciting find for me was the recipe for Tea-Scented Tofu, which I made with Mountain Rose Herbs Lapsang Souchong tea. This tea's strong, smoky fragrance is reminiscent of a campfire, and it enveloped our home throughout the night. I never imagined that I'd ever be making my own smoked tofu, but the results were so much more delicate and delicious than anything store bought, I don't think I can go back to eating packaged smoked tofu again.


Inspired by the mouthwateringly appealing photo on page 119, and being a fan of sweet-and-sour dishes, with my homemade Tea-Scented Tofu all ready to go, I set out to make the recipe for Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu. Prepared with just a few simple ingredients, this dish was colorful and flavorful.


Confession time: Before becoming vegan (many moons ago), my boyfriend and I would dine out weekly weekly at an elegant (read pricy) restaurant. During these hedonistic excursions into gluttony, we'd polish off two bottles of chardonnay and indulge in the most decadent appetizers and entrees, finishing off these dinners with one of everything from the dessert cart. (I kid you not!) I won't go into the gory details about all of the animal products that comprised such meals, but the Eggplant Rollatini appetizer is the dish I remember most fondly. Each forkful of Kathy's Italian Eggplant Casserole with Cashew-Tofu Ricotta was every bit as delicious and transported me back to a very happy place and time.


It would never have occurred to me that one could make bread in a crock pot. Nor would I have ever thought of making cornbread with fruit. Again, Kathy amazed and delighted me with her Scrumptious Strawberry Cornbread recipe. Its perfect tender crumb and sweet corn flavor pair perfectly with strawberries. A little shmear of Earth Balance Coconut Spread, and I was on cornbread cloud nine!


Dessert in a slow cooker? Yep, you can make that, too! By now my readers know that I'm a rice-pudding fool, and this luscious Mango Coconut Rice Pudding not only tasted sensational, but the whole house smelled like coconut while it was cooking!


No need to worry if you've never cooked in a crock pot before. The Vegan Slow Cooker contains all the handy tips and slow-cooker basics you'll need to start creating mouthwatering recipes for everything from simmering soups to decadent desserts. So dust off your mother's crock pot—you know, the one that's been sitting idly in your cupboard—or buy yourself a new one. (They're not outrageously expensive.) Just think how nice it will be to wake up to a hot breakfast or have dinner waiting for you when you come home from work! With the The Vegan Slow Cooker, you'll be able to start enjoying delicious home-cooked meals that are ready when you're ready to eat!


I'm so excited about this book, I'm giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Simply leave me a comment telling me why you enjoy cooking in a slow cooker or why you think you might like to start! (Please make sure I have a way to contact you when you win.) That's it!*

Update: Congratulations to Sarah, who won a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker! Please send me your postal address, so I can send it right out to you. You are really going to love it! Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Stay tuned for more great giveaways to come ...

You can also earn additional entries by doing any or all of the following. Just leave a comment for each one you do:

1. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through NetworkedBlogs.
2. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker via @Vegiegail and dinner will be ready when you're ready to eat! http://bit.ly/tu8CmF #vegan #giveaway
3. Like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
5. Follow @geekypoet on Twitter!

And to whet your appetite even further, following is the for recipe Mango Coconut Rice Pudding from Kathy Hester's The Vegan Slow Cooker, excerpted by arrangement with Fair Winds Press. Copyright © 2011.

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 can light coconut milk
1 1/2 cups vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Sugar Free Vanilla Coconut Milk)
1/2 cup sugar or maple syrup or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Oil the crock of your slow cooker. (I used coconut oil.) Add all teh ingredients and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add a little more non-dairy milk if the mixture is not wet or creamy enough.

*Sorry international friends, you must have a valid US mailing address to enter.

102 comments:

dawn calame said...

I love to cook in a slow cooker! I am new to the vegan world and can use as many recipes as I can get to restock my cooking arsenal!!! I have always loved to cook and becoming vegan as put the excitement back into experimentation! Would love a copy of your book!!!!

Vegyogini said...

I would love to win this book to give to one of my best friends who, when my 20-year-old cat was in the final stages of his life, would make me home cooked slow cooker meals. He helped sustain and nourish me through one of the most difficult times in my life and I know he would love to have this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

Art You Dream About said...

I'm lazy when it comes to cooking, so this seems like the way to go for me.

Art You Dream About said...

I follow your blog

Art You Dream About said...

I follow you on Twitter

Jennette said...

Love this idea! I love slow cooker meals, but hardly have even tried it since going vegan. This is a great time of year to start! Thanks for the chance!!!
tandjgram@sbcglobal.net

Melissa said...

I love slow cookers because I can throw dinner together quickly in the morning and it's ready for me when I get home from work!

xmeliss182x (at) yahoo (Dot) com

Melissa said...

I follow geekypoet on twitter (@missymusings)

xmeliss182x (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mandy said...

I subscribe to your RSS feed via Google Reader.

mreid at hotmail dot com

Mandy said...

Just bought a slow cooker b/c of a great deal on Amazon. However, I'm at a loss as to what vegetarian/ vegan recipes I can make. This book would be a big help!

(mreid at hotmail dot com)

Marie said...

Now this book is right up my alley! Dinner ready when I get home? That's what I'm talking about!

Marie said...

I follow Hungry Vegan!

Marie said...

I liked Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook!

Justine said...

Ha! I didn't even remember that I owned a crock pot until now! The time has definitely come to dig it out and dust it off, and I would love to win a copy of this book! Everything looks so delicious, and I can't wait to make the eggplant and the rice pudding!

Justine said...

I follow this (fabuloso!) blog.

Unknown said...

My slow cooker is the only way I manage to get dinner on the table when my 1st grader is home at 3:30, out the door at 4:30 for martial arts, and then we're not home again until after 6!! Would LOVE to have more recipes to rely upon for those nights we just don't have time to cook.

(pattilbw [at] gmail [dot] com

Carol M said...

I just received a slow cooker and would love to have some great, new recipes for it. I've been a vegetarian for almost seventeen years now and most of my meals are vegan.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I follow on GFC.
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/#!/CarolAnnM/status/134791116355682304
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
CarolAnnM

mittens0831 at aol dot com

Carol M said...

I Follow @geekypoet on Twitter!
CarolAnnM

mittens0831 at aol dot com

Lizzie Bordello said...

I haven't cooked in a slow cooker for some time, but I love the ease of just tossing everything in, cranking it up, and ignoring it for hours until it's time for a magically done tasty dinner!

Lizzie Bordello said...

I follow this blog already. :)

Lizzie Bordello said...

Just tweeted the giveaway.

Lizzie Bordello said...

Already follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.

Lizzie Bordello said...

Now following @geekypoet on Twitter.

Lizzie Bordello said...

I like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.

Suburban Snow White said...

What a great giveaway! I used to be a slow cooker queen, when I still ate animals. Since, then my slow cooker went into early retirement, but I'd love to bring it out and try some vegan recipes with it!

Boi Polloi said...

You had me at "Brussels Sprouts" lol. I like the slow cooker because my cooking skills are minimal at best. I'm just starting out, and the slow cooker is an easier way for me to come up with something tasty with only basic skills.

Adam said...

I follow on Twitter :)

Adam said...

I have a slow cooker, received it as a gift, but I've actually never once used it.. this cookbook would clearly change that :)

Sarah said...

I do not currently have a slow cooker, but it is definitely on ky Christmas list this year. I really want a slow cooker because I am a college student with no time to cook on my hands, and it would be nice to come home from my 10pm classes every night with a hot meal ready for me. A hot and HEALTHY meal. Currently my healthy meals consist of couscous and frozen veggies tossed in the microwave. =/

Not sure if my email shows up, so I'm posting it here. Sagarvey29@gmail.com

Sarah said...

Followed your blog.

Sarah said...

Tweeted about the giveaway.

Sarah said...

Liked healthy slow cooking on Facebook.

Sarah said...

Followed vegiegail on Twitter.

Sarah said...

Followed geekypoet on twitter.

PurpleLarkspur said...

I just made a root vegetable tagine in the slow cooker this evening! It had parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, dried apricots, almonds, yellow potatoes, onions, cinnamon and cumin.

larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

PurpleLarkspur said...

I follow your blog

larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

PurpleLarkspur said...

https://twitter.com/#!/PurpleLarkspur/status/134889694407311360

larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

PurpleLarkspur said...

I follow @Vegiegail on Twitter. I am @purplelarkspur

larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

PurpleLarkspur said...

I follow @geekypoet on Twitter. I am @purplelarkspur

larkspurpurple (at) gmail.com

Pip444 said...

Follow your blog and subscribe via email.
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/pip444/status/134977592028708864
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook.
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

Follow @geekypoet on Twitter
spec@live.ca

Pip444 said...

OOps sorry i should have put this comment first. I've never used a slow cooker so i would really like to learn how to use one and make delicious vegan meals.
spec@live.ca

Michelle said...

Oooh, a vegan slow cooker book sounds wonderful. I've recently become vegan, and definitely need to learn some new recipes to expand my meal options. And, with Winter coming, I'd love to use my slower cooker a bit more!
--Michelle

Jamie said...

I love my crockpot! And I need to learn how to cook something besides beans in it! Thanks for the giveaway and I'm glad to have found your site!

Jamie said...

and I've tweeted your comment and link!

Jamie said...

I'm following @vegiegail on tweeter!

E. said...

I like cooking with a slow cooker because it works well with my busy schedule! I can just turn it on and not worry for the rest of the day - I have dinner ready after work!

E. said...

I like healthy slow cooking on fb (erin d)

E. said...

I follow geekypoet on twitter (erin_d..)

E. said...

I follow vegiegail on twitter (erin_d...)

E. said...

I'm an email subscriber (dr...ch....@gmail)

Angels521 said...

I only have 1 vegan recipe from a friend for my slow cooker. I would love to have the recipe book to become a vegan slow cooker queen:-)...

Athena said...

I love cooking in a slow cooker because it's convenient and easy.
cereza25 at yahoo dot com

Athena said...

I follow you on Twitter @GoddessFoodie.

cereza25 at yahoo dot com

kelly g. said...

My parents gave me a slow cooker for x-mas last year, and I haven't a clue what to do with it. This cookbook would be a huge help! :)

kelly g. said...

I also follow you on twitter (I'm @easyvegan)

kelly g. said...

and tweeted about your giveaway!
http://twitter.com/#!/easyvegan/status/135029941979987968

kelly g. said...

and I liked Healthy Slow Cooking on FB

Barbara Sinor, Ph.D. said...

Well, I am new to becoming a vegan and thought for sure I wouldn't be using my slow cooker any longer! Then on FB I followed the link to your site and read all the ways you have used it...:) I am delighted and would like to get your book for myself and my sister who went vegan about six months ago. She had a stroke and decided to change her diet, not take pills, now she is healthy and I am convinced her going vegan is the reason. Count me in for a Free copy Kathy!!
www.drsinor.com
Barbara~

VeganMarr said...

It all looks delicious! Especially the bread & the rice pudding! Slow cooking is a great idea. Filling up on the aroma as it cooks sounds heavenly, too! :-)

Terri Cole said...

I love being able to start a soup or stew early in the day and then forget it until dinner time! What could be easier?

gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

Terri Cole said...

I follow your blog

gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

Terri Cole said...

I like Healthy Slow Cooking on FB

gaia (at) cinci (dot) rr (dot) com

Kim said...

I would love to start cooking with a slow cooker because it sounds so convenient and flavorful. Thanks for having such a great giveaway!

Christina said...

Now that I live in cold and snowy Tahoe, the slow cooker stays on my counter from October to March. I love the convenience of coming home to a hot, wholesome meal. That eggplant casserole is calling me!

Christina said...

I'm a blog follower, too.

Christina said...

I'm a Twitter follower, too.

Christina said...

I follow Kathy on Twitter, too.

Christina said...

I like Healthy Slow Cooking on FB, too.

MarkTwain said...

Follow your blog!

MarkTwain said...

I Like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook. :)

MarkTwain said...

I Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter!

MarkTwain said...

I Follow @geekypoet on Twitter! @martielou

MarkTwain said...

I tweeted! @martielou

MarkTwain said...

I really want to utilize my slow cooker more often! It seems like a perfect tool for making amazing dinners. It needs to be reclaimed from its former cheeze dip duties and put to healthy use!

Ashley said...

There is nothing better than coming home to the amazing smell of a slow-cooked stew...my favorite thing to make in the slow cooker! Thanks so much for the giveaway :)

Ashley said...

I Like Healthy Slow Cooking on Facebook!

Ashley said...

I follow vegiegail :)

Ashley said...

I follow Kathy too :)

Ashley said...

I subscribe!

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I love my slow cooker and use it all the time. I even made unchicken stock in it! I would love to win this book.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I follow your blog via email.

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I follow you on twitter

Anna (Green Talk) said...

I tweeted about the contest via @greentalk

Summer said...

I love coming home to a meal, already prepared. It's like having my own personal cook! A little bit of effort in the morning (or the night before), and you have a dinner already made. I love it.

sdrake6@kent.edu

Summer said...

I followed Healthy Slow Cooking on FB!


sdrake6@kent.edu

Summer said...

I followed the blog on an RSS feed!


sdrake6@kent.edu

Healthy Organic & Cheap said...

I enjoy cooking a slow cooker because it really is hard to ruin anything. Everything comes out tasting good.

Healthy Organic & Cheap said...

Email subscriber

Healthy Organic & Cheap said...

Tweeted about the giveaway. http://twitter.com/#!/Organicandcheap/status/135411470128250880

Sarah Creighton said...

I'd LOVE this book as I'm loving the idea of slow cooking vegan style!
I followed you on FB & Twitter!!

veggiegrettie.com said...

All of these recipes looks great! I am a big crock-potter this time of year.

Nightengale said...

Found your site through the Cook for Good blog! I liked it on Facebook! While I love Linda's recipes the thought of cooking veggie style recipes that look so wonderful in a crockpot is just so great! I am excited to be able to make something healthy in a crockpot the night before and know I am going to have a great meal cooking when I am doing other things that I enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Vegan said...

Love your blog! I have this book and love it as well, anyone who wins it is going to love it as well.

Donna B! said...

The flavors take on a whole new intensity when slow cooked and it is a great tool for creating delicious vegan recipes. Would be great to win this book so I can give Chef Al a cooking break every once in awhile!

Jenn╩╗s Adventure╩╗s said...

Due to a family medical emergency my entire family is now raw/vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free. I need all the help I can get, and revamping my (un)cook books is becoming imperative!!