Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The HappyCow Cookbook
Review and Giveaway

With vegan eateries springing up everywhere (hello Omaha!), living and traveling as a vegan has gotten so much easier and lots more fun. A quick visit to the HappyCow website will point the way to veg restaurants from Milan to Minsk—complete with reviews from diners. And with the release of The HappyCow Cookbook, now you can take your vegan palate around the world right from the comfort of your very own kitchen! I was excited to find recipes from some of my most favorite vegan eateries like Café Blossom and Hangawi in New York City and Real Food Daily in Los Angeles. Even more exciting was the opportunity to sample fare from restaurants I have always wanted to visit but haven't had the chance to, like Vertical Diner in Salt Lake City and Ain. Soph Ginza in Tokyo.


Here in Eugene, OR, we've got our very own famous vegan restaurant, the Cornbread Cafe, which has the distinction of being the very first vegan restaurant to be featured on The Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives! I've been a fan of Cornbread Cafe's down-home, delectable vegan comfort food since it first opened as a food cart downtown on Oak Street.


It wasn't very long before Cornbread Cafe evolved from its humble beginnings as a food cart to a colorful, full-service restaurant complete with comfy diner-style booths and lunch counter. When friends visit from out of town, I can't wait to take them to Cornbread Cafe to experience the decadently delicious Eugenewich. Take a peek at my very own personal Cornbread Cafe photo gallery. Look closely—you may even see someone you know!


Cornbread Cafe is renowned for its incredible Eugenewich, pictured below. Also shown are several of its fabulous side dishes: (clockwise from top left to right) Mac Uncheese, Uncle Todd's Greens, Sassy Slaw, and just visible all the way over on the left is a hunk of my favorite side— Cornbread Cafe's scrumptious namesake cornbread.


To put it mildly, I'm cuckoo for Cornbread Cafe's signature cornbread. So when I flipped through the pages of  The HappyCow Cookbook and found the recipe for Skillet Cornbread along with recipes for the cafe's crispy-good Chicken Fried Tempeh and impossibly thin and delicious Tofu Omelet Sheets, I just about flipped! (I also just about kicked myself in the pants for recently getting rid of my cast-iron skillet.) But I made the cornbread in a muffin pan instead of a skillet, and it came out gorgeously golden and tasted every bit as delicious as the cornbread I've enjoyed so many times at the restaurant. With just a schmear of strawberry jam on my cornbread muffin...WOW! What a treat!


Following is the recipe for Cornbread Cafe's Skillet Cornbread reprinted with the kind permission of BenBella Books. A couple of notes: I avoid products containing palm oil, so I used vegetable oil instead of EB to grease the pan. And because I used a muffin pan instead of a cast-iron skillet, the cornbread was fully baked in only 17 minutes. (Be sure to use a toothpick to test your batch.)

Cornbread Cafe Skillet Cornbread
Serves 6–10

1 to 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter substitute (I used vegetable oil)
1 cup cornmeal (medium ground)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup soy or rice milk
1⁄3 cup oil
Egg replacer for 2 eggs (follow directions on box)

For the topping (optional):
Earth Balance butter substitute (I opted for strawberry jam)
Agave syrup 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put 1 or 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter substitute (or other vegan margarine) into a 9" cast-iron skillet and put in the heated oven for about 10 minutes.

Add together the dry ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl and whisk together, combining thoroughly.

Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients (soy or rice milk through egg
replacer). Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well, just until all of the dry mixture is incorporated with the wet. Some small lumps are okay.

Remove skillet from oven and coat bottom and sides with the melted Earth Balance. Pour (or scrape)
batter into skillet, spreading evenly with rubber spatula. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes in
the middle of the center rack. Test the center of corn bread with a toothpick after 20 minutes. When the toothpick comes out clean without crumbs sticking to it, the corn bread is done. Let it cool for a few minutes and, if desired, serve with Earth Balance and agave syrup.

If you'd like to take your taste buds on a tasty trip around the world, get yourself a copy of The HappyCow Cookbook. You'll soon be enjoying dishes like the Pistachio-Crusted Eggplant Napoleons from Millenium in San Francisco and Red Curry Tempeh Tempura from Veggies on Fire in the Netherlands. And now you can win a copy of The HappyCow Cookbook just by leaving a comment below and following the prompt in the Rafflecopter box! (This step is required for entry.) After you leave a comment, you can earn additional entries by following any or all of the other Rafflecopter options. I'll be selecting one lucky winner at random.* Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, I receive a modest commission.

33 comments:

Kate Montana said...

I LOVE The Cornbread Cafe! The phish fillet is my favorite. :)

Babette said...

My favorite restaurant is Aux Vivres in Montreal. I recommend the BLT sandwich, a BLT made with coconut bacon, lots of mayo and wrapped in a chapati bread.

Michaela said...

My favorite is Shojin--a vegan macrobiotic Japanese restaurant in LA. I love all of their sushi rolls. They are so creative and the flavors are out of this world!

Jessica Eagle said...

Thanks for this giveaway :)

My favorite vegan restaurant is Zen in Québec, Canada. They serve Asian cuisine. I really enjoy their wonton soup. All plates are served in a tray with different compartment. You can taste different thing in a same meal :)

Kendy P said...

i have eaten at a few of the CA spots in the book!

The Vegan said...

I would one day love to try out Cornbread Cafe.

Currently my favorite vegan restaurant is Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, CA.

Vegiegail said...

WOW! You are all making me want to visit these fabulous vegan eateries! Please keep 'em coming! They're great! And Arnold, I hope I get the chance to take you to Cornbread Cafe one day!

sylvia triplett said...

my favorite vegan restaurant is native foods, their vegan chicken wings are the best ive ever had!

Caryne said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book but I am in the UK so can't enter :-(

Vegiegail said...

Sorry, Caryne. I hope you enjoy the cornbread recipe and can get your hands on a copy of this book.

sarahhhhhh said...

Homegrown in newark de! vegan omelette!

Helen said...

My favorite vegan restaurant is Hangawi in New York. Since I don't live there, I would love to be able to cook some of there food!

Jenny K said...

My favourite restaurant in Canada is Zen Kitchen in Ottawa, Ontario. Their best dish in my opinion was the perogies with tempeh and caramelized onions. Sadly it's not on the menu anymore.

jennybunny_AThotmailDOTcom

Melissa said...

Whenever I visit family in Cleveland OH, I go to The Flaming Ice Cube. Absolutely everything is vegan. My fave dish is the Spicy Chick’n Quesadilla… yum!

VeganMarr said...

The polenta dish at Cafe Gratitude in West Hollywood. The baked yams at Oh Happy Days in Altadena. Kale Cesar Salad at Veggie Grill, Encino. Chocolate Cream Pie at Real Food Daily in Pasadena. Dble Mini Greens w/vegan ranch & Strawberry Parfait at Native Foods,Culver City. Gluten Free Pancakes at Follow Your Heart, Canoga Park. Lemon cake w/Blueberry/ Strawberry Frosting & the Pan au Chocolates at Flore Cafe in Silverlake. Marinated Brussell Sprouts at Crossroads in West Hollywood. Tofu Benedict at M Cafe in West Hollywood. Flan w/caramel sauce at Gracias Madre in West Hlwd. Sorry, can't pick just one! ;-)

Vegiegail said...

Helen, there are two fabulous recipes from Hangawi in The HappyCow Cookbook, including one of my favorites—Tofu with Broccoli in Spicy Garlic Sauce!

Marr, thank you for sharing so many of your restaurant faves. You're making it really hard for me not to jump on a plane to LA!

Ellen said...

My favorite vegan restaurant has got to be The Wayward Cafe in Seattle. It's got that small town diner feel with an entirely vegan menu! Their cinnamon rolls are to die for.

HilLesha said...

Sadly, there aren't any vegan restaurants in my area. However, I discovered The Fresh Bar when visiting New Orleans last month. They have several good vegan options!

Handmade by Lorna said...

I have never been to a vegan restaurant, I am not even sure if there is one around these parts. Your post inspired me to try and make these cornbreads as they look so delicious. thank you for the recipe.

Ashley said...

I love Native Foods! It is reasonably priced and accessible for everyone! :)

Julie Hasson said...

My favorite vegan restaurant is Cornbread Cafe in Eugene! I love all of their food, but the crispy tempeh with creamy cashew gravy and mashed potatoes is the best!

Amanda H said...

My Favorite is Blue Mountain Gelato in Sydney, AUS - real, vegan, amazingly delicious gelato in a ton of different flavors - all handmade on site!!!

Terri Cole said...

It's not a strictly vegan place, but Melt Eclectic Deli in the Northside area of Cincinnati has some amazing vegan food! They make a Philly Cheeze Steak with house made seitan and house made cashew cheese that is incredible. Plus, one block down is Happy Chicks bakery, which is 100% vegan and phenomenal!

gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

Terri Cole said...

It's not a strictly vegan place, but Melt Eclectic Deli in the Northside area of Cincinnati has some amazing vegan food! They make a Philly Cheeze Steak with house made seitan and house made cashew cheese that is incredible. Plus, one block down is Happy Chicks bakery, which is 100% vegan and phenomenal!

gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

happyinblue said...

My favorite so far is MY INDIGO in Salzburg. Had a couple great meals there!

Katherine said...

I haven't had luck finding any vegan places!

sara said...

Aux Vivres in Montreal :)

Healthy Organic & Cheap said...

My favorite Vegan restaurant is Sage Kitchen in Phoenix, AZ. Located at the Town & Country shopping center. The freshest delicious salads, wraps, pizzas. And the raw desserts and homemade chocolates!

Jennifer Manriquez said...

Spiral Diner in Fort Worth, TX! The Nachos Supremo is my absolute favorite dish, but I love the "Mitch" Tofu Club too. It's got chipotle mayo on it - it's delicious!

Miranda said...

I moved from Eugene to a less Veg friendly town a year ago and I miss Cornbread Cafe soooo much! I love their French Dip and Sassy Slaw...and all of the desserts they offer.

Lizzie Bordello said...

It's not strictly vegan, but Galactic Pizza in Minneapolis is awesome. The vegan Bianca pizza (sundried tomatoes and artichokes) is fantastic. There are lots of vegan options (the menu even has a note specifically directed at vegans/vegetarians), and they are really environmentally conscious too, sourcing locally and working to reduce waste. Plus, their delivery people dress like superheroes and drive electric cars!

MerylAnnB said...

I love Bonobo's in NYC and Arnold's Way in Lansdale PA...both full of raw vegan yumminess!

David said...

Candle 79 in NYC has the best seitan in my opinion...Seitan Piccata is a must have