Sunday, November 19, 2006

Vegan World Fusion Cuisine: The Perfect Holiday Gift

Vegan World Fusion Cuisine: Healing Recipes & Timeless Wisdom from Our Hearts to Yours
Thousand Petals Publishing
November 2004, $24.95 Hardcover
Second Edition
Written by Mark Reinfeld, Bo Rinaldi, and the Chefs of The Blossoming Lotus Cafe

A cookbook just shouldn't be this gorgeous. A book of recipes is a utilitarian thing— a simple tool to make life easier in the kitchen.

Not so with Vegan World Fusion Cuisine. It does not occupy a space on my bookshelf along with the dozens of other recipe books I own. Instead, it reigns supreme on my coffee table, the only book to hold this place of honor.

The "oohs" and "aahs" it elicits from vegan and non-vegan visitors alike, have become all too predictable. My husband and I place bets on how long it will take a guest in our home to become mesmerized by this book. Still, I maintain that a cookbook simply should not be so shamelessly enticing. The spectacularly vibrant photographs contained within its pages further reinforce my already obsessive love affair with food, and make me long to find myself in enchanting and magical places I've yet had the chance to visit. It's filled with subtle, exquisite beauty and not-so-subtle temptation.

The vegan and living food recipes found in Vegan World Fusion Cuisine are all made with pure and simple ingredients: whole, fresh, ripe, raw fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, unprocessed grains, unbleached flours, and unrefined oils and sweeteners. With names that are as imaginative as the multicultural dishes themselves, you can indulge in truly healthful and tasty creations.

Eternal Sunrise Smoothie is creamy, rich, and fruity, and the best smoothie I've ever tasted. (No kidding!) Satori Summer Rolls or Nooanda's Pistachio Blue Corn Crusted Tempeh served with Primal Peanut Sauce are as tantalizing as the names imply. Sicilian Seitan with Sundried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts makes me wonder why I ever thought that cheese was a necessary ingredient in Italian food. Star Lotus Persimmon Parfait and The Bliss of Krishna Tropical Rice Pudding deeply satisfy my almost insatiable sweet tooth. But don't be intimated by the exotic-sounding names. All of the recipes are easy and fun to prepare!

The engaging forward by Dr. Jane Goodall, inspiring quotations, brilliantly colorful photographs, and delectable multicultural recipes all blend together to illustrate the love and devotion that was poured into the creation of this book. With the sublimely flavorful recipes from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine you can create in your own kitchen, you'll feast on foods that will nourish and nurture your body, mind, and spirit, and serve love and healing energy to your family and friends.

Vegan World Fusion Cuisine has been voted Cookbook of the Year by readers of VegNews, and is the recipient of the 2005 PETA Proggy Award for Best New Cookbook, the Gourmand Award for Best Veggie Cookbook, 2006 Award for Best Veggie Cookbook, and even Martha Stewart's Nautilus Award for Best new Book.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Outrageous Holiday Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving and winter holidays represent a time of joy and celebration marked by great feasting. Some of our warmest childhood memories are recalled by the tastes and smells of the holiday table. Sadly, the celebrating often ends when carnivores and vegetarians collide, but, this need not be the case. This simple recipe for pumpkin pie from The Peaceful Palate by Jennifer Raymond is a delicious example of an animal-free holiday dish that everyone can enjoy!


1 1/2 cups soymilk* (vanilla or plain)
4 Tbsp. cornstarch - or - arrowroot
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1/2 cup raw sugar or other sweetener
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves

In a large bowl, whisk together soy milk and cornstarch or arrowroot until smooth, then blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell, ready-made graham cracker pie crust, or follow directions below for a fat-free crust. (I prefer using an Arrowhead Mills graham cracker pie crust.) Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 45 minutes. Cool before cutting.
Don't forget to add Soyatoo Whipped Topping to each piece when serving, and for a truly decadent dessert, warm pie before serving and top with a scoop of Organic So Delicious Creamy Vanilla ice cream!


1 cup Grape-NutsTM cereal
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate (undiluted)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the Grape-NutsTM and apple juice concentrate. Pat into an 8 or 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 7 minutes, then fill with pumpkin mixture. Bake an additional 45 minutes. Makes one crust.

*Update: I now make this pie with So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk Beverage, and the texture and flavor are even better!