Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway
Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson
and World Vegan Feast Winner!

When I was growing up in the neighborhood of Long Island City/Astoria, in the borough of Queens, in the city of New York, I couldn't wait for Friday nights after dancing school, because that was when my mom would take me out to dinner at the Bel Aire Diner. It's sad to say, but I look back on those meals with great fondness, because they were a welcome reprieve from my mother's cooking. Burgers, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, BLT sandwiches, malts, and rice pudding were (and still are) true comfort foods to me and could be had just two blocks from our home. 

Bel Aire Diner then

Bel Aire Diner now
How exciting to find delicious recipes for vegan versions of these dishes and so many more in Julie Hasson's new book, Vegan Diner! With recipes like Breakfast Benedicts Florentine, Malted Waffles, Skillet-Baked Panko Cutlets (think: parmigiana), Not Your Mama's Pot Roast, Pastrami-style Seitan Roast, and even a Blue Plate Special, you'll think you've died and gone to vegan diner heaven! The book is sprinkled with gorgeous food photos to whet your appetite and vintage diner shots that will put you in the perfect mood to plan your diner-style meal!

As you can see from the photo, Julie's Cheezy Mac is dreamy creamy.  

I'm a huge fan of Soy Curls. They're made from whole soy beans, instead of isolated soy protein. Nobody cooks Soy Curls better than Julie. And her recipe for Smoky Curls with lettuce and tomato makes the most scrumptious vegan BLT ever!

The recipe for Sandwich Slaw paired perfectly with this sandwich! But next time I will try making her husband Jay's Creamy Horseradish Potato Salad.

I honestly can't remember the last time I had dumplings. But I do remember the ones my bubbie used to make, and Julie's Veggies and Dumplings brought me right back to my childhood. Not only was this dish filling and delicious, it was really fun to make and went from stovetop to table in just slightly more than 30 minutes!

Back in Astoria, the best part of any diner meal was dessert, and there were three sweet treats I used to enjoy at the Bel Aire more than any other: Napoleons, Apple Crumb Cake a la mode, and Rice Pudding. Julie has very thoughtfully provided recipes for two of the three—there's even a recipe for vanilla ice cream for my a la mode! I haven't had a vegan Napoleon yet, but I have been enjoying a life-long love affair with rice pudding, and I feel compelled to try every recipe that comes my way. Julie's foolproof  recipe for Old-fashioned Rice Pudding was every bit as good as the Bel Aire's. 

So what dish will I endeavor to make next from this wonderful book? With so many taste-tempting recipes, it's going to be hard to choose. But one thing I know for sure is that any recipe I try will be wonderful. If you want a cookbook that is going to bring good 'ol American comfort foods right into your own kitchen, Vegan Diner was written for you. Don't wait another second to get your hot little hands on a copy, and get cooking, deliciously!

With the kind permission of Running Press Book Publishers, the recipe for Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding from Julie Hasson's Vegan Diner is excerpted here. Copyright © 2011.


1 cup medium-grain sushi rice (such as calrose)
1/2 cups raisins (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 cups plain or vanilla non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Freshly ground cinnamon


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 cups water, rice, and raisins (if using), and  bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Removed saucepan from heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes. Remove the cover.

Add 1 cup of the milk and the sugar to the cooked rice, stirring until combined. Return the saucepan to stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. Continue adding more milk as the pudding cooks and thickens, stirring as needed. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pudding is very thick and creamy. If the pudding is too thick, stir in a little more milk as needed to thin slightly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Scoop the pudding into serving dishes and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Refrigerate pudding until ready to serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Congratulations to Christina Katz, who won a copy of Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast! Please send me your postal address, so I can arrange to have your copy sent to you! Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! If you'd like a chance to win a copy of Vegan Diner, here's all you do: just leave me a comment telling me your favorite diner food. That's it!* And if you want to earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and leave me a comment for each one that you do:

1. Follow @everydaydish on Twitter.
2. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
3. Tweet the following message: Enjoy a homemade vegan blue-plate special! Win a copy of @everydaydish's Vegan Diner via @Vegiegail http://bit.ly/qNztt0 #vegan #giveaway
4. Follow this blog! (Click in the upper-left corner of this page if you are on google, subscribe via email, or follow via NetworkedBlogs on Facebook.)

Good luck!!

Update: Congratulations to Julia P., who won a copy of Vegan Diner! Please send me your snail mail address, Julia, so we can get your book right out to you! You are going to love it! Many thanks to everyone who entered and made this such a great giveaway. Stay tuned for my next post, and check out the prize package for the next giveaway. You won't want to miss it!

*Sorry International friends. Giveaway is only open to US residents.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

World Vegan Feast
by Bryanna Clark Grogan
Review and Giveaway
And Chipotle Sauce Winner!

My friend, Bryanna Clark Grogan, had been teasing me (read: torturing me) by posting tantalizing photos of recipes from her new book, World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from Over 50 Countries on her Facebook page for months. So by the time the book was published and I was able to get my hot little hands on a copy, I was practically foaming at the mouth with anticipation. 

I got my palate ready to embark on a journey to delicious with a bounty of delightful dishes from the four corners of the earth, beginning with fantastically flavorful dishes such as ...

Pasta with Cauliflower and Spicy Tomato-Creme Sauce
I adore cauliflower. Like broccoli, I much prefer it cooked, rather than raw. Roasted cauliflower has become a favorite lunch dish, and I'm always looking for recipes that contain this oft-maligned cruciferous vegetable. This delicately flavored dish boasted a creamy sauce that lingered on the tongue after each bite.

Persian Stew with Spinach and Prunes
Give me a good khoresht (Farsi for stew) any day! One of my oldest and dearest friends is from Iran, and Persian cuisine is among my favorites. I never before tasted this particular stew, and it's quite possibly the most delectable I have ever eaten. I mean it was slurpy-lick-the-bowl good. (I never lick the bowl, but this time I just couldn't resist!) I used seitan to make it, but I'll bet it would also be incredible with tempeh. 

Ugandan-Style Peanut Butter Stew
I've discovered that I really love stew! I didn't love it when I was a meat-eater, because I guess I never really loved the taste of meat. But I'm crazy about soy curls, and they were perfect in this flavorful peanutty dish! People often ask why vegans would want to eat food that imitates meat. I love the chewy texture of substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and seitan, and the way they soak up the flavors of spices, sauces, and marinades. And I really love how they satisfy the palates of omnivores, who are accustomed to eating a meat-centered diet and would otherwise never believe that a vegan dish could be so satisfying.

Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding
Okay—so there's not really any corn in this pudding. But it's so fruity, sweet, and delicious, you won't miss the corn a bit!

Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

(Gianduia in Italian) is creamy, rich, and fabulously decadent! I loved toasting my own hazelnuts, creating a "butter" with coconut oil, and watching the finished spread get all melty on my toasted English muffin! Eating it felt like the naughtiest thing I have done all year—and I enjoyed it with a huge smile on my face!

Following is the for recipe Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast excerpted by arrangement with Vegan Heritage Press. Copyright © 2011.


12 oz vegan semisweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup non-dairy milk, heated just to the boiling point (you know which one I used!)
3/4 cup hazelnut butter or 1 cup peeled, toasted, hazelnuts
1 Tbsp coconut oil (omit the oil if you use hazelnut butter)
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp soy or rice protein powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Place the chocolate in a food processor. Pulse briefly and then let the machine run until the chocolate is ground into very small pieces.
2. Heat the nondairy milk to the boiling point, in a small pot on the stove over medium-high heat, or in a microwave in 2-cup microwave-safe pitcher, at 100% power for 1 minute.
3. With the machine running, pour the hot milk slowly through the open tube. The chocolate will melt as you run the processor. Quickly open the processor, scrape the chocolate down from the sides fo the bowl, and add the hazelnut butter. (If you are using whole hazelnuts, grind them along with the oil in the food processor first. Scrape out of the food processor and place in a cup, leaving as little behind as possible.)

Process briefly to disperse hazelnut butter (or hazelnuts and coconut oil) evenly throughout the chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more. Add the remaining ingredients and process again until mixture is smooth.

World Vegan Feast is your passport to delectable dishes from around the globe. Don't wait another second to get your very own copy, and start cooking like the culinary world traveler that you are!

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy of World Vegan Feast, simply leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite world cuisine is or what country's cuisine you'd most like to "visit." That's it! One lucky winner will be selected at random. And if you want to earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and leave me a comment for each one that you do:

1. Follow @VeganFeaster on Twitter.
2. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
3. Tweet the following message: Travel to deliciousness! Win a free copy of @VeganFeaster's World Vegan Feast via @Vegiegail http://bit.ly/qvN2MH  #vegan #giveaway
4. Follow this blog! (Click in the upper-left corner of this page if you are on google, subscribe via email, or follow via NetworkedBlogs on Facebook.)

Good luck!!

Congratulations to Melinda Dalke, who won the giveaway for Karry's Chipotle Sauce and So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream! Please send me your postal address, and let me know which flavor sauce you'd like: Peach, Raspberry, or Marionberry!

Update: Congratulations to Christina Katz, who won a copy of Bryanna Clark Grogan's World Vegan Feast! Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway!