Thursday, September 06, 2012

Meet Robin Robertson, Vegan Chef and Author of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker Plus A Sneak-Peek Recipe and A Chance to Win!

I am a huge fan of vegan chef Robin Robertson. With 19 books under her belt and her latest work Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker soon to be released (on September 25th), Robin is quite likely the most prolific vegan author out there. I own no fewer than six of her books—Vegan on the Cheap, Quick-fix Vegan, and Vegan Unplugged (cowritten with husband, Jon Robertson), are among my most dog-eared and page-worn favorites.

So it is with the greatest honor, that I am among the first to kick off Robin's virtual book tour, with a guest post and sneak-peek recipe from her forthcoming new book, Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker: 200 Ultra-Convenient, Super-Tasty, Completely Animal-Free One-Dish Dinners.

Robin: Everyone knows how great a slow cooker can be for cooking beans, soups, and stews. But did you know it can also be used to make jams, chutneys, and applesauce? How about breads, cakes, and casseroles? It’s true. Once you begin thinking outside the crock, you may find that a slow cooker can do a lot more than just cook great beans.

Take this recipe for Seitan Ropa Vieja. There are many variations of this flavorful Latin American dish. This vegan version, made with a combination of seitan, black beans, and mushrooms is my favorite. Served over rice, it makes a delicious dinner when accompanied by a green vegetable. It's also terrific spooned into warm tortillas and topped with diced avocado or vegan sour cream. This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd, and you can cook and serve in the same crock, then set it on the table to keep warm while everyone serves themselves.
Seitan Ropa Vieja

Photo ©2012 by Sabra Krock

Serves 4
Slow Cooker Size: 4- to 6-quart
Cook Time: 4 to 6 hours on Low

2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
1 small yellow onion, sliced paper-thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced paper-thin
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon natural sugar
1 pound seitan, shredded or very thinly sliced
2 portobello mushrooms caps, gills scraped and discarded, shredded or thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Flour tortillas or hot cooked rice, for serving

1. For the best flavor, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and cook for 1 minute longer. Alternatively, omit the oil and sauté these ingredients in a few tablespoons of water or combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water, cover, and microwave for 2 minutes.
2. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, sugar, seitan, mushrooms, beans, broth, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well combined. Cover and cook on Low until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 hours.
3. Just before serving, add the lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot, spooned into tortillas or over rice.

Recipe ©2012 by Robin Robertson and used with the permission of The Harvard Common Press

Update: Congratulations Rachel at My Naturally Frugal Family! You won! Please shoot me an email with your postal address, and your copy of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker will soon be on its way! I just received my own copy, and I can tell you that you're going to LOVE this book!  Thanks everyone for making this another great giveaway! More yumminess to come ...

I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker! To reserve your very own copy, head on over to, or enter to win one right here and now! Simply leave me a comment below telling me why you love your slow cooker.*

To earn additional entries, you can do any or all of the following, and please leave a comment for each item you complete:

1. Follow Robin Robertson on Pinterest.
2. Follow @GlobalVegan on Twitter.
3. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through Networked Blogs.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
5. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of @GlobalVegan's new book Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker & fall in love w/your crockpot! #vegan #giveaway

Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the lucky winner, (leave me your Twitter handle or email address or make sure it's linked to your blogger account.) Good luck!!!

*Sorry international friends. The giveaway is open to US residents only.