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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegan Books

Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan:
Plant-Powered Recipes for the Modern Mindful Kitchen

By Laura Theodore

Scribe Publishing Company, 2018
Paperback, $22.95

Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan Talented singer, television personality, and cookbook author Laura Theodore doesn't waste a precious minute of creative endeavor! Laura has just launched her fourth cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan introducing over 175 sparkling new recipes with striking full-color photos on almost every page.

Laura began her career as a singer, evolving from rock and roll to engaging, self-styled jazz. During her singing career, she gravitated toward the delicious food of her childhood, collecting and preparing favorite family recipes. Eventually, she became vegan and developed new recipe favorites. As the Jazzy Vegetarian, this innovative chef introduced a host of delicious vegan recipes on her PBS television cooking show Jazzy Vegetarian Vegan and Delicious produced by Virtual Media Productions and landed her first cookbook The Jazzy Vegetarian.

Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan introduces Laura's top ten lists for Essential Ingredients, Egg Substitutions for Baking, Cheese and Cream Sauce Substitutions, Two-Ingredient Recipes, Dried Herbs and Spices, Salt and Pepper, and a Table of Equivalent Measures. Each list is annotated with essential details to help the home cook stock the pantry and handle ingredient substitutions with ease.

The first chapter is packed with tempting breakfast recipes that can make a non-breakfast eater want to start the day with Baked Potato Tofu Scramble, the very first recipe in the book. The tempting photo on the facing page aptly depicts the recipe featuring a happy combo of chopped baked potatoes, tofu, and vegetables seasoned with the perfect blend of spices to add perk to the first meal of the day.

In addition to more tofu scrambles, the chapter features tempters like Potato and Spinach Frittata, Mini-Quiche Cups, Fabulous French Toast Bake, and Maple, Walnut and Oat Breakfast Bites, all accompanied with appealing photos.

Following the breakfast chapter are Sunny Smoothies with smoothie bowls that feature innovative fruit blends, while Nibbles, Noshes and Quick Bites might make a foodie want to hang out at Chef Laura's place for a week, tasting goodies like Guacamole Mini Peppers, Nutty Chocolate Chip Trail Mix, or Polenta Pizza Bites.

Whether creating salad dressings, sauces, Glorious Morning Muffins, or Layered Chopped Salad Parfaits, this innovative chef has a knack for making plant foods sing in perfect harmony! Fresh and Easy Potato Vegetable Soup, for example, combines all the elements of a perfect comfort food: pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and seasonings that actually make the recipe easy enough to fit into today's busy lives.

While this author clearly has a knack for innovative salads, starters, and snacks, she also has a special talent for creating heartier dishes. Spinach, Onion and Red Pepper Crustless Quiche, Sensational Stuffed Manicotti, and Vegan Garbanzo Stew are examples of a host of satisfying wholesome meals tastefully created with colorful accents and delicious flavors.

Even vegetables enjoy a touch of the author's special TLC. In one recipe, broccoli might be tossed with tamari, maple syrup, olive oil, and a sprinkle of cayenne. In another, the green veggie is sauced with a Lemon-Sesame blend. Artichokes become a special treat when stuffed with garlic, tomatoes, bread crumbs, and Italian seasonings, but they might also be served chilled with a Lemon-Mayo Dipping Sauce.

Laura Theodore There is no doubt that Laura loves dessert; the most extensive chapter in the book is saved for last. From the first recipe, Divine Chocolate Mousse Cake, to the Peanut Butter-Cranberry-Pecan Fudge Bites at the very end, each of the recipes looks easy enough for anyone to want to roll up shirtsleeves and start baking.

The dessert chapter is followed by several pages of suggested menus for special occasions like a Summer Jamboree, Vegan Drive-In, New Year's Eve Soirée, Let's Celebrate!, Spring Supper, Wow! Weekend Brunch, Bollywood-Style, and Tex-Mex Menu. The book concludes with Acknowledgements, About the Author, and the Index.

The book is a graphic treasure! Almost all of the 175 recipes are accompanied by stunning, full-color photos of the dishes that are tastefully styled, yet not overdone. The clay-coated pages act as a dynamic photo enhancer, making the pictures bright and life-like. Recipe titles and headnotes appear in red ink, while Chef's Notes feature white ink on a red band. Even page numbers appear on color backgrounds centered on the outer side of each page. Each chapter has its unique color background for the page numbers, making it easy to identify a new chapter.

Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan is a blast--it's a party--it's a festive celebration of delicious vegan foods designed with panache! Thumbing through the cookbook, the reader will quickly conclude that Laura Theodore adores preparing beautiful foods and does the job with style. While the dishes may look complex in the photos, the recipes are actually easy, very doable, and feature familiar ingredients that are easy to shop for. The book would make a treasured gift for anyone who enjoys cooking and just might jump-start a newbie into the kitchen!

See below for a special treat! Laura Theodore shares her recipe, complete with a tempting photo, of a delicious dessert from Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan--her Mini Raspberry Cheeze-Cakes.

Mini Raspberry Cheeze-Cakes

Mini Raspberry Cheeze-Cakes


Delicate and delightful, but not too sweet, these cheezy cakes showcase fresh raspberries nestled in a tofu cheese-like filling, with an easy-to- prepare, gluten-free, flourless fruit and nut crust. So good.

    1/2 cup raisins
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

    1 block (14 to 16 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu, well drained
    1 aseptic box (12 to 12 1/2 ounces) firm silken tofu, well drained
    3 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    5 teaspoons maple syrup, divided
    1/3 cup apricot preserves
    2 teaspoons water
    36 fresh raspberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly coat a 12-cup standard muffin tin with vegan margarine.
  2. To make the crust, put the raisins, pecans and coconut into a high-performance blending appliance and process until the mixture forms soft dough. Transfer the dough to a plate. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of the dough into each of the prepared muffin cups and gently press it into the bottom of the cup to make a crust. Continue in this manner to make 12 crusts. Pre-bake the crusts for 6 minutes. Put the tin on a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the filling.
  3. Once the crusts have cooled, put the filling ingredients into a high-performance blending appliance and process until very smooth. Divide the filling evenly among the 12 muffin cups, smoothing out the top as you go. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, or until the filling is almost set.
  4. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each mini-cake with a knife. Drizzle _ teaspoon of maple syrup over the top of each mini-cake. Let cool 10 minutes, then carefully remove each mini-cake from the muffin cup, and place it on the wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. While the mini-cakes cool, put 1/3 cup apricot preserves, the remaining 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of water into a small bowl and briskly whisk until combined. Spoon about 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons of the mixture over the top of each mini-cake. Artfully press 3 raspberries into the top of each mini-cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Loosely covered and stored in the refrigerator, the mini-cakes will keep for 1 day.

Recipe and photo by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian's Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, 2018, reprinted by permission.

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