Asian-Styled Chickpea Cutlets

Asian-Styled Chickpea Cutlets

I’ve been busy cooking up a batch of my favorite foods in preparation of the Thanksgiving weekend. I try to eat as much homemade food at the beginning of the week as possible since I know I’ll be dining out a lot during the holiday weekend with traveling and all. It’s my little attempt at trying to keep a balance.

Today, I made Vegan Menudo in the morning, Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce and the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon in the afternoon. And then it happened, I didn’t mean to do it.

The bowl of leeks in black bean sauce was just sitting there innocently (I was going to combine it with the roasted tofu later). I had finished the cutlets earlier and left them out to cool. Looking at the two items side-by-side, I thought maybe that sauce would go well with the cutlets.

I usually eat the cutlets plain straight out of the oven or later with bbq sauce or gravy. But why not a stir-fry topping for a nice Asian flavor?

The sauce recipe is basically the same with the addition of fresh ginger and Chinese dried mushrooms. Next time I would also add a bit more water for a little more sauce for use on the cutlets.

Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

Related Links
Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce
Chickpea Cutlets From Veganomicon

Mango Nectar Dressing From Savory Raw Dressings & Sauces

Mango Nectar Dressing From Savory Raw Dressings & Sauces

Delicious salad dressings without oil or vinegar.

Nuh-uh, you say.

Yeah-huh, I say, after receiving a review copy of the ebook Savory Raw Dressings & Sauces by Andrew Perlot.

I tried the very first recipe, the Mango Nectar Dressing. Since it’s only two ingredients, it’s ridiculously easy and simple. But the taste is so light and refreshing, I didn’t miss the oil or vinegar at all.

Mango Nectar Dressing From Savory Raw Dressings & Sauces

As there’s no salt or any other seasonings to hide behind, the ingredients have to be of the very best quality. Fortunately there’s still some great produce to be had at the farmers market. In keeping with the lightness of the dressing, I made a salad of jicama, baby romaine lettuce, cilantro and sliced almonds as a garnish.

The ebook starts out with an introduction of why no oil or vinegar, then moves on to how to make your own healthy dressings. There’s eight low-fat, salt-free recipes to get you started. They require only a minimal of fresh ingredients and a quick blend for a nice healthy dressing.

Disclosure: I received the cookbook free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the cookbook expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.

Baked King Oyster Mushroom Calamari

Baked King Oyster Mushroom Calamari

I love fried foods. But I could never bring myself to actually fry anything at home. It’s much too messy and in the back of my mind I know I’m much too lazy to want to clean up after frying.

Then I came across a recipe for King Oyster Mushroom “Calamari” in Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis. It looks just like fried calamari but it’s really king oyster mushrooms (also called king trumpet) that have been dehydrated. But alas, I didn’t have a dehydrator and I didn’t want to leave the oven on low for hours.

Inspired by the raw recipe, I made a baked version. Fresh out of the oven, the mushroom calamari came out nice and crispy. Easy, healthy and so good for satisfying that fried food itch.

Baked King Oyster Mushroom Calamari
Serves 2 as an appetizer

3-4 large king oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 small lemon
Sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ground flax meal
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Wash and slice the mushrooms crosswise into 1/8″ slices. Using a small round cutter, cut out a hole in the center to make a ring. Save the centers for some other use.

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Add the mushroom rings and toss, leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix together the water and flax meal in a small bowl and let stand for a few minutes until the mixture becomes slimy and somewhat sticky. In a separate plate or pan, combine the breadcrumbs, spices and salt to taste.

Dip a mushroom ring into the flax seed wash and then into the breadcrumbs, covering well. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip over the rings and bake another 5 minutes on the other side until crispy. Serve immediately. It’s good plain or with tartar sauce.

Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

Related Links
Spicy Mushroom Cocktail
King Oyster Mushrooms with Snow Peas
King Oyster Mushroom Salad

Spinach Bolani

Spinach Bolani

Walking around the farmers market, minding my own business, some guy calls me over for some samples. Sometimes instead of a hasty no-thank-you, I weasel out of trying samples by asking if it’s vegan. Usually it’s not. But sometimes, it’s like hitting a vegan food jackpot – like the bolanis and sauces from East and West Gourmet Afghan Food.

Bolani is a traditional Afghani thin flatbread stuffed with either spinach, potato, lentil or pumpkin and baked. Even though it’s low-fat, low-cal and low-carb, it’s very tasty as well as filling. One serving of the spinach bolani is just 103 calories.

Top with any one or a combination of their many sauces and spreads for a delicious layering of flavors. For the spreads, I got the Lentil Curry and Cilantro Pesto. The curry is not really spicy hot but it’s got plenty of taste. The pesto is also very nice and light as it’s made without any oil.

Spinach Bolani

Available at numerous farmers markets throughout Northern California and a few in Southern California, they’re very generous with their samples. They’ll just keep handing you sample after sample after sample. The only item that isn’t vegan is the Garlic Mint Cheese, but it is vegetarian.

Two bolanis come in each package for $6, the sauces and spreads are also the same price. But if you buy a few items, you’ll get a deal. I got 3 things for $15. Also available at NoCal Whole Foods, Andronico’s and Mollie Stone’s. But if you like to taste before you buy, the farmers market is really the way to go.

While shopping at Whole Foods recently, I see that the bolanis there are $5.79, the spreads were $4.99 and the sweet jalapeño sauce was also $5.79. So it seems to be cheaper at Whole Foods if you just want to buy one or two items.

Banana Cream Pie From Raw For Dessert

Banana Cream Pie From Raw For Dessert

Banana cream pie, another must-try recipe from the cookbook, Raw for Dessert by Jennifer Cornbleet. It’s the same cookbook that I’ve reviewed before when I made the Chocolate Candy Cups.

Banana cream is the pie of choice for our family gatherings, I was thrilled to find a version that’s 1. healthier than the average pie and 2. it’s simple enough for a baking idiot like me to make (no baking involved).

Instead of the more commonly used tofu in such pies, young coconut meat is called for to achieve that creaminess. I’ve seen young Thai coconuts at Whole Foods and at Asian supermarkets (where it’s a little cheaper). But up until this point, I’ve never gave them a second thought, let alone try to open one up. Fortunately, the cookbook gives excellent directions on how to do it.

Banana Cream Pie From Raw For Dessert

After cracking open the coconuts, it’s smooth sailing. The graham crust is just a quick blend, as is the filling, just blend the ingredients together and that’s it. Assemble the pie and then stick it in the fridge to chill. Just before serving, I added a ring of freshly cut bananas to the top.

I’m really starting to love raw desserts. They’re easy enough for me to make, don’t have to be baked and I’m learning about all sorts of new ingredients. Best of all, they taste amazing.


For a chance to win your own copy, click on the Luscious Vegan Desserts button to sign up for Book Publishing Company’s monthly drawings for free books and to receive their newsletter.

Disclosure: I received the cookbook free of charge from the publisher to review. This post also contains an Amazon link, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on the link and make a purchase of anything.

Related Links
Chocolate Candy Cups From Raw For Dessert

Simple Treats Cookbook Giveaway Winner


The winner of the Simple Treats cookbook is number 19.

Congratulations to Tiffany! Please email me with your mailing address and I’ll get the cookbook out to you.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Vegan “Menudo”

Vegan "Menudo"

News flash! My make-believe food truck, Chow Vegan, has added a new item to its pretend Asian Mexican fusion menu – vegan menudo. Should go well with the veggie duck taco, don’t you think?

Menudo is a traditional Mexican stew whose main ingredients include tripe and hominy in a spicy broth. I subbed out the tripe for dried yuba (bean curd) sticks. The yuba doesn’t taste anything at all like tripe, instead it adds a chewy texture. Some Cantonese dishes are very big on texture, adding certain ingredients just to have the texture.

Having grown up on California’s Central Coast, where most cities have Spanish names, Asian Mexican fusion was inevitable. I can’t claim my version is authentic and I’m sure someone’s grandma somewhere is turning over in her grave.

But it’s so good. It’s flavorful and hardy. The flavor becomes more concentrated after a night in the fridge, perfect for a cold day standing outside of a food truck window.

Two bucks a cup; four bucks a bowl. Seating is curbside only. Thank you and please come again.

Vegan “Menudo”
Makes about 8 cups (4-6 servings)

3 ounces dried yuba (bean curd) sticks, soaked to rehydrate, cut into 1 1/2″ rectangular pieces
2 medium red potatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
14.5 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes plus the juice
15 oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegan chicken base bouillon
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish, chopped

Dissolve the bouillon in one cup of boiling water, set aside.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots and celery, sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes and its juices, hominy and spices. Stir to mix well.

Add the bouillon broth, the rest of the water and the yuba sticks. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. To serve, garnish with the cilantro.

Simple Treats Cookbook Giveaway
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, it ends mañana (Friday, October 29th).

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

Just in time for Halloween, rice krispy treats! I used the recipe from the cookbook, Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham, which I received from the publisher for review.

The brown rice krispy treats are a natural food version of the classic treat, using a concoction of various syrups to replace the usual marshmallows. I also added a topping of raisins and shredded coconut.

Brown Rice Krispy Treats From Simple Treats

It’s been many moons since I’ve last eaten a rice krispy treat, but I thought these were good. They tasted a bit on the healthy side and aren’t super sweet. I haven’t tried making any with vegan marshmallows so I can’t compare the two.

The rest of the cookbook covers everything from muffins and breads to cookies and cakes to cremes, frostings and glazes, all dairy-free and wheat-free (but not gluten-free, as some recipes call for barley flour).


Share a square of rice krispy treats with a little friend today. To facilitate the sharing, I’m giving away a copy of Simple Treats. For a chance in a different giveaway, click on the above Luscious Vegan Desserts button to enter at the publisher’s website, Book Publishing Company.

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment in this post with your favorite Halloween treat, homemade or store-bought. Comment must be made by midnight PST on Friday, October 29th; one entry per person. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

One winner will be randomly selected (using from the comments received and announced in a new post on Saturday, October 30th. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be randomly chosen. Prize awarded is the cookbook that I received from the publisher (approximate retail value $14.95). I did not drool on it.

Official Rules:
Open only to U.S. residents age 18 and over. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law. Any tax is the sole responsibility of the winner. Winner releases Chow Vegan from any liability arising out of participation in this giveaway or the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon links, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on any of the links and make a purchase of anything.

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