The Jazzy Vegetarian podcast. We talked about my upcoming cookbook (this was before Cookin' Crunk came out) and tips on creating vegan meals from menu items at non-vegan restaurants. It was my first exposure to the podcast medium (I didn't even really know what a podcast was back then!), and Laura was soooo nice.
These days, Laura is a public television cooking show host! She stars in the kitchen on the Jazzy Vegetarian show, and she's got a few cookbooks under her belt. Her latest one — Vegan-Ease — just came out, and today is my stop on the book's blog tour.
This hardcover, full-color book is just lovely. There are pictures with most of the recipes. And as the book's name suggests, the recipes are all super-simple. She's organized the dishes by Ease Factor with 1 being the easiest and 3 being more challenging. But really, they're all pretty easy.
The food is contemporary cuisine and comfort food —red lentil curry soup, vegan lox & bagels, lots of pasta dishes, walnut & quinoa-stuffed portabella mushrooms, seitan piccata, peanut butter chocolate mousse, blueberry cheeze-cake squares. And the recipes are made with whole foods and very little oil.
I started with the Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet because I'm sort of on a quest to make every vegan omelet in every book ever.
LOVE vegan omelets. This one is tofu-based, and it's baked rather than cooked on the stove. The fillings — thyme-laced tomatoes and baby spinach — are placed in the bottom of the baking dish. And then the eggy tofu mixture is spread on top. It's baked for 45 minutes until the tofu is eggy firm. Then you flip it out of the pan, stuff with vegan cheese (optional, but of course I opted for it!), and fold. It makes two servings, so you get a thick omelet. Very hearty and filling for a weekday breakfast! It was a level 3 on the ease factor, and it was still pretty darn simple.
I also tried one of her Ease Factor 1 recipes — Potato-Hummus Canapes. Because potatoes and hummus!
All you do is bake a potato, chill it, slice it, and top with hummus, olives, and dill. I added seasoned salt to the potatoes too. There's a hummus recipe in the book, but I went for the easiest route and purchased some Roots Roasted Garlic Hummus. Amazing. I'd never had potatoes and hummus together before, but they're really a match made for one another.
Vegan-Ease would be perfect for a new vegan who's just getting started and wanting some simple, healthy dishes. And it's great for folks looking to add more whole foods to their diets. I'm a self-professed junk food vegan, and even I'll admit that it feels good to eat clean some of the time. Something has to balance out all that beer and vegan cheese pizza and Oreos.