Interested in eating delicious vegan food, but having it be easy? Yeah, me too. That’s why I was thrilled to learn about Laura Theodore’s latest cookbook, Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet.
Laura Theodore is the definition of multi-talented. In addition to being a critically-acclaimed radio host, TV personality, chef, actress, jazz singer and songwriter, she’s also an award-winning author. Known as the Jazzy Vegetarian, Vegan-Ease is Laura’s third delicious plant-based cookbook. In it, you’ll find recipes that are inspired and soulful while also easy and recognizable, making it a great entry point for anyone exploring a vegan diet.
Approachable for both cooks and diners, recipe ingredients in Vegan-Ease are readily available in traditional grocery stores. Each recipe has a numerical ‘Ease factor’ assigned to it, indicating ease of preparation. For example, the Maple-Banana Oat Muffins have an Ease Factor of 1 (easiest), while the Quinoa and Butternut Squash Paella has an Ease Factor of 3. (Keep in mind, those with a high ease factor still look plenty easy).
Eaters will appreciate that recipes in Vegan-Ease feel familiar. Whether it’s Split Pea Soup, a hearty Spaghetti Dinner or Mexican Pizza, the cookbook offers straightforward recipes that happen to be plant-based. Sure to be a hit with both vegans and omnivores!
Laura also includes guides to essential ingredients, shopping, cooking and nutrition that address common questions about a vegan lifestyle. Chef’s Notes throughout the book offer helpful recipe tips and variations.
The Stress-Free Holiday Recipes chapter particularly resonates this time of year. Inventive recipes like Holiday Rosemary Smashed Potatoes and Chili-Maple Brussels Sprouts are lovely additions to a holiday table, but won’t keep you stuck in the kitchen all day.
I’ve made several tasty recipes from Vegan-Ease. I adored the Zingy Roasted Asparagus deliciously spiced with chili powder. I also loved the Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew ‘Cream.’ Recipes are sufficiently detailed but clear-cut, meaning you can’t screw them up.
And despite never making dessert, the Pumpkin Pie Cheeze-Cake (Ease Factor 3) lured me in. It was smooth and beautifully spiced. (You’ll find the recipe below). I look forward to bringing it to holiday gatherings this season. Fantastic with or without the Vegan Whipped Topping.
With recipes that are convenient, but impressive enough for a celebration, check out Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet.
One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Vegan-Ease by Laura Theodore AND one of her CDs! To enter, simply click on the giveaway below to input your contact information and leave a comment on this post saying why you’d like Vegan-Ease. Good luck!
- The giveaway entry period begins 12:00am Oct 18, 2015 12:00am ET and ends Oct 25, 2015 12:00am ET. This giveaway is open to US residents only.
- To enter, click on the Rafflecopter badge above to enter your name and email and then leave a brief comment on this post why you’d like Vegan-Ease
- One winner will be drawn at random and will be notified by email. The winner must respond within 48 hours with their mailing address to claim their prize. Otherwise, another winner will be selected at random.
- The winner will receive an autographed copy of Vegan-Ease by Laura Theodore and one of Laura’s CDs.
- The book will be shipped to the winner by the publisher.
- 1¾ cups cookie crumbs (ginger cookies work well)
- ¼ cup vegan margarine, melted
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu
- 1 can (about 16 ounces) unsweetened pumpkin purée
- 2⁄3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 3 tablespoons cookie crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat a 10-inch round springform pan with vegan margarine.
- To make the crust, put 1¾ cups cookie crumbs and the melted margarine in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a fork until well combined. Pat the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.
- To make the filling, put the rolled oats in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Add the tofu, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and allspice and process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes, then carefully run a table knife around the perimeter of the cake to ensure it does not stick to the side of the pan.
- Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of cookie crumbs evenly over the top of the cake, gently pressing them into the top, so the crumbs adhere. Release the side of the springform pan to unmold.
- Cover the cake very loosely and refrigerate 3 to 24 hours before serving. Serve with Vegan Whipped Topping (page 201) on the side, if desired. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cheeze-cake will keep for about 2 days.
Amount per serving, based on 10 servings: 154 Calories; 7g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 5g Protein; 62mg Sodium; 20g Total Carbohydrate; 15g Sugars; 2g Fiber
Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet © Laura Theodore (Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC 2015), reprinted by permission.