Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce and Roasted Potatoes with Asparagus

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Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking $ Food Blog
“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”
Martin Scorsese

I have wanted to make this recipe for ages, but I held off because I am always a bit intimidated by the idea of making fresh pasta. It is easy to make the dough, but it can be time-consuming to make individual, filled pastas like ravioli and tortellini. Fresh tortellini has always been my favorite type of pasta though, so I finally relented. The cream sauce for this recipe also contains saffron, one of my favorite flavors!

Making these tortellini actually wasn’t difficult at all. It was kind of fun. We doubled the recipe and ended up making 200 tortellini, so we were able to freeze some to enjoy later.

The filling mainly consisted of artickoke hearts, garlic, white wine, and cashew cream. The sauce was a rich combination of shallots, white wine, cashew cream, saffron, and Earth Balance dairy-free butter.

Served tossed with fresh arugula and tomatoes, with a side of roasted potatoes and asparagus with smoked salt and pepper. From Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, page 164.

Tortellini Fact: Because of it’s shape, tortellini is also called “belly button” pasta.

Mississippi Mud Cookies

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Mississippi Mud Cookies ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.” Oprah Winfrey

These were the most chewy, moist, and scrumptious no-bake, oat, peanut butter, and cocoa powder cookies. Just perfect for those hot, hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven but your sweet tooth is a-calling. These Mississippi Mud Cookies were a summer breeze to make and they set up nicely. A warning to you though, they are highly addictive!

Another instant favorite from Cookin’ Crunk by Bianca Phillips, page 167.

Cocoa Fact: What’s the difference between cacao and cocoa? Cacao is the bean and cocoa is the product that is made from it.

Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan Book Giveaway!

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Fillet of Soul: Afro Vegan

“Learn. Eat. Rebel!”Wheeler del Torro

Wheeler del Torro’s new cookbook and storybook Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan is a tour de force of fantastic recipes and menus from five different countries. Also within the pages is Del Torro’s poetic and engaging personal story about his evolution as a chef and young man, including the tale of his sudden and life-changing move from New Jersey to Paris and the book club he started there that would turn into the dinner parties that would turn into the vegan pop-up in New York, that would ultimately become this book.

The five menus included in this book are:

  • Dinner in Paris
  • Jamaican Menu
  • Around the Southern Table
  • Senegalese Menu
  • Ethiopian Menu

Each menu is comprised of 4 to 9 recipes, which are Wheeler’s brilliant and original vegan interpretations of traditional foods and dishes from across the African diaspora.

I can’t wait to try Golden Beet Tartare, Pepper Pot Soup, Faux Fried Chicken and Waffles, Faux Chicken Yassa, Injera, Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, and all of the other recipes in this book, one delicious meal at a time!

I did however already make some of the Spicy Chocolate Pots De Creme (pictured above) from the Dinner in Paris menu. Dessert first, right? ;) The ingredients are so simple that I had them all in my pantry already. Now I love Pots De Creme, but I have to say that this was the best I’ve ever had, and it was a cinch to make. I topped it off with some homemade cashew whipped cream and we happily gobbled it down.

There is so much interesting information in Fillet of Soul: AfroVegan. Thanks to Del Torro I now know that all coffee can be traced back to Ethiopia in Africa (thank you, Ethiopia!), and after reading the description in this book I am eager to attend an Ethiopian coffee ceremony!

Wheeler has been kind enough to sponsor this book giveaway. All that you have to do to win is be the first person to correctly answer the following question in the comments section below this post:

“What is name for a traditional Ethiopian coffee pot?”

Please include your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

African Food Facts: African food is often flavored with curry powder, garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and cloves. Peanuts, called groundnuts in Africa, are used as a garnish on soups or meat dishes.

Cherry Plum Jam

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Cherry Plum Jam ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.”Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you have access to any fruit trees in your neighborhood then I highly encourage you to try your hand at canning some jams and jellies. Jam is easy to make, and very inexpensive when the fruit is picked from the tree for free. :) If you don’t have any canning jars you can always use recycled, store-bought nut butter or jam jars.

Homegrown, homemade jam makes nice gift with a little bow tied around the jar. How often do you receive homemade goodies these days? I think people appreciate receiving something that you made yourself, that took some time to prepare, and that comes from the heart.

There are a ton of great jam and jelly recipes on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Jam Fact: The average American consumes about 5 pounds of jam per year, so why not make your own?

Wasabi Plant Burger at The Plant Cafe

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Wasabi Burger at The Plant Cafe ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Yes, a cheeseburger and fries is probably my favourite meal. But I don’t eat ground beef anymore.”Eric Schlosser

Once in a while we actually go out to eat, ha ha! One of my favorite spots in San Francisco is The Plant Cafe. 99% of what they serve is organically-grown, and most items on the menu are vegan or can be made vegan. The Plant makes a really great veggie burger called, appropriately, the Plant Burger. Here’s a description of the Plant Burger from The Plant’s menu:

Plant Burger - Served with sides of mixed greens, roasted potatoes & pickles. All Plant burgers are topped with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato & vegan aioli on your choice of focaccia, whole wheat sourdough, or a bun. Patties are made in-house from lentils, mushrooms, beets, cashews & bulgar wheat.

I always order the Wasabi Plant Burger, which is topped with wasabi raspberry aioli and sauerkraut. Usually I order it on focaccia but I forgot this time and so it arrived on wholewheat sourdough, which was actually just as good. I enjoyed this with a Blue Bottle soy latte.

Hamburger Fact: The hamburger “debuted” in the US at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.