No Pressure, Pressure Cooking! JL Fields’ Vegan Pressure Cooking Has Arrived!

JL's Vegan Pressure Cooking

I have a foodie confession to make; I was afraid of using pressure cookers. Like many, I felt that these speedy cookers were fringe appliances that were unsafe and probably yielded subpar dishes. And having a vivid imagination that tends to run amok at times, didn’t make the prospect of us getting a pressure cooker any more likely (I imagined the blasted thing releasing a tempest that would explode in our apartment, taking half of the Bronx with it!)

Those irrational fears were neatly expelled when JL Fields’ new book, Vegan Pressure Cooking, took permanent residence in our hallowed cookbook bookcase. If you’re not familiar with JL Fields, shame on you! All kidding side, she is one of the more dynamic people you’ll ever meet. JL Fields is a vegan lifestyle coach and educator, Food For Life Instructor, co-creator of Real World Vegan Meal Plans, kitchen coach and personal chef, career coach, and a corporate consultant offering wellness training, brand representation, and strategic planning services. She’s also the co-author of Vegan For Her

JL’s been promoting the idea of pressure cooking for some time now and for good reason. They’re extremely safe, reasonably priced and are very easy to use. They’re the ultimate appliance for making vegan dishes, as they’re ideal for bulk cooking which can save time and money and they can cook foods such as dried beans in no time! Because of JL, we ended up getting an electric pressure cooker for Christmas, and I must say it was one of the best cooking appliances we’ve ever purchased!

JL’s book is well thought out and indexed. The “Your Common Questions Answered” section at the beginning breaks down the very basics of pressure cooking and sets the tone. Vegan Pressure Cooking also offers a handy-dandy chart for general cooking times of non-recipe foods such as basic dried beans, grains and various veggies. This nicely packaged collection of temptations boasts a plethora of photos from the talented Kate Lewis which will entice you to make wholesome dishes right then and there. JL’s recipes are extremely easy, fairly inexpensive and most require ingredients that you probably already have in your cabinet which is always a plus. Vegan Pressure Cooking offers an eclectic mix of soups, stews, chili, one-pot meals, sides, sauce, dips, and even desserts like rice pudding! Yes, you read that correctly, RICE PUDDING!

Tofu, Chickpea, Artichoke and Potato Soup   Chik’n Lentil Noodle Soup

Of all the tempting dishes that this wonderful book offered, we decided to try the Chik’n Lentil Noodle Soup and the Tofu, Chickpea, Artichoke and Potato Soup.The Chik’n Lentil Noodle Soup was a hearty and filling delight. Using soba noodles was ideal due to their nutty essence and ability to stay semi-firm in pipping hot broths.The Tofu, Chickpea, Artichoke and Potato Soup was lighter and more brothy (is that a word?) than the Chik’n soup. The artichokes added a subtle sweetness to each spoonful of wholesome goodness. Both of these soups are perfect for trying out vegan pressure cooking. 

To sum things up, pressure cookers are safe and JL’s book is awesome. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, buy one. If there’s one siting in your aunt Fannie’s attic collecting dust, get it, clean it and use it! By the way, JL participated in our Vegan Food Chat (her second tour of duty with us!) recently, so you can review and see what you must get this amazing book! 

Oh and did we mention? There’s a giveaway going on until 9pm ET on Wednesday, February 3rd

Paleo Vegan by Ellen Jaffe Jones [Review + Giveaway]

Ellen Jaffe Jones is a vegan powerhouse! She’s a vegan health & wellness coach spreading compassion & information to live longer, healthier, more in the know and comfortably! Whether she’s teaching how to Eat Vegan on $4 a Day or introduce us to the Paleo Diet, the cruelty-free way, Ellen has a lot to say and give! 

We’re honored to have Ellen as a new friend to us & part of our #VeganFoodChat family! She has been so kind to let us give away a copy of her book, Paleo Vegan: Plant-Based Primal Recipes, to one lucky winner! 

In this book, you’ll learn the parallels between vegan & Paleo diets. It brings a lot back to basics in whole foods plant-based eating. The book emphasis eating for life, not just comfort. You can take away what you  you wish, whether to eat more “clean,” return to simple and delicious or make a change for the better!

Enter today to win a copy! Winner to be selected on February 1st! Now to be announced during during #VeganFoodChat on February 4th!

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Win a SIGNED Copy of Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur [Book Giveaway]

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Thanksgiving is around the corner! While we give thanks to the people in our lives, what about the non-humans who have a place in our hearts? These special, lovely and loving creatures can bring and have brought so much meaning into our lives. Whether we show our appreciation by just adopting a plant-based diet, rescuing an animal from a shelter or sponsoring one at an animal sanctuary, we can all give thanks to them. Why? Because they helped us take a step to making the world a better place for them and us. 

 

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Fanny is the beautiful girl we sponsor at Farm Sanctuary. She’s also one of the stars of the documentary, The Ghost in Our Machine!

 

That’s exactly what Farm Sanctuary has done for so many survivors of factory farming. They’ve given them another day to breath, another step to take and another way for us to give thanks without harm. To celebrate our friends, human and non-human, and the work of organizations like Farm Sanctuary, we are giving away a SIGNED copy of Gene Baur’s book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food

Enter between now and November 30th for a chance to win! Good luck and Happy ThanksLIVING

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The Lusty Vegan – Sharing Your Love & Veganism Thru Food [Book Review]

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Food is emotional. Relationships are emotional. We often hear that the best way to a (wo)man’s heart is through his/her stomach. Chef Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg of IEatGrass.com have created a cookbook that isn’t just about “winning over” loved ones, vegans and non-vegans alike. The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them is full of personal stories and advice, paired up with wonderful recipes to be shared over and over again whether it’s with a partner, family or just yourself. Love thyself (and others) with food is so true!

The Lusty Vegan really is really about growing from your past experiences, as well as growing as a vegan. While food and love go hand-in-hand, there’s really a lot we all can take away about ourselves and those around us. Even we “lucky f*cks” in “vegan-on-vegan” relationships have a lesson or two to learn, because being vegan isn’t enough, right? We all have to work for our love and our food.

The 2 of us in The Food Duo household found that food and love work together. Hey, our families lived and loved in food. But like any “normal” couple, we’ve hit bumps and oil slicks on the road. When we smooth things out, it results in some amazing meals, laughter and fireworks. No truer form of this occurs when we’re cooking, whether together, for one another or just ourselves. Whoa! Just like The Lusty Vegan!

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Take for instance, Carlo (Mr. Artichoke) has been having a rough go at work (Boooo!) At the same time, he will work overtime at home, whether it’s doing the laundry or driving 2 hours to Philadelphia just to get breakfast! So, what does Carmella do? How about cook him a dinner of Cajun Tofu with Dirty Quinoa (recipe to follow) or wake up with some early morning (4AM?) Lemon Meringue Chia Pudding? Why? Well…why not? We take care of each other. Plus, Carlo loves spicy food. After a long day, nothing’s better than curling up on the couch with plates or in bed with spoons in hand to watch Twin Peaks on Netflix.

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After being married for 7 years and together for 10 years, everyday is a journey in love and food. Some folks ask us for love advice. Man, we are so not the ones to ask! So, we leave it to the experts like Ayinde and Zoe. They have been so kind to answer some questions we’ve gotten about relationships (especially the vegan-omni kind) and veganism:

1. What do you think are the most important things to have in a vegan-omnivore relationship to make it last?

Ayinde: Respect and and a open mind.
Zoe: Acceptance and a willingness to compromise.

2. Can food really bring people together despite their ethics?

Ayinde: Breaking bread is one of the oldest ways to “network socially” when the food is good you create a common experience – everyone is loving their food. Once you are done you feel great and laughs and conversation flow. No one can argue with good vegan food.

Zoe: I think so. Good food is good food, and you can’t argue with your mouth full…

3. We love cooking together! What’s your favorite recipe from The Lusty Vegan to cook as a couple, even if one isn’t vegan?

Ayinde: I’d suggest a sunday brunch, The Lemon Cream stuffed French Toast and add Grits Risotto. A great tag team effort one sweet, one savory.

Zoe: I love the Bibimbap. It’s flavorful, it’s hearty, and it’s fun to make.

Some sage advice (and spice) from these two and 3 more recipes (found in the book) to add into our repertoire! Oh, and there’s more! Ayinde and Zoe were our guests on #VeganFoodChat back in May when the pre-order of The Lusty Vegan launched. We had a great time chatting about this very topic. You can check out the replay here.

The Lusty Vegan is a great cookbook, relationship guide and lovely biographical narrative. It is a book to be read, cooked from and shared for those happily in love or getting over a break-up. It covers stages in relationships as well as some interesting food techniques! A win-win, especially if you’re a double major in psychology and culinary studies (is there such a thing?)

As promised, here’s the recipe for the Cajun Tofu with Dirty Quinoa (pg. 134). Make it for your date, partner, family or just yourself. Get lusty in the kitchen!

Cajun Tofu with Dirty Quinoa
Serves 2
Chef Ayinde's dish makes for a warm, spicy comforting dinner, perfect for an at-home date night. Best enjoyed when curled up on the couch to watch Twin Peaks on Netflix. Yes, because a night with David Lynch can get pretty LUSTY!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
QUINOA
  1. 2 cups water
  2. 1 cup quinoa, well-rinsed
  3. 1 tablespoon grapeseed or safflower oil
  4. 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  6. 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  7. 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  9. 2 tablespoons low-sodium wheat-free tamari
  10. 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  11. 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  12. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  13. Sea salt
TOFU
  1. 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen and defrosted
  2. 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  3. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  8. 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  9. 1/4 cup water
  10. 2 tablespoons low-sodium wheat-free tamari
BUTTER SAUCE
  1. 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  2. 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  3. 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  4. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  6. 1/2 cup dry white wine, divided
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
GARNISH
  1. 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
QUINOA
  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly from the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Add the garlic, and sauté for an additional minute.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa and mix well. Add the tamari, Cajun seasoning, thyme, and red pepper flakes (if using), and mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Remove from the heat.
TOFU
  1. Cut the tofu into 4 slices, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Use a paper towel to press out as much water from the tofu as possible, then transfer the tofu to a shallow bowl. In a separate small bowl combine Cajun seasoning, basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and sage and mix well. Use your hands to gently rub the seasoning mixture onto the tofu, coating well. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and sear for 3 minutes on each side, until brown and slightly crispy. Add the water and tamari to the skillet and allow to reduce for 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the dirty quinoa onto the plates and top with the tofu.
BUTTER SAUCE
  1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté for 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Add the Cajun seasoning, basil, and sage.
  4. Working quickly, add 1/4 cup of the white wine and the cornstarch and sauté until mixture begins to bubble rapidly. Mix continually with a whisk or fork. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine and allow the alcohol to burn off. It may flambé, but the fire won’t last long. Remove from the heat and stir until the sauce becomes cloudy. Immediately spoon the butter sauce over the plated quinoa and tofu and garnish with sliced grape tomatoes.
Adapted from The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

Get your copy of The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them today!

Do you think there should be a remake of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” as “Get Lusty?” Oh we would so want to see that happen!