You may already be familiar with Laura Theodore from her national PBS series, Jazzy Vegetarian. Not only is she a vegan chef and television personality, she’s also a radio host and a singer (that’s where the “jazzy” is). This October, Laura released her latest cookbook, Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet.
While we think that going vegan is easy, we also have a few years of it under our belt. While we worked hard at cooking and dining out, Laura’s book puts the novice on the right path and at “Vegan-Ease.” There are many people who are quite unsure of where to start. What Laura provides in her book is a gentle, yet delicious approach to adopting a vegan diet.
What we love the most is her “Ease Factor” scale! It allows the reader the ability to challenge themselves in the kitchen. The scale ranges from 1 to 3, based on the number of ingredients needed for the recipe. The more ingredients needed, the higher the recipe sits on the “Ease Factor” scale. Don’t worry! You won’t be overwhelmed with a long list that has you going to to specialty stores. The ingredients are easy-to-find at your local grocers.
Since this cookbook is a guide, Laura teams up with Mitali Shah-Bixby and Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT to offer dietary and nutritional guides to support you on your vegan journey at home. There are shopping lists, meal plans and more! It’s all wrapped up in beautiful photography to show how pleasing to the eye and tastebuds vegan food can be.
We’re happy to share Laura’s Pumpkin Spice Cheeze-Cake recipe with you! Don’t be scared of its “Ease Factor” of 3, kitchen newbies. It takes 10 ingredients to make this vegan cheesecake and let it set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. We think the challenge is more in the waiting game than in the actual baking!
- 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
- To make the crust, put 13⁄4 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.
Want to cook with “vegan-ease?” Enter belowfor your chance to win a copy of Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet by Thursday, November 12, 2015! It may be your lucky day!
CONGRATS TO MICHELLE M. ON BEING THE LUCKY WINNER!