Chef Fran Costigan

2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide
I’m having trouble figuring out how we got to the winter holidays so quickly, or so it seems to me, but here we are again. And this year, for only the 4th time in the past 100 years, Christmas and Chanukah are falling on the same day. I have assembled vegan holiday gift guide with links to make checking out items easier. Remember that there is a place for handmade gifts, too.

 

BOOKS

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide - BooksThere are a lot of gift-worthy books, some are new and some are essential classics.

Be Inspired!

Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free with the Magic of Bean Water, Zsu Dever
The bean liquid we used to throw away turns out to be one of the most astonishing culinary discoveries of the decade. With its amazing egg-replacement abilities, miraculous “aquafaba” can be used as an egg-replacer to make everything from French toast to lemon meringue pie. Aquafaba can be used as a binder in both sweet and savory recipes and is a boon to vegans, people with egg allergies, as well as anyone interested in innovative cooking with a magical new ingredient.

Crossroads: Extraordinary Recipes from the Restaurant That Is Reinventing Vegan Cuisine, Tal Ronnen,  Scot Jones (Contributor), Serafina Magnussen (Contributor) 
Reinventing plant-based eating is what Tal Ronnen is all about. At his Los Angeles restaurant, Crossroads, the menu is vegan, but you won’t find soybeans or  seitan. Tal and executive chef, Scot Jones turn seasonal vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains into sophisticated Mediterranean fare. In Crossroads, Ronnen shares the restaurant’s recipes with us. You’ll need some time to make most of the recipes, but you’ll have the inside track to a Crossroads meal. Gorgeous photos inspire.

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Michael Greger. M.D. and Gene Stone
The vast majority of premature deaths can be prevented through simple changes in diet and lifestyle. In How Not to Die, Dr. Michael Greger examines the fifteen top causes of premature death in America-heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and more-and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to live healthier lives.

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes, Dana Shultz
Dana Shultz founded the Minimalist Baker blog in 2012 to share her passion for simple cooking and quickly gained a devoted worldwide following. Now, in this long-awaited debut cookbook, Dana shares 101 vibrant, simple recipes that are entirely plant-based, mostly gluten-free, and 100% delicious.

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion, Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Gone are the days of stressing over how to please family and friends with different dietary needs. Bursting with knock-your-socks-off, mind-bogglingly tasty vegan recipes for Cinnamon Apple Crepes, Cheeseburger Pizza, Biscuits and Gravy, Churro Biscotti, and so much more, The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook will make everyone at your table happy-even meat eaters and the gluten challenged.

Vegan Mexico: Soul-Satisfying Regional Recipes from Tamales to Tostadas, Jason Wyrick
Jason’s delicious recipes capture the essence of the moles of Oaxaca, the Mayan legacy of the Yucatan, the smoky chile flavors of Zacatecas,the fruit-centric Southern regions, the Spanish influence of Veracruz, and the street food of Mexico City.

Vegan Under Pressure: Perfect Vegan Meals Made Quick and Easy in Your Pressure Cooker, Jill Nussinow
In Vegan Under Pressure, Jill shows how to use the pressure cookers easily, safely and effectively, while showing us the wide variety of vegan dishes that can be made quickly with the appliance. Recipes include Homemade Hummus, Harissa-Glazed Carrots with Green Olives, Pozole Chili, Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula, Thai Summer Vegetable Curry, and DIY soy milk and seitan.

V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby bring the greatest flavors of the world to the devoted clientele of their acclaimed Philly restaurant V Street. Now, cooks can experience the same original dining experience at home with these zesty, mouthwatering recipes that whet the appetite and feed the imagination.

Culinary Fundamentals – The Classics

The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples, Miyoko Schinner
Studded with full-color photos, The Homemade Vegan Pantry celebrates beautiful, handcrafted foods. From ice cream and pizza dough, to granola and breakfast sausage. Miyoko Schinner guides readers through the techniques for making roasted tomatoes,cheeses, sauces, pastas and much more, and all without special equipment. Her easy methods make “slow food” fast, and full of flavor.

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science, Paula I. Figoni
The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. This book explains the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique, revealing the complex mysteries of bread loaves, pastries, and everything in between.

More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, Fran Costigan
Because this dessert book is the basis of the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive® and still absolutely relevant.

The Pastry Chef’s Companion: A Comprehensive Resource Guide for the Baking and Pastry Professional, Glenn Rinsky and Laura Halpin Rinsky
With more than 4,800 terms and definitions from around the world plus ten appendices filled with helpful resources, The Pastry Chef’s Companion combines the best features of a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, Fran Costigan, photos by Kate Lewis 
Because chocolate always makes everything better! Anyone – from newbie to pro – can make irresistible chocolate desserts from this book. With gorgeous full color photos by Kate Lewis, the book makes a gorgeous coffee table book gift too! (Friends outside of the United States, note that Vegan Chocolate has been published in German, French and Italian.)

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs, Karen Page
To quote the author Karen Page, “If you master a single recipe, you’ll learn how to cook a single dish. If you master the dynamics of flavor, you can make anything taste better.” Emphasizing plant-based whole foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, the book provides an A-to-Z listing of hundreds of ingredients, from Açaí to Zucchini Blossoms, cross-referenced with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that best enhance their flavor, resulting in thousands of recommended pairings. I’m amazed at what I am learning as I read this book.

 

KITCHEN TOOLS


Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Kitchen ToolsHere are some essentials for making desserts. I’ve included links so that you can have visuals of the items.

Escali Digital Scale
How much chocolate did you chop? Is that cup of cashews really 5 ounces? Get a digital scale already. You won’t look back!

Norpro Stainless Steel 8 Piece Measuring Spoon Set  
What makes these measuring spoons so awesome is their long necks, which makes scooping from small jars easy. You’ll appreciate the 1/8 tsp measure too. I have several sets.

Nesting Measuring Cups for Dry Ingredients
No fancy shaped cups please! Get 1, 2, and 4 cup liquid measuring cups too! I like these for home and traveling.

Indispensible 1/4 cup Liquid Measuring Cups
I carry these with me to schools and on trips.

Commercial Half and Quarter Sheet Pans
These are the hardest working pans in the kitchen! They’re great for toasting nuts, seeds, containing spillovers while pies bake, as cookie sheets, make sheet cakes, and more

Parchment Paper to Line Sheet Pans
Buy the half sheet size and cut for the quarter sheets. These ship flat.

Parchment Paper Rounds to line cake pans 
Sure, you can cut parchment to fit your pans, but I find having a stack of these precut  8-9- and 10 inch rounds handy. Make sure you have some parchment sheets to line your baking pans too.

Cooling Racks

Cupcake Boxes
I just started ordering these boxes for gifting mini cupcakes and Gluten-Free Brownie Bites. The packaging is flat, the windowed box makes an attractive presentation.

Whisks, Ballon

Whisks, Flat

Silicone Spatulas
I like mini ones too. Get more than you think you need, because you will need them.

Heatproof Mixing Bowls 

Flexible Cutting Boards
These make transferring chopped chocolate easy.

Culinary Torch
A torch is essential for working with meringue, that’s aqufaba!

Hand Blender 
An immersion or stick blender enables you to puree soaked prunes (for making brownies), as well as make soups, sauces, and much more directly in the pan or serving bowl. The blade attachment, which in some models is interchangeable with a whisk, snaps onto a long shaft. You press a button and blend.  I use my immersion blender often and find it a breeze to clean, but the blades are sharp and the button is sensitive, so it is extrememly important that you unplug the blender before cleaning.

Lemon and Lime Squeezer
Amazing little gadget gets all the juice out of lemons and limes, strains the seeds, fits into small places for storing.

Microplane Premium Zester/Grater
I used to avoid zesting until I found the microplane. With razor sharp teeth that allow for zesting in both directions, you can quickly zest citrus fruits, garlic, ginger and whole nutmeg–chocolate too!

Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder
Spice and nut grinders are always helpful in baking.

Deydrator
I recommend Tribest Sedona Express, which has digital displays, a glass hinged door, and metal trays.

Blender
Because high-speed blenders are pricy big ticket item, I’d say technically this is a of nice to have instead of essential. But honestly, I can’t imagine not having my Vitamix in the kitchen. I know it saves time and utimately money too. I was tired burning out standard blenders. Want a Vitamix? Be very good, and let Santa know. Get free standard shipping ($25US/$35CN) by calling 1-800-848-2649 and using the code 06-007033

Food Processor
Don’t bother with a mini processor. They don’t work.

Stand Mixer 
Nice to have, especially if you are into working with aquafaba or making vegan buttercream. You can also use an Electric Hand Mixer and patience.

Large Stand Mixer
If you’re working with larger batches or bread, a 6 quart mixer is helpful. This is the one I have.

 

VEGAN FOOD GIFTS

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Food Gifts

Lagusta’s Luscious 
Founded in 2003 by a passionate vegan chef, Lagusta’s Luscious artisanal chocolates combine a deep commitment to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights with the love of bold flavor of a true foodie and the obsessive commitment to artisan techniques of a chocolatier.

Rescue Chocolate
Rescue Chocolate has just come out with scrumptious new curated collections for cat-lovers, fruit-lovers, white chocolate-lovers, and creamy dessert-lovers. All of their chocolate bars and truffles are vegan, fairly traded, organic, non-GMO, handcrafted in Brooklyn NY, and kosher. And, all profits are donated to various animal rescue organizations. Use code hello at checkout for a 15% discount.

Gone Pie
Order brownies, pies, macaroons, or peanut butter caramel cups – everything is vegan and gluten-free.

Miyoko’s Kitchen
From delicate and creamy to pungent and hard, Mikoyo’s Kitchen makes a wide range of vegan cheeses made nuts.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Subscription
This subscription service sends a box of vegan snack straight to your door each month.

VEGAN FASHION

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Vegan Fashion

Gunas
Gunas is an independent high fashion label with a cause! Started in 2009 by designer and animal lover, Sugandh G. Agrawal.  They are committed to being a 100% vegan brand, and they make fashion-foward cruelty-free handbags and shoes.

Vaute
Vaute is the world’s first vegan fashion brand, founded with a mission of taking animals out of the fashion equation, by creating something better, using innovative, high-tech, sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in NYC’s garment district. Voute originally started as a vegan coat company, but they’ve since expanded to clothes, shoes, and accessories. They make men’s clothing, too. This week only use the code WELOVEKINDMEN to get $50 off a men’s coat or sweater, plus free shipping.

 

LEARNING

Fran’s Essential Vegan Desserts Course with Rouxbe
Learn to make vegan desserts like a pro, whether you are a newbie or a pro, on your own schedule. This is an online course based on my popular NYC basedVegan Baking Boot Camp ®. It’s a 90-day course that focuses on essential techniques and recipes so you can create quality vegan desserts with confidence.The next course starts on February 2nd, and space is limited.

Rouxbe Plant–Based Certification Course
Led by world-renowned plant-based chef educator Chad Sarno, this ground-breaking certification course is the most comprehensive plant-based course ever put together. Read what Dianne Wenz had to say of her Rouxbe experience.

 

GIVING

Fran Costigan's 2016 Vegan Holiday Gift Guide – Gifts that Give

Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary’s mission is to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
The Physicians Committee is leading a revolution in medicine—putting a new focus on health and compassion. The Physicians Committee combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world.

American Civil Liberties Union
For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

Coalition for Healthy School Food
The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a nonprofit that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.

 

VACATION

East Coast meets West Coast on Vegan Cruise to Alaska

Franci and Curtis Kettman are the Vegan Cruise Planners. 2015 found me in awe of Alaska as I cruised with 110+ vegans and vegan curious thanks to VCP. I did a cooking demo, as did other vegan cookbook authors, and YouTube sensations. New lifelong friends were made and long time friendships were celebrated. 2016, found me again on a Vegan Cruise, this time to Panama and it was as exciting. The 2017 destination has not yet been announced—and I will be returning! Check this link for the news as it happens.

 

Dear friends, I am truly interested to know what you like to give and to get as gifts, so please let me know in the comments section.  I’m sending my sincere wishes to each one of you for a happy, healthy holiday season. May there be peace on earth for all.

 

CookbooksAs my gift to you, I have two holiday giveaways. One winner will receive a copy of Vegan Chocolate and a signed bookplate, and another will receive a copy of More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. U.S residents only, please. Good luck!
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Watch for my updated website launching soon.
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Vegan Carrot Apricot Muffins

Fran Costigan's Vegan Carrot Apricot Muffins

On a dark and rainy day here in New York City, I decided to reset my baker’s pantry. I’ve been very inspired by the students in the first Essential Vegan Desserts Course at Rouxbe, who’ve been doing the same.

I do keep a list of ingredients  inside the cabinet doors, but when times get busy, I get forgetful, and anyway, pantry shelves need periodic cleaning, right?  Among the items I’d forgotten about was an unopened bag of dried apricots. These apricots are sulfite-free and were quite dark, and as the bag was about a year old (I label and date everything!), and they were pretty dried out. I saw also a few 4-ounce containers of organic unsweetened applesauce. I pulled  both of the items onto my butcher block mixing counter where, earlier I had put 3 carrots and a portobello mushroom. Next to the butcher blog I keep a lazy Susan with baking powder, soda, salt, extracts. And next to it was a jug of real maple syrup from Pete’s Sweets.

I wanted to bake. Muffins. Away went the mushroom and out came a muffin tin.

I knew I had a recipe in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally for muffins that used carrots, apricots and applesauce, so I decided to play with the recipe. I got 12 large standard muffins that were not too sweet, rather low oil, and very good. Not the prettiest for sure, but tasty and very moist. Just the thing to enjoy with an almond milk latte and The Crown on Netflix.

These muffins are not only delicious, they’re quite nutritious, too. Dried apricots are rich in dietary fiber, potassium, iron, and antioxidants, and they’re great for a quick energy boost. Carrots are nutrition powerhouses – they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they’re known to help fight cancer, improve vision, and protect the heart, among other things. I felt pretty good about eating one (or was it two?). There is a box in the freezer now so I can pull one out, defrost, even warm or toast this muffin on the next rainy day, or a sunny one… Enjoy!

Fran Costigan's Vegan Carrot Apricot Muffins

Carrot Apricot Muffins

Moist and nutritious, low oil muffins

Makes 12 standard muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) unsweetened sulfite free dried apricots, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely powdered whole cane sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A dark or dark amber
  • 4 ounces, about 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup any nondairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons any neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces / 1 cup firmly packed peeled and shredded carrots, about 3 average carrots

Preparation

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Oil the top and cups of a 12-cup standard muffin tin.
  2. Soak the apricots pieces in the water for 15 minutes, or until they are plumped. Drain the apricots in a small strainer set over a measuring cup and reserve 2 tablespoons of the liquid for the batter.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients in their containers to aerate. Measure using the dip, overfill, level method. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir with a whisk to sift the ingredients into the bowl. (If any small bits remain in the strainer, add them to the bowl.)
  4. Whisk to mix and aerate.
  5. Whisk the maple syrup, applesauce, soymilk, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and the 2 tablespoons reserved water in a separate medium bowl until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture, and whisk until the batter is smooth. Stir the carrots and drained apricots into the batter.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, using about 1/4 cup for each, filling each cup about almost to the top of the cup.
  7. Set the muffin tin on the upper rack. Immediately reduce the oven to 375°F. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the muffins look set and golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of a few muffins comes out clean or with just a few moist but not wet crumbs.
  8. Cool the tin on a rack for 5 minutes. While the muffins are cooling, carefully loosen the dome of the muffin from the top of the pan. After 5 minutes, run the offset between the muffins and the inside of the cups, and lift each onto the rack to cool completely.
  9. Store loosely covered in a container or tin for a day. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost uncovered.
  10. If you like shinier, sweeter muffins, brush the top of each with maple syrup or dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Recipe adapted from More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, (Book Publishing Company 2006 by Fran Costigan)

 

Who doesn’t want to know more about Aquafaba, the magical egg replacer? I bet you do! Join me tomorrow, December 1st noon PST, as I interview cookbook author Zsu Dever for a Rouxbe Essential Vegan Desserts Live Event. It is free and open to the public but you need to register here: http://rouxbe.com/live-events/370/details
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Surviving the Holidays with Heather and Jenny from Spork Foods

This month, I am so pleased to introduce Heather Bell and Jenny Engle who are the Spork Food sisters. Heather and Jenny live in LA and I am in NYC, but we run into each other regularly at food shows and other events, as the sisters are food ambassadors for several of my favorite food companies. If you are in the LA area, or planning a trip, do try to book a class at their super cooking school in West Hollywood. Also check out their newest cookbook, Vegan 101. I am so happy that these super talented women have taken the time out of their very busy lives to be this month’s Interesting Woman in Vegan Food. Read about Heather and Jenny, find a recipe, and enter the giveaway to win a copy of their wonderful new cookbook. Thank you Heather and Jenny!

Hello! We’re Heather and Jenny, sisters and co-owners of Spork Foods. We own a vegan cooking school in Los Angeles, and we’ve been vegan for close to 20 years – we love it!  We also love Fran, so were excited to be working on this guest blog.

We know the holidays can be tough for many of you that are vegan, and may not have a ton of vegan friends or family to share food (and camaraderie) with during the holidays.  We want to help you navigate these waters!  Let’s use this challenge as a teaching experience, gently informing family and friends about easy swaps and such to make this a Thanksgiving everyone can enjoy.

vegan-101-by-heather-bell-and-jenny-engel

Our suggestions!

1. Talk to your family beforehand – especially the cook and offer some easy swaps that will make the meal more vegan friendly. Even if they’re not into making the whole family a Tofurkey, at least these swaps can help the sides be something you can enjoy!

  • Try Earth Balance Buttery Spread and Wildwood Soymilk Creamer instead of butter and cream in your mashed potatoes.  They’re going to be so rich and buttery, no one will ever know they’re void of dairy.
  • For stuffing, just look for bread with no dairy products like whey, and use that handy tub of Earth Balance, and you’re on your way to an easy, delicious vegan alternative.
  • Try Imagine brand Vegetarian “No Chicken” Broth.  This stuff works wonders in soups, gravy, marinades, and stuffing.  It has a great garlic and onion flavor, so it’s a 1 to 1 replacement for chicken broth.
  • For salad dressings, try Vegenaise instead of egg-based mayonnaise.  It’s creamy and rich, and many restaurants use it instead of regular mayonnaise because no one can tell it’s vegan.

2. Make a dish that will wow your crowd! It’s very important that the vegan dish that you share with your friends and family during the holidays is so good people start to understand that this way of life can be even more delicious than they thought. Sorry to put the pressure on, but we know you can handle it.  If you love desserts, just peek around Fran’s site and find that one special treat you know your family will love.  If you enjoy savory dishes, try our Velvety Kale Soup with Cashew Cream from our book Vegan 101. It’s rich, full of nutrients, and goes over well with any crowd.  Be sure to make enough to share with your family, because everyone will want to try it.

3. Be proud of your values, and at the same time, be understanding of the fact that your non-vegan family members may not be exposed to all of your knowledge of veganism, or why you live this lifestyle. When you immerse yourself in this world of compassion, and then have to surround yourself with people who aren’t on the same page, it can be frustrating. Try to remember that you don’t have to use the main Thanksgiving meal as a platform to make your vegan pitch. What’s helped us in the past is finding a more quiet time with your open-minded family members who are really willing to engage in an open conversation.

We want to share this recipe for Velvety Kale Soup with a Cashew Cream with you. It makes for a great starter, plus we’re sneaking greens into everyone at the table.

Velvety Kale Soup with Cashew Cream by Spork Foods from their new cookbook, Vegan 101

Velvety Kale Soup with Cashew Cream by Spork Foods from their new cookbook, Vegan 101

Gluten-Free, Serves 4 to 6

Prep time: 18 minutes, Cook time: 1 hour

The Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain, it’s a bowl of kale soup. Fully loaded with greens and drizzled with cashew cream, this warming, nutrient-rich dish is packed with antioxidants and fiber—it’s basically nature’s Botox.

For The Soup

  • 1 bulb garlic, top sliced off to expose the cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon neutral-tasting oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt, plus pinch, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus pinch, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 3 loose cups)
  • 1 bunch spinach, coarsely chopped (about 3 loose cups)
  • 2½ cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup soy milk creamer

For The Cashew Cream

  • ⅓ cup unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup soy milk creamer or almond milk
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

To Prepare The Soup

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place garlic bulb cut-side down in a heatproof ramekin. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pinch sea salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, or until cloves are soft.
  3. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add butter and onion. Remove 4 or 5 cloves roasted garlic from the bulb and use the blade of a knife to squeeze flesh out of skin into the pot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add potato, bay leaf, and remaining ¾ teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add kale and spinach and sauté for about 3 more minutes to wilt.
  5. Add broth, wine, and creamer. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 18 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender. Discard bay leaf.
  6. Using an immersion blender, purée soup. Alternately, blend soup mixture in a blender, with middle of lid removed, covered in a clean kitchen towel. Only fill blender halfway at a time, to prevent spillage. Season with more sea salt and pepper, if desired.

To Make The Cashew Cream

In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine cashews, lemon juice, creamer or almond milk, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper and blend until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle each portion with cashew cream.

 

Los Angeles-based Spork Foods (sporkfoods.com) is a gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Heather Bell and Jenny Engel. They offer vegan organic cooking classes, chef trainings, recipe development and private chef work in Los Angeles and worldwide. Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently in stores, with a foreword by fellow fans, actors and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel. Their second cookbook, Vegan 101 just launched and can be found online and in bookstores.

 

Heather and Jenny have a copy of their new book Vegan 101 for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern time on November 29th. Good luck!

 

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