When Robin Robertson made the decision to go vegan in the late 1980s, it was not easy. Believe me, I know as I went vegan in the 80s, and I remember. There were sticks of really icky hydrogenated margarine where I worked as a pastry chef, and soy milk – which was not good tasting at – was the only beverage. Tempeh bacon, cashew and other cheeses, coconut yogurt, and the ready-to-eat staples that we kind of take for granted and love now were years away from supermarket shelves. No wonder that Robin says, in her new cookbook, Veganize It!, “If I wanted something meaty or creamy made from plant foods, back in those days, I had to come up with a way to make it myself.” She certainly has been doing just that. I’ve liked all of Robin’s books and this newest one is really great. I’m sure you will like it too! Find a recipe here and then scroll to the end of the blog for a chance to enter the contest to win a copy of Veganize It!,
Today, vegan and vegetarian products are easier to find than ever, but that doesn’t mean that Robin has stopped “veganizing” at home. While convenience products can be great in a pinch, they’re often heavily processed and expensive. With more than thirty years of experience developing and sharing vegan recipes, Robin is the perfect guide for home cooks looking for DIY whole-food alternatives.
Highlights from Veganize It! include:
- Sought-After Superfoods. Shoppers around the country are seeking out trendy jackfruit in Asian markets – but what to do with it? Robin uses its meaty texture in Jumpin’ Jackfruit Chili and Pulled Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches. And don’t miss her creative uses for protein-packed tempeh, nondairy milks, and amazing aquafaba.
- Pantry Basics and Beyond. Readers can stock their kitchens with veganized versions of all their favorites: Homemade Pasta, Vegan Aioli, Coconut Bacon Bits, Creamy Ranch Dressing, and more. Once the larder is full, try simple recipes like Mama’s Meatballs and Loaded Baked Potatoes, or more ambitious dishes like Palm-Crab Imperial.
- Perfect Picnic. Hosting a vegan- or vegetarian-friendly cookout is easier than ever. Try Robin’s Haute Dogs, BBQ Seitan Ribs, Chickpea and Artichoke Tuna Salad, Creamy Coleslaw, and an Ice Cream Sundae Cake for dessert.
Whether you are an experienced vegan cook or just looking to expand your Meatless Monday repertoire, Veganize It! offers invaluable guidance and achievable recipes for everyone.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water, or more as needed
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and turmeric. Mix well. Add the olive oil, butter, and lemon juice, mixing with a fork until the dough is fine and crumbly. Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes cohesive.
Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit a large rimmed baking pan. (You can use a Silpat instead, if you have one.) Top the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough until thin, measuring about 11 x 13 inches. Transfer the parchment paper and rolled-out dough to a large rimmed baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the rolled dough into 2-inch squares. If desired, remove any uneven pieces of dough from around the edges and press together into a small disk and roll it out to get more crackers that are a uniform size. (Otherwise, you’ll have a few partial crackers from around the end to nibble on!)
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the crackers are baked but not browned. The color should be golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet. These crackers keep well for a week in a sealed container at room temperature.
Text excerpted from VEGANIZE IT! © 2017 by Robin Robertson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo by William and Susan Brinson.
I have a copy of Veganize It! for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight on April 4th. So dont’ forget to enter. Good luck!
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