The 4th of July is an American tradition, so what better way to celebrate than by preparing something delicious from American Vegan Kitchen by Tami Noyes? It will be a busy weekend and I don’t want to spend the holiday weekend cooking. I want to make something quick and easy that everyone will love. The Mustard Mac Slaw from American Vegan Kitchen is just the thing. It’s a favorite in our house — we can’t seem to get enough of the slaw’s tangy mustard dressing. As you can see in the photo, it’s a pretty salad, too, and ideal for summer meals. Leftovers taste great too — (on those rare occasions when there are any!)
I plan to serve the slaw with the Smoky Joes from my book, Vegan on the Cheap. (I’ll do a separate post about that recipe soon). Both the slaw and the “Joes” are loaded with flavor, easy to make, and can be make ahead, giving me a special kind of Independence Day — independence from spending all day in the kitchen!
BOOK CONTEST: If you want to try this yummy slaw (and the other great recipes in American Vegan Kitchen), here’s your chance to win a copy of American Vegan Kitchen by Tami Noyes. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me: What is your favorite food of summer? A winner will be chosen at random on July 12th. Good luck! (and Happy 4th of July!)
It happens every year. Without planning, it always seems that I use up the last bit of frozen blackberries from the previous season right around the time when the new season’s berries are making their way towards ripeness.
In the last few days, a huge volume of flowers on my old tangle of blackberry bushes have given way to an equally prodigious amount of green berries that should begin to ripen in a couple weeks. As if on cue, I combined my last bag of frozen berries with some fresh blueberries and strawberries to make a berry cobbler. The single remaining container of blackberry coulis in the freezer will no doubt be enjoyed in the next few weeks, just as we prepare to pick berries and start the delicious cycle all over again.
This berry cobbler is a variation on the Mixed Fruit Cobbler recipe from Vegan on the Cheap. The original recipe uses peaches, plums, and pineapple, but as I say in the headnote, you can substitute any fruits you prefer, so I did an all-berry version.
Instead of making the cobbler in the usual baking dish, this time I made individual cobblers in mini-springform pans. After baking and cooling for a few minutes, I placed each mini-cobbler in a shallow bowl and removed the sides of the springform pan. It makes a cute presentation this way and, as with any cobbler, is even better when served warm with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. Here’s the recipe:
Mixed Fruit Cobbler
Use whatever fruit combination you wish — you should have about 4 cups of fruit filling total.
(Recipe from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson © 2010, John Wiley and Sons.)
3 to 4 ripe peaches, peeled, halved, pitted, and chopped
3 ripe plums, peeled, halved, pitted, and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained, reserving 2/3 cup juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish. Combine the peaches, plums, and pineapple in the bottom of the prepared dish and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the pineapple juice, margarine, and vanilla and mix until well blended.
3. Drop the dough onto the filling with a large spoon to cover. It’s okay if it’s uneven: rustic is good. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
Tips and Variations:
1. If your fruit is less than perfectly sweet, mix about 2 tablespoons of sugar into the fruit. (You can also add 1/2 teaspoon or so of cinnamon or other spice, if you want to.)
2. If you prefer your fruit filling to be more “saucy” than “juicy” sprinkle on a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch when you add the sugar and mix in to coat the fruit.
3. When you spoon on the topping, keep it thin near the middle of the cobbler so that it bakes all the way through.
We just returned from a wonderful trip to Asheville, North Carolina. I had always heard great things about Asheville and wanted to visit it for years. Last week we finally went, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and home to the famed Biltmore Estate, Asheville is artsy-craftsy, progressive, and a great destination with lots to see and do. It’s also extremely vegan-friendly.
The downtown area is filled with fun and funky shops and diverse restaurants. Our favorite veg restaurant was the Laughing Seed, where we enjoyed a great house-made seitan sandwich on focaccia for lunch. For sides, I had the orzo salad and Jon got the jalapeño-onion fries. We went back for dinner the next day to try the bourbon-pecan seitan (served with potato gratin and marinated green beans) and were glad we did.
There are several great Thai restaurants in Asheville, and we especially enjoyed Kanpai Sushi-Thai which serves a great selection of vegan sushi that we enjoyed along with some Thai favorites. Among my favorite sushi rolls were the mango-basil roll and the tempura sweet potato roll. We had a great meal of Indian street food at Chai-Pani, where we feasted on uttapam served with sambar and coconut chutney and a refreshing bhel puri made with puffed rice, chickpea noodles, cilantro, and tamarind chutney. At a Jamaican restaurant called Nine-Mile, many of the dishes can be prepared vegan and the jerk tofu is really good.
We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast called the Lion and Rose in the historic Montford area of town. The owners, Jim and Linda Palmer, were gracious and wonderful hosts who are very accommodating to vegans and other special dietary needs, such as gluten-free. Jim is a terrific cook and took great care to prepare breakfasts for us that were every bit as delicious and satisfying as the non-veg counterparts. We especially enjoyed getting to know Jim and Linda’s adorable dog, Cedric, who loves getting belly rubs. Here’s a photo of the inn:
We came home feeling rested and relaxed and very happy to have discovered this true gem of a town nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Here are just a few photos of the food we enjoyed: