Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Pinterest Logo

Nut Gourmet Blog Logo

only search Vegetarians in Paradise
VIP Bird
VIP Banner
Fill out your e-mail address to receive our newsletter!
*E-mail address:
*First Name:
Last Name:
Please let us know your location for special events:
Los Angeles:
(Outside USA):
Subscribe Unsubscribe


Vegan for the Holidays

Vegan for the Holidays has sold out its first printing.
New copies and the Kindle Edition are still available for purchase at Amazon.


Translate This Page

sphere Homepage

sphere News from the Nest

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Blog

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Videos

sphere Zel Allen's NutGourmet Blog

About Us


Weight Loss

Food History/Nutrition/Recipes


Nutrition Information

Los Angeles Resources

Cooking Tips/Recipes

Guest Contributors

Books/Media Reviews


sphere Archive Index

sphere Contact Us

*Privacy Policy: When you subscribe to Vegetarians in Paradise (vegetarian e-zine) your email address will not be sold or rented, and will only be used to let you know in an email what's new in our monthy web magazine.

All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Essays/Vegan Essays


To avoid the big, noisy crowds of a fireworks show, we decided to challenge our friends to create big splashy displays on the food table instead of viewing exploding rockets in the sky. We hope our virtual July 4th party will inspire potlucks across the whole country and in continents across the globe.

What we love about our summer potlucks are the delicious surprises that arrive one-by-one as our potluckers come together to share their tasty, summer-focused contributions.

We think July 4th may be the perfect, high-spirited occasion to invite friends to the official firing up of the BBQ, roasting fresh ears of corn in the husk, and skewering bright colored fresh veggies for the grill. In the late afternoon, we, too, will be tossing some tasty vegan vittles on the barbecue and serving up a host of delicious salads and side dishes full of summer veggies and fresh flavors. And we simply can't wait to taste our delicious, soon-to-arrive potluck surprises our friends have created.

We'll even make some indulgent, homemade vegan ice cream using recipes from Jeff Rogers' Vegan Ice Cream, an awesome collection of rich and super-easy vegan ice cream recipes that come out great every time.

Although we're currently celebrating our nation's Independence Day with patriotic zest and colorful foods that put the spotlight on the red, white, and blue, these recipes are ideal not only for July 4, but also for other festive celebrations all summer long.

And now, we'd like you to meet some our friends who find the kitchen an ever-inspiring niche. We're delighted to show off the gorgeous, sumptuous, and innovative dishes they've created for the patriotic occasion.


Laura Theodore is an award-winning jazz singer, songwriter, and actor who became interested in vegetarian cooking over 20 years ago. She is the on-camera host and co-producer of the Jazzy Vegetarian Cooking Show on a PBS show in its third season of dishing up gorgeous plant-based recipes. Laura also hosts Jazzy Vegetarian Radio on Blogtalkradio, a weekly podcast where she shares tips, recipes, and celebrity interviews with a touch of upbeat jazzy music to give it verve.

Laura Theodore Laura is the author of three exceptional cookbooks: Jazzy Vegetarian, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, and Vegan-ease that feature recipes from the Jazzy Vegetarian Television Show. Her cookbooks are truly a feast for the eyes with their blast of full-color photos, jazzy tips, and menu plans.

To discover more information about Laura's television show, radio podcasts, recipes, and cookbooks visit The Jazzy Vegetarian.

Here are the 3 links related to the television show airing on CREATE!

LAURA SAYS, "On July 4th, everybody loves a tasty and easy-to-prepare vegan burger (yep, even omnivores)! This mighty burger is big on taste, but has only 5-ingredients! The quick prep makes it a real standout for serving at a summertime party meal.

"I created this burger because my husband always complained that I did not make our veggie burgers BIG enough! So the "Hungry Guy" Burger was born. Packed with hearty black beans, spicy salsa and rolled oats, these five-ingredient wonders are delicious, hearty and filling too.

"Now everyone's happy on July 4th!"


Hungry Guy Burgers

Makes 6 burgers / Ease Factor 1

    1 can (15 ounces/423g) black beans, drained and rinsed
    2/3 cup (160 ml) plus 2 heaping tablespoons prepared salsa, plus more as needed (see Chef's Notes)
    3 slices whole-grain bread, torn into chunks
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    2/3 cup (160 ml) rolled oats

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.(Gas Mark 5). Line a large, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Put the black beans and salsa in a medium-sized bowl and mash using a potato masher or large fork until well combined. Put the bread chunks and cumin in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Add the breadcrumbs to the black bean mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the rolled oats and mix to combine. If the mixture seems dry, stir in another heaping tablespoon of salsa and mix to combine.
  3. Scoop up a generous 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the black bean mixture and put it on the prepared pan. Form it into a burger, shaping it with clean hands, then, flattening it slightly. Continue in this manner to make five more burgers (see Chef's Notes).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the burgers and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden.

Chef's Notes

  • You may use mild, medium or hot salsa in this recipe.
  • Once formed, the burgers may be covered and refrigerated for 2 to 6 hours before cooking. Add 5 to 7 minutes to the baking time.

Photos courtesy of Annie Oliverio.

Amount per serving, based on 6 servings/burgers:
170 Calories
2g Fat
0g Saturated fat
10g Protein
241mg Sodium
30g Total Carbohydrate
1g Sugars
8g Fiber


Red, White, and Blue Parfaits


Makes 4 to 6 Servings

These jazzylicious parfaits are the perfect way to serve farm fresh strawberries and blueberries. A delectable cashew cream is layered between layers of luscious berries, garnished with a gluten-free cookie on top. The red, white and blue theme of this dessert is excellent for a July 4th party. Delightful!

    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) raw cashews, soaked (see note)
    1/4 (60 ml) cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut, soaked (see note)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup (180 ml) filtered or spring water plus more as needed
    1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste, optional

    2 cups (480 ml) fresh raspberries or strawberries, plus more for garnish
    2 cups (480 ml) fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish

    ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS 2 vegan cookies, any variety, (optional) for garnish
    4 mint sprigs, for garnish

Put all of the Cashew-Coconut Cream ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach a "whipped cream" consistency, as desired. Taste and add more optional maple syrup, if desired. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

Meanwhile, de-stem, then slice or dice the raspberries or strawberries and put them in a small bowl, reserving 4 whole berries for garnish. Put the blueberries in another small bowl. Cover and refrigerate the berries for 2 to 4 hours, so they are thoroughly chilled before assembling the parfaits.

Cut the cookies in half and set aside.

The parfaits are best assembled right before serving (see note). To assemble, put a heaping tablespoon of the Cashew-Coconut Cream in the bottom each of 4 tall parfait glasses. Top with one-fourth of the diced strawberries, (reserving 4 pieces for garnish). Top with another heaping tablespoon of the Cashew-Coconut Cream. Top with one-fourth of the blueberries, (reserving 4 blueberries for garnish). Spoon the remaining Cashew-Coconut Cream over the top of the parfaits, dividing it evenly among the four glasses. Garnish with one raspberry or strawberry, one blueberry, the cookie halves and a mint sprig. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

  • To soak the cashews, put them in a small bowl and pour in enough water to cover. Put in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse well under cool running water. Drain again.
  • To soak the coconut, put it in a small bowl and pour in enough water to cover. Put in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Drain well before use.
  • If preferred, assemble the parfaits up to one hour before serving. Make sure to serve well chilled!


Sharon Palmer Sharon Palmer, RD is the Plant-Powered Dietitian. Her passion for food, nutrition, and writing during 16 years in the nutrition profession has inspired her to write over 850 articles that have appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Oxygen, Prevention, Los Angeles Times, Cooking Smart, and Today's Dietitian. She blogs daily at the Plant Powered Blog and is advisor for the Oldways Vegetarian Network and Today's Dietitian. In 2013 she received the Loma Linda University Distinguished Alumnus Award. Sharon is also the author of The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life.

Be sure to visit Sharon's Plant-Powered Dietitian website for lots more recipes and informative articles.

Explore her daily blog posts at her Plant-Powered Blog

SHARON SAYS, "I love a good veggie-rich salsa dip for whole grain crackers, corn or bean chips, and veggies. And this avocado salsa is packed with extra goodies: corn, red onion, cilantro, black olives, and jalapenos. It's not only delicious, but it's beautiful to boot. Set out a bowl at a party and watch it disappear!"

Avocado Salsa


Makes 10 servings

    3 medium tomatoes, ripe, diced
    2 medium ripe yet firm avocados, diced
    1 medium red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 red onion, diced
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) frozen sweet corn, thawed
    1 (2.25 ounce/64g) can black olives, sliced, drained
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
    1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro or parsley
    1 lemon, juiced
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Black pepper and sea salt as desired

  1. Add tomatoes (be sure to use any tomato juice left on cutting board when chopping tomatoes), avocados, bell pepper, onion, corn, olives, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro or parsley to a medium bowl and toss together gently.
  2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and sea salt and toss together to distribute. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Chill until serving time. Serve with whole grain or bean chips, tacos, burritos, or fresh veggies.

Amrita Bala

Vegan blogger Amrita Bala was born in Singapore and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. After many years as a vegetarian, she became vegan 3 years ago and credits her love of animals as inspiration. She's a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, a creator of innovative recipes, and calls herself a crazy cat lady. Amrita has a ball with her 4 cats named Bingo, Pudding, Richard Parker, and Ebichu.

For more of her delicious recipes and eye-catching food photos, visit Amrita's website, Crazy Vegan Kitchen

Amrita is also active on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter #crazyvegankitchen

AMRITA SAYS, " These rice paper rolls make the perfect hot weather appetizer because there's no need to heat up the stove. They're filled with cooling vegetables, and the rolls are easy to serve because they can be eaten out of hand. Guests love the delightful crunch of fresh veggies and the fun of dipping the rolls into such a flavorful sauce that makes these pure fun to eat."


Vegan Rice Paper Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce

Makes 5 large rolls, or serves 10 when cut in half

    5 sheets Vietnamese rice paper
    1 large carrot, julienned
    1 small cucumber, julienned
    1/2 an avocado, cut into slices
    Small bunch Thai basil
    2 ounces (56g) tofu, cut into strips (we use Satay flavored Tofu)
    1/2 cup (120 ml) mixed salad leaves
    1 red chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
  1. Prepare a large bowl of hot water to soften rice paper.
  2. Working one at a time, submerge rice paper into hot water (be careful!) for about 5 to 10 seconds, or until it is just starting to soften. Don't soak it for too long or it'll tear to bits.
  3. Place a small bed of salad leaves in the middle of the softened rice paper, and then top with small amounts of every other ingredient. Although tempting, try not to overfill the rolls as it will make it hard to roll up.
  4. Roll rice paper roll up, egg-roll style. (Bottom up, sides in, and roll to close).
  5. Serve with hoisin peanut sauce at the side. Rice paper rolls are best eaten fresh.

Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce

    2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
    1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon Tamari
    3 tablespoons water

Combine ingredients and whisk till smooth.


Faye and Yakir Levy write the main culinary column of the Jerusalem Post.

Faye and Yakir Levy Faye Levy is the author of cookbooks in three languages (English, Hebrew and French) --23 so far -- including the award-winning Faye Levy's International Vegetable Cookbook.

Her most recent titles are Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home, Feast from the Mideast and 1,000 Jewish Recipes. Some of her other books are the award winning Classic Cooking Techniques, Chocolate Sensations, and the three-volume Fresh from France series.

The Levys have written for the Los Angeles Times. Faye has also written for other major newspapers throughout the U.S., and for Gourmet Magazine, Bon Appetit, Chocolatier, and Vegetarian Times.

Faye studied cooking in Paris at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne. Initially she signed up for six weeks but being in Paris was so much fun, the Levys figured they would stay a little longer so that Faye could continue studying. Six years later, after Faye had earned the position of La Varenne's cookbook editor, they finally left this stopover on their trip from Israel to the United States.

The Levys love learning about culinary cultures by traveling, by visiting festivals, and by shopping at ethnic markets.

You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter. Their author page is http://www.jpost.com/Author/Faye-Levy

FAYE AND YAKIR SAY, "When we're grilling, we like to have eggplants and peppers on hand to put on the grill so we can make this dish. It has such good flavor from the grilled peppers and eggplant that it needs very little oil. For hot ajvar, grill and mince one or two chiles, preferably red, and stir into the mixture. Serve with fresh flatbread."



Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

    2 long, fairly slender eggplants (about 2 to 2 1/4 pounds/1 kilo)
    5 red bell peppers (about 2 pounds/1 kilo)
    1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced (1 to 2 teaspoons), divided, to taste
    1 or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more to taste, plus additional olive oil for drizzling
    1 tablespoon wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, or to taste
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
    Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
    Olives, for garnish (optional)

  1. Prepare grill with medium-hot coals; or preheat broiler. Remove any labels carefully from eggplants to avoid tearing skins. Prick each eggplant several times with a fork. Grill or broil, turning every 10 minutes with tongs, 30 minutes in broiler or 40 to 50 minutes on grill, or until eggplants look collapsed, their skins blacken and their flesh is very tender. Let eggplants stand until cool enough to handle.
  2. Broil or grill bell peppers, turning them every 4 or 5 minutes, for 15 minutes, or until their skins blister all over and most of skins blacken in a thin layer. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly; or put in a plastic bag and close bag.
  3. Cut off eggplant caps. Halve eggplants and drain off any liquid inside. Scoop eggplant flesh out of skins with a large spoon, scraping to remove all of the flesh; or, if peel comes apart from flesh, pull it off, scraping off any eggplant adhering to skin with a spoon. (You will have about 2 cups (480 ml) pulp.)
  4. Let bell peppers stand 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel them, using paring knife to scrape off any peel that adheres. Halve bell peppers, and drain off any liquid inside. Remove caps and seeds, scraping off any adhering seeds; do not rinse.
  5. Chop eggplant finely with a knife or in a food processor; if using food processor, chop by pulsing and leave a few small chunks. Transfer to a bowl.
  6. Chop peppers finely with a knife or in food processor, leaving a few small chunks. Add to bowl of eggplant.


Plant-fueled since 2011, Annie Oliverio writes, runs, and cooks in the heart of Cattle Country. An enthusiastic "home chef," Annie started her blog, An Unrefined Vegan, to share her passion for creating cruelty-free, unprocessed, whole food recipes that are delicious, healthful, and simple to prepare. Annie's dishes contain little or no oil and her desserts are sweetened with fruit, dates, or stevia. It's all about nurturing body, brain, and conscience.

Annie Oliverio Through her project, Virtual Vegan Potluck, she invites both vegan and non-vegan bloggers to share a twice-yearly online potluck, demonstrating how food can bring people together. Annie's cookbook Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-Based, Whole-Food Recipes to Satisfy Every Craving shows her skilled hand with the camera. She has been fortunate to have as participants, cookbook authors Kathy Hester, Robin Robertson, Natalie Slater, Ellen Jaffe Jones, and Bryanna Clark Grogan.

Read more about that event on her website, Virtual Vegan Potluck. Annie is also a recipe contributor to One Green Planet and a featured chef on Raw Food Recipes. In addition to creating delicious, innovative recipes, Annie is the go-to professional photographer for bloggers and several well-known cookbook authors like Laura Theodore, Robin Robertson, Kathy Hester, and Somer McGowan. To enhance her exceptional photos, she combs antique shops to collect items like tarnished flatware, faded fabrics, and vintage Pyrex.

Visit Annie's website for more of her stunning photography and delicious recipes at An Unrefined Vegan,

ANNIE SAYS, "Just in time for BBQ season! Next time you're invited to a picnic or cook-out, bring your own cruelty-free seitan hot dogs that taste oh-so-close to the "real" thing!"


Vegan Seitan Hot Dog

Serves 6
Prep time 35 minutes/ Cook time 1 hour

    1 cup (240 ml) hot water
    1 vegan, beef-flavored bouillon cube (such as Not-Beef Bouillon)
    1 tablespoon. miso paste
    1 cup (120 ml) vital wheat gluten
    1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted wheat germ
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon marjoram
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    Pinch salt
    1 tablespoon sweet onion, finely minced
    2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) vegetable broth
    1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

  1. Place the bouillon cube and miso paste into the hot water and stir to dissolve. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, wheat germ, and nutritional yeast. Set aside.
  2. In a spice blender, add the coriander through salt and process until fine. Pour this mixture into the vital wheat gluten mixture and whisk. Now stir in the bouillon/miso water and the onions and garlic. This mixture will be very wet. Knead for about 5 minutes and then cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. While the seitan rests, prepare the steamer. Add the water, broth, and soy sauce to a large pot. Put a steam basket into the pot. I put a small ramekin in the bottom and set the basket on top of this. I feel that it just works a bit better to be higher above the liquid. Cover the pot and turn on the stove to low heat. You just want to get some steam rolling in there. Cut 6 sheets of aluminum foil that are about 8-inches (22.8 cm) wide.
  4. After the seitan has set, knead for a few more minutes and then divide the dough into 6 pieces. Gently roll them into logs and taking one piece at a time, roll up into the aluminum foil and twist the ends. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces. When the water/broth is steaming. add the seitan and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let the seitan rest just as it is for another hour. They're ready to serve at this point, but you can also refrigerate them for several days or freeze for a longer period.
Calories 161 * Fat 2g * Protein 27g * Carbs 10g


Chocolate Earl Grey Shake


Serves 2
Prep Time 5 minutes

Cool and creamy without a hint of guilt, this rich chocolate Earl Grey (tea) shake tames your craving for something sweet and sinful.

    2 cups (480) Earl Grey tea, chilled
    2 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
    2 Tbsp. cacao or cocoa powder
    1 Tbsp. chia seeds, finely ground*
    2 to 3 ice cubes
    5 to 8 drops vanilla-flavored liquid stevia (or your favorite sweetener, to taste)
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed or regular blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.


  • If the shake is too thick, add a splash of water or your favorite non-dairy milk.
  • *You don't have to use ground chia seeds, but whole seeds won't break down as much and you'll have little bits of seeds. No biggie, but the ground seeds make for a smoother smoothie.

Calories 153 * Fat 3g * Protein 3g * Carbs 36g


A vegetarian for 30 years, Nancy Eisman has nearly two decades of experience in the produce and specialty foods industry as a member of the culinary team at Melissa's Produce. She writes the Plant-Based 411 blog and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Les Dames d'Escoffier International. To see what Nancy is working on, visit her awesome Plant-Based 411 Blog on the Melissa's Produce website.

NANCY SAYS, "For the 4th of July, Bastille Day (7/14), or any other occasion that calls for a special take on a familiar favorite, this potato salad delivers the red, white, and blue in a unique and tasty way.

Red ingredients include Melissa's Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Steamed Red Kidney Beans, Baby Red Potatoes, and red onion.

For white there's Melissa's Cipolline Onions and the white flesh from those red potatoes.

A blue hue is represented by Melissa's Baby Purple (navy-ish blue) Potatoes, and blue "cheese" dressing made from Follow Your Heart dressing and crumbled tofu (more white).

  • COLORS - red/white/blue
  • TEXTURES - chunky, creamy, and crunchy
  • FLAVORS - spicy, cheesy, slightly sweet and zesty, balance beautifully, and every bite a potato salad revelation

This simple-to-assemble salad makes a beautiful presentation and can be easily modified to personal taste buds and/or sensitivities. And while it may not be quite as American as apple pie, Patriotic Potato Salad is a dish you'll be proud to serve at your party, bring to a potluck picnic, or to enjoy whenever a celebration calls for something special."


Patriotic Potato Salad

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

    1/2 package (1.5 pounds/680g) Melissa's Baby Purple Potatoes, boiled until tender and cubed
    1/2 package (1.5 pounds/680g) Melissa's Baby Red Potatoes, boiled until tender and cubed
    3 red bell peppers chopped (Melissa's Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers)
    3/4 cup (180 ml) red onion, diced
    1/2 cup (120 ml) Melissa's Cipolline Onions, diced
    1 package (9 ounce/255g) Melissa's Steamed Red Kidney Beans

    1/2 (12-ounce/340g) bottle Follow Your Heart Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing
    1/2 package (14-ounce/396g) firm tofu, crumbled
    Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

  1. Crumble the tofu in a bowl so it resembles crumbled blue cheese. Add the dressing and combine until completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients together, reserving a small amount of each to garnish the finished dish. Gently toss to combine. Pour on and fold in the dressing. Re-season if necessary.
  3. Garnish the salad with the extra ingredients. Can be served immediately, even warm if you like, or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving so the flavors have time to get to know each other.


Tess Masters Tess Masters is a cookbook author and a presenter and recipe developer who collaborates with leading food, culinary, and lifestyle brands. Her newest cookbook, The Blender Girl Smoothies published by Ten Speed Press in 2015, turns the world of smoothies into a culinary delight. Her first book is The Blender Girl Cookbook.

Tess has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, InStyle, Prevention, Real Simple, Thrive, Vegetarian Times, Living Without, Allergic Living, and New Idea. Online publications include Today, Shape, Glamour, Food Network, Parents, and Chow.

Tess also has a performance career, has worked in film and television, and has done voiceovers for commercial campaigns, audio books, and popular video games characters. Have a ball visiting her Healthy Blender Recipes website. Visit Tess on Facebook at https://facebook.com/healthyblenderrecipes

TESS SAYS, "Watermelon gazpacho is the bomb!

"The name says it all. Gazpacho rocks, and this concoction delivers a surprising taste explosion with every spoonful. A happy blend of sweet and spicy, the flavors in this chilled first course or main mellow nicely with time. In fact, the change in flavor is quite pronounced. This is particularly true of the onion.

"Like a fabulous sangria (see page 174), this soup is better the next day. But, it's delicious a few hours after preparing, so don't feel like you have to wait beyond the three-hour chill."


Watermelon Gazpacho

Serves 8 as a starter, 6 as a main

    4 cups (640g) roughly chopped seedless watermelon, plus 6 cups (960g) diced
    2 cups (300g) diced tomato
    1 cup (145g) peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
    1/2 cup (70g) diced red bell pepper
    2 tablespoons diced red onion, plus more to taste
    3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
    3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
    1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
    2 teaspoons minced ginger
    1/2 teaspoon minced green serrano chile, plus more to taste
    1/2 tablespoon natural salt, plus more to taste
    Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Put the 4 cups of chopped watermelon into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until liquefied. Pour into a serving bowl. Add the 6 cups of diced watermelon and all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine well. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more onion, lime juice, chile, or salt).

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably 12 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to fuse and the vibrant red color to develop.

Before serving, tweak flavors again (if it's too spicy, add some lime juice). Pass additional lime juice and salt at the table.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters, copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


Zel Allen Zel Allen is the author of two cookbooks: Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day and The Nut Gourmet, a vegan cookbook featuring 150 unique, totally nutty recipes. She's also the co-publisher of Vegetarians in Paradise, an online monthly vegan magazine, operating since January 1999. You can also find Zel at her NutGourmet Blog, a cozy niche for tons of nutty endeavors, articles, nut-based and nut-free recipes.

Zel loves the holiday season so much she blogs on holiday foods and recipes at her Vegan for the Holidays Blog. She contributes recipes to Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine. Her published articles on exotic dining can be found in Vegetarian Journal. Zel also teaches vegan cooking classes in the Los Angeles area. Enjoy her recipes and features on her website Vegetarians in Paradise she shares with her husband, Reuben. For a few nutty recipes and informative articles visit her Vegan NutGourmet Blog . For Zel's holiday season recipes make Vegan for the Holidays Blog a must!

ZEL SAYS, "What do we crave most on a steamy July 4th afternoon when the mercury climbs above the comfort zone? A cooling glass of iced Patriot's Punch, of course! And it's so easy to prepare you'll want to enjoy it throughout the hot summer season. Serve this creamy punch in 8-ounce (120 ml) glasses filled with ice cubes and top them off with plump blueberries and bright red berries."


Creamy Patriot's Punch

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts (1.4 liters) or 4 six-ounce (180 ml) servings

    1 (17.5-ounce/496g) can pure coconut water
    2 cups (240 ml) water
    1 (14-ounce/368g) can coconut cream
    5 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon imitation coconut extract

    Ice cubes
    1 cup (240 ml) fresh blueberries
    1 cup (240 ml) fresh strawberries, raspberries, or pitted cherries, cut into halves or quarters
    4 sprigs fresh mint

  1. In a pitcher, combine the coconut water, water, coconut cream, maple syrup, lemon juice, and coconut extract. Use a whisk to mix well, then, tuck the pitcher into the fridge to chill.
  2. To serve, fill the glasses with ice cubes and pour in the punch. Leave a little room at the top to add the blueberries and fresh red berries and add a sprig of mint for the finishing touch. Serve with teaspoons so guests can scoop up all the bright berry bits.



Exploding Firecracker Salad

We simply can't have an occasion as special as July 4th without a sumptuous firecracker of a salad and this one practically explodes with color in the bowl! To finish the salad with a proper dressing for the occasion, I've offered a thick and creamy spice-infused dressing, but for those spice wimps, you can simply leave out the chipotle chile powder. For the spice lovers, crank it up a notch!!!!

Yield: about 6 to 8 servings

    1/2 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
    3 to 4 leaves kale, ribs discarded, leaves torn into small, bite-size pieces

    1 3-inch (7.5 cm) wide wedge purple cabbage, chopped
    3 to 4 cups (720 to 960 ml) peeled and chopped Korean radish, jicama, or turnip
    1 large red bell pepper, cored and chopped
    1 bunch radishes, sliced or chopped into quarters
    1/2 purple onion, cut into half moons

  1. In a large, wide salad bowl, combine the romaine and kale and use salad tongs to mix them well.
  2. Layer the salad in concentric circles as follows:

  • Heap the purple cabbage into the center
  • Form a ring around the cabbage with the chopped Korean radish
  • Next to the white veggies, create a border with the red bell pepper
  • Complete the circle by circling the peppers with the radishes
  • Finish with the half-moons of purple onion strewn over the top

After displaying the salad long enough give the eyes some visual excitement, toss it well and serve with Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing on the side.

Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing

Yield: 2 1/4 cups (540 ml)

    1 (12.3-ounce/424g) box extra firm silken tofu, well drained
    1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
    1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

    Dash paprika

  1. Combine the tofu, lime juice, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and chipotle chile powder in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with a dash of paprika. Provide a serving ladle and serve immediately or chill and serve later.
  3. Covered and refrigerated, the dressing will keep for 5 days. Stir well before serving.

Click here for past Words from Other Birds Articles

Vegetarians in Paradise

Homepage sphere Los Angeles Vegan Events Calendar sphere Our Mission sphere The Nut Gourmet sphere Vegan for the Holidays sphere Vegan for the Holidays Videos sphere Vegetarians in Paradise Diet sphere Vegan Survival Kit sphere News from the Nest sphere Vegan Recipe Index sphere Los Angeles Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants sphere Vegan Basics 101 sphere Protein Basics sphere Calcium Basics sphere Ask Aunt Nettie sphere VeggieTaster Report sphere Vegan Reading sphere VegParadise Bookshelf sphereHeirloom Gardening sphere Cooking with Zel sphere Dining in Paradise sphere Cooking Beans & Grains sphere On the Highest Perch sphere Road to Veganshire sphere Words from Other Birds sphere Using Your Bean sphere Ask the Vegan Athlete sphere Vegan Holiday Meals sphere Great Produce Hunt sphere Farmers' Markets sphere Natural Food Markets sphere Vegetarian Associations Directory sphere Links We Love sphere VegParadise Yellow Pages sphere Media Reviews sphere 24 Carrot Award sphere Vegetarian Food Companies sphere Archive Index sphere Contact Us

© 1999-2015 vegparadise.com