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Vegan for the Holidays

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Tricolor Cauliflower

One dozen wildly innovative chefs, cookbook authors, and unbridled bloggers present the hottest in cauliflower recipes guaranteed to knock your socks off and make you fall madly in love with this darling of the vegetable kingdom.

Not so long ago, kale and Brussels sprouts were trending as THE hottest vegetables on the planet, turning up on Facebook pages, Twitter, videos, and at potlucks in all manner of creative dishes, especially salads that became the clichés of the day. The winners of these trends are the people who are still feasting on those green wonders and benefiting from their powerful antioxidant content. Today cauliflower has stolen the spotlight from kale and Brussels sprouts and is showing off in delightfully imaginative ways.

Refusing to be lost in the cruciferous shuffle, cauliflower is quickly becoming the new favorite veggie trend. This gorgeous veggie of the brassica family has lots going for it, namely, flavor, texture, and awesome versatility. Cauliflower even comes in a variety of stunning colors: purple, yellow, green, and white. And, cauliflower stands apart for its willingness to wear almost any color of herb or spice sprinkled over it.

Cauliflower The advantage of nurturing a featured vegetable into the spotlight is that more people are willing to taste it and discover how delicious it is.

Innovative chefs are turning out cauliflower in ways no one ever expected were possible with this vegetable, and those dishes are looking and tasting better than anyone imagined. We've seen recipes for cauliflower mashed "potatoes," roasted cauliflower "steaks," cauliflower mac 'n' cheese, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower burgers, and even cauliflower as a pizza topping.

We think we know why cauliflower has gained such adoration. Raw or cooked, cauliflower has exceptional flavor that almost falls into the umami camp. Simply steamed until tender, cauliflower has a pleasing taste, but given the TLC of a creative chef or "home kitchen engineer," cauliflower soars and sizzles on the platter.

We hope you enjoy our presentation of the Cauliflower Cavalcade!


Lisa Dawn Angerame Lisa is passionate about living a vegan lifestyle and shares her views below:

"To be vegan is to embrace a lifestyle that acknowledges, in the words of Dr. Schweitzer, "a reverence for all life."

I am vegan and I am a wife, mom and yogi. We are living a vegan lifestyle for our health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. Our veganism stretches beyond our diet and we consciously avoid animal products as much as possible in our clothing (e.g., wool, duck down, leather, silk), cosmetics, etc.

Yes, it is a challenge to be vegan, but it makes life so enjoyable that it is a challenge worth taking on! It makes cooking super fun and gets my creative juices flowing. In fact, everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes. We have inspired many of our friends and family to think about what they are eating.

All of my recipes are easy. E A S Y. If they weren't, I would not be in the kitchen at all! I am a busy wife, mom and yoga teacher. So I prep ahead and use fresh, organic ingredients (when possible). And, almost all of the dishes I make take less than half an hour.

I hold a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell, and I am a Certified Plant-Based Professional through Rouxbe.com.

Have fun exploring Lisa's Project Vegan!

Roasted Cauliflowerwith Tahini & Date Syrup


    1 head of cauliflower
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt and pepper

    Tahini Sauce
    1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
    1/4 cup (60 ml) water
    1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Date Syrup
    1/2 cup (120 ml) dates
    1/2 cup (120 ml) water

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (Gas Mark 8). Break up the cauliflower and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until browned.
  2. Make the tahini sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients.
  3. To make the date syrup, pit the dates and soak them for 4 hours. Reserve the soak water. Place the dates in the food processor with 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the soak water and puree until smooth.
  4. To serve, drizzle the cauliflower with as much tahini sauce as you like. Drizzle 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the date syrup over the top, adding more as you like. Season with salt, fresh pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. (There will be tahini sauce and date syrup left over.) Enjoy!


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: http://www.sharonpalmer.com/

Explore her daily blog posts at her Plant-Powered Blog


I tasted a scrumptious fresh cauliflower salad at a vegan restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. I tried to recreate all of those amazing flavors in my own California creation. By soaking the cauliflower in boiling water for 1 minute, you help tenderize and tame this pungent vegetable. This simple, easy salad is packed with fiber, flavor, and nutrition!

Spicy Cauliflower Cilantro Salad


Makes 8 servings

    1 head cauliflower, washed, broken into small florets
    1 cup (240 ml) frozen peas (or fresh, blanched)
    1/2 small red onion, sliced into halves, and then into rings
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely diced (to cut down on spiciness, use only half)
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    Pinch kosher salt
    1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh chopped cilantro
  1. Fill a medium pot to half with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove pot from the burner, add cauliflower pieces and allow to sit for 1 minute. Drain cauliflower in a colander. Rinse with cold water just to cool.
  2. Place cauliflower, peas and red onions in a large salad bowl.
  3. In a small dish, whisk together lemon juice, EVOO, garlic, jalapeno pepper, turmeric, cumin, and salt. Drizzle over cauliflower mixture and toss together.
  4. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve immediately.


Vesanto Melina Vesanto Melina has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Seattle's Bastyr University. She was a coordinator for the vegetarian section of the Manual of Clinical Dietetics (Dietitians of Canada and the American Dietetics Association) and is co-author of nutrition classics like Becoming Vegetarian (now in eleven countries and three languages), Cooking Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan, Food Allergy Survival Guide, and Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer.

Vesanto is widely known in the media--press, TV and radio. She is an internationally known speaker and has presented workshops on the topic of vegetarian nutrition to over 1800 dietitians throughout North America. Vesanto received the prestigious Clintec award for leadership in dietetics. She has worked as a public health nutritionist, clinical nutrition specialist, nutrition consultant, academic nutrition instructor, and is currently the Past Chairperson of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Ameican Dietetic Association.

Cooking Vegan is a companion book to the award winning nutrition books Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition and Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, both by dietitians Brenda Davis, and Vesanto Melina. Each recipe in Cooking Vegan has a complete nutritional analysis listing the number of calories and the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids per cup or serving. A Vegan Food Guide describes the necessary food groups and provides recommended servings for optimal nutrition.

To see Vesanto's articles, videos, and presentations visit her website Nutrispeak.


Sweet & Sour Cauliflower & Tofu


Vinegar is less acidic when made from rice than from fruit such as apples, thus the use of rice vinegar in this stir-fry creates a dish that is more smooth than sharp. This allows a smaller amount of sweetener to be added, and the inherent sweetness from the vegetables to come through. Serve this on a bed of rice for two hungry adults or for four if other items are included in the meal. Makes 4 cups

    1 cup (240 ml) diced onion
    1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
    1 cup (240 ml) cauliflower florets
    2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
    12 tablespoons peeled, minced gingerroot
    3/4 cup (180 ml) pineapple juice
    1/2 cup (120 ml) diced pineapple
    1/4 cup (60 ml) cane sugar or other sweetener
    1/4 cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
    2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
    1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch
    2 cups (480 ml) diced sweet peppers (red or yellow) or chopped zucchini
    1 cup (240 ml) diced firm tofu

In a pot over medium heat, cook the onions in oil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Add the cauliflower, garlic (if using), and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. In a bowl or jar, mix together the pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, tamari, and cornstarch and add to skillet along with the peppers and tofu. Stir constantly until thickened, then cover and simmer for 3 minutes.

Per cup: calories: 305, protein: 16 g, fat: 11 g, carbohydrate: 40 g, (16 g from sugar), dietary fiber: 5 g, calcium: 632 mg, iron: 10 mg, magnesium: 83 mg, phosphorus: 225 mg, potassium: 678 mg, sodium: 545 mg, zinc: 2 mg, thiamin: 0.3 mg, riboflavin: 0.2 mg, niacin: 2 mg , vitamin B6: 0.5 mg, folate: 68 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.6 mg, vitamin B12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 319 mcg, vitamin C: 156 mg, vitamin E: 2 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 4 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 1 g
Percentage of calories from: protein 20%, fat 31%, carbohydrate 49%


Spork-Fed Spork Sisters Heather Bell and Jenny Engel are the co-founders of Spork Foods, a Los Angeles-based gourmet vegan food company offering organic cooking classes in West Hollywood at Spork Foods and in Venice at Vegan Scene. They are also the authors of the mouth-watering recipes found in their cookbook Spork-Fed.

The sisters also partner to offer gourmet catering with delicious vegan menus from California cuisine to cuisines of the world. Other services offered are lively cooking parties, trade show and festival demos, and in-home consultations. Heather and Jenny also create recipes and videos for the GoVeggie product line.

Visit their website for a peek at their very active vegan endeavors:
http://sporkfoods.com/ Find the cooking classes at Vegan Scene


Heather and Jenny hope you enjoy this tasty Spork Foods Recipe!

Herb Roasted Cauliflower/Mornay Sauce


Serves 4-6


    1 head cauliflower (florets, cut into bite sized pieces)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus zest of 1 lemon
    1 tablespoon high-heat oil (safflower)
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Cheesy Mornay Sauce:
    2 tablespoons organic unbleached all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated buttery spread
    1 cup (240 ml) un-sweetened almond milk
    1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt

    1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    Dash freshly ground nutmeg
    3/4 cup (180 ml) GO Veggie! Mozzarella Shredded Cheese


    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. (Gas Mark 8)

    Place cut cauliflower in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and juice. Add oil, oregano, red chili flakes, sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.

    Spread cauliflower on a greased, walled baking sheet and roast about 22-25 minutes, stirring once, until golden.

    For the sauce, heat a medium size saucepan and add buttery spread. Whisk in flour and create a roux (paste). Add almond milk, and whisk. Add mustard, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, lemon juice and nutmeg. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until creamy and thick. Add GO Veggie! cheese and stir to melt, about 1 minute.

    When serving, drizzle cauliflower with sauce and serve warm.

Spork Foods, 2012


Aunt Nettie is that very special person many of you know from her years of contributing old-time kitchen wisdom, money-saving ideas, and vegan recipes to Vegetarians in Paradise from its inception in 1999 http://vegparadise.com/asknettie.html

Aunt Nettie Aunt Nettie is the grey-haired, grandma-like individual everyone would love to have as a close relative to call on when needing a shoulder to cry on. She would be there when a dilemma arose, even a tiny one, and she'd offer some old-fashioned advice with a touch of wisdom. Aunt Nettie knows amazing things about life, especially about fresh veggies from her years of experience in her home garden. She adores fruits plucked right from the tree, but she also goes shopping like the rest of us and has plenty of clever money-saving tips to offer.

One little frustration is that she doesn't like to have her picture taken and hides her face whenever we have a camera in our hand.

Aunt Nettie shares her old-fashioned wisdom and recipes on our Vegetarians in Paradise online magazine. Check out her past and present gems: http://vegparadise.com/asknettie.html


Aunt Nettie says, "Y'all know how I jes love savin' money and hate ta see yer hard-earned dollars go ta waste." This little old lady with a wizened smile loves to cook up kitchen surprises and shares two of them to help you save money! These two tasty recipes use the cauliflower leaves rather than tossing them out like many people do.


Yield: about 2 servings

    Leaves and core from 1 head cauliflower

    2 Roma tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
    1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
    4 to 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    1/2 jalapeno, ribs and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup (60 ml) water

    2 teaspoons rice vinegar
    1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    Pinch cayenne
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
    5 cherry tomatoes, halved, for garnish

  1. Wash the cauliflower leaves thoroughly and trim away only the dark brown ends.
  2. Slice the leaves and core thinly and put them in a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and water. Cook and stir over high heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to cook the leaves and prevent burning.
  3. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and steam for about 10 minutes or until the leaves are fork tender.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar, sesame oil, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the cherry tomatoes and green onion.

Penny Pinchin' Cauliflower Leaves


Yield: about 4 to 5 servings

    Leaves and core from 2 heads cauliflower, thinly sliced
    1 cup water
    1 large purple onion, cut into 1/2-inch wide wedges
    1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch lengths and julienne sliced
    2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
    3 garlic cloves, crushed

    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    Juice of 1/2 orange
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1/2 red bell pepper, diced, for garnish
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish

  1. Combine the cauliflower leaves, water, onion, carrot, Herbes de Provence, and garlic in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and steam about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower leaves are fork tender.
  2. Add the lemon juice and orange juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to an attractive serving dish and garnish the top with the red bell pepper and parsley.


Barbara Hansen Author of five cookbooks and a Korean restaurant guide, Barbara Hansen was for many years a food writer at the Los Angeles Times. She now writes two blogs, TableConversation and EatMx and freelances for publications such as L.A. Weekly.

Her cookbooks include Mexican Cookery and Taste of Southeast Asia available at Amazon.com

An avid lover of vegetables, she grows her own when possible and enjoys using them in her favorite cuisines, which are Asian and Latino.

Foodies will love visiting her blog Table Conversation.

Barbara's blog EatMx features her adventures with Mexican dishes and is a delicious experience for Mexican food aficionados.


Don't throw those cauliflower leaves away. They're just as edible as the florets, only in this country they usually wind up in the garbage or the compost heap.

To be honest, I had never thought of eating cauliflower leaves until a Guatemalan friend, Daniel Mejia, showed me what they do with them in his country.

This simple, rustic dish combines cauliflower, a few of the leaves, carrots and green onions, seasoned only with bay leaves, salt and a dash of vinegar. It's easy and colorful. Serve it to friends and they'll never guess what that bit of greenery is.

In the following recipe, I use baby cauliflower, which have very tender leaves. But you can substitute regular cauliflower, cutting the leaves into thin strips so they'll blend inconspicuously into the dish.

Guatamala Style Cauliflower


Yield: Makes 4 servings

    4 baby cauliflower
    6 to 8 cauliflower leaves
    3 medium carrots
    6 green onions
    2 tablespoons oil
    3 bay leaves
    2 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
    Seasoned salt or regular salt

    Trim the cauliflower, saving the leaves. Cut each cauliflower in half. Cut the carrots into sticks 3 to 4 inches long. Cut off the root ends of the green onions and a little of the tops, but retain most of the tops.

    Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the carrots, cover and cook at medium heat 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cauliflower halves and bay leaves and cover and cook for 6 minutes. Now add the cauliflower leaves and the vinegar. Cover and continue cooking for 4 more minutes.

    Season to taste with salt and cook, covered, for an additional 3 minutes. Add the green onions, cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower and the onions are very tender.

    Serve as a side dish.

Note: If using regular cauliflower, use about 3 cups (720 ml) chunky cauliflowerets and 6 leaves, cutting the leaves lengthwise into halves or strips if very wide.


Hallo, I'm Margaux! Former diplomat's brat who spent almost two decades travelling the world, I'm now settled in South Africa with my Man-thing and two cats, exploring unique food inspired by different places and times, all from the comfort of my kitchen. In Real Life I work as a library and teacher's assistant, as well as volunteer and foster kitties on the side. Before starting the blog as an online, living cookbook, I thought ordering take-away was a skill unto itself, but I now love creating fun, vegan recipes from scratch that I share over at Marfigs' Munchies. I make mostly gluten-free, diabetic-friendly treats using fresh ingredients for health and happiness. You can also find me on my Facebook page and Twitter. I only bite vegetables, not people, so stop by and say hi!

Margaux Mouton Be sure to visit Margaux's intriguing blog for more innovative munchies and tasty treats: http://marfigsmunchies.com/

Follow Margaux on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarfigsMunchies

Margaux also posts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marfigmo

I admit that I'm secretly still a bread monster, even if I don't actually eat bread every day. It's just the easiest vehicle for food in yer belly that I can think of on the go, since lettuce wraps (my actual favourite) can be pretty messy (which I love but that's then a home treat).

I therefore decided to try and use aquafaba for something that is not sweet, and it's really a jolly addition that gives moisture but also acts as a binding agent--ridiculously well on that front! I've made these three times now and yes, they are awesome and easy, which is just what I need in the middle of the busiest assignment period for my library diploma.

Ever since February I've been in a bit of a body funk, not knowing what to eat or what's going to make me regret eating, and unfortunately basic cauliflower is not my friend. Mashed down and hidden in different forms, however, it's a dream come true because it's such a versatile ingredient that happens to be healthy and low-carb. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily on a low carb kick (definitely not, in fact), but it's just one of those added bonuses. Flourless, easy and a good staple to keep in the house, these flatbreads are pretty ninja at keeping you full on the go.

Note: Aquafaba is the liquid from cooked garbanzo beans.

Cauliflower Flatbread

Yield: makes 8 flatbreads


    3 cups (720 ml) raw cauliflower florets
    2/3 cup (180 ml) chickpea flour
    5 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea brine)
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

    2 tablespoons dried parsley
    1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat to 350 degrees F (180C) and line a baking tray.
  2. Blend cauliflower florets and aquafaba until smooth, then add the spices (with extra to taste). Add in chickpea flour and mix til combined.
  3. Form handful-sized balls and squash them down on the tray in a compact, 1/2 inch (1cm) high circle. Tuck the edges in to make flipping them easier.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, flip, bake 10 to 15 more until golden crisp.
  5. Top with pesto, hummus, grilled eggplant slices, diced peppadews…anything!


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, audiobooks, and as popular video games characters.

Have a ball visiting her Healthy Blender Recipes website.

Visit Tess on Facebook at https://facebook.com/healthyblenderrecipes


Creamy Cauliflower Soup


Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a main

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 teaspoons chopped garlic (about 2 cloves), plus more to taste
    2 cups (200g) chopped leeks (white parts only, from 2 or 3 leeks)
    Natural salt
    1 head cauliflower, chopped
    7 cups (1.65 liters) vegetable broth
    1/4 cup (35g) raw unsalted cashews or 1/4 cup (35g) blanched slivered raw almonds, soaked
    3 tablespoons chopped chives or a grating of nutmeg (optional; choose one, not both), to garnish

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic, leeks, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the cauliflower and sauté for another minute. Add the vegetable broth, increase the heat to high, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is completely tender. Stir the mix periodically and mash the cauliflower with a wooden spoon.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly; stir in the nuts. Pour the soup into your blender in batches and puree on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. (Remember to remove the plastic cap in the blender top and cover the opening with a kitchen towel so steam can escape while you blend.) Return the soup to the saucepan and warm it over low heat. Stir in salt to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with either chopped chives or grated nutmeg.


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

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 wining 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 at https://www.facebook.com/faye.levy.9 and on Twitter @Foodfaye. Their author page is http://www.jpost.com/Author/Faye-Levy.


Baba Ghanoush


Yield: Makes generous 2 cups, about 4 to 6 appetizer servings

The famous Eastern-Mediterranean spread known as baba ghanoush is traditionally made with grilled eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. We made it here with roasted cauliflower, which goes well with the same flavors. Serve it with fresh pita bread or other flatbread and, if you like, with sliced Persian cucumbers.

Like natural peanut butter, tahini paste separates on standing and should be stirred until smooth before you use it.

    A medium-large cauliflower (about 2 1/4pounds/1 kilo))
    2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    Salt to taste
    5 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste), stirred until blended
    5 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
    About 7 tablespoons water
    2 medium garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)
    Freshly ground pepper (optional)
    Chopped Italian parsley (for garnish)
    Aleppo pepper, Turkish pepper flakes or other coarsely ground semi- hot red pepper (for sprinkling)
    Pita bread or other flatbread (for serving)

    Preheat oven to 375F. (Gas Mark 5). Cut off cauliflower ribs and leaves. Turn cauliflower upside down and cut florets off from center stem. (You can use ribs, leaves and stem for soup.) Divide cauliflower in medium florets. You should have about 1 3/4 pounds (794g) or about 10 cups florets.

    Line a roasting pan with foil if desired. Put cauliflower florets in roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn florets over using tongs, drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until just tender, about 15 more minutes. Remove 4 florets and reserve for garnish. Cover pan (or fold foil over remaining florets to cover them) and roast florets until very tender, about 10 more minutes. Remove cauliflower from pan and cool to room temperature.

    Meanwhile, make tahini sauce: Spoon tahini paste into a small bowl. Gradually stir in lemon juice and 4 tablespoons water. Add garlic and mix well. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste. Mixture should have consistency of thick mayonnaise.

    Transfer cauliflower to a food processor and blend to a puree. Add tahini sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons water and process mixture until well blended. Add 1 more tablespoon water if necessary so spread will not be dry. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and add more salt, more lemon juice and pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 2 or 3 hours to blend flavors. Break reserved cauliflower florets into smaller pieces and reserve for garnish.

    At serving time, spread cauliflower mixture in a thick layer on a serving plate. With the back of a spoon, make a cavity in the center. Garnish with parsley and with reserved small cauliflower florets and drizzle center with olive oil. Sprinkle cauliflower mixture lightly with Aleppo pepper. Serve with fresh pita bread or other flatbread.


From a very young age Chef Tom has appreciated good food and the art of cooking. "My earliest memories are of cooking with my mom when I was 5 or 6 years old. She taught me well throughout the years to come. I told her 'When I grow up, I'm going to be a chef.' So, naturally I went into construction. Go figure."

Tom Fraker For 17 years, Chef Tom rose up the ranks to become construction superintendent. "It was actually the events of 9/11 that changed my thinking and priorities, and I decided then and there, that very day, to go another path." Supported by his wife and family, Chef Tom resigned his position in construction and enrolled at The California School of Culinary Arts - Le Cordon Bleu, to follow his original dream of becoming a chef. Before finishing his studies at Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Tom joined Melissa's World Variety Produce in Vernon, California as a Corporate Chef.

Since joining Melissa's, Chef Tom has worked his way up to now manage the Melissa's Corporate kitchen. It is there that he works on the research and development of new and existing products, designing and testing recipes, and writing website recipes.

In addition, as a Melissa's representative, he also attends and participates in charity events throughout the year, and he attends trade shows and special events throughout the country. Chef Tom uses his creative culinary talents to create new and innovative recipes utilizing Melissa's unique fruits and vegetables.

Outside of the office, Chef Tom loves cooking Italian food, is an avid sports fan, and a devoted father, who splits his time catering, playing with his kids, and attending his kids games. To enjoy a host of Chef Tom's recipes drop in to Melissa's.

Contact Chef Tom at hotline@melissas.com


Roaste Kale Sprouts & Cauliflower w/Hatch Chili


Yield: Makes about 6-8 servings


    6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 Lime, juiced
    1 Roasted Hatch Chile, peeled; stems and seeds removed; diced
    1 tablespoon Fresh Turmeric, peeled; minced
    1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
    1 head White Cauliflower, cut into florets
    2 packages (10 oz./283g total) Melissa's Kale Sprouts, halved
    Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste


    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (Gas Mark 7)

    In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and the next 4 ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat the veggies well.

    Place the mix, in a single layer, on a baking dish and place in the oven.

    Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the veggies are just tender. Serve hot.


Del Sroufe Del Sroufe's passion for cooking began at eight years old and never faded. Sroufe opened Del's Bread, a vegan bakery, before beginning vegan meal delivery service in 2001, serving eclectic plant-based cuisine to Columbus, Ohio residents. In 2006, Sroufe joined Wellness Forum Foods as co-owner and chef.

Sroufe also joined The Wellness Forum as a member where, after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he has lost over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant-based diet. He continues to teach cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreation Centers, and The Wellness Forum. Sroufe is also the author of Better Than Vegan, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, and the bestseller, Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook.

Chef Del shares two delicious recipes from The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook.

Visit Chef Del Sroufe's website to see what he's cooking up next: http://chefdelsroufe.com

Follow Chef Del on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ChefDelSroufe

Follow Chef Del on Twitter: http://twitter.com/delmasg


Buffalo Cauliflower Bites


One of the unhealthy things I inherited from my grandmother was her deep fryer, and I used to use it a lot, mostly to make buffalo wings. Now I want a healthier snack, but I still love that hot spicy sauce. I just want it without the added oil, and I really don't want the wings. Buffalo Cauliflower Bites do the trick! They are full of flavor and spice without all the bad stuff. One of my favorite sandwiches to make is Buffalo Po' Boys on whole grain hoagie buns (or sandwich buns) with Peanut Slaw.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

    1/2 cup (120 ml) water
    1/4 cup (60 ml) almond butter
    1/2 cup (120 ml) red hot sauce, plus extra for tossing with the cooked bites
    3/4 cup (180 ml) whole wheat pastry flour
    1/4 cup (60 ml) nutritional yeast
    1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
    1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) florets (about 6 cups/1.5 liter)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (Gas Mark 5)
  2. Combine everything but the cauliflower in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat well.
  3. Place the coated florets on a nonstick baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Toss with extra red hot sauce, if desired.


Cauliflower Parmesan


This unusual take on a popular Italian dish is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. It has all of the flavors of the original without all of the fat and dairy. This dish takes a little more effort than most in this cookbook, so save it for guests or for when you want to treat yourself to something special. Steam the leftover cauliflower and use it in the Quinoa Black Bean Buddha Bowl, or on a salad.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

    2 heads cauliflower
    1/2 cup (120 ml) water
    Sea salt and black pepper to taste
    12 ounces (340g) whole grain linguine
    6 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    6-8 tablespoons Del's Favorite Parmesan (below)
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) pasta sauce

  1. Turn the oven on to broil and heat to 425 degrees F. (Gas Mark 7)
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Cut the cauliflower heads in half through the stem, then trim each half so you have a cutlet 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) thick.
  4. Place the cauliflower cutlets in a large skillet and add the 1/2 cup (120 ml) water to the pan. Cook the cutlets for 5 minutes over medium heat, until almost tender. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and place the cutlets on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
  5. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions.
  6. Add the garlic, basil, and oregano to a blender and puree for 30 seconds. Drizzle the garlic mixture evenly over the cooked cauliflower cutlets and sprinkle Del's Favorite Parmesan on top.
  7. Bake the cutlets for 8 to10 minutes, until the cutlets are lightly browned.
  8. To serve, divide the cooked linguine among four plates and top with the pasta sauce. Place a cauliflower cutlet on top of the pasta sauce for each plate.

Del's Favorite Parmesan

There are many versions of vegan Parmesan cheese recipes and most of them are good and pretty much the same. This is my favorite. The caraway and fennel seeds, just a touch of each, add a little brightness that reminds me of a good Parmesan.

Yield: Makes 1 Cup (240 ml)

    1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted sesame seeds

    1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted cashews
    1/2 cup (120 ml) nutritional yeast
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
    1/4teaspoon ground fennel seeds

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture has the texture of grated Parmesan cheese. Do not over-process or you will have Parmesan butter.
  2. Store refrigerated for up to 1 month.


Nancy Eisman 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 Company.

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 Melissas.com website.


Pakoras from India are similar to American fritters and Japanese tempura in that something is covered in batter, deep fried, and served with a dipping sauce. The big, tasty, and healthy difference is the batter is made with garbanzo bean flour (gluten free) and fragrant spices full of antioxidants that add amazing, exotic flavor. A popular afternoon snack in India, pakoras are usually accompanied by a cup of tea, but I think iced would be very nice.

You can use any tender vegetable you like in its raw state, or parboil more dense ingredients like potatoes first. These cauliflower pakoras are just a tad crunchy on the inside, and crispy and slightly spicy (you decide how spicy) on the outside, with some fresh lemon zest in the batter for extra pizzazz.

Make any of my pretty simple sauces for dunking (I personally like a bit of all three), or grab some ready-made chutney and raita from your favorite Indian restaurant. And be sure to make a lot of pakoras, because they are sure to satisfy a craving for something deliciously different.

Cauliflower Pakoras


    2 cups (480 ml) white cauliflower, cut into florets
    2 cups (480 ml) green cauliflower, cut into florets
    2 cups (480 ml) yellow cauliflower, cut into florets
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) garbanzo flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon Melissa's Hatch Chile Powder (hot)
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    16 ounce (453g) bottle vegetable oil
    Sea salt for sprinkling

Mix dry ingredients together, then slowly add water until you get the consistency of slightly thick pancake batter. Set aside to rest at least 15 minutes.

Heat the oil and a deep pot over medium heat until sizzling. Dip each floret in the batter, shake off the excess, and gently place in the hot oil, as many as will fit with at least a little separation between each piece. Fry about 2 to 3 minutes per side until brown, then remove from the oil and place on a tray lined with parchment paper and paper towels. Quickly sprinkle with sea salt.

Fry the remaining florets in batches, following directions above. Serve with dipping sauce.

Coriander and Mint Chutney

    1 cup (240 ml) fresh cilantro
    1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh mint
    1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
    1 cup (240 ml) jalapeno, chopped (or 1/2 cup (120 ml) serrano chile)
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Sea salt to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender or processor, and blend with a little water at a time until mostly smooth, but you still have texture from the herbs. Adjust seasoning with salt and more lemon if you like.


    1 package silken tofu (soft)
    3 tablespoons grape seed oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
    2 jalapenos or 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    3/4 teaspoon sea salt
    1 tablespoon fresh mint
    1 large Persian cucumber, diced and divided in half

Puree the first 6 ingredients until creamy and well combined. Add the sea salt, fresh mint, and 1/2 the diced cucumber and blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the remaining diced cucumber and serve.

Fresh Peach and Mango Chutney

    1 mango, peeled and diced
    2 large peaches, peeled and diced
    1 cup (240 ml) yellow onion, diced
    2 tablespoons jalapeno or 1 tablespoon serrano chile
    2 tablespoons pickling spices (includes coriander, peppercorns, bay leaf)
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    3 teaspoons sugar

Put the fruit, chile, ginger, and pickling spices in a pot, along with the vinegar and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to a boil, then lower heat and simmer the mixture, uncovered, about 45 minutes until thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside to cool.


Bryana Clark Grogan Bryanna is the author of 8 published vegan cookbooks (and contributor to several others) including World Vegan Feast, published in August 2011 (Vegan Heritage Press). Vegan since 1988. Bellydancing mother of 4, stepmother of 2, grandmother of 5 girls and 2 boys, she lives on one of the northern Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada with husband Brian, Phoebe the Labradoodle, and cats Ringo and Sadie.

Besides dancing, cooking and music, she loves reading mystery novels, especially historical mysteries. Her day job has been running a small branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library on Vancouver Island since 1981.

Drop in for a fun visit at Bryanna's Facebook page


Roasted Cauliflower Salad


Yield: Serves 4

    1 large head cauliflower
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup (240 ml) chopped green onions (white and green)
    1/2 cup (120 ml) hickory-smoked almonds, roughly-chopped
    1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh parsley, roughly-chopped
    1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan sour cream (such as Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, or you could try a homemade version, such as this cashew version, or this tofu version.))
    1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan mayonnaise (preferably a low-fat version, such as my Tofu Mayo or my Eggless Low-Fat Mayo, or Reduced-Fat Vegenaise or Spectrum Naturals Eggless, Vegan Light Canola Mayonnaise )
    1 1/2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) Clean and trim the cauliflower and cut or slice into small (2-bite) piece. Distribute evenly in one layer in a large shallow roasting pan and toss with the olive oil and a bit of salt. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the pieces are a bit browned and tender, but not falling apart.

While the cauliflower roasts, chop the parsley, almonds, and green onions. Set aside, and make the dressing.

To make the dressing, simply whisk together the ingredients until smooth. When the cauliflower is done, let it cool slightly, then, mix gently with the dressing and other ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 386.6 calories; 64% calories from fat; 28.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 650.5mg sodium; 1122.2mg potassium; 26.1g carbohydrates; 10.4g fiber; 8.4g sugar; 15.7g net carbs; 12.4g protein.


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 Januaary 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 NutGourmet Blog .

For Zel's holiday season recipes make Vegan for the Holidays Blog a must!


This well dressed spud is an unabashed, awesomely delicious comfort food so welcome especially during the winter season. The recipe is such a simple, unfussy concept, and so easy to prepare. Featured is a tangy mixture of lively flavors, while the low-fat, homemade sour cream contributes elements that make the filling pleasingly moist and light. To ease the prep, make the Tofu Sour Cream ahead and refrigerate--it keeps well for a week.

Cauliflower Stuffed Potatoes


Yield: 4 servings

    2 large Russet potatoes

    1 head cauliflower

    1/2 to 3/4 cup (120 to 180 ml) Tofu Sour Cream (recipe below)
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder

    2 to 4 tablespoons Tofu Sour Cream
    2 tablespoons shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (Gas Mark 6) Scrub the potatoes, put them on a baking sheet, and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Trim the cauliflower and cut it into florets. Cut large florets in half. Put the florets in a 3-quart (3 liter) saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and steam for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl, mash it completely, and set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are soft, slice them in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out the potato flesh to within 1/4-inch (.6 cm) of the edge, leaving the potato shells intact.
  4. Put the flesh into the bowl with the cauliflower and add the sour cream, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and onion powder. Mash thoroughly to distribute the flavors evenly.
  5. Spoon the seasoned mixture into the potato shells, filling them to the edges. Use the entire stuffing mixture, heaping it high on top of the potato.
  6. Top each potato with a thin layer of sour cream and sprinkle the cheddar over the top. Add a light dusting of paprika for color.
  7. If preparing ahead, you can refrigerate the potatoes until shortly before serving. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (Gas Mark 4) and warm the potatoes for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tofu Sour Cream

    1 (12-ounce/340g) box extra firm silken tofu, well drained
    1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar or distilled vinegar
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and process again to incorporate all the tiny bits that cling to the work bowl. Refrigerated, Tofu Sour Cream will keep for up to 1 week.



Every once in awhile, a recipe idea forms in my mind and almost magically comes together with rather little in the way of multiple experiments often required to fine-tune a new dish. This is one of those delicious inspirations I'm delighted to share.

It's a flavorful salad dressing that puts a brassica vegetable to work in a very unique way. The dressing requires a little advance prep before heading for the blender. You'll need to cook it until very soft, but it proves its worth once you've tasted it on a salad. It goes equally well on salads of delicate greens like red leaf lettuce as well as heartier greens like kale.

Creamy Cauliflower Dressing


Yield: about 3 1/4 cups (780 ml)

    1 small head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water, divided

    1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1/4 cup (60 ml) white miso
    1 tablespoon Tamari
    2 cloves garlic

    1/4 teaspoon white pepper
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

  1. Trim the leaves and thick stem from the cauliflower and save them to cook as a side dish. Cut the cauliflower into similar size florets and put them in a 2-quart saucepan. Add 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) of the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and steam for 10 minutes, or until the florets are very soft. Cool briefly and transfer the cauliflower and all the water in the pot to a blender.
  2. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water, along with the vinegar, miso, Tamari, garlic, pepper, salt, and xanthan gum. Process until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into 2 narrow-neck bottles and use immediately or chill and use later. Refrigerated, the Creamy Cauliflower Dressing will keep for up to 5 days.

Connie Aboubakare

Connie enjoys exploring the food and restaurant scene of Orange County, California, and does a superb job of capturing the delectable foods on her OC Commestibles Instagram and sharing them on Facebook. She says, "I am a mother of 3 boys who loves to cook as well as eating out. Also, enjoy meeting new people and try new places and food."

Connie can be reached at occomestibles@gmail.com

Follow Connie on Facebook for more food adventures: https://www.facebook.com/conniebangco.aboubakare

Check out her YouTube channel:

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Cauliflower Rice



    Cauliflower Rice
    1 head cauliflower, chopped
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    FlavorGod Pink Peppercorn Salt to taste

    Stir-fry Mushrooms & Peppers
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic, smashed
    1 (8-ounce/226g) package mushrooms, sliced
    1 red bell pepper, julienne sliced
    FlavorGod Pink Peppercorn Salt to taste
    Black pepper to taste
    FlavorGod Dynamite Seasonings to taste (if you like it spicy)

    Roasted Squash and Garlic
    2 yellow squashes, sliced
    1 clove garlic, smashed
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Pinch FlavorGod Pink Peppercorn Salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. (Gas Mark 7)
  2. TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER RICE, put the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse briefly, not too fine because it will get mushy.
  3. Spread the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Add a few sprinkles of the salt to taste.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Then stir the cauliflower and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. TO MAKE THE STIR-FRY MUSHROOMS AND BELL PEPPERS, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and swirl it around 'til the garlic is slightly brown.
  6. Add the mushrooms and peppers and sprinkle with the salt, black pepper, and Dynamite Seasonings if you like it spicy. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. TO MAKE THE ROASTED SQUASH AND GARLIC, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (Gas Mark 4)
  8. Put the squash and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of the salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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