Not Just Tofu

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

Review: 3 Great Cookbooks

In Editorial, Food, Publications and Blogs on November 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Anybody who knows me, knows that I have a real addiction to cookbooks. My addiction has made me buy cookbooks that aren’t so good…I am trying to be polite. So instead of buying cookbooks, I have been borrowing cookbooks from the local libraries. It is awesome! I borrow, I try recipes and than I rate. I have found 3 cookbooks over the last couple of visits that I am very excited about. I rate them on layout, photos, practical application and just plain fun.

trisha yearwoodThe first cookbook is Trish Yearwood’s, “Home Cooking” which is wonderful; truly written for a home cook. Even though this is not a vegetarian cookbook, there are great sides and desserts that make this book awesome. Recipes like fancy cornbread will accompany your chili recipe. The cakes are great for company; I made the key lime cake for a Sabbath lunch and we were happy not to eat another yellow cake. I think this book is great for beginners because the pictures excite you and the back stories connect you to the recipes. Plus, she also has recipes for homemade candy which will make great presents for teachers, coworkers and service people.

vegan dinerThe second book is “Vegan Diner” by Julie Hasson which is a vegan’s dream for a cookbook. I learned how to transform homemade seitan because of this book. Her recipes for seitan can teach you how to make mock pastrami, pot roast and just regular seitan that can serve as comfort food for both vegans and vegetarian. It is also because of this book that I bought my first can of nutritional yeast which she uses to make a mock mac-n-cheese; I bet that is one of the things vegans miss most. It’s got great pictures so you know what things should look like. It is also great for dessert because she has recipes for cookies, pies and brownies. Even vegans have a sweet tooth. To find out more about Julie, visit her website

dirt candyMy last cookbook is “Dirt Candy” written by vegan chef and restaurateur,Amanda Cohen. I first saw her on Iron Chef America where she opened my eyes to the true abilities of vegetables. Chef Amanda Cohen concepts on vegetables are inspiring and not for the beginner but for those who know their way around a farmer’s market and a kitchen. Lemon Confit, vegetable nest, etc… are just a few that make we want to go cook right now. The layout of this book is fun because it has a comic book/ anime illustrations weaved in between recipes. Visiting her is recipe is on my bucket-list of places to eat. Dirt Candy is located just over the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan. Not close to NYC, visit her blog at

So this holiday season, make the foodie in your life happy by purchasing one of these great books; I know I would be happy. Any reader wanna add to my library?


Homemade Ravioli Challenge, Check

In Cooking Tips, pasta, Recipe on November 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

IMG-20131101-00366I finally did it! I made homemade ravioli. Like many of you, I have seen chef after chef make ravioli on TV. Some chefs make them with homemade pasta dough and others used wonton wrappers. For the last four weeks I have been teaching an after-school cooking class to students in grades 4-6 and this was one of their favorite recipes. Not being able to cook the ravioli, the students assembled the ravioli easily and quickly. I figured if they can do it, so can you. I adapted my spinach filling from my stuff shells recipe to create this recipe. I also made triangles instead of traditional squares because Alvin ate them too quickly the first time I made them; I didn’t even get a chance to try the first batch. These ravioli are so good that at my Sabbath lunch everyone ate them without batting an eye. So don’t think you can’t do it because you can. Homemade Ravioli, check!

12 ounces, Part Skim Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese
1/2 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese
1 Whole Egg
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 box of frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
24 whole Wonton Wrappers
Small bowl of Water

1. Put large bowl of water to boil with salt
2. all ingredients together in large bowl
3. Lay out at least 4 or 5 wonton wrappers (it saves times)
4. Put a teaspoon of the filling on half of the wrappers
5. Wet the edges of the wrappers and fold in half
6. When all the ravioli are assembled, drop them gently into the pot
7. Let the ravioli cook for 3-4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon

If preparing in an advance, do not cook instead lay them flat, drizzle with olive oil and refrigerate.

IMG-20131101-00370 (1)

Pesto Cream
1/2 – 1 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of light cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Puree basil leaves, garlic, cheese and oil in the food processor
2. simmer the light cream until reduced and thickened
3. Add pesto to thickened cream and season with salt and pepper

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