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Vegan Chefs

Produced by Monica Rogozinski


July 2012

Vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, raw, macrobiotic — at times the flurry of words used to describe the different types of diets available to the modern eater can seem puzzling. However, there is a common philosophy behind them: more mindful eating and paying closer attention to how food affects our bodies and minds, as well as the world around us. This month's "Art of Food" goes behind the scenes at Vedge, a contemporary vegetable restaurant recently opened by Philadelphia natives and chefs Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby. They discuss their concept of an ethical-yet-elegant dining experience with the absence of any animal products and an emphasis on fresh produce. We also speak with Christy Morgan, vegan chef and food blogger, known as The Blissful Chef for her principle of following one's bliss through easy and healthful cooking.




In the kitchen at Vedge Restaurant
Watch Chef Rich Landau of Vedge Restaurant prepare three vegetable dishes "a la Vedge"




Un-Tuna Salad

Recipe courtesy of the Blissful Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked 6 to 8 hours, or 2 cans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons relish, or dill pickle, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon kelp granules (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
  1. Drain beans and place in medium bowl. Mash chickpeas and combine with rest of ingredients until well mixed. Add salt as necessary. Serve with rice crackers, as a sandwich, or wrapped in a tortilla
  2. Blissful variation: Add a tablespoon of curry powder to liven it up




Coconut Bliss Granola

Recipe courtesy of the Blissful Chef.
Store-bought granola is usually full of oil and sugar. Yet it's so easy to make yourself for half the cost — and half the guilt. You'll fall in love with this granola recipe, which you can serve with nondairy milk or with key-lime soy yogurt. Store in an airtight container and it will last a few weeks.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded dried coconut
  • 1 cup brown crispy rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped if whole
  • 1/4 sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Directions
  1. Prehead oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients, except raisins, in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  3. Transfer to a 9x13 glass casserole dish and evenly smooth across the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.




Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of the Blissful Chef.
Strawberry shortcake has always been one of my favorite desserts. This smoothie gives me the taste of shortcake without all of the carbs and calories. The best smoothies are made with frozen bananas, but if you don't have any frozen, add 1/3 cup ice.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened rice or almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana (or 1 banana and 1/3 cup ice)
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon rice protein powder (optional)

Directions
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and no lumps remain, about two minutes. Serve immediately.




Sweet Polenta Porridge

Recipe courtesy of the Blissful Chef.
This is a new take on breakfast cereal. It's perfect for summer when you want a breakfast that is quick cooking yet nutritious and delicious. The kids will love it!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup yellow polenta, washed
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened rice or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions
  1. Bring water and polenta to a boil in medium saucepan with sea salt. Simmer, whisking frequently for about 10 minutes, while polenta gets thick and creamy. Stir in milk, raisins, cinnamon, and sweetener to polenta. Whisk over low flame for a few minutes to incorporate the ingredients.
  2. Pour into bowls immediately and sprinkle walnuts over porridge. Serve hot.




Photos from Vedge Restaurant, The Reluctant Bean, Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet, and Flickr user Siel Ju

.