Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Make Cauliflower Steaks by Cleo Coyle #vegetarian #vegan

I'm making up for last week's Butter on a Stick post with a slightly healthier recipe. :)

"Cauliflower Steaks" make a nice presentation, and there are many ways to adapt this recipe to your own taste. See my links at the end of this recipe for many more ideas. Today, I'm sharing mine...

Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse

How to Make

Cauliflower Steaks

To download this recipe in a PDF document you can print, save, or share, click here.

(1) First preheat your oven, for at least a full half-hour, to 375 degrees F. The high heat is important to carmelization and not all ovens are at the right temperature, even after they ping. 

See my past post: Is Your Oven Lying to You?

(2) Cut the steaks: Position the cauliflower with stem-side up on the cutting surface. If the stem is overly long, trim it a bit. 

Cut the cauliflower in half first, and then cut thick "steaks" as shown from each half. The ends will fall off into florets and that’s fine. You will get 2 steaks out of a small to medium head, 3 out of a large head. 

Note: Extra florets will tumble from the ends. That's okay. They're wonderful to eat raw with a healthy dip, or see my notes at the end for other ways to cook them.

(3) Warm olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet. (If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, that’s okay, I’ll tell you what to do below.)

How much oil? I use 1 tablespoon of oil per steak plus 1 extra for the pan. You can get away with slightly less oil, but I prefer the extra oil for the best flavor and caramelization during roasting.

(4) Season the oil: After oil is warmed but not too hot, sprinkle on your spices. I use...

½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, and a...
generous pinch of white pepper. 

Stir lightly to mix the spices into the oil and then add the steaks. Sometimes, I take my florets along for the ride, throwing them in the pan, too, stems up, blossoms down in the oil.

(5) Briefly brown your steaks: Cook your steaks on one side for 2 minutes and then the other. I use two forks to gently flip without breaking. Now place the entire pan in the oven. (If you are not using an oven-proof pan, then use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the steaks to a foil-lined baking pan.)

(6) Roast in your well-preheated 375 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes. You’re looking for a nice browning and a test of a floret to be cooked through “to the tooth” or al dente. Do not be afraid of the browning, this caramelization is where the flavor is, and it's delicious (trust me on this)!

For a PDF of this recipe,
click here.


Here are some links to more
Cauliflower Steak ideas:

Floret fun...

Enjoy them raw before
dinner with a tasty dip, such as...
Cleo's roasted garlic dip recipe

Try them as a sub for rice in...

Or how about...
Cleo's 20-Clove Roasted Cauliflower
Anti-Cancer and Anti-Vampire :)

and be sure to...

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.

* * * 

Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist, 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome guest author Gigi Pandian!

Two for One! Recipes from Guest Author Gigi Pandian (Green Smoothie) and Her Character Jaya Jones (Jazzing Up Steamed Greens)

Gigi Pandian writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. The first book in the series, ARTIFACT, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and is now available from Henery Press []. Gigi is thrilled to announce that just this month she sold a new mystery series to Midnight Ink in a three-book deal -- and she’s especially excited that in the new series she gets to share her passion for cooking delectable vegan food!  THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST is the first in a new mystery series about a vegan alchemist and her French chef sidekick -- who happens to be a gargoyle accidentally brought to life by a stage magician.

One of the funny things about being a writer is that readers frequently confuse us with our characters. I’m six feet tall in heels, and my character Jaya Jones is five feet tall in socks, so readers who’ve seen me in person have been known to comment: “but you’re not short!” Jaya and I do share some things in common. We both have one parent from India and we both love savoring delicious food. However, we have different favorite tasty foods we like to eat. So today I’m sharing one of my favorite snacks and one of Jaya’s.

Jaya Jones is a history professor in San Francisco. She’s often on a treasure hunt in an exotic destination, so she eats whatever tasty treats she can grab on the go. As for me, I’ve been a health nut ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. I was never a big cook before, but after learning I had food restrictions, I gave it a shot. Oh my goodness, cooking at home is so much fun! Why wasn’t I told??? And even better than the fun of cooking, I’ve learned that the food you cook for yourself is more delicious than anything you can get at a restaurant, because you can prepare it exactly as you like it.  In the past two years, I’ve gone from eating out 75 percent of the time to cooking from scratch 99 percent of the time. And I feel amazing.

Here’s my recipe for my favorite green smoothie that I have for a light breakfast or a snack. If you’re not into the idea of smoothies with vegetables in them, you might be rolling your eyes around now. But stick with me for a minute! I’ve got some tricks to create a healthy smoothie that’s just as mouthwatering as it is good for you.

Gigi’s Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe (makes 2 servings)

Blend the following ingredients together in a blender:
Half an Avocado
1 Pear
Kale – 4 leaves or to taste
1 Cucumber
Knob of fresh ginger, to taste
Unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao nibs – 2 Tbsp or to taste
Optional added protein, such as hemp seeds
Filtered water – 1 cup or more, depending on how thick you want your smoothie

Tricks to sweeten this up, if you’re new to green smoothies:
*Use coconut water instead of regular water.
*Add a little bit of a natural sweetener, such as honey.
*Use frozen broccoli instead of kale – frozen broccoli has a natural sweetness!

The natural sweetness of the pear, the spicy kick of the ginger, and the chocolaty goodness of the unsweetened cocoa make for a delicious treat that’s like a healthy chocolate milkshake! OK, it’ll probably take a while before it tastes like a milkshake to you... But it’s still a delicious treat!

NOTE: if you use cocoa powder rather than cacao nibs, your “green” smoothie will turn brown, looking a bit like a chocolate milkshake. It’s just as tasty, and even tastier if you prefer a creamy consistency.

Next up, here’s how Jaya Jones jazzes up boring foods. Since Jaya doesn’t cook, this is a “trick” rather than a full recipe. She never has very much in her kitchen, but always has good coffee in the cupboard and lots of this Indian condiment in the fridge.

The Jaya Jones Secret to Jazzing Up Your Greens

Have a boiled or steamed vegetable that you were planning on dousing with butter and salt? Try adding Indian pickle instead.

Indian pickle is a spicy condiment that comes in a range of flavors from mango to lime to garlic. The fruits or vegetables are packed in oil with chili peppers and other spices like turmeric. The combo of a little bit of oil and a lot of flavor make simple steamed greens taste more like a flavorful Indian curry than a throw-away side dish.

In the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series I describe the foods in the different parts of the world where the books take place, but in my new series I’m happy I get to feature food even more, including some of the vegan recipes I’ve come up with since throwing myself into learning how to cook from scratch.

Learn more about Gigi at

Sign up for Gigi’s newsletter [
] and you’ll also receive an exclusive Halloween-themed Jaya Jones short story this October!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Make Dairy-Free Whipped Cream and Beat Breast Cancer by Cleo Coyle (Vegan Recipe)

I must thank a follower of this blog for inspiring today's post: Nancy Prior Phillips...

Nancy is an enthusiastic reader in general and a booster of mysteries in particular. Over the past year, she's been an incredible inspiration to me (and many others) in her fight against breast cancer. 

Nancy bravely posted on facebook throughout her chemo treatments while showing off a variety of nifty-looking wigs. She's kept her spirits up through radiation and recovery, and we all think she's amazing. (You can friend Nancy on facebook by clicking this link, and I'm sure she won't mind my saying so!)

Nancy also recently developed an allergy to milk products, more specifically casein, and she's quickly learning about clever solutions. When she told me about this one, which is also a vegan solution for dairy-free whipped cream, I tried it and loved it.

Although I don't have a dairy allergy, my late mother, Rose, who fought colon cancer, developed an intolerance to lactose late in life, and I probably will, too. If she were still with me, I'd be tickled to whip this up for her. Since I can't do that, I'll whip it up for you (with thanks to Nancy) and you can bet that we both sincerely hope you will...

Eat with (everlasting) joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

How to Make
Dairy-Free (Vegan)
Whipped Cream 

To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save,
or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle, lover of fluffy,
sweet stuff, is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries

The Haunted Bookshop
Recipe adapted by Cleo Coyle 
Courtesy of Nancy Prior Phillips

This dairy-free whipped cream, made with coconut milk, is absolutely delicious. It's a fun recipe to execute and fairly easy. There are a few tricks to getting it right, and I'll share them with you below. My first tip...

When you make this whipped coconut milk, you'll notice it has a slightly different consistency than dairy cream; it's a little looser. Not to worry. Frankly, it's great served as is, right after you whip it, but you can also get a firmer texture by placing it in the fridge for about an hour after it's whipped--which means it also stores very well. So you can whip it and eat it, OR pop it in the fridge to firm it up even more. And you can store any leftovers in the fridge, too, so you can continue with (dairy-free) joy! ~ Cleo


1 Can Coconut Milk - Do not use "lite" coconut milk;
   yes, lite is great for cooking, but it won't work in this recipe.
   You will need regular, 
full-fat coconut milk.

1-2 Tablespoons powdered (confectioners') sugar      
      (or the equivalent in artificial sweetener)

(Optional): 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1 - Chill it, baby: Place the can of coconut milk (not lite, just regular coconut milk) in the fridge for at least 48-hours. Although some recipes say “overnight,” that never works for me and my fridge; the cream does not harden enough for me in less than 2 days, so I simply store a few cans in the back of my refrigerator (the coldest part). That way, there will always be one ready when I want one.

Step 2 - Bottoms up: Take the can out of the refrigerator and gently turn it over. Now open the top (which was previously the bottom) and you will see a translucent liquid at the top of the can. Pour this out—you’ll get about ½ cup. (Save it for my Caramelized Banana recipe, which you'll find at the end of this one.)

Step 3 – Whip it good: Inside the can, you will see the hardened coconut cream. Spoon it out into a cold bowl (pre-chill the bowl about 15 minutes in the fridge or freezer). To the bowl, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (or artificial sweetener). Although I don’t add additional flavor, this is the time to add ½ teaspoon of vanilla, for example, or cocoa or cinnamon, if you like. 

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until it’s frothy. (I also pre-chill the beaters in the freezer, about 10 minutes.)

If you find the cream is a bit loose for your taste, no worries, simply place it in the fridge for an hour or so and it will firm up beautifully. Serve as you would dairy whipped cream and store leftovers in the fridge.

And now a little
Bonus Recipe

Caramelized Bananas
in Coconut Cream

This is what I do with the clear coconut liquid (about 1/2 cup) that separates from the hardened coconut cream. I pour it from the can into a plastic container and keep in the fridge until I'm ready to use it in this recipe.

To Make the Caramelized Bananas: Pour the clear coconut liquid into a skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar. Warm and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add sliced bananas to the pan (3 to 4 medium bananas); the slices should be flat and in one layer. 

As you cook the mixture, the bananas will soak up the sweetened coconut liquid and caramelize. Be sure to turn the slices gently during cooking, so both sides have contact with the pan's hot bottom. Serve at once by placing the warm bananas in a bowl or glass and dolloping the whipped coconut cream on top. The whipped cream will melt down, giving you Caramelized Bananas in Coconut Cream that is out of this world and (for vegans and diary-free eaters...) a dessert that tastes like ice cream!

Eat with (dairy free) joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

A Brew to a Kill

Last year's
hardcover bestseller
is now a  bestseller
in paperback!

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.