Book Report: Chickpea Flour Does It All + Bonus Recipe


Today is the release date for the new cookbook Chickpea Flour Does It All: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season. I was excited to get this book because I love chickpea flour. I make crepes every morning for my son and I use the same batter for my omelettes. I scramble it and use it to make magical French Toast. I also use it to make “chickpea eggs” when I need to bread tofu or tempeh and use it as a binder in recipes that call for flour, like my lentil burgers. It is super versatile so I couldn’t wait to get this cookbook to see what else I can do with it.

Well, it turns out a lot! This cookbook is written by Lindsey S. Love who has a blog called Dolly and Oatmeal. There are 96 recipes in the book of which 49 are vegan. The book is organized by season which is such a great idea, even though you can swap out seasonal vegetables for a dish if you like the base recipe. The recipes are clean and simple and really creative. I expected lots of baking recipes which this book delivers in the form of crackers, graham crackers, and flatbread. But then there was the super surprise – using chickpea flour as a thickener in sauces, dressings and soups. I love all three and so this technique is really cool. For many of the recipes, the chickpea flour is heated in a pot with water until it thickens so it actually looks melty and gooey! Then it is added to recipes for things like crema, sour cream, Caesar dressing, and Alfredo sauce, which I made the other day and enjoyed very much. I got permission to reprint the recipe below.

Then there is chickpea “polenta,” chickpea “tofu,” chickpea “fries,” tostadas and granola. But I am most looking forward to making the frittata and quiche recipes since I have been experimenting a lot and not having success.

I think this is a super smart book and really different. I have read it cover to cover and love the header notes that explain the reasons for using the chickpea flour and how it works. The only thing I wonder about is that when heating the chickpea flour/water combo as noted above, different recipes give different times for it to thicken, even though for me it took about 2 minutes. No matter, cooking is an art not a science. So, if you are interested in some creative new recipes that are gluten free and vegan, get a copy of this book!

Vegan Alfredo with Watercress and Chives copy.jpg

Alfredo with Watercress and Chives (Photo Credit: Lindsay S. Love)

Upon first discovering that chickpea flour can not only be used as a thickener in sauces but also made into a sauce all on its own, I was beyond excited for the possibilities, and the outcome of this sauce completely exceeded my expectations. Many, if not most, vegan cheese substitutes incorporate some type of nut that gives a cheese-like consistency when soaked and blended with water. However, I was always a little disappointed that my “cheese” sauces continually didn’t have that gooey, cheesy texture. So when fooling around with a chickpea flour mix one day, I thought why not add it to the base of a vegan cheese sauce to give it that gooeyness I had longed for. After I added some flavorings, salt and pepper, and the like, I was amazed at the result: a cheese sauce tasting just the way I remember from my childhood. There are so many ways of incorporating this sauce into meals and dishes, whether it’s over pasta, as a warm cheesy dip for vegetables, or poured over baked sweet potatoes or homemade french fries

Serves: 4 // prep time: 12 hours // cook time: 20 minutes.

  • 16 ounces (454 g) gluten-free and vegan pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) plus 1 tablespoon cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus chive flowers for garnish
  • 1 cup (34 g) packed watercress
  • Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Begin cooking the pasta, according to instructions on the bag. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce.

Place the soaked cashews in an upright high-speed blender; add the oil, yeast, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste; set aside.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour, turn the heat to medium and continue to whisk for 6 to 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a roux. Gently and carefully pour the mixture into the blender. Blend on high for 1 minute, until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed. Add 1 tablespoon of chives and blend on medium for about 30 seconds.

In the last 30 seconds of cooking the pasta to al dente, add the watercress and cook until wilted. Drain the pasta and watercress and quickly rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking.

Transfer the pasta and watercress to a serving bowl; pour the sauce over the pasta and mix. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. Serve hot with remaining 1 tablespoon of chives, chive flowers, and nutmeg.

Recipe from Chickpea Flour Does It All: Glluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season ©Lindsey S. Love, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher,
The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

Book Report: Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan & Tattooed


I just got my copy of Mama Tried: Traditional Italian Cooking for the Screwed, Crude, Vegan & Tattooed by Cecilia Granata who is Italian, a long time vegan, and a tattoo artist. Meet Cecilia in this video about the book here.

What a quirky and terrific little cookbook! It is filled with tattoo inspired food art and rustic traditional Italian recipes that are either accidentally vegan or veganized. Probably my favorite thing about this book is that Cecilia often doesn’t give measurements, exact directions or how much to expect out of the recipe. It is based on the idea that cooking is an art and it really is a personal project in terms of how much of this, that or another ingredient you want to add to a recipe.

So that makes all of the recipes easy to follow and easy to make. There are over 100 in the book and I have earmarked tons of them. There are appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, burgers, creative risottos and pestos, pizza, pasta, and cookies. And recipes for homemade veg-mozzarella and vegan ricotta.

One of my favorites – and it is simple but smart – are the Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. I always have tomatoes in the house – my son and I eat them every day. But even we can’t eat them all. When I have too many I oven roast them whole but I like Cecilia’s way better.

Cut tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet cut side up with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 until the tomatoes are golden and delicious.


Another favorite is the Aphrodisiac Asparagus. In fact, there is a whole chapter on aphrodisiacs! In this case, pour vegan sour cream over cooked asparagus and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Toast under the broiler for five minutes for serious perfection. Note: I made my own sour cream with cashews, filtered water and fresh lemon juice.


There is a recipe for sautéed yellow peppers with raisins and pine nuts – a combo I have made with chard but will be delectable with peppers – and a splash of balsamic. There is a salad that is potatoes and green beans mixed with pesto, like Ligurian pasta but without the pasta. In the burger section, there are broccoli and cauliflower burgers and the “good burger” made with oats, quinoa, millet and carrots. And I can’t wait to make the chocolate-hazelnut cookies as soon as I get my hands on hazelnut meal!

The recipes in this book mesh well with my style of cooking. I love when I find new ideas to add to my repertoire! Buy this book and enjoy some traditional Italian cooking veganized!

How to Cook Beans with Kombu

If you ever have trouble cooking beans from scratch, help is here! I have seen recipes that call for a piece of kombu when cooking beans but I never bothered mostly because the seaweed my son eats really grosses me out.

But, since I have had some challenges lately cooking beans -they seems to not come out as tender as they should – I knew it was time to figure something out. Adding a piece of kombu to the cooking process tenderizes the beans and they come out perfectly every time. And, it doesn’t effect the aquafaba (cooking liquid) in any way. My fab chocolate chip cookies come out even better!

It cannot be easier. Here is a package of kombu I picked up at the health food store.


This is what a piece of kombu looks like. (I had no idea!)


Cut a small piece to use for the beans, something like 3″ or so.


After soaking the dry beans overnight, drain the water. Rinse the beans and drop them into a cooking pot. Cover with new water and add the piece of kombu.


When the water is at a rolling boil, skim the foam off the top. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the beans are tender.


Remove the piece of kombu and toss it. At this point, you can drain the beans and save the aquafaba  if you like to bake with it or make meringue. You can also freeze the beans in the cooking liquid. I like to freeze in 1 cup increments for easy access during the week.Enjoy!

How to Make Seasoned Breadcrumbs


My mom used to buy seasoned breadcrumbs that came in a canister. She used them to bread cutlets, in meatballs and meatloaf. I bread tofu and tempeh cutlets, I make meatballs and meatloaf. At first I was just making plain breadcrumbs out of our weekly bread, but now I season them up so they are ready to go whenever I need them!

1 cup bread crumbs *
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (nooch)
1 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt

To make bread crumbs, use day old bread (at least.) Cut the bread into small cubes and place on a baking sheet. Place in the corner of the kitchen and leave uncovered overnight so the bread dries out. Bake in a 400 oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until browning. When they are cool, pulse them in the food processor until crumbs form, up to 2 minutes.

*You can buy plain bread crumbs if you don’t want to make your own and proceed the same way.

Drop the breadcrumbs into a jar that has a lid. Add the seasonings and shake it up. Store with the lid on and use whenever you need seasoned breadcrumbs.


Book Report: Do Unto Animals

COVER. Do Unto Animals

I can’t tell you what an honor it is to be able to post about Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart. The subtitle of the book really says it all – a friendly guide to how to make the lives of animals better.

You might know who Tracey Stewart is. She and her husband Jon Stewart have been all over the news – and not just because Mr. Stewart recently retired from The Daily Show. They just announced that they are turning their farm into the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary! I am so excited – we can hardly wait to visit and see Tracey, her animals, and her garden in real life.

This is book is really special. Tracey starts off by telling us her personal story and how she came to love animals so much. Then she breaks the book down into three sections: Animals at Home, Backyard Wildlife and Falling in Love on the Farm.

In Animals at Home, we learn how to care for cats and dogs, how to massage them, feed them and make them treats. Then in Backyard Wildlife, we learn about the “landscapers” like the bees, butterflies and worms – all of whom we are familiar with because they live in our garden too. There is a sweetness to the way Tracey talks about animals that are not always revered like the bugs, beetles and spiders who make up the “pest control team” in the garden. And of course, the “cleanup crew” – the raccoon, the skunk and the fox who are just as important as everyone else. They have important jobs too and it is just a matter of seeing it from a new perspective.

In the Falling in Love on the Farm section, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken, turkeys, ducks and geese all get special treatment. We learn about how they communicate, what makes them happy and what makes them unhappy (ahem, being eaten.)

We absolutely love the illustrations in this book – they convey love, sweetness and tenderness, especially in the eyes of the animals. Our favorite illustration is “The Real Pig Latin” because we recently adopted and named two piggies (Mama and Mr. Drinky) who were saved from a horrific backyard butcher situation and are now living at the Woodstock Sanctuary. We can’t wait to go visit them with our new found knowledge of their body language!

152-153_The Real Pig Latin

Excerpted from Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart (Artisan Books)
Copyright © 2015. Illustrations by Lisel Ashlock

My son and I have spent hours pouring over this book. It takes a super gentle approach and gets the point across at the same time – we do not have dominion over the animals. Our only job is to offer them love and compassion just like everyone and everything else on this planet. I suggest you add this book to your collection ASAP!