Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson

I'm excited to be doing my first blog tour! The kind folks at Harvard Common Press invited me to host a stop on the Blog Tour for Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker. Not only am I going to tell you about the book, you will also have a chance to win your very own copy. Details of the giveaway will be at the end of the post, so make sure to make it all the way to the end.

 

The first thing that struck me when I received my copy was the beautiful cover. Pictures speak more than a thousand words when it comes to food. The tacos on the front cover made me want to tear into the book. The only other pictures were on the back cover. I do wish there were more pictures because I totally love to drool over my cook books.

Robin Robertson is no stranger the cook book scene. She has written many wonderful vegetarian and vegan cook books. Her experience shows in her writing and organizational style. I've been cooking for decades. But I have to admit, my use of the slow cooker was pretty limited. Using the slow cooker was usually reserved for cooking beans. Robin teaches us that this was the first modern day slow cooker was developed specifically for cooking beans.

The first part of the book is full of tidbits and information on just about everything you need to know about using and enjoying your slow cooker. She offers advice on learning the timing for your specific cooker (which can vary greatly from brand to brand), when to add spices and other ingredients for the best results, the best way to thicken liquids and even a nice reference for vegan proteins used in slow cooking. If you don't want to spend a lot of time reading, she has included highlight boxes for quick reference. Even this old cooking dog learned some new tricks reading the first few sections of her book. Robin has a knack for taking simple pantry friendly ingredients and creating pleasing and hearty dishes.

Now I mentioned earlier that my repertoire for the slow cooker was pretty limited. After reviewing Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker, I have a completely different outlook on the uses of the slow cooker. I can now "bake" cakes when it is 110 degrees outside without heating up my kitchen (no minor deal in Arizona). If you have had bad luck making your own seitan, I highly recommend trying it in the slow cooker. It is virtually fool-proof. Robin provides a basic and easy recipe on page 136 of the book. If you are busy or just like the idea of walking in after a long day and having dinner ready to go, this book is for you.

I tried four recipes, including the seitan I mentioned above. I have my eye on many more. I really want to take a crack at making my own home made catsup or maybe the Slow-Cooker Pho. Oh so many possibilities! Below are a few of the recipes I tried out this week.

Holy Mole Red Bean Chili (pg. 82)


Chili is the quintessential crock pot dish in my opinion. They just go together like peas and carrots to me. This is probably why I made it first. I made it with the TVP option.  It had a nice spice, but seemed to be missing something. I think I would use veggie broth instead of water with this option to add more depth to the flavor. The seitan (that Robin recommended using) probably would have added an added dimension of flavor this could have used. But on a whole it was homey and good. I loved the hint of heat and smokiness the chipotle provided. It was very filling as well. Not midday snacks were needed after a lunch of Holy Mole!

Grandmom Gennaro's Minestre (pg. 54)


Fred picked this one out. He is still on his very low carb regime (for 2 more weeks). I am proud of his accomplishments, but am looking forward to being able to cook beans, tofu, tempeh and seitan for him freely again. This recipe is chock full of veggies! The ingredient list is short and simple. I was able to get everything into the crock pot in about 20 minutes before going to work (this included sautéing the onions and garlic). My crock pot took quite a bit longer to cook this than the 6-7 hour time stated in the recipe, but as Robin points out in her tips, all Crock Pots are not created equal. Mine is an oldie, so it probably needs more time to get up to speed (or temperature in this case).

Apple Walnut Cake (pg 244)



This cake was very pantry friendly and easy to make. The batter was very thick with nice warm spices. I cooked it in my 4 quart round crock pot. Sadly the crock pot cooked very unevenly. One side got a bit burnt and the other side was not cooked enough. This is a good way to test your crock pot for even cooking. That said, even with the uneven cooking the cake was not a total loss. It was still pretty tasty and fairly moist. I am guessing it would be really good in a properly working crock pot. Fred has requested I make this again when he can eat carbs. He loved the flavors. I thought it was so cool to be able to bake a cake without turning on the oven!

So now dear readers it is time to talk about how to score your very own copy! It's simple really. First, if you are not already a follower of the Veg-in-Training blog, please become one, because to win the book you must be a follower of the blog. Easy peasy right? Then make a comment on this post by midnight MST today, September 8th, 2012. Make the post slow cooker related if you can (optional). That's all you have to do to enter. The winner will be selected at random and announced here tomorrow. Please make sure to check back tomorrow to see if you have won! Good luck!

***Sorry to all of the international readers, this one is for US residents only.***

Congratulations to #27 Ilene Klang!!




Ilene, you are the winner of Robin Robertson's Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. Please contact me at vegintraining at g mail dot com with your mailing address so the publisher can mail you your copy. Congratulations. You are going to love all of the wonderful recipes. Happy slow cooking!!

29 comments:

Ryan Thibodaux said...

I got an awesome 6 qt crock pot for my birthday last year. I say "awesome" because it looks so great in its box!

Needless to say, I could really use this book. ;-)

MeganHouseDir said...

I love the robin roberts cookbooks! I especially love making her crockpot braised seitan! I would be psyched to win this book!

moonsword said...

I would love some help with my slow cooker...so far it's mostly used for overnight oats. Yum! I am a follower. Many thanks! :)

Sandy said...

Can't wait to have this cookbook! I love "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker" and bet the new cookbook will be a classic in my kitchen!!

JMyers666 said...

(GFC follower as janel.myers)
I already have Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin, and since I went vegan 5 months ago, I'd love this new vegan cookbook!

Elizabeth said...

As the busy mom of two little girls, I'm forever using my crock-pot - and always looking for something more than beans to make in it! I would love to have this book

Ann said...

Cake from a crock pot? Like a delicious science experiment. Gotta get this book.

Yoga and Zumba® with Gaileee, E-RYT `n` Licensed Zumba® Instructor said...

How cool! My "code" for following you by email was "beano". I think that is funny.

Making a cake in the crock, and Vegan at that. Now that is interesting to me!

That is one thing that I've noticed going toward vegan/vegetarian-ism, a bit more time in the kitchen. So the crockpot cooking method would save a bit of time with this yoga teaching - volunteer - stay at home mom! Thanks for the opportunity!

gaileee at yahoo dottith com

Beth said...

I'm SO excited for this book because I love using my slow cooker! There's a basic ratatouille recipe I've had for years that I make all the time.

Jennifer said...

Just started following your blog! I use Robin's recipes all the time and would love this new cookbook. Crockpot cooking is going to be very popular in our house this fall and winter as we welcome our 3rd baby. Thanks for the chance!

Lizzie Bordello said...

Now following you in my Google Reader. I am kind of a cookbook junkie, and I don't think my slow cooker gets as much use as it should, so I'd love some more recipes to try in it!

palindrome said...

This cookbook looks wonderful! I had to get rid of my slow cooker when I moved cross-country recently, but I NEED to get a new one so I can make fabulous recipes like these!

Tami said...

I'm not a big fan of crockpot cooking, and I really would like to get into it more.

Beautiful photos, Kim!

photomagicon said...

I have two crockpots and I really want this book! Yum.

Markelle Harden, GRI, PREVA said...

I just broke my slow cooker :( Placed the lid on a hot burner and BAM it shattered. Would love to break the new one in with a Vegan recipe for Fall!

hollyfrench said...

Just followed your blog! I've made plenty of curries, stews, soups, etc. in my crockpot, but I'm especially curious about the baked goods in this book.

chefifayomi said...

Thank you Robin for creating and writing this cookbook. I love your work and the cookbooks that you publish. But this one is the one we've been waiting for. Vegan cooking in a slow cooker? Awesome! Considering that making desserts in my crock pot is somewhat of a challenge for me, I am really looking forward to making some of the desserts and goodies in your book. So it would be real cool if I win it. If not, I will go out buy it...to add to my collection and to move beyond my "making desserts in my crock pot challenges...LOL". Thanks again and keep up the GREAT work!

A. Chef Ifayomi
Vegan & Vegetarian Chef
www.ifayomi.com

Unknown said...

I love making oatmeal in a slow cooker!

debfan said...

I love my crockpot but just use it for stews . Can't wait for recipes to expand its use!

legolandpenguin said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I would love this book because I work longish hours and this would give me more options for healthy dinners.

dena said...

I follow via an RSS feed. My favorite slow cooker food is rice pudding.

T.M. said...

I never realized how much I loved my slow cooker(s). I didn't know it could make such great meals with a minimum of fuss. Right now I'm making apple sage "sausage" and it smells great.
Thanks for the chance!

Kelly said...

That cake looks amazing! Crazy to think it was made in a crockpot. I have got to get this book <3

Kathy Ross said...

After all my girls left home to get married and raise their own families I found myself busier. Not from being a grandmother but working harder snd having a busier lifestyle. After I became Vegetarian then Vegan in the last 7 years Ihave more energy. I need to prepare meals earlier in the morning because I don't have time in the afternoon. Robin is one of my top favorite cooks so I would LOVE to have this cookbook to add to my collection. I know it would come in so handy anf save the headache of having to convert another vegetarian recipe that always seems to contain dairy. Thank for this chance!!!

Karyn said...

My work days seem to get longer and longer. A dinner waiting in the slow cooker would be sooo great.

Unknown said...

I have Robin's first slow cooker book and would love to have the new one. I'm sure there are tons of great new recipes. Robin is one of my favorite recipe writers.

Ilene Klang said...

I really love Robin's cookbooks and look forward to trying her recipes in my crock pot. Usually I make an eggplant salsa or chili so could definitely use some new ideas.

Veg-In-Training said...

A big thank you to all of you who commented. If you didn't win this time around, There are going to be a lot of giveaways here in October. Make sure you check back for Vegan MOFO 2012.

Dawn said...

Crock pot cake?!! Everything looks so yummy.