Talk Food Festival: Laura Theodore

Posted on Nov 7, 2013 10:45am

The "Jazzy Vegetarian," Laura Theodore, showed the ladies how to make some delicious vegan dishes that everyone can enjoy!  Here are the recipes so you can try them at home.

Spaghetti and Wheatballs

Makes 3 to 4 servings (12 to 14 wheatballs)

1⅓ cups lightly packed, fresh, soft whole-grain bread crumbs (from about 3 to 4 large slices) (see note)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 cups chopped mushrooms

½ cup diced onion

¾ pound organic spaghetti or organic whole grain spaghetti (see note)

3 cups prepared vegan marinara sauce or your own homemade sauce, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender, and pulse to process into coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate.

Put the mushrooms and onion in a blender, and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut–bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Spoon out about 1½ tablespoons of the mushroom mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue in this way with the remaining mushroom mixture. Arrange the wheatballs on the lined baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Gently rotate each wheatball and bake for 12 to 16 minutes more, or until they are crisp and golden.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti well.

Meanwhile, pour the marinara sauce in a medium sauce pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Gently add the wheatballs to the sauce, one at a time, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

To serve, put one-quarter of the spaghetti into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three or four wheatballs. Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.

NOTE: To make fresh bread crumbs, put 3 to 4 slices of wholegrain bread in a blender and process into coarse crumbs.


Caesar Salad, Jazzy-Style

Makes 4 to 6 servings

12 cups lightly packed romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite-size pieces


5 to 6 slices very fresh, vegan, whole-grain, bread

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Caesar Salad Dressing (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon Cashew Parmesan, plus more for serving (recipe follows, next page)

Cover and refrigerate the prepared lettuce to allow it to crisp up.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Cut each slice of bread into nine equally sized pieces. Put the bread cubes and garlic powder into a medium bowl, and stir gently to evenly coat the bread cubes. Add the Italian seasoning, and stir to evenly coat. Spread the seasoned bread cubes in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until the bread cubes are golden and crisp. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack. Let the croutons cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dressing in a large bowl. Add lettuce and croutons. Toss well to thoroughly coat the lettuce and croutons with the dressing.

Sprinkle with Cashew Parmesan (if using). Serve immediately with more optional Cashew Parmesan on the side.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Makes 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces firm regular tofu, drained

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 medium clove garlic

⅛ teaspoon sea salt

Filtered or spring water (to taste)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Put the tofu, lemon juice, capers, Dijon, garlic, and salt in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit of filtered or spring water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Cashew Parmesan

Makes 15 servings

½ cup raw cashews

¼ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed

Put the cashews and salt in a blender and process until the consistency of crumbled Parmesan cheese is achieved. Don't overprocess. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

White Bean Cashew Dip

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons filtered or spring water

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons sweet red or orange pepper, diced

Dill weed or fresh dill sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Put the white beans, cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a high-performance blending appliance and process until smooth and creamy. Do not overprocess. Transfer to a pretty bowl and fold in the diced pepper. Top with dill (if using). Serve with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or whole-grain crackers.

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Makes 8 servings


2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

1¼ cups brown sugar

1 ½ cups chocolate- or vanilla-flavored nondairy milk, plus more as needed

¼ cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


½ cup nondairy milk (a thicker variety works best)

1 bar (3.5 ounces) vegan dark chocolate (snack-style bar, not unsweetened baking chocolate)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat a 9-inch round baking pan with vegan margarine. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Put ¼ cup of the nondairy milk, vegan cream cheese, olive oil, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth. Add to the flour mixture, along with the remaining 1¼ cups of nondairy milk. Stir until well combined and somewhat fluffy. The mixture will be stiff, but if it seems overly dry, stir in additional nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If it seems that the cake is starting to burn during the last 10 minutes of baking, tent it with foil.) Put the pan on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache. Heat the nondairy milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Chop the vegan chocolate bar into small pieces. Put the chocolate pieces, olive oil and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the nondairy milk, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition, until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. Immediately drizzle or spread the frosting over the cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover cake will keep for about 2 days.

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