janet @ the taste space

Vegan Blueberry Blintzes + Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Desserts, Mains (Vegetarian) on June 30, 2015 at 6:40 AM

Vegan Blueberry Blintzes + Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our house is still in shambles a week after our move. With 3 days off work, I thought we’d be near completely unpacked but it is anything but. The kitchen appliances are working but my pantry is still dissembled, packed in quite a few boxes. I am thinking of sharing some of my simple meals, but until then, I’d like to talk about a new cookbook, Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking.

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking GIVEAWAY

This cookbook is about mastering the classic meals, vegan-style, while also attempting to teach you how to save money in the kitchen. Borne of a time when Annie and Dan Shannon were dealing with infertility and mounting costs, they have put together their favourite recipes while trying to keep their budget low. [Of note, nothing like buying a house to make you feel poor!]

The recipes are both creative yet classic. Instead of plain waffles, they share a recipe for banana churro waffles. Instead of classic tabbouli, there is a lemon-tahini fattoush inspired salad which mixes Middle Eastern flavours together. The Korean Kimchi BBQ burgers (see below) are also fusion cuisine in its finest.

I made the red lentil soup, which was homage to every red lentil soup they have eaten and tinkered with their slow cooker jambalaya to make it in the pressure cooker. They were very good, if not subdued in their spices. The red lentil soup reminded me of my Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Sizzling Mint, with a swap for fresh mint which changes the flavours.

I have chosen to share their vegan blueberry blintzes with you, instead.

Rosemary Chickin Dumplin Stew_credit Annie Shannon

Classic crepes are not vegan, with reliance on eggs for their supple texture. I have shared a few non-traditional crepe-like recipes before (raw chocolate banana crepes and raw grasshopper crepes). This is my family’s traditional recipe and while that one was with Nutella and kiwis, it was not uncommon for my family to fill them with cottage cheese, cream of wheat and eggs and top it with a blueberry compote and serve them as blintzes. We would eat them for dinner as they were mostly savoury despite the fruit.

Instead of cottage cheese and eggs, this recipe is more dessert-style. Or breakfast/brunch-style. The filling is sweeter with a base of vegan cream cheese and tofu and topped with fresh blueberries and a sprinkling of sugar.

It would have been nice to see a recipe that didn’t include vegan faux cheese, especially if one of the cookbook’s aims was to offer cheaper recipes. However, I can appreciate the shortcuts to help make delicious foods faster. The cookbook has plenty of recipes with pantry staples but a sizeable minority call for specialty ingredients. As an example, the Korean Kimchi BBQ Burger recipe calls for 2 cups of Lightlife Gimme Lean Burger or Match Vegan Meats Burger and store-bought kimchi. The cost was $2.68/burger and I wonder how much cheaper it would be to use plain (and uber cheap) TVP instead. Of note, that same recipe has a recipe for homemade Asian-style BBQ sauce which looks great.

Korean Kimchi BBQ Burger_credit Annie Shannon

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the US or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me how you like to save money in the kitchen. The winner will be selected at random on July 9, 2015. Good luck!

Other recipes from Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking spotted elsewhere:

Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers

Rosemary Chicklins and Dumplins Stew

Tuesday Night Dinner

Yankee Doodle Macaroni

Rustic Pesto and Heirloom Tomato Tart

Cinnamon Peach Skillet Rolls with Peach Glaze

PS. I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.

Fresh Blueberry Blintzes
Reprinted, with permission, from Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking

Author’s note: Blintzes are a New York institution, like the Empire State Building and Yellow Cabs. A blintz is basically a crepe filled with slightly sweet and lemony ricotta filling (in our case, vegan cream cheese and tofu in place of ricotta) and often topped with a fruit compote. We decided to use fresh blueberries to make it a little healthier.


1/2 (8-ounce) package vegan cream cheese
1/2 (16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon


1.5 cups white flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan margarine, plus more for cooking
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons applesauce

To Assemble

Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
1.5 to 2 cups fresh blueberries
Powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Make the filling: In a food processor, combine the vegan cream cheese, tofu, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and blend until creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Make the crêpes: In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and soy milk and beat together with an electric handheld mixer. Once the batter is completely blended, add 2 tablespoons of the vegan margarine, the vanilla, and the applesauce. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes with the bowl tilted so the batter gets light and creamy.

3. Heat your deepest cast-iron skillet over medium heat and lightly coat it with vegan margarine. (You’ll have to coat the skillet between each crêpe, so keep the margarine out.) Once the margarine begins to bubble, you’re ready to make crêpes.

4. Using a ladle, pour 1/3 cup of the crêpe batter into the skillet. Immediately rotate the skillet by rolling your wrist while holding the handle until a thin layer of batter covers the bottom. If your skillet is heavy, use a potholder to hold the other side of the skillet and use both hands to rotate the skillet.

5. Cook until the edges of the crêpe begin to turn light brown. Run a wide spatula along the edge to loosen the crêpe, then flip it and cook the other side until light brown. Transfer the crêpe to a plate, top with a piece of waxed paper, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat until you have used all the crêpe batter.

6. Assemble the blintzes: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Coat a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.

7. Place one crêpe on a flat surface and spoon 3 tablespoons of the filling into the center in a straight line. Fold one edge of the crêpe over the filling and gently press it into the filling, then fold the other sides over and tuck them underneath. Place the blintz on a plate with the seam side up. Repeat until you have filled all the crêpes.

8. Brush the same skillet in which you cooked the crêpes with some of the melted vegan margarine and set it over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, place the blintzes in the skillet, seam-side down, and brush with more melted margarine. You may need to work in batches.

9. Cook the blintzes for about 30 seconds to seal them. Using a spatula, gently roll the blintzes in the skillet and cook them evenly until they are a golden brown and have lightly crispy edges. Try not to brown the blintzes for more than 2 minutes.

10. Transfer the browned blintzes to the prepared baking dish. Bake the blintzes for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the dish for 5 minutes.

Serve warm, topped with some blueberries and a pinch or two of powdered sugar.

Serves 6-8 ($1.54 per serving)

Adapted from the book Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking by Annie and Dan Shannon. © 2015 by Annie and Dan Shannon. All photos by Annie Shannon. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

  1. Buy in bulk! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway; I’m really excited about this book.

  2. By buying things like nuts, seeds and grains in bulk, and by cooking my beans from scratch! Thanks for the opportunity to win 🙂

  3. i save money in the kitchen by making everything from scratch!

  4. I save money in the kitchen by buying in bulk and only buying what I’m going to use.

  5. I shop a lot at Costco. The shopping trip there is quite expensive, but I get a lot of value for the money. For example, a huge pack of chicken thighs is about 20$ and sometimes they have in-store sales to take 2-3 dollars off. This pack usually has more than 20 chicken thighs and they are bigger than the ones I can get at my local grocery store. I can usually make it last for about 4 dinners and lunches for the two of us (my husband eats for 3 people usually). Same with nuts – I love baking with ground almond, so I found really big bags of ground almonds at Costco. Up front cost was more than 20$, but comparing to what I could get at my local Bulk Barn, it was almost 50% cheaper.

    Costco was not always a solution for me, about 7 years ago I didn’t cook as much. I tried Costco for a year, but half of the food, unfortunately, went into garbage because of how big the packages are. Now, it works really well for us and almost nothing goes to waste.

  6. I joined a CSA for the first time this summer, and have been saving quite a bit on produce this way. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. This cookbook looks terrific! I save money on food by shopping at the farmers market. Organic produce is much less expensive there, and it lasts a lot longer since it didn’t spend any time getting shipped or sitting on a shelf. Oftentimes, it was picked that morning.

  8. What a great giveaway; thanks for hosting. We save money by buying bulk, cooking staples from scratch, growing produce in season, and minimizing consumption of shortcut ‘cheats’ like vegan cheese. Just take the time to put together your home-based substitute and you’re off and running. Make up a big batch and use it for multiple recipes, then don’t make those recipes again until you’re ready to make another batch of ‘ricotta’ filling or whatever.

  9. I make my own vegan yogurt! 🙂

  10. I buy bulk spices and frozen vegetables whenever I can!

  11. I save money by making almost everything from scratch including dressings, sauces, burgers, etc.

  12. I’ve been doing more shopping at “dollar” stores. The 8 oz jar of Just Mayo is $1 at Dollar Tree. The same size is $2 or $3 at other stores.

  13. Since I live alone I shop and then spend some time chopping and freezing. This allows me to get great deals when they are on sale. I also shop at Asian markets and local farms where I can get fresh local grown produce.

  14. although i love eating vegan, i’d love to win this cookbook for my mother in law, who just started eating vegan last month (and who enjoys cooking!). in terms of saving money, i have learned that sometimes, the generic tastes just as good as the name brand! it took me wayyyy to long for me to learn that one. i also like to meal plan and only buy ingredients for exactly what i will be making in the next few days. if i just walk around i think “oooooh brussel sprouts sound good!” and then buy them but if i don’t work them into a specific meal plan, they eventually go bad. i know not everyone works that way and a lot of people are creative enough to use up/combine certain foods and ingredients before they go bad but i am not one of those people :p

    • Congratulations Valerie. You are the winner. Please check your email for more info. And PS: I am trying not to do as you say… I am often the one buying random ingredients because they look good. I am working towards grilling them and adding them as extra sides throughout the week. 🙂

  15. I make my own staples rather than buying them. i also stock up on ingredients when they are at a good price and buy in bulk.

  16. Not buying meat has really helped save $ in the kitchen (such a comment on a vegan blog!!)….having some meals prepped in the freezer also helps spare the “eat out?” option. Bean burgers, soups, and frozen veggie mixes are a real aid in my house. Cheers.

  17. Buying beans in bulk! Always packing lunch, too!

  18. I also utilize my Costco membership to save money, but no dead birds are involved. Whole grains, hemp, flax and chia seeds, organic frozen veggies and fruits, soy, coconut and almond milk are just some of the items that are available for very good prices.

  19. I love buying my spices in bulk along with my grains and legumes

  20. I would like to save more in the kitchen by wasting less! Food goes bad before we use it all!

  21. I buy dry beans and lentils in bulk and cook them from scratch as often as possible. Not only is that cheaper than buying them canned, it’s also much tastier!

  22. I save money in the kitchen because I don’t buy in bulk…. If I buy too many food items, it gets eaten too soon and I may gain a few extra pounds..:)

  23. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway Janet. It’s really appreciated. My way to save money ? I grow my own garden with all kind of vegetables and fresh herbs. I also make a lot of canning with my fresh vegetables to be able to eat them all year long. I also plan my menu every week and it makes us save lots of money. I watch for spécial at the grocery stores. I cook everything so it makes a big difference at the end of the month. That’s a few examples of what we are doing.

  24. I cook from scratch which saves a lot of money: Dried beans, non instant rice, bake my own bread, etc…

  25. This cookbook sounds great. There are so many ways to save money on food. For me, the first step is writing up a grocery shopping list based on upcoming meals. I think we’ve all been to the store & spent $100 & then don’t have meal ingredients. Also, I try to limit my shopping trips–the more I go, the more I spend. When it comes to cooking, I like making many things from scratch. Whipping up a batch of dough & sauce & chopping a few toppings is way cheaper (& tastier!) than ordering one.

  26. Cooking almost everything from scratch, lots of dried beans, double-batch for freezer meals – it all helps.

  27. I like to buy things in bulk and if I can get them cheaper online I go that route.

  28. I save money by meal planning, buying in bulk, and, mostly, making things I love so I will eat the leftovers!

  29. Sounds like a fab book! Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

  30. I like to save money by shooping the sales

  31. My grocery store regular discontinues products and places them on shelves in a section of the store. Everything is always half off and I’ve bought lots of new items to try as well as spices that I regularly use.

  32. These blintzes look delicious, thanks for sharing them with Credit Crunch Munch 🙂

  33. I shop for my recipes so produce doesn’t languish and spoil in the fridge.

  34. I wait for sales in the store to stock up on non-perishable items.

  35. I cut coupons, forage for seasonal edibles, and try to cook from scratch as much as I can.

  36. Dessert for breakfast is a fantastic idea! Love the sound of these. And all of the recipes in the cookbook!

    “With 3 days off work, I thought we’d be near completely unpacked but it is anything but.”
    You’ve done this before – you know it takes awhile ;p Hope you’ve settled in!

  37. I love the look of these, bookmarked for use one weekend for brunch. Thanks for linking up to #creditcrunchmunch

  38. Hi just noticed you didn’t link to Fuss Free Flavours or myself who run #CreditCrunchMunch or use the badge, plus not sure why this post appears in the July linky which I’m just rounding up as it appeared In June’s which was hosted by Jen?

  39. Reblogged this on veggiewitch and commented:
    OMGoddess! These look divine!

  40. I like to make sure to use up extra vegetables when I don’t use all of something from another recipe.

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