It’s been quite a while since I have featured a famed vegan cookbook author here on my site, but that’s about to change this very moment! I’m honored to share this space today with longtime vegan, Laura Theodore as she shares an excerpt and recipe from her brand new cookbook, Vegan-ease: A Guide to Enjoying A Plant-Based Diet.
First things first. Laura Theodore is amazing! She’s been vegan long before most of us knew how to pronounce the word “vee-gh-an”. She’s widely known as the “Jazzy Vegetarian” because of her television cooking series by the same name which has been on air for five seasons (don’t be fooled by the name, it’s actually a fully plant based cooking show)! In addition to television, Laura also hosts the popular podcast radio show called Jazzy Vegetarian Radio . Why “jazzy” you might be wondering? It turns out that Laura is actually a critically acclaimed and award-winning jazz singer and songwriter. Laura is also the author of two other vegan cookbooks, Vegan-ease being her third publication. I am blown away by Laura’s multi-talents and I think it’s amazing that she’s found a creative way to mesh all of her many passions together. Thank you for sharing with us today Laura and welcome!
Yeehaw, Kayle xo
Why a Plant-Based Diet? by Laura Theodore
I strongly believe that eating “animal-free” is healthier for us, the planet and, of course, the animals. The easier it is to adopt a vegan lifestyle, the more people will choose it. Many home chefs are now looking to add more vegetables into their weekly menu plan, serving at least one wholly plant-powered meal each week.
But why even consider going “veggie” in the first place? Well, for one thing, it’s one of the best things we can do to support the environment. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “Animal agriculture accounts for at least 14.5 percent—and, according to some studies, as much as 51 percent—of greenhouse gas emissions, 50 percent of antibiotic use and 37 percent of pesticide use.”1 The vegan publication, VegNews reports: “It takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods.”2 Wow, that’s a lot of H2O! With issues of record droughts facing parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world, we can actually make a real difference in the water supply by reducing meat consumption, and this is no small thing.
Of course, the foremost reason to forego animal foods is out of concern for the welfare of—and overall compassion for—animals. According to the animal protection organization, Farm Sanctuary: “Far from the idyllic, spacious pastures that are shown in advertisements for meat, milk, and eggs, factory farms typically consist of large numbers of animals being raised in extreme confinement.”3
Another reason to consider adding more organic, vegan meals to your diet is to achieve better personal health. Processed foods, along with pesticide-laden foods, are not the best choices to help maintain a fit body, so adding more whole foods on a regular basis is certainly a great way to start on the path to supporting good health. The founder and executive director of the Wellness Forum, Dr. Pam Popper, states: “There are few people who disagree with the idea that eating a better diet is the key to enjoying better health, and an increasing body of medical evidence shows that many degenerative diseases can be stopped and even reversed by eating the right diet: one based on whole plant foods.” 4
So…Why a Plant-Based Diet? It’s good for the animals, the environment, and your body!
4 Jazzy Vegetarian, Laura Theodore, Book Publishing Company, 2011.
Spinach-Tomato Vegan Omelet by Laura Theodore
Makes 2 servings / Ease Factor 3
I tried for years to create a tasty vegan omelet, so I was super excited when I came up with this oven-baked version. Because a tofu-based omelet is more delicate than the classic egg version, I have developed a jazzy method for helping it to stay together when serving. It takes a little bit of extra fuss, but is well worth the effort.
2 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
5 to 6 cups very lightly packed baby spinach, washed and dried
TOFU “EGG” LAYER
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) firm regular tofu
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (for dusting top)
¼ cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat with vegan margarine a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch round sauté pan or skillet with tight fitting lid.
Arrange the tomatoes in the prepared skillet by overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle the thyme, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper evenly over the top of the tomatoes. Top the tomato layer with all of the baby spinach, pressing it down slightly.
Put all of the tofu “egg” layer ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Spread the tofu mixture evenly over the spinach, smoothing the top as you go.
Dust the top of the tofu layer with the additional 1⁄4 teaspoon smoked paprika. Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully cut the omelet into two servings, by slicing down the middle. Gently lift one-half of the omelet out of the pan, using two very large, flat spatulas. Place it tomato side down onto a rimmed dinner plate. Place a second rimmed dinner plate of the same size firmly over top of the omelet and quickly flip it over to invert the omelet so the tomatoes will now be facing upward. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vegan cheese, if desired. Then, use the spatula to gently fold the omelet over. Proceed plating up the second half of the omelet in the same manner.
Spoon the sauce that remains in the bottom of the pan over each omelet. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve warm.
Amount per serving, based on 2 servings: 188 Calories; 11g Fat; 2g Saturated fat; 21g Protein; 107mg Sodium; 7g Total Carbohydrate; 2g Sugars; 4g Fiber
Recipe © 2015 Laura Theodore, published by Jazzy Vegetarian, LLC, reprinted by permission.
And now for the GIVEAWAY portion of this post!
I am gifting one autographed copy of Laura’s Vegan-ease: A Guide to Enjoying A Plant-Based Diet to one lucky random U.S. winner. Entries will be held through Monday, October 26th at 5pm PST.
- Please ensure that you have signed up to receive for my blog posts via email (this is the only way I can contact you to let you know if you’ve won so it’s super important). Sign up here.
- Leave a comment in the box below explaining why you’d like to win a copy of the Vegan-ease cookbook. Here are a few questions to get you going: Are you new to vegan cooking? Are you familiar with Laura’s other books? If you won a copy of Vegan-ease, would you use the book at home or gift it to a friend?
To stay in touch with Laura and all things Jazzy Vegetarian, follow her on her social media sites or visit her websites: