Meatless Monday - Tempeh Marsala

Meatless Monday - Tempeh Marsala

Anything chicken can do, tempeh can do better. At least that’s my motto in the kitchen. I like to browse through omnivore cooking magazines for meals that I can veganize. I came across a chicken marsala recipe and it seemed ripe for the veganizing. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually had anything marsala, to tell the truth, so I don’t know how close this tastes to the “real thing”, but it was a damn fine tempeh dish.

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Meatless Monday – A Very Vegan February in Montclair

Meatless Monday – A Very Vegan February in Montclair

When I adopted a vegan diet in 2001, there wasn’t much in the way of vegan food or activities in the Montclair, NJ area. (Yes, there is such a thing as vegan activities.) If I wanted to eat a good veg restaurant, I would have to rely on New Jersey Transit to whisk me over the Hudson River into New York City. If I wanted to attend a vegan cooking class I would have to pay quite a pricy fee to do so at Natural Gourmet Institute, the only place in the area that really offered plant-based cooking classes. If I wanted to attend a talk on vegan cooking or have a cookbook signed by a notable author, I would have to trek to a rinky-dink bookstore in the East Village. Things have definitely changed with time and Montclair is becoming quite the vegan place to be.

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Meatless Monday – Three Bean Chili

Meatless Monday – Three Bean Chili

I’m not really into sports, but I’m told that there’s a big game this weekend. I’ve also been told that chili is often the food of choice at game day viewing parties. A few years ago my coworkers had a chili cook-off in the office at lunchtime, and my veggie Three Bean Chili was a big hit. A few people whispered in confidence that they preferred it over the meat-filled chili dishes other coworkers brought in. This recipe makes a lot of chili, so it’s perfect for gatherings with coworkers or friends.

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Meatless Monday – Easy Weeknight Dinner Cooking Class

Meatless Monday – Easy Weeknight Dinner Cooking Class

Join Dianne Wenz (that’s me!) as she cooks up a quick and easy weeknight meal using easy to find grocery store ingredients. I will be making an Asian-inspired salad, a vegetable noodle stir-fry, and a healthy no-bake dessert. You’ll be able to try everything, and you’ll go home with all of the recipes so you can make them for your family in your own kitchen.

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Meatless Monday - Hoppin' John

Meatless Monday - Hoppin' John

Hoppin’ John is a southern dish that’s supposed to bring good fortune to the new year. It’s traditionally made with black eyed peas, greens such as collards or kale and some sort of pork or bacon. The black eyed peas are symbolic of coins and since the greens are the color of money, they’re supposed to add extra wealth

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Meatless Monday - Chocolate Mousse Pie

Meatless Monday - Chocolate Mousse Pie

Not only is the Christmas season the most wonderful time of the year, it is usually also the most unhealthy. Indulgent dishes and sugary sweets are usually the only foods on the menu at holiday parties and family gatherings. This raw chocolate mousse pie is made with . . . 

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Meatless Monday – Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Meatless Monday – Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Last year I created it a Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup recipe using roasted pumpkin. It was a big hit with people, but some told me that they just didn’t have time to chop and roast a pumpkin. I hear ya – sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day. I’ve reworked the recipe so that it uses canned pumpkin puree, rather than roasted pumpkin. 

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Meatless Monday – Savoring the Shore Cookbook

Meatless Monday – Savoring the Shore Cookbook

Born in an effort to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief, Savoring the Shore is a community cookbook full of recipes that celebrate the Jersey Shore. Some recipes are signature dishes from local restaurants, some are family recipes that have been passed down for generations and others are fresh twists on classic New Jersey fare. 

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Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Zucchini harvests are usually pretty large at this time of the year, forcing cooks to hit the kitchen looking for creative uses for the summertime squash. I love to make zucchini “pasta” with my spiralizer, turning it into long, spaghetti like strands. I also love pesto, and this dish combines both of those loves.

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Meatless Monday - The Killer Vegan Pop-Up Brunch

Killer Vegan Brunch.jpg

As a vegan, eating breakfast out in the world can be difficult. It’s easy to whip up a batch of pancakes without eggs and cows’ milk at home, but most chefs haven’t quite mastered the art of dairy-free flapjacks just yet. Luckily, we now have the Killer Vegan Pop-Up Brunch.

Killer Vegan will soon become New Jersey’s first and only all vegan diner and deli, and once they’re able to open in their own space, they will be located in Union NJ. For now, they take over Lalibela in South Orange every other Sunday.

The Killer Vegan brunch is an all-you-can eat buffet that features some of the best breakfast food in New Jersey – vegan or otherwise. The buffet includes, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French toast, fried plantains, rice and beans, steamed greens, soy bacon, meatless sausages, tofu scramble and hashbrowns. Coffee, tea and juice and also included.

Janelle Soto is the owner and brains behind Killer Vegan, and the seed for the dinner was planted in the early days of her activism. “My desire was to open a space that was comfortable to vegans and non-vegans with regards to food and setting. I would not only contribute to my community - vegan and local - but, more importantly, I would be helping animals”, she says. Before 9/11, Janelle ran a vegan food cart outside the World Trade Center where she fed between 300 to 400 people daily, most of whom were not vegan or even vegetarian. The success of the food cart only cemented her desire to open a brick and mortar establishment.

Once it opens, Killer Vegan will serve up Latin, Italian and American comfort food. Everything will be made in house, using organic and fair-trade ingredients. Janelle has enlisted the help of Chef Alfredo, who brings with him over 15 years worth of experience in the industry. Janelle will be doing the baking and Alfredo will be doing the cooking. It will be Janelle who decides the menu, with Alfredo’s help.

The opening date for Killer Vegan will depend on funding. Money raised at the pop-up brunches goes towards opening in their own space, as does money raised in their IndieGoGo campaign, which ends later this week.

Like Killer Vegan on Facebook for updates or contact them through their website for any further information. The Killer Vegan Pop-Up brunch takes place from 10:00 to 2:00 on the first and third Sunday of every month at Lalibela Ethiopian Resturant, located at 261 Irvington Avenue in South Orange NJ.