A Vegan Goes To The Chew’s Ugly Sweater Party

sweaters The Chew is one of my all-time favorite cooking shows. They give great advice and I’ve learned a ton by watching their expert chefs. As a vegan who has to prepare most of my own food, I welcome any and all cooking tips. I’m always inspired by their creative recipes, and love experimenting to “veganize” what they make on the show. I was absolutely thrilled yesterday to get to attend a taping of The Chew’s fourth annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party with my mom and our friend Lori! You can see me and my mom in our ugly sweaters and antlers, which were probably the least offensive ones in the audience, and some cool photos of the set because I’m a huge TV nerd.

There were three recipes on the show yesterday that could be so easily veganized, so I have to share them because they looked amazing (sadly, I did not get to taste any). First, Daphne Oz shared a caramelized carrot quinoa salad. Aside from the goat cheese which can be replaced with my almond cheese, your preferred vegan cheese, or simply left out, the recipe is completely vegan, gluten free, and soy free. I’d call that a win!

setThe second recipe was fried cheese tortellini from Clinton Kelly. While this would probably be a difficult one to veganize unless there is a packaged vegan cheese tortellini I haven’t seen yet (anyone know of one?), it did give me the idea to make fried mac and “cheese”. Get excited for that recipe coming next week!

The third recipe was a holiday rib roast with a rosemary-garlic crust from Mario Batali (with some help from the guest star Anika Noni Rose, who voiced my favorite Disney princess, but we’ll get to that later). While this is probably the least vegan of the three, it would be so easy to use tofu or seitan instead of the rib roast and still get all of the rosemary-garlic and mushroom gravy deliciousness. Switch out the beefstock for vegetable stock, and the butter for coconut oil, and you’ve got an Iron Chef-inspired vegan roast. How awesome does that sound?

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent here to gush about the unbelievably talented Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in the Princess and the Frog. I had a bit of a fan-girl moment when she was announced as the guest, because that movie is one of my favorites. Anika spoke about how amazing it was to bring the first African American Disney princess to life. Tiana is such a great role model for girls, working two jobs to achieve her dream of opening her own restaurant instead of just hoping to marry a prince (seriously, if you have not seen this movie, you should). I love the movie and the soundtrack, and am now really in the mood to make some New Orleans-inspired dishes—vegan crab cakes, anyone?IMG_3453

Seeing The Chew live was such an incredible experience, and I highly recommend adding it to your list of cooking shows if you don’t already watch it. It’s a great way to get inspired with new recipes and learn some tricks to make cooking even easier. I’d love to read about what inspires you to create new recipes in the comments below!


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