As you might remember from other blog posts, my love affair with all things culinary began with the premiere of “The French Chef” in 1963, when I was six years old. Between growing up with Julia and my maternal Grandma Mary, I found inspiration in the kitchen.

So, it is only befitting that in keeping with the name of my blog, Veganification, what better recipe to veganify than the recipe that started it all when Judith Jones, the editor at Alfred A. Knopf, prepared Boeuf Bourguignon following Julia Child’s detailed instructions from the cookbook manuscript. Ms. Jones was immediately convinced that the manuscript in her hands was destined to be a surefire hit in the kitchens of not only American housewives but home cooks throughout the world. The rest is history, as they say…

Unfortunately, I don’t have the first edition, which was printed in 1961. Alas, I have a 2009 edition; however, the recipe remains the same. (Sidenote: If you ever come across a 1961 1st edition, let me know.)

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I absolutely adore Brussel Sprouts, those tiny little cabbages. Historically, I’ve been roasting them in the oven with just a sprinkling of olive oil and fresh garlic. With the advent of the air fryer, that became my new, go-to method…that is, until I came up with this recipe for the InstantPot.

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I have been craving mushrooms for the past two months. I cannot seem, no matter how much I try, to get enough of them. All kinds, from the everyday button mushroom to the more exotic—such as lobster, enoki, chanterelles, hen of the woods, etc. Whatever I can find, I’m in. I’ve roasted them in the oven, sautéed them on the stovetop, relished ones done in the air fryer, all to my sheer and utter delight.

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My friend, Terri, passed away more than several years ago. Like me, she had a love for vegan cooking and an equitable adoration for kitchen gadgets/equipment/tools. One of the beautiful items she left to me was this 9’x13’ metal cake pan with a green lid, with “Vegan Goodies” and pinecones/leaves etched into the top. It’s beautiful; and whenever I pull it out to bake in it, I am immediately brought back to fond memories of Terry.

As a sidenote, I’ll share one of my favorites with you. In 2010, we took the 7 hour drive up to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York for their July 4 Pignic. It was an idyllic weekend communing with all the beautiful farm animals that have been given a second chance and the ability to live out the remainder of their lives in peace, knowing love and compassion and no terror…a very different life from whence they came, factory farming. The weather was warm with a cooling breeze. We spent two full days on the farm and enjoyed their vegan barbeque and a couple of talks given by their more-than-adept staff.

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What can be better than coming home from a successful trek from the local farmer’s market and scoring the absolute best produce? Well, coming home and preparing a simple, yet elegantly delicious dinner with what I scored!

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With summer approaching, I love making quick and delicious wraps. They are so versatile, from what you put in them to what you choose to wrap them. They get in and out of the kitchen quickly, pack well for a hike or picnic, and are very nutritious and satisfying.

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One of my favorite sandwiches EVER is a Reuben. Having been vegetarian since 1983 and before becoming vegan in 2007, the version I would order at the diner (Heck, I’m from Jersey, so you know that I know all about diners and diner food J) would be a meatless Reuben.

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One of my favorite things to do is read cookbooks and recipes as well as watch food television shows, all of which provide me with incredible inspiration and creative challenges, most especially when the recipe is not a 100% plant-based recipe.

In addition, friends and loved ones are constantly sending me recipes that they stumble upon. My partner’s daughter, Erika, forwarded this amazing recipe for a blood orange olive oil cake.  It was on the web, and although I’m not sure exactly when it was published, it was from the NY Times.  Ah, butter, buttermilk or yogurt, eggs, honey, whipped cream — ingredients called for in abundance in the original recipe as published in the NY Times By Melissa Clark.  I knew I had to immediately veganify this recipe; and have to tell you that the results were stellar.

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My version is stuffed with scrambled Vegan Egg, vegan mozzarella cheese, air-fried potatoes, but be creative. Add fresh herbs, some hot sauce, vegan faux meat, beans, jalapenos, etc. This is a great meal to recycle your leftovers in disguise, so no one would recognize them.

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