You make me feel like a Natural Vegan Kitchen

The folks of Book Publishing Co. are at it again and holding a contest giveaway in unison with their Live Delicious, Eat Vegan campaign, a contest that includes Christine Waltermeyer’s Natural Vegan Kitchen cookbook. I was sent a copy of it for perusal and review.

Christine is the founder and director of the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, the school that most of us who love to cook find ourselves perma-daydreaming about.

Being an incorrigible dessert-comes-first type of dudette, I started leafing through the book from the bottom up, and was pleasantly surprised to see that Christine used to be addicted to sugar too, but managed to switch to wholesome alternatives instead with the positive outcome of now keeping her sugar cravings at an absolute minimum.
I find myself especially tempted by her recipes for Apricot Mousse, Red Berry Mousse and Vanilla Amazake Custard.

While some ingredients might have people who are new to veganism and to healthier foods scratch their head in wonderment at first, they can rest assured all that’s needed to know is carefully detailed in the Glossary, page 177.

It’s good to find old and new favorites made healthier bound together in a beautifully written and laid out book such as this one, and I can already tell I will have fun trying more recipes from it in the very near future.

Nutritional info per serving can be found in every single recipe, which I know a lot of people are interested in. This is entirely personal, but having a past history of obsessing over such numbers, and being lucky not to have any health issue forcing me to be on the lookout for such info, it’s something I don’t really pay attention to.

I am not the ultimate expert in Sloppy Joe recipes, since I’ve never tried the real (so to speak) thing, but having tasted and loved both the Snobby Joes that appear in Veganomicon and the recipe Joni created for our upcoming book, Hearty Vegan (wait for it, waaaaaaaaait for it … Sloppy Jonis), I just knew I had to give a go to another version that makes use of an unusual ingredient for such a meal: unsweetened apple butter.

I changed a couple of things in my execution of Christine’s recipe, due to being on a total grocery shopping strike: I used reconstituted TVP in place of tempeh, and Bavarian rye sourdough bread instead of the buns. No biggie, it all turned out absolutely smashing and I am now a firm believer in the guest appearance of apple butter here. I’m also eager to do a mash-up of all the above- and below-mentioned recipes, using lentils in place of any soy-based meat sub.

I served it here with sliced red cabbage sautéed in peanut oil with a pinch of sea salt, just long enough for it to be tender but still crisp, and then doused with an unhealthy amount of Sriracha.

US readers: if you’d like to receive my copy sent to you media mail, leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick someone Sunday night.
Megan/mcsassypants won.

Sloppy Joes
Recipe from Natural Vegan Kitchen, by Christine Waltermeyer
Used with kind permission of the publisher

1 (8-ounce) package gluten-free tempeh
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic (2 teaspoons)
Pinch sea salt
1 cup unsweetened apple butter
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
4 whole-grain buns

Steam the tempeh in a steamer basket over boiling water for 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. When the tempeh is cool enough to handle, coarsely grate it or crumble it by hand into a medium bowl.

Heat the water and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook and stir for 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the tempeh and cook and stir for 5 minutes.

Combine the apple butter, tamari, and mustard in a small bowl.
Add to the tempeh and mix well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve on whole-grain buns.

Yield: 4 servings

  • […] at Book Publishing Co. really know how to get serious blog coverage, as proven by the half-dozen reviews for The Natural Vegan Kitchen I’ve already spied floating about the blogosphere. Tempted by […]

  • Rick Diamond says:

    I don’t usually comment when a blogger reviews one of our books, but I could not help it in view of BitterSweet’s kind comment above. I feel privileged to have a job that allows me to promote veganism and to work with the fine people who have made Book Publishing Company what it is. Although our niche is rather narrow in the total spectrum of things, learning how we can convert our culture from being meat-based to plant-based is one of the most important questions that people need to ask. We are happy to network with people throughout the pro-plant community. Please feel free to contact me at

  • Megan says:

    Oooh yes please!

  • Marissa says:

    This looks great! I can’t wait to make them, except for my lack of apple butter. Could I use applesauce as a substitute?

    • Celine says:

      I wouldn’t. apple butter has a far more concentrated flavor than apple sauce does, the latter is too watery for this dish. sorry!

  • MollyG says:

    Mmmmmm. Sounds delicious. I haven’t made sloppy joes in a long time, but if you send me that cookbook, I promise I will! Consider this my entry into the contest for this book.