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Waynesboro native writes Vegan cookbook

November 02, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Writer and Tri-State native Linda Long will be at Borders Books & Music near Hagerstown to sign copies of her book, "Great Chefs Cook Vegan."

Long is scheduled to be in the bookstore for a discussion and signing from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9. She is expected in Chambersburg, Pa., on Saturday, Nov. 8, and plans to stop at The Cottage Pub.

A vegan for more than 30 years, Long, 65, is a food journalist and photographer who lives in New York City. She was born in Waynesboro, Pa., and was raised in Chambersburg. Her family, the Etters, still lives in the area.

In a recent interview with The Herald-Mail, Long said she wanted to present the full scope of vegan cuisine in "Great Chefs Cook Vegan" ($35, Gibbs Smith 2008) because she was tired of seeing the same old standbys rehashed - a plate of steamed vegetables or a plate of pasta with steamed vegetables.

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So she tapped 25 of the nation's top chefs for recipes.

Contributors include Charlie Trotter, the Chicago-based chef and high-end restaurateur who offers a recipe for mignardises, and New York City chef Dan Barber, who was this year named to the James Beard Foundation's who's who list.

When describing the book's intent, Long went to a quote from Chef Trotter: "For far too long vegetables have held a place on the back burner. As cuisiniers, we must hold the simple potato with the same reverence as we hold all parts of the meal."

The book has other recipes from Trotter and his executive chef Matthias Merges. Barber offers a recipe for cauliflower steak and quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). Cat Cora, from the TV show "Iron Chef America," offers a kiwi parfait recipe.

For years, Long worked in the fashion industry, traveling the world researching fashion and textile trends. She said went back to her "food roots" six years ago.

At age 12, Long worked as a waitress and short-order cook at her parent's truck stop on U.S. 11 between Greencastle, Pa., and Chambersburg. She was a home economics teacher in Lancaster County, Pa., and also worked in the resort hotel business in New York state.

Long said she began to reconsider they way she ate when she was teaching home ec.

"I noticed that every chart, every supplement for teachers came from the meat and dairy council," Long said. "I thought, 'This has to be slanted.'"

She said Dick Gregory, a social activist and well-known vegetarian, gave her the "OK" to be a vegan during the mid 1970s. They met while Gregory was visiting the Catskills with Muhammad Ali, Long said.

Back then, people didn't understand what it meant to eat vegan and food options were limited, Long said. But in plant foods, Long said she found more variety.

"It's not like it's weird food," Long said. "It's not weird stuff."

But today, vegan entres are becoming more ubiquitous as America's palate broadens, even appealing to meat-eaters who simply enjoy eating something different.

"There are only so many ways to cook animal foods," Long said.




Kiwi parfait



5 kiwis, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 pint soy yogurt
1 cup crushed graham crackers
Curried cashews (recipe below)

For the curried cashews

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Salt to taste

For the curried cashews, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cashews on an unlined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly browned. Toss nuts with canola oil and curry powder in a bowl. Add salt, if desired, and then cool.

To assemble parfait, place a spoonful of kiwi pieces in the bottom of a martini glass. Top with soy yogurt to cover, and then add a layer of graham crackers.

Notice how the layers are shaping from the outside of the glass. Repeat layers of kiwi and yogurt. Top with curried cashews and a few kiwi pieces.

Serves 6.

- Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora, from "Great Chefs Cook Vegan" ($35, Gibbs Smith 2008)




Mignardises



1 cup raw cashew butter1 cup maple syrup
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla seeds scraped from vanilla bean
1 tablespoon nama shoyu (raw soy sauce)
Variety of coatings such as coconut, sesame seeds, crushed pumpkin seeds, cayenne pepper or chopped dried fruit

In a food processor, combine cashew butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla seeds and nama shoyu and process until smooth and thick. Pour into a shallow container and cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Using a melon baller, scrape truffle base into small balls. Fill or roll chocolate truffles with spices, seeds, nuts or dried fruits of your choice. Shape as desired (rounds, pear-shaped, nougat, or cylinders).

Makes approximately 80 pieces.

- Recipe courtesy of Charlie Trotter, from "Great Chefs Cook Vegan"




Cauliflower steak with quinoa



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