I first heard of Kristy Turner‘s blog, Keepin’ It Kind, after seeing her Sweet and Salty Ice Cream Layer Cake win the PPK’s Vegan Chopped in 2012. After that, I became a regular blog reader, and looked forward to seeing what Kristy would create week and after week. In 2013, I met Kristy at Vida Vegan Con and she exuded the same amount of warmth, ease and approachability in person that comes though each and every blog post she writes. Her unique style of creativity in the kitchen is rounded out by her honest writing and infectious enthusiasm, so it’s no surprise that she has graduated to writing a cookbook that embraces and reflects all of that and more.
But I Could Never Go Vegan! is packed with 125 of her trademark recipes accompanied by gorgeous photos, all shot by her husband, Chris. The book is divided into chapters with common excuses about why someone could never go vegan, like It’s All Rabbit Food, I Could Never Give Up Cheese and Where Would I Get My Protein? followed by recipes within each of those chapters that turn that “I could never” into “well, maybe I could!”
Recipes like Fire-Roasted Chile & Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Parmesan-Crusted Avocado & Kale Florentine with Smoked Paprika Hollandaise, Beer-Battered Faux Fish & Chips, Buffalo Cauliflower Calzones with Cashew Blue Cheese and Seitan Reuben Pizza with Caraway Seed Crust show that it’s not only easy to go vegan—but also delicious, doable and sometimes decadent.
I made Kristy’s BBQ Bacon Burger first and it was honestly the best vegan burger I’ve ever tasted. Earthy beets mingle with lentils and farro before they are mixed with a perfect balance of spices, then formed into patties and baked to perfection. They look and smell absolutely fantastic! I topped them with Kristy’s pickled cabbage, which provided a great zip and crunch, and finished with Sweet Earth seitan bacon between a few leaves of fresh kale—but Kristy provides lots of options for toppings that can also be found throughout the book.
I loved Kristy’s burger so much and can’t wait to try more, so I’m excited that the kind folks over at The Experiment are not only allowing me to share Kristy’s recipe here (see below), but also are offering a free copy to one lucky reader through this post!
To enter, just leave a comment below that includes a common misconception you’ve heard or read about vegan food. (For example: It’s only vegetables, I’ll always be hungry, it’s too hard, etc.) I’ll randomly choose a winner from the comments on December 15. Shipping is limited to US/Canada only. Please leave your email in your comment or some way to reach you in case your comment is drawn as the winner … good luck!
The winner of this giveaway is Jennifer, congrats! Thanks to all who entered!
If you are in Los Angeles this weekend, Kristy will be doing a book signing in West Hollywood! Here are the details:
WHAT: Book Signing/Vegan Wine & Cheese Event
WHERE: Kitson Melrose, 8590 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
WHEN: Saturday, December 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
BBQ Bacon Burgers
- Total Time: 1 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 burgers
Recipe from But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over Dinner, copyright © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.
I think we can all agree there is a type of hunger that only a burger can satisfy. When that hunger arises, all you can think of is a meaty patty with all the fixin’s. Nothing else will do.
That’s when this burger comes to the rescue. It’s a hearty, BBQ-flavored patty made of beets, farro, and red lentils. Naturally, it’s topped with Tempeh Bacon (page 25), homemade pickled red cabbage, and even more Barbecue Sauce (page 31). Plant-based cheese is a great addition, and I strongly recommend Cashew Blue Cheese (page 46). This is one succulently messy burger, so you may want to change out of your new white shirt.
PICKLED RED CABBAGE
- 1 head red cabbage
- 1 cup (250 ml) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ½ cup (125 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or vegan brown sugar
- 3 to 4 allspice berries
- 3 to 4 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup (150 g) peeled, chopped beets
- 2½ cups (365 g) cooked farro
- 1½ cups (240 g) cooked red lentils
- ¼ cup (30 g) quinoa flour
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup (60 ml) Barbecue Sauce (page 31) or store-bought
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce, optional
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 8 vegan burger buns
- Barbecue Sauce (page 31)
- ½ batch Tempeh Bacon (found on page 25 of But I Could Never Go Vegan!)
- ½ batch Cashew Blue Cheese (found on page 46 of But I Could Never Go Vegan!) or other vegan cheese of choice, optional
- Mixed greens or lettuce
TO MAKE THE PICKLED RED CABBAGE
- Make the pickled red cabbage a day in advance. Chop the cabbage into quarters and cut out the core of each. Shred using a large box grater, or use a knife to make very thin slices. Place the shredded cabbage in a large colander and sprinkle salt over it. Toss to combine; leave the colander in the sink for 10 minutes to drain excess water.
- After 10 minutes, quickly rinse off the salt and use a clean kitchen towel to pat the cabbage dry. In a large airtight container, mix the sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, allspice, cloves, and bay leaves. Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Cover the container and chill 24 hours. Take out the allspice berries, cloves, and bay leaves before using. Leftovers can be kept chilled up to 1 month.
TO MAKE THE BURGERS
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Fit a steamer basket onto a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Place the beets in the steamer, cover, and steam until easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and cool for about 5 minutes.
- While the beets are steaming, combine the farro, lentils, and quinoa flour in a large bowl. Use your hands to mash them together until they start holding together in clumps when squeezed. Set aside.
- Combine the beets, garlic, barbecue sauce, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, cumin, thyme, chile powder, paprika, liquid smoke (if using), Worcestershire sauce (if using), salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until mostly smooth (tiny pieces of beet are okay). Pour into the bowl with the farro mixture. Stir until fully combined.
- Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts, shape into patties, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until firm, flipping once halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- Before turning off the oven, place the burger buns on the oven rack for 2 minutes to heat them up. Remove and spread a layer of Barbecue Sauce on both halves of each bun. Place a few pieces of lettuce on the bottom bun and add the burger patty. Top with 2 to 3 bacon strips, some cashew blue cheese crumbles, and some pickled red cabbage. Top with the other half of the bun. Serve warm. Leftover patties can be chilled in an airtight container 4 to 5 days or frozen 1 month.
- Buckwheat, oat, and brown rice flour work in place of quinoa flour.
- For perfectly round burgers, spray a biscuit cutter with olive oil and use it to shape your patty on the baking sheet.
- If you want to brown the outside of the burgers, spray a frying pan with olive oil and cook the baked patties over medium heat for a few minutes on each side.
- To make the burger prep much quicker, plan on cooking the farro and lentils and steaming the beets earlier that day or up to 3 days in advance.
- Try using a different cheese, like Sunflower Cheddar (page 42), Tofu Chèvre (page 36), or a store-bought vegan cheese.
- To make gluten-free burgers, replace the farro with brown rice and use gluten-free buns.
- Prep Time: 50 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Lesley Tse says
After 16+ years of being a vegetarian and what I all a "recreational vegan," I've recently decided to take the plunge and go full-fledged vegan. A common misconception and my biggest apprehension is that it will be really hard to give up cheese. The last time I tried vegan cheese, it was not good. But it has been awhile and I know that all the vegan foodies out there have figured out how to make vegan cheese so delicious that I will not miss it. I'm excited to try out some recipes!
There are so many misconceptions out there. The one I hear the most is "I could never give up cheese!" I think I should hand out Kristy's book next time I hear it. 🙂
nicole [at] adashofcompassion.com
Amanda J says
I get the salad comment a lot. "I would go vegan, but I hate salad." To which I always reply, "I hear ya. I can't remember the last time I ate a salad!" which results in some stunned silence before I launch into all the fantastic foods that I eat vegan.
I couldn't give up cheese! The main excuse I hear from my vegetarian friends.
Bitter Betty says
I'm tired of hearing "but I could never give up bacon!"
Its not filling! I will lose tons of weight.
This is what most people think when they hear vegan meal, but I think I have proven that both are false!
Handmade Redhead says
Technically I am an omnivore, but eat vegetarian/vegan 95% of the time. I'd love to incorporate more vegan, but I am hooked on cheese.
Jacky DLT says
How do you ever fill up on vegetables?!
so many people say "so, all you eat are vegetables??"
That all we eat is salads and our food is so boring. I love it when I surprise someone with a kick butt vegan meal that they love.
Everybody think that I only eat salad 🙁 ! In fact… I absolutely hate salad! haha
From my concerned mother… you cannot live without red meat! And sadly she's not the only one I've heard this from 🙁
I can't stand the pitying looks I sometimes get when people learn I'm vegan. Like they think that without pig and cow and eggs and cheese there must not be anything left. I want to yell about how many things are left! So many things!
One year I asked my sister if she wanted me to visit her for Christmas Eve, and her response was, "I don't know, we're having prime rib." Really?!!! I stayed home. I just don't understand why even family thinks that it's so inconvenient to have me over. email@example.com
All you eat is salads and the popular where do you get your protein
We have to kill cows, otherwise they would overpopulate the world….
Deborah Baumel says
You can't get enough protein. firstname.lastname@example.org
Celina G says
That your diet is restrictive…. said by someone who won't even eat a piece of iceberg lettuce
XD I love when people say things like that to me. I get told I'm picky all the time, and I find that people she away from my foods if they know it is vegan.
Wow, I'm drooling over here! That looks absolutely fantastic! The comment I hear most is the one about salad. "I just can't eat salad all the time." Even though I probably could live off of kale salad [obsessed!] I make sure to inform them that I can eat pretty much anything, and offer to have them over for dinner to prove it. And, then I start singing to myself, "Anything you can eat, I can eat vegan.." 😉
Karen Lakin says
My fav. common misconception that I hear a lot are people saying well you just haven't really had a good meat dish, or you have never had a steak cooked well that is why you are vegan or what do you eat ? lettuce…if only they knew.
Non-vegans, non-vegetarians do not seem to know the difference between the two. Mostly, most non vegans think that subs like seitan or dairy free milks don't or won't taste good. I love coconut milk, vegan butters and cheeses! Some take a little getting used to, but they are kinder to the planet and your body!
People seem to think vegans are deprived of protein. What a crock!
One of my doctors actually suggested that I go Vegan in an attempt to reduce the frequency of kidney stones. I keep getting stuck in the salad rut, nothing but lettuce and a couple other vegetables, even though I know there's gotta be a better and more nutritious way! Your book looks fabulous! email@example.com
far too many! That all we eat are salads, they'd always be hungry, and I can't weight lift and be vegan.
That vegan food can't be tasty, it will taste like 'mung beans' >:/
Lili Hastings says
Sorry forgot my email firstname.lastname@example.org. I posted that I always hear how are you getting enough protein and "I could never give up cheese."
You will always be hungry – never feel satisfied after a meal.
Stark Raving Delicious says
That Vegan food is blanc. Not!
Natalie Cartledge says
I've heard that vegan food is bland and boring.
Natalie Cartledge says
The biggest misconception I've heard is always about getting enough protein.
Vegan's don't eat real food!?!
Being vegan is too much work! Especially funny coming from someone who eats from a box or fast food restaurant 85% of the time. What the what?!?!?!? email@example.com
i've heard that its all healthy- definitely not the cake with vegan cupcakes!
Jen van Buren says
"It's so much work" and of course "where do you get your protein"
jacquie astemborski says
you can't get enough protein
"It's so expensive!"
Diana @ VeggieNextDoor says
I used to think there would be very few recipes I could actually make for dinner since vegan recipes are so few and far between in most omni cookbooks. But once I got my first vegan cookbook I realized I could make ALL the same recipes, just with tofu or beans or cashews standing in for the dairy…
Amber Pollard says
the most common misconception i hear about veganism/eating healthy is that it's too expensive. I feed 4 people 3 meals a day on less than $50 a week. That's about how much my parents spend on meat for 2 people only a few days.
Aimee B. says
Amber, would you please message me with your grocery list? I currently spend about double that, at least, to feed my family of 4, and would love some tips or a idea of your meal plans. 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org
I frequently hear how vegans are weak and cannot exercise…..which is ridiculous!
That all vegans are scrawny and pale. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes ans colors!
"It's so expensive!"…. Beans and vegetables are more expensive than steak? Really?
Let me start by saying I'm vegetarian not vegan. The one thing I can't stand hearing is, "But you NEED meat." And apparently if you don't eat meat you look emaciated and sickly. (news to my body which could use to lose a few pounds)
Thanks for the giveaway! One misconception I've heard from many people is that you always feel tired and have no energy on a vegan diet because you lack the iron from red meat. Hmm, wonder how I can train for, and race, 50 mile trail runs? email@example.com
I'm vegan, my husband is not. But he respects and understands my choices so he pretty much is 95% vegan, only really eating animal products when eating out/social functions. He also increasingly makes more vegan decisions and is voluntarily phasing out meat. What the biggest misconception, I think, is that people assume I am depriving my husband. When going to parties we hear a lot of "Feels good to be eating steak huh?" in which he usually replies "Oh I don't really crave it or anything" there's a lot of "Oh you don't have to be so polite in front of your wife" and the like. People have a really hard time accepting my husband is pretty happy on a mostly vegan diet.
I've been vegan for over 20 years and people still think I cannot be healthy or have a healthy pregnancy as a vegan. So wrong!
Lakshmi Dove says
Everything is bland and boring, all you eat is leaves, I will be hungry 20 minutes after eating vegan. And my all time favorite, how do you get your protein? firstname.lastname@example.org
I always get told that it's a phase…
I'm always hearing that life's not worth living without cheese. Jeez!!
Aimee B. says
I think one of the common things I hear is, "I could never give up meat!" I assure people that I don't miss a thing. Even my hubby, who is still omni, but eats veg at home, tells people he doesn't miss anything at all.
Tungstens Mum says
That I must eat soooo healthily being vegan! Don't get me wrong, I mostly eat pretty well, but I also had soda and ramen for lunch today.
The ones I hear most are definitely "Where do you get protein?" and "Don't you miss cheese?!?!?!" The ones that bother me more are concerns about my health and all the nutrients I'm must be missing, but I've actually noticed definite improvements in my overall health since going vegan.
Whoops, I forgot my e-mail: email@example.com
I hear, "But you still eat fish and chicken, right?" No, dear, wrong!
Michelle Blanken says
Haha oh there's so many. Seems like other commenters have already hit the big ones; another thing I hear a lot is that veganism is the same as a gluten-free diet…also many people think that I can't go out to restaurants…
I am always hearing that it's too low in protein! Oy! 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org
I could never give up cheese.
Jen1n W says
Here's one I haven't seen posted yet, "If God wanted humans to be vegetarian/vegan, we wouldn't have canine teeth to tear into meat." #SMH
Rachel Lazan says
I am always being asked: "What do you eat for protein?" and "Don't you miss eating meat?"
Harps Desire says
i have heard a lot, but the most common are: "but it isn't healthy!", "Isn't it expensive?"
thanks for the giveaway! 😀
Lydia Claire says
That is would be hard. I live in California so I really don't hear much. I guess that's good. =)
Corrine Greenfield says
That vegan food is boring, hardly!
Children need meat and dairy to thrive
The old "If you always try to come up with dishes that simulate or taste like meat…then you should just eat meat" *sigh*
valerie sobus says
Aside from the all too common "how do you get your protein?" i see/hear a lot of people assuming all vegans must be super duper skinny hippies. not so 🙂
Newly vegan and always get told..You’ll never get enough protein, humans were meant to eat animals.
I couldn't only choose one…so two common misconceptions I hear are 1. I wouldn't get enough protein. 2. It's human nature to eat meat.
Thanks for the opportunity!! email@example.com
sparrow girl says
The most common one I've heard is the concern over calcium or protein…
I've been Vegetarian for over a decade and vegan for about half a year. I decided to do this because of debilitating chronic migraines. Since I have been almost entirely migraine free (which is saying a lot since I had them daily before this). When I decided to go vegan and leave behind my vegetarian ways people would say "where will you get your protien" or "make sure your healthy, this doesn't sound like a healthy lifestyle." firstname.lastname@example.org
Most common….not enough protein! Also, that it is hard to go out to eat.
Lisa Hochstetler says
I'm always told people can't give up email@example.com
The most common comment I've gotten is "You can't possibly be getting all the protein you need by eating fruit and vegetables".
pam mcdaniel says
I am not sure I have the time. Most recipes I see appear to take a lot of time. I want to it's just a matter of time…?
So often I hear the outdated protein comment: "Make sure you eat your beans with rice… you need to get a complete protein!" ARGHH!
Jessica Rumis says
But what about the cheese?…. YOU WILL MISS ALL THE CHEESE!!!! 😮
cool! I've been hearing good things about this book, and I am getting curious! 🙂 The thing that always weirds me out is when people say that they don't like vegetables. Vegetables are so amazing and flavorful and varied and delicious and nutritious and full of potential.
"We have always eaten meat…"
Vegans don't get enough iron and "I coud never give up cheese."
Sue S. says
I think the most common misconception is that food without animal products included won't taste very good. It is a misconception I like to shatter when cooking for others.
"It's more expensive." What.
Don't know if my comment posted. Here is what I wrote:
Not enough protein! lol Sorry to laugh, but my mother still bugs me to this day, despite it being 5 years and all my blood tests come out perfect.
This is a tough one because there are so many misconceptions, but I think the most common one is that the food doesn't taste as good as non-vegan food.
Ms O'Kane says
I could never live withou cheese!
Olivia Bailey says
"it's unhealthy because you're cutting out entire food groups"
umm. really? I have WAAAY more room/reason to eat a ton of kale, broccoli, spinach, black beans, shiitake mushrooms, avacados… foods that ALWAYS top the list of "healthiest foods for you ever"… and I'm cutting out a ton of foods that rank near the bottom of most of those lists – sugary dairy, sugary milk chocolate, butter, fatty/calorie-ridden meats that hurt your heart (and would hurt mine both literally and figuratively)… why don't you go criticize someone else for eating THAT junk all of the time?
The latest comment I heard was "being Vegan goes against nature that's why people have canine teeth" I was actually dumb enough to look up animal teeth pictures. The fact is in going vegan I lost weight, no longer have cholesterol or blood pressure issues, my complexion cleared up, and I no longer have respiratory allergies. Best decision I ever made.
Ali K says
Biggest misconception: "I won't find enough good food to eat." Thank goodness it's a falacy
One misconception I hear is "veganism is unnatural, people are supposed to eat meat"