Pure Vegan By Joseph Shuldiner

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Pure Vegan
By Joseph Shuldiner
Paperback 224 pages


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Pure Vegan – Joseph Shuldiner

A gourmet vegan cookbook that celebrates eating and enjoyment rather than emphasizing the politics of a vegan lifestyle, Shuldiner’s Pure Vegan proves that embracing a vegan diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sweets and cocktails. Says Shuldiner, “The title of the book is “Pure Vegan,” not “Puritanical Vegan.” His beautiful compilation features 70 novel, vibrant recipes that are both plant based and indulgent. While all of the ingredients are non meat egg dairy, Shuldiner’s unique combinations will appeal to meat lovers and committed vegans alike. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are represented, but so are special “Late-night” and “Very late night” chapters dedicated to sexy indulgences like chocolate truffles and herbal cocktails. (“Vodka is vegan, after all,” says Shuldiner.) Seventy-five gorgeous photographs round out this beautifully packaged book.

The following 3 recipes will give you a taste of the flavour of this superb recipe book.

Vegan chocolate-tahini timbales recipe

Vegan chocolate-tahini timbales. Photograph: Emily Brooke Sandor/Chronicle Books

Makes about 24

  • 4 Oz / 115g semisweet (dark) baking
  • Chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Cup / 120ml unsweetened plain soya milk
  • Cup / 160ml Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
  • Cup / 120ml tahini
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Cups / 190g all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1Teaspoons baking powder
  • Cup / 43g dutch process (alkalised) cocoa powder (most
  • Cocoa powder sold in the UK is alkalised)
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C / gas 4.

Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the soya milk over medium heat until it begins to steam and almost comes to a boil. Pour the soya milk over the chopped chocolate, then add the Kahlua, tahini, and vanilla. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is entirely melted.

Sift the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt together into a large bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and stir gently until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag without a tip or a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off.

Put about two dozen timbale moulds on a baking sheet (the number of moulds per pan varies, so just get as close to two dozen as you can). Pipe the batter into the moulds, filling each about two thirds full.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are firm but the inside is still slightly soft (test by inserting a wooden skewer or toothpick). Transfer the moulds to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then invert the moulds and let the timbales cool completely, about 15 minutes. Lift off the moulds and dust the timbales with powdered sugar. These treats are best eaten the day they’re made.

Polenta with wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and figs recipe

Polenta with wild mushrooms, hazelnuts and figs. Photograph: Emily Brooke Sandor/Chronicle Books

Wild mushrooms, hazelnuts, figs, and thyme all make me think of the Pacific Northwest, so I came up with this dish to showcase the earthy flavours of an Oregon forest. The blackcurrant dressing makes for a snazzy presentation that’s guaranteed to impress. While the preparation may seem a bit elaborate, this dish is well worth the effort. And if you like, you can prepare the polenta and lentils in advance.


Serves 4 (1 cup = 8 fl oz or 240ml)


  • 6 Figs2 cups polenta
  • 4 Dried black Mission figs, stemmed
  • 1 Cup blackcurrant juice or 100% pomegranate juice
  • 9 Cups water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup puy (French green) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 10 Oz (285g) mixed wild mushrooms (such as oyster, chanterelle, and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and finely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Baby lettuce, arugula (rocket), or microgreens for garnish

For the blackcurrant dressing:

  • Reserved black currant juice (from the figs)
  • 1Teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Juice of lime
  • 2 Teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon creme de cassis
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Cup (120ml) hazelnut oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

To prepare the figs: Put the figs in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the blackcurrant juice to a boil over high heat. Pour the juice over the figs and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the juice, and coarsely chop the figs.

To make the dressing: in a small saucepan, heat the reserved blackcurrant juice over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the reduction to a blender. Add the mustard, lime juice, shallot, crme de cassis, wine, and vinegar and blend until smooth.

With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the hazelnut oil and blend until the mixture is thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a squeeze bottle or bowl. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan lightly with olive oil.

In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups of the water and the salt over high heat. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly and vigorously to break up any lumps. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 20 minutes. Pour the polenta into the prepared pan and use the back of a wet spoon or a wet spatula to spread it in an even, flat layer and smooth the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Put them in a medium saucepan and add the remaining 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer until soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain, then season with salt and pepper.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the shallot and mushrooms and saute until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add figs, hazelnuts, and thyme and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Preheat a medium-hot outdoor grill or heat a grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Cut four 3 inch circles of polenta using a biscuit cutter, glass, or, in a pinch, a large can with the top and bottom removed. (Save the scraps for another use.) Brush olive oil on both sides of the polenta and grill until the bottom is browned and the polenta no longer sticks to the grill, about 5 minutes. Turn and grill the other side until browned, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the dish, first, reheat the lentils and mushrooms if need be. Spoon of the lentils in a 4-inch pool in the center of each plate. Place a polenta round on top of the lentils. Spoon of the mushroom mixture over the polenta, then top with a few leaves of the baby lettuce. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dressing over the top and around the plate and serve immediately, with the remaining dressing alongside.

Seared tofu with date barbecue sauce recipe

This superb summer vegan recipe is all about the barbecue sauce

Seared tofu with date barbecue sauce. Photograph: Emily Brooke Sandor/Chronicle Books

  • 1 lb / 800g extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed (see tip below)
  • Canola oil, for greasing the pan

For the barbecue sauce:

  • 1 Teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Cup / 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Cup / 60ml tomato paste
  • 3 Cups / 720ml vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 10 Large dates, pitted and minced
  • 1 Cup / 60ml fresh lemon juice

To make the barbecue sauce: in a small bowl, combine the saffron and water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, stock, brown sugar, cayenne, and saffron water to the onion mixture, turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the sauce begins to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the dates, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Preheat the oven to 250F / 120C / gas . Cut the tofu into thick slices. Lightly oil a large grill pan or heavy skillet with the canola oil and put it over medium-high heat. Dredge half of the tofu slices in the barbecue sauce, then put them in the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes; if using a grill pan, you should begin to see nice grill marks forming. Turn and cook until browned on the other side, about 5 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a serving platter and put it in the oven to keep warm. Apply additional oil to the pan as needed and cook the remaining tofu in the same way. Serve the tofu with the remaining barbecue sauce alongside.

Tip: how to press tofu

To press tofu, wrap each block in a clean kitchen towel, then put the tofu on a rimmed baking sheet. Put a second baking sheet on top of the tofu and set a weight (such as a heavy skillet, a large jug of water, or even a brick) on top, centring the weight over the tofu and being careful not to use so much weight that you squash the tofu, rather than simply pressing the water out. Press for at least 20 minutes.

All the above recipes are taken from Pure Vegan by Joseph Shuldiner (Chronicle books)

Buy this stunning book and enjoy 67 more delectable recipes.


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