Author: Betsy DiJulio

A vegan blogger, freelance writer, and food stylist, Betsy DiJulio is the author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes. For her love of cooking, Betsy has worked as a caterer, taught private cooking classes, and won national recipe competitions. As a writer, Betsy focuses on vegan and organic food, art, home and garden design, and green initiatives. Visit Betsy’s website, The Blooming Platter.

Warm and comforting doesn’t have to mean heavy and unhealthy. This dairy-free butternut sage fettuccine is layered with wonderful fall and winter flavors, but it’s plant-based and filled with nutrition. This is a favorite recipe from our friend Betsy DiJulio of The Blooming Platter. She originally shared it with us about a decade ago, but today we’re giving this post an update! Betsy is a vegan blogger who consistently elevates ordinary dishes with chef-like touches. But don’t worry, she still uses everyday ingredients! This light recipe places golden squash center stage and uses just enough pasta to hold the dish…

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New Recipe! Betsy is a true perfectionist. Years ago she shared her fantastic recipe for vegan coca cola cake with us, which was well-loved from the get-go. But she has continued to test and tweak her formula, which she says is now EXACTLY right. If you have ever perused a “church cookbook,” as we call them down South, then you’ve undoubtedly seen a recipe for coca cola cake.  And if you’ve been to a “dinner on the grounds” at said southern church, then you’ve surely seen such a cake, and possibly even savored a slice. Coca cola cake looks like…

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Inspired by fresh kale and sweet potatoes on hand and the desire to create something different, I thought of pierogi which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never made. An online search turned up kale-filled pierogi, but not dough with the kale incorporated, which is what I wanted to try, so I set out to get it right for the fall/winter holidays and beyond. My first try yielded marginal results. I made the dough in a food processor and, though it turned a lovely color of green, it was too tough. Not so tough that the pierogi were inedible; just…

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I don’t know about you–and with all due respect to those who have gone down this difficult road–but much of what passes for grain-free vegan chocolate chip cookies doesn’t make the grade with this teacher. So I set out to see if I could improve the taste, texture and appearance to score an A+. Grain-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies  made Better with Beans Since gluten is what gives baked goods made with wheat flour much of their structure, my first gluten-free attempt made with chickpea flour resulted in big spread-out, crunchy and slightly caramelized-tasting cookies. I tempered and enhanced the…

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Shame on me…to my knowledge, before this vegan stew recipe, I had never eaten, much less cooked authentic Brazilian cuisine. I’d been missing out on an entire culture of complex flavors. Fortunately, my beloved cousin and hiking buddy has spent a lot of time in Brazil for work, bringing that spicy country onto my cuisine radar. So, on a recent Sunday morning, when I was flipping the TV channels around and trying to wake up, an episode of Sara Moulton’s “Weeknight Meals” caught my attention, as her featured guest was Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, a Brazlian chef and cookbook author. Their theme…

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Many years ago, when I first met my dear friend, Yvette Hetrick, a foodie and entertainer extraordinaire, she rhapsodized about granola pancakes that she and her husband, Randy, would devour for weekend brunches in San Diego when they were dating. She has a memorable way of describing food and I was sold from her first mention. After several attempts to reproduce those delectable granola pancakes with no luck, I finally gave up … until recently when a craving struck. My husband had some Bear Naked Granola in the pantry—part of his new healthier diet (he is NOT a vegan)–and I had…

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Recently, I returned from a Spring Break trip to visit my family where I made my Papa his favorite vegan brownies.  But he and my Mama both have birthdays coming up, which reminded me of his very favorite cake is German Chocolate.  So, back home in Virginia and with German Chocolate Cake on my mind, I decided I had to make Papa’s favorite cake into German chocolate pancakes. Though I will definitely need to make these for Father’s Day, they are the perfect breakfast treat for a special Mother’s Day, too! These German chocolate pancakes are somewhat rich and filling. I do…

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This is one of those recipes that any old-fashioned, self-respecting small town church cookbook would not be without! I discovered the dish on a recent trip to visit my family in Mississippi following my mother’s serious surgery and long hospital stay. Their refrigerator was stuffed full of soups and casseroles from friends and neighbors, prepared with love and delivered with best wishes for a speedy recovery. One of those casseroles, Poppy Seed Chicken, smelled delicious, though it wasn’t vegan, so I couldn’t partake. But, once home, I set about to recreate it. If you aren’t terribly interested in how I…

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I am not a coke drinker.  Okay, very rarely, say with Mexican food, I MIGHT crave a diet coke (sorry!), but it’s been ages. However, I LOVE Coca Cola Cake, and hadn’t thought of one in years until recently.  I had my first taste at an Academy Awards party years ago when I lived in Nashville, and it was one of those “love at first bite” moments.  A guilty pleasure for sure. Baking Up a Wacky Cola Cake for Vegan Cravings Recent news clips about the upcoming Academy Awards must have triggered that culinary memory because I started craving Coca…

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Many dairy-free truffle recipes call for making a cashew cream of equal parts cashews and water which I find WAY too thin. These recipes also typically use melted chocolate which is luscious, but fairly high-fat. So, I make my vegan truffles recipe with cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Try them–you’ll LOVE them. Plus, they are ultra quick to prepare and shape, though the mixture does need to chill for about 2-3 hours. For the nuts, you can use raw cashews or roasted and lightly salted cashews. The former will give you a sweeter end result, while the latter will produce a truffle…

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Earlier in the week, many of you ooh-ed and aaah-ed about this enticing Chocolate-Orange Halloween Cupcake Recipe. Those are amazing, but Halloween isn’t just about sweets. No, really, it isn’t! You need some wholesome food to round out the festivities, and these savory cupcakes definitely fit the bill. In reality, these savory cupcakes can be enjoyed any time of year, but the warm flavors make them perfect for fall, and the orange and almost-black color scheme make them a fun dish for Halloween parties. The recipe is by one of our vegan contributors, Betsy … Betsy DiJulio ~ There’s nothing tricky about…

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Lemon verbena became one of my all-time favorite herbs to grow about two summers ago.  In our area, it can’t be found in grocery stores, so check your local nurseries and farmers markets; the latter is where I purchase mine to make these lemon verbana vegan cupcakes. If you can’t find lemon verbena plants, you can certainly substitute lemon zest and juice, maybe the zest and juice of one large lemon? But then they’re just lemon vegan cupcakes – tasty lemon cupcakes, but lemon cupcakes nonetheless. I only make these cupcakes in the warm months when the plant is thriving, as its…

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(4 Recipes in 1!!) There’s no better time to go green than on St. Patrick’s Day, but this veggie sandwich can be enjoyed whenever fresh asparagus and peas are in season. If you can’t get fresh peas in your area, then frozen ones will work just fine. My approach to this sandwich was inspired by Giada de Laurentiis. She uses puff pastry as the “bread” in her double-decker chicken-and-avocado sandwich. Since puff pastry is fairly rich and high in calories, I opted for just a single-stack. Two pieces of pastry per sandwich is plenty. For my dairy-free and meat-free green filling, I pair homemade Green Pea…

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This is a wonderfully flavorful, yet simple olive tapenade to liven up any special occasion. I made it for our SuperBowl party to dollop on top of my Moroccan White Bean and Kale Soup. I served the tapenade in a plastic bowl that fit perfectly inside a very clean extra stainless steel dog bowl as a tribute to the reason we were all gathered: to see if the “Doritos Crash the Superbowl” ad co-starring our Great Dane, Huff, had received enough online viewer votes to elevate it from Top 5 status to Top 2, earning it a spot during the game. And as…

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For the first time ever, we hosted a Super Bowl party this year. However, it was NOT about eating unhealthy food and drinking beer. It wasn’t even entirely about the game or the halftime show (though Madonna did herself proud!). Rather it was about gathering together 10 friends to see whether the “Doritos Crash the Superbowl” commercial co-starring our Great Dane, Huff, and created by our friend, Jon Friedman, received enough viewer votes–after being judged a Top Five Finalist–to earn Top Two status and airtime during the game. It did! And it also earned Jon a cool $1 million dollars…

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Over the summer, I reviewed a new seasonal cookbook, The Blooming Platter. As summer gives way to fall, I find myself peaking inside this creative collection of recipes once again, looking for something that offers the warmth and depth of flavor that I love this time of year. After just a few minutes, I found what I was looking for, muffins infused with apple, and topped with a walnut-oat streusel. The author, Betsy DiJulio, calls them “Farmstand” Muffins, I call them the perfect autumn comfort food. I love using Gala apples in recipes like these; they have a nice natural…

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