New Vegan Diner Cookbook Offers Classic Comfort Food … including this Biscuits and Gravy Recipe


Vegan Diner Cookbook by Julie HassonRight up there with baseball, apple pie and cozy little houses surrounded by white picket fences, little speaks more to the American experience than our beloved “neighborhood greasy spoon,” the diner. Muffins and milkshakes, biscuits and gravy; hot, hearty chili and beer battered onion rings, these are the foods we’ve grown up relying on and arguably can’t live without. But what about those of us who’ve turned toward a vegan or dairy-free diet? Is the diner experience lost forever? Not according to the energetic cookbook author, Julie Hasson.

Just released in April of 2011, Vegan Diner is Julie’s answer for anyone who wants to enjoy a vegan diet, without giving up American-style comfort foods. Inside, the chapters cover your “typical” diner fare and beyond, with filling breakfasts, flavorful sides, messy sandwiches, hearty dinners, and a hefty dessert menu (We all know how much Julie loves dessert!).

Here is just a sampling of the recipes in Vegan Diner (followed by a sample recipe … or two … that Julie was kind enough to share with us!):

  • Cinnamon Orange Rolls
  • Breakfast Benedict Florentine
  • Smoky Potato Scramble
  • Old Fashioned Tomato Soup
  • Rockin’ Reubens
  • Grilled Cheesy Sandwiches
  • Jambalaya
  • Very Sloppy Joes
  • Crispy Chickpea Onion Rings
  • Vampire Fries
  • Double Chocolate Strawberry Pie
  • Pineapple Coconut Cream Pie
  • Lemon Diner Cheesecake

Readers will even find Julie Hasson’s own “Blue Plate Special!” and the following fabulously indulgent recipe for Vegan Biscuits with Gravy …


Biscuits and Creamy Sage Gravy

Biscuits with gravy is one of my daughter’s all-time favorite breakfasts. It makes for a hearty and filling start to the day, but is also just as yummy for dinner. This gravy is fantastic on all of the usual suspects. Try it over mashed potatoes, French fries, baked potatoes, tater-tots, breakfast potatoes, seitan, open-faced savory sandwiches, and even toast.

Recipe from Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul; reprinted with permissions from Running Press.

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 cups plain unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1 recipe Fluffy Biscuits (see below), sliced in half

In a large saucepan, whisk together the flour and nutritional yeast. Whisk in the soymilk until the mixture is very smooth and there are no lumps. Alternately, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Whisk in the sage and onion. Add salt, black pepper, and white pepper to taste.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and, whisking continuously, bring to a simmer. Whisk in the margarine. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue whisking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the gravy is thickened and smooth.

Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste. Place the biscuit halves on plates and ladle gravy over top. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Vegan Diner Cookbook by Julie Hasson


Fluffy Biscuits

If you like your biscuits tall, fluffy and flaky, you’re going to love this recipe. They are excellent served smothered with cream gravy, topped with sautéed spinach, tomato, and Hollandaise sauce or just slathered with vegan butter and jam. You might want to double this recipe, because these biscuits will fly off the tray.

Recipe from Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul; reprinted with permissions from Running Press.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) shortening, chilled
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening. Using a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour, until it becomes sandy-textured and has little bits of shortening the size of small peas. Add the soymilk and stir just until the dough comes together. It should be a little sticky.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently pat into a mound about 1-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter (or an upside-down glass), cut out 6 biscuits. Make sure not to twist the cutter or glass, just press straight down. The twisting motion will prevent the biscuits from rising high.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Makes 6


About the Author:

Julie Hasson has shared her expertise through articles and recipes for well-known magazines including Bon Appétit, Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times, as well as in numerous newspaper and web articles. She has done numerous television appearances around the country. Her previous books include 125 Best Cupcake Recipes, 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes, and 300 Best Chocolate Recipes.

Vegan Diner Cookbook by Julie Hasson

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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