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Introducing the Creative Cooking Crew and Its First Challenge: Vegan

January 29, 2013 by Joan Nova in Creative Cooking Crew Challenge, Food Challenge | 27 Comments

When I announced that I would be co-hosting a cooking challenge group, I knew immediately I wanted to get my son (the ‘visioneer’) to create a logo that brands and signifies our objective: modern, fresh and, most importantly, creative cooking. In fact, he gave us 3 logos with different images and varying shapes and sizes so that each group member could choose what best fits their blog – or mood. I’m going to feature all 3 in this round-up … just because.

Here’s our first challenge.


“Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein-based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.”

For anyone not sure what vegan is …

Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Most vegans also avoid the use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products, such as leather, fur and wool.

What do vegans eat?
This is perhaps the most common question about veganism. A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits and the nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them. (Source:

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I think you’ll agree creativity abounds. Here (in no particular order) the Creative Cooking Crew presents Vegan.

loriThe Vegan Gutbuster from Lori of Taste with the Eyes.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Cranberry Topping from Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz.

Sweet Plantain Empanadas with Mixed Mushroom Picadillo from Norma at Platanos, Mangoes + Me!

Pumpkin Crepes and Maple Ice Cream from Marisa, Cook’s Book.

cookingchallenge_veganMushroom Yakitori and Mushroom Scallion Potstickers from the Home Skillet team.

Nime Chow (13)Nime Chow from Victoria of Mission Food

Smoked Tempeh & Grain Meat Meatballs with Zucchini Spaghetti & Grain Meat Ragu from Lazaro Cooks.

foodivaLemongrass Chickpea Tofu Skewers with Spicy Soya Pomelo Dip from Maya of Foodiva’s Kitchen

Two Potato Tofu Napoleon from Christo of ChezWhat?

Vegan Sushi and Edamame Salad by Maureen of Cuisine by Maureen

Batata Vada by Deana of Lost Past Remembered

Baked Pear and Spiced Lentil Salad-1Baked Pear and Chi Lentils from The Ardent Epicure

Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic Cashew “Cheese” from Tracey of TastyTrix

Broccoli Divan by Faith of An Edible Mosaic

Loaf-of-LentejasLentil Loaf by Erica of My Colombian Recipes.

soupCauliflower Soup by Laura of La Diva Cucina

Hot Tofu Sliders from Angela of Spinach Tiger

Meatless Meatballs + Spaghetti from Jessica of Cajunlicious

Tempeh Filo Triangles and Brussels Sprouts Slaw from Kelly of Pink Apron.

debiBaja Style Tofu Tacos with Beet/Carrot Slaw + Avocado Mash from Debi.

And, La Frita, my vegan Cuban burger.

Note: The third logo style is my sidebar. >>>

The Creative Cooking Crew will be back next month with a new and fun challenge.

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NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. Bravo to everyone. Well done. Somehow I missed chickpea tofu skewers. Cute award. All did such a great job.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Nashville Hot Tofu Sliders, and a Vegan Challenge from the Creative Cooking CrewMy Profile

  2. Katy says:

    This is a great round-up, Joan. These look amazing.
    Katy recently posted..Recipe Time: Chocolate Mousse Cake at Saquella CafeMy Profile

  3. Faith says:

    This was such a fun challenge and everyone did an awesome job! Looking forward to next month’s challenge!
    Faith recently posted..Pepper + Onion Pasta with Sausage {Giveaway}My Profile

  4. sippitysup says:

    Wow, my mouth is (almost) watering. HA! Kidding. This carnivore gives it a thumbs up. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Cold Weather Hot DrinksMy Profile

  5. Laz says:

    Great job with the round-up Joan. I am happy to be part of such a talented group of cooks.

  6. Great job keeping all of us organized, Joan! The roundup looks impressive.

  7. Wow, so many choices for my next Vegan meal. Thanks for inviting me to this incredibly talented group. I’m looking forward to the next challenge!

  8. Looks fantastic and the creativity of all involved really comes through in these beautifully prepared dishes.
    Patricia Durr recently posted..Orchid AffairMy Profile

  9. So awesome you took over the co-hosting, great job. And what a vegan feast…I am not missing the meat. P.S. its eatz with a ‘z’, not an s ;-)

  10. Erica says:

    Amazing list…..I would love to try all of them!I am a meat lover!!!Great job, Joan! Thanks for hosting the event this month!
    Erica recently posted..Arepa Bites with Shredded Beef and AvocadoMy Profile

  11. love the logo. love the pics. I could be swayed to convert….
    South Florida Food and Wine recently posted..Dinner at Villa Azur Miami BeachMy Profile

  12. Great selection. As the sole carnivore in my family and the only real cook, I seriously appreciate these inspiring ideas. Congrats on the new group. I look forward to visiting your challenges.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Part II: Las Rancheritas and the FoodMy Profile

  13. such a great roundup! i wish i could try everything!
    Jenn and Seth recently posted..Buffalo Chicken DipMy Profile

  14. Lori Lynn says:

    Love the variety. Such a fun group, so glad to be a part of it. You’re a terrific hostess Joan.
    Lori Lynn recently posted..An Elegant Little Starter: Scallop & Melted Leek PastaMy Profile

  15. christo says:

    what a great assortment – all hugely creative

  16. Good for you, Joan. So you took this over from Natasha? This is a stellar round up. Is it a closed group, still. Just curious as I now have time for such things.

  17. PS – the logos are ALL great. I like the one with the measuring spoons best.
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted..Asiago and Asiago Pepita: Cheesepalooza Challenge Six Round UpMy Profile

  18. Finally had a chance to check out the entries, all so creative and lovely. Some I’d really like to try (spaghetti and meatballs? Frita? Wow!) Well done everyone, thank you for including me.

  19. Congrats on the new group. Lovely round-up! Glad to see some of the friendly and familiar names!
    Bren @ Flanboyant Eats recently posted..Queso Fresco SauceMy Profile

  20. deana sidney says:

    Sorry I’m late, will visit everyone in the next few days… how time flies!!!!
    deana sidney recently posted..Jacqueline Kennedy’s Dinner at Mount Vernon and Chicken ChasseurMy Profile

  21. Dara says:

    Love these recipes! Can I participate next month?
    Dara recently posted..Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Banana BreadMy Profile

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  1. […] terrific challenge idea was suggested by Tracey of Tasty Trix. Please stop by Joan’s blog here to savor the vegan spin on animal protein by our group of talented […]

  2. […] de Leche, Alexia Sweet Potato Rolls, Real Simple Delicious, & Wai Lana Chips. What a delicious Vegan Palooza that is going on over at Foodalogue!  Joan has started a Creative Cooking Challenge with the […]

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