Gowanda Woman Publishes Cookbook

Sylvie Cote-Nace proudly holds her vegan cookbook, a result of her tireless effort. Her extensive cookbook library can be seen behind her. Pictured, counterclockwise, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette; Chickpeas and Kale Sandwich Spread with Sunflower Seeds and Cranberries served on 10-grain bread; and Split Pea and Green Lentil Soup with Greens. Photos by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

“I’m a foodie. I love good food,” says Sylvie Cote-Nace, author of “The Pure Pleasure of Eating Vegan,” a cookbook she has put together with recipes she has developed or tweaked and converted to be vegan-friendly.

“I entertain a lot. I like nothing better than to share a recipe with friends.”

When she became vegan in 2009 she was only able to find two vegan cookbooks.

“I checked at Barnes and Noble. I reviewed every vegan book. The early cookbooks had bland recipes, the texture of the food was not appealing and there was not enough creativity.”

“Besides being for vegetarians or for people who suffer from celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, it (her cookbook) is also good for people who are lactose intolerant,” she says “I put my personal spin and twist (into the recipes). I cook with a little sherry and a little wine. I am tired of people thinking vegan eating is eating granola.”

Every recipe has an introduction telling from where the inspiration came and how the recipe will taste. There is a Cook’s Note with several of the recipes indicated by the picture of a Basset Hound in memory of her dog, Charlotte. These notes give helpful hints and/or make-ahead preparation suggestions. She has included a few blank lines after each of the two hundred twenty recipe submissions for the user’s notes. Every recipe was tested by a panel of non-vegetarians with only the best finding their way into the book.

“This is the only cookbook I will ever make,” says the Gowanda woman. “This was more work than getting my Masters. From April until October I spent eight to ten hours a day. I did not see summer.”

The Montreal, Canada native tells of the process she used to make this very big project a reality starting with research and even developing her own recipes.

“I have been collecting recipes in French and English since I was sixteen from several culinary experiences. I have a gift to know if a recipe is good or not.”

Much thought was put into the initial selection process from her extensive recipe collection. After shopping for the ingredients came cooking, clean-up, mise en place and snapping pictures of the finished dishes. This could entail as many as twelve to fifteen hours.

“The five ladies that were testers were here from 11:30 until 2 every two weeks for two years. I did not want any vegetarians for my testers,” she says. “The final part was reviewing every recipe to be sure every ingredient was there and to make English corrections. I was vegan for awhile, so I learned all of the tricks of the trade.”

“Processing a cookbook is one of the most expensive things ever,” she says of the publication she is selling at cost. “My testers all said just for the section of the vinaigrette, soup and gravy, you pay for the book.”

The entrees are flavor-packed, thus making it easy to overlook the absence of meat for those that think they cannot exist without it.

There is no section for bread, cookies and cakes. Instead there are 21 recipes made with fresh fruit. She has included a section called Vegan Pantry and Tools, which explains every tool she uses in the book, what it is and where it can be purchased. This section also tells where ingredients can be acquired.

“The success of your food will depend on the quality of the ingredients you use. A simple thing like the freshness of your spices and to know the technique will make the best meal you’ve ever tasted.”

There is a condiment section that includes recipes for cheeses, condiments and sauces. The recipe for bechamel sauce includes tips on how to tell if the sauce is done.

“Always make sure that your dried spices are fresh, the life of a bottle of spices is roughly 1 to 2 years. If you have old spices, know that this will affect greatly the taste of what you are cooking, and it won’t be good,” says the cook. “I always make sure that in my house I have a nice supply of fresh onions, garlic and shallots. It is a must, as I use them a lot in every recipe I make. That must be my French roots showing up here.”

“Eating vegan does not mean you will never eat the recipe you like. You will learn how to veganize them and still keep enjoying them. It’s even better than the original recipe. People come with prejudice against it, even if they’ve never tasted it. Everything I take to a party or gathering is the first to disappear.”

“When you eat a plant-based diet, all the food you eat is well-balanced. The protein is found in quinoa, lentils, beans, etc. When you eat there is so much fiber and nutrients you are full and never hungry. You don’t have to weigh or measure the food,” she teaches. “People think when you go vegan it is restrictive, but what they don’t know is everything you remove has a replacement. If you remove dairy, the milk is replaced with plant-based milk. You can veganize your favorite recipes. So you don’t have to eat food you never heard of.”

“When you eat healthy you nourish the brain and the body. When you eat a plant-based diet you have extra energy to be able to participate in life. If you have children you can play with them,” she insists. “When you adopt a plant-based diet be organized and plan ahead. Add quality ingredients and do one day of cooking for the entire week.”

“When you go vegan, it doesn’t mean it is the end of celebrating with your friends and eating out. When you have a pizza, you ask for double tomato sauce and hold the cheese. I can go into any restaurant and create a meal. I never feel deprived. You can ask for whole wheat linguine at Olive Garden. I always carry my own dressing.”

Her recipe contributions are from her book.

“The Spa Water takes flavorless water to a level of wow. It has no sugar or artificial sweetener and is all natural. The Chickpea and Kale Sandwich Spread is a major crowd pleaser and even non-vegans fall in love with this sandwich. It is delicious on whole grain bread, in a pita pocket or on a cracker. It yields a large quantity, so you may want to halve the recipe.”

“The Mushroom Bites recipe is a winner, and always gets rave reviews served hot from the oven as an appetizer. This recipe can be made with any kind of mushrooms you like. A particularly good mix is made with shiitake mushrooms and other mushrooms, even white mushrooms or baby portabella mushrooms are fine. This recipe was inspired by my favorite French Chef, Pol Martin. My mother, Therese, and I often served this at parties and it was always a huge success. Chef Pol Martin used cheese, but in my version, I do not use any cheese, and it is still delicious without it.”

“I’ve been making Sylvie’s Curry Dip forever. It is so easy to make and if you like curry like me, this dip is for you. Curry is an anti-inflammatory ingredient, and it is a spice found in the Indian section of your grocery. If you can not find it, go to www.amazon.com or www.deananddeluca.com. This dip is delicious with an assortment of fresh cut vegetables. I developed Sylvie’s Quick Gravy recipe, because the store-bought gravy mixes contain too much salt and preservatives sometime and the taste, in my opinion, is nondescript. I wanted a recipe I could make with the ingredients I always have on hand. I wanted it to be easy to make and delicious as well. You can make this gravy with wine, sherry, Porto or simply with vegetable broth – either way it is awesome. It was two thumbs up with all the tasters.”

“The Rhubarb, Cherry and Tapioca Compote recipe was created by my friend Linda Weyand. She thought of mixing frozen rhubarb with cherries and made a compote adding some tapioca to help keep it together. Her idea was brilliant!”

The Basil Garlicky Mayonnaise is the author’s veganized version of The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.

Prior to getting a Masters Degree in Criminology, she studied law for one year. She has been employed as a probation and parole officer in Canada and the United States. Her husband of twenty-seven years, Reverend J. Michael Nace, is pastor of Java Village Baptist Church. They have a son who resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. The couple also has a cat named Maggie.

Sylvie will be speaking on “How do you eat vegan?” and doing a cooking demonstration, where she will be serving a soup, a dip and gluten-free bread, on Saturday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jesse’s Home and Gifts, 53 W. Main Street, Gowanda, New York

The book can be purchased at Jesse’s Home and Gifts, 53 W. Main St., Gowanda and at Braymiller’s, Route 62, Hamburg. It can be ordered by sending $50.50 to cover the cost of the book, tax and shipping to Sylvie Cote-Nace, PO Box 251, Gowanda, NY 14070.

She will do a cooking class for one or two people for a fee and can be contacted at the above address for this, as well.

Mushroom Bites

Yield: 6 servings. Prep. 8 minutes or so. Marinate mushrooms: 2 hours.

Cook’s Note: The mushroom mixture needs to marinate at least 2 hours prior to assembling the Mushrooms Bites. So, plan ahead. If you want, you can top each Mushroom Bite with some Daiya® cheese (vegan cheese) shreds, before you put them in the oven for 3-4 minutes (see preparation #3).

¢ lbs mushrooms sliced

2-3 T good quality extra virgin olive oil

1 T good quality red wine vinegar

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped, or more depending on taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Good quality multigrain baguette, sliced diagonally, and toasted

Cornichons or extra fine Gherkins, Maille® brand

Daiya® cheddar cheese shreds (optional)

In a bowl, combine the sliced mushrooms, olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh chopped parsley, garlic and salt and pepper. Let this mixture marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, stir occasionally. Slice the multigrain baguette diagonally. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and toast in preheated oven set at broil. Check the bread closely and remove it when it’s slightly browned. Put 1 tablespoon of the mushroom mixture on top of each slice of toasted bread. If you want, you can add 1 teaspoon or so of Daiya® cheddar cheese shreds. Return the Mushroom Bites in the preheated oven at broil, (8 inches from the broiler) and cook for 3-4 minutes. Put the Mushroom Bites on a plate, and some cornichons in a little bowl to serve with the Mushroom Bites.

Sylvie’s Curry Dip

™ c Vegenaise®

§ c plain Soy yogurt

2 tsp Tarragon Vinegar (No substitution)

1/8 tsp fresh thyme, or if you use dried thyme make sure to rub it between your fingers in order to release the oil.

2 tsp Heinz chili sauce®

¢ tsp curry powder

In a food processor or blender combine the Vegenaise®, Soy yogurt, tarragon vinegar, thyme, curry powder and chili sauce. Process until smooth. Place the dip in a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. Allow the dip to come to room temperature before serving. Serve with a nice selection of raw crisp vegetables. Makes 4-6 servings

Sylvie’s Quick Gravy

Cook’s note: If you are a beginner and never made a roux, don’t let this intimidate you.  Roux is not that complicated to do at all! All you need to know is the technique. After that you will be a pro forever; you will never ruin a roux and you will be able to make the perfect gravy every time. Roux is a fancy French name that simply means that the flour and fat cook together and is used to thicken sauce. The fat in French cuisine is butter, (I use Earth Balance®, vegan spread instead), or vegetable oil in other dishes.

Roux is used in mother sauces of classical French cooking: Bechamel and veloutee sauce. Roux is always made with equal parts flour and equal parts of fat.

2 tsp Earth Balance® (vegan spread)

2 tsp flour

¢ onion, chopped finely

¢ shallot, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, chopped finely

2 c of warm low sodium vegetable broth, or 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon of Better than Bouillon® broth, either vegetable or vegan No Chicken broth. pinch dried thyme

Pinch ground sage

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 T soy sauce, or tamari, Bragg® Liquid Amino, sherry, red, white wine or Porto, your choice.

Squirt of organic ketchup

In a medium saucepan saute the onion and shallots with thyme, sage, salt and pepper with splashes of vegetable broth for 5 minutes, adding liquid mentioned above when needed in order to prevent vegetables from sticking or burning. After 5 minutes, add a little splash of liquid of your choice, and saute the garlic for 1 more minute. Set aside, and place a piece of aluminum foil on top of your saucepan to keep the mixture warm, while you are making your roux. In another medium saucepan, melt Earth Balance®. Remove from heat. Add flour and stir very well with a whisk. Return the mixture to medium heat and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes. This process will get rid of the raw taste of the flour. Add the warm broth to the warm roux slowly. It is very important that the roux be warm when you add the liquid. Too hot or too cold can both cause problems. Using this technique will prevent lumpy gravy.  Keep adding warm liquid slowly to warm roux, and keep whisking until you are done with incorporating the liquid. Add warm saute mixture of onion/shallot/garlic/spices to the roux and whisk well. Add the soy sauce and a squirt of tomato ketchup. Cook and whisk for 1 minute. Keeps in a glass jar in refrigerator for a week. Makes about 4 servings

Rhubarb, Cherry and Tapioca Compote

™ c favorite sweetener, to taste

4 c fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped

2 c cherries, fresh or frozen, pitted and cut in halves

2-3 T quick cooking tapioca

™ tsp almond extract

splash of water or orange juice, if needed

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix rhubarb, cherries and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. When rhubarb and cherries release juice, add 3 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca. Stir, reduce heat and let simmer gently stirring often until the rhubarb breaks down. Cook for 8 minutes. Add extract, and cook 2 more minutes. If mixture gets too thick, add a splash of water or fresh orange juice. Note that when the compote cools, it will naturally thicken.  If desired, compote can be reheated. Add a little bit more water or fresh orange juice until you reach the desired consistency. Refrigerate in airtight container for at least 5-7 days. 4-6 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pears and Balsamic Vinegar

2 c Brussels sprouts

2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut in quarters

1 large ripe pear, cored and cut in large quarters

Misto® with olive oil

splash of good quality balsamic vinegar, any flavor you like or plain

fresh ground pepper and ground pink Himalayan salt or any good quality salt you like

Preheat oven to 400∂ F.  Line up 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone liner sheets. Cut the ends off Brussels Sprouts, remove one layer and cut in half. Put prepared Brussels sprouts, cut side down on two large lined baking sheets, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, or instead of roasting you will be steaming. Spread Brussels sprout in 1 layer, and spray with your Misto® with olive oil. Use clean hands to mix and again place them one layer. Spray again with your Misto®. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven, use a spatula and flip the Brussels sprouts. Place apples and pears on another lined baking sheet. Spray with Misto®. Return the Brussels sprouts and the baking sheet with apples and pears to the oven and roast another 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables and fruits are tender. Flip the fruits with a spatula after 5 minutes cooking. Mix cooked Brussels sprouts with the cooked fruits and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and Himalayan pink salt and add a nice splash of your favorite balsamic vinegar.

Spicy Roasted Barbecued Potatoes with Onions, Shallot, Garlic, Bell Pepper and Sage

This dish was a favorite with all my testers.

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp chili powder

¢ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp organic sugar

1 tsp paprika

§ tsp kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

6 red skin potatoes, scrubbed, dried and quartered

1 medium onion, sliced

1 large shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, halved

2 bell peppers (any color you like), seeded and cut in quarters

fresh sage leaves (optional)

drizzle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Little splash of water, wine or low-sodium vegetable broth

fresh parsley, cilantro or chives, chopped, for garnish.

drizzle of good quality olive oil, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven 400∂ F. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with either nonstick aluminum foil, parchment paper or silicone liner. In a large bowl, mix olive oil, chili seasoning, cayenne pepper, organic sugar, paprika, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, quartered red potatoes, onion slices, shallot, garlic, bell peppers, salt and pepper to taste. Mix very well. Add some fresh sage leaves, if desired. Transfer mixture to 2-3 lined baking sheets. Spread in 1 layer avoiding overcrowding, otherwise you will steam the vegetables instead of roasting them. Roast the vegetables and potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turning over with spatula and return to oven. Roast for an additional 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Place roasted vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon or more of your favorite BBQ sauce and a little splash of water, wine or low-sodium vegetable broth. Transfer mixture to serving bowl and add a small drizzle of olive oil (optional) sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, chopped cilantro or chopped chives.

Basil Garlicky Mayonnaise

1 c Vegenaise ®

1 c fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

™ tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 T fresh lemon juice

¢ tsp grated lemon zest

In a food processor or blender, pulse basil, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper, until finely chopped. Add Vegenaise ® and blend until smooth. Remove and place in a small bowl. Stir in lemon zest. If you have time, chill and cover for 1 hour in order to let the flavor develop. Keep for approximately one week. 1 cup

Spa Water

Half fill a nice pitcher with water. Add any of the suggested combinations, cover and marinate at room temperature for 1-2 hrs. Add ice and the rest of the water. Serve.

Spa Water Suggestions:

5-6 slices peeled English cucumber

Lemon and lime slices

Orange and lemon slices and 3-4 slices peeled cucumber

Mint leaves and blackberries

Frozen blueberries and slices of lime

Pomegranate and fresh mint

Strawberries and fresh basil leaf

Raspberries and fresh mint leaf

Watermelon cubes and fresh mint leaf

Cantaloupe cubes and fresh blueberries

Rhubarb slices and fresh or frozen strawberries (Do NOT use the leaves of rhubarb, as they are toxic.)

Peach slices

Pineapple cubes and coconut extract

Mango cubes and blueberries

Fresh mint leaf

Sprig of rosemary

Cherries and mint

Any combination of fruit

Chickpeas and Kale Sandwich Spread with Sunflower Seeds and Cranberries

2 medium kale leaves, rinsed well and dried, rib removed and torn roughly

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in chunks

1-2 green onions, tender green part only

2- 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 T nutritional yeast

1/3 c Veganaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

™ c fresh parsley or fresh dill leaves

1-2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

¢ tsp good quality curry powder

¢ tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

™ c toasted sunflower seeds, set aside

1/3 c (or to taste) dried cranberries, chopped roughly, set aside

In food processor, blender or Vitamix, combine kale, carrots and pulse until finely chopped. Add chickpeas, yeast, Veganaise, mustard, parsley, green onion, fresh lemon juice, curry powder, cumin and salt and pepper.  Pulse until the chickpeas are evenly chopped and everything else is nicely blended. Don’t over process, leave the mixture a bit chunky. Remove the chickpea spread from the food processor and place it in a large bowl. Add the toasted sunflower seeds and the chopped dried cranberries. Combine very well. Refrigerate.

Split Pea and Green Lentil Soup with Greens

Cook’s Note: You can easily prepare all the ingredients needed for this soup the night before. Saute all of the vegetables. Cool. Place in an airtight container. Refrigerate. Place lentils, split peas and spices in crock pot. Cover. Set aside overnight.

1 T olive oil, plus splash of white wine, sherry, broth or water, as needed in order to prevent vegetables from sticking to the pan or burning

Anti-cancer combo mix: 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp turmeric and fresh ground pepper (must be fresh ground)

1 small onion, diced

1 small shallot, chopped

2-3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Leek, white part and tender part of the green only, cut lengthwise. Slice and chop and place and place in a large bowl of cold water. Squish the leek with your hands and let it sit 5 minutes. Scoop leek with a slotted spoon and put in a clean dish towel. Squeeze the extra water and the leek is ready to use.

1 c green or brown lentils (not red, as they are too delicate) sorted to remove any stones or debris and rinsed in a fine mesh strainer

6-8 c water

3 T Better than Bouillon vegan No Chicken broth or 2 T vegan vegetable broth or 4 c low sodium vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried tarragon (rubbed between fingers in order to release the oil) or 1 T fresh tarragon, chopped

1 tsp dried marjoram

¢ tsp dried rosemary

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 bag baby spinach, washed and chopped, Swiss chard, kale or any other greens you like

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

If no night before prep, as suggested in the Cook’s Notes, clean and dry leeks.

In a small skillet, heat olive oil and anti-cancer combo and saute leeks, onions and shallots for five minutes, stirring occasionally while adding liquid as instructed above. After five minutes, add garlic and saute another minute. Add mixture to crock pot. Add lentils, split peas and spices. Mix with your fingers or a spoon. Add water and broth to crock pot. Cover. Do lock lid, if yours has that capability. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Add chopped greens and parsley thirty minutes before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning and discard bay leaf.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 c low sodium vegetable broth, plus more to reheat can of black beans

1 c water

1 c quinoa, rinsed

Pinch of salt

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained or 1 ¢ c cooked dry black beans

6 green onions white and light green part only, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 c corn, either roasted or frozen and thawed

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

¢ c fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime, wedged for garnish

Vinaigrette ingredients

3 T good quality sherry vinegar or good quality plain balsamic vinegar

2 T low sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 T fresh lime juice

1 chipotle in adobo, minced or less if preferred less spicy (chipotle adobo can be found in a small can in the Mexican foods section of the grocery store). Freeze leftovers in ziploc bag.

™- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil

For Vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a small jar. Cover with lid and shake well. Pour over salad when ready to serve.

For Salad: Heat beans, corn and garlic in 1 cup broth. In medium saucepan, combine another cup of broth with 1 cup water. Cover. Bring to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat, until water has been absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Add beans and corn to quinoa and pour into a large mixing bowl. Give a good splash of chipotle vinaigrette, while still warm. Mix. Cool. Reserve leftover vinaigrette. When cool, add onion and pepper to salad. Combine. Add reserved vinaigrette to salad. Add salt and mix. Transfer salad to a nice serving bowl and garnish with a little fresh cilantro and lime wedges.