Big Dreams + My Cookbook Challenge + Homemade Chili Oil!

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For the last few weeks now I have not been able to cook or share recipes very much because my ever so talented boyfriend has been renovating our kitchen island (pictured above).  And if you’re like me, when you are unable to express yourself through your chosen medium, you start to feel imbalanced, self-doubting and a general sense of ‘hmmph’.  I begin to question if this is the path I am meant to be on, and whether my efforts are (while enjoyable) ultimately futile.

So in this interim I have been finding solace in acquiring new and inspiring cookbooks, and watching the cooking shows of people I admire.  I purchased: The Inspired Vegan, Chef Choe’s Kitchen, Celebrate Vegan and Let Them Eat Vegan, all in the past week or so.  I then realized that I have a fabulous collection of vegan cookbooks, some of which that have not even been used yet!

I collect these books because I want to learn as much as I can about vegan food, culinary techniques and nutrition.  I want to create an environment where plant based meals are served unapologetically for all to enjoy, and go to culinary school in New York at The Natural Gourmet Institute.  While I realize that the latter does not necessarily NEED to come before the former, it is an experience that I would feel most privileged to have had.   As the tuition rings in at approxiamately $25,000 plus the cost living, this penniless vegan blogger is not hopping on a plane just yet. Though this dream has not yet come to fruition, I will not put it to rest, and will continue on my path of sharing tasty, vegan food with the world.

I will also say this, If you or anyone you know would like to invest in a vegan blogger’s culinary dreams, you will have a vegan chef at your disposal for life!  Please apply within 🙂

Continuing on….My pledge to you is this: I (Bridget) will now list below some of the cookbooks that have been collecting dust in my kitchen for far too long and promise to cook at least 2 recipes from each book that I will then share with you.  I anticipate this to be a learning experience for myself as well as all of you, and welcome questions, comments and general musings of all kinds.

The Inspired Vegan ~ Bryant Terry’s recipes sound incredible and he pairs them to music!

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet ~ I know you’re thinking, how could she have not delved into this one yet?!

Chloe’s Kitchen ~ This should be arriving in the mail any day now…isn’t she the cutest? *Update* It did arrive, and I’m in love!

Candle 79 Coobook ~ I have never been to this NY hotspot, but look forward to trying some of the recipes at home.

Spork-Fed ~ I recently signed up on and have been loving their online cooking classes!

So there you have it.  Since beginning to write this post, I have been a busy little bee in the kitchen and cannot wait to share my success (and failures) with you!  Now for the Chili Oil….

Chili Oil from The Inspired Vegan:

I doubled the recipe below and it yielded just under half a jar.


4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/4 cup peanut oil

2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil


Place the red pepper flakes in a heatproof medium-size bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the oils and heat until hot but not smoking, about 2 minutes.  Pour over the red pepper flakes and let cool, stirring a few times, for about 20 minutes.

Store in a jar at room temp and add to soups, rice bowls, dressings, anything! So yummy 🙂

~The Vegan Project



  1. you should check out my vegan e-cookbook, it just came out!

    • Bridget says:

      What a coincidence, Paul! My girlfriend just sent me the article in the Georgia Straight. I will download it now and start exploring 🙂

  2. Check out Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook if you don’t already know it.

    Not vegan but can be adapted. Highly original with middle eastern influence.


  1. […] keep with my recent pledge of delving into my cookbook collection and expanding my culinary knowledge, I decided to start with […]

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