Dining at the Ravens, review, recipe and giveaway

Grab a peppermint tea, sit back and relax.

When I first opened up the  Dining At The Ravens, by Jeff and Joan Stanford, I must admit I was intimidated by it. The recipes looked complicated. But then I started reading, and lost myself in their story.

When Jeff and Joan first opened up the Ravens it started out as a vegetarian restaurant, but when they went vegan, so did the menu. They use fresh wholesome food. They don’t use seitan or soy isolates, and try to limit tofu as a condiment. (I think that’s why I found it intimidating at first.) Every single dish, is made fresh, with real whole food.

Here’s a sampling of what recipes are in the book:

Breakfast: Ravens Frittata and quiche, Live scramble (raw dish), Garden scramble, Ravens chilaquiles.

Breads and baked goods: Rusitc bread, whole wheat hamburger buns, The Standford Inn By the Sea famous scones.

Sauces, Dips and Spreads: Kale sauce, Ravens Lemon Tahini sauce, Salsa cruda, Ravens BBQ sauce, avocado mousse.

Appetizers and sides: Lime-infused roasted asparagus with morel sauce, dolmas, Indian-spiced kale with potato omelet, Dos tacos, Sea palm sliders.

Salads and Dressings: salad napoleon, kale salad with avacdo lime verjus dressing, Valentine’s poached pear and grilled endive salad.

Soups: Ravens all-purpose vegetable stock, roasted fennel and cannellini bean soup with garlic and sage, asparagus soup with pistachio cream.

Entrees: Ravens Reuben, Begger’s purse, Black pepper fettuccine with chardonnay sauce and grilled asparagus, paella. forbidden risotto with sunchoke lemon cream, raw lasagna.

Desserts: Carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, pecan torte,

Pantry Basics: herbed chickpea crepe, mexican rice.

Every recipe has a little story or intro to it with a picture. Which is one of things I love about this book. I have never chatted with Jeff or Joan, but I feel like I know them, and these recipes are like family secrets being passed down to me (and to all that purchase the book).

This is the second recipe I’ve tried from the book: this recipe is rich, luxurious yet oh so simple to make. I had time to help the kids with homework while it cooked for the 40 mins. If you want it to look rustic, don’t blend it  but pull out your blender to make it look pretty for your guests.



Potato Leek Soup with Drunken Leeks*


4–6 servings


This is one of The Ravens’ very popular soups. When it’s on the menu at night, the next day there’s none left for the staff “family meal.”


In the days of root cellars, potato leek soups were commonly served in winter. We serve this soup year-round.


2 tablespoons olive oil

4–5 medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

⅓ cup minced parsley

3 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced

6 cups Ravens All-Purpose Vegetable Stock (page 163) or store-bought vegan broth

1/2 cup coconut cream (use the top layer of coconut cream from a can of coconut milk)

1–2 tablespoons lemon juice to taste

Salt and white pepper to taste

Drunken Leeks (see note)

Crispy Leeks (see note)

Tangy Sour Crème, for garnish (page 262)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add potatoes, celery, parsley, and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 8–12 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Leave chunky, or blend in a high-speed blender to desired texture.
  4. Lastly, add the coconut cream, and season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and white pepper.
  5. Garnish with Drunken Leeks, Crispy Leeks, and Tangy Sour Crème, in that order.


To make the Drunken Leeks: Cut 2 leeks lengthwise into thin strips. In a heavy sauté pan, wilt the leek strips in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Douse wilted leeks with 1 cup red wine and simmer for 10 minutes.


To make the Crispy Leeks: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice 1 leek into 1/4-inch disks and sauté in 1 teaspoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a sheet tray and crisp up in oven for 15 minutes, or until browned.




Makes 1 3/4 cups


*the above recipe and image used with permission by BenBella Books.

I think I’m going to grab another tea, and a freshly made chocolate chip cookie, and day dream about the Inn that overlooks the bay, as the sun sets – painting a lovely backdrop. I hope one day I will be able to visit. It’s going to feel like going back home and visiting family.

To find out more about Jeff and Joan visit them on facebook, Twitter and of course their website: Stanford Inn

BenBella sent me out a copy of this book and is going to send out a copy to the lucky winner- Good luck 🙂

The giveaway is now over!

Congratulations Julie L!!

Click on the link for your chance to win Jeff and Joan’s Dining at the Ravens, click on the link. I’m having problem with being able to post the image. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Good luck!!


Check out these awesome bloggers and see what they have to say-

blog tour

Book Review of Plant Powered Families


Over 100 kid tested- whole food vegan recipes, by Dreena Burton. OVER 100 recipes.

Part 1, there’s an intro to eating with plant power including Dreena’s story. A handy guide to what you should have in your pantry. And she talks about plant power batch cooking. I’m all for batch cooking. I know that I can go to my freezer and pull something out that’s healthful and not have to resort to some junky processed foods because I’m in a hurry.

Part 2: plant powered recipes

Sugar N spice cake pg 204, vanilla bean almond butter fudge pg. 197, no- bake granola bars pg, 190, “nicer” krispie squares pg. 186, natural berry jam pg. 179, chocolate chia pudding pg. 174, ultimate teriyaki stir fry pg. 166, tofu in cashew ginger sauce (I used the sauce over rice, but didn’t add the tofu- added chickpeas instead) pg.156, home fries pg. 152, balsamic glazed seasoned yam fries, mac-nificent pg.134, thick n hearty tomato sauce pg. 133, Creamy Fettuccine pg. 130, chick n rice soup pg. 126, sniffle soup pg.122, smoky bean chili pg.121, super cheesy sprinkle pg. 113, cheesy Caesar dressing pg. 106, red lentil hummus pg. 87, mild cheesy dip pg.83, chickpea nibbles pg. 77, chickpea salad pg. 64, apple spice hemp muffin pg. 52, best banana bread pg.48- just a few recipes that I have made. Click on the links for the recipes.

Part 3, challenges and solutions. Dreena has 3 kids so I’m pretty sure at some point she’s had some challenges during meals. She talks about the 3 C’s: consistent, certain and calm. Don’t give up. She offers sound advice and handy tips to help avoid the dinner table looking like a battlefield. Stuff like how to involve your children, get them interested, how to make it interesting to them and some of the culprits that might causing the food fight.

Who hasn’t had to face the “dreaded” bday invite? How should you deal with that? Without offending the host. Well there’s tips on how to handle not only that, but hosting your own plant power parties , with the most popular recipes kids love.

Part 4: Support, including DIY staples, cooking guides, meal plans and FAQ’s. I love how wholesome the menu plan is. There’s a nutritional breakdown, so you know that you are providing your family with all the nutrients they need.  She answers questions about protein, soy and so on. Has nutrient charts, did you know that 1/2 cup of brown rice has 2.5 g or 8% protein of calories? Now you do.

I think this is a MUST have book for anyone that has children, or watches children. Or even for those without kids.



Buy your copy here: Plant Powered Families*

What is your favorite Dreena recipe?

Note* the pictures are from amazon.ca and contain affiliate links.

Meal Plan Jan 18-24

The week flew by, I don’t know where the time goes. The only good thing about it, it means spring will be here before we know it. 

Heres what we’re cooking up from Vegan in the Freezer:

Red lentil soup

Rainbow veggie hash


use hashtags #veganinthefreezer so we can see what you’re cooking.

From the Veggie Queen’s site:

Lemon scented spinach spread

Saffron quinoa with veggies


use hashtag #theveggiequeen

open juice bar this week 🙂 have fun!!

What are you juicing this week?





Pressure cooker soup stock

I made Jill’s 5 minute soup stock the other day. I used carrots, celery, green onion, garlic, parsley, peppercorns, ends of green beans and I’m sure a few other odds and ends off veggies that I needed for other dishes. I put in something different something that wasn’t mentioned in the recipe…….. Can you guess what I added?


If you guessed veggie pulp you are correct! I line the pulp container with a produce bag, and freeze the pulp. You can use the pulp for making crackers, muffins, cookies, add to soups- why waste perfectly good produce? The mixture I used was carrots, apples and lemon.

I’ve made this stock before, and it’s good as is, but the apple and lemon made the flavour pop.

What goes into your soup stock?


Cook along Jan 4- 10

Hi everyone! I’m going to be hosting a cook along. I’ll be posting new recipes each Friday so you can shop for the ingredients over the weekend (late start, but I know you have potatoes and other veggies)

Ginny McMeans’s new book The Make Ahead Vegan is going to be out in stores later this month, but head over to Amazon and pre-order yours now. During the month of Jan we’re going to be cooking recipes from Vegan in the Freezer.

What I love about this site is almost every recipe can be made ahead of time- so you can just pull it out of your freezer and have a healthful meal instead of eating junk food.

Make as many dishes as you want, take some pictures and use the hashtag #veganinthefreezer so we can find you easily on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Mashed potatoes

Grilled veggies

Stuffed shells


How to blanch veggies

If you would like to follow us on Facebook join whole foods plant based cooking tips.

For those with a pressure cooker, I’m going to be making these recipes in honour of Jill’s a.k.a the veggie queen new book (out later this month) Vegan Under Pressure. What I love about this site- wonderful healthful meals made in minutes. Jill has a utube channel that you should check out. A step by step visual. With the ease of an instant pot you don’t need to babysit your food. You can shower, clean the kitchen, help the kids with homework- or do nothing at all 🙂

Soup stock

Steel cut oats

Middle eastern chickpea soul with spinach

Use the hashtag #theveggiequeen so we can find follow along. You can follow us on Facebook – join plant based instant pot people. I’ll be posting recipes on the blog each Friday as this cook along isn’t an official one in the group.

I’m not posting a menu plan, as I don’t really have time for that and I’m working on more projects which I’m not willing  to chat about yet, but you will be the first one to know what I’m up to, in the future.

What is you favorit make ahead meal or pressure cooker meal?



Soup’s On!

Yummy in the pot:

Yummy in the pot

Veggie broth (from last soup I made), garlic, onions, cabbage, Yu choy, stewed tomatoes, red kidney beans, black beans and rice noodles because I wanted something different from the usual potatoes – it was an excellent choice.  Spices – Curry, smoked paprika, s & p, crushed chilies, and oregano.

Yummy in a bowl and even yummier in my tummy:

Yummy in a bowl