Category Archives: The Lords Plate

Holiday Baking: Manchego Cheese Wafers

Manchego Cheese Wafers, ready to go in the oven

In the food magazine world, when someone comes up with a new recipe, the term used is “recipe development.” I like the expression a lot because “developing” is distinct from “inventing” or “creating.” Most recipes are, in fact, based on previous recipes, dishes other cooks and chefs have made … and it is a rare occasion indeed when a recipe developer comes up with something that has never (apparently) been done before. And so, anybody and everybody can be a recipe developer. All it takes is a little imagination.

Case in point: Some impromptu recipe tweaking I did while doing my holiday baking. I wanted to make Cheddar cheese wafers, a Southern classic I absolutely adore, but I wanted to make them a little more, well, fancy. Gourmet. Unusual. Whatever. The original recipe is simple: butter, Cheddar, flour, cayenne pepper, and Rice Krispies. Roll into balls, flatten into rounds, top with a pecan, and bake until golden.

I had a huge chunk of Manchego cheese that needed to be used up, so I decided my cheese wafers were going to be Manchego this year. That shifted the flavor palette from Southern to Spanish, so I switched out the cayenne pepper for some Espelette pepper powder from the Basque country. I rolled the dough between two sheets of wax paper and cut it with fluted cutters to save time, skipped the pecans and instead topped the creations with pumpkin seeds. And there it was, a whole “new” recipe. I didn’t test it with non-dairy ingredients, but I bet it would work as a vegan hors d’oeuvre as well. Here it is for you to try:

Manchego Cheese Wafers
Makes about 50 wafers

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. Espelette pepper powder or Aleppo pepper powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups (8 oz.) grated Manchego cheese
1½ cups flour
1 cup Rice Krispies
Raw pumpkin seeds, for garinsh

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Beat together butter, pepper powder, and salt with electric mixer until smooth and butter begins to turn pale orange. Beat in cheese until creamy, then beat in flour. Stir in Rice Krispies.
2. Press dough into ball, then flatten into disk. Place disk between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper, and roll to 1/3-inch thickness with rolling pin.
3. Cut dough into 1 to 1½-inch circles with round cutter. Place wafers on ungreased baking sheet, and top each with 1 pumpkin seed. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges and bottoms begin to turn golden. Cool on wire rack.



Gingery sweet potato and apple saute with toasted almonds [Vegan]

This recipe has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors to create something really interesting and delicious — and healthy!

Become independent:

Good News! Stories We Dig From Around the Web

A round-up of VT editors’ favorite newsworthy links.


To encourage people to waste less, San Francisco may ban the sale of plastic water bottles at big events on public property. Instead, water fountains and bottle-filling stations would be installed. We’ll drink to that! [San Francisco Examiner]

Domino’s brings vegan pizza to Israel! The new pie will feature lots of veggies and a soy-based topping. (FYI: according to a Domino’s spokesperson, vegan pizza is not on the horizon for stateside Domino’s locations.) [NPR]

Inspired by the animal doc Blackfisheight bands canceled performances at a SeaWorld music fest. The film, shortlisted for the Oscars, exposes the cruelty of keeping orca whales in captivity. [Ecorazzi]


10 most loved vegetarian and vegan recipes of 2013

These are the most popular recipes from The Cooking Project this year, and I have to say, you all sure love your avocados!

Become independent:

The Find: Vegan Bags

Veganism seems to be growing ever popular these days, and just as there is greater interest in making healthy and delicious vegan foods, many fashionable vegans are creating fabulous cruelty-free accessories. There was once a time when a beautiful and ethically made bag was an oxymoron. These days there are plenty of eco-loving designers making compassionate accessories. Let’s go shopping!

1. Matt & Nat  Words to describe Material & Nature (Mat & Nat): classy, elegant, functional, cool. The Montreal-based company makes bags of all sizes, shapes, and colors for women and men. Their commitment to sustainability makes buying one of their bags feel so good! (One example: the beautiful linings of their bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.) On my wish list: their Epea tote in taupe ($145). They also produce an exclusive line for Apple products.

2. Cornelia Guest  I really like the woman behind these fabulous handbags. Ms. Guest is the daughter of 50s style icon C.Z. Guest and a champion polo player. She’s a socialite with a serious love for animals, and she uses her social status to raise support for animal welfare. Sold at stores like Bloomingdale’s and Intermix, Cornelia Guest bags are definitely pricey. If you’re looking to splurge on an ethical handbag, Cornelia Guest is where it’s at. On my wish list: the Olive Snake Weave Hobo ($300).

3. Pansy Maiden  This fun and casual bag brand is new to me, but Pansy Maiden has been sharing their vegan bags with the world since 2009! Their bags, for both men and women, are perfect for everyday use. The styles are functional (check out their bike handlebar satchel), and delightfully affordable. On my wish list: the Lady Day Shoulder Clutch in coral ($65).

Do you have a vegan bag you love? Let us know in the comments!


Jenné Claiborne is passionate about helping women adopt and maintain a plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight, and feel their very best. She is the founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York–based personal chef service. She is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips, and cooking videos. In 2013, Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, an interactive online program that takes the guess work out of becoming vegan. Follow Jenné on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Veg Celeb: Q&A with Terri Nunn

photo credit: Matt Beard

Interviewing electro-pop artist Terri Nunn, I totally get why she’s cohosting a radio show (Unbound with Terri Nunn on 88.5 FM KCSN). Besides that glorious voice, Nunn has opinions that feel lived-in, a no-holds-barred curiosity, and a livewire sense of humor. When I asked her about changes in the music scene since Berlin—the band she cofounded—launched in the late seventies, she laughed before responding, “It’s imploding!” Despite the music industry’s free-download breakdown, Nunn is surviving just fine. “I’m lucky,” she said, “because I love the live show, and that’s still flourishing.” Lately, Nunn is performing in support of Berlin’s seventh studio album, Animal. Before she started asking me questions, here’s how she responded to more of mine.


What motivated one of’s “100 Greatest Women in Rock” to earn a Master’s in Human Nutrition?

I had great parents, but they didn’t understand nutrition at all. They grew up in the martini generation, in the isn’t-it-great-to-have-TV-dinners generation. And I just followed through with that when I moved out on my own. Before I met John [Crawford] and started Berlin, I was a TV actress in my teens, and I remember watching my shows and looking at my skin, and even with the best lighting and my makeup and hair done for me, they couldn’t hide the fact that my skin was pasty and gray. It was horrible! I just started reading, and I found books on nutrition. Nutrition made sense to me. It’s something you can do for yourself, and within a week or two, you notice changes, across the board. Side effects in the medical world are usually bad, while with nutrition and eating right, the side effects are great—I would try things to make my skin better, and I’d notice, wow, my hair’s really manageable now; and oh, wow, I’ve got energy; and oh, wow, I’m losing weight. So, since I was interested in nutrition and I was doing all this reading anyway, I decided to go for the degree.  

photo credit: Matt Beard

What brought you back to being vegan after adding fish to your diet?

I started as a vegetarian at 19, and then in my 20s I became a vegan. I added fish back in my 40s, and then I read The China Study two years ago, and that was a life-changing book for me. With cancer in my family—with both my parents taken by it—knowing that I’m a candidate and wondering what I could do about it, and then reading that [book], it was like, well, there it is. Fish is an animal protein, and I’m not messing with that anymore.


Any go-to foods?

I’m a salad girl. I love salad. And I live on hummus and cut-up veggies on the road.


Where do you get your energy for touring and performing?

It comes from love, it comes from following my passion, and it comes from the food that I eat. It comes from exercise too, from movement. I notice that I get tired from just sitting around. Bodies need to move; they need to stretch; they need to dance. Both the food that I eat and movement are imperative for my energy levels.


You cowrite songs, you cohost a radio show, and you perform with bands. Do you thrive on collaboration?

I do, I love it. It’s pretty wondrous to get to work with talented people and be blown away by what they do. That’s the orgasm right there! Once you’ve made a career and you’re doing something that’s making you money and you’re able to provide for your family, then what is it about? For me, it’s the collaboration and it’s the live show. Both of those are high points of my life.