The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Classical Vegetarian Cookbook, by Chef Ron Pickarski

Posted on July 24, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor
photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Ron Pickarski is a veteran Executive Chef, IKA Culinary Olympic Gold Medalist, and creator of vegan food items sold under his Eco-Cuisine® line. Pickarski has written a new vegan cookbook for consumers that includes over 400 recipes with multiple variations as well. You’ll find numerous helpful tips and recipes ranging from salads, dressings, and condiments to side dishes, sauces, soups, sandwiches, entrées, pastries, and other desserts. Sample dishes include Asian Coleslaw, Coconut Lemon Cream Cheese, Squash Polenta with Fennel, Cajun Roux, French Curry Sauce, New England Sea Vegetable Chowder, BBQ Tempeh, Seitan Swiss Steak, Italian Pistachio Pilaf, Florentine Cookies, Mango Sorbet, Lime Torte, Brownies, and much more. Please note that this is a gourmet vegan cookbook. Photos are included.

Below are two recipes from this book to enjoy this summer.

Quinoa Bean Salad with Sundried Tomatoes
(Makes 4¾ cups)

1½ cups cooked kidney beans, drained (15 ounce can)
1½ cups cooked black beans, drained (15 ounce can)
1½ cups cooked quinoa
½ cup whole kernel corn, frozen, thawed
½ cup roasted walnuts
½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup fresh stemmed, chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon agave syrup or organic sugar
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in any order. Best to refrigerate the salad for at least an hour to let the ingredients fuse.

Italian Pistachio Pilaf
(Makes 6½ cups)

1¾ cups water
1 cup white basmati rice
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onions
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
2 cups seitan, thinly sliced
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons fennel seed powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup sliced scallions
½ cup chopped pistachios (optional to roast nuts)

In a 2-quart sauce pan, bring water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the rice and ½ teaspoon salt; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed. Turn heat off, fluff rice with a fork, then set aside.

In a 10-inch frying pan, sauté onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the seitan, pepper, fennel seed powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, scallions, and pistachios; mix well and serve.

Variation: Substitute beans, tempeh, or tofu for the seitan.

The Classical Vegetarian Cookbook (ISBN 978-0-692-41536-8) is a 400-page hardcover book. It is published by Eco-Cuisine Inc. and you can purchase this book for $35.98 at

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