Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My first published recipe

Few months ago I entered the annual Vegetarian Times Magazine recipe contest. This year's theme was "holiday favorites from around the world" and I decided to send them my veganized recipe for a traditional Czech Christmas dinner. Traditional Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic is fried carp, fried chicken, or fried schnitzel and potato salad. Here, the chicken was replaced by Gardein Chick’n.
In order to participate in this contest, contestants had to use some ingredients from the contest sponsors so I had to recreate my recipe based on the sponsors brand names, but luckily it turned out great. I don't usually measure anything when I make the potato salad, plus sometimes I am out of certain root vegetables or don't want to bother peeling the potatoes....My favorite vegan mayo has always been Vegenaise (Original) and I was happy that I could use it in my contest recipe. I have tried several vegan mayo products and nothing came even close to this one. It has the right amount of sweetness and sourness and it has a very pleasant flavor that mimics the real mayo. It is not too thin or too thick unlike other vegan mayo products that I have tried.
I entered their annual recipe contest every year for the past three years and never won, until now.
They received hundreds of recipes this year and picked the best. I won a cookbook and my recipe was chosen as an honorable mention in this contest. I am really happy about this. The three years of trying finally paid off. The recipe was just featured in the newest issue of Vegetarian Times Magazine (November/December 2010). But enough bragging about myself....
I "stole" the nice picture from Vegetarian Times Magazine since my picture was not nearly as pretty as theirs.
Her is the recipe if you want to try it. Please, let me know if you try it, I would like to know your opinions. What are your traditional holiday meals?
You can create the recipe using other brands of your favorite and easily available product. I use German or Polish pickles (gherkins) since they are very similar to Czech pickles.

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (2 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 cup)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 cup)
1 cup frozen peas
6 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 cup Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
2 Tbs. yellow mustard
2 Tbs. Fleischmann’s organic white vinegar
1 tsp. Florida Crystals natural cane sugar
2 7-oz. pkg. Gardein Chick’n Filets or
2 9-oz. pkg. Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

1. Cook celery root, carrots, and parsnips in large pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Add peas, and cook 5 minutes more. Drain, and cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, place potatoes in large pot of cold salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and cool completely.
3. Stir together onion, Vegenaise, pickles, mustard, vinegar, and sugar in large bowl. Add cooled vegetables, and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4. Prepare Chick’n Filets according to package directions. Serve warm Chick’n Filets with potato salad and lemon wedges.


  1. How great that you won the Vegetarian Times recipe contest! Congrats!

  2. Congratulations! I bet this is delicious!

  3. Sounds delicious! Congratulations!

  4. Congrats! That is so fabulous that you won!

  5. Congrats!
    I've never tried any kind of vegan mayo so far, but you just made me realize I might have been missing out on something. ;)

  6. Yum! Thanks for this, it looks great! I am Polish and my husband's family is Czech, so it's so cool to have a vegan Christmas dinner laid out like this!

  7. How fantastic! Congratulations!

  8. Congratulations, that's really cool!! In our family (well, my in-laws) holidays are very centered around meat. Me being the only vegan, I have veganized a few things that we can all eat together. Like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, etc. They have yet to even go NEAR a Tofurkey roast though!

  9. Congratulations on having your recipe published! Your recipe looks amazing and relatively simple to prepare I can't wait to try it :)

  10. Congratulations. I remember reading about your dinner!

  11. nomnomnomblog.com: How do you like American pickles? I prefer Polish, Czech (cannot find them here) and German pickles instead

    BunzOfCinnamon: I like to make mashed potatoes for family dinner, too. Nobody misses the butter and cows milk.

  12. Hi Elizabeth, I have a Czech friend who comes for Christmas every year and brings her non-vegan versions of Czech recipes to enjoy herself. I'd like to make vegan ones this year and (try to) impress her. Are you able to post more vegan czech christmas recipes? Thanks!

  13. Kate Quinn-Your friend would never guess that the Christmas potato salad is vegan. You can make it a day ahead and keep in the fridge. Please, make sure that you use the original Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise since it gives it the most authentic flavor. I tried other brands, but it was not the same. If you cannot find celery root or parsnip, don't panic. As long as you use the rest of the ingredients you will be fine. I use German or Polish pickles for authentic flavor. To make the meal even more traditional, you can bread the fake meat and fry then fry it. The lemon should be squeezed on top of the breaded and fried "schnitzel". I am not planning on making any special Christmas recipes this year, I will make the dinner and some cookies, but I will post more Czech recipes on this blog in the future. here is a quick and easy Czech Christmas recipe for an appetizer.
    "Mushroom Kuba" (Kuba means Jacob)
    1/2 pound peeled barley
    handful of dried porcini or other mushrooms (soaked in water for few hours)
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 small onion, chopped
    ground caraway seeds
    dried marjoram
    black pepper and salt to taste

    Cook the barley in boiling water until soft. Drain.
    Saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms until soft. Add the barley and season with spices.
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the barley mixture in a greased pan for about 20-30 minutes.

  14. hmmm, I don't boil my vegetables...I always chop the root vegetables and then saute them to carmalize. I think it gives it more flavor. I'm Czech and have been here since 1985. Thats how my mother always did it. I came across your site through Czechmate Diary, I cannot find your Vepro, knedlo, zelo recipe that Tana talked about on Czechmate Diary?


  15. @Alenka-That sounds great! I will have to try sautéing the veggies next time. I do not have a recipe for knedlo, zelo, vepro here, but it will be in my cookbook. I have other Czech recipes here though-Chlupate knedliky, Zemlovka, Gulas, etc. Are you a vegan-vegetarian?

  16. No, I am not vegan-vegetarian, but I could live on knedliky alone if I had too. hahaha. I do appreciate a lot of meals w/o meat. I have some good friends that have been vegetarians for 20+ years and I would love to cook them a hearty Czech meal. Nice recipe blog! ~Alenka

    1. Thank you! I hope that your friends will enjoy some of my recipes :-)