Coseppi Kitchen

Inclusive Vegetarian Cooking by Taylor Cook & James Seppi

Easiest Apple Cider


Carrie Kenny, owner of the Prizer Gallery, took this photo at the Farmshare Farm this spring. How ’bout them apples.

Fall started in Austin last weekend which meant that it was time for me to come out of my summer hibernation. I got back on my newly refurbished bike (thanks Peddler!) and rode it down to EastCiders for their first brewery tour. The brewery has been selling ciders in cans for almost  a year but this was one of the first times it was open to the public, and we enjoyed learning about their processes, trying all the ciders (except for the brisket), and  relaxing in the beautiful pavilion next to the old railway station by the brewery.

The trip and sudden autumnal onset inspired this recipe.


  • 1 gallon apple cider – get the nice organic stuff that comes in a glass bottle
  • 1 packet granulated dry white wine yeast
  • Airlock with bottle stopper


  1. Sanitize the airlock in a diluted bleach solution and set aside.*
  2. Open the cider and add a teaspoon of the yeast granules.
  3. Inset the airlock on the bottle and store in a cool dark closet.
  4. Allow to ferment for a few days then serve!

*Sanitizing solution is 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of water. Scale as needed.

SXSW Eco Falls Short, Cowspiracy, and Steamed Green Beans


I was fortunate to receive a badge to the South by Southwest Eco Conference this weekend. Since moving to Austin I have been a big fan of SXSW Conferences, namely the music “conference” when free parties, complete with mediocre food, drink, and music, take over most of Central Austin. It is baldfaced indulgent consumerist hedonism and, since I am human, I enjoy it. It is kind of like New Orleans at Mardi Gras when the whole town shows up to eat and drink the worst products that the culinary capitol of the South has to offer (seriously, king cake?) and fight over stands of molded plastic crafted by undoubtedly exploited people in a developing country. Mardi Gras has a built in reckoning though – Lent, a period of time for the whole city to face their shame in the vomit soaked bead strewn streets and try to be better people until Jazz Fest starts. At least I think that is the idea.

After SXSW Austin needs a moment of collective shame to reflect on what just happened. Instead, almost eight months later we get SXSW Eco where, as I found out, attendees learn that the climate is changing, oceans are dying, and the best thing any person can do is reconsider their landscape design and buy wedding rings from a company that promises to invest in clean water.

I want to be clear that I am not being critical of the ideas or companies that were present at the conference but I do think the conference itself was deeply flawed in two ways. First, I think the themes of the conference are not shame inducing enough.  The tracts with by far the most sessions were Business and Finance and Behavior and Design with titles such as “How Consumerism Can Actually Save the Environment” and a whole lot of “Startup (Mad Lib a noun or verb)”. I realize it is kind of the premise of the conference but this is not a town that needs more self-congratulatory attention for being a hub of profit-driven innovation.  We need shame to maintain balance and remain grounded in reality otherwise there is no nagging voice in our head to remind us that there are always tradeoffs. Where are the sessions on mining rare earth minerals and the increasing amount of energy it takes to run the planet’s server farms?

Second, I do have a problem with the “solutions” that were presented. Almost without exception the conference was thinking around the edges of the issue: What should I buy? What app should I use to buy it? What energy solutions should I implement to illuminate it? When it turns out to be made of a hereto unknown carcinogen should I recycle it? Most importantly, what green tourism experience should I enjoy to celebrate successfully maneuvering its product life cycle? When the problem is the wide-scale destruction of the entire plant, the extinction of the majority of species on it, and the probable collapse of human civilization as we know it, shouldn’t we discuss more potent solutions than xeriscaping and jewelry? Granted I did not go to all of the sessions because I am not magical but not once did I hear or see anything about the single most impactful thing that almost every person can do every day to drastically reduce water consumption, preserve wildlife habitat, and reduce our carbon foot print: don’t eat animals.

Last night, since I already purchased tickets to see Cowspiracy, I decided to risk one more nail in my Eco-emotional coffin and we went to see the documentary. I didn’t love everything about it but the facts behind the film are worth checking out. Here is a little synopsis of the highlights:

  • Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. That is the majority.
  • Growing feed for livestock accounts for 56% of water consumption in the United States. No amount of xeriscaping is going to make up for a hamburger habit.
  • Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Unless your appreciation for life on Earth is limited to soy, cows, and chronically ill people, then stop eating meat.

Take that disruptive technology.

Finally, since this is a food blog here is a photo of what I had for lunch and the recipe:

Steamed Green Beans

Steamed Green Beans

Steamed Green Beans

This is a healthy Thanksgiving side or a quick tasty lunch that will have you hungry again in time for dinner.


  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed
  • 1 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place a steam basket in a soup or stock pot with an inch of water. Add first three ingredients.
  2. Cover and steam beans over medium high heat until tender, about ten minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and season to taste.

Serving recommendation: Steam baskets make a convenient and rustically pleasing plate if you are eating alone.

Farmshare Austin Farm Raiser

2014 has proven to be a very busy year for us at Coseppi but I am happy to share the good news that our hard work is paying off. We should be moving in to our new and completely renovated house later this month and my work as the Executive Director of Farmshare Austin is keeping me busy this summer with a major fundraising push. farmraiser flyer final (black)

Farmshare is a new 501c3 dedicated to helping new organic vegetable growers succeed in this challenging field. This year we have secured a location for the educational farm, hired a wonderful farm manager and lead instructor to develop the program, and opened the application process for our first class of students.  In the next few months we will be working very hard to raise the remaining capital needed to build a classroom, furnish student housing, and provide scholarships.


Yummy yummy Farmshare peaches.

Friday, July 18th we will be be hosing a Farm Raiser at the Getaway Motor Club where we will launch this summer’s Indiegogo campaign. The Farm Raiser is going to be an eclectic community party including music by the Barn Owls, a pig roast provided by Moontower Coop’s Tony Grasso, and refreshments from Rogness Brewery, Wunder-Pilz, and Nile Valley Herbs.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchase at Anyone interested in volunteering or discounted press tickets should email me at

Bar Congress

Bar Congress

Bar Congress

Quick Information:

Bar Congress is the best place to enjoy a cocktail downtown when you need a break from mayhem, music, heat, and food trucks. The  cozy space– about a dozen seats at the bar and a few small tables– can be accessed by a Congress Avenue entrance or through its sister restaurant, Second Bar + Kitchen. The bar has a small selection of beers, most local, and a notable wine list, but what makes Bar Congress worth a visit are the mixed drinks.

and a Backslide

Hurricane Highball and a Backslide

There are an increasing number of locations in Austin to get a fine cocktail, but Bar Congress combines classic techniques and an attention to detail with unique flavors and house made ingredients to create beverages that are unrivaled in taste and quality.  Every time I read the ever evolving house cocktail menu I inevitably have questions. The bar staff is always extremely knowledgeable and friendly and always able to guide a thirsty patron to the right libation.

I would encourage a first time visitor to start by sampling a shift shot or two. These pre-mixed spirituous tasters give you the opportunity to sample some of the flavor combinations that characterize the menu. If you are at all peckish don’t miss out on the bar menu. Bar Congress shares a kitchen with Second Bar+Kitchen and the fries, kale chips, buffalo pickles, and other small plates are some of the best bar food in town.

No. 9 Dream- a zero-proof cocktail

No. 9 Dream – a zero-proof cocktail


This post is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide 2014

Cranberry Simple Syrup and Candied Cranberries


Like the holidays, this is a recipe that just keeps on giving.


  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar


  1. combine ingredients in a small sauce pan. Cover and heat slowly over low heat.
  2. Once the liquid starts to steam uncover and, sirring occasionally, continue to heat to just below simmering for 10 minutes. If the liquid boils, the cranberries will pop which is not optimal for the candied cranberries.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour. Transfer to a covered heat-safe bowl and refrigerate over night.
  4. Strain the cranberries from the liquid and refrigerated to use in other salads or in holiday baking. Keep liquid in a non-reactive airtight container and use within two weeks.

Cranberry Old Fashioned

An old fashioned is a really simple classic cocktail of sweetened bourbon with orange and maraschino cherry garnish. This recipe uses cranberry simple syrup in place of granulated sugar to bring out the holiday flavors and adds some orange juice for some added winter time  vitamin C.

Cranberry Old Fashioned

Cranberry Old Fashioned


  • 1.5 ounces of straight bourbon whiskey
  • .5 ounce cranberry simple syrup
  • .5 ounces of fresh orange juice, strained
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice


Stir bourbon, cranberry simple syrup, and orange juice. Pour over ice in an old fashioned glass. Add bitters and garnish with fresh cranberries and an orange twist.

Cranberry Nut Biscotti



  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons egg replacer
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup rice flour and extra for rolling
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange bitters (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, combine salt, baking powder, egg replacer, almond flour, and rice flour.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer blend vegan butter, sugar, orange juice, bitters, and orange zest.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. When the dough is consistent add the chopped cranberries and pecans.
  4. With rice-floured hands, roll the dough into two-inch wide rolls with flattened ends.
  5. Place these rolls onto well-oiled cookie sheets and bake  for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
  6. Remove the pans and reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees.
  7. Allow the rolls to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes, then cut the rolls into 1/2-inch wide slices to make the cookies. Place the cookies back on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the cookies and brown the other side.
  8. Cool the cookies on racks to keep them dry, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Seco de Verduras


Seco de Verduras with Tofu

With the weather taking another cold turn I thought it might be a good idea to have something flavorful and hearty ready for lunch tomorrow. I have also had Peruvian food on my mind since – big announcement – per our 2013 New Year’s resolution we are putting the finishing touches on our Peruvian Vegetarian Cookbook!

Seco is a traditional Peruvian stew with a pureed cilantro base. High in the Andes it takes extra time to cook potatoes and the in the process they become extremely soft and play an important role in thickening the texture of many stews. The dish is typically prepared with chunks of chicken or beef, but our vegetarian version simply omits the meat and adds a little tofu to the deliciously tender vegetables and flavorful sauce.


  • ¼ pound fresh cilantro, about 1 large bunch, washed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium purple onion, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups peas (frozen or fresh – if using fresh, boil until tender)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pounds white potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 key limes cut into wedges
  • Prepared rice or quinoa for serving


  1. Blend cilantro in a blender or food processor gradually adding about ½ cup of the broth until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, chili pepper, and minced garlic to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the processed cilantro and  remaining broth to the saucepan. Add the carrots, peas, and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are extremely soft and the broth begins to thicken- about 40 minutes.
  4. Season with salt to taste and serve with sliced lime and prepared rice or quinoa.

Poutine with Mushroom Gravy


We enjoyed a vegetarian poutine in Montreal a couple of years ago, but a vegan version? We had fun creating  these vegan “cheese” curds and a recipe that is a delicious and relatively healthy take on the Canadian classic dish of french fries and gravy.

Vegan Poutine with Mushroom Gravy

Vegan Poutine with Mushroom Gravy


Cheese Curds

  • 1 cup almond blanched almonds, soaked overnight (this is an ideal use for the pieces left over from making almond milk)
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup non-margarine vegan butter substitute
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth, warmed
  • salt to taste


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick fries
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick fries
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • salt to taste


  1. To make the cheese curds, combine almond curd, tofu, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and salt in a food processor until smooth. Spoon 1-teaspoon-sized balls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until firm, about 20 minutes. Set baked cheese curds aside to cool.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes and Yukon golds in a roasting pan. Drizzle with vegetable oil and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir gently then return to the oven until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are baking, prepare the gravy. In a large skillet, saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and flavorful, about 15 minutes. In another pan, melt the butter substitute over medium-low heat, then whisk in the rice flour to form a roux. Add the roux to the sauteed onions and mushrooms, then gradually whisk in the warm broth, making sure to break up any chunks of flour. Heat to simmer, turn off heat, then cover with a lid to keep warm.
  4. Assemble the poutine by putting a serving on a plate, adding a few cheese curds, and generously smothering in gravy

Note: I also like to garnish with additional roasted vegetables and fresh peppers. It adds some texture and color making it a more complete meal.

Spent Grain Muffins


Last weekend we volunteered at the Texas Craft Brewers’ Festival. We had a really nice time meeting brewers from all over the state, sampling some of the the unique beers on offer, and of course serving craft brews to the good people of Texas. In honor of another fantastic festival we wanted to post a delicious but healthy beer-related treat that will help get the rest of our week off to a good start.

Recently, we brewed a porter and used the spent grains to make some spent grain flour. This flour is a great high-fiber substitute for bran and a wonderful way to use the grains that are left over from brewing. These muffins use the spent grain flour with carrots, nuts, and other nutrient-dense foods to make a muffin that will help you get fueled for whatever fun you have planned for the day ahead.


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 cups spent grain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound carrots, grated
  • 1 cup unsweetened grated coconut
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. In a medium bowl, combine almond milk, vegetable oil, applesauce, molasses, brown sugar, and flax. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine spent grain flour, garbanzo flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in carrots, coconut, raisins, and nuts.
  4. Pour batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool then store in a sealed container at room temperature for a few days or refrigerated for up to a week.

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