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.

26th Annual Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off

This year’s annual Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off will be held Sunday October 26, 2014 from 12:00 NOON – 4:00 PM at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The cook-off is currently seeking contenders and booth sponsors, and we highly encourage our readers to take part in this great Austin tradition!

If you recall, Coseppi Kitchen did really well in the last two Vegetarian Chili Cook-Offs, sweeping first place awards in 2012, and taking home the judge’s silver last year.

More information about the Chili Cook-Off can be found at: You can also follow the event on Facebook to stay up-to-date with event information

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

25th Annual Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship – 2nd Place All-Veg

25th Annual Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship

25th Annual Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship

Last Sunday, Taylor and I competed again in the Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship, America’s longest running vegetarian chili cook-off. We were joined by Taylor’s parents and her good friend Linda for a long, fun day of cooking, serving, and eating chili. Having won first place All-Veg and People’s Choice last year, we had a lot on the line defending our title. Due to its overwhelming success last year we decided to stick with our Black Bean, Eggplant, and Lentil Chili (click for the recipe!).

Our day started bright and early at 8 AM when we arrived to the competition site, had our ingredients inspected to ensure vegan-compliance, and then got to work prepping our ingredients. We then cooked our first 3-gallon batch to begin serving the public tasters at noon. Meanwhile, our second 3-gallon batch stewed away so that we would have enough to serve the hundreds of people who came by our booth until about 4 PM. At about 5 PM winners were announced by the competition’s organizer, Brendan Good of  the Vegetarian Network of Austin. Coseppi Kitchen ended up taking 2nd place in the All-Veg (no meat-substitute) division, and also 2nd place in the People’s Choice award. While we didn’t end up sweeping the competition like we did last year, we definitely felt the level of competition and quality of chilies increased this year, meaning a big win for everyone involved.

Congratulations to Whole Foods for taking 1st place All-Veg and Primarily Primates for their People’s Choice award! Primarily Primates has a great mission of providing a sanctuary to house, protect, and rehabilitate various non-native animals (mostly apes and monkeys!).

We also want to thank Johnson’s Backyard Garden for providing such great organic vegetables for us to use in our chili!

Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship – Next Sunday!

This coming Sunday, November 10, is the 25th Annual Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship! This year’s competition will be held from 12pm til 5pm at 4301 West William Cannon at MoPac here in Austin (map).

Taylor and I will be competing again this year, but this time with a title to defend (we won the All-Veg division and the People’s Choice award last year)!

This long-running chili competition features all vegan chili from teams around Texas and beyond, and is sure to be a great time. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, come on out to have fun, taste and learn about delicious vegetarian food, and vote for your favorite team (which we hope will be us)!

Also, if you’d like to compete, registration is currently still open.

Hope to see you there!

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.

Cupcakes and Cocktails 2013

Please join us this Friday evening for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s annual fundraising event, Cupcakes and Cocktails, benefiting the Arc of the Capital Area.  There will be drinks from local favorites such as Treaty Oak, T1 Tequila, and Hops & Grain, as well as desserts from a whole slew of great local pastry chefs and restaurants. More information on AFBA’s event page, or just cut to the chase and purchase tickets here (only $35!).

Activist Snacks

activists A lot of  people from Austin, Texas, and around the country have recently spent time at the Texas Capitol making their voices heard! All of that chanting, tweeting, and milling around can take a lot of energy, and while many Austin eateries have shown support, some activists with special dietary preferences may want to pack a lunch. So in between donated goodies from East Side Pies and Tiff’s Treats, activists with a kitchen at their disposal may want to try these quick, nourishing, and durable recipes.

  • Chickpea “Tuna” Salad – This is a versatile protein-packed vegan, gluten-free salad that packs well in a sandwich or with some crackers or carrot sticks.
  • May Lentil Loaf – This takes a little more time to make, but I imagine it as a modern day loaves and fishes– if you bring a lentil loaf to a march or committee hearing you can feed yourself and your new closest 40 friends a hearty, delicious, energy-packed meal.
  • Mujadara – More nutrient dense lentils! This middle eastern salad is good hot or cold and tastes great on its own, on salads, or in pita.
  • Blueberry Oat Protein Bars – This is a good one to have in your back pocket. Munch one before you link arms and you will be full and satisfied all the way to county lock up.
  • Sweet Potato and Broccoli Pasties – This dish was traditionally made by women first thing in the morning for the menfolk heading off to the factories and mines. Maybe sometime in the next 30 days some helpful allies can whip these up for women marching off in the bowels of the capitol extension.
  • Kabocha Squash and Quinoa Tamales with Aji – Tamales are great to-go foods and the squash (available now from Johnson’s Backyard Garden) helps keep the dough moist, adds a healthy veggie, and a delicious flavor.
  • Quinoa Tabouli Salad – Quinoa is a super food for the wonder women (and men) that need all the help they can get. This salad will hold up will for several hours in a backpack. Consider pairing with the Mujadara in a pita pocket with some hummus and you’ll have what it takes to shout for days.
  • Veggie Spring Rolls – Spring rolls are a great way to eat a lot of veggies. If you are packing them for lunch or a snack minimize the amount of liquid in the rolls. Don’t forget your protein-loaded peanut sauce.
  • Barton Creek Market Bars – It will be hard to keep going without something sweet. These bars satisfy the need for a nice treat while still giving you the energy and nutrition your body (and cause) needs.
  • Pistachio Biscotti – Biscotti are a great snack, pair well with your first (or fifth) coffee, and will last for days moving from the temperature differential of the South Lawn to the Senate Chamber.


Lexington Kentucky

Kentucky 2013

Kentucky 2013

Kentucky is not only home to horses and bourbon,  but for the last three years it has been home to my sister Jordan while she attended law school in Lexington. Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit her there one last time for her graduation. In addition to spending time with friends and family celebrating the occasion I also had a chance to sample some of the local delicacies.

James and I are bourbon drinkers, and in previous visits to Kentucky I have trekked out to Woodford Reserve which occupies an idyllic piece of land right in the heart of horse country (suspiciously idyllic according to the owner of Garrison Brothers who claims that Woodford lets Old Forester do their distilling). On this trip our family toured Buffalo Trace – a real working distillery which is evident by the strong odor of corn mash in the air and the hundreds of compact warehouses on the property. Bourbon distillation has taken place at this location in Kentucky for the last 200 years, including a “medicinal” trade during prohibition. In its history, the property’s stills and warehouses have passed through a number of hands and are currently in the possession of the Sazerac Company – a brand with its own proud history and New Orleans roots.  Today Buffalo Trace makes  many of the best regarded bourbons in America, including Pappy Van Winkle and Stagg. While the price tag on those brands is a little high for my taste, Buffalo Trace also makes the more affordable Eagle Rare (my personal favorite), Buffalo Trace, Blanton, and about a dozen other labels.

While this trip’s bourbon tasting started at Buffalo Trace, it did not end there. Jordan’s graduation coincided with the derby weekend! The derby, often called the most exciting two minutes of sports, takes place in Louisville, but it may as well be an official holiday for the whole state. We attended a viewing party at Keeneland for a day of races, socializing, snacks, and more bourbon! The food was surprisingly vegetarian friendly with a variety of salads, fresh fruit, and pasta. Makers Mark is one of Keeneland’s sponsors and the drink menu was limited to: 1) Mint Julep, 2) Keeneland Breeze, or 3) straight bourbon. There were few complaints.

After all the festivities on derby Saturday, the focus shifted to more healthful foods on Sunday. Jordan swears by Sarah Mediterranean Grill which she says is the best Middle Eastern food she has had since deploying to Iraq. Having never been to the Middle East I have no basis for comparison, but the Mujadara, cucumber salad, and flat bread are something I would go out of my way for next time I am in central Kentucky.  I also really enjoyed the simple, seasonal, and tasty Triple Crown Salad at the Courtyard Deli in downtown Lexington.

Gastronomically speaking, I always leave Kentucky satisfied but knowing that there is so much more to explore. Some day I would love to take in the whole Bourbon trail, try the fine dining joints in Louisville, and grill out over a camp fire near the Cumberland Gap. This trip I left very happy with all that I had the chance to experience with my family, looking forward to the next opportunity to visit the Bluegrass State, and very proud of my sister as embarks on her career as an attorney!

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