He’s realistic and knows not everyone will become vegan overnight, or ever. But he applauds every step people make toward a plant-based diet.
“People who switch to almond milk? Far out. People who do meatless Mondays? Absolutely awesome,” he said. “Effort is extraordinary, whether it’s large or small.”
And he believes those baby steps can add up over time.
“(To go from) eating a beef burger to eating our burger to eating a black-bean burger to eating just black beans — that’s a simple way of a healthier journey,” White said.
His journey as a restaurateur shows no signs of slowing. He just signed a lease to take over the space in Sebastopol left vacant by the Slice of Life restaurant, which, in a case of life coming full circle, is where White worked in high school.
The menu, when the new restaurant opens in the spring, will be largely the same as at the Mendocino Avenue location. But in a nod to the storefront’s history, White said he’ll add pizza at the Sebastopol location, with a lofty goal for his vegan pies.
“I’m going to bat those out of the park,” he said. “I want to make the best damned pizza around.”
This recipe, which is made in a 14-inch skillet is enough to feed a crowd or to have plenty of leftovers for an easy workday breakfast. To make in a 10-inch skillet, cut the amount of ingredients in half. Cozy Plum owner Charles White III recommends serving this with a drizzle of chipotle flavored Bitchin’ Sauce, which is available in the refrigerated section of most markets.
Makes 8 – 12 servings
32 ounces of Just Egg liquid
⅓ cup vegan cream (Oatly Full Fat is recommended)
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ cup good-quality olive oil
4 cups fingerling potatoes, diced small
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup garlic, minced
2 cups bell peppers (red, green, yellow or combination), diced small
2 cups yellow onion, diced small
2 tablespoons vegan butter (such as Miyokos)
6 cups baby spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine Just egg, cream, pepper, herbs, red pepper flakes and celery salt and whisk vigorously until combined well. Or you can put ingredients in a blender and blend for approximately 15 to 20 seconds. Set aside.
In a 14-inch nonstick pan, add olive oil and heat over medium-high. Once oil is shimmering and hot, add diced potatoes and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add a big pinch of salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes until garlic is softened and turns a light golden color.
Add pepper and onions and continue to cook vegetable mixture until potatoes are just tender.
Season mixture again with more salt and pepper, to taste, then add vegan butter and stir. Add baby spinach and stir gently with a spatula, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
Reduce heat to low. Re-whisk the egg mixture briefly, then add it to the skillet with the vegetables. Stir gently to incorporate ingredients as evenly as possible with the egg mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until eggs begin to firm up on the bottom.
Transfer skillet to the preheated oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes. After 6 minutes of baking time, remove pan from oven and spray the top of the frittata with olive oil. After 12 minutes of baking, cover frittata with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil and return to oven.
Once the frittata is set, remove from oven, remove the lid or foil and cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 to 12 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
Cozy Plum Blueberry Almond Salad
Makes 2 – 4 servings
For the salad
4 cups organic mixed greens
¼ cup organic blueberries
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 large strawberries
Balsamic glaze (not vinegar, see Note)
½ teaspoon everything bagel seasoning
Fleur de sel or other finishing salt
Apple Mango Vinaigrette, recipe follows
In a large mixing bowl add greens, blueberries and sliced almonds. Drizzle with olive oil and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice (be careful to catch seeds and discard). Gently toss and divide the mixture evenly among 2 to 4 plates.
Slice strawberries into thin coins across the top of each salad. Drizzle lightly with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning and fleur de sel.
Just before serving, drizzle with Apple Mango Vinaigrette.
Note: Balsamic glaze is a reduction of balsamic vinegar and a sweetener such as maple syrup or honey. You also can buy it at some grocers, such as Trader Joe’s.
Apple Mango Vinaigrette
Makes 1 ½ cups dressing
8 ounces mango puree
8 ounces apple puree
½ cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon rosemary salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a 4-cup measuring cup or mixing bowl, combine fruit puree and olive oil. Whisk to emulsify.
Add all remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly to combine.
Keep leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can reach Staff Writer Jennifer Graue at 707-521-5262 or [email protected]