Vintage cookbooks – Episode 1: Leprechaun Cake and Other Tales


Only after we received the third box in a single day did I figure that Evan had a new niche interest.  This is how it works: Evan reads a blog and they mention something that sparks his interest and before long, he has followed a hyperlink trail that ends with what I call a ‘theme spree’ on Amazon. The maiden theme spree was in the summer 2009 when the front door was drowning in boxes for nearly two full weeks with every bike bit you can imagine – racks, handlebars, seat stems, fenders, reflectors, and tools galore. Soon after was the bike fuel extravaganza when our cupboards began to overflow with assorted pre, during, and post-workout gels, powders, drinks, bars, and pills including the apparatuses to stow said fuel. There was the travel book period, then the Etsy kitch artwork period followed by the owl art period, and who can forget the day that an existential convo with a beloved friend sparked the spirituality-book incident of 2011 (we literally had to purchase a new bookcase to accommodate that one).  A tiny bit of concern began to swell in my throat: what could this be now?

Turns out that a random search of Amazon yielded a hit for The TVP Cookbook, published in 1991 and including only recipes made with, what else, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP). This was just the inspiration needed to begin a quest for old school, vintage (pre-1993 apparently) vegan and vegetarian cookbooks. I have to say, I’m pretty stoked about this new obsession and cannot wait to share with you these hilarious and often eccentric gems. And how could we not begin with:

Leprechaun Cake and Other Tales

That leprechaun looks super amish.

This.Book.Is.A.Treasure. For two reasons: 1. Each recipe is preceded by a story meant to teach children about friendship, caring, and healthy cooking. 2. The recipes are named after storybook characters AND have safety instructions. Come on…who wouldn’t want to present a dish to your pals called “Unicorn’s Golden Chutney”? The recipes are super easy to prepare and are meant to work together as one or two meals. Enjoy the citrusy, texturally diverse taste of the Magical Moroccan Couscous inspired by our heroines David and Bina in the story Leprechaun Cake!


Magic all up in your mouth!


  • 1 cup orange juice (or other fruit juice)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Bring the juice and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Remove from heat, stir in couscous and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute dates, raisins, almonds, and cinnamon in 1/2 cup of water for 2 minutes. Add cooked couscous. Mix well and serve warm. Makes 5 , 1/2 cup servings.

MAGICAL MOROCCAN COUSCOUS NUTRITION: 221 calories – 0 g total fat – 0 cholesterol – 6 mg sodium– 41 g carbs – 3 g fiber – 15 g sugar – 9 g protein- 4 WW points

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