Dining at the Ravens, review, recipe and giveaway

Grab a peppermint tea, sit back and relax.

When I first opened up the  Dining At The Ravens, by Jeff and Joan Stanford, I must admit I was intimidated by it. The recipes looked complicated. But then I started reading, and lost myself in their story.

When Jeff and Joan first opened up the Ravens it started out as a vegetarian restaurant, but when they went vegan, so did the menu. They use fresh wholesome food. They don’t use seitan or soy isolates, and try to limit tofu as a condiment. (I think that’s why I found it intimidating at first.) Every single dish, is made fresh, with real whole food.

Here’s a sampling of what recipes are in the book:

Breakfast: Ravens Frittata and quiche, Live scramble (raw dish), Garden scramble, Ravens chilaquiles.

Breads and baked goods: Rusitc bread, whole wheat hamburger buns, The Standford Inn By the Sea famous scones.

Sauces, Dips and Spreads: Kale sauce, Ravens Lemon Tahini sauce, Salsa cruda, Ravens BBQ sauce, avocado mousse.

Appetizers and sides: Lime-infused roasted asparagus with morel sauce, dolmas, Indian-spiced kale with potato omelet, Dos tacos, Sea palm sliders.

Salads and Dressings: salad napoleon, kale salad with avacdo lime verjus dressing, Valentine’s poached pear and grilled endive salad.

Soups: Ravens all-purpose vegetable stock, roasted fennel and cannellini bean soup with garlic and sage, asparagus soup with pistachio cream.

Entrees: Ravens Reuben, Begger’s purse, Black pepper fettuccine with chardonnay sauce and grilled asparagus, paella. forbidden risotto with sunchoke lemon cream, raw lasagna.

Desserts: Carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, pecan torte,

Pantry Basics: herbed chickpea crepe, mexican rice.

Every recipe has a little story or intro to it with a picture. Which is one of things I love about this book. I have never chatted with Jeff or Joan, but I feel like I know them, and these recipes are like family secrets being passed down to me (and to all that purchase the book).

This is the second recipe I’ve tried from the book: this recipe is rich, luxurious yet oh so simple to make. I had time to help the kids with homework while it cooked for the 40 mins. If you want it to look rustic, don’t blend it  but pull out your blender to make it look pretty for your guests.



Potato Leek Soup with Drunken Leeks*


4–6 servings


This is one of The Ravens’ very popular soups. When it’s on the menu at night, the next day there’s none left for the staff “family meal.”


In the days of root cellars, potato leek soups were commonly served in winter. We serve this soup year-round.


2 tablespoons olive oil

4–5 medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

⅓ cup minced parsley

3 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced

6 cups Ravens All-Purpose Vegetable Stock (page 163) or store-bought vegan broth

1/2 cup coconut cream (use the top layer of coconut cream from a can of coconut milk)

1–2 tablespoons lemon juice to taste

Salt and white pepper to taste

Drunken Leeks (see note)

Crispy Leeks (see note)

Tangy Sour Crème, for garnish (page 262)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add potatoes, celery, parsley, and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 8–12 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Leave chunky, or blend in a high-speed blender to desired texture.
  4. Lastly, add the coconut cream, and season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and white pepper.
  5. Garnish with Drunken Leeks, Crispy Leeks, and Tangy Sour Crème, in that order.


To make the Drunken Leeks: Cut 2 leeks lengthwise into thin strips. In a heavy sauté pan, wilt the leek strips in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Douse wilted leeks with 1 cup red wine and simmer for 10 minutes.


To make the Crispy Leeks: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice 1 leek into 1/4-inch disks and sauté in 1 teaspoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a sheet tray and crisp up in oven for 15 minutes, or until browned.




Makes 1 3/4 cups


*the above recipe and image used with permission by BenBella Books.

I think I’m going to grab another tea, and a freshly made chocolate chip cookie, and day dream about the Inn that overlooks the bay, as the sun sets – painting a lovely backdrop. I hope one day I will be able to visit. It’s going to feel like going back home and visiting family.

To find out more about Jeff and Joan visit them on facebook, Twitter and of course their website: Stanford Inn

BenBella sent me out a copy of this book and is going to send out a copy to the lucky winner- Good luck 🙂

The giveaway is now over!

Congratulations Julie L!!

Click on the link for your chance to win Jeff and Joan’s Dining at the Ravens, click on the link. I’m having problem with being able to post the image. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. Good luck!!


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12 thoughts on “Dining at the Ravens, review, recipe and giveaway

  1. I don’t read cookbooks cover to cover, but tend to flick through them looking for enticing recipes

  2. I read cookbooks all the time Cookbooks are the only books (aside from IT training books) that I still buy Everything else is Kindle I <3 cookooks!

  3. I usually don’t read cookbooks cover to cover, but dive into the recipe section. However, this book sounds quite interesting!

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