Owner of Miss Rachel’s Pantry
Vegan food is sometimes thought of as rabbit food, dainty food, spa food—but not the way chef Rachel Klein does it. At her catering kitchen in South Philly, where she hosts ticketed prix fixe feasts almost every weekend, Klein cooks up meatand- dairy-free but decadent trays of lasagna, piles of pasta and special-order holiday roasts that make meat eaters think twice about turkey.
Klein started cooking after a stint as a copywriter and found herself better suited to the kitchen than the cubicle. Recently she’s zeroed in on animal-product-free versions of cheese, including a tangy, fermented faux chevre; gooey, stringy “mozzarella”; and a ricotta doppelgänger made mostly from tofu.
When she’s cooking at home, she tends to gravitate to dishes that are quite different than those she makes at work. “I’m in front of the stove all day. At home, I often make salad,” she says. Frequently she turns to one of her favorite vegan cookbooks, Salad Samurai (Da Capo Lifelong Books) by Terry Hope Romero. “I am a fan of all her books, actually. Her recipes are down to earth and her style is very relatable.”
In this recipe for Smokehouse Chickpeas and Greens, fried chickpeas take center stage. “When you cook a lot with tofu and seitan, you forget how good chickpeas can be,” says Klein. This recipe is the perfect reminder.
MISS RACHEL’S PANTRY
1938 S. Chadwick St.