Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cookbook Challenge Week 5 - Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Also, Vegan MoFo!!!

This week we explored Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. Like I mentioned in my last post, I had tried the book before, but I had only made one recipe and it didn't turn out well. This time went a lot smoother.

#1 - Peanut Passion Sauce
You can't really see the sauce, but this is how I served it. I am a sucker for peanut sauce and I found this one to be the best I've tried! It's not overwhelmingly nutty or sweet, like some can be, and the noodles just soak it right up. This is a new staple in our house!!!

#2 & #3 - Moroccan Phyllo Rolls with Balsamic Maple Sauce
This is actually a picture of the leftovers I had the day after making this. This was truly a wonderful dish, full of sweet and savory and veggie goodness. The sauce was also very good and I hope to use it in other dishes. I did get frustrated with the time it took me to make this - it looks as if it would take maybe an hour to make but it took me 2! This was my first time working with phyllo and I found that my tiny kitchen is really not set up for it....which only contributed to the frustration.

This week the PPK'rs are cooking out of Vegan Planet. Unfortunately an unforeseen car repair came up that absolutely needs taken care of, so we're basically living out of our cupboards right now. I absolutely plan on jumping back in soon!

And lastly, this October is the 3rd Vegan Month of Food! Over 320 bloggers plan to write at least every weekday for the month of October and I'm jumping in with them this year. I plan to post a list of the best/worst food spots in Portland, how I feed a diabetic (and got his A1C levels under control!) dishes we made to survive the wild snowstorm of 2008....whatever I can think of to fulfill the requirement! This will definitely be a good writing exercise for me, and I can't wait to start.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cookbook Challenge Week 4 - Yellow Rose Recipes

This week's challenge was a fun one. I love Joanna's book and my husband's favorite gravy is her bechamel sauce. I also found the sloppy Joannas rock my little vegan world. On to the recipes!

#1 - Roasted Garlic Mashed PotatoesYum, yum and yum! That's all I have to say. As you will find out in the final recipe, our house is a potato-phile house. Mashed potatoes, oven fries, roasted potatoes...all of the above please! I made these with the caramelized onion variation and it boosted the awesomeness.

#2 - Cajun Spiced Tofu
Now, I absolutely admit to not having onion and garlic powder on hand. I just would rather have the fresh stuff, ya know? The tofu was spicy but bland to me....and I'm pretty sure it's because of the lack of those two spices. I'll just have to acquire some and try it again!

#3 - Twice Baked Stuffed Potatoes
That picture does not do these babies justice. I had to admit to the PPK that this was the first time I'd made baked potatoes. My mom used to make them for us but that's the last time I remember ever having homemade baked potatoes. Well, never again! These were so good I overstuffed myself. Ok, so that's not a hard thing to do, but trust me on the tasty.

This week we're exploring Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. I don't have the book but enough recipes are online for me to participate in the challenge. I had checked the book out once before from the library and made some very sad crepes with celestial cream:
I'm pretty sure I was too lazy to mix the cream in the blender and the crepes didn't cook long enough so instead of folding they kinda broke around the bends. Oh well, I'm a pro now, right? RIGHT?

This week is also a fantastic one for me - I finally start school for good! Save for this first quarter in which I pay out of pocket due to my chronic procrastination illness, I'll be a full time student for the first time since high school. I can't word just how excited I am about this. I think my getting laid off was truly a good kick in the rear. I have wanted to get into publishing/editing and I now have the opportunity to do it. Wish me luck dear readers!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cookbook Challenge Week 3 - Vegan Brunch!

So far, this week's challenge has been a favorite of mine. I tackled omelets and crepes and had yummy Hollandaise, something I haven't had since turning vegan. Isa is a goddess.

#1 - Tofu BennysWhen I was still vegetarian, eggs benedict were one of my favorite-ist dishes. I loved the way the sauce saturated everything. This recipe definitely brought back a lot of happy breakfast memories :-)

#2 - Omelet with Roasted Asparagus and Miso-Tahini SauceIn the book, Isa tells us to search out black salt to give this a more eggy taste. Well, I'm lazy and this was still very good! It was almost like a thick, savory crepe. I thought the sauce was amazing, Jeff thought the asparagus was amazing. Definite win!

#3 - Crepe with Lemon Cashew Cream and Berry Sauce
If you couldn't tell, I made these somewhat late at night....so please excuse the awful photo. These were actually pretty easy and oh-so-rich. Probably not the best choice for dinner but then again, I'll eat cake for breakfast. I used blackberries that I picked that morning at my mom's house and I think the sauce will be a definite staple from here on out.

This week we're reviewing Yellow Rose Recipes by Joanna Vaught. I love this book; she makes it so easy to make filling and delicious food that really hits the spot. I'm actually doing 4 recipes this time around, I had such a hard time deciding!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cookbook Challenge Week 2 - Vegan With A Vengeance

Well, another week of the cookbook challenge is down. This week was dedicated to the classic Vegan with A Vengeance, which I will admit to not cooking out of nearly enough. The pancake recipe in that book is seriously the best damn pancake recipe in the freakin' world. On to my foods:

#1 & #2 - Green Thai Curry with Mango Summer Rolls
Yeah, I was lazy and combined two in one night. But I started late in the week and gosh darn it, the recipe recommends serving the two together! After my magical curry experience at Root Table, I wasn't blown away by this. Jeffrey loved it, but my damn bias got in the way of full enjoyment. I put rice in the rolls and I'll bet rice noodles would have been the way to go...but otherwise they were very fresh and complimented the rich curry very well.

#3 - Peach Cobbler
I must confess: the only baked goods I've made with fruit have been muffins and scones. I picked this one to take advantage of the fresh peaches in abundance right now, and brought it to a BBQ. I think the crust could have been a tad bit sweeter (then again, I'm a sugar addict) but the peaches were perfect. It got rave reviews at the BBQ - which is always a good thing!

This week we're delving into Vegan Brunch...making the third book in a row for Isa! Check back in next week for omelet-y goodness!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cookbook Challenge Week 1 - Tackling Veganomicon

I know, I know. I'm late to posting. Whatever.

On the always lovely PPK, a challenge was presented. Voters choose a list of cookbooks that are most common in the community and each week choose 3 untested recipes. Of course, Veganomicon was the top of the class. Here are my 3 choices:
#1 - Eggplant-Potato Moussaka.

My husband does not like eggplant. Regardless, he will try it each and every time I make it in hopes of liking it. This particular recipe surprised both of us! He didn't mind the eggplant and I just loved the pine nut cream. YUM.

#2 - Red Lentil & Cauliflower (or broccoli!) Curry

This was a very filling, healthy and flavorful dish. My husband loved it. I'm weird about beans and lentils being mushy, but also impressed. I forgot to halve the recipe so there's a massive amount of leftovers in the freezer, just waiting for cool weather and warm sweaters.

#3 - Mac Daddy

OH MY GOD. The first vegan mac I ever made was not a happy one. I was disgusted by the smell, the texture....this mac has crushed all of those notions that vegan mac isn't tasty. My omni husband (have I mentioned he's my biggest taste tester and food critic?) isn't a fan of nutritional yeast sauces and loved it, so that should tell you something!!!

This week we're tackling Vegan with a Vengeance. I've already made the Mango Summer Rolls (a huge favorite on the boards) and the Green Thai Curry and am bringing the Peach Cobbler to a BBQ. Stay tuned for a full recap!