Monday, November 19, 2007

Veganomicon and Beyond

I know I've posted plenty of pizza on here, but this time I made the sauce from scratch! I used the marinara sauce recipe from Veganomicon. It was so simple and, despite the short list of ingredients, made a very flavorful sauce. We ate the rest of the sauce on some gnocchi. I think I enjoyed this sauce more than the bottled sauces I've tried, and it is much cheaper to make.

Can you tell just how much I love Veganomicon? This is the Saffron-Garlic Rice, served with Morningstar Farms chik'n strips and sautéed bell peppers. My boyfriend said this might very well be his favorite rice yet. Garlic and onions can do no wrong around here.

I think I have a problem. I am addicted to testing recipes for others. These Buffalo Breakfast potatoes are a tester recipe for Frecklefoot over at the PPK. You can check out her blog here.
I did something silly at the grocery store recently. Even though Texas Pete hot sauce has never failed me, I bought the generic stuff because it was cheaper (not that Texas Pete is all that expensive). Little did I know that the generic stuff has no spice to it at all. It shall henceforth by known as "not hot sauce". So, these potatoes tasted great, but it was all tang and no heat whatsoever. I'll definitely be making them again, but with a different hot sauce in the future.

Sadly, the vanilla-yogurt pound cake is all gone. We were in need of another dessert last night, so I chose the Chewy Chocolate-Raspberry Cookies from Veganomicon. My boyfriend was skeptical, but in the end the cookies won him over. He said he would have eaten the whole batch if I'd let him. The introduction to this recipe in Veganomicon says that they are wonderful as ice-cream sandwich cookies. I'll be trying that this summer!

Friday, November 16, 2007

More from Veganomicon

I served the leftover ED&BV Kinda Corny Muffins with Veganomicon's Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu. I did the baked version, but forgot to spray the tofu with oil, so it was a tad bit dry. The flavor was still very good, though, and I would make this again. I am sure I would also like it fried, but I was trying to be a bit healthier. There was tons of extra coating, so I battered and fried (yeah, so much for the healthy thing) some mushrooms. My boyfriend came in the kitchen, found me coating the mushrooms, and said, "oooh, somebody loves me!" (He'll probably kill me for repeating that, but he meant it to sound goofy, I promise.) We had the carrots with the Black Creek Ranch Dressing from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook. It's peeking out of the top right corner of the picture...I don't know why I didn't take a purposeful picture of it. It's really good and so simple.

For dessert we had the Vanilla-Yogurt Pound Cake from Veganomicon. I haven't had pound cake in, least a decade, but the wait was most definitely worth it. This might just be one of my favorite desserts yet. It's so moist and full of flavor. We still have plenty left, but already I want to make another. The strawberry sauce on top is homemade. I don't follow a recipe for it, but it is frozen strawberries, sugar, a splash of orange juice, and a cornstarch slurry.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kinda Corny Muffins

For my first recipe from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, I chose the Kinda Corny Muffins. I subbed all purpose flour for the spelt flour, though. A lot of the recipes in this book call for various flours that I just don't normally keep on-hand. I support the use of whole grains and know that I most definitely need to use more, but I wish she had advised when it was okay to substitute a different kind of flour. Luckily, all purpose flour subbed in just fine. Because I just can't leave well enough alone, I also added in some chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I probably should try a recipe as-is before adding in ingredients, but I really liked the chipotles in these. My boyfriend ate four muffins, plus part of mine that I wasn't finished with, but made the mistake of leaving half-eaten on the shared plate. I'd say these get two thumbs up from us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Questions and Answers

I found this list on Food Snobbery is my Hobbery and thought it would be fun to answer it.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
Blue Diamond vanilla almond milk. I really wish that it had more vitamins and such added, though. Next is Soy Dream vanilla enriched.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Home-style potato rolls from Veganomicon
Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu from Veganomicon
Adzuki Bean and Millet Burgers
I want to make something from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, too, but I need some inspiration

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
Melted Earth Balance and nutritional yeast. I used to really like Braggs and this Thai seasoning, but I bought what I thought was the same Thai seasoning recently (Frontier Co-Op brand) and it makes me sneeze when I get anywhere near it. D'oh.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Well, the chocolate cake I posted about yesterday sure made a mess of my oven on the first attempt, but the results were still edible (and tasty!), there was just less cake than there was supposed to be.
Hmm....I once tried to make baingan bharta (an Indian eggplant dish) and the spices in the recipe I followed were just all wrong.

5. Favorite pickled item?
Kosher dill pickles

6. How do you organize your recipes?
I have some in Mastercook (I'd love to share Mastercook recipes with people, if anyone wants to trade) and some on index cards in a filebox. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd combine them all into Mastercook.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
I really want to compost, but it's not so feasible right now since we're in an apartment. We're planning on doing it once we get a house, though. For now, I use the garbage disposal when it's appropriate, and the trash when its not.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
black beans, rice, and hot sauce

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
Breakfast for dinner! It was so exciting anytime we had it, even though I now realize that French toast, pancakes, or especially oatmeal for dinner meant my parents didn't really feel like cooking that night.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
Purely Decadent Turtle Trails (it got me liking pecans!)

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
Cuisinart food processor

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (but I hardly use it...any suggestions?)

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
My parents have really liked the bumble berry and apple pies I've made for them. And really, who wouldn't like pie?
As far as non-desserts, it's hard to say. I serve pretty much everything I make to my omni boyfriend (I don't like calling him omni, though...I feel like I'm calling him names), but he's used to vegan food and a bit more open-minded about it than some of my other non-veggie friends would be.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
Tofu, then tempeh as a very close second. I definitely like both of them more than seitan.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
My mixer, some happy hippie soda, and the Shabbat candlestick holders

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Vital wheat gluten, homemade whole wheat bread, corn

20. What's on your grocery list?
black beans and chickpeas (so far)

21. Favorite grocery store?
Locally, Earth Fare. I also really like Whole Foods, but we don't have one here (closest is 3 hours away). Same goes for Trader Joes.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
My aunt just gave me the recipe for my great aunt's cinnamon cookies. I plan on veganizing them.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
Squirrel's Vegan Kitchen
Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen
Get Sconed
Now that I've figured out this whole Bloglines thing, I'm reading a lot more. I was too lazy to check each one before, and now Bloglines does it for me!

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
Pretty much any dark chocolate with mint bar. Mmmm.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Agave nectar

26. What food are you embarrassed about liking?
Babyfood applesauce. I don't know what it is about it, but it's so much better than the regular stuff.

Your turn!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chickpea Cutlets=Love

These are the famed chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. Somehow mine never look like everyone else's, but we like them as is. This time I baked them rather than pan-frying them. It's not pictured, but I served it with our favorite mustard sauce (dijon mustard, vegan mayonnaise, agave nectar, sriracha sauce, and just a touch of hot sauce). The roasted potatoes (and onions and garlic) were made by my boyfriend. The green beans came from a can. One of these days I'll learn to cook my own green beans. I was going to serve these with the home-style potato rolls from Veganomicon, but I wasn't feeling well and took a nap when I should have been preparing the yeast dough. I still want to make them, though. I saw some pictures of the potato rolls somewhere (can't remember where or I'd share the link with you) and it really made my mouth water.

Hot Fudge Cake

My boyfriend's momma recently gave me this recipe. She said it originally came from Taste of Home magazine. I veganized it and changed the pan size, as it called for a 12x12 pan, which is a pretty rare size. The first time I made this, I wasn't thinking clearly and decided to make it in an 8" square pan. I briefly considered putting a cookie sheet underneath it in the oven, as I suspected it might overflow, but for some mysterious reason I rejected that plan. Boy, was that a mistake. Sugary chocolate goo seemed to have surgically implanted itself on the bottom of our oven. I had to scrub....and scrub....and scrub to get that stuff off. On the plus side, our oven has never looked so clean.
I do not know the science behind this recipe, but somehow you wind up with a wonderfully gooey chocolate sauce underneath a layer of chocolate cake. Who can say no to that? Well, diabetics and celiacs can I'm sure, but you know what I mean.

Hot Fudge Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
9 tablespoons cocoa, divided
3/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with 3 tablespoons of cocoa. Stir in soy milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Spread in ungreased 9x13" glass baking pan. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and 6 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all, do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk, Issue #2

This is just a friendly public service announcement to let you know that Issue #2 of mrsbadmouth's zine, Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk, is now available. You can order it here.
I didn't test too much from it this time around, as things have been busy, but I still highly recommend it!

Tofu Paprikas

When Isa posted this tofu paprikas dish on her blog the other day, I just had to try it. I'm not even sure why, since I had never heard of the dish before and I don't normally care much for cream sauces. Nevertheless, she somehow sold me on the idea. This was really tasty. The sauce wasn't too heavy, which I think is what I normally dislike about cream sauces. My version didn't have much spice to it, which I suppose means that my Hungarian paprika wasn't very spicy. I'd like to try this again with a hotter paprika. I think I should join Spicy-Food-Eaters Anonymous.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

Despite my awesome new cookbooks, I haven't forgotten about my other ones. These pumpkin muffins are from Vegan with a Vengeance. They taste great and are very aptly named (although they are technically the only pumpkin muffins I've ever had). They rose really well and my boyfriend wants everyone to know that he had something to do with that (he helped me make them and now thinks he is the king of sifting. The wine he was drinking while helping me might have something to do with the claim.). I am taking these with me on our trip to NC that I mentioned in my previous post. I prefer to bring vegan food with me so that I don't have to rely on others to provide food I can eat. It seems that when I do bring food along, there is also other food I can eat. If I don't bring stuff with me, there is nothing for me to eat. I have learned just to bring food along, just in case.

Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh and Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes

I can't put my copy of Veganomicon down! Dinner last night was hot sauce-glazed tempeh, mashed spiced sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli (obviously the latter was not a Veganomicon recipe). The tempeh was so good. Ideally it should be grilled, but I followed the broiling instructions since we don't have a grill or grill-pan. It is spicy without being unbearably so, and the tempeh had a great texture. I love tempeh, but my boyfriend only seems to like it in certain applications...this was one of them. I'd like to try tofu in the same marinade. And I want a grill pan (or a grill, but we don't have anywhere to put that until we move).

The mashed spiced sweet potatoes might just be my new favorite way to eat sweet potatoes. I think I found a winner to bring with me to Thanksgiving (even if my family doesn't actually like sweet potatoes). I am really looking forward to the leftovers of this meal. There are actually only leftovers because I instructed my boyfriend to leave me some so that I could take it with me on our short trip to North Carolina. I have a new nephew (my first!) and we are going to his bris tomorrow.

Meet my new nephew! He was born on October 29th (18 Cheshvan). 5 lbs 15 oz and 18 inches long. I can't wait to meet him tomorrow!

Barbecue Tofu Sandwiches with Herb-Scalloped Potatoes

I finally got my copy of Veganomicon!!! I did a little dance at the mailbox when I opened it and found that my books (I got Eat Drink & Be Vegan as well) were FINALLY there. Word to the wise: don't preorder books from Amazon. Apparently their policy is first-come, last served. We preordered the books in mid-August. I knew that they were going to ship together, so if one came out first (which ED&BV did), I would have to wait for the other to come out before they would ship. It took Amazon almost three weeks after Veganomicon was released to ship my books. Calling or emailing them resulted in garbled messages that didn't even apply to my situation. Amazon, your poor business practices have lost you yet another customer. Preordering books is supposed to mean that we get them as soon as they are released, not that you offer them for sale on your website to other customers before you have fulfilled all of the preorders.

On Friday night I made barbecue tofu sandwiches (served with hominy). For some reason I didn't love these sandwiches, even though I liked the barbecue tofu on its own, and I liked the homemade whole wheat bread (I used this recipe, substituting maple syrup for the honey). We had leftover sandwiches for Saturday night, but needed something to go with them. I found the herb-scalloped potatoes recipe in Veganomicon. We had all the ingredients on-hand and LOVE potatoes, so this was the first recipe I tried. I'd never had scalloped potatoes before, but these were great. I told my boyfriend that and he said that these were better than most scalloped potatoes. High praise. I can't wait to try more new recipes!