Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry

This was a hearty, warm and delicious curry stew, full of flavor and spice. And who could complain about how healthy it is too?

I must admit, I had all my notes for this written up just after we ate this, but of course I not only lost them but waited months before posting this.

In any case, all I can say is that I'll definitely be making this again...probably this fall or you should make it too.

Now if you don't mind, I have some peanut butter ice cream (see page 262) thawing and I must eat it now. I'll post on this later, but I'll just say it's one of the best damn things I've put in my mouth lately, especially when you eat it fresh out of the ice cream maker.

Price: About $10.
Difficulty: Moderate; fair amount of chopping.
Modifications: None (except no cilantro, or as I call, the filth of the earth).
Cleanup: How should I know? It's been at least 3 months.

This recipe is on page 186 of Veganomicon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Black Beans In Chipotle Adobo Sauce

This was one of those dishes that I screwed up but still tasted damn fine in the end. It was a simple, pure and delicious meal.

The part I screwed up was the part I always screw up...not reading the recipe thoroughly (and believe me, I certainly hear about that each and every time I don't). So instead of the "1 large onion, cut into small dice" that I was to then remove from the beans, I diced the onion and cooked it with the beans. Let's just say I tried longer than most would at trying to pick out as many of those diced onion chunks as I could.

In the end, though, it was still delicious. The beans were so tender and lovely (not sure why, but I really wanted to use the word lovely just now), the chipotle adobo sauce was rich and full of flavor and the Mexican Millet (which I'll have to blog on separately) was wonderful, as usual.

Sadly, I think I actually made this dish back when it was still cold (relatively speaking...this is Seattle after all) outside. Which means, I haven't posted updates in a while. Bad, bad me! I've got a backlog of about 6 or 7 that I'll post over the coming weeks.

Anyway, the breakdown:

Price: Around $9-$10 (including the millet)
Difficulty: Normally not, unless you're dense like I was.
Modifications: Zilch.
Cleanup: One more pot than I'd like, but really not so bad.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jimaca-Watercress-Avocado Salad With Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette

I almost felt like a food snob eating this dish. I mean really, a watercress salad? But I was excited to use jicama for the first time and was glad I did.

The salad was very flavorful and fresh. The vinaigrette was excellent and full of myriad flavors: sweet, hot, fresh and tangy. The avocados added a nice bit of fat and creaminess to the meal while the peanuts provided a nice crunch and some additional protein. I couldn't believe how wonderful the jicama was. It really was sort of like an apple-potato hybrid, with the texture of a potato and the sweetness of an apple. If I can find other ways to use this in the future I certainly will.

As for the watercress, it was green.

We paired this with a side of the Tangerine Baked Tofu (or as in our case Orange Baked Tofu since we can never find tangerines at our store). We love that dish.

One thing this meal was not was filling. It would be a great diet dinner, but we're two people who generally fill up like little piggys on carbs and protein each night, so there was a definite lack of appetite satisfaction here. But for most normal people, I think it would suffice just perfectly.

Cost: A bit pricey at around $15. The salad was about $10-$12.
Difficulty: Not difficult, but the jicama shredding was definitely messy.
Modifications: I squeezed out a lot of the jicama liquid after shredding. And of course, no cilantro.
Cleanup: Moderate. With the salad alone it would be fairly easy.

This recipe is on page 83 of Veganomicon.

Plantain and Pinto Stew With Parsnip Chips

This was the first time I've cooked with plantains. I've had fried plantains before and thought they were one of the best things ever, but it had been at least 5 years since then so I forgot what their taste and texture was like.

In our case, the texture was somewhat dense and meaty, but from what I hear it can vary a lot depending upon the ripeness of the plantain. I think the one I used was maybe a little less ripe than I'd prefer, but my husband loved it. Next time I'd probably try to get one a little more ripe...or just wait longer until it was more ripe. However, the selection in our store was not the best as most of them were very green.

Anyway, the dish was delicious and filling. The flavors were deep and mostly mild, but with some tang and spiciness (I didn't seed the me doing that is almost blasphemy). The parsnip chips were wonderful, although I probably oversaturated them with oil. No complaints here though! They were very tender and sweet, much like a sweet potato.

Cost: $12-$14.
Difficulty: Not. And only 45 minutes to boot.
Modifications: No jalapeno seeding, sub white wine for cooking sherry, NO cilantro.
Cleanup: Excellent...just one pot!

This recipe is on page 183 of Veganomicon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manzana Chili Verde

This was a surprising winner in this household. The husband was very (and I mean, very) skeptical as he's not a fan, or anything even close to a fan, of tomatillos. But the finished product won him (and me) over.

This thick and hearty chili was tangy, lightly tart, lightly sweet and very fresh. There's nothing bad I could say about it. I didn't make the jalapeno corn bread - I must have been feeling extra lazy that day - but I'd sure love to try that next time. Instead, we make some homemade pita crisps by slicing some tortillas, brushing them with olive oil and cripsping them in a hot oven.

It was a fair amount of work preparing this dish, so I'd save this for a weekend.

Price: About $15.
Difficulty: Moderate.
Modifications: No cilantro, thank you! Oh, and I skipped the avocados. It cost enough already and I didn't think that would change the end result that much.
Cleanup: Between easy to moderately difficult.

This recipe is on page 171 of Veganomicon.

Udon With Shiitake Mushrooms And Kale In Miso Broth

The ladies were almost spot on with their summary of this dish: "This is a great weeknight meal that's healthy and hearty." Spot on, with one minor nuance being that I would say it was good and not great.

There wasn't a ton of flavor in the dish, but it was indeed hearty and healthy. Anything with kale makes me happy. The miso didn't add as much flavor as I thought it would, so next time I may add just a bit more. But I just love the texture of udon noodles, enough to even eat them plain with just a little salt. And I certainly wouldn't mind adding sauteed seitan, as they recommend. But that would take this from an easy weeknight meal to perhaps a weekend meal.

Price: $9 (about half of this was from the kale, which is probably cheaper most anywhere else).
Difficulty: Simple.
Modifications: None.
Cleanup: Easy.

This recipe is on page 201 of Veganomicon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chickpea Cutlets

I just love these things. For me, they're one of the best things from this book. Unfortunately, my husband has "issues" with the texture, which is one of the things I love best about them.

The resultant texture is a balance of soft, spongy and meaty. They can be a bit "chewy" but again, that's something I really enjoy. Having to work for food makes it taste better.

And they're super easy to make.

I've made these several times and my favorite adaptation, as seen in the picture, is to brush some barbecue sauce on them after they're fried up. Deliiiiiciouuuuuuuuuuuus.

We paired this with the Prospect Park Potato Salad along with the suggested roasted asparagus.

Price: $4-$5 (nice!)

Difficulty: Simplicity city for the cutlets themselves, but when also making the potato salad and asparagus it trends it more toward the "not so bad" category.

Modifications: None

Cleanup: Easy for the cutlets only, "I'd rather be watching TV right now" for the entire meal.

This recipe is on page 133 of Veganomicon.