Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finally Cooking- Vegan Vittles & The 100 Best Vegan baking recipes

I have finally been cooking again. Trying some recipes from the cookbooks that I don't use often enough and some new cook books. In 2 days I tried out 5 new recipes. Some of them I liked some I wasn't to impressed by while some that I didn't like John loved. As always. Even one that surprised me that grew on me. So the two books I have been using this week are Vegan Vittles & The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. All these recipes were pretty quick in active time.

Some of the links below go to the book some of the links go to the recipes.

I once again looked through Vegan Vittles and made a huge list of recipes I want to try. So I figured I would start with a pasta called Igors Special for Breakfast/lunch. Recipe on Page 167. I wasn't sure about this recipe because it had balsamic vinegar and curry powder. Two ingredients I'm not to fond of. But I was surprised after I took a few bites that the salty background was really nice. The tangyness of the vinegar reminded me of the edemame, corn, and tomato salad that I really like. So I guess I shouldn't judge balsamic vinegar just by the Portabello & onion recipe from one of Sarah Kramers books. I do like that recipe too. But I'm not a big fan of to much balsamic vinegar on the onions... Anyways. I didn't add the green onions the recipe called for. I don't like raw onions. But the walnuts, tomatoes, curry, Cayenne, soy sauce, and what ever other ingredients were in the recipe turned out nice. I kept the sauce in a separate bowl so when I heated the pasta back up the sauce stayed cold and was a nice topper. The warm pasta warmed the mixture just enough. I did heat it up all together once and I didn't like it as much. After you eat a few bites you also feel just a touch of the Cayenne. A nice background feel.

Click Link for Recipe.
The next recipe I tried was Not you Mamas Meatloaf. Recipe on page 150. My husband had been wanting me to find a meatloaf alternative. Even when he did eat meat when we first moved in together I would never fix meatloaf for him. yuck... And before this I had never had any meat loaf vegan or meaty... I had really high hopes for this recipe. But when I mixed up the sauce I really wasn't sure how everything would taste. One simple ingredient was what turned me away from this recipe.... Peanut butter. This I think is used for the sticky texture to hold the loaf together. And it does work in the flavor. My husband liked it but I didn't. I couldn't get around the peanutbuttery flavor. I have a really strong since of taste & smell. So to me if any one ingredient sticks out it can ruin a meal for me. But for someone with a normal since of taste or small like my husband he really likes it. He had half of it for dinner and took the other half for work. So I would still call it a success but I will be looking for a different "meatloaf" recipe. The outside of this loaf also got really crunchy and almost burnt when left in the entire time at the given cooking time.

Click Link for Recipe.
And the next recipe I tried was Messy Mikes. Recipe on page 98. These were not bad. We haven't had Sloppy Joes or it equivalent in a while. I used to purchase the Manwich mix and mix it with the Boca Crumbles but I stopped doing that a few years ago. So I really wanted this to work out. I used TVP as the meat and made the recipe. It was pretty good. I am just used to the stronger taste of the manwich. Plus to me it wasn't messy enough. It needed more sauce. The recipe said to cook it for 10 minutes after you place the sauce in but I had to take it straight off the burner because of the lack of sauce. But it tasted pretty good just a little bland. Needed more tangyness. John again really liked it and finished off the rest of the meal. I forgot to take a picture of these till John was eating the last one. oops

I will say I still do like this cookbook. One of my favorite comfort recipes is in Vegan Vittles. When I am sick its almost like Chicken Noddle would be for other people. That recipe is called Creamy Potato kale Soup & its on page 127. Check this book out on amazon and click the "Search inside this cook " and "surprise me" link. Many recipes can be seen and tried.

The one recipe that stuck in my mind from one of the new cook books I just purchased was Mocha Stripes Pg 38 of The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes. I hasTh been eating at me... saying make me make So I finally purchased some instant coffee and went for it. The dough was really really coffee tasting. Not bitter but very strong coffee like mocha without the chocolate. It was pretty yummy. Although I probably ate a little more than what I should have and ended up having heart burn from it. The recipe does have alot of butter.. 3/4 a cup. I tend to stay away from really buttery cookies. But I still had to make these. I cooked them up one tray at a time and ended up with 30 - 1tbsp sized nice cooking. The flavor of course kinda sobers after you bake it like most baked goods. So it was still good, a little less coffee tasty, but kinda oily to me. But they were nice and chewy while they were still warm and even still chewy when they cooled. I started melting the chocolate and put it into a pastry bag and went to squeeze it onto the cookies and it was super super hot through the bag. I didn't think of it at the time but you could put a towel around the bag and that would help some. With the chocolate it definitely finishes the Mocha flavor. I do really like them. I ended up having to put them in the fridge to get the chocolate to set. So I think next time I will make them like chocolate chip cookies and see how it works out. Less dishes, less clean up, less mess that way. Wish they were not so oily but I will fix them again. Nice alternative to a regular chocolate chip cookie for anyone who likes mocha. Coming from a person who doesn't like coffee... :) I will probbaly make these in the future for family events and bake sales.. I think they would be nice at a bake sale because I have never seen a mocha cookie at one.

These cooking would also be really good with some salty nuts cooked in. :)

I also made another Strawberry Pie this week. This is the third strawberry pie I have made in the last month or so. But this is the first one we got to keep for our selves.

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