Apple tarte tatin, beer-glazed carrots, salads, and soup with leftovers

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I missed a few days of VeganMoFo, and I still have photos of market finds & meals that I hadn’t posted yet, so I’m going to combine them in an attempt to catch up. :)
Market haul
I bought this back in July so I’m not sure what everything cost, but we’ve got rainbow carrots, courgettes, fennel, turnips, daikon, fresh herbs, lettuce, apples, strawberries, and cherries …

… which brings me to Wednesday’s prompt: favourite late summer foods. Stone fruits are definitely one of my favourite things about summer! In July it was cherries, recently it’s been nectarines; I love them all, and I hope I’ll get to eat a few more before summer is truly over.

Beer-glazed carrots

On the other hand, it’s been raining for days and I’m also starting to crave cold-weather foods. Like roast potatoes. In this picture I served them with tempeh, a salad of lamb’s lettuce with apples and walnuts, and beer-glazed purple carrots and turnips.

Salad

Let’s talk about omega-3s for a minute! (Day 11: specific nutrient.) You can get your alpha-linolenic acid by eating foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, or my favourite: walnuts. The walnuts in the salad pictured above were extra delicious because they’re from my aunt and uncle’s garden. (They gave me a big bag of them for my birthday. Aren’t edible gifts the best?) For more on omega-3s in a vegan diet (It’s also in full-fat soy products! But do you need a supplement?), read this post from The Vegan RD.

Fennel soup and leftovers

Day 14 was about sharing something vegan with a non-vegan, so here are some leftovers I shared with my boyfriend. We had flatbread, chickpea flour scramble, hummus, some kind of fresh coriander sauce, harissa, falafel, shaved fennel and courgette salad, pan-fried courgette, rocket, and fennel soup. (His plate probably had less salad and more bread, scramble, and falafel, but it still counts as sharing!) I imagine this plate would be a nightmare for people who don’t like their foods to touch, but I kind of love meals like these.

Tarte tatin

Finally, if you haven’t tried the tarte tatin recipe from Vegan Eats World, you absolutely should. (It’s also on Terry’s blog.) I mean, I didn’t even follow the recipe properly and it still tasted fantastic. This might even be good enough to serve to Obama (day 15).

Links of the day

Reading the other posts for this prompt, though, maybe I’d better send Obama over to someone else’s home. I’m sure he would love these grilled cheese sandwiches by Lazysmurf, these portobello steaks with parsley basil pesto by Jessica from Sprouts & Chocolate, or this tomato and mushroom pizza from Emily/la.vida.vegana.

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Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I missed Friday’s MoFo prompt (may make up for it later), but I had to come back to tell you about my favourite cookbook! You probably know about it already because it’s a vegan classic, and it definitely deserves all the love it gets: my favourite is Veganomicon.

Veganomicon

This may be the book that’s taught me the most about cooking. It was one of my first cookbooks when I went vegan back in secondary school, and I’ve cooked from it more than from all my other beloved books. I’ve even used it in my BA thesis! (It was on recipe translation.)

The book

Thankfully, this book was built to last. The pages in mine are stained, and the cover may have accidentally been used as a cutting board (Once. Maybe twice?) – but it’s not even close to falling apart.

The book isn’t picture-heavy (the only photos are inserted in the middle), but I still find myself wanting to try every single recipe when I leaf through it. Isa and Terry’s writing is so entertaining that I’m inspired just reading their descriptions, and I can always find pictures of the final dishes on forums and blogs.

The recipes

Veganomicon has been so useful to me while learning how to cook. It starts with basic techniques and cooking times for vegetables, grains, and beans. The mix-and-match chapter provides simple ways to flavour those foods and to pair them with vegan proteins like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. But this book definitely doesn’t consist of basic recipes only – it provides full menus with everything from spicy tempeh nori rolls and chestnut-lentil pâté to heart-shaped apple galettes and jelly donut cupcakes. To give you an idea, these are some of the recipes I’ve tried.

My favourites: Walnut-mushroom pate (page 64), Quinoa salad with black beans and mango (page 84), Snobby joes (page 98), Marinated Italian tofu (page 128), Chickpea cutlets (page 133), Pumpkin baked ziti with caramelized onions and sage crumb topping (page 194), Tofu ricotta (page 206), Cashew ricotta (page 206), and Fresh rosemary focaccia (page 220).

Others I’ve loved: Grilled yuca tortillas (page 49), Acorn squash and black bean empanadas (page 55), Samosa stuffed baked potatoes (page 60), Curried carrot dip (page 62), Sun-dried tomato dip (page 62), A hummus recipe (page 67), guacamole (page 69), Chocolate chip brownie waffles (page 74), Blueberry corn pancakes (page 76), Black bean burgers (page 98), Cornmeal-masala roasted Brussels sprouts (page 107), Eggplant-potato moussaka with pine nut cream (page 164), Leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits (page 172), Red lentil-cauliflower curry (page 186), Lasagne marinara with spinach (page 196), Almesan (page 207), Backyard BBQ sauce (page 207), Poppy seed-cornmeal roti (page 221), Carrot-pineapple sunshine muffins (page 226), Chewy chocolate-raspberry cookies (page 234), Fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies (page 242), Lower-fat deep chocolate bundt cake (page 256), and Chocolate ice cream (page 261).

Roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta sandwich

I’ve posted about recipes from this book before, but I wanted to try another one just for this review. The roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta (page 100) is a huge sandwich stuffed with spinach, roasted aubergine/eggplant and peppers, and olive and sundried tomato relish. I’ve always wanted to try it but I’ve never had exactly the right ingredients, so this time I decided to just make it with what I had.

Muffuletta

I used all green olives instead of half kalamatas and I chopped them by hand instead of using a food processor, I left out the celery seed, and I roasted my own tomatoes and yellow peppers. I also couldn’t find a good round loaf of bread that wasn’t way out of my usual price range, so I made my own – which meant I made two smaller sandwiches instead of a single big one.

Muffuletta

What a sandwich. I was planning on serving it with a soup, but once we’d tried a bite of the muffuletta we decided it would make a fine dinner on its own. I still think it would be nice with a lentil soup for a bit more protein, but I was surprised by how filling the sandwich was with just vegetables and olives.

This muffuletta works best if you make it well in advance so the olive relish has plenty of time to soak into the bread. I took mine out a little early so I could take a picture, but I have leftovers steeping in the fridge so I can’t wait to go and eat them.

Sample recipes

If you don’t have Veganomicon and you’d like to try a few dishes before buying it, these are recipes from the book (some slightly modified) that are available on the PPK blog.
Potato latkes
Seitan piccata
Eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream
Quinoa salad with black beans and mango
Chickpea cutlets

Links of the day

Picking a favourite cookbook is hard! I was happy to see fellow MoFo bloggers highlighting some of my other favourites, including Appetite for Reduction (on Vegan Eats & Treats) and Vegan Brunch (on Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen). I also loved seeing recipe recommendations for books I want to use more often, like Authentic Chinese Cuisine (on Dandelion Vegan Blog), Isa Does It (on Vegan Crunk), and Vegan Eats World (on Vegan à Montréal).

And of course I’ve read many reviews of wonderful cookbooks I don’t currently own – but I expect everyone’s added lots of cookbooks to their wishlists after today, so I’m not going to tempt you by linking to more of them. :) Instead, check out Zsu’s round-up of the second week of VeganMoFo!

Cooking resolutions update, part 2

(Nederlandstalige versie)

This is the second part of my list of short updates on the cooking resolutions I posted last year. I posted the first part last week.

23: Rice paper rolls
I’ve been eating these pretty often since I first bought a bag of rice paper. It’s my favourite meal for hot days when I don’t want to do any cooking other than chopping vegetables. My favourite fillings up until now have been crunchy fresh vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, radishes, courgettes, peppers, cabbage, things like that), fresh herbs, baked or pan-fried tofu, and avocado with peanut sauce and sriracha on the side.

25: Martine‘s Roti
I posted about this last year.

26: Cashew mozzarella
Cashew mozzarella caprese

I had fun just making these: you use an ice cream scoop to form balls of mozzarella and then they firm up in a bowl of ice water. I used this recipe from Miyoko Schinner which consists mostly of cashews and soy yoghurt. My mozzarella had a very mild flavour, but my experience with fermented cheeses is still limited — I had trouble determining how long the mixture should sit before it was “ready”.

27: Chimichurri something
I wrote about Isa’s tempeh chimichurri here. Since then, I’ve also made the sauce to go with tofu and several kinds of vegetables. I’m glad coriander and parsley are so cheap at the market.

28: Romesco
I made the romesco from Isa Does It earlier this month. That recipe was a spread and not a sauce, but I say it counts. I’m going to try it in sauce form, too.

30: Seitan slices
I made the Gobbler Slices from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day; more details here.

34: Yoghurt
I’ve made yoghurt three times now: once using a thermos, once using glass jars inside an insulated bag and once using the yoghurt maker I found at a car boot sale. Each time, I just mixed warm soy milk with a bit of ready made yoghurt and left it overnight. It worked okay, but I still need to try out a few recipes to get the texture right.

35: Jam
Last year, I made jam to bake cookies with (see this post).

37: Carrot cake
I crossed this one off the list on the first day of this year’s VeganMoFo!

38: Tiramisù
Tiramisu
When I made my food resolutions I had been making mini versions of tiramisù, like parfaits or cupcakes, but I’d never made a full dish of the stuff. The one pictured above was a version of the wonderful recipe from Seitan is my Motor (I had to make a different cake because I was out of chickpea flour) that I made for Christmas last year. (I tried to “artistically strew” some ingredients across the table for this. Food styling is hard.) I love this recipe and I’ve also made a wonderful version with chocolate biscotti, but I don’t have a photo of that one — I think that means I’ll just have to make it again?

39: Flourless chocolate cake
I tried a recipe and then accidentally left out one of the ingredients, so the end result wasn’t the best. I’d like to make another one and follow the recipe more closely.

42: Coconut cream pie
Coconut cream pie
I made this for my boyfriend’s birthday last year because he also loves non-vegan cream pie and sure enough, we both really enjoyed this one. The recipe is from Vegan Pie in the Sky.

44: Clafoutis
I don’t want to cross this one off yet because my first try was just pathetic. It doesn’t help that I’m actually not really sure what clafoutis is supposed to taste like. I read somewhere that it’s like a big oven-baked pancake, so I made a beautiful pancake batter, poured it into an oven dish, covered it with fruit and put it in the oven. Or so I thought. I use  a combination microwave oven that had somehow switched to the microwave setting, so my clafoutis ended up barely edible. My boyfriend did say he liked it but I’m pretty sure he just felt sorry for me. I think I’ll have to look up a fool-proof vegan recipe before I try again. :)

49. Miyoko’s flax seed foam
It turns out flax seed is even more magical than I already suspected. If you boil it, it releases a kind of gel that you can whip and use in the same applications as the whites from chickens’ eggs. Of course flax and eggs have slightly different properties and the link above only shows the beginning of the possibilities, but I’d like to do more experimenting with this concept. So far I’ve made the basic recipe and used it to make a kind of lemon dessert with strawberries.

Lemon cakes and half a strawberry pie (A game of thrones)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Lemon cakes Half a strawberry pie

Jeyne yawned. “Are there any lemon cakes?”
Sansa did not like being interrupted, but she had to admit, lemon cakes sounded more interesting than most of what had gone on in the throne room. “Let’s see,” she said.
The kitchen yielded no lemon cakes, but they did find half of a cold strawberry pie, and that was almost as good. They ate it on the tower steps, giggling and gossiping and sharing secrets, and Sansa went to bed that night feeling almost as wicked as Arya.

– George R.R. Martin, A game of thrones

This is my third post inspired by Game of Thrones and probably the last one for this month. There are still many foods from the series I’d like to try, though, so maybe I’ll return to this theme after VeganMoFo!

Lemon cakes are probably one of the first things you’ll encounter if you look for recipes from Game of Thrones. Mine were mostly based on these cakes shown in the TV series. They looked smaller than regular cupcakes, so I made a flat cake and used a scone cutter to cut out little rounds. This method allows you to sneak bites of both the batter and the cake and I like to think Sansa would approve of that. The cake recipe was more or less the Lemony French Cake from Have Cake Will Travel, one of my favourites that I think everyone should try. The topping is a glaze with cashews and lemons but in hindsight I think lemon curd would’ve been better (can anyone recommend a vegan recipe?).

For the pie, I adapted the recipe for Strawberry Hand Pies from Vegan Pie in the Sky using whole wheat flour instead of plain and oil instead of margarine. Delicious! Almost as good as lemon cakes.

Cooking resolutions update, part 1

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Last year on my birthday, I posted a list of foods I had never made that I wanted to try my hand at. I haven’t crossed off all the items — mostly because I never seem to have the right ingredients and the required equipment on hand at the same time — but I’ve tried enough to post a few short updates.

2: Ciabatta
I made this last summer following a recipe by
Bryanna Clark Grogan. I still have to try it again without a bread machine.

3: Baguettes
I’ve tried a few recipes, but none have turned out as crusty as I’d like. I’m going to look for more.

4: Croissants
Croissants
I’ve made a few attempts using several croissant recipes but I still have to get the hang of them. The photo above shows my second attempt: pretty good, but I used a little too much flour while folding the dough so that the resulting croissants weren’t soft enough. Hopefully I’ll be able to post an update soon!

8: Calzone
I have to make these more often. We make pizza a lot but our oven is very small, so folding the dough in two seems like the clever thing to do. The most recent calzone I made were filled with aubergine, courgette, red pepper, onion, and pesto with a tomato dipping sauce on the side.

9: Samosas
I’ve tried a few recipes so far, but I haven’t found a real favourite yet. I’ve used this recipe as a guide a few times (especially the step-by-step pictures for the folding process!) and I’ve made both fried and baked versions.

12: Sushi that I like
I included this on the list because I used to dislike nori, but I’m OK with it now. Earlier this month I also posted about sushi without nori.

14: Beetroot risotto
Love it. I blogged about it here and here.

15: Tortellini
Roasted carrot tortellini

I made these over a year ago so I’ve almost forgotten how frustrating it is to fill and boiling all those little pockets without having the contents leak out. Fortunately, they were also very delicious. The filling consisted of pureed roasted carrots, onion, and cashews and the sauce was a fresh coriander pesto.

16: Vegetable stock
I posted about this during last year’s MoFo, but I still mostly use stock cubes. I’d like to make it more frequently.

19: Aubergine bacon etc
I made Isa’s eggplant bacon once to go into a salad, but there are still so many other types of vegan bacon to try! Next time I have liquid smoke on hand I’d like to try coconut bacon.

20: Something with jackfruit
I found jackfruit in a can at the Amazing Oriental supermarket and more or less followed the recipe for the Jackfruit Carnitas from Vegan Eats World. We had it in wraps with fresh coriander and the pickled red onions from Viva Vegan!. Despite its hearty flavour in this recipe, the jackfruit isn’t very filling on it’s own, so I made the refried beans from Appetite for Reduction to go with it for extra protein. I haven’t cooked with jackfruit since then but I think I’ll pick it up again if it’s on sale.

Jackfruit! Stuffed artichoke

21: Stuffed artichokes
I was really looking forward to these because I love artichokes and I don’t buy them very often, but I was a little disappointed. I used a simple recipe for the stuffing that mostly consisted of breadcrumbs and herbs, so maybe I’ll try again with more exciting ingredients and young artichokes. For now, I’m sticking to unstuffed artichokes — they’re less work and at least as delicious.

Seaweedless sushi

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Sushi without nori

I added “make sushi that I like” to my food resolutions because the first time I tried sushi, I liked all of it except for the nori. I’ve since gotten over that problem, but I still wanted to make a plate of sushi without using seaweed (especially because the nori that I’d forgotten in my cupboard has gotten so old that it’s starting to fall apart). I’m still very much of a sushi noob but I had fun making these anyway.

I used the instructions from 500 Vegan Recipes to make the tofu pouches on the left. The recipe really only has a few steps: you  deep-fry and marinate tofu slices and then they’re ready to stuff. I followed the recipe pretty loosely but they still seem to have turned out very well, although I’ve never used pre-made inari-age so I can’t say how they compare.

We were getting hungry by the time all the tofu slices were done frying so I kept the rest of the sushi pretty simple. I made the rolls using rice paper, which works well though it doesn’t add much in terms of flavour — a good option for nori-haters. I only had circles of rice paper so I used two overlapping sheets to make the roll. Square sheets would be ideal. I filled the rolls with fried tofu strips, avocado, and stir-fried aubergine and carrot matchsticks.

The rest of the toppings are aubergine and carrot with sesame seeds and avocado and watermelon with IKEA’s seaweed caviar (so the sushi wasn’t entirely seaweedless after all!). The watermelon was my favourite so we had some more on the side — enjoy those summer fruits while you can! :)

Chocolate and raspberry ice cream with chopped nuts (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Chocolate and raspberry sorbet with chopped almonds

Chocolate and raspberry with chopped nuts is the ice cream flavour Hagrid buys Harry during his first visit to Diagon Alley. Yesterday’s strawberry and peanut butter ice cream consisted of two separate batches of ice cream, but for this dessert I just made a chocolate sorbet and swirled in a raspberry coulis at the end.

Chocolate sorbet is one of my favourite frozen desserts and I think I like it better than any chocolate ice cream I’ve had. It’s just pure chocolate with no cream or coconut or other flavour to get in to the way. I used the recipe from Hannah Kaminsky’s Vegan Desserts, but there are plenty of recipes online if you don’t have that book (this one by David Lebovitz looks good). As far as I can tell the main difference with Hannah’s recipe is that she has you cook the sugar and part of the water into a caramel before adding the other ingredients, which is fun to do and it adds a nice background flavour but it looks like chocolate sorbet works fine without that step as well.

For the raspberry coulis, I cooked 1 1/2 cups (230 g) raspberries, a tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of lemon juice in a little saucepan for 10-15 minutes until they fell apart into a thin sauce. Then I strained out the seeds and chilled the coulis completely overnight. After I had churned the sorbet in the ice cream maker the next day, I combined the two by scooping them into a container in alternating layers and then stirring a little to create swirls.

The sorbet was delicious by itself, but the chopped almonds really took it up a notch. Well chosen, Hagrid! :)