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!

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Grilled yuca tortillas, baked falafel, and more summer meals

Grilled Yuca TortillasFor years I always skipped over the recipe for Grilled Yuca Tortillas in Veganomicon because I had never heard of yuca and I was sure that whatever it was, I had certainly never seen one at my local supermarket. This changed when I moved and started shopping at more different shops and markets, and sure enough, I’ve encountered this vegetable at a few different places now – it’s usually sold under the name cassava here – and I decided to finally give the recipe a try. Once I had picked up a package of frozen yuca pieces at Amazing Oriental, the dish was actually very easy to assemble: just boil and mash the yuca, add some sautéed vegetables and other ingredients, spread the filling onto a tortilla and grill until browned and crispy. I added roasted red peppers and black olives to the filling, both of which paired wonderfully with the creamy garlicky filling and provided a pretty colour contrast as well.

Now that I’ve tried this vegetable, I’d really like to make more dishes that feature yuca – I’d love to hear recipe recommendations if anyone has them!

These are a few other meals I’ve cooked this summer (I never got around to posting them so I figured I’d add them all to one post):

Falafel & sidesPictured above is the baked falafel from Appetite for Reduction served with flatbread, salad, garlic sauce, aubergine dip, and roasted red pepper spread. By the time I was done cooking, the meal was more about the sides than the falafel itself, which was fine by me – I love meals with loads of different salads and toppings. The bread is the 50/50 flatbread from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, which was very simple and perfect as a quick side dish. I made it in a few different sizes but the large crispy ones were my favourite.

Quinoa & black bean saladThis is a bowl of the quinoa & black bean salad with toasted cumin seeds (also a recipe from AFR) that I made to keep in the fridge for quick healthy lunches. I did think it could use a few extra add-ins so I topped it with roasted red pepper slices here. This would be amazing with avocado on top, as well. The salad seems to be packed with nutritious things and it’s pretty filling so it would be great as a healthy meal on the go!

Roasted red pepper soupI had a big bag of red peppers to use up (I got 16 at the market for €1!), so after using some in the spread and on my salads I roasted a few of them to make this soup. It was simple (mostly just peppers blended with a little stock) but so full of flavour and colour.

Baby quiche!Finally, I modified the broccoli quiche recipe from Vegan Brunch (which is also online here) to make these muffin-sized spinach tomato quiches. This dish is one of my favourites from the book because it’s so easy to adapt using whatever vegetables you have on hand. It’s also really good cold or at room temperature so this recipe is perfect for picnics, especially if you make it into mini quiches like I did! Just bake them in a muffin tin (you could probably even make them crustless, though I haven’t tried that) and reduce the cooking time a bit (mine were in the oven for about 20-25 minutes). I didn’t want to spend too much time making the crusts look perfect, but I kind of like the way they turned out – lots of crispy edges!

Hope everyone’s having a lovely weekend!

Salad & Pizza in the Garden

I think I already mentioned on here that we had a pretty crappy summer with loads of rain and not nearly enough sunshine. Needless to say, it was a welcome surprise that the first days of autumn actually turned out to be very pleasant; yesterday my boyfriend and I even spent the afternoon at the beach (No swimming, though; too many jellyfish :( I did bring a cookbook to do some MoFo planning and it turns out my boyfriend would like me to try out all pancake and waffle recipes from 500 Vegan Recipes this month. Not a bad idea…) Today was equally gorgeous, so my parents and I decided to have dinner outside in the garden. I made the pizza dough from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen and the tofu ricotta from Veganomicon, so all we needed were a few fresh veggies to make a yummy summery meal.

Pizza!
My pizza had fresh tomato slices, tofu ricotta, sautéed oyster mushrooms, marinated artichokes (I found these at Xenos and they’re so much better than the canned artichoke hearts I usually get!), sliced red onion and arugula. I know I’ve said it before, but this pizza dough is the best! It’s easy to work with and makes for a delicious chewy/crispy crust. I haven’t always had good results with whole wheat pizza crusts, but I always use a cup of whole wheat flour in this recipe and it works beautifully! I actually prefer the crunchy texture it give the crust. Now all we need is a pizza stone and I’ll never want restaurant pizzas again!

Salad!
We’d made salads while waiting for the pizzas to arrive, and they were almost as delicious as the pizzas themselves. My plate had mixed lettuce, fresh tomato, red onion, tofu ricotta, some of those delicious artichoke hearts, and the Classic French Vinaigrette from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. The dressing was quick to whip up and made a tasty addition to our salads. We also drizzled a little onto our pizzas.

I hope to  be back with more summery eats tomorrow. Got to enjoy those sunny days while they last!

Rainy Days

Rain

It’s been raining for a week now and it’s starting to feel like it’s never going to stop. I usually don’t mind rain, but I have to say this is not what I hoped summer would be like. At least the lousy weather allows me to spend most of my day in the kitchen, which leads to delicious treats such as these:

Ravioli, waiting to be cooked

Ravioli

Homemade stuffed pasta! I’d planned on making ravioli, but I think the shapes I made are technically called agnolotti? In any case, they were quite a success. I made the pasta dough recipe from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen, which was surprisingly simple to assemble and easy to work with, and I used the cashew ricotta from Veganomicon for the filling. We had these with a very simple tomato sauce, which was actually perfect; they’re already so tasty on their own that they don’t need much become a lovely meal. It’s a little sad that the dish took me a few hours to make yet it took us mere minutes to scarf it all down, but these little pasta pillows are definitely worth the trouble! I imagine making fresh pasta also gets easier once you get used to it, so I’d love to use the recipe again in the future.

Chickpea cutlet, fennel risotto, herb-roasted cauliflower

Today’s dinner is a bit too brown to make for a pretty food picture, but it sure was tasty: a chickpea cutlet from Veganomicon (I made a double batch), the fennel breakfast risotto from Vegan Brunch, and the herb-roasted cauliflower and bread crumbs from Appetite for Reduction. All of these recipes are excellent! My boyfriend wasn’t too keen on the roasted cauliflower, though – he prefers to have this vegetable boiled and mashed into potatoes. I guess I’ll make him the Caulipots from AFR next time!

We’ve been cooking from our pantry a lot lately, mainly because we don’t feel like going out in the rain to get groceries and also because it’s a good way to save money. Pizzas are especially pantry-friendly, since you can top them with whatever you have on hand:

Potato pizza

This pizza has cashew ricotta, thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, and olive oil. Perfectly crispy and flavourful!

Hopefully my next post will be about breakfast on the balcony and picnics on the beach… but it looks as though the rain isn’t going away anytime soon. I guess I’ll go make myself another cup of tea!

Foods from my new home!

If you’re still reading this, I guess you’ve gotten used to the fact that I seem to be unable to make blog posts regularly. I’ve sort of accepted that fact myself, as well. However, I just noticed the last post I made wasn’t even from this year, and it’s already June 2011! So I guess it’s about time for a little update/catch-up post. Since I last posted here, my boyfriend and I went and found ourselves our own apartment, which means two things for this blog:

1. I now live in a large city with a number of vegetarian restaurants, a vegetarian butcher’s shop, and a bunch of other interesting specialty stores. I used to live in a tiny village, so this is pretty big for me.

2. We now have our own kitchen!

Both of these changes should provide me with plenty of food blogging material! Sadly, however, I haven’t been taking many interesting food shots so far. During the winter I tend to go into slumps where I hardly use my camera at all, mostly because nothing I make ever comes out looking pretty without good natural lighting. Now that summer’s almost here, though, I’m trying to take my camera with me more often. This also made me realise that I probably need a new one, because some of the buttons are broken and it really is kind of old… but I’m cheap, and it’s still working, so it will have to do!

Cheater Grilled Cheese

When we’d just moved and didn’t have that many ingredients around in our kitchen, I was really happy to find simple recipes like this Cheater Grilled Cheese from a PPK thread. It’s super easy and flexible, and delicious served with a generous helping of ketchup.

Blueberry Muffins

From that same pantry meals thread, I also made these blueberry muffins. Simple and tasty! The recipe isn’t that different from other blueberry muffins, so I guess muffins are just pantry-friendly by nature!

Unfried Fried Rice & Tofu Saté

This was one of the first actual meals we made: The Unfried Fried Rice from Appetite for Reduction, a tasty peanut sauce from Vegan with a Vengeance, and a few pieces of grilled tofu made with a marinade from 500 Vegan Recipes (I think it was the recipe for Tofu Satay). I made a few slight changes to each recipe, and they came together wonderfully! We had similar meals a few times after this and they were all equally yummy.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew with Potatoes and Seitan from Appetite for Reduction: good solid comfort food. This was the second time I made this recipe and I think I liked it better the first time, but that was mostly due to the type of broth I used. My seitan making skills aren’t perfect yet, either, but I’m getting better! As you can see, I subbed frozen peas for the green beans, which made this dish pretty pantry-friendly as well.

Hummus & Cucumber Toast

Toast with roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber! Kind of speaks for itself, but I wanted to post the picture ’cause it’s such a tasty combo.

Chickpea Wingz

Chickpea Wingz! I might have posted about these before, but they are really great! They’re a wonderful combination of the Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon and the Tempeh Wingz from Don’t Eat Off the Sidewalk, united in one recipe by Celine from Have Cake Will Travel. Both those recipes were already favourites of mine, so the idea of combining them is genius! I think they’ve also finally convinced my boyfriend that chickpea cutlets are actually delicious, versatile, and not scary, so I couldn’t be happier.

Falafel salad

While I adore big fluffy pitas stuffed with falafel and veggies and tahina, sometimes a tiny pita just can’t hold all the stuff I want to cram into it! That’s why falafel salads are awesome. And I can just have my bread on the side.

Vegetarische Slager Saté

Now, this sandwich was excellent. We got it from De Vegetarische Slager, Den Haag’s vegetarian butcher’s shop that makes delicious (and, apparently, realistic) vegetarian and vegan meat analogues. My lunch (pictured above) consisted of saté and coconut peanut sauce on one of their homemade bread rolls, while my boyfriend went for a meatball sandwich. I think it’s really awesome that these people are able to mimic meat dishes so well! I’ve shared their faux meats with my family a few times and everyone agrees that while the taste is delicious, it’s the texture that makes their products so unique and meat-like. My boyfriend and I would probably buy their stuff a lot if we had more money, but for now I guess it’s just for special occasions. I can’t wait to have lunch there again!

Pasteitje

Here’s a yummy pumpkin-topped puff pastry thing from a local restaurant called Baklust. I’ve posted about the place before, and this cute little cafe is still one of my favourites!

Cake!

And for dessert, a slice of orange coconut cake from that same cafe. It was good, but apparently they now also offer vegan chocolate cake, so I clearly need to go back to taste that one too!

Whew! I think I’ve covered most of what I wanted to share, so hopefully my next posts won’t be as random and picture-heavy!

Summer Breakfasts

Today was a long, cold, dark day. Seems like the perfect time to go through my photos from this summer and share a few breakfasts I’d been meaning to post! I don’t remember all the details about these, but I assure you everything was delicious.

Tofu scramble, roasted potatoes & veggies, strawberries

First up is this plate of tofu scramble (with almost more veggies than tofu, it seems), roasted vegetables and a few strawberries as a little dessert. I used the Roasted Root Vegetables recipe from Vegan Brunch as a base for the side dish, using potato instead of some of the roots. Loved this!

Blueberry Corn Pancakes

I made these Blueberry Corn Pancakes from Veganomicon as a treat for my boyfriend one morning because he usually really likes things with blueberries, and we both loved them! I definitely have to remember to make these again when I have blueberries around.

Poffertjes!

I also made poffertjes! I had made them before, using a recipe from a cookbook, but this time I adapted a basic recipe from Wikipedia. They were really tasty (and so much fun to make), so maybe I’ll try and post a recipe if I try them again in the future.

Pineapple Carrot Sunshine Muffins

Hmm, I think it was already autumn when I made these muffins, but their name definitely fits the summer theme: the Pineapple Carrot Sunshine Muffins from Veganomicon. Lena from the NVV forum recommended them to me, so I gave them a try, and they turned out perfectly! I didn’t have golden raisins, as you can see in the picture, but these were still a great success. They’re very moist and tasty and made for convenient snacks to take with me to classes (in my little cupcake container!)

Oh, I’m already looking forward to being able to enjoy summery breakfasts outside in the garden again. Meanwhile, I’ll keep enjoying delicious pumpkin-flavoured foods! More on that tomorrow.

Curried Carrot Dip

I’m usually not a big fan of boiled carrots, but I’d read so many good things about this recipe from Veganomicon that I just had to give it a try!

Curried Carrot Dip

And it’s great! I made only half a batch, which was just the right amount to make two wraps (below), but now I’m thinking I should have made more.

P1050520-resize

I needed to pack a meal I could eat on my way to class, so I made these wraps using the carrot dip, lettuce, a sliced piece of bell pepper that had to be used, a leftover quinoa-lentil cutlet based on this recipe, and some avocado. Mmm, avocado. They look really messy and they were quite messy to eat, but pretty good! Just a bit more filling than I’d expected, so I only ended up eating one of them. And unfortunately you couldn’t taste the carrot spread that well due to all the other fillings, so next time I’ll just use it as a dip on its own. Still, I was glad to have a tasty meal to eat on the go!