Sunday, November 11, 2007

Redemption!













After a week of waiting, I finally had the weekend free to cook again.... and to give Veganomicon a second chance. I didn't mean to start baking the day after I had a 104 degree temperature, but after a day of lying on the couch, watching, "America's Next Top Model," and football, I was ready to run screaming to the kitchen (yes, I enjoy both.... but in slight moderation!). Oh yeah, and I spent part of that day reading through the entire volume of Veganomicon, so I was itching (in a good way) to try something else out! It was a great read for being sick, actually, as I wasn't sick to my stomach and Isa and Terry's sarcasm and wit kept me giggling! (My husband didn't care for me reading excerpts aloud every other minute, though).

With a normal temp this morning, I still didn't want to risk relapsing, so I didn't workout - yuck, I hate skipping! But anyhoo, there I was with the tome in my hand, and I knew I had lots of carrots in the fridge. So, I found a can of pineapple and got to work on the above beauties: Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins. They reminded me a lot of the Maui Muffins from the Candle Cafe Cookbook, but not as good because there was no ooey, gooey, sticky sauce over them. So, they were a lot healthier, but still moist and delish!


But then I realized that I still had some pineapple leftover. If there's one habit I'm trying to break, it's having leftover bits of a meal (not the meals, just the individual parts that were not needed) going bad in the fridge. Half of a silken tofu block, half of an onion, part of a tomato, you get my drift! So, I dragged out The Everyday Vegan, Dreena's first book, and pulled out a recipe that had enticed me to buy the book in the first place: Carrot Pineapple Muffin Tops! Here they are. The lumps are the raisins :) They were really runny and spread out really quickly, and didn't rise very much but oooh were they good! The best part? I finally ground my own nutmeg! Dreena always comments on how important and good freshly ground nutmeg is, and I had some in my spice cabinet. I didn't have a microplane or kitchen rasp, so I just used the roughest part of my box grater! It smelled like heaven! The scent lingered in my mouth after each bite.
Both recipes were great because they used whole wheat (pastry) flour, and very little sugar or fat (and unrefined sugar, in Dreena's case). So, in comparison, Isa's muffins were 'sunnier' as their name totes and more moist (they were whole muffins), but Dreena's muffin tops flavor kicked ass as the perfect fall treat. So funny to find them as I now have Dreena's third book!


Speaking of which, here is my first posted recipe from that book, Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan: Palak Soyabina Panira. I was a little annoyed at how the tofu burned to the bottom so quickly. This happens so often to me! I always have to turn the heat down a ton, and add more oil or moisture. But I tried not to this time, and just scraped hard at the bottom while I cooked. The meal came together pretty quickly, after I chopped and measured the many spices and ingredients. And it was well worth it! My husband thought it wasn't creamy enough, and perhaps he was right, but I was blown away by the flavors! Four stars**** for this one.
I made two other recipes from ED&BV this weekend, starting with the Black Bean Orange Hummus, which is my lunch for the week and
was sunny itself - very original flavors and super easy to make! Rating: three stars ***(I packed it up right away in my little lunch kits, so no photo!). The other recipe was the Monkey Minestrone. This soup was actually made by my husband! He made it while I was sick (also hence no photo), and there was nothing better than sipping on that good veggie soup while I lay on the couch! I love you, babe! PDA aside, it really was good, and we rated it: Three stars*** (maybe three and a half). His only comment was that he can't stand to read cookbooks, because they have all the directions in paragraph form. As he reads and then cooks and then checks back, he finds himself lost in the sea of words, trying to find where he left off. He pleads with every cookbook author to consider writing in bulleted or numbered list form! I agree, but how many books are written like that? Anyway, here's to new cookbooks!

7 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oh my goodness, watching "America's Next Top Model" is DEFINITELY a guilty pleasure of mine - sometimes, you just need to watch some mindless television after a long, stressful day :0) glad to read you watch it too!!

mmm, the Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins, Carrot Pineapple Muffin Tops (I've made those too, in the past - sure, they spread quite a lot, but they're fabulous!), and Palak Soyabina Panira look delicious - I wish I could see the photos of the OTHER tasty recipes you tried (sorry, I'm selfish, haha).

Here's to new cookbooks, indeed - and to old favorites, like all of Dreena's past cookbooks! :0)

VeggieGirl said...

thanks for the comment on my blog - I LOVE your blog, and follow it daily to check for updates :0)

I don't eat chocolate because of its high caffeine and oxalate levels (carob has ZERO caffeine and ZERO oxalates); and I also prefer the richer, smoother taste/texture of carob.

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Veggiegirl - I completely understand about chocolate! When I found out carob was zero caffeine, I was in trouble, because then I knew I could pig out on it in the evening and not be "buzzing" and have insomnia the rest of the night. ;) But seriously, I do love carob!

Liz² said...

ha, I watch america's next top, too! sometimes, anyway (who loves Else, I love Else!)

that Palak Soyabina Panira looks delicious and I have no idea what it is. :P

also, I love that you compared two very similar recipes, I'm always so curious when I see Almost-Identicals in my cookbooks. high five for that!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I'm with you. The leftover bits of a meal always get to me. I hate throwing them out. That's why the other day, when I made fajitas, I actually added some cornstarch to leftover coconut milk and mixed it with my fajita seasoning. It eventually thickened up into a nice sauce with a very interesting (but good) taste.

bazu said...

I know all about the little leftover bits- I thing the trick is having an arsenal of recipes that need little amounts of things- like how to make a little tempeh sausage, some pound cake with half a silken tofu, etc. When all else fails, dump it all into soup!
Your food from this post all looks so good, by the way! Especially that Indian dish! Here's to fresh nutmeg!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Glad you're feeling better :o). Yay for vegan cookbooks, both new and old!