Sunday, January 27, 2008

Redemption Time!

Once again, it seems that second chances are always the best way to go. After last week's disappointing reviews, I was eager but wary to venture into the depths of Veganomicon again. I am pleased to announce that the Pumpkin Ziti Bake with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping not only was worth the time (it requires several fairly simple, but altogether time consuming steps), but it was TOTALLY DELICIOUS! I mean this with every ounce of my body - this is not a suck-up repentant post! This dish is so fall-winter, creamy, hearty, yet not husband went back for a large plate of seconds and I tried to contain myself from eating it straight out of the pan! It doesn't even taste very pumpkin-y, so if you are wary of that flavor, not to worry! The fresh breadcrumbs, as suggested by Isa and Terry, are completely worth the little effort and do add such a yummy crunchy contrast to the creamy filling! The onions added another subtle richness to the dish. Oh my - make this today! I am so glad I gave Veganomicon another try.

Here is the whole dish, before it was put into the oven. The breadcrumbs look dark because I used whole wheat sandwich bread (my husband will never eat the heels!). Oh - and got a question about protein? This sucker has an entire block of firm tofu in it, which was part of the Cashew Ricotta (oh, I could eat that straight up - Jess was right!).
Not to mention the aforementioned cashews and the walnuts in the breadcrumbs.

And here is the dish, right out of the oven, a minute longer than it should have been in for, but it didn't taste burnt at all....Yummm......

Meanwhile, it was time to try another dessert from Veganomicon, which I knew wouldn't go wrong. These were the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (or something like that). I used chocolate chips because they were for a bake sale at my school, and I figured lots of kids probably don't like raisins (there was even a time when I didn't - the intense lover of dried fruit that I now am!). They probably would have been better with raisins, but they were still damned good! You can see the dark, chewy center - oh, they were so perfect!

This Curry Chickpea Hummus, from ED&BV was my weekly foray into protein lunch dips. I loved the spice, plus the hint of sweetness from the raisins. Here are my little Tupperware cups, all ready for the week's lunches! I plan on eating this with organic veggie sticks, pappudums (check out this link for the exact brand that I bought - they are even made with lentils, which is a great protein!), and whole wheat pita bread. Last week, I made my first UnCheese CookBook recipe, which was a delicious cheezy chickpea spread, but forgot to take a photos!

When I was off Veganomicon last weekend, I tried two magazine recipes in an effort to use up some of my clementines. Here is a Citrus Salad from Cooking Light. Lovely grapefruit, orange and clementine slices with toasted almonds and a light, citrusy dressing over mixed greens. This went perfectly with....

Sweet Potato Bisque with Clementines and Sage! This included carrots, parsnips and clementine juice, but you'd never know. They just added a delightful, but subtle sweetness to the dish. I used my handy-dandy immersion blender to puree it up, right in the pot! No messy pouring into a blender for me!

And here is the bisque, steaming away in my bowl, waiting for me to dig in. I enjoyed this all week, and still had plenty to freeze for later! This Vegetarian Times recipe makes a ton. What a wonderful week of orange foods! I feel so healthy :) I can't help but feel energized and happy and excited about life when I have such yummy foods to look forward to!


VeggieGirl said...

EVERYTHING (from the ziti and cookies to the salad and bisque) looks, as you said, perfect - hooray for redemption in the kitchen! :0)

Anonymous said...

Seeing that you made the hummus kinda inspires me to give that a try again. Whenever I've made hummus in the past it comes out... soft yet gritty... kinda hard to describe. There's a local hummus here in Kansas City, MO, that is amazingly silky smooth, but rather pricey. Maybe more oil and more blending is required... hmm...

- Bryan, of the Vegan Blog Tracker

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the V-con reviews! The cookbook is so huge I am trying to try different recipes, but it is overwhelming. It is SO nice to have "tested" recipes to try that I know will turn out well--thank you!