Sunday, September 06, 2009

Ten New Recipes in Ten Days

I never thought I'd say this, but I think I am tired of cooking.....ha, ha - gotcha! Still, ten recipes in less than two weeks can wear anyone out, especially when you're cooking for so many different diets and tastes!

But let me back up a little....I have to share this gorgeous photo first, because I just made it last night and want everyone to go make it now!! Or, go buy Vegan Yum Yum, my newest cookbook acquisition by Lauren Ulm.

This was her Stuffed Delicata Squash with Cherry-Apple-Almond Couscous. I was blown away by the flavors (sweet, sour), textures (crumbly, creamy, crunchy) and simplicity of this dish. Basically, you just halve and bake a squash (she states that you can do other squashes) and fill them afterwards with a hot stuffing of cherries, apple, almonds and couscous (I used an organic, whole wheat kind). The dressing is a VERY simple agave-mustard thing.....This was by far the easiest and yummiest meal I made all week. Four stars out of this world! ****

I actually did happen to have a delicata squash on hand, from the CSA. I didn't even know what kind it was until I was browsing through Lauren's book. This one little squash was quite a filling dinner for me and there was tons of "stuffing" leftover for lunch or to stuff other squashes this week.

What I love about Vegan Yum Yum is that there are many meals that serve 2. That works out perfectly for Mr. PLV and me, especially when he doesn't want the leftovers or he wouldn't touch the dish with a ten foot pole and it's up to me to eat it all week long....Mr. PLV has a thing for fruit in his hot meals (in other words, it better not be there) so this second dish, Tamarind Tofu Cabbage Bowl (also from Yum Yum) was a hopeful second try.

Actually, he turned his nose up at the name but after tasting the melange of crisp tofu bites, crunchy almonds and sour tamarind sauce, decided it was pretty good! I gave it three stars, but I think it could be three and a half as leftovers.... *** The only problem I had was with the tamarind. I bought a block of it, and when I put it into the sauce, although boiling merrily away for quite a while, it didn't dissolve very well, and we were left with hard chunks that I couldn't break down even with my trusty immersion blender. Advice anyone?

Like I said before, serving four different people with different needs and tastes was quite a challenge (my parents were in town to help build some giant bookshelves in our living room) ! My mother is vegan thank goodness(!), but is "watching her carbs," and, "doesn't really like fresh fruit." My father is on an Atkins-Blood-Type diet (total crap, but he's lost a TON of weight because it's high in protein and he now eats salads every day and no refined bread- woohoo!), and Mr. PLV has decided that he no longer cares for tempeh, my homemade seitan, salads, or grilled summer squash. Meanwhile, I will eat absolutely any vegetable, fruit, or vegan/vegetarian dish you put in front of me. Argh, is putting it nicely.

Anyhoo, we did settle on stuffed peppers, which I've made several times in the past. This particular recipe from 366 Ways to Cook Tofu and other Meat Alternatives by Robin Robertson was not my personal favorite ever, but the other three (esp meat-eating dad and picky hubby) commented enthusiastically on it! Three stars *** Funny thing was....I realized that I don't really care for stuffed peppers....

After mum and dad left, I was left with a ton of tomatoes bought on accident (organic, local), some peppers from dad's salad days, and two eggplants from the CSA. Mr. PLV is not a huge fan of eggplant (sensing a theme here?) but eagerly ate this Ratatouille with White Beans from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook, including the leftovers! It made quite a ton, and my only critique was that it called for 1 to 1/2 inch cubes of the veggies. I used an actual ruler, and found that that is actually quite huge! I didn't think they would cook down quickly enough (and were a bit too big for a comfortable bite) so I cut them in half and it all turned out quite nicely. Not spicy enough for me, so only three stars. ***

I'm going to speed through the rest of this post, since I've been rather blabby up to now....

Shiitake-Seitan Stir Fry adapted from a tofu-shiitake mushroom stir from in 366 Ways. Delish, quick, easy and spicy enough even for Mr. PLV who ate all the leftovers! Three and a half stars ***1/2.

I ate my portion in my beautiful new bowl, bought a local artists' shop. Handmade pottery never ceases to amaze me! Our own bowls from China are chipping, so I'm slowly replacing them with better stuff...

A raw food dessert kick was kick-started by Ani's Raw Food Desserts, by Ani Phyo.

These Trail Mix Cookies were raw and scrumptious! Three solid stars...

But these Pecan Pie Cookies were simply amazing! Close your eyes while you eat one, and just see if you can taste the pie! Basically, pecans, dates, cinnamon and a hint of OJ. Sooo easy to make and even easier to eat! Four stars **** and beyond...

Latest Veg Group meeting had me bringing the above cookies but also some non-raw cookies from a recent Veg News magazine. These were by cookbook author Hannah Kaminsky, of My Sweet Vegan but they're not in her book. Coconut Drops were three and a half stars, maybe four! They only made about 9 cookies total, and the batter hardly stuck together and they were kind of heavy-feeling after baking but the taste!! Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy in the inside. Good think I made them for the potluck!

From Rawvolution came this quick and easy Thai Coleslaw. Excellent, even after several days. Peanuts make all the difference! Three and a half stars ***1/2.

Ending with another sweet but very healthy raw dish, this time from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen. This delicious, sweet and thick, Peachy Kream was shake-like in consistency and filling enough to drink over four days! I subbed pecans for the Brazil nuts and it was amazing. Yum. Four stars ****. I also made a small version of the Peach and Pistachio Cobbler from her dessert book, but it wasn't pretty enough for a photo (OK, it was so incredible, I ate it all up before I had a chance to pick up the camera!). Four stars and beyond! **** The sweet and salty and crunchy and smooth were textures and flavors that rival any baked good. Try a raw dessert today!


Courtney said...

Wow--you have been busy in the kitchen! What fun :-) And I LOVE delicata squash--it is one of my absolute favorites!

I am sorry, but WHO "doesn't really like fresh fruit"?!?! Well, your mom, obviously, lol! I cannot even imagine...I think I like fresh fruit a little TOO much!


VeggieGirl said...

You?? Get tired of cooking & baking?? That better NEVER happen, since I always look forward to seeing what you've been making lately :-D