Monday, October 05, 2009

World Vegetarian Month goodies!

I had to start the post off with this photo. Orange-Rum Cake from Vegan with a Vengeance. Can I tell you something? I don't normally brag about recipes, especially desserts, out loud and in person, at least. On this blog, sure, but usually I just smile and say thank you. Well, this cake was made for our monthly Veg Group meeting. I wasn't sure how it tasted before we cut into it, as you really can't sample a cake like you can cookies, if you're planning on serving it to others. Also, the batter wasn't anything to go crazy for (sometimes, you can tell right away by the batter). But this cake HOLY COW. It was freakin' amazing. Moist, fluffy, yet with a great crumb (due to some cornmeal), the slivered almonds setting off the orange glaze (which was supposed to be orange-rum, but it was just too early in the day for that). It was by far the best cake I've had in ages. I was worried that it was a little flat, but no - that was just right for the perfect little slice to melt in your mouth. Wow. Go make this! (and if you don't have the book yet, go get that, too!). If this could get five stars, it would ****

Another shocker was this simple recipe, from no place in particular. We had shiitake mushrooms from our last CSA pick up of the year (boohoo!), and some broccoli leftover from salad fixings, and Mr. PLV wanted a tofu stir fry. So this was born. Just stir fried the tofu, took it out, stir fried the broccoli (both in sesame oil and water), then added some soy sauce and the mushrooms and combined everything back into the pan again with a dab or two of hoisin sauce! Amazing! One of the best stir fries I've ever made. Yum, yum, yum. Alongside some great brown rice, it was just perfect in my new dragon bowl :) Four stars ****.
Meanwhile, another dish I've made before with success....Aloo Gobi. This time, it was from The Vegan Table. It was pretty quick and easy to make, but as we were eating it I had several thoughts:
1) this should be spicier
2) this shouldn't have tomatoes in it
3) this should have peas!
So, this was very disappointing. Not in-edible, but just two and a half stars **1/2. I like the version in La Dolce Vegan much better.

To go with the Aloo Gobi, this Red Lentil Dal (dal means "bean") was similarly disappointing. Not spicy enough and it was really watery. It also got way too mushy, although I was trying to cook some of the water out of it. Nothing like the photo (same cookbook as the previous dish). Two and a half stars **1/2. Better w/more cayenne and some salt.

One surprising dish that did not disappoint was this Leek-Spaghetti Squash Polenta from Vegan Yum-Yum. You cook the leeks and spaghetti squash, chop it up a bit, and put it into the polenta as it cooks! An amazing mix of flavors and nice and spicy! Yum-Yum is right! Ate this with the Hurry Up Alfredo sauce (which didn't taste much like alfredo but was very good!) over a nice big bed of lettuce. Mr. PLV, as much as fan of polenta as he is, didn't care for this
much, but I gave it four yummy stars! ****.

Another four-star dish last week was the Braised Figs Over Arugula from The Vegan Table. This was simply amazing and also pretty simple to make! I'm not a big fan of fresh figs (I love dried ones, though!) but braising them in a little butter and sugar, then putting them atop bitter arugula with a balsamic-reduction sauce - wow!

Using up some of our many CSA squashes, I made an old standby: Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Vegan Planet. I loved the sweetness of the squash, Mr. PLV did not, but funny enough, he went back for thirds AND asked about it for leftovers during the week! He, he! Three solid stars ***, maybe more.

The last of our eggplant and zucchini (well I might get more eggplant but I'm kinda' burnt out on it) went into making these Zucchini and Eggplant Chips with Roasted Tomato Sauce. The sauce was homemade, using up some of the last tomatoes. These were breaded with panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and baked, and were just so nice and crunchy! The sauce was also good on the aforementioned polenta, which we ate alongside this appetizer. Good stuff! I think this was a Veg News magazine online recipe - yup, it was, so I don't have a link for you...The sauce was from Vegetarian Times Oct 09 issue but it's not online yet. Three and a half stars ***1/2.

After baking the spaghetti squash for the polenta, I had these seeds on hand. I thought, "they look like pumpkin seeds and really, a pumpkin is just a squash!" So into the oven they went. Well, OK, so I pan fried them, being short on time, following a couple of different recipes, with some vegan Worcestershire sauce (regular kind has anchovies - yuck!). They were sooo good! Four stars ****. Lots of great surprises this week and further proof that you don't need to eat meat to eat amazing food! Happy World Vegetarian Month everyone! See you at my presentation on Wed! :)

1 comment:

taleoftwovegans said...

Mmm, all your food looks delicious - especially those figs and the spaghetti squash seeds! I'll have to try my hand at roasting squash seeds this fall! :) -Eve