Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it Snow!

What better excuse to make Cinnamon Rolls from The Joy of Vegan Baking, than a snow day? Here in Virginia, we got nearly 20 inches of snow on the ground, starting this past Friday night into Sunday morning. With the winds and blowing snow, it was categorized as a blizzard. Stuck in the house, too pregnant to shovel much, what's a girl to do? Well, these rolls were the last things to make on my New Year's Resolution foodie list, so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

They are best right out of the oven, of course! The only changes I made to this recipe (which my sister swears is better than Isa's recipe in her new brunch book - I may have to test that one, too!) were to use half whole wheat pastry flour (couldn't tell a difference and just a little healthier for baby!) and half the icing. I was worried I'd have leftover icing that would have to be thrown out (or inhaled) but actually, I could have used the whole batch. There was JUST enough to cover all the rolls nicely. But, the more icing, the better, I always say.

There are several steps to making these babies, from making the dough, to letting it rise, to rolling, filling, and slicing, to letting it rise again, and finally to baking them. So, I had to have one for lunch. Along with some carrots, I swear! Despite some burning (my fault), they were four stars, for sure ****!

Speaking of veggies, a fellow blogger noticed that I was back to putting dried fruit on my morning cereal, and yes, I'm back to fruit and veggies full swing! Here's a perfect example. Nausea kept my love of greens at bay for a couple months, but now I can chow down on beautiful salads like this one here: baby spinach, sliced Bosc pears, pecans (too hungry to toast them), drizzles of white balsamic vinegar and agave nectar, olive oil (sprayed on with my Mist-O - a must have!) and a grinding of fresh pepper. Yum, yum, yum. Doesn't get easier or more delicious than that! Another four star recipe ****.

But sometimes you want a warm, more hearty meal this time of year, and that's when Vegetable Paella with Tofu from Vegetarian Times (Sept 08 issue) comes in handy. This was pretty quick and easy to make. It has tons of veggies in it, too, including onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrots, corn, peas, and tomatoes. Brown rice and my own flavored tofu (diced really tiny!) rounded out the meal in a pan. Three and a half stars - ***1/2.

After making cinnamon rolls on Saturday, Sunday was the day to make a nice big meal, to fill up Mr. PLV after hours of shoveling the driveway (they still haven't plowed our street!!). This consisted of a very easy Bulgar Nut Loaf from Friendly Foods Gourmet Vegetarian Cuisine, which was shared at a recent Veg Group meeting (the loaf, not the book), along with some rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes (so cute! but not much different in taste from regular potatoes) and garlic roasted Brussels sprouts. We just can't get enough of the sprouts! Mmmmm....The loaf was a little crumbly, as you can see by the picture, but it was still very flavorful. Not "meat like" in taste but definitely nutty and you could also taste the barley miso (salty good). Mr. PLV said he didn't care too much for it, but he did go back for seconds (smile). We'll be eating these leftovers until Christmas, I'm sure! Three solid stars ***.

But sometimes you just don't have energy or time to cook (even when you plan ahead) and sometimes things call to you from the freezer section. Case in point, these SoyBoy Roasted Red Pepper and Tofu Ravioli. I hardly ever buy prepared foods, but these were 100% worth it. I ate them along with some of my mother-in-law's delicious homemade spaghetti sauce with some spinach wilted in.
But to be honest, they were perfectly amazing on their own! The filling was creamy, savory, and spot on. The dough was tender and perfect. The serving suggestions actually state that they are best with a light, barely-there sauce, and they are right! Wow. Four stars **** and thank goodness I didn't have to make them! Now, it's off to make Christmas cookies and sugared pecans for gifts! Happy Holidays, everyone - and Happy Winter Solstice!

1 comment:

Valerie A. Heck said...

The cinnamon rolls look good! I was thinking about making some recently, I need to get on that!