Monday, February 28, 2011

A Week's Worth of Good Eating

As I wrote in an earlier post, I'm a creature of habit. I tend to find a handful of recipes I like, and then rotate through them on a regular basis. But every time I sit in my living room, I stare at my stack of vegan cookbooks on the book shelf, and feel a little guilty. After all, I enjoy cooking, I really do. There's no reason not to try at least two new recipes every week. So I made a resolution with myself to do just that.

I was on vacation last week, and was able to test out three new recipes, woo hoo!! First up was Spicy Udon Noodles from The Urban Vegan. This was super easy to prepare, and extremely tasty. The udon noodles were tossed in a peanut butter/satay sauce, and edamame, ginger and garlic gave the dish a robust flavor.
Sorry for the blurry picture, sometimes my camera just does not want to cooperate. J had leftovers for lunch, and said that the noodles were just as good cold as they were hot.

I've made quite a few things from 500 Vegan Recipes, but really I'm just barely skimming the surface. There's so much left to explore, like the Veggie Tofu Bake I made this weekend. This recipe is touted as being excellent for tofu virgins. J and I eat tofu every week without fail, so we didn't really need an introduction. Still, this casserole was nice. The crumbled tofu and nutritional yeast mixture did taste remarkably cheesy-ish. And the water chestnuts and carrots gave this otherwise soft veggie casserole a nice crunch.
My only hesitation was with the 1/2 cup of olive oil used to prepare this dish. I love olive oil as much as the next person, but it gave the vegetables a slightly greasy aftertaste. I will definitely cut down on the oil when I make this next time.

I keep forgetting about the wonderful blog, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I've made a couple of excellent dishes from this website in the past, but that was back in the summertime. It was definitely time to try another offering from Susan V. Last night, I made a gigantic pot of Sweet Potato, Okra, and Chickpea Gumbo
I subbed yams for sweet potatoes, but otherwise stuck very closely to the recipe. Wow! I love gumbo so much, and this particular gumbo was a perfect blend of spicy smokiness, yet not too spicy that J couldn't eat it. Susan V, you're a genius! 

I had a few leftover yams, so boiled and mashed them, adding just a tablespoon of Earth Balance and a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Mmm. Delicious.
I picked up the latest copy of Veg News yesterday at the grocery store. They have a fantastic "Vegan Bucket List," 99 things all vegans should do/see/taste/experience before they, you know, kick the bucket. Some are on the pricier side (like going on one of their Veg News vacations), but I am definitely going to try #35, Make the VegNews Mac & Cheese. I'm also not opposed to #25, which involves ordering a Peanut Butter bomb cake from Vegan Treats. You don't have to twist my arm when it comes to peanut butter desserts!

But I wanted to add a few of my own ideas here. It's dawned on me that, despite having branched out tremendously since going vegan, there are still a godly amount of vegetables I've either never tried before, or never tried since growing out of the yuck, vegetables! phase of childhood. So I'm adding these veggies to my bucket list:
* celeriac root
* rutabaga
* parsnips
* broccolini
* brussel sprouts

I've already scouted out a lovely-sounding recipe for parsnip soup, and will report my adventures soon!

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