Monthly Archives: September 2014

MoFo 8: VeggieLawyer Does More “Isa Does It”

Back in July, before we put all of our worldly possessions on a moving truck, I had the presence of mind to put aside 4 well-loved cookbooks to see me through until our things made it to the East Coast.  That turned out to be a great decision because I’ve only managed to locate 1 box of cookbooks in the pile of items in our over-crowded storage unit.  The rest of the books may well remain in storage until I finally find a job.  (On a related note, if anyone in the NY area is looking for a lawyer, I happen to know a great one who’s currently looking for work).

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I currently have access to 30 cookbooks and you may be thinking that 30 books are more than enough.  The trouble is that my cookbook shelves were sorted by topic.  The box I found contained most of my baking books and a random assortment of regional cookbooks.  All of my general recipe collections are nowhere to be found.  While it’s been fun trying new recipes from some of the under-used titles in my collection, I miss having access to my full library.  That’s especially true now that it’s Vegan MoFo because I come across posts on a daily basis discussing the deliciousness of recipes contained in books that I own, but cannot find.

Fortunately, Isa Does It is not only one of the 4 books I carted cross-country in my suitcase, but also a very popular choice for MoFoers.  After reading several blog posts about the Lentil-A-Roni, I decided to give it a try.  In my Italian-American family, a product like Beef-A-Roni (the inspiration for this recipe) is considered sacrilege and would never cross our threshold.  As a result, this isn’t a recipe I would have picked out to try on my own, but it wound up being one that we all enjoyed.  (All, that is, except for my son.  Much like Veganopolous’s son, my little one prefers his noodles plain and refused to even try a bite because “the mac-wonies are dirty, Mommy.”)

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Following the success of the Lentil-A-Roni, I gave a few more new-to-me recipes a try including the banana muffins, Citrus Tahini Bowl and Kale Salad with Butternut and Lentils.   All three were hits.  Unfortunately, I misplaced my camera for most of last week and only have grainy cell phone photos.  Here is the kale salad, which I served with homemade bread-sticks.

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The salad combines raw kale with roasted squash, lentils and a gingery dressing.  Although I’m sure the recipe would have been good as written, I added dried cranberries for an extra layer of flavor.  The kale — massaged according to Isa’s instructions — turned out so tender that my family could not believe it was raw.   Once again, my son was the only one who did not enjoy dinner.  He ate only the bread-sticks and a few bites of lentil.

Since Isa Does It continues to deliver hit after hit, I may yet accomplish my goal of cooking every recipe in the book.

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MoFo 7: “It’s New To You” Product Review

For those too young to remember, “It’s New To You” was a slogan NBC used to advertise repeats of its “Must See TV Lineup” back in 1997.  I was in high school at the time and my best friend and I used to crack ourselves up by using the alternate slogan, “It’s Nude To You.”  Very mature, I know.  So mature, in fact, that NBC actually used that slogan one week (because it works perfectly for that standard sitcom plot where someone walks in on someone else in the shower).  I’m still waiting for my royalty check.

So, yes, I’m using a cultural reference that’s nearly 20 years old as the title for this post.  But hear me out.   “It’s New To You” is actually a totally appropriate title for this post because I’m reviewing 3 food products that are not necessarily new — but they are new to me.  (See, it’s just like advertising sitcom reruns in the late 90’s).

Earth Balance White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

First, I decided to try the boxed macaroni and cheese that has the vegan blogosphere all atwitter.  Earth Balance mac & cheese comes in your choice of yellow or white cheese.  I went with white because of my love of Amy’s brand shells and white cheddar.  Although I’m always willing to try new things, I did not have high hopes for this mac & cheese.  I’ve tried most every store bought vegan cheese that I’ve been able to get my hands on and all of them have wound up in the trash.  The good news is that I was pleasantly surprised by this product.  Although I thought it had a sweetness to it that seemed out of place, it wasn’t bad.  The reheated leftovers tasted even better, especially when jazzed up veggies.  I still prefer homemade mac and cheese, but this stuff will do in a pinch.

Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal

Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal is the best instant oatmeal I’ve ever tried.  Flavored with dried pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices and nice chunks of pecan, it tastes like autumn in a bowl.  As a bonus, the oats stayed nice and chewy, even when I microwaved them.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this oatmeal all pumpkin season long.

Thai and True Red Curry Paste

When I order my soy curls from Food Fight Grocery, I always like to throw something extra into the cart to justify the shipping charges.  This time, I went with red curry paste by Thai and True, a Portland-based maker of vegan curry pastes.  (Click the image above to go to Food Fight’s website).  I tried the paste out by making a simple curry using a can of coconut milk, 2 tbsp. of curry paste, some lime juice, peppers, onions, green beans and soy curls.  I was happy with the finished product, which had a nice curry flavor punctuated by a good spicy kick.

Trying new things is fun.  (Unless you are a toddler.  My son would not touch any of this stuff – not even the macaroni.)

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MoFo 6: It’s Pie O’Clock

I’m somehow not on the official blog roll for this year’s Vegan MoFo.  I suppose I should have confirmed my registration was successful sooner than 9 days into MoFo.  Live and learn, it seems.  Though I’m disappointed not to be an official participant, I’m going ahead with blogging this month anyway. 

We’re in a transition period here in the Veggie Lawyer household following my decision to quit my job and move 3,000 miles to be closer to family.  In keeping with our life situation, the theme I have chosen for the month is “Try Something New.”  I’ll be trying new foods, doing new things and making recipes for the first time.  Then, I’ll blog them here.

Some Thoughts On Pie

I know, I know.  My title would have been 97% more accurate if I’d only waited until 3:14 to post.  Unfortunately, at 3:14 p.m. I am unable to use my computer without tiny little hands banging on the keyboard and I haven’t been awake at 3:14 a.m. for years now — unless I happen to have woken up at precisely that hour to use the restroom.  Getting old stinks, people. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be 3:14 to enjoy a nice slice of pie.  What I’m trying to say is, it’s pie o’clock somewhere.

As baking projects go, I think that homemade pie has a fairly high intimidation-factor.  Things like cakes and cookies tend to come out well if you follow the recipe exactly — no prior experience required.  In comparison, even the very best recipe cannot explain precisely how to turn out a perfect flaky pie crust.  It’s something you have to learn by trial and error.

Now that I have several years of pie-making under my belt, I find that I get the best results using a food processor.  I’m still working on making my crusts look pretty, but, using the food processor method, I’ve definitely reached the point of consistently great taste.

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(My parents’ food processor is as old as me, but it still turns out a perfect, flaky crust.)

Using a food processor, your pie dough  comes together in 4 easy steps:

  1. Pulse together dry ingredients.
  2. Add fats and pulse until you have pea sized crumbs.
  3. Add liquid and pulse just until dough forms a ball.  (If a ball does not form, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time).
  4. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate.

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(Dough ball accomplished.)

 A Review of “Pies and Tarts With Heart”

Now that I had a ball of dough, I just needed a pie recipe.  For that, I turned to Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage of the Urban Vegan blog.  As the title suggests, Pies and Tarts with Heart is a book devoted to pies.  I actually put a lot of thought into the purchase of this particular book.  I already owned Vegan Pie in the Sky, after all.  Did I really need another book about pie?  On top of that, Hannah Kaminsky’s Easy As Vegan Pie was released around the same time as Pies and Tarts with Heart and I knew I definitely didn’t need three pie books.  What ultimately persuaded me to purchase the book was the inclusion of a chapter on savory pies.

Pies and Tarts with Heart has a lot going for it.  There are lovely full-color photos throughout, including an introduction with step-by-step photos on basic pie building techniques.  There’s also plenty of variety.  In addition to the usual suspects like fruit pies and creamy pies, there are chapters devoted solely to raw pies, “imposter pies”(things with pie in the name that aren’t actually pie, such as Boston Cream Pie) and the aforementioned savory pies.

Based upon my experience actually baking from the book, though, it gets a mixed review.  Of the recipes I’ve tried, about half did not turn out properly when I followed the directions as written.  The recipes are easily modified, but it took some failed baking experiments to learn what tweaks were needed.  I’m also turned off by the number of recipes that use vegan cream cheese (including recipes that you wouldn’t expect such as the pecan pie), which is a product that I’m not a particularly big fan of.

The recipes I’ve tried so far are:

  • Basic Single Crust Pastry (page 30) – This is just what it sounds like.  My crust has baked up nicely each time I’ve used this recipe.
  • Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie (page 90) – The flavor of this pie was great, but I did have some issues with it.  As the pie cooled, the shortening in the filling separated out forming a waxy coating on top of the pie.  I’m not sure why this occurred, but I intend to replace the shortening with margarine if I make this again.
  • Choco-Coco Macadamia Pie (page 93) – A coconut pie in a nut crust with a layer of chocolate.  This was a tasty and rich pie.  As a coconut lover, though, I thought that the cream cheese took away from the flavor of the coconut a bit.
  • Pot Pie Marsala (page 116) – A savory mushroom pie with a touch of Marsala in the filling.  Considering this pie combines mushrooms and Marsala, two of my favorite flavors, I expected the pie to deliver big in the taste department.  I found it surprisingly bland and would not make it again.
  • Cornish Pasties (page 129) – This version of the traditional British hand pie uses TVP and veggies in the filling.  Although it took some time to make the filling and assemble the pies, I absolutely loved these.  They are the best thing I’ve made from this book so far.

In the spirit of my MoFo theme, I selected one new pie to try for this review.  Since it’s the last day of summer, I thought that the Crumble Top Berry Pie (page 51) was an appropriate selection.  It is a mixed berry pie with an oatmeal crumb topping.  Although the flavor of this pie was nice, I once again had issues with the recipe.  My pie did not set up at all.  Even after cooling completely, it was like soup.  Since it was more liquid than solid, we ate the pie on top of ice cream and called it berry sundaes.  I made a note in the recipe to double the cornstarch if I make the recipe again.

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(Crumble-Top Berry Pie  Berry Sundae Topping)

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Vegan Mofo 5: Carrot Ginger Burgers and Pear Cauliflower Curry

I’m somehow not on the official blog roll for this year’s Vegan MoFo.  I suppose I should have confirmed my registration was successful sooner than 9 days into MoFo.  Live and learn, it seems.  Though I’m disappointed not to be an official participant, I’m going ahead with blogging this month anyway. 

We’re in a transition period here in the Veggie Lawyer household following my decision to quit my job and move 3,000 miles to be closer to family.  In keeping with our life situation, the theme I have chosen for the month is “Try Something New.”  I’ll be trying new foods, doing new things and making recipes for the first time.  Then, I’ll blog them here.

2 New-To-Me Recipes From The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitutions

The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitutions by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman is a handy little paperback novel-sized guide to veganizing recipes, which I previously recommended as one of my five favorite cookbooks for the novice vegan cook.  It’s a book I consult often when trying to decide the best egg substitute in a recipe or if I need to make a basic to use in another recipe (like condensed milk or “sorta yogurt”).

But The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitutions isn’t just a reference book; it also has lots of unique recipes.  The Carrot Ginger Burgers are one of the recipes I’ve been meaning to make since I first got the book back in 2010.  Since I’m focusing on trying recipes that are new to me this month, I figured there was no better time to give them a go.  For a side, I went with the Pear Cauliflower Curry that the authors recommend as an accompaniment.  Here’s my dinner all plated up.

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I was very pleased with how well-rounded and veggie filled this plate was, but, unfortunately, the meal got mixed reviews.  (For those who haven’t been following my MoFo posts, my current recipes tasters are my husband and son, both vegetarians, and my parents, both omnis). The burgers, which combine carrots, beans, gluten and Asian-inspired spices, smelled delicious while cooking.  However, the flavor of the finished product was too subtle.  I ended up removing the burger from its bun and adding lots of hot mustard for flavor.  My dad said that, while there was nothing wrong with the burgers, he wanted a much bigger ginger flavor.

The curry was a hit.  I never would have thought to pair curry spices, cauliflower and roasted pears, but it worked.  My mom especially loved this dish and gobbled up all of the leftovers the next day for lunch.  Of the two dishes, only the curry makes it onto the “make again” list.

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Vegan Mofo 4: All Aboard the Mickey Ship – Part 2 of 2

I’m somehow not on the official blog roll for this year’s Vegan MoFo.  I suppose I should have confirmed my registration was successful sooner than 9 days into MoFo.  Live and learn, it seems.  Though I’m disappointed not to be an official participant, I’m going ahead with blogging this month anyway. 

We’re in a transition period here in the Veggie Lawyer household following my decision to quit my job and move 3,000 miles to be closer to family.  In keeping with our life situation, the theme I have chosen for the month is “Try Something New.”  I’ll be trying new foods, doing new things and making recipes for the first time.  Then, I’ll blog them here.

Vegan Eats on the Disney Wonder

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(Glacier Cocktail)

This is the final installment in my 2 part review of our Alaskan Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder.  In part 1, I reviewed the trip from a parent-with-toddler perspective.  In part 2, I’ll focus on what we ate.

Our decision to sail with DCL was a last-minute one.  After completing our cross-country move, we planned to travel abroad (which fortunately meant that we had acquired a passport for my son).  About 3 weeks before the September 1 sail date for the last Alaska Cruise of the season, we decided to book a Disney Cruise instead.  We were lucky enough to book the last available cabin on the ship.

At the time of booking, the customer service agent asked about special dietary needs.   I was offered the option of discussing our diet with someone at DCL before our embarkation date.  I elected not to do so.  (I understand that vegan desserts, vegan pancakes, etc., can be arranged if you choose to request them ahead of time.  There isn’t any extra cost for this service).  The reservation agent did make a note about our diet.

Information about DCL’s rotational dining system is readily available all over the internet, so I won’t get into it here.  I will note that we were originally assigned to second seating, which begins at 8:15.  However, we requested to be wait-listed for main seating and then called every few days to check on our “position” on the wait-list. About 2 weeks before the cruise, we received an updated travel confirmation showing the earlier dining time.  I’m so glad that we were squeaky wheels, because I cannot imagine trying to sit through a late dinner with an exhausted toddler.

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(Special Kids Veggie Burger for my son.  That’s dairy cheese, in case you were wondering. Sorry if anyone is offended.)

From the first minutes aboard the Wonder, DCL’s dining team did a great job of accommodating us.  Although our dining team offered to arrange for special meals for us (which need to be ordered the night before), we only used this option once to order a veggie burger for my son.  We found that there were generally no issues with ordering from the regular menu.  The dinner menu generally had at least 1 vegan soup or salad and 1 vegan entree.  There was also at least one additional vegetarian main dish and appetizer.  I found that it helped to ask questions about the menu because sometimes items that were vegetarian or vegan were not marked that way.  Our server did a great job of letting us know if we accidentally ordered something we couldn’t eat or if there were menu items that could easily be modified by leaving something off.  I was very happy with the food quality and, in particular, with the wide-variety of meatless dishes available.  I wasn’t stuck with pasta every night like I would have been on some cruise lines.

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(Teriyaki Tofu)

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 (Poached Pear Salad)

 A Few Food Tips:

  • Soy milk is available by request in all dining locations and from room service.  Non-dairy ice cream is also sometimes available.
  • There are little packets of peanut butter available on the breakfast buffet if you’d like to add a little protein to your breakfast.  The buffet also had oatmeal, cream of wheat and cold cereal in boxes (so you can check the labels).  There was plenty of fruit, of course.
  • Salads generally come undressed, so it’s easy to substitute a vinaigrette for a cream-based dressing.
  • The honey topping on the dining room oatmeal is also added at the table.  Brown sugar and maple syrup are available as alternatives.
  • Pluto’s Dog House, on Deck 9, serves veggie burgers.  This location is open pretty much all the time, so there’s always a decent vegan meal available.
  • Sometimes it helps to be a little creative.  For example, at Tex Mex day at the buffet, there weren’t any veggie filling options at the taco station. However, I ordered tacos with guac, salsa and jalapenos and then added beans and veggies from the salad bar.

 

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(Black Bean Chipotle Cakes)

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Vegan Mofo 3: All Aboard the Mickey Ship – Part 1 of 2

I’m somehow not on the official blog roll for this year’s Vegan MoFo.  I suppose I should have confirmed my registration was successful sooner than 9 days into MoFo.  Live and learn, it seems.  Though I’m disappointed not to be an official participant, I’m going ahead with blogging this month anyway. 

We’re in a transition period here in the Veggie Lawyer household following my decision to quit my job and move 3,000 miles to be closer to family.  In keeping with our life situation, the theme I have chosen for the month is “Try Something New.”  I’ll be trying new foods, doing new things and making recipes for the first time.  Then, I’ll blog them here.

Alaska With a Toddler

If you’ve been following my MoFo posts, you know that my husband and I recently wimped out on taking an Eastern European trip with our toddler and decided instead to take a Disney Cruise to Alaska.  Since this is the Vegan Month of Food, I intend to do an entire post about eating vegan on Disney Cruise Line.  (As a spoiler, it’s easily doable and the food exceeded my expectations).  But first, I’d like to talk a little bit about taking a toddler on a Disney Cruise and, in particular, an Alaskan Disney Cruise.

There are some people who believe you shouldn’t take kids on vacation until their old enough to “remember the experience,”  whatever that means.  I do not belong to that camp.  I went on family vacations every year from the time I was a newborn until I was about 16.  At best, I remember bits and pieces of each trip — and that includes trips I took as a teen.  In lieu of detailed memories, I have general happy feelings about the opportunities I had to experience new places and I believe that travel was one of the things that shaped me into a person who is curious about the world.  The litmus test that we use for deciding whether to take a trip with our son is not, “what will he remember,” but rather, “what will we all enjoy.”  I think that DCL and the Alaska itinerary pass this test, provided that you travel with the understanding that a toddler cannot do many of the more adventurous activities Alaska has to offer.

A few tips about life on the ship

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  • Kid’s Club: The kids club does not accept children unless they are potty-trained.  However, there are Open House hours offered every day where parents can take their kids to play in the club.  My son loved the kids club and enjoyed playing there for a few hours over the course of the trip.
  • Pool:  The Disney Wonder does not have a pool for children in swim diapers.  However, there is a water play area reserved solely for the swim diaper crowd.  It had fountains and sprinklers, but no place to submerge yourself and swim.  In the Caribbean, my son would have loved this area.  In Alaska, he still enjoyed it, but he was blue in the face after about a 10 minute splash session.
  • Entertainment: There were plenty of entertainment options open to the whole family including live music, parties, stage shows and movies.  My son enjoyed dancing to live music after dinner every night, the character parties and some of the shows.  We made sure to get aisle seats whenever we went to the theater, because he would often ask to leave about 30 minutes into the show.  (The fact that the Cruise Director gave a long speech before each show certainly didn’t help since it ate up precious minutes of our son’s brief attention span).  Be warned that kids who don’t like the dark or loud noises may not enjoy the shows.
  • Supplies:  Diapers, wipes and other baby essentials are on sale in the gift shops on the ship.  We stocked up in Vancouver, so I did not have occasion to check out the variety or price of items offered on board.
  • Sleeping:  You can call ahead to request bed rails for the pull-out couch.  We did and the rails were waiting for us in our room the first day.  Our cabin attendant set them up each night and our son was able to sleep in his own bed without fear of falling.  (Pack and plays are available for smaller kids).
  • The “Disney” Aspect:  My son is generally pretty shy, but he warmed up to Mickey and friends right away.  The ship offered both organized times to interact with the characters and the chance to bump into them here and there.  Being able to give Mickey a hug after dinner and then go to bed watching a Mickey cartoon was a real trip highlight for our son.  I’m pleasantly surprised that he doesn’t demand Mickey cartoons at bedtime now that we are home.

A few thoughts on activities in port

We mostly avoided organized tours because moving at our son’s pace was key to keeping him happy.  Instead, I bought a book on Inside Passage walking tours and we explored on our own, sometimes with the aid of local shuttles to get us to far flung destinations.  (The exception was Skagway, where we did a gold panning trip in the morning and then toured on our own in the afternoon).  We brought along his stroller for napping on the go, which allowed my husband and I to keep exploring even after my son passed out from too much fun.

We hope to make it back to Alaska when my son is older so that we can experience more sights and meet more locals, like this guy we met at the Mendenhall Glacier:

 

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Or these guys and gals who stopped to say hi while on their way upstream to spawn in Ketchikan:

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Even a vegan can enjoy (watching) Wild Alaskan Salmon!

 

 

 

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Vegan Mofo 2: Review of La Dolce Vegan

I’m somehow not on the official blog roll for this year’s Vegan MoFo.  I suppose I should have confirmed my registration was successful sooner than 9 days into MoFo.  Live and learn, it seems.  Though I’m disappointed not to be an official participant, I’m going ahead with blogging this month anyway. 

We’re in a transition period here in the Veggie Lawyer household following my decision to quit my job and move 3,000 miles to be closer to family.  In keeping with our life situation, the theme I have chosen for the month is “Try Something New.”  I’ll be trying new foods, doing new things and making recipes for the first time.  Then, I’ll blog them here.

(Image from govegan.net. Click through to Sarah’s website.)

 Cookbook Review: La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer*

Although I own 3 of Sarah Kramer’s cookbooks and consider many of her recipes “go-to” favorites, I have never done a review of one of her books here. La Dolce Vegan is my favorite of the 3, so I selected it for this review.  In keeping with my MoFo theme, I tested 2 new-to-me recipes as part of the review process.

I first became interested in vegan cooking about 10 years ago after spending 5 years as a vegetarian.  Because it is in my nature to over-research everything, I started searching the internet for cookbook recommendations and Sarah Kramer’s first book, How It All Vegan (co-authored with Tanya Barnard), kept coming up.  When I came across a copy in Borders, I snapped it up.  A few months later, I spotted both La Dolce Vegan and Vegan with a Vengeance on the shelf.  Unable to decide between the two, I bought both.  Between Sarah and Isa, I learned pretty much everything I needed to know to get started as a vegan home cook.

I enjoy cookbooks where the author’s voice shines through.  Reading the introduction and cooking tips at the beginning of Sarah’s books gives me the sense that I know a little bit about Sarah and that she’s someone I’d enjoy chatting with.  I like that she is both no-nonsense and non-judgmental.

La Dolce Vegan is sub-titled “Vegan Living Made Easy.”  As the sub-title suggests, the focus is on easy recipes, though there are more time-consuming recipes designated by a clock icon.  This book also includes a lot of recipes that make just two servings, which may be a plus or minus for you depending on the size of your family.

Though the recipes are easy to put together, I’ve had good results with everything I’ve tried.  My favorite recipes include:

  • Apple Pie Pancakes (page 38):  These are full of apple pieces and raisins and cook up nice and fluffy.  A perfect autumn breakfast.
  • Economy Maple Pancake Syrup (page 40):  This is imitation maple syrup.  I use it in baked goods recipes that call for lots of syrup to save cash.   I don’t care if it is healthier.  I can’t bring myself to put $10 worth of syrup in anything.
  • Sleepy Sunday Morning Scramble (page 44):  I’ve blogged about this recipe before.  It’s my go-to scramble.  All other scrambles just make me wish I was eating this instead.
  • Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette (page 79): Just what it sounds like.
  • Mock Beef and Rice Noodle Toss (page 135):  Teriyaki noodles with seitan beef.  So easy.  So tasty.
  • Phebe’s Mushroom Stroganoff (page 136): I double the mushrooms, worchestershire and tamari and the result is my favorite stroganoff recipe.
  • Veggie Pot Pie (page 153): I sub tofu for the lentils and the result is my favorite pot pie.

I’ve also love the seitan recipes in the book, though I’ve adapted the recipes and cook them in my steamer.  (I had fine results boiling them, but I prefer the texture of steamed seitan).

For this review, I cooked two new-to-me recipes.  The results were tasted by my husband, 23 month old son and omni parents.

First, I tried the Baked Chili with Cornbread Biscuit Topping (page 173).  Chili with some sort of bread topping is pretty standard fare in vegan cookbooks, but I liked how this version used cocoa powder and molasses to create depth of flavor in the chili.  The chili tasted even better as leftovers.  I debated whether to post the photo I took because it didn’t come out particularly well.  However, a down-side of Sarah’s cookbooks is the lack of photos, so I’ve elected to include it.  Feel free to nominate me for a bad food porn award in the brown category.

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Next, I tried the Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup (page 106), which is one of three lentil soup recipes in the book.  (The book often includes several variations on a theme such as 3 soda bread recipes.  Depending on my mood, I sometimes consider this a plus because it provides choice and sometimes consider it a minus because I would prefer for the author to just select and include the “best” version of a particular recipe.)  In the Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup, traditional red lentil soup is kicked up through the use of curry paste and coconut milk.  I wound up halving the amount of coconut milk called for in the recipe because the soup tasted creamy and coconutty enough for me at that point.  My mom raved about this soup and everyone in my family went back for seconds.

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*The cookbook image, above, was borrowed from Sarah Kramer’s website, govegan.net.  I used the image because I prefer linking to Sarah’s website over Amazon.  However, if the copyright holder would prefer that I remove the image, I am happy to do so.

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