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.”)
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.
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.