Cookbook Challenge: Vegan Eats World
I was really pumped for the cookbook challenge to finally arrive at the Vegan Eats World weeks, partly because I actually own it, but also because I haven’t used it nearly enough! Bonus: I’m on a majorly tight budget right now, so all of these recipes are pretty cheap, too, especially if you have a well stocked pantry. So lets get started!
I know that when people mention that they’re on a budget, the very first thing others seem to suggest is beans and rice (for vegans anyway, dunno if they do this to other people), so here is my stereotypical broke ass vegan meal, White Rice and Black Beans. Yep, I’m even too broke for brown rice. And normally I prefer brown rice, but a little slump back into white isn’t so bad once in awhile. This came together in a flash, even faster than the book says. I’ve noticed that Terry’s cooking times for white rice are really off, at least for the rice I buy. I’ve never cooked white rice longer than 15 minutes, and her directions say something like 22-25, which would turn it into mush. So, take note if you’re making any of the recipes that call for white rice! That aside, this was good and not at all boring, like it sounds!
I ate mine with sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime juice, with a big salad on the side to bulk it up. I did increase the spices just a touch, and also added more salt, because…salt. Nice and light for a hot day, and highly portable if you wanted to take it for lunches!
I had a big bag of lemons in my fridge, so I made a very lemony dinner next: Yassa Lemon Mustard Seitan (instead of tofu, since I had a bag of vital wheat gluten already) and Lemony Dill Rice. I also couldn’t resist the beautiful chard at the store, so I made a recipe with it from Wild About Greens. I know that the rice is a Greek recipe and the seitan is African, but I figured that the dill from the rice and the mustard from the seitan would go nicely together, and I was right!
I made the Seitan Coriander Cutlets to go in this, and they were easy peasy and tasted nice on their own, if maybe a bit bland. But that’s actually kind of perfect for adding them to a dish with really bold flavors, and this bad boy was mega bold. Very tart from the lemon with a lovely hit of mustard, plus the carrots and onions soaked up all of the lovely sauce. I will definitely make this again. And the bonus of using seitan instead of tofu is that it cooks in less time and you can just stir it all together instead of being worried about flipping the tofu and it breaking in half or something.
I have dill growing on my balcony, so I didn’t have to buy one of those expensive herb packs at the store. I love anything lemon and dill, and this rice did not disappoint. Another favorite that will go into rotation when I need a rice dish to accompany an entrée. And again, they went really well together. I even mixed my rice up with some of the mustard sauce, but then again I think that mustard and dill were made for each other. (Still reduced the cooking time for the white rice.)
Next I made a couple of recipes from the salad chapter. This Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella was simply stunning. I’ve never made panzanella because I figured it would just be soggy bread, but whoa was I wrong. I had a loaf of ciabatta in my freezer, so I didn’t mind splurging on a can of artichokes. I also used all fresh herbs, even when she calls for dried, because I had them growing, so I figured why not? I was even able to eat this for a few lunches, since it stored very well in the fridge. I did let my bread get hella stale, though, so that may have made a difference.
The bread cubes alone are perfection. I would use them as croutons in any salad. Lemony and garlicky, they were the perfect compliment to the artichokes, tomatoes, and capers. The perfect sandwich, but in a bowl. Warning, this dish is crazy garlicky, so if you’re sensitive to raw garlic, I would reduce it by a clove or two. I’d also reduce the salt by half a teaspoon, especially if serving it to salt fearing folks. I would definitely make this for a party though, and actually plan on bringing it to a BBQ later this month! It’s the perfect summer dish, so definitely make this while tomatoes are in season, as their ripeness is key.
Mango Millet Peanut Salad was a hit last night with some ladies who came over for wine and a clothes swap. I did use cashews instead of peanuts because I’ve decided I hate peanuts (but not peanut butter, so…I dunno), and cashews are just generally far superior (and I had some already). I forgot to buy a tomato for this one, but quartered grape tomatoes were a perfect substitute. I also added an avocado, because I bought one thinking the recipe called for it, which it doesn’t, but it was a lovely addition – very creamy. This would be another great addition to any cookout!
I recently had a falling out with every Thai restaurant ever since it turns out there is fish sauce in everything even when you ask and they tell you no (long story, still pissed about it, don’t ask), so I was excited to try out the It’s Easy Being Green Curry. You make your own curry paste for this, which is always exciting. I had prepared lemon grass, so again I didn’t have to buy an expensive herb pack. I don’t have access to galangal, so I left that out, and I used the rest of the coriander seitan cutlets I had made instead of tofu. I really liked the flavor of this curry (boy was it spicy! I’ll seed some of my chilis next time!), but I did find it to be a bit thin. I would maybe leave out the broth next time and just do straight coconut milk. My favorite bit was way the zucchini soaked up the flavor. I wouldn’t make it with the seitan again, but I think that’s just because I prefer my Thai curries with tofu. As you see, I splurged a bit and used up some of my precious supply of brown rice.
And finally, this is a recipe I made ages ago but never blogged about, so I’m going to include it since it’s from the same book.
Sauerkraut Mushroom Soup! This was amazing. I was actually a little worried I wouldn’t like it, but it really blew me away. I happened to have all of the ingredients for it except mushrooms when I made it (which are pretty cheap), so again it was very inexpensive to make. I also had all the ingredients for the coriander rye muffins, which I blogged about last time, and were a lovely thing to dip in this sour, savory soup.
She suggests serving it with a dollop of a dill cream, and while I thought I had some yogurt in the fridge for that recipe, it had gone off, so I made a dilly cashew cream and I absolutely loved it. I just used dried dill, cashews, lemon juice, and water and blended it up until it was thick and creamy.
Hoorah for cheap and delicious vegan eats! This week and next we’re cooking from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, so I’m obviously having a hell of a week (in a good way). Bread and tasty fillings, how can you go wrong?