Yep, still meal planning. It’s the only thing I’ve actually been able to stick to as far as resolutions so far. (Seriously, it sucks to leave your house for the gym when it’s so cold outside…I just can’t handle it. I hate winter.) This past week I cooked from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Veganomicon is going to be that cookbook that I have for the rest of my life and always turn to when I’m in a pinch for what to make for dinner. If I ever pop them out, my children will thumb through its pages. They’ll remember their favorite dishes from childhood and wonder why I never served them certain recipes. I’ll page through it when I’m, like, 75 and reminisce over food stains and puffs of flour in the binding. My mom has the Horn of the Moon and Moosewood cookbooks, I’ll have Veganomicon.
I mean, it’ll never get old. And there’s always going to be some recipe I’ve never made before (for a while yet anyway). It was quite a task to find recipes that I’d like to make that were new to me (because my mouth started watering over all the ones I already love), but I found a few. Some were gems, others weren’t. C’est la vie. I also didn’t get around to making quite everything I wanted (I felt a teensy bit under the weather last week…plus I was already drowning in leftovers), so I have something to look forward to (if I can ever find fresh mint around here again). Lets get started, eh?
My first dish from the week was a mashup of side dishes, really. Black bean in chipotle adobo sauce and cornmeal masala roasted Brussels sprouts. While these don’t seem like they’d pair well together, they actually did, and quite well! The beans were terrifically spicy, which I love, and crazy easy to make. You basically just ignore them for a half hour or so. I can do that! Well, it’s good they were easy, because it gave me the time to focus on the slightly more labor intensive sprouts. These sprouts were downright taste-tastic, but hot damn, I’ve never eaten less healthy Brussels sprouts! 8 tablespoons of oil in this recipe. 8! I think I could safely reduce it to at the most 5 or 6, now that I know what I’m doing. Still, the flavor was lovely and the cornmeal gave them a nice little crunch. It’s hard for me to find a recipe for Brussels sprouts that I won’t love. Oh, and I served these with some brown rice that I just threw into the rice cooker with a can of coconut milk and some lime zest. It was a good medium that went with both of the contrasting flavors I had going on.
I’m not a huge fan of potatoes (or religion), but these were fabulous enough to turn me around (to one, if not the other). Lemony roasted potatoes! Man! These were freaking amazing! The sauce they’re roasted in reminds me of something my mom used to make on New Year’s Eve when I was a kid…which is decidedly not vegan. The aroma and flavor just transported me, though. Guh. Savory, sour, garlicky…and besides peeling all the potatoes, it was a no-brainer.
The omnivore boyfriend heartily enjoyed these, also. But since he doesn’t really eat leftovers, I was stuck with most of them. Oh, darn. These will definitely go into side dish rotation, for when I’m feeling decadent. Mmm.
We cooked up the sautéed seitan and mushrooms with spinach to go along with the taters (precious). Sadly, even though our ‘main’ dish was yummy, the potatoes totally outshone them. The seitan dish was good, but rather plain. I discovered at this point that the omnivore boyfriend isn’t huge on cooked spinach. I, personally, would add twice as much spinach to this recipe. In fact, when I reheated the leftovers, I did it with more spinach to soak up the juices from the mushrooms. The seitan I used is a version of the Vegan with a Vengeance seitan that I’d had in the freezer for a few weeks. Certainly came in handy, and made this dinner come together with minimal prep work.
Double pea soup with roasted red peppers was not my favorite. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it was just sort of bland. I ended up adding a crap ton of salt, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, and then it was just edible. I pureed the base of the soup, because that texture was more appealing to me…but it just generally didn’t do it for me. And I should have known better than to make a full batch. Since no one else would eat it, and I didn’t love it, other leftovers won the lunch battle and most of this ended up in the trash. Sigh. I hate wasting food. (Luckily, it was pretty inexpensive to make.)
I threw together the spinach-noodle kugel for a comforting and filling Sunday dinner. I used broken up lasagna for the noodles, a red onion for the onion (whoa strong, next time I’ll use a yellow onion), and 7 matzos instead of 4 (for some reason, 4 of mine only made 1/2 a cup of matzo meal). Next time! I would use a little less spinach (it was a bit overwhelming), more lemon juice, less matzo meal (it got somewhat dry), and more salt. I know that sounds like a lot of little nit-picky complaints, which probably makes you think I don’t like this, but you’d be wrong! I actually really love it. I love love love dill and I love casseroles and noodles and spinach, so I’m actually really enjoying all the leftovers of this (squirting lemon juice onto each portion). I’ll probably make a half recipe next time, since I’m the only one eating this (spinach hater! really!), but I don’t really mind eating it twice a day for a couple of days.
I also made the scallion flatbread, but it’s pictured with something from this week’s book (Urban Vegan), so you’ll see it next week. It was tasty though. Now that I’ve made it once, I think it’ll come together much easier when I make it again. All that folding and oiling (so much oil! I’ll use less oil next time) was a little time-consuming, but it became a rhythm after a while. Anyway, I had enough to freeze the leftovers, and I’m pretty damned sure it’s going to be amazing with hummus whenever I get around to making some.
Oh! Bonus! I didn’t make this anytime recently, but I found it in my ‘to blog’ folder (which is full of random stuff that I’ll eventually get around to posting), and it’s one of my favorite recipes from Veganomicon:
Spicy tempeh with broccoli rabe and rotelle is…amazing. I’ve never made it with rotelle, because I’ve never seen it in any grocery store around here, but I regularly make it with rotini. This time I made it with campanelle, which was wonderful. Actually, this is a landmark occasion, because this is the very first time I completely followed the recipe because I actually found broccoli rabe for once. (I usually make it with just broccoli, or occasionally, broccolini if it’s around.) It was even better than usual. Man. The tempeh in this recipe is so good. It was hard to keep myself from making this again for the challenge, but I really did want to try new things (and I’m…a better person for it! That’s it!).
(But you guys should totally make this dish. And buy Veganomicon, if you haven’t yet. Even my non-vegan mom and dad like this cookbook. Truth!)