I Continue to Have a Cookbook Addiction!
Recently, I indulged my favorite little habit. Any time I need to order something from Amazon, I simply must make sure my order totals at least $25 so that I can get free shipping. Of course, this usually means that my order is at least $30, but I console myself that I’m getting another whole item for almost the cost of shipping! I swear, Amazon hired a psychologist when they started that whole ‘any order over $25 gets free shipping’ policy. So I had to order some kind of fancy pectin for a canning recipe from a fancy canning book that I’ll probably never make because I’m busy like a little bee this summer. Naturally I managed to fit two cookbooks in so I could get my free shipping: Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas and World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan. I used to own Nava’s soup book, which was great (but got taken away from me) and I’ve always admired Bryanna’s recipes from her blog. It’s been probably 3 months since I ordered my last cookbooks, so I’m actually pretty proud of myself. Anyway.
World Vegan Feast is chock full of some really fabulous looking recipes. Some of them seem a little intimidating, because they have a lot of ingredients, but when you get down to it, they’re really quite simple to make.
I’ve recently starting trying to cook with eggplants again. I pretty much hate eggplants all the time unless they’re fried (which makes just about anything edible), but I don’t fry at home, and I’m stubborn as a mule and really want to force myself to love eggplants, so I’ve decided to start trying again. And I finally found a way to cook them that doesn’t make me queasy: dips. Oh, dips, of course. You now know how much I love dips. There is a lovely and easy and simple and pure recipe in World Vegan Feast for a Lebanese eggplant dip, and, having sadistically picked up 2 monsters of them at the farmers market that morning, I made it. And it was so wonderful.
It was more lemon-y than baba ghanoush, but otherwise was very similar. Or maybe baba ghanoush is supposed to be more lemon-y and I just never knew. I didn’t love the texture, because she said to just mash the eggplant with a fork instead of pureeing it (so…it was lumpy, and not in a nice way), but I love love loved the flavor. Next time, I’ll just puree it. You really have to tweak recipes to make them the way you like them. I kind of view recipes generally as guidelines, and then if you know you like something a certain way, even if the recipe says to do it another way, then just do it your way. Because you know what you like. Although you should always try their way first, because you might learn something new! But then if you don’t, just go back to your own way. One more photo of this glorious dip (best eaten with pita chips and pretzels).
From the Wild About Greens book, I first made one of the kale salads with an avocado tahini dressing, which was delicious, but I never took a photo of it. Kale salads look like kale salads. But then I made this soup!
Ode to lentils: grainy legume, you are my favorite protein pal. my mother used to make soup from you, and transferred her love of you to me. when i smell you, i am back in her kitchen. when i eat you, i am endlessly happy! quick cooking and versatile, no other can compare.
This soup had an option to add either dill or parsley, and I went with dill, and I will never go back. It was so fresh tasting, yet hearty. I also used hot paprika, since I like hot things and somehow I don’t have any sweet paprika right now, and it added an oomph that may otherwise have been lost. This cookbook is a for sure winner. I know, even if I’ve only cooked two recipes. I’m always buying greens, because I like them, or at least the idea of them, and then I cook them in the same old ways and it’s boring. Now I can buy whatever green and then go home and look up a multitude of fabulous ways to cook them! Genius!
Local: eggplant, kale, carrots.