Saturday I was so tired from the work week I could barely get myself to the grocery store. I finally did my shopping, then stayed home most of the day to watch football and when my energy returned I broke out the new cookbooks.
Cumin Lime Tofu from ED&BV
This has a great smoky flavor and Chase really enjoyed it. It paired very nicely with the stirfry I made.
Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup from Veganomicon
I don’t even like eggplant, but this is about the best soup I’ve ever had. Chase said “wow” after every bite. It’s so rich and incredibly flavorful. I had to alter the ingredients just slightly. Since I didn’t have any shallots on hand, I used yellow onions. Then when the recipe later asked me to add onions, I subbed grated carrots. No matter. You really must make this soup!
Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions from Veganomicon
This is a good recipe, but it is definitely a side dish, or rather an “underneath” dish, like good for holding up veggies. The recipe instructions are a little out of whack. You are instructed to add cloves, but cloves are not listed as an ingredient, and also to add the allspice twice. (I was told this was an editorial issue and cloves are NOT an ingredient.) It is a nice change from plain old rice or plain old lentils and I will make it again. Chase and I both agreed the caramelized onions are a nice touch.
On a side note, Sunday Chase and I went to the Lone Star Vegetarian (actually vegan) Chili Festival. It was held at the Austin Zoo. This was the 19th annual state cookoff and most of the offerings were very good. Chase and I had never been to our zoo, which is actually an open air rescue facility. We’ve never enjoyed visiting caged animals, but we did walk along the paths to see lions, leopards, giant turtles, monkeys, etc. It was heartbreaking to read about many of the animals being rescued from research labs. I did take a picture of this colorful, proud rooster, roaming free and not realizing how silly he actually looks when he struts.
One of my favorite finds at the festival was this coloring book – it’s so ME!
And my favorite page from the book.
Another find at the Chili Fest was Vegan Noodle and her new hubby! I recognized her immediately from the wedding pictures she posted. Chase and I went and introduced ourselves and we chatted amidst the humidity and swarming bees. We enjoyed meeting you both, Noodle!
After nibbling on brown mushy (but tasty!) chili in the afternoon, I was ready for some crunchy, colorful, fresh veggies for dinner. I made Coconut Ginger Vegetables from ExtraVeganZa. This is made with purple cabbage, broccoli, red peppers, kale, onions, and carrots in a coconut milk, ginger, and cumin sauce. I left out the cashews and served it over soba noodles instead of udon. Very nicely flavored, and again, it paired well with Dreena’s tofu.
Apple Peanut Caramel Bars from Veganomincon.
November 1st was my second veganniversary and I wanted a special treat for the occasion. Graham cracker crust, a layer of apples, and peanut butter caramel sauce topping. Not the prettiest of desserts, but one of the tastiest for any peanut butter lover.
Some suggestions for you if you make these bars:
Peel the apples. It is difficult to cut through the baked apple peels when serving.
Work quickly with the caramel sauce. It cools fast and makes getting a smooth “ribbon” of topping nearly impossible. You may even want to reheat it once or twice to ease the task.
If you are truly a peanut lover, you will use extra chunky peanut butter in the sauce and add some chopped peanuts to the topping.
Lastly, have ice creme on hand. We warmed our servings slightly and wished for a spoonful of vanilla Good Karma alongside it.
I had to put half a pan of leftovers in the freezer because Chase wouldn’t take all of it home with him – for fear of eating it all later tonight. I hope it holds up!
Finally, and especially for Veggie Girl, my own recipe for Gluten Free Carob Cookies. These are cakey little cookies made with brown rice flour, quinoa flakes, and roasted carob powder. This was Chase’s second favorite food of the night, the soup of course taking first place.
Gluten Free Carob Cookies
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix together the dry ingredients:
1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
¼ cup roasted carob powder (or raw if that’s what you have)
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 t. xantham gum (optional, but helps the gluten free flour hold together)
Separately whisk together the wet ingredients:
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup sugar free applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly.
1 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup favorite chopped nuts
1/4 cup carob chips
Use your cookie scoop to drop batter onto the baking sheets. Do not flatten. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set and slightly crisp on the edges. Let cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 2 dozen cookies. Save some for the next day or two because they keep getting better.
Sorry for the long post. Thanks so much if you read it all the way through!