Sunday, February 24, 2008

Treats & a Vegan Express Dinner

Earlier this week my copies of Vegan Express, Vegan Fire & Spice, and My Sweet Vegan arrived in the mail. We’ve been so busy with work, school, and family that I’ve barely skimmed through them, but I did find time to make a couple of recipes (and bookmark plenty more).

My Sweet Vegan is such a beautiful book and every recipe looks wonderful. Chase is preparing for midterms and mentioned recently he hadn’t had cinnamon rolls in forever. MSV’s Oatmeal Raisin Rolls recipe was intriguing in that these yeasted rolls require no rise time and actually would require less time to make than my second treat choice from the book, Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies. I was tempted to give the rolls some rise time, but didn’t. Who am I to second guess the brilliant Hannah! I did add some cinnamon to the filling because, well, I just couldn’t help myself. The rolls turned out beautifully, the whole dozen of them.




A drizzle of icing would be a nice finish, but is certainly not necessary. The oatmeal dough is so creative and this oatmeal lover rates these delicious rolls five stars. AND, they are actually low fat and pretty healthy as far as cinnamon rolls go. Chase will love them.



I do recommend the dental floss method for cutting your rolls instead of a knife. There is much less pinching and flattening of the rolls and floss cuts those raisins like a laser, whereas a knife tends to just pop them out. If you’re not familiar, all you do is position a 12-inch piece of floss under the uncut roll. (I mark 1-inch segments before “flossing.”) Bring up the ends of the floss, cross them over at the center, and gently but not too slowly pull the floss through the dough to cut each slice. And yes, minty floss is okay! I found a visual aid on the net.

Another treat I made was Apricot Almond Cookies from ExtraVeganZa.

These were so tasty, but they are made entirely of brown rice flour and were far too crumbly the next day to even pick up and hold in your hand. So if you can’t eat them all in one day, they make a nice granola.


On an evening when I was craving a rice dish for dinner, I selected Gingery Rice with Sweet Potatoes and Peas from Vegan Express. I couldn’t believe brown rice and potatoes could be prepared in “express” fashion, but I was ready – at 7:30 – to give it a shot. This recipe had the rice I was craving plus 2 of my favorites, sweet potatoes and peas, and cilantro, which I’m crazy for. Confession: I had never before cooked sweet potatoes in the microwave. I was really reluctant to follow the recipe in this regard, but again, couldn’t believe it would only take 3 minutes. Guess what, it’s true! So everything gets prepped and stirfried while the rice cooks and dinner was in fact ready in 45 minutes. It was wonderful, topped with a few chopped peanuts as suggested.


The only change I made was to use my wonderful berbere spice instead of garam masala. I’m not thrilled with my current batch of garam masala and berbere is not too different. Plenty of yummy leftovers too!




Fire & Spice looks like a wonderful book as well, full of spicy recipes we are sure to enjoy. I just haven’t had time to cook from it yet. Hopefully we’ll get to have a Sunday dinner tonight. Last week’s dinner is actually still in the freezer waiting to be eaten.

14 comments:

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I love berbere spice when I have Ethiopian food, but I never thought of using it at home-- what a great idea!

I'm always in a rush, so I'm definitely going to look into Vegan Express. It seems like it'd be a great cookbook addition for a college girl :o).

pleasantly plump vegan said...

I just got MY Sweet Vegan this weekend and I am so in love with it! It is exactly how I like a cookbook to be . . . beautiful!
Those strawberry pinwheels also caught my eye.

Monika K said...

I've seen nothing but great reviews for Hannah's "My Sweet Vegan." Makes me wonder why I haven't picked up my own copy yet... (-:

Johanna3 said...

i cant wait to but that book!!

the food looks great.

Melody Polakow said...

Those rolls look amazing!.. as does the sweet potato rice. YUM! I'm with you, I love sweet potatoes, cilantro and peas, talk about an awesome serotonin boost this winter!

Cakespy said...

Killer rolls! They look awesome!

Happy Herbivore! said...

mmm sweetp's! we both have a fondness of them I see.... just added you to my blogrolly link thingy...

love love love the top of your blog's photo with the broc and the fork!!

Veg-a-Nut said...

I use floss to cut my rolls too! sometimes I have used clean fishing line. We dont fish, but have it around to hang baloons. :o)

I am with you on sweet potatoes, peas, and cilantro! YUM!!!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I just took a peak at the Vegan Express cookbook the other day while at our local radio station (the one that produces Go Vegan Texas). I might have to get a hold of this one.
Glad you alerted me to those oatmeal cinnamon rolls... I think I may make some this weekend!

bazu said...

Oooh, gingery rice sounds so good. I have a tiny bit of the sniffles right now, so the ginger would be doubly good for me.

VeggieGirl said...

ooooh, I'm SO glad that you too are now enjoying "My Sweet Vegan" - those Oatmeal Raisin Rolls and Strawberry Pinwheel cookies turned out perfectly! Yum!

Mmm, the gingery-rice looks delicious as well!! I love using ginger to "add a kick" to recipes.

I saw your comment on my blog - I chose the sweet recipes over the savory, since I'm definitely more of a baker (and a lot of the savory recipes featured ingredients that my family members don't like/can't digest - such as corn and a lot of the MAJOR spices). Dreena said that it was perfectly fine for me to make one of her new sweet treats :0)

Ashasarala said...

I'm so jealous! Everyone is getting a copy of 'My Sweet Vegan' but me! I should just dish out the extra cash and go for it. I've been hearing nothing but great reviews!

The rolls look perfect and sweet. Thanks for the floss tip- I never would have thought of that. The cookies look extremely yummy, too. Too bad they crumble up, but I think throwing them ontop of some yogurt would prolly do the trick!

Alisa said...

I had never heard of the dental floss method... that is so cool! It cuts through raisins? Thank you for the tip.

textual bulldog said...

mm, this all looks so good... and your review makes me want to get vegan express, even though i've placed a moratorium on cookbook shopping ;)