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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:58 pm 
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i made the ppk marbled banana bread today

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:06 pm 
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I was really distracted yesterday but tried to cook anyway and it was a total failure... I don't have much in the house so I decided to try the Quinoa and Chickpea Pilaf from Veganomicon.

The first mistake I made was that the recipe asked for coriander seeds, and for some reason I read it as cardamom seeds. A whole tablespoon of cardamom seeds, crushed. That, my friends, is a LOT of cardamom.

The second problem was the same problem I have ALL THE TIME... my quinoa wouldn't soak up all the water. I swear, I have never been able to cook a grain with the amount of water specified in a recipe and have it not come out a soupy, wet mess. I let the quinoa bubble away for an extra 20 minutes beyond the 18 specified in the recipe before I just gave up.

Once I've recovered from the experience I'll give it a go again with the correct spices and less water, because the recipe has promise... I was just in the completely wrong frame of mind to be cooking a new recipe and should have recruited my other half to cook instead of me.

The only upside of this recipe was that I discovered my cat really, really likes chickpeas.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:19 pm 
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That marbled banana bread looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:35 pm 
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I made the Lemon Pea Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers from V'Con. It was good in a thermos for lunch.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:45 pm 
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I made the seitan and broccoli off the PPK for dinner tonight. But instead of seitan, I subbed soycurls. I love the pantry BBQ sauce! And the omni boyfriend (who is not that fond of BBQ sauce) even said that it was really good! He mentioned that if he didn't know better, he would have thought it was meat. I am going to take that as a compliment.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Beautiful banana bread jackblades!
Zensquigle, your cat eating chickpeas is the cutest! I love that Chickpea Quinoa pilaf; I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you. Yeah, the cardamom mess up would be a problem. But I don't know what to say about your grain cooking issues. I wish you lived closer to me. I would have you over and we would cook grains together until the absorbed their liquid! Do you have snug fitting pot lids? Do you bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer? And I mean like as low as the flame will go and still be on. And don't lift the lid more than maybe once really quick to check on things. And after you turn the stove off, leave your grain covered and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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I love this challenge, so thank you for starting it. My cooking has taken the back burner (heh heh) since January when I had a baby. I miss cooking. So I stuck to something simple today - the basic broiled tofu from V'con - and have plans for mousaka and spaghetti squash mexicana, which are also from V'con.

I really liked the broiled tofu. The marinade made me want to keep shoving it in my mouth even though I was already stuffed. I will make it again especially since I could prep the tofu triangles and marinade in advance. However, I think I will press the tofu next time. The recipe says it's not required so I gave it a go without pressing...but I like my 'fu a little denser, I guess. Anyway, good stuff and I'm looking forward to finishing off the leftovers tomorrow.

Really really looking forward to mousaka.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:26 pm 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Zensquigle, your cat eating chickpeas is the cutest! I love that Chickpea Quinoa pilaf; I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you. Yeah, the cardamom mess up would be a problem. But I don't know what to say about your grain cooking issues. I wish you lived closer to me. I would have you over and we would cook grains together until the absorbed their liquid! Do you have snug fitting pot lids? Do you bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer? And I mean like as low as the flame will go and still be on. And don't lift the lid more than maybe once really quick to check on things. And after you turn the stove off, leave your grain covered and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Thanks, Rhizo! I honestly have no idea what the issue is, but I've had the same problem with white rice, brown rice, and quinoa. I've used multiple sets of pots, all with tight fitting lids and I follow all the rules, and I nearly always have the same problem. I usually have to decrease the water by 1/4-1/2 cup to get an end result that's not soupy or gloppy. I've had much better results with cooking methods where you soak first, then cook with less water and less time. It's not like we're at an exceptionally high elevation here... we're under 2,000 feet, so I don't think it's that. It's one of the great mysteries of my life, I guess! I HAVE THE MAGICAL POWER OF CREATING EXTRA WATER IN THE POT WITHOUT TAKING THE LID OFF! Either that or every grain in every store here has been on the shelf for 6 years and is too old and dried out to absorb all the water.

I wish I lived closer to you, too... I'd totally leash up the cat and come over for a grain cooking, chickpea eating extravaganza!!! I'll definitely try the recipe again, too. I love to cook and am usually a pretty good cook, but last night was one of the rare nights where nothing went right... totally not the recipe's fault!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:32 am 
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zensquiggle wrote:
Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Zensquigle, your cat eating chickpeas is the cutest! I love that Chickpea Quinoa pilaf; I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you. Yeah, the cardamom mess up would be a problem. But I don't know what to say about your grain cooking issues. I wish you lived closer to me. I would have you over and we would cook grains together until the absorbed their liquid! Do you have snug fitting pot lids? Do you bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer? And I mean like as low as the flame will go and still be on. And don't lift the lid more than maybe once really quick to check on things. And after you turn the stove off, leave your grain covered and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Thanks, Rhizo! I honestly have no idea what the issue is, but I've had the same problem with white rice, brown rice, and quinoa. I've used multiple sets of pots, all with tight fitting lids and I follow all the rules, and I nearly always have the same problem. I usually have to decrease the water by 1/4-1/2 cup to get an end result that's not soupy or gloppy. I've had much better results with cooking methods where you soak first, then cook with less water and less time. It's not like we're at an exceptionally high elevation here... we're under 2,000 feet, so I don't think it's that. It's one of the great mysteries of my life, I guess! I HAVE THE MAGICAL POWER OF CREATING EXTRA WATER IN THE POT WITHOUT TAKING THE LID OFF! Either that or every grain in every store here has been on the shelf for 6 years and is too old and dried out to absorb all the water.

I wish I lived closer to you, too... I'd totally leash up the cat and come over for a grain cooking, chickpea eating extravaganza!!! I'll definitely try the recipe again, too. I love to cook and am usually a pretty good cook, but last night was one of the rare nights where nothing went right... totally not the recipe's fault!

Maybe you're turning the heat too low for the simmer? I used to fail at rice every time. Burned, hard, soupy, everything. The simmer should still have wee bubbles happening.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:07 am 
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Zensquiggle, I thought I was the only one with a chickpea eating cat!

On monday I made the Eggplant and Peanut Soup (V'con). So tasty. But it took me a long while though, it's not something I'll be repeating on a weeknight. Yesterday: chickpea cutlets!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:19 pm 
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I used the edamame pesto again last night. I made a simple fresh tomato sauce (shallots, garlic + tomatoes) and after the tomatoes were nice and broken down, I added some of the leftover edamame pesto and had it on a baked potato.

SO GOOD. Next time I make it with pasta, I am definitly going to make it like this. It tasted great, and it will make one batch streach out into a few batches. I wonder if it freezes well.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:32 pm 
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We had the VWAV mushroom sun-dried tomato risotto last night. It was pretty tasty, but I reduced the oil a bit and left off the optional truffle oil, and I missed some richness that probably would have added.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:40 pm 
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I made the white seitan from VV and it was delicious! I used it for the Udon with Peanut Sauce and Seitan from VWAW and it was so good even with a lot of changes, I highly recommend it. I then used the leftover seitan ground in my food processor and pan fried to make tacos with homemade refried beans from VV. I made the So Good So Green Sauce from VV to go with the tacos and it was a hit! I love VV and VWAV so much! There are always new gems to find every time I flip through these books.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:01 pm 
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It was use-up-the-leftovers night around here, so I threw together a stir fry with some tofu, carrots, broccoli, snap peas and a sauce loosely based on the Monglian BBQ recipe from Chloe's Kitchen. Rather than reheat the plain rice from earlier in the week, I decided to throw together the Unfried Fried Rice from AFR. I followed the recipe exactly and left it "bare bones" since there was so much going on in the stir fry. It was quite tasty and quick to throw together.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:05 pm 
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I had the cauliflower pesto soup from AFR for lunch today. It is so good! Actually, I didn't have enough cauliflower so I added some leftover butternut squash and it was lovely. This is a great meal if you're calorie counting (which I am). It's very low cal while being filling and delicious. It's really good over quinoa, too!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:41 am 
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I finished up this week with more Viva Vegan recipes- this time, chorizo and potato taquitos...

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... and Mexican street corn.

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Such a great, fun dinner! I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to try this corn recipe, it's amazing and definitely going into our regular rotation.

I also just wrote up a blog post with a bit more about each dish (and a few more photos) here.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:58 pm 
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So we cheated a little bit by deciding we just had to do Isa/Terry recipes, they didn't all have to be from the same book.

To celebrate our new waffle maker, we made the Chelsea Waffles from VB and the Lemon Corn Waffles with Blueberry Sauce from VWAV. Both awesome, and since we didn't realize a half recipe was more than enough for the two of us, the freezer is now full of waffles to be heated up after the baby arrives!

We also made corn tortillas and refried beans from VV and the Corn-filled Empanadas from VV, plus the pound cake from Vcon (with lemon zest and poppyseeds in it, and lemon curd on top. Lemon curd recipe from http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/02/ ... yseed.html).

Tomorrow's dinner is planned to be the pasta with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichoke hearts from Vcon, plus the blackberry focaccia that was on NPR a couple weeks back.

It's been really fun cooking some new things and poring over all the books again!


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Pumpkin & black bean pupusas (Viva Vegan) with a quick tomato sauce and a side of yuca with salt and lime. I was going to make the mojo sauce but got lazy. There's more yuca so I might make the sauce tomorrow. I've been travelling so I didn't cook much this week.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Your pictures are so pretty, Erinnerung! Makes me super motivated to cook from Viva Vegan!


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Last night we had Lentil Eggplant Chili Mole alongside baked sweet potato. (I just took one large sweet potato, microwaved it, and divided it between the two of us.) It was quite tasty, especially with the sweet potato. Man that is a LOT of eggplant...and I honestly was worried it wouldn't cook down enough because it almost totally filled up my dutch oven, but it cooked down perfectly and the texture is great. Flavor is as well...very flavorful but not too hot.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:40 pm 
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i've been slacking on Isa & Terry recipes (though i have done 3 Hannah Kaminsky recipes this week) and only made my first one last night. i'd been meaning to try the sausages from VB for ages, and i finally committed to the Italian feast ones. they're not the prettiest looking things, but i'd devoured almost an entire one within 15 minutes of taking it out of the steamer. they're really really good, though i think the high gluten content gave me a bit of tummy upset and might preclude me from making them very often. that said, i am still planning to make the cherry sage sausages while i still have navy beans to use up.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I finally got around to making stuff! I made the Baked Felafel and Quinoa Puttanesca (with mods) from AFR.

The felafel was super easy - not as flavourful as the fried stuff, but it hits the spot (and is pretty reminiscent of the stuff you can buy in a package, which I regularly bake). I can't quite put my finger on what it's missing (besides being deep fried). But it's still good. I might try it again with added spinach just because I like the idea of spinach felafel.

I used couscous in my puttanesca because I'm sensitive to quinoa. I also decreased the capers because I was in a hurry and thought (wrongly) that 1/2c would be overkill. Overall it was really good, though maybe not the best choice with felafel (I thought, they're both Mediterranean, they'll work together).

I also made the Lower Fat Deep Chocolate Bundt Cake from V'con. I may or may not have made this before, but it's clearly been so long if I had that I might as well have never made it, so I'm counting it. The cocoa/coffee mixture took a lot longer to cool than I expected, so the recipe took longer overall. But it was worth it, because that shiitake is delicious (and it gave me time to clear up ingredients, hang the wet laundry, and start a new load of laundry).

I don't have the next two books, so I'm sticking with AFR for the next two weeks and will continue to post in this thread. I might even take pictures next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:31 pm 
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VCIYCJ peanut butter blondies...i had to get my mom to take half the batch to a party so i wouldn't eat them all...

the recipe was sooo simple. a pantry staple/normal grocery store kinda recipe. but when they say wait until the blondies completely cool before cutting, they mean it!

they were so incredibly rich...i ate my entire half batch and feel like i never want to eat again.. (i picked the peanuts off mine...i love pb, but don't like whole peanuts..is that weird?)

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:51 pm 
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2nd Avenue Korma for AFR was so good tonight. I added soy curls and served over millet. I will be making it again because it was really good, a lot to eat, and easy to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week One - Isa and Terry FREE CHOIC
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:50 am 
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From V'con I've made; chickpea cutlets (don't know if I like things made with VWG, not a big seitan fan and didn't really care for the cutlets), cheezy sauce (added this on top of ditalini and sauteed veggies from my garden, I used water not veg broth and it wasn't quite "cheesy" enough for me) and the eggplant potato moussaka (this was delicious!)


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