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 Post subject: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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The book for this week is Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson.
If you don't have access to any of the cookbooks, you may also choose an alternate book, just remember to post all your results here.

Choose 3 or more recipes from the selected cookbook of the week and tell us about it! Post pictures, comments or anything else you can think of here. If you choose to switch books around and do this cookbook on a different week, feel free to come back and post in this thread anytime.

Here's the line up for the remaining weeks:

September 9 – Isa and Terry FREE CHOICE – Pick any book from the amazing duo – V’con, VV, AFR, VWAV, VB, etc.
September 16 – World Vegan Feast
September 23 – Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites
September 30 – Vegan Diner
October 7 – Yellow Rose Recipes
October 14 – Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day
October 21 – Isa and Terry FREE CHOICE – V’con, VV, AFR, VCIYCJ, VWAV, VB, etc.
October 28 – Chloe’s Kitchen
November 4 - American Vegan Kitchen
November 11 - Quick and Easy Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food
November 18 - 500 Vegan Recipes
November 25 – Isa and Terry FREE CHOICE – V’con, VV, AFR, VCIYCJ, VWAV, VB, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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ooops, I thought this week was vegan sandwiches save the day so I've planned and bought ingredients for a few of the recipes. oh well! I'll take my pics and post back at the right time!

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:02 am 
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I'm definitely making the brownies and the smoky mountain cheese. Maybe the pb ice cream too!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:35 am 
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I'm not in my own kitchen this week, and I don't have next week's cookbook, so I'll be doing this one next week. I brought it with me and was going through it on the train and have made a list a page long of the recipes I want to try! Since I'll only have 5 days when I can cook, I'll have to narrow it down, but I'm so excited to get started! I've had this cookbook for a while and haven't made one thing from it. Not sure why it's taken me so long, but now I can't wait!!

And the timing is perfect as we're just starting to slide into "comfort food weather".

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:56 am 
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I made the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (p. 39) for breakfast yesterday and thought they were great. I used vanilla flavored almond milk and omitted the vanilla extract. I also added a tbsp of ground golden flaxmeal and increased the molasses from 1/2 tsp to a tbsp. I topped them with maple syrup and a few toasted pecans. Thumbs up from everyone except my pumpkin-hating husband who declared them "too pumpkiny." Ha, too pumpkiny?!?! There's no such thing!


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:11 am 
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Elizabeth, I love your plate. The colors are so autumny and perfect for displaying pumpkin pancakes!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:44 pm 
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You guys, I can't recommend the Whole Grain Pancake Mix recipe enough. I made it for the first time yesterday and added some huckleberries I had in the freezer... SO GOOD. I made half a recipe of the mix and used the whole thing (I didn't want to keep the mix in the pantry unless I knew liked it), and I have to say these might be my favorite pancakes ever. The mix of whole wheat pastry flour/cornmeal/oats is really brilliant... it's amazingly not hippie-food-ish (full disclosure: I like hippie food). Add a glob of coconut earth balance and it's breakfasty heaven on a plate.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:56 pm 
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There's a lot of recipes I haven't made from this book yet that I want to try, but I'm not in shape to cook much this week. Maybe I can make something simple at the end of the week. Excited to see what you guys are making though!


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:35 pm 
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I made the Quick and Hearty Chili for lunch today and was really pleased at how quickly it came together and how flavorful it was. I followed the recipe exactly except for the addition of half a fresh jalapeno I found languishing in the back of the vegetable drawer. I topped it with cilantro and diced avocado and served it with sweet potato tortilla chips on the side.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:38 pm 
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I don't know that I'll have a chance to cook from this during the week, but everyone should try the veggie stew w/ dumplings. I LIVE off that during the winter, so yummy!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:39 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy

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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Elizabeth, I love your plate. The colors are so autumny and perfect for displaying pumpkin pancakes!


Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Elizabeth wrote:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8181/8044322753_c8db5ac592.jpg

I made the Quick and Hearty Chili for lunch today and was really pleased at how quickly it came together and how flavorful it was. I followed the recipe exactly except for the addition of half a fresh jalapeno I found languishing in the back of the vegetable drawer. I topped it with cilantro and diced avocado and served it with sweet potato tortilla chips on the side.

I am totally going to make that later! Though my plates are not nearly as cheerful as yours. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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agreed, i swoon for your aqua fiestaware!

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:58 pm 
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I kicked off the week with the Not Your Mama's Pot Roast. I remembered reading a comment on these boards saying that the roast was too salty, so I used Bragg's in place of half the soy sauce and reduced sodium soy sauce for the rest. The roast came out a little ugly (lumpy from where the potatoes and carrots sat on it while cooking), but I was really happy with the flavor and texture. I will definitely make this again. Next time, I will add a bit more stock since my crock pot seemed to cook off a bit to much of the liquid.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:46 pm 
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I also made the Quick and Hearty Chili! Actually, my husband did most of it since teaching him to cook is one of my MoFo themes. We both loved how it turned out, and he said it was really easy to make. I did modify it a bit - doubled the TVP, added a can of black beans (so one each of pinto, black, and red kidney), decreased the oil a bit to make it lower fat, used a roasted red pepper, left out the cocoa powder (because we were out and I didn't realise it needed it), and added a few drops of hickory liquid smoke. It really was some of the best chili I've eaten. I kinda wish I could have more right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:50 pm 
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So I did end up making the Quick & Hearty Chili as well. It's good! I hadn't made it before, but the beans-to-other stuff ratio seemed just right to me and it's very pantry-friendly so yay. I used half kidney beans and half black beans, plus added a dash of liquid smoke and sweetener because that's how I like it. If I were to make this again I would totally add some corn kernels.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:58 pm 
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I almost made that chili tonight too...instead I wound up peeling my thumb and the heel of my hand while trying to peel acorn squash for soup (recipe from Forks Over Knives cookbook). At least it was good. If it wasn't I would have cried. As I was doing that, I was thinking, "Should have made the chili." :P I think I might wait until next week to do this cookbook since I don't have the next two weeks' books.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Elizabeth - your photos are beautiful!

Just wanted to say how much I love Vegan Diner and every recipe in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:54 am 
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So Totally Yiffy

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Well, I decided it was time to push myself a bit more with the challenge this week, so I ventured into some new territory. I have never eaten--much less prepared--seitan before. Even though I see recipes using seitan everywhere, those are the ones I usually just skip over because, well, "I don't eat that." NO MORE! Last night I put together a half recipe of the pastrami-style seitan roast intending to make the rockin' reuben sandwiches. I'm going to post a photo in hopes that someone can tell me if my finished product resembles what seitan is supposed to look like. Should it have those little air holes in it, or should I have squeezed it together more?

Image

I sampled a small piece; to me it tasted like sausage (I guess from the fennel). The texture reminded me of this stuff called scrapple that my German grandmother used to make when I was a kid.

As I searched around on the internet for photos of the vegan reuben sandwich, I came across another recipe on the Vegetarian Times website for the radical reuben sandwich from Chicago Diner. This recipe involved marinating the seitan in a mixture of beet juice, pickle juice, and pickling spices to add that pastrami flavor/color. So, I'm now marinating my pastrami-style seitan...we'll see how that goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:56 am 
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So Totally Yiffy

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mattomic wrote:
Elizabeth - your photos are beautiful!

Just wanted to say how much I love Vegan Diner and every recipe in it.


Thank you, mattomic! I'm really enjoying documenting my journey with photos.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:58 am 
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Whoa! I've been craving a reuben all day. I've never made seitan either, but I have eaten it and that looks pretty good to me. Please do update us on the pastrami journey! That marinade is the most amazing color!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:13 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
Whoa! I've been craving a reuben all day. I've never made seitan either, but I have eaten it and that looks pretty good to me. Please do update us on the pastrami journey! That marinade is the most amazing color!


wow, elizabeth you are brave! i fear seitan and tempeh ;) more the manufactured/processed kind you buy at the store, i might be willing to try to make my own seitan, maybe maybe maybe, still scared cuz it's a bit strange to me.

i echo what lepelaar said, do keep us posted on your new seitan adventures!

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"....but I finally found block tempeh a few weeks ago with the intent to give it my virginity." -Moon

"But...that's the most vegetably vegetable there is!!!" -Chicki


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:35 pm 
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bookwormbethie wrote:
wow, elizabeth you are brave! i fear seitan and tempeh ;) more the manufactured/processed kind you buy at the store, i might be willing to try to make my own seitan, maybe maybe maybe, still scared cuz it's a bit strange to me.

i echo what lepelaar said, do keep us posted on your new seitan adventures!

OK, slightly off topic to this thread but: bookwormbethie, I used to feel the same way until I actually tried them. Tempeh has a slightly more unusual taste, so it took me a couple tries to actually decide I liked it, but I loved seitan from the first time I tried it. If you're nervous about making it at home, I would recommend baking it the first time you try it, as in my experience that is the most foolproof. This recipe is popular and awesome, and if you don't like it spicy you can cut down on the pepper/cayenne and it still tastes good. It's sort of pepperoni-like in that preparation, for lack of a better description.

OK, back to Vegan Diner: Regarding the steamed seitan recipes- I am wondering if anyone has attempted to make a half-sized loaf and if so, how long you ended up having to steam it for until it was "done"?


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Limone wrote:

OK, back to Vegan Diner: Regarding the steamed seitan recipes- I am wondering if anyone has attempted to make a half-sized loaf and if so, how long you ended up having to steam it for until it was "done"?


Yes, I cut the recipe in half. Since it was my first time and I had no idea what "done" actually looked like, I left it in the steamer for the full 45 minutes. My steamer is small, and this half loaf fit perfectly. How can you tell if it's cooked/overcooked?


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook Challenge - Week Four - Vegan Diner
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Hmm, that's tough to answer. Generally speaking you want it to be chewy, but not super loose or spongy or squishy in the middle, which can happen if it's undercooked. It's sort of hard to describe because seitan naturally is kind of spongy and squishy, but it's not very good if the texture isn't "firm" for lack of a better description. Overcooked seitan is rubbery, I ended up making a whole loaf instead of half, so I will have to report back on the results later...


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