Monday, December 15, 2008

Officially, it's still FALL!

Sure feels like winter to me! Yesterday, Mike and I went shopping and I couldn't believe how cold it was. To reward ourselves for finishing, we stopped in at a restaurant and had a snack. Mike was facing so he was looking out the window and he kept saying, "Look! Those people are running! I wonder what's going on?" We thought something horrible was happening. As time went on and we saw people running back and forth, we figured out that nothing horrible was happening. People were running because they were COLD!!

Okay, I'm a bit dumb. I was planning my bean ball experiments and, as I continued reading Veganomicon, I realized that there is a recipe for bean balls that uses seitan in the book! Duh! No need to reinvent the wheel. Still... their recipe uses kidney beans which just aren't my favorite, so I guess I will play with it a little bit. More soon...

Here is a salad I made this weekend that I really enjoyed. It was filling, yet not too heavy. I made it to go with our homemade pizzas and it all went, so I guess everyone liked it.

1-1/2 C frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
1-1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
1 C diced cucumber (I used one of those seedless hothouse cukes)
1/2 C chopped red onion or scallions
1-2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
3-4 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 Tbs miso
black pepper, to taste
(salt, if you wish, depending on amount of miso used)

Put all the veggies in a bowl. Whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar and miso and pour it onto the veggies and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I didn't really measure anything, but you can just adjust the dressing to your own taste.

I've been reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking over the weekend and I really like it. I made the "Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Loaf" (photo above) and it was so delicious! There are two things I am really interested in trying. One is called "Vegan Cheese Sauce Mix." You make up a dry mix which includes cashews, oats, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, arrowroot, and some other spices, which you grind up in the food processor. You store this mix in your fridge, and then, whenever you need a "cheeze" sauce, you whisk some mix with soy milk or water and warm it up on the stove. Brilliant. You can serve it over potatoes or pasta or vegetables or whatever.

Then there is the "Raw Parmesan Cheese." I don't really like parmesan cheese; the smell really puts me off. However, I do like some little something on top of my pasta or whatever. Usually, I used gomasio, which I love, but an alternative would be nice. This is a mixture of raw almonds, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and a pinch of sea salt. Doesn't that sound good? I'll let you know what I think once I make it.

Anne asked what my favorite vegetarian cookbook is. Hmmm.... good question. I'm the first to admit that I'm rather fickle and my preferences change every day! I guess the thing that would make a cookbook a favorite would be that all the recipes I try are good. So, for today anyway, some of my favorites are:

The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick Goudreau; every recipe is a winner. The recipes are written so clearly and with such care, it's just a joy to read and cook with it.

Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson. Everything I've tried has been wonderful. Quick and easy recipes, easy to double, easy to find ingredients.

Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna J. Sass. Pressure cooking bible!

The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. One of my kitchen fixtures.

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