January 13, 2011

Mango BBQ Beans and Cornbread

Another Appetite for Reduction recipe!!!

This time I made Mango BBQ Beans and Fresh Corn and Scallion Corn Bread

First up, the beans:
What I liked:
Really tasty! I loved the homemade BBQ flavor! It was super easy too, once I cooked the dried beans.

What I disliked:
Nothin' really.

What I substituted:
Maple syrup for agave.I ended up using only one TBSP of sweetener (tasting as I went) which was perfect!

My man's opinion:
He said he liked it but would prefer it over something besides rice (my choice of side with it.) Maybe someday I can try the suggestion for mashed yucca!

I also made the Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread to go with it:

What I liked:
It was quick and easy to mix up with no weird ingredients.

What I disliked:
It didn't seem to turn out quite like I imagined...it was both dense and crumbly. You can see the weird texture in that first pic. It almost didn't firm up into bread. I gave it about 5 extra minutes from the max time and still it wasn't quite right. I thought it could have used a bit more salt or maybe oil...it sorta tasted low-fat, if that makes sense?? I put a little EB on it after which helped!

What I substituted:
Maple syrup for agave. Frozen corn (thawed as suggested) instead of fresh.

Recipe notes:
Seemed to take a little longer to bake than the recipe said. Of course, my oven could possibly be off temp.

My man's opinion:
Thought it was okay, but he mixed it into his beans after tasting it, haha.

One or two more recipes from this book over the weekend and then I move on to the Veganomicon! :)

January 12, 2011

Thai Tofu, "Cheese-steak", Breakfast Wraps

Continuing on the cookbook challenge theme...tonight I made another recipe from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.


What I liked:
It was quick with no extra steps. I like recipes that do not require pre-marinating the tofu. Also, it was fairly pantry friendly.

What I disliked:
I'm not sure what to say, I didn't absolutely love it. It seemed to be lacking something, but I don't know what. Maybe depth of flavor? I'm not sure. It could have something to do with the fact that I didn't have all of the red pepper it called for, I suppose. It could have also been that I didn't like the brand of curry paste I used. It was okay, but if I was served this in a restaurant I would be disappointed.

What I substituted:
I realized I didn't have a whole red bell pepper when I was already done frying the tofu, so I used what I had (about 1/4 cup) and added some mushrooms.
I also substituted a home made sugar syrup for the agave.

Recipe notes:
After frying the tofu with a small amount of non-stick spray and removing it from the pan the recipe says to add the shallots, garlic, ginger and bell pepper to the oil. I didn't have any oil in my pan at all and I checked the recipe to make sure I wasn't supposed to be adding some, haha. I just added about a tsp of oil.

My man's opinion:
He thought it was good, but not great. He said there was a little too much ginger for his taste. He ate it though.

Would I make it again?
I probably would if I was low on produce because it is quite pantry friendly, except I would tweak it a little. I tried my hardest to stay true to the recipe this first time so I could review it.
Also, I might try a different red curry paste when this one runs out (Thai Kitchen).

I made the SANCTUARY DRESSING recipe also, but I made a measuring mistake on that one, whoops!
I halved it (due to how much silken tofu I had) and accidentally used the full amount of garlic powder. I know that recipe will be good next time I make it. It was so creamy! I used it up though. Here's a salad with it:


I've made a few other things in the last couple of days that definitely fall into the "cheap" category.

First up is poor man's version of the CHEESE-STEAK SANDWICH! A man's wich!

This is just a toasted hoagie roll with homemade seitan, grilled peppers and onion topped with a homemade cheezy sauce.
(Try something like this: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=7057.0 for the sauce. )

Simple, cheap and possibly quick if you already have seitan in the fridge!

Not sure what to have for breakfast? Got 20 minutes? Breakfast wraps are here to wipe your tears away!
Tofu scramble wrapped in a tortilla, so easy! I love it because I can make the tofu and veggies and from there change the spices and sauces for my boyfriend and me. (we like different things sometimes!)

His has a mexican vibe goin' on...tofu scramble, veggies, salsa, 'queso' with chili powder, jalepenos.

Mine has curry powder, extra veggies and the watered down queso with peanut butter added for a sauce (sounds weird, but it's good!)

Yep, still eating pretty good on a budget! Tomorrow I plan to make more recipes from Appetite for Reduction...yum yum yum.

I'm not really hungry, but I wanna eat that cheesesteak again...

January 10, 2011

Irish Stew & Red Beans and Rice...CHEAP!

Hello, hello and happy Monday to you all.

Today I made my first recipe from my new cookbook, Appetite for Reduction (which is by the author of Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance and that awesome vegan cupcake book).

The recipe I chose was the Irish Stew with Seitan and Potatoes.

It was perfect for a cold day! I'm doing a fun weekly cookbook challenge on a vegan cooking forum, so you'll see a lot of recipes from cookbooks in the coming weeks. I'll try to do a mini-review of each recipe!

Irish Stew with Seitan and Potatoes (Appetite for Reduction)

What I liked:
It was very easy and filling. Perfect for a winter weeknight. It was not heavy like a meat based stew, the lemon added at the end made it yummy.
The ingredients were also very inexpensive.

What I disliked:
Nothing at all, it was delicious!!!

What I substituted:
I like the lemon flavor in this, but I also used 2 1/4 tbsp instead of 3 because it seemed like it that was plenty...although who knows, maybe I missed out ;)

I also used a lager for the "ale" cause that's what I had on hand.

Recipe notes:
It seemed like the amount of oil used was not quite enough. After sauteeing the seitan and removing them from the pan, there seemed to be no oil leftover for the onions and spices. I just added some water and it was totally fine, but it could be a problem without a non-stick pan.
It was very true to the time it estimated for the recipe, which is always great!

My man's opinion:
He absolutely loved this and requested I make it again :)

I also made my requisite day-before-payday Red Beans and Rice.
There is no real recipe here...just use what you have! I make it in my crockpot and it always comes out delicious.

All you need is:

Red Beans (kidney beans)
Cajun seasoning ( I used Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
Veggie broth or water
Chopped celery and onion (can be left out, just add more spices)
Liquid Smoke (can be left out)
White Rice

Put the beans,celery and onion in the crockpot and cover with about twice as much water or broth. Turn on high and let them cook all day or at least 5 hours. When the beans are nearly done, add as much seasoning as you like, just keep tasting the liquid in the pot. Add a couple of drops of liquid smoke. That's it!!! Sometimes I add leftover seitan or even softened "bacon" bits (omit liquid smoke for this).
Serve with rice, cornbread and greens for a yummy and truly cheap meal!

If you want a stovetop method with the spice mix broken down, this recipe is great too:

The cornbread muffins I served with these are from Robin Robertson's book 1000 Vegan Recipes, a wonderful tome of great recipes!

I love this recipe because it is all pantry ingredients. No soy yogurt or egg replacer needed! That makes it cheap and easy to add to any meal. I added jalapeƱos to the batter this time, yum!

Hope you all survive the coming week...! :)