So, after hearing all about how wonderful it is and reading reviews and experiments in all of your blogs, I finally started making recipes from the highly acclaimed Veganomicon. I had tried the yuca tortillas (which are really quesadillas) that Kate and Robyn made for my party and they were quite delicious, but I hadn't tried making anything myself.
The book had actually been sitting there for about a month before I finally picked it up. And what did I decided to make?
Yep, you guessed it. The famous chickpea cutlets! I really wanted to go against the grain and not make them for a long, long time since they seem to be the talk of the town going from blog to blog to blog. But how could I choose to be rebellious when I just might be missing the tastiest meal to come out of a vegan cook book?
So I made them, just like the book said, with one small exception. I kinda got lemon zest happy and peeled a wee bit too much. You see, I was using the zester my sister had gotten me for my birthday for the first time and I was like a little kid. I couldn't stop. So I think I may have doubled the required amount.
After frying up these babies, the house smelled so good, I was salivating down to my feet. I just couldn't wait to take a bite!
Then it happened. I sunk my teeth into it and I tasted... lemon.
Lemon really isn't bad and tastes quite fine in some things, but this wasn't one of them. The burger was still edible and tasted mighty fine with dijon mustard or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce so we ate them all over a period of a couple of days. Regardless, I've decided to remake them properly this coming weekend and give all of you my real review next week.
The only other complaint I do have, though, is that the wheat gluten made them a little too chewy. Not a great re-heat.
Next I made macaroni salad. I've made tons of these because I LOVE macaroni salad and it's very easy to bring to work. This is the first mac salad recipe that required very little ingredients for the dressing (there wasn't even dijon in it!) and let me just say- it was my absolute favourite mac salad I've tried thus far.
Oh, it may look plain and simple, but it will definitely tickle your taste buds with absolute delight and glee. Who cares if it's not summer time! I urge you- if you have Veganomicon (and we all know you do) make the Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad, pg 91. You won't regret it. Just make sure you let it chill over night because it tastes much better once it's been marinading for so long. Oh, and do be sure to use Vegenaise, the mayonnaise of champions. No other mayo brand will do.
So far, that's been all from the book, but I do plan on making much more from it. Right now I've been experimenting with La Dolce Vegan which, in my opinion, is a hit or miss book. Luckily, most of the recipes are excellent, even in their simplicity.
I made lentil quinoa stew to go with the cutlets and it was beyond delicious. I wasn't sure it would be. The beans were soaking up just about all of the broth, so I had to add more after it was finished cooking.
I know the picture looks like mush, but believe me when when I say the taste was utterly wonderful. I simmered together onions, celery, carrots, garlic, red lentils, quinoa, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and threw half in the blender for a few seconds. After returning it to the pot, I threw in cilantro, tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. The tomatoes and oregano are what really made the soup come together. They were bursting with flavour and complimented the lentils and quinoa so well.
For work lunch last week, I made up a batch of 'Sloppy Janes' and tossed it in a whole wheat wrap. While I, personally, don't mind eating it cold, most would probably prefer it warm, right off the stove. I mean, who doesn't remember Sloppy Joes, eh?
I just sautéed some white onions with green pepper and crumbled firm tofu. Add in tomato sauce, chili powder (the more, the merrier), salt, pepper, dijon, maple syrup, brown rice and Worcestershire sauce. Make sure this last ingredient has no anchovis. I like to use Annie's Vegetarian brand, which is actually vegan too. :)
As for the mushroom issue, thank you so much to everyone for their input and information. Elly Blue gave me a lot of useful info that I'll probably be posting about sometime in the near future. The short of it is, don't be scared of mushrooms! They're fungis. Get it? Fun guys? Okay.