Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Blog

Hello Everybody,

My blog has moved to a new location with a new name - Plenty Sweet Enough.   You will find all the content and comments from this blog at the following address:


I hope you will all join me there, I love reading your comments and look forward to sharing many more meals with you .


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hearty Stew

Hearty Stew

I've had Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's lovely book The Vegan Table for quite a while now but haven't taken the time to explore it thoroughly.   Even though we are in the middle of summer, tonight I decided to make the Hearty Stew recipe featuring tempeh, potatoes, carrots and onions.  It's aptly named and was extremely simple to put together.  Even a novice cook could not possibly screw this up.  All the veggies get chopped up and thrown into one pot with veggie stock, a bit of tomato paste and some herbs including thyme, marjoram and tarragon.  You don't even need to peel the carrots and potatoes if you're feeling really lazy.  

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with tarragon.  I find the aroma quite strong and a little off-putting but can enjoy the flavour as long as it's balanced with other ingredients.  I was really happy with how the stew turned out and even happier that it took so little time to prepare.   There's something very satisfying about potatoes cooked in a savoury, saucy stew and the tempeh remained slightly firm while absorbing the flavours of the broth.   Yum.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Surprisingly Efficient Cook or Just Crazy?

Oatmeal Cookies
I recently took on a large project completely unrelated to cooking and strangely enough, instead of limiting my cooking experiments in the kitchen, it has inspired me to try about 20 new recipes over the last three weeks. I have been a cooking machine in the short time I’ve allowed myself to prepare food for the family. One tool that I find quite helpful in keeping me organized is a website called Cookbooker where I am able to keep track of every single recipe I try from my cookbooks, magazines, blogs or elsewhere. I’m always trying to get more people to use the site because the more individual ratings and reviews that are entered for each book, the more useful the site becomes. Even if I don’t blog for lack of time or a failing to take a decent photo, I can still keep notes about every single recipe I try. So there ends my plug for Cookbooker! Check it out.

I thought I’d mention some of the highlights from the recipes I’ve tried lately. I only have a photo of one because the other two were not very photogenic dishes. Coleen Patrick-Goudreau’s newest book Color Me Vegan is home with me from the library and I have so far cooked 6 recipes. Tonight we ate the Carrot and Avocado Salad and it was a surprise hit. I wasn’t expecting such a delicious contrast of flavours and textures from a relatively short ingredient list. The creamy avocado and crisp carrots combined beautifully with an acidic dressing and the roasted sesame seeds added a surprisingly awesome burst of yum with each bite. I love when my low expectations for a recipe are exceeded!

Last night I was starving and had a baguette home from the market but no ripe tomatoes to make the planned for bruschetta. My friend Lisa helpfully suggested I try a bean and garlic spread so I looked for and discovered a recipe for White Bean Aioli in Veganomicon. Honestly, it was outstanding. I was amazed at how a few simple ingredients were transformed in a matter of minutes with the help of my food processor into a creamy, lemony-garlic delight. Move over hummus! I slathered the Aioli on some toasted baguette and gobbled it down. I even snuck downstairs later (much later) when everyone else was asleep to eat some more. Talk about comfort food!

And last but not least something sweet. I’m just going to mention one dessert for now, Oatmeal Cookies from The Peaceful Palate. These babies are dark, chewy, and extremely addictive. I’ve actually made them twice in the last couple of weeks. I justify the second batch as an experiment to make them more kid friendly because my daughter was not impressed with the strong molasses flavor. Even cutting the molasses in half, she still didn’t completely go for them the second time around so my husband and I had to suffer through eating the whole batch. Life is tough eh?

My buddy Kathryn is also cooking from Color Me Vegan this week and she made the Orange-Glazed Tempeh. Take a look at her dish here along with her comments about the book.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A So-So Soup and a Delicious Dip

Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans

Father’s Day shone bright and sunny outside but inside the kitchen some of my efforts were not quite as successful.  I started by baking a chocolate cake which is always a hit and then popped two full bulbs of garlic in the oven for “Tomato Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans” from Veganomicon. The soup is not exactly a summery selection but it was the only one I had all the ingredients for and it sounded hearty enough to anchor a meal. As the soup got underway, I whipped up an intriguingly titled “Mediterranean-Style Cashew Cucumber Dip” also from Veganomicon which the cookbook authors claimed as one of their favourites.

I’m happy to say the dip was delicious; much richer than the traditional dairy based tzatziki which inspired it. The cucumbers added a welcome freshness to the cashew base. I ended up slathering the remains on toast when we ran out of toasted bits of pita triangles.

The soup was disappointing but I shouldn’t have been surprised. The recipe called for two large cans of crushed tomatoes and I almost always find tinned tomatoes to have an awful flavour unless combined with many other ingredients or spices and then cooked for a very long time. The texture of the soup was good. The brown rice gave it a wonderful chewiness. It was a major disappointment to not be able to detect so much as a hint of the roasted garlic over the canned tomato. I think this soup could be very tasty if the canned tomatoes were replaced with fresh tomatoes plus tomato paste and some veggie stock. I’m glad I tried it because I enjoyed the rice and beans combination and look forward to experimenting with the soup base.

For our weekly cooking challenge, the dedicated and always on time Kathryn has posted a scrumptious (and easy!) looking recipe for Dark and Fabulous (Vegan) Chocolate Pudding on her blog.  Check it out here

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
Since I love tofu and eat it just about every day, I borrowed Tofu Cookery (25th Anniversary) by Louise Hagler from the library.  It's an older book and I wish the photos were more attractive but I'm interested in trying quite a few recipes.  Today was a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon and I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  This recipe for Strawberry Shortcake caught my eye and the whole family was happy with my choice and the results. 

I thought the shortcake dough (which contains silken tofu) was rather sticky but they baked up perfectly.  I'm not used to working with biscuit dough so I'm sure it was fine.  They were tender and not too sweet, the very bottoms where browned from the baking pan were slightly tougher.  The Sweet and Creamy Topping which I also made from silken tofu (although the recipe called for regular), had a mild sweet flavour.  I added an extra couple of teaspoons of lemon juice because I thought it was initially a bit too bland.  We ate the shortcake and cream with fresh cut strawberries which makes this a great summer dessert but next time I think I will add some type of strawberry sauce or maybe just macerate the strawberries for a while before serving to make them juicier.  All in all, this was a successful dessert despite my nit-picking and I will definitely make it again. 


Kathryn made the most delicious looking Black Bean Tempeh Stir-Fry dish last week (she's ahead of lazy me again) over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.  Check it out here!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf

My friend Lisa and I started a discussion group on Goodreads (a social networking site for readers) called Vegan Cookbooks and Cooking where we discuss many topics related to vegan cooking along with our favourite recipes from the hundreds of vegan cookbooks out there. One of our members recently told us about this fantastic website and program called the Magical Loaf Studio designed by Jennifer McCann author of Vegan Lunchbox and Vegan Lunchbox Around the World. On the website you can plug in a variety of ingredients and SHAZAM! - Out pops a recipe with your chosen ingredients in the correct proportions for an Adventist style loaf.  As soon as I took a look at the website I was dying to give it a try and tonight was the night!  I picked all my favourite ingredients along with the seasonings I thought would complement them and it actually turned out really moist, flavourful and delicious. I encourage everyone to give this a go and kudos to Jennifer for creating such a simple, yet effective way to create a custom veggie loaf.

As an accompaniment to the loaf I made mashed potatoes, sautéed broccoli, all topped with the Silky Chickpea Gravy from Appetite for Reduction. The gravy was hearty and quite strongly flavoured with thyme but we all enjoyed it and there’s a lot leftover for tomorrow. I had to add quite a bit of extra water to thin the gravy because it was quite thick. Here follows the recipe for the loaf I created but there are endless variations if you want to try it for yourself.

Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf


1/2 cup cashews
2 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, partly mashed
1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB soy sauce


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the cashews into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of Chickpea Cashew Surprise Loaf make a great sandwich filling.


My cooking challenge partner and friend Kathryn continues her exploration of Appetite for Reduction with three yummy recipes including those OMG Onion Rings that I want to stuff my face with!   Check out her post at her blog The Hedgehog in the Kitchen

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Mustard Tofu
I've been working my way through Isa Chandra Moscowitz's Appetite for Reduction with great success and this recipe was no exception.  In fact, I've made four more recipes from the book this week and been pleased with every single one.  The great thing about this book is that most of the recipes don't require a long prep time and none seem daunting or complicated.  As an every day cookbook that incorporates a variety of flavour profiles and cuisines, I think this is a winner.  
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this Hoisin-Mustard combination but I was curious enough to try it and I'm happy to report it was delicious. If you like honey-mustard sauce then you will probably enjoy the blend of  ginger, garlic, mustard and the Hoisin barbecue sauce making for a great sweet and savory bite. Wrapping the tofu mixture in lettuce provided the perfect crisp, fresh complement. I used Romaine instead of iceburg and my husband and I gobbled this dish up.


For our cooking challenge, over the Easter weekend, my friend Kathryn made a Polish sweet bread called Babka which looks and sounds delicious.  Check it out here.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Szechwan Green Beans and Shallots

Szechwan Broccoli and Shallots

Okay, I know the title of this post is a little misleading because these don't look like green beans and they're not but I really wanted to try this recipe from Robin Robertson's new book Party Vegan and the closest thing I had in my fridge was broccoli. This book has been topping my pile of must read library books for a few weeks now and with so much going on around here, I have not had time to do this lovely book justice. I plan on buying myself a copy when the budget allows because it's chock full of delicious sounding recipes that are right up my alley. She is hands down my favourite cookbook author - I think our palates are super simpatico because whenever I read her recipes, I find myself drooling and inspired to get into the kitchen.

This recipe is pretty simple but as usual I was missing another ingredient, this time for the sauce. Dry cooking sherry is not something I usually stock in my pantry although I do come across it occasionally in recipes. It's one of those things I never remember to buy so instead I substituted a combination of rice vinegar and agave nectar. The recipe only calls for one teaspoon and hopefully it didn't completely alter the intended flavours of the dish.  My husband said he thought the sauce was very balanced with a nice amount of spiciness.   Because I replaced the beans with broccoli and also added tofu to make it a one pot meal, I should have doubled the sauce but it was a easy to prepare, flavourful and very reminiscent of the traditional Szechwan sauces I've eaten in Chinese restaurants.  I will definitely make it again with just beans next time.   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

For my second foray into Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan RecipesI was attracted to a soup called Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup.   Mmm, doesn’t that sound good?   It has all the flavours I love; roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, coriander and rosemary.  I was a little nervous that the called for quantity of rosemary would overpower the soup and after tasting it I definitely found it to be the dominant flavour.   It’s a very hearty soup and I will definitely make it again but next time I’ll use less rosemary.   I also found it slightly salty and after tasting thought it needed a tiny bit of sweetness so I squeezed in a squirt of agave nectar which seemed to help.  This soup made for an easy week-night supper and with a few, tiny tweaks it gets a big, thumbs up!
My lovely friend Kathryn has been cooking up lots of yummy food while I've been distracted by other things.   She's way ahead of me on our cooking challenge so I will link all of her entries here.   Check out her most recent dishes!  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits
 After a stressful two week hiatus to take care of some family business I am back and ready to cook!   I treated myself to a copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's new book Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipesand the recipes look promising.   I've been hearing good things about the Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits and decided to give them a go this afternoon.  Actually, I've never made any type of biscuit before and was a little nervous but the instructions seemed very straightforward.  It seems I needn't have worried, they came out very tender and moist.  They remind me of light and fluffy scones.  These particular biscuits contain 1 cup of mashed sweet potato and only 3 tablespoons of oil which I understand is a lot less fat than what is traditionally used.  I liked them a lot, the only change I would make would be halving the 1 teaspoon of nutmeg because it was too much for me.   

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surprise Cookies and an Underwhelming Lasagna

Veggie "Basagna"
I had a request for "basagna" on the weekend and as much as I enjoy eating lasagna, I haven't yet mastered or found a vegan version that satisfies me.  There is always something missing, a richness or sauciness that I used to love about eating it in my pre-vegan days.   I guess I just haven't found the right recipe or combination of sauces and fillings. 

For my weekly cooking challenge I decided to combine ideas from three or four recipes.  It didn't turn out well enough for me to want to post the recipe but I'll keep working on it and share the improved version later.  I added sauteed scallion, carrots, red peppers and spinach to the tofu ricotta mixture which was quite tasty and I also added a layer of eggplant with the tomato sauce.   It definitely needed extra tomato sauce ladeled over the top when served.

While I was busy cooking components for the lasagna, my daughter was whipping up her own creation in a bowl on the kitchen table.  After taking a look at the mushed up fruit and nuts in the bowl I suggested we add a bit of flour and oats and see if her "dough" would bake up into cookies.   We were very excited to see if the experiment would work.  She insisted on adding a spice so we settled on nutmeg.   Here follows the ingredients with very rough measurements, it made seven cookies that were surprisingly tasty with no added sweetener!  I really enjoyed the peanuts in the cookies and although the name implies crunchiness, they were actually quite moist and soft on the inside. 

Yum-Crunch Delicious Cookies

1 banana mashed
1/4 peach chopped into tiny pieces
1 or 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
1/4 cup rice crisps
1 tsp lemon Juice
2 tablespoons soy milk
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Smush wet ingredients together with a potato masher until well blended and then add dry ingredients and mix well.   Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 18 minutes.   Enjoy! 

Yum-Crunch Delicious Cookies!


My friends Kika and Kathryn were busy in the kitchen last week.    Kika made a super delicous looking Mung Bean and Carrot Salad with a few variations, check it out at her lovely bilingual blog named Come Compa here. 

It looks like Kathryn baked a successful batch of Irish Soda Bread in honour of St. Patrick's day, here is her post at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flax-Berry Pancakes with Simso's Strawberry Sauce

Flax-Berry Pancakes with Simso's Strawberry Sauce

When I find a recipe I like, I sometimes get into a rut.  I've been making the same pancakes for over a year now and this morning decided to bust out a few cookbooks and look for something new.  My choice was Flax-Berry Pancakes from Vegan Planet: 400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the Worldand to top it all off Simso's Strawberry Sauce from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine.  I must say, as a Canadian who can't imagine using anything but maple syrup on my pancakes this was a pretty radical idea.

The pancakes were tasty and easy, except for the bit where you have to scrape ground flaxseeds out of the blender jar.  I was a little more hesitant about the strawberry sauce it but exceeded my expectations.  The recipe called for chopped strawberries, water, a little sweetener of your choice (I used agave), mirin, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of cardomom which I hate so I left that out.  My only complaint is that it only made enough for one person.   Next time I will double or triple the recipe.  All in all though, it was a successful breakfast and my weekly cooking challenge is complete!  


My friend Kathryn was way ahead of me this week and whipped up some tasty, savory black beans and rice for our challenge.   Go and check it out at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen

Happy cooking everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils
I think I have the toughest taste tester in the world, a five year old daughter who would choose to eat pizza five times a week if I let her.  I'm always searching for ways to introduce new and nutritious foods while still appealing to her palate. 

When I tried cooking lentils this way a few weeks ago and she ate them, I felt like I'd hit the jackpot.  Indian recipes and spices often don't go down well even when I omit the cayenne or chilis.  I’ve made this dish three times now and each time she has eaten and enjoyed it in small amounts.  This is an easy and satisfying way to cook lentils and they taste just as great if not better reheated the day after.  It's very mild, made without any chilis or large amounts of strong spices.  The cashew paste adds a really yummy creaminess that balances out the acidity of the tomato.  I've used brown lentils as well as french lentils - both have been great! 

Creamy Tomato-Cashew Lentils

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated ginger

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp dried coriander

¼ tsp turmeric

1 cup lentils

3 cups vegetable stock or water

2 chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp agave nectar (or other sweetener)

½ cup raw cashews

1/3 cup water

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil on medium high.  Add the ginger, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Stir for about 30 seconds.  Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and sweetener. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, blend the cashews and water together until fairly smooth. When the lentils are tender, stir the creamy cashew liquid into the pot and heat for a few more minutes.  Season to your taste. 

Serve with rice or grain of your choice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leek Potato Soup

Leek Potato Soup
 I don't often cook with leeks but they are definitely one of my occasional, vegetable impulse buys at the grocery store.  I had three sitting in my fridge getting a little dried out and thought it would the perfect ingredient for my weekly cooking challenge.  I've always wanted to make potato leek soup and searched my cookbooks for a recipe.  I found an appealing candidate in Lauren Ulm's wonderful Vegan YumYum with relatively few ingredients. 

This simple, warming soup was a big hit with everyone in our house. I liked it's velvety texture and the fact that few ingredients were required. Next time I will reduce the amount of salt and season at the end if required. 
And now lets go and see what Kathryn has made over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.   Ooooh, it looks like some yummy middle eastern lentils and rice from Veganomicon.   I must give that one a try.   Go Kathryn!  Keep on cooking!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Cookies - Oh Yes!

Da Kine No Bake Chocolate Cookies
 Valentines Day was the official end of my no-sugar challenge.  I never thought in a million years I could go six weeks without indulging in a daily hit of sugar but I actually did it with the support of my good friend Merry.  I must say there was a noticable improvement in my energy levels.  That awful, mid-day, sluggish, slump disappeared and after about 3 weeks the cravings lessened.  Tonight I made my first real treat, a recipe for no bake chocolate cookies from Vegan Fusion World Cuisine.  These were very simple to prepare, just melt the chocolate or carob chips and mix in the remaining ingredients which included raisins, pecans, coconut flakes, almond or peanut butter, a bit of maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon.  The mixture cooled and firmed up quickly making it easy to shape the cookies.  We popped them in the fridge and after about 15 minutes, the upper limit of my daughter's waiting tolerance, she tried one.  Total success!  She loved them except for the raisins which were spit out, no surprise there.  Then, it was my turn.  I made a cup of tea, sat down and bit into chocolatey goodness.   Mmmm, they almost taste like very firm fudge with chunks of pecans and raisins.  I was only going to eat one because they are so rich but could not resist attempting a second.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread

Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread
 I've had this cookbook - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman for over a year and barely used it.  It's ginormous and heavy, like a big, fat encyclopedia with no photos.  It sits on the bookshelf in my kitchen and every now and then, I glance guiltily over at it's pretty, green spine and think I must use such an excellent resource but I'm not often inspired to pick it up.  I can't imagine writing something like that, it must have taken forever.

Anyways, on the inside of the back cover there is a list called 20 Essential Vegetarian Dishes and I thought that would be a good place to start in terms of trying recipes.  One of the items on the list is Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread.   Doesn't that sound yummy?  I thought so too!  I made it a few weeks ago and while it was quick and easy to prepare, we found the molasses flavour to be extremely overpowering.  After my daughter and I tasted a few bites of the warm bread my husband was left to eat the entire loaf over the course of the week. It does have an appealing and hearty appearance and I might make it again but next time cutting the molasses in half using 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup.  I also subbed soymilk with a tablespoon of vinegar for the buttermilk.  I think this quickbread has a good texture and the potential to be great with a little tweaking.

My buddy Kathryn has made some tasty looking Almond Cookies over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.  I think she is trying to tempt me off my no-sugar challenge!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cauliflower and Potatoes with Spices

Cauliflower and Potatoes with Spices

I borrowed The Asian Vegan Kitchen from the library and fell in love.  There are about 30 pages of photos in the centre of the book and I want to make every single recipe.  I decided to do an Indian Inspired Sunday brunch today starting with the Cauliflower and Potato with Spices recipe on page 18.  I also made up my own lentils in a tomato/cashew sauce which was delicious but I will post the recipe for that later. 

The potato and cauliflower dish is what they call a dry dish.  I don't always have fabulous results with this type of recipe and I'm definitely a sauce freak.  You basically fry the spices and ginger in a bit of oil and then add the potatoes and cauliflower with a couple of tablespoons of water and let them steam or cook in their own juices.  I was missing two of the spices; mango powder and asafetida so I'm not sure how those missing flavours would have affected the outcome but my husband and I both give this dish a 3 out of 5.  The cauliflower was a little soft and the texture of the potatoes a bit weird for lack of a better word.  I have a feeling I may enjoy this more tomorrow as leftovers. 

My friend Kathryn over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen has been having fun trying recipes from The Peaceful Palate and this week cooked up Pasta with Peanut Sauce.   Looks yummy Kathryn!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thai Vegetable Soup

Thai Vegetable Soup
 After shovelling mounds of fluffy snow for a couple of hours this afternoon, I came in from the cold pretty darn hungry for something warm and nourishing.  I decided to make a delicious looking Thai Vegetable Soup I had seen on a newly discovered website called Elana's Pantry.  She cooks all gluten free food and some vegan recipes.  Her photos are fantastic and the food all looks and sounds very healthy.  You can find the soup recipe here.

Coconut milk, veggie stock, ginger, lime and cilantro make a delicious soup broth.  She adds broccoli, mushrooms and onions but I think with a few more veggies, some tofu and perhaps a squirt of chili sauce this soup could be even more substantial.  A thumbs up for simpicity, fast preparation and flavour with relatively few ingredients.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oil Free, Sugar Free Muffins!

Since I started my no sugar challenge on the first of January I have been searching for alternate ways to satisfy my sweet tooth and love of baking.  I found a promising oil-free and sugar-free muffin recipe in Vegan Fusion World Fusion Cuisine by Bo Rinaldi and Mark Reinfeld.

These muffins have a lovely, mildly sweet and fruity flavour.  They're sweetened with mashed banana, pineapple, pineapple juice and maple syrup.  They also contain a half cup of coconut which contributes nicely to the mix of flavours and texture.  I used a small can of crushed pineapple found in the pantry and supplemented the required amount of juice with some orange juice.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results.  My only reservation was with the chewiness of the crumb but this didn't detract from my complete enjoyment of the muffins.  In fact, I think I ate eight in one day which is admittedly overdoing it a bit but they were good! 

Emaho's Oil Free Muffins

Temperatures have really dropped this week and a bowl of Kathryn's Black Bean Chili over at The Hedgehog in the kitchen would be very welcome.   Kathryn has been faithfully cooking something new every week for our cooking challenge.  I applaud her and hope her transition to veganism is going smoothly.  After cooking and eating this way for over a year now, I'm having so much fun in the kitchen.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

I've been cooking a lot of comforting and familiar foods lately because a friend and I are committed to not eating any refined sugar for about 6 weeks.  We hope to gain control over the sugar beast and once the 6 weeks are up, strictly limit intake to small amounts.  I gorged myself on far too many cookies, scones, and other treats.  My body and mood definitely took a beating from too much sugar and some repair work is in order.   

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Now that the holidays are over, my other friend and fellow blogger Kathryn and I are back to cooking something new once a week.  I received my own copy of Veganomicon for Christmas and this week decided to make the scrumptious sounding Lemony Roasted Potatoes on page 109.  

Prep was easy, just peel and slice the potatoes into wedges.  Combine the sauce ingredients which were all things I had in my pantry - lemon, oregano, tomato paste, veggie stock, garlic, salt and pepper.  The potatoes are roasted in a covered casserole and require stirring throughout the cooking process.  The potatoes were tender with an extremely intense, lemony flavour.  You must be a lemon lover to enjoy these, my husband really loved them.  In order to balance the acidity of this dish I made a big green salad with a creamy, slighty sweet dressing and it was perfect. 

Kathryn over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen also made a recipe from Veganomicon - Applesauce Cake.  I think that sounds like the perfect dessert to accompany my dinner.   It's too bad she lives thousands of miles way!