After making six of the recipes, I think I can definitively say that this is the best cookbook in the universe. My zillions of other cookbooks are get...moreAfter making six of the recipes, I think I can definitively say that this is the best cookbook in the universe. My zillions of other cookbooks are getting dusty and sad. Sorry, Deborah Madison.
Red Thai Tofu: Delicious and easy! I will make this again.
Butternut Coconut Rice: Amazing, and I don't love butternut squash.
Chili-Lime Rubbed Tofu: Okay. I've never been a huge fan of lemon or lime on tufu. It seemed a little bland. Maybe I need a better chili powder. I don't think I would make this again.
Smoky Split Pea Soup: I will never eat a pea--fresh, canned, or frozen. I hate, hate, hate them. But this soup is goooood. I'm going to put smoked paprika on everything from now on. ETA: I looked it up and it turns out that split peas and peas are totally different things. No wonder I liked this soup.
Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup: Last time I made lentil soup it had a very dog-food aura about it. This one is about a million times better. The addition of rice gives it a little texture and I love it. Easy, too. It has cumin in it, which is the only spice I ever run out of before its expiration date. Cumin smells a bit like B.O. but it is so good. ETA: My first batch got eaten up so quickly that I made a double batch a few days later. That one was gone within 24 hours. This is good soup. It's also fast and easy, or at least it would be if I was faster at chopping onions. I can't seem to get the finger curl down. ETA: I have made this at least 5 times. It is a winner.
Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Stew: I like this a lot, but I'm not sure it would be my first choice when making soup. I used cannelini beans and I suspect chickpeas might taste better. It's good, though, and a great way to eat kale (which I don't like raw). Also, I now know how to clean and cut a leek (thanks lady on youtube!) ETA: I made this again with Great Northern beans this time and liked it much better. They are slightly more subtle than cannelinis.
Baked Falafel: These just might be my favorite thing from the book so far, and that's saying a lot. I have made falafel before and it was a greasy mess and didn't really taste that great. These are fabulous and really easy. I made a double batch in the time it took me to fry up about 5 falafel last time (and they were from a mix!) It's also a really, really cheap recipe. I tossed a handful of dried garbanzos in the vitamix to make the chickpea flour (this is loud, but much cheaper than buying chickpea flour if you ignore the cost of the vitamix itself) and then mixed some sesame seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, water, garlic, and just a tiny bit of agave in the vitamix to make a tahini dressing (which was really more of a paste). Then we wrapped it all up in a whole wheat tortilla with spinach, cucumber, tomato, lemon juice, and hot sauce. And feta cheese, which is not vegan, but neither am I. Perfect, even if the tortilla was not authentic pita. Personally, I think pitas are way overrated. I'm never buying them again. ETA: I've made these at least 5 times--always a quadruple batch.
Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili: As written, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be crazy about this one. It looked like it might be a little on the bland side, so I used this as more of a general guide, creating my own black bean chili. This cavalier attitude had already ended in disaster once this week (nastiest black bean quinoa salad ever), but it worked out this time and this soup is pretty tasty. Mods: added two large jalapenos with the green pepper, left out corn, put in a sweet potato (small dice), instead of chili powder I used dried chipotle flakes (not a 1-1 swap), doubled the broth, doubled the beans, and put in 2 T of smoked paprika to add smoke without heat. I would have liked to up the spice a bit, but some people around here are a little wimpy about that. Plus I'm a little wary after the great Chipotle Sweet Potato Enchilada debacle of 2010, where the enchiladas were so hot they were basically inedible and by the time you got through a few bites you were already ill and bloated from all the water you had to drink. So I just put some hot sauce in my bowl instead. I also tripled the garlic, but that's standard for me. When I see a recipe that calls for 2 cloves, I put in at least 6. Always. Generally my family is so glad they don't have to cook that they don't complain. I just realized that I left out the lime and agave, too, but I didn't miss them. Oh, and the cilantro. Not a big enough fan to intentionally add it to stuff. ETA: I've made this twice.
Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin Mustard Tofu Tempeh Stir Fry: Mustard is one of those things I really miss about meat. I just don't come across a lot of vegetarian meals crying out for a big glob of yellow mustard. So I have been looking forward to trying out this recipe, although I can't really review the actual recipe, since I didn't use it, but the basics are the same. Sort of. I really wanted broccoli and didn't feel like pressing tofu, so I made a stir-fry with tempeh instead of tofu wraps and I didn't use the mirin. I found the sauce to be very, very sweet, so I added some soy sauce and seasoned rice vinegar. I like it, but probably not enough to make again. I'll just have to find some other use for my French's. (less)
Hawaiian-style Sweet and Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers: I've already made this twice in the past week, since it was delicious and pin...moreSo far:
Hawaiian-style Sweet and Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers: I've already made this twice in the past week, since it was delicious and pineapples and bell peppers were both on sale. Served over a brown basmati rice/barley mix. (less)
Tomato Rosemary Scones: Very, very good. I'd like to substitute a little wheat flour in for all purpose next time.
Polenta Rancheros: Delicious. The p...moreTomato Rosemary Scones: Very, very good. I'd like to substitute a little wheat flour in for all purpose next time.
Polenta Rancheros: Delicious. The polenta is especially good using vegetable broth for the cooking water. I recommend Rapunzel Organ Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs. I could eat one of those cubes all by itself. Two issues I had: (1)The tomato sauce/onion mixture is not runny enough to use an immersion blender in the pot unless you have a very deep pot and a lot of time. After it threw specks out all over the walls, I switched to a regular blender. (2)The proportions seem a little weird. I had lots of polenta left over and few beans. Next time I'll either eat a lot more polenta or make less. (less)
Cowboy Cookies: Really, really good. I thought they might be greasy with so much oil, but they're not. Just super tasty and very easy to make....moreSo far:
Cowboy Cookies: Really, really good. I thought they might be greasy with so much oil, but they're not. Just super tasty and very easy to make. Plus I didn't have to deal with eggs. I've never used ground flax in place of eggs before, but it costs next to nothing and works great. The first time I used peanut oil, but I have since used coconut oil and it really makes these cookies amazing. (less)
Three Bean Salad with Jicama and Orange: Fantastic and worth the price of the book for me. I will be making this often. Used canned beans to sp...moreSo far:
Three Bean Salad with Jicama and Orange: Fantastic and worth the price of the book for me. I will be making this often. Used canned beans to speed it up, since it calls for three different types which must all be cooked separately.
Jicama-Orange Salad: Did a mix of oranges and grapefruit as suggested as an alternative. Might have been better with better produce. Included radishes, but I don't really care for the bitterness they added. Probably won't make again.
Corn and Bulgur Salad with Cilantro and Lime: I really liked the bulgur, which I have never used before. I think I would have liked this better if the ingredients had been left raw, as in pico de gallo or salsa. In fact, rather than make this again, I will probably just add bulgur next time I make one of those things.
Lentil Salad with Curry Spices and Yogurt: This is pretty good. I liked that it didn't use a premixed curry powder, so I could adjust the proportions to my liking. I would probably make this again. It's a good recipe for French lentils.
Basmati and Wild Rice Salad with Tangerines and Pine Nuts: Really good. I substituted almonds for the pine nuts since pine nuts are so expensive. I used tangerines for the juice, but for the tangerine sections I used tangelos instead since they're so easy to peel and section. I also used dried cranberries instead of currants because I don't care for currants. I'm sure I will make this again. It's a good holiday side dish. (less)
So far: Good book if you like things mild. I plan on making lots more from this book, but I'm going to have to remember to adjust the recipes, because...moreSo far: Good book if you like things mild. I plan on making lots more from this book, but I'm going to have to remember to adjust the recipes, because I like things spicy.
Red Chile Sauce: I've had this book since it came out and haven't used it, but I was watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and someone made a chile sauce (I keep typing "child" sauce), so I pulled it out to see if there was a similar recipe in here. This is good, but I really need to find some hotter peppers this time. This has less kick than ketchup. It's a little time-consuming, but not ridiculous. I put it in small jars so I can freeze it. I don't think I'll go through it very quickly.
Venezuelan-Style Black Beans: It drives me nuts when I start reading the ingredient list for a recipe and one of the ingredients is another recipe (sofrito in this case). Oh, well. This wasn't hard at all and they're pretty good. My only complaint is that they are so mild. I think the solution is to add a can of hot rotel next time instead of diced tomato. I ended up adding some garlic salt just to kick up the flavor a bit(not ideal, but it was too late for fresh garlic). Also, I didn't have the sugar she called for so I added some blackstrap molasses.
Onion-Pepper Sofrito: Time consuming and I'm not sure if it's worth it, although I like the way the onions and pepper sort of melted together. I'm not a green pepper fan if it's visible or overpowering, so this was good. The beans I made used about a cup and I put the rest in the freezer. It's enough for about 2 more batches of beans. If I make this again, I will probably add some hot peppers to it. Or maybe replace part of the olive oil with chile oil. I think I have some in the pantry somewhere. (less)