Candle Cafe’s Make Your Own Chili Bowl

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

2014-10-28 - VHC Make Your Own Chili Bowl - 0005 [flickr]

So this make-your-own chili bowl is from the “Super Bowl Big-Game Party” menu in Vegan Holiday Cooking (hey! that’s not a holiday!), but I made it for the last game of the World Series. (Yes, my queue is that far behind. VeganMoFo, you do it to me every year!) Personally, I think it goes well with any sports (Channeling my inner Mitchell here.), a sentient with which Shane heartily agreed,

Anyway, it’s really easy to make – just a whole lot of chopping and simmering really – and Candle Cafe offers a bunch of topping ideas. I mixed some Tofutti sour cream with chives, stirred it into my chili, and garnished it with tortilla chips. (Okay, so maybe “garnished” is an understatement.) So good, and the abundance of lentils is pretty chill on my stomach.

White Bean Farro Soup with Chickpea Parmigiana Topping

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

2014-10-15 - VEW White Bean Farro Soup - 0003 [flickr]

You guys, this might be my favorite Vegan Eats World soup yet! It’s super-hearty, with farro wheat berries (my first ever time trying them! and they are AWESOME!), tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and cannelini beans (or great white northern, in my case; forgot to go shopping, OOPS!). Spinach or escarole is optional; I shredded mine into little itty bitty pieces so it wouldn’t get all wilty and slimy. (HATE cooked leafy greens.) It gave the soup a nice, festive Christmasy feel and kind of overruled the need for parsley. Way tasty, all around.

The topping is an Ethiopian/Mediterranean mashup involving cooked chickpea flour and lemon juice to make a tangy, parmesan-like garnish. It pairs most excellently with the soup and adds an unexpected kick. So good!

I’ve already claimed dibs on the leftovers.

Potato Hash

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

2014-04-18 - MVT Potato Hash - 0001 [flickr]

Another one from Mayim’s Vegan Table. So this recipe is pretty tasty – you can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, am I right? – with beans (I used Navy in place of the recommended black beans, of which I am still sadly bereft), corn, chorizo (or Lightlife hotdogs, in my case), red peppers, onions, garlic, and some other goodies. (Pro tip: this hash tastes excellent with mushrooms!)

Sadly, my potatoes and hot dogs did not brown. I blame my expensive new(ish) frying pan, which is giant and makes some pretty kickass pasta sauce, but sucks at browning my favorite things. Tofu scramble, vegan meats, potatoes: they all just stick to the bottom of the pan. Usually I break out my 15-year-old cheapo frying pan for these occasions – the Teflon coating browns all the things – but it was way too small for today’s purposes.

Maybe it’s finally time to replace it with a shinier model?

Mayim’s Breakfast Burritos

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

(…for dinner. Always for dinner!)

2014-04-17 - MVT Breakfast Burrito - 0003 [flickr]

So if you already own Mayim’s Vegan Table, you’ll immediately notice that I made a few changes to this recipe. Instead of unpressed, diced tofu – which I’m not really keen on – I used pressed, crumbled tofu to make a scramble. Also, I didn’t have any black beans (SHANE!), so I used navy beans instead. And, as per usual, I shredded my spinach, since cooked spinach gives me the willies. (It’s all slimy and wilty, much like spoiled spinach. Ew!)

Hmmmm. Maybe I should start a tag for fussy eaters. You think? “Fussy eater problems,” or something like that.

Anyway, it’s a solid recipe that’s easy enough to modify based on what ingredients you have on hand. Not quite a scramble, but easily made into one. I’ll admit that the mix of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar made me a little nervous, but you don’t really taste either in the finished product.

Plus you just can’t go wrong with Daiya cheese or burritos. Not. Possible.

Bean Ball Spaghetti from the Vegan Athlete Cookbook

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

2014-04-11 - VAC Bean Ball Spaghetti - 0001 [flickr]

At this point I own more vegan cookbooks than I could ever hope to use in my life – even if I made a new recipe every day, from now until I’m a hundred, weekends included. (The same goes for book-books, so there you go. If I have one addiction, it’s paper. And pizza. And ice cream. And dogs. So four. Four addictions.)

Zoey Sampson’s Vegan Athlete Cookbook is a freebie-for-review that I scored via Library Thing’s Member Giveaway program. (Free stuffs. Make that five addictions!) As per my SOP, the very first recipe I tried was pasta-related: namely, the Bean Ball Spaghetti (really rigatoni) with homemade sauce and store-bought garlic breadsticks.

These not-meatballs are a mix of beans (the recipe calls for pinto; naturally, pinto was the one single type o’ bean that I didn’t have in my cupboards, so I used a mix of light red and great northern), carrots, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, and spices. Mix the batter in a food processor, shape into little balls, and bake in the oven for twenty minutes. Pretty simple. If I could suggest one modification to the recipe, though, it’d be to process the wet ingredients first, then slowly add in the dry. My middle-of-the-line food processor struggled to mix everything at once; the batter’s just too durn thick. Or even mix in the dry ingredients by hand, come to think of it.

Also. After baking, Sampson directs you to transfer the balls to the sauce and simmer for ten minutes. I could tell just from gentle handling that the balls weren’t sturdy enough to hold together in sauce. (Not to mention, there were too many balls to fit in the pan! Somewhere in the order of 32 to 36. I kept count, and then promptly forgot. Sorry!) I threw half a dozen in with the sauce just to test my theory and, sure enough, they crumbled even under gentle handling. My advice? Make double the marinara sauce and serve the balls on the side, smothered in the stuff.

2014-04-11 - VAC Bean Ball Spaghetti - 0005 [flickr]

The verdict: it’s an okay recipe – the balls are tasty enough and easy to throw together – but not my favorite vegan meatball recipe of all time. I suspect that Shane will repurpose the leftovers into a burrito of some type. Stay tuned for breaking news.