Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sesame Soba Noodles

Sesame Soba Noodles

Previously, I've been a little afraid of cooking with soba noodles. However, what better way to conquer one's fear than to face it head on? Sesame Soba Noodles {page 236} was the perfect recipe to help me do so.

This recipe is easy to prepare {although it does involve a fair amount of chopping}, gorgeous to look at, and delicious to eat! I like the bountiful variety of vegetables it includes, and how the flavors work together to make a cohesive and simple {but complexly flavored} dish.

I especially liked the notes of sesame playing throughout. They worked as a nutty undertone in the background, and really helped draw out the flavors in the other ingredients.

This dish is definitely going into regular rotation, and I think I've now conquered my fear of the weird gray noodles.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Winter Pasta Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

Winter Pasta Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette

For an interesting twist on your standard creamy pasta salad, why not give Winter Pasta Salad with Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette {page 90} a try?

This simple salad features vegetables that are easily found during the winter months {and coincidentally are hardy enough to keep around in your fridge as staples}, and is dressed in a deceptively healthy creamy mustard vinaigrette.

The salad was quite easy to put together, and was rather flavorful, but had a couple of shortcomings. First, I would have liked some sweetness in the dressing. I think if I make it again, I will include a tbsp or two of agave nectar. Second, the mustard was very strong and almost too tangy to eat the first night it was made {this may be corrected with the use of the agave nectar mentioned}. However, upon trying to leftovers the next day, most of the dressing had soaked right into the noodles, and the salad was then dry and quite flavorless. This definitely seems to be a salad that needs to be eaten the day it's prepared.

Overall, I really liked the idea. I thought it was very unique. With a couple of tweaks, I think this recipe could be a keeper!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hash Brown Potatoes

Hash Brown Potatoes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and also can be the most delicious -- especially if it includes Hash Brown Potatoes {page 525}.

Let's be honest: hash browns are mostly just an excuse to have french fries for breakfast, but what a beautiful excuse they are! The Ninjahusband and I often make hash browns for lazy weekend breakfasts, but this recipe really stood out. For one thing, the recipe specifies to grate some onion in with the potatoes. For some reason, we'd never thought to do this before. This really amped up the flavor factor and made the 'browns just that much more delicious and decadent.

Although hash browns are something you don't really need a recipe for, I will definitely be using the onion idea from this recipe for years to come. Two enthusiastically greasy thumbs way ups!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Golden Veggie Burgers

Golden Veggie Burgers

Since becoming Vegan I'm trying not to rely on processed "convenience" foods because I do find that making them is more convenient and though vegan still has ingredients to keep them shelf stable.

One of the items that I've learned is pretty easy to make are veggie burgers. There are a variety of recipes out there and I'm trying as many as possible to find my favorite. The Golden Veggie Burgers on page 121 definitely will make the list! This is very easy to put together and you can either bake or fry them depending on your preference.

For most people the ingredients will be on hand already and what helps this "bind" is the Vital Wheat Gluten which can be found in most grocery stores near the flour or easily ordered online.

The burger was very good and will be made again. The only change I would make would be to double the recipe :).


Slow-Simmered Collard Greens

collard greens

The Slow-Simmered Collard Greens on page 365 is a pretty simple recipe to put together. Being a picky eater growing up, greens was one of the few things I would eat :).

The "work" is the washing and chopping or tearing of the greens and let it cook for about 40 minutes. I didn't get a chance to get to Kroger so I wasn't able to get the optional Chipolte Chile in Adobo since Albertson's didn't have it. Next time I make it, I'll definitely add it.

The greens were fine by themselves but would have been better that that extra zing of the Chiles :).

I incorporated the greens with some black eyed peas over rice and Fired-up Cornbread that I had made before but hadn't marked in my book!

slow cooked collard greens, black eye peas, fired-up jalapeno cornbread


Red Bean Jambalaya

red bean jambalya3

The Red Bean Jambalaya on page 252 was very simple to put together. I prefer Brown Rice but used white to stay in with the recipe.

I missed the crushed tomatoes in the recipe so used 2 cans of diced since I was in the middle of the recipe when I realized the error but it still tasted good :).

For me the beans were protein enough but if I have left over seitan or some vegan sausage links I would add that next time for sure for additional flavor.

The spices were fine for me so I don't think I'd make any alternations.

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