Friday, February 4, 2011

PPK Cookbook Challenge Week 3: Urban Vegan

Week 3, The Urban Vegan

The Pumpkin Daal Soup is definitely one of the best dishes I've made from this book. It tastes great and was crazy easy. It's pretty sweet, so next time I'll half the sugar, but it was great served over brown basmati rice. I also found the flavor mellowed by the next day and it was even better.

The Tuscan Braised Beans are great served as Balcavage suggests, with a drizzle of olive oil and some nutritional yeast, alongside a green salad and crusty bread. I found the lemon to be a bit jarring, and I'll reduce that next time, but the nutritional yeast really mutes the tartness, so it worked. This dish is wicked easy and will be in the regular rotation in the future.

I made the Microwave Satay Sauce to use in the Spicy Udon Noodles. The sauce was super easy and tastes good. I ended up eating it over steamed broccoli because I only needed a tablespoon for the noodles.

The Spicy Udon Noodles weren't spicy at all. They were super delicious, but you're going to need to add some extra curry paste and/or chili pepper if you want any heat. The dish came together really fast and is perfect for when you're short on time, and that takes making the satay into account. I subbed peas for the edamame, and they were great. Having the extra sauce on hand was nice since by the next day, the noodles needed a little extra.

The Portobello Burritos are easy to make and really excellent. They're filling and the stuffing is fairly flavorful. I used pineapple salsa and that proved to be wise. It provided a wonderful sweet contrast to the savory burritos, but next time I'll use two jars. I'll also marinate the portobellos, and add corn to the filling. Balcavage suggests vegan cheese as a filling option, and I didn't do that, but with the leftovers, I cut them in half and added a bit of Daiya before microwaving, and it's worth adding in the future.

Finally, I made the English Muffins. They took three days due to the rising times and my own schedule, but that was no obstacle with a little forethought. I had trouble getting them to cook through without burning them and had to play with the heat quite a bit. They ended up looking more like pancakes on the outside and were pretty flat, but the insides did look like the English muffins you might buy at the store. They were good with a bit of jam, but I don't think I'll repeat this recipe. It was a lot of work compared to the payoff.

In the past, I've made the Raspberry Pound Cake and the Def Jam Bars, and I strongly recommend those if you're looking to try a dessert. Both of them were super sweet, and I have a sweet tooth that disgusts my family and friends, so you may want to reduce the sugar a bit in each.

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