Monday, April 11, 2011

PPK Cookbook Challenge Week 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan

Look what I found lurking in the drafts! I wrote this, but never finished it. Well here it is now.

Week 5, Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan.

I may be a bit spoiled, because this is one of two books that I bought for the challenge, though it's been on my list for ages. (The other book I ordered was 500 Vegan Recipes).

On my first flip-through, I was feeling uninspired, but then I realized that a lot of the recipes are super easy, and I need more of that in my life. After actually preparing a few dishes, I'm in love. Everything is great so far. It's too early to say, but this book may join the ranks of desert island cookbooks.

Accordingly, the Teriyaki Quinoa came together super fast while I made a cake and cookies. Most of the time is downtime, and had I been on top of things, I would have made a lovely salad with mandarin oranges and ginger-lime dressing, but I wasn't. Luckily, it's filling and complete with steamed broccoli and I didn't feel the need to make extra sauce to cover the veggies.

It doesn't make as much food as most of the recipes I'm used to do, but I would say this is 3 main dishes (with a side) or 4 side dishes for two hungry adults.

The 5-Spice Cookies are likewise easy, but are definitely a grown-up cookie. I was skeptical about the use of barley flour, b/c I'd never baked with it, and I was afriad it would make the cookies too faux-health-food, but they turned out really well. (Note that this fear is not rooted in experience).

They have a slight licorice taste to them, and I really like that, but I know not everyone is a fan. This is also one of the few times I'll approve of nuts in cookies. Usually, nuts interrupt the texture of baked goods when baked in, but these work. I'll definitely make these when I hang out wih my tea-snob pals - they like unconventional desserts.

Admittedly, I didn't actually cook the next dish myself, so my report on the process is second hand, but I did eat quite a lot, so I can assure you authenticity there.

Apparently, the Lemony Cashew Pesto over linguine is a matter of boiling pasta and blending some stuff, then combing the results of each process. I guess all pasta is essentially that, but this was really easy! The lemon flavor is really mellow and adds sunniness without overbearing tartness to the dish. I love it. This is going to be my go-to when the CSA dumps loads of basil into my box this summer.

No Title, No Pictures, but It's Short!

You know grad school has really done a number on my willingness to write here. I kept up with the whole PPK Cookbook Challenge, even though I stopped taking pictures and posting.

Since then, I've been going simple. The semester is coming to a close, so deadlines are tight and I've made several bowls from Appetite for Reduction, and this week I've been on a Vegan Italiano kick. Donna Klein deserves more love from me because everything I've made from her book has been easy and super delicious.

The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen was the first gift I got for my sister when she went vegan, but I haven't gotten any reviews on that one. I would get my own copy, but I'm on a semi-self-imposed cookbook buying ban. Maybe my sister will give up hers, since she's into macro eating these days.

Speaking of which, she has raved about a book I gave her this year called The Saucy Vegetarian. Since she structures her meals a certain way, she can make sauces to add variety, especially when eating leftovers. I'm pretty sure my sister said that despite the name, the recipes are all vegan.

In other niche diet news, the weather is getting nice here, the farmer's market will be opening soon, and my mom got me two new raw food books for my birthday, so I'm ready to once again implement Raw Wednesdays ... except they'll probably be on Tuesdays or Sundays. I haven't decided yet.

Time to dust off some of my favorite raw blog links too and start planning.