Sunday, January 23, 2011

PPK Cook Book Challenge - Week 2 - Veganomicon

This week is one of my favorite cookbooks - Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This book is a great resource for anyone who is new to vegan cooking or any kind of cooking for that matter. The first part of the book gives information on all sorts of cooking basics. The recipes are very inspired and just plain delicious. There are influences from all over the globe. There are really easy recipes and then there are some more complex recipes. So cooks of any caliber can find just what they need.

This was the first book I tested for. It opened up a world of possibilities to me and I am so thankful I was able to be part of its creation. I tested a load of recipes so it was challenging to find a few I hadn't made.

First up Fred made me the Porcini-Wild Rice Soup. Dried porcinis can some times be a bit pricey, but I found some for a steal a while back. Fred found the recipe fairly straight forward. He expressed his frustration at how the rice took much longer to cook than the instructions said. We ended up having to add 2 more cups of broth at the end. I loved the earthy flavor and the nice chewy texture of the wild rice. I loved it!!!

Next up I made the Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Rotelle. I made 1/2 recipe and it was 2 very generous portions. I did an extra steaming on it to make sure to get all the bitterness as Fred is not a fan. I wasn't paying attention and I made the full amount of the cooking liquid. It was a good thing, because I ended up having to add a bit more at the end because it was a bit dry.  This was a pretty simple dish. The flavors were really nicely balanced. Even the tempeh hater liked it. It was really filling. 

The third recipe we tried was the Tea-Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce. While this recipe is very simple, you need to plan ahead as it takes some time. The pears have to be poached for 35 minutes total and then they must cool for an hour. So if you try this, you'll want to keep that in mind when you are planning. I have to say, I wasn't thrilled with this one. I found the tea imparted too much bitterness for my taste. My thought was that the bitterness of the tea might complement the sweetness of the pear, but the combination wasn't my cup of tea (pun intended). Fred, on the other hand, really enjoyed it. He thought it would be excellent with a nice cognac. One thumbs up, one thumbs down. 

Next week's challenge book is Urban Vegan. I hope my copy is sitting at the post office! I'll check tomorrow.


  1. Everything looks great. I'd really wanted to try to tea-poahed pears, so I hope my tastes are more similar to Fred's! ;)

  2. Thanks! I felt like I had to make the plating a bit more fancy because I didn't have any mint for color.