Sunday, March 13, 2011

PPK Cook Book Challenge - Week 9 - Yellow Rose Recipes

This poor book has been ignored for so long. Joanna was the second author I had the honor to test for. This week and next week are crazy busy for us as hike day is quickly approaching. I thought I wouldn't get to the challenge this week. I had two food commitments this week and I was able to find recipes for both in YRR.

I have class on Tuesday nights. Each week four of us are responsible for bringing something for the rest of the class to eat. I volunteered to make sloppy Joe's. One of my class mates knows I don't eat meat, so she said she was surprised I offered to make them. I just smiled. Thankfully Joanna has her own version called Sloppy Joanna's. I made a quadruple batch so that I could feed the class. I added the optional green peppers because I like veggie content. They were a hit. Several of my classmates commented on how good they were. My instructor asked me if they were made from chicken :)

Thursday night was Dining for Women night. For this gathering I made the Wild Rice Salad. It has wild rice, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. It was a simple recipe, but I had to giggle reading that she made these when the fridge was empty and she was poor. These are not inexpensive ingredients. It was simple and tasty, but I don't know if I'd spend the money on wild rice for this one. I think I'd save wild rice for other dishes.

I had some seitan cutlets left over from AVK week, so I decided to make a dish I knew I loved - the Mustard Crusted Seitan. I also slipped in another YRR recipe the as the side dish, Lemon Collards. It was a quick and satisfying dinner after my evening work out. 

Yellow Rose Recipes was written with families in mind. Most of the recipes feature easy to find ingredients, are health and easy to make. This is a wonderful cook book for anyone. The only complaint I have is that there aren't more recipes. Joanna has retired from cook book writing (for now). I hope she changes her mind, because I puffy heart her stuff.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

PPK Cook Book Challenge - Week 8 - American Vegan Kitchen

This week's featured book was American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes from Vegan Appetite. I was lucky enough to be a tester for this book. Last summer I also had the pleasure of meeting Tami and her awesome hubby Jim in Chicago last year. The book is wonderful and so are they. It's amazing how good food can forge really special friendships. This book is full of wonderful down-home style recipes. I tried a few this week that I hadn't tried before the results were fantastic (not surprising). This is another must have for your collection.

Saturday was a real treat. We had all of the kids and grandkids over. As an added bonus their (great)Grandparents were here visiting from Tucson this weekend. It was so nice to have a house full of family. To feed the crowd, I whipped out some AVK awesomeness!

21st Century Tacos served with CTates Frijoles Negros and my fideo recipe were featured for dinner. I have had this rather chunky TVP in my pantry for some time. It doesn't work well in "meatballs" and such because it want to pop out, but it was perfect for the tacos. I made a double batch and the kids were really thrilled to have some to take home. Were they good? Well, one of our guests, who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, ate 6 tacos. We garnished the tacos with shredded lettuce fresh from our garden, tomatoes, diced onions, fresh avocados, sliced olives and Daiya Cheddar.

Dessert was the very easy but very decadent Crispy Bottom Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Fudge Sauce. This pie is super rich. It is a peanut butter lover's dream. Active time is maybe 15 minutes? There is some freezing time, but you can throw the crust in the freezer while your making the filling. Then spread the filling in throw it in the freezer and get on with the rest of the meal. No fuss. The chocolate fudge sauce is super easy too. It can be made ahead of time and warmed up before drizzling on top. I had to add more chocolate chips to get it to the consistency I wanted. It was a bit too thin following the recipe.

Tonight we had a birthday party on my side of the family. I wanted to take a tasty, but not run of the mill appetizer for the meat eating crowd. I decided on the Stick - to - Your - Ribs Potstickers. I made a double batch because the package of wonton wrappers I bought had 50 in it. I started by making the Savory Seitan (pg. 5). I have always made this as roasts by using the slow cooker method. Today I was a bit short on time an wanted to try the baking/cutlet method. It worked out very well. I had to speed up the cooling process by putting two cutlet in the freezer so that I could get to the party while it was still going on. When I first tasted the filling, I thought it was too sweet, but after sitting for a bit and dipping in the dipping sauce, I found them quite addicting. Only 40 made it to the party and they were gone in no time. The kids were eating them 4 at a time. I love that you can make a big batch and freeze them too. The only thing I might do differently next time is use round goyoza wrappers, just a personal preference on shape. If you have the seitan made ahead of time these actually come together pretty easily. To save time I chopped the seitan cutlets in the food processor. They were the perfect "ground pork" texture.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food Network Friday - Giada de Laurenits' Ligurian "Fish" Stew

This week's Food Network Friday was chosen by my friend Celia over at On Cardamom and Cast Iron. The following is my interpretation of Giada's Lingurian "Fish" Stew. This is a simple, rustic recipe that originally called for 1 1/2 pounds of fish.

Below is the recipe I developed for the "Fish". The kelp flakes gave it that sea-like essence.

1 - 20 oz block Wildwood Super Firm Tofu, sliced 1/4 inch thick width-wise

1/2 cup low sodium veggie broth
1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 teaspoons kelp granules
1 clove garlic, minced

In a 9 x 13 glass baking dish, mix all of the marinade ingredients with a fork. Place tofu slices in the marinade in a single layer. Marinade for a least two hours turning half way through.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake tofu for 25 minutes, uncovered. Turn and bake for another 20 minutes until all of the marinade is absorbed and the tofu is very firm and almost dry. Cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch cubers. Set aside.

For the rest of the recipe I stayed pretty true to Giada's recipe. The only modification I made is that I cut the oil back to about 1 1/2 tablespoons and added 1 1/2 teaspoons of capers with the vegetables. I used Clos du Bois Chardonnay for the wine. We both loved the sauce. It was rich with tomato flavor. The carrots added a nice texture, color and flavor. We both agreed that we'd like more of the sauce, so next time we will probably double the sauce (or at least increase it by half). I think the capers really elevated the flavor of the dish.

For the bread, I found a lovely vegan ciabatta at Sprouts market. I sliced it into 1/2 inch thick slices. I made an herbed olive oil and brushed that on to both sides of the bread and baked it for about 20 minutes. I let it cook a wee bit too long, so it was super crunchy and a bit hard. I love it, but Fred said it would have been better a bit softer. It would have made an outstanding base for bruschetta as it could hold up to some liquid.

Check out Tami's wrap up off all of the participants later today at Vegan Appetite. Keep cooking my friends!!