Thursday, August 31, 2006

Baking Powder Biscuits

Cookbook * Cookin' Southern: Vegetarian Style
Recipe * Baking Powder Biscuits
Yumm or Yuck? * Yuck

It had to happen sooner or later - a yuck review. This designation is reserved only for those hopeless recipes you wouldn't wish on anyone. Hopefully this will save you the trouble of making the bad recipes just as the yumm reviews guide you toward the winners. These are not fluffy biscuits, but hard hockey pucks. My dog practically choked on a bite. They could be marginally improved if I rolled the dough out thicker. If you douse them with Earth Balance "butter" and jelly they are edible, but otherwise a very poor representation of our cherished biscuit!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Cookbook * Vegan Vittles
Recipe * Gyros
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

These are nearly identical to gyros served up at Macy's in Flagstaff, AZ. If you are ever in Flagstaff, you won't want to miss this little jewel of a veg cafe. I haven't found a soy latte to match Macy's yet - even in Seattle. Back to the gyros. My kitchen smells like I live in a Greek restaurant after cooking this seitan spin on a traditional lamb specialty. Paired with tasty cucumber dressing, this quick meal hits the spot!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fried "Chicken" Tofu and Gravy

Cookbook * Cookin' Southern: Vegetarian Style
Recipe * Fried "Chicken" Tofu and Gravy
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm and So So

Everyone needs a staple mock chicken recipe. I wasn't thrilled with this recipe the day I made it, but during the night it miraculously transformed into what is easily the best "cold chicken fried tofu" I've ever had. I remember eating cold chicken sandwiches using leftover fried chicken as a kid. This tastes almost exactly the same! Take your next-day leftovers and make a sandwich with veganaise, tomato, and lettuce. Make sure you really dredge the tofu with nutritional yeast and cook on a medium high heat or lower to avoid burning.

The gravy is another story. The taste is okay, but too many lumps foiled my plans for a perfect Southern dinner.

Udon-Shiitake Stir-Fry with Sake and Ginger

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Udon-Shiitake Stir-Fry with Sake and Ginger
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

The title says it all. This is a old standby saved for those times when I can find really fresh shiitake in the market. Of course, if I took the time to figure out how to use my "grow your own shiitakes" tree, I would eat this everyday. You can make this as a stir fry, but its MUCH more flavorful if you double the udon "sauce." And the sauce is awesome! I always add diced tofu to round out what is already a nutritious meal. Pass the sake - preferably not the cheap stuff I have in the pic.

Prissy's Easy Peach Cobbler

Cookbook * Cookin' Southern: Vegetarian Style
Recipe * Prissy's Easy Peach Cobbler
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm
I'm often wary of recipes that are exceedingly easy or exceedingly complicated - they just never seem to turn out. This recipe is an exception. It is very easy and tastes just like what you would expect a peach cobbler to taste like. It sets up nicely after cooling to make for easy slicing/serving. Nothing extraordinary here, but if you are lookin' for a good old-fashioned cobbler - this is it.
Thanks to my husband's midnight freezer raid, the only thing missing is the soy vanilla ice cream.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Breaded Eggplant Cutlets

Cookbook * Incredibly Delicious: The Vegan Paradigm Cookbook
Recipe * Breaded Eggplant Cutlets
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

These have been in our meal rotation since we first adopted a veg diet, 5 years ago, and over time we have tweaked it here and there for our tastes. While the original recipe is good, we don't usually use the tahini for "wet batter", but just dip the eggplant slices into a bowl of soymilk, then into the "dry batter”. Its easier and doesn't seem to make a difference in taste. Also, we don't cook the eggplants first. Instead, we slice the eggplant thin, batter, and fry. Again, its easier this way and doesn't make a difference in taste. We double batter because, well, because I'm originally from the South where frying has been elevated to a science - trust me its worth it to double batter. This batter recipe is great for any veg and tofu.

We top with Nayonase, fresh heirloom tomato, and lettuce. Use fresh eggplant for the best results!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Satori Summer Rolls with Primal Peanut Sauce

Cookbook * Vegan World Fusion Cuisine
Recipe * Satori Summer Rolls with Primal Peanut Sauce
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm and Yumm

If you can get over the frustration of working with rice paper (akin to making crepes), you will love these rolls. They have a nice coconut rice mixture that gives them some substance. Filling suggestions are offered, but you can use any veg mix. Don't forget the mint! I added thin strips of tofu for protein punch.

The sauce is simple and so amazing. Just like what we get when we go to our favorite Thai restaurant, Araya's, here in Seattle. I add a little extra curry paste to satisfy my burned out taste buds. A perfect summer dish from our friends in Kauai. Aloha.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lentil Pecan Pate

Cookbook * Cafe Flora Cookbook
Recipe * Lentil Pecan Pate
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

A Seattle favorite. This pate looks and tastes like the real thing and perhaps even better. We get it as part of an appetizer platter loaded with olives and onion confit everytime we have dinner at Cafe Flora. Add the miso to fit your salt taste buds - the recipe calls for a bit too much for me. If you've been looking for a veg dip for parties (or just to hoard all to yourself) look no further.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chipolte BBQ Temphe Burgers with Grilled Pineapple and Caraway Slaw

Cookbook * Candle Cafe
Recipe * BBQ Temphe-Chipolte Burgers with Grilled Pineapple and Lemon Caraway Slaw
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm and SoSo

Fire up the grill, this is the best BBQ sauce I have ever tasted and seeing as how I hail from the South, this claim has some substance. I am always annoyed when cookbooks assume you should know little things like how thick to cut the temphe. Here I first sliced the square temphe block to create two equally thick squares. Then I sliced the squares into thirds. This makes for thinner temphe slices and greater marinade success. Save the reserve and use on a pizza - yumm!

The slaw was refreshing in an oh so healthy, but tasteless sort of way.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Broiled Mushrooms with Poor Man's Pesto

Cookbook * The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen
Recipe * Broiled Mushrooms with Poor Man's Pesto
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

A delicious way to enjoy summer's bounty of pesto. Serve as an appetizer or toss with pasta and a raw tomato sauce. Pine nuts, garlic, basil, and olive oil. How can this not be good? They are so addictive, even self-proclaimed mushroom prohibitionists love this one.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Traditional Pizza Dough

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Traditional Pizza Dough
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

Prep time is quick - like 5 minutes - then you just wait for it to double and you are ready to bake. Its one of the quickest meals around and you can make extra to freeze. My only complaint is that the dough gets air pockets, this is almost certainly because I don't knead it enough or punch it down enough. Its really an aesthetic issue as it doesn't influence the taste of the pizza at all. Add your favorite toppings. Here we added mushrooms, vegan cheese (follow your heart brand), garlic, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and chad's half with vegan pepperoni (yves brand)as I don't really care for faux meats. Mangia!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tofu Isobe Maki (Tofu Seaweed Rolls)

Cookbook * Shojin Cooking: The Buddhist Vegetarian Cook Book
Recipe * Tofu Isobe Maki (Tofu Seaweed Rolls)
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

This cookbook is out of print and hard to find, but if you are serious about Japanese Shojin cooking, you will TREASURE this little book by Kobayashi. This recipe is, like much of shojin cooking, simply prepared. Tofu wrapped in nori sheets then sauted in sesame oil and served with a simple shoyu/mirin sauce is perfection.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sesame Soba Noodles

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Sesame Soba Noodles
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

Use any fresh veg and add tofu or temphe for extra protein punch...this is loaded with calcium! My husband says its in his top 3 list.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fig Upside Down Cake

Cookbook * Millenium Restaurant: The Artful Vegan
Recipe * Caramelized Fig Cake
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

I have waited since last year for fig season, and now its finally here. This is a yummy take on an upside down cake. The cake is very moist, perhaps a little too dense, but very good. Recipe calls for a lemon sauce which I didn't have time to make, but would certainly put this cake over the top.