Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Athena Barley with Kalamata Olives and Tomatoes

Cookbook * The Real Food Daily Cookbook
Recipe * Athena Barley with Kalamata Olives and Tomatoes
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

Barley ain't just for beer making. This is one of those "healthy tasting" dishes that actually tastes good. I feel healthier just having a few bites! Its a produce delight - fresh tomatoes, scallions, dill, onion, parsley, lemon juice. And the barley is great source of fiber. Bonus points for barley - its a grain with a long and interesting history!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Long Life Soup

Cookbook * The Candle Cafe Cookbook
Recipe * Long Life Soup
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

Thanks to a wonderful week huffing it in the BEAUTIFUL Olympic Mountains, I have a bit of a cold and there is nothing better than this soup to cure what ails you! Its got shiitake, garlic, ginger, and as much or little cayenne as you need. I love this soup not only because it makes me feel better, but because its quick to make and versatile enough that I usually can make it without having to go out to the market for anything. In the first pic, I substituted hijiki for arame and added carrots and purple potatoes. And in the second pic, I added soba, bok choy, carrots, and tofu. Enjoy it with a slice of "buttered" bread. A star replacement for the outdated chicken noodle soup of my childhood!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hijiki to Aburage

Cookbook * Shojin Cooking
Recipe * Hijiki to Aburage
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

This is another wonderful shojin (Buddhist Vegetarian) recipe from Japan. I really needed something healthy after demolishing the key lime cheesecake! You can find aburage in Asian specialty stores or online. Hijiki triples when cooked, so I cut this recipe in half. To improve flavor, saute the Hijiki in sesame oil before adding the broth.This is a very common dish in Japanese cooking and you could probably find a great recipe somewhere on the web!

A note on Hijiki: If I was to have a fav seaweed, Hijiki would be a strong contender. I first fell in love with it while living in Hawaii. We were regulars at hole-in-the-wall macrobiotic cafe called Well Bento in Honolulu. The original owner has sense moved back to NYC, but the amazing hijiki side remains and yes, your bento comes with macaroni - it is Hawaii after all! I've used hijiki in all sorts of ways - even in a potato salad. Be brave and try it, you might just love it.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Key Lime Cheesecake

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Key Lime Cheesecake
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

This is as good if not better than restaurant cheesecake. It is a SUGAR RUSH - so beware. I would make this just for the ginger snap crust alone, but the lime filling tastes amazing. You can use regular limes, even though they don't live up to the recipe's namesake. Eat it by the slice or "just" the spoonful - it only lasts 24 hours in our house!

PLUS top 5 things everyone should try before they die CHALLENGE
We took madeinalaska's challenge to identify 5 foods everyone should try before they die. These are 5 we really love!

1. My Mom's Veganized Cornbread Dressing

2. Mighty O Donouts

3. Super Tings

4. My Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

5. Vegan Planet's Udon Shiitake Recipe

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tortilla Soup

Cookbook * The Real Food Daily Cookbook
Recipe * Tortilla Soup
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

We love this spicy soup. Chopped toritalls make this fresh tomato base soup so creamy. If you've been looking for an opportunity to use your hand-held immersion blender (no, I don't have one either), this recipe is up your alley. Otherwise, just blend in batches. Crispy tortilla strips garnish and add a crunchy texture. So good on a fall night - I can't believe its fall - its not right?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spicy Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Cookbook * The Artful Vegan: The Millennium Restaurant
Recipe * Spicy Ginger Cookies
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

We usually make these cookies during the holidays, but paired with peach ice cream (Celestial Seasonings), they make a wonderful summertime treat. And what better way to bid farewell to summer than an ice cream sandwich? Follow the directions exactly and these will turn out perfect everytime. Bonus points for making the whole house smell like Christmas time.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mac and "Cheese"

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Mac and "Cheese"
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

One warning - be sure you use regular soymilk, not vanilla flavored. If you follow this simple advice, you will reep bountiful Mac n'Cheese rewards. If not, this dish ends up tasting like a desert pudding. I made the mistake once and never again. Oh, and watch the broil time - the suggested 10 minutes would have made a blacktop out of this great comfort food dish!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Breakfast Tofu Scramble

Cookbook * Vegan Vittles
Recipe * Breakfast Tofu Scramble
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

I'm not a big fan of tofu scrambles, but this one has changed my mind! I like it better than scrambled eggs. Although I don't know that it tastes like scrambled eggs, it does taste divine. We added jalapeno and mushrooms to the mix. The recipe feeds only 1 really hungry camper - so adjust according to your appetite. We doubled the recipe for the two of us and had just a little bit left over - we were hungry though! I'll have to devise a plan to get my husband to make this every Sunday morning for me.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Spiced Banana Pancakes

Cookbook * Vegan Planet
Recipe * Spiced Banana Pancakes
Yumm or Yuck? * Yumm

I wish they were a little bit spicier to support their namesake, but they are delicious all the same. Drenched in maple syrup and topped with carmelized banana and kiwi, these brought back childhood memories of pancake goodness!