Wednesday, January 21, 2009


During this time of year, there isn't much better than a nice pot of stew. I've made a couple new ones in the last week, and I thought I'd share. The first one is from a recipe I saw in the December '08 issue of Cooking Light. It's an Ethiopian lentil and edamame stew. It's really easy to make, and definitely has a flavor that would strike most people as totally different than anything they've ever tasted. It has a decent amount of lemon juice in it, which gives it a nice tang. Plus, the combination of cumin, cinnamon, cloves and fresh mint give it a really great flavor. To go with it, I made the Injera bread (using teff flour) from the same issue. It was also very different. Very much like a savory pancake. Probably more similar to a buckwheat cake which have that tad of sourness. (I subbed the Better Than Sour Cream for the yogurt.) It is definitley a meal I'll make again.

I also made a soup from a recipe on the blog of our local natural foods co-op. It's a vegetable soup with lentils, chickpeas and an interesting grain called kamut. The kamut is sort of like a cross between brown rice and wheatberries. It's really chewy and hearty. This soup was perfect for the bone chilling cold we were experiencing late last week. It would also be a good, healthy soup to make if you're suffering a cold or the flu. It's broth-y enough to be very soothing to your throat, and hearty enough to provide some healthy nutrition.

Not really a stew, but it's awfully close. A long, long time ago I made this recipe from Carrie's blog. It's a Thai curry with udon dish. I made it less broth-y this time so it would be easier to eat. These noodles are quite spicy, and if you need your sinuses cleared, this will take care of it!

I also made some really, really good scones this week. I didn't take a photo, though. They're the Ginger-Scented Date and Cashew Scones from Vegan Planet. We got the Vegan Planet cookbook as a Christmas gift. So far, so good! It's a huge cookbook too, and I look forward to making some new recipes from it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Holiday Cookies (One Month Late!)

Okay, so I think I'm ready to get back into blogging regularly. I'm not making any promises, though. I've discovered lots of new favorite dishes in the last year, or so. I've been sticking with lots of those, and only occasionally make something that I haven't blogged about already. That probably isn't good, so how about I commit to making one new recipe each week? Okay, that's settled. I've also decided to try to cut my grocery budget some. With these economic times, I feel like saving as much money as possible is probably a good idea. Maybe I'll try to come up with some creative food-budgeting ideas while still eating a healthy, varied diet.

Anyway, as you (not that I know exactly who "you" are) may remember, last year I embarked on an ambitious "12 Days of Goodies" holiday extravaganza. This year I kept it a bit more simple. Being vegan now, I made more vegan goodies. I made the kids their non-vegan holiday favorites, though (sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies).

I made the Sparkled Ginger Cookies from VWAV again this year. Even non-vegans think they are fantastic ginger cookies. They truly are. I would recommend doubling the recipe. They freeze very well.

I also tried a vegan thumbprint cookie from Vegetarian Times. They were pretty good. The texture wasn't great, but the flavor was. I've found that vegan cookies made with canola oil tend to be more true to their non-vegan counterparts than those made with Earth Balance.

Since 7-layer Bars are one of my favorite "cookies" ever, I actually vegan-ized those. Let me tell you, they may be better than the originals. I simply replaced the butter with EB, found vegan graham crackers (Keebler brand), vegan chocolate chips and vegan butterscotch chips (Food Lion store brand are the only vegan butterscotch chips in existance, apparently. They're pretty much just flavored chemicals. Not something I'd want to eat regularly, but once-a-year is acceptable.) I even made vegan sweetened, condensed milk from scratch. It didn't turn out like your standard milk, it was more gooey and carmel-y. YUM!

So, as you can see I didn't go all out like I did last year. I still managed to make some really tasty goodies, though!