Foodie (Photo) Friday is here (and almost over, haha!)

This week I only made about 3 big meals and had leftovers the rest of the week (except for breakfasts which was mostly french toast and other un-exciting stuff).

First, I made the Indian Buffet Trio (Saag Aloo, Chana Masala, and Vegetable Biryani) from the Chloe’s Kitchen cookbook.

Image

It was really good, all of it but I especially love the Saag Aloo that’s made with cashew cream (which came out awesome in itself!). I think I may have slightly messed up the Chana Masala by being forgetful. I really like the biryani, the raisins make it really good and I normally will not touch them ever…so that was a nice surprise.

Image

I give this a 4 good bananas, 1 bad rating

I also made jackfruit for the first time! I made a bbq pulled pork style crock pot thing from the newly released cookbook by Natalie Slater, entitled Bake and Destroy. The dish is called “Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot” which I think is pretty hilarious. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of just the pulled jackfruit, but I did take a picture of it when I made another entree from the cookbook called simply “BBQ Salad.” It’s kale, red beans, onions, garlic, the jackfruit, brown rice, and vegan ranch dressing.

Image

Image

I rate the salad 4 good bananas, 1 bad, but the Cannibal Corpse Crock-Pot by itself would probably get a 3 good banana rating

The jackfruit itself is quite surprising. I had it alone in a sandwich to get a good idea of how it is by itself. It’s texture is not as “meaty” as people have been saying, in fact pineapple may have more of a meaty texture than jackfruit. Though, it does give a good shredded pork appearance. It’s also quite tangy and sour. Personally, I don’t think using a ketchup based BBQ type sauce was the best idea to pair it with, just because I have problems with acid reflux, and so it was a bit too acidic all combined. I might try it with a more typical type of BBQ sauce some other time and see how it goes. I do have another can I want to try and experiment with!

In the salad though, it was much better. All the flavors combine and it is just really yummy! I particularly like the ranch because it’s thick and mixes well with all the other flavors. It’s also the first recipe that I cooked the kale properly with (I usually make it raw because I can never cook it so it’s hot enough).

Finally, I was really craving a good delicious vegan Mac and Cheese but I was skeptical that I could find a good recipe for it. I hate most of the kinds I’ve tried so far, especially at some local restaurants where it’s popular (I won’t name names haha). I found a more cashew based recipe from Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau and it was sooooooo amazing. I didn’t bake it but I bet it would be amazing baked. It gets even better as it’s reheated in leftovers.

Image

Image

This definitely gets a perfect rating! I’m so picky with vegan Mac and Cheese and this one’s worth it!

I hope you all enjoyed this edition of Food Porn Friday! These pictures should give you something to drool over until next week! Or perhaps I’ll have the time to create a new recipe or blog about something else before Friday! We’ll see, I’ve been busy with the start of the school semester and am still adjusting to being back.

Advertisements

Foodie (Photo) Friday!

Starting this week, every Friday I plan to post pictures of the food I’ve been making (with recipes and reviews, if possible) since the last Foodie (Photo) Friday entry. This first entry has a bit more than a week’s worth (and some things I made may be missing because they have been included in my other blog posts or I couldn’t get a good picture of it before I ate it all), but they’ll typically convey a week of food making. Some weeks will probably have way less food in them than others, if I eat a lot of leftovers or prepared vegan foods, so keep that in mind. Aside from writing this blog, I also go to college and do other stuff. heh.

 So without further ado, let’s get foodie:

Image

Cajun quinoa cakes with lemon dill sriracha remoulade

Cajun Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Dill Sriracha Remoulade

Recipe here

Review: Meh. These were very difficult to cook, because they didn’t mold together very well and I didn’t want to add more flour (my own fault though probably). The quinoa cakes themselves were pretty good, although keeping them in the oven like the recipe says to do dried them out considerably more after they were fried. So they became very crispy and…not moist which would have been tastier. The remoulade was gross, in my honest opinion. I do like sriracha, but I guess I’m not a “Sriracha Lover.” Also, have you seen how much sodium is in 1 tsp of sriracha? As someone who is trying to improve her blood pressure, this is not a good thing. My bottle of it has 2,500 mg in one TEASPOON! And this recipe called for 1/4 cup! So if I ever wanted to make this again I’d try and use less sriracha. It was way too spicy for me anyhow. I think maybe a tbsp would be better than a 1/4 cup!! But even then, I think I should personally avoid it. I just like to try people’s original recipes first before I tweak anything in it (unless I know they’re using way too much salt, pepper, oil, etc and the recipe will be okay without it)…

Anyways, I’m gonna rate this a 3 good banana, 2 bad rating, mostly because the quinoa cakes themselves were decent.

Image

Image

Spinach Artichoke dip

Spinach and Artichoke dip

Recipe here

(my photo is the main picture there because there were not any pictures uploaded yet until I did! but I didn’t create the recipe)

I ended up adding a 1/4 cup daiya cheddar shreds to the recipe. It is quite good, and is pretty healthy. I’m not sure how to describe this recipe but there were no issues with the directions or ingredients and it is pretty standard tasty spinach artichoke dip. I wish I could find a recipe though with silken tofu that doesn’t have a strange after taste, but thems the breaks, I guess 😉

Image

Image

Pretzel burger slider

Pretzel Burger Sliders

Recipe from Vegnews Magazine August 2013 Issue (No link, sorry!)

Okay, first of all the pretzel buns were difficult to make but I will not complain about that because I knew that would be the case…My only regret is that I didn’t follow the recipe carefully enough and probably left out two pretty crucial ingredients which is probably why they do not look exactly pretty. But they came out good enough to eat. The slider burgers are decent, but a little chewy because they have a cup of vital wheat gluten in them but don’t boil or precook them in any way before baking. They were also really moist. They taste good with the whole package, but probably not by themselves or in a different presentation. The smoked cheddar sauce recipe that was suggested to make in the recipe series was my favorite. The last time I made one of the other burger recipes in this section of the magazine the pepper jack cheese sauce was good as well, so I expected the cheddar to be good too, and it did not disappoint. I wish I could find a way to make it less lumpy, though.

Image

Image

Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Recipe here (note: to veganize use 2 flaxmeal eggs or powdered egg replacer and water to an egg white thickness, vegan Parmesan, vegan margarine, vegenaise, agave or bee free honee)

My only complaint really (which is kind of a big one) is that these take forever to make. And they don’t translate very well with the flaxmeal eggs, if I make them again I may try using unsweetened almond milk instead and see if the panko coating sticks better. However, the caramelized onion “bloomin’ onion dip” is what makes this recipe worthwhile. It is amazingly yummy.

Image

Image

Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei

Recipe here (by my absolute favorite cookbook author, Chloe Coscarelli)

I’ve never had an actual matzo brei before. I’m assuming it maybe is made with eggs and is sort of like an omelet? That’s the picture I get when eating this delicious vegan dish. I did make a few changes, I only used 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, and reduced the oil for the veggies in half because it also had 4 tbsp of margarine in it (to keep it fairly healthy). My only real complaint of any sort is that it might be even tastier if the matzo in it has a bit of a crunch left in it. I let it get completely soggy, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way, but I bet it’d be yummy with a slight crunch! I ate this for breakfast and loved it, and my non-vegan brother did too! 🙂

Image

That’s all for this Friday’s (the 13th! good luck!) edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! Let me know if you try any of the recipes I linked to and how you liked them/whether you agree with my reviews, etc! Bon appetit! (As my brother would add, “Don’t eat your feet!”)

First Blog Post–Happy Vegan Rosh Hashana!

I rarely celebrate any Jewish holidays, as I am not religious at all. However, I grew up loving Russian Jewish food because that’s the ancestry of half of my family, My family  decided to get together this past weekend, and we decided to make food inspired by Rosh Hashana for it, since it starts tomorrow night (The evening of September 4th, 2013) and is close enough to when we got together since we don’t see each other very often.

So when I heard we were doing this, I started looking around for what in my mind was classic Jewish food, with the intention of veganizing it. I looked in a lot of the cookbooks I own by Isa Chandra Moscowitz as she has a lot of good stuff like that hidden throughout her cookbooks (mainly Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance) and finally decided on a menu.

I ended up making:

My Reviews of it all:

The “Brisket”

Image

A rating of 5 good Bananas is the highest rating! Woohoo! Seitan Brisket recipe! This means it was amazingly delicious and I wanted more. This means even my aunt, who eats meat and isn’t used to fake meats at all, ate it and said it was really delicious (especially the sauce)! I would gladly make it again, even though it took me two days  to do so!

Image

so good, 5 good banana rating!

A few tips if you decide to make it yourself? If using the recipe in the Vegan Sandwiches book for the home-made Moo Free seitan, I cooked it in the slow cooker, that way you can forget about it all day basically and go about  your business as normal. However, place it in the fridge when you go to bed so it’s ready and cool the next day. Then slice and prepare the rest of the stuff on the Earth Balance recipe. I used grape juice instead of red wine (I’m sort of straight edge but I cook with wine occasionally. I wanted to try the grape juice though to see if it worked and it worked amazingly,) I also used white miso for the glaze.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own seitan (I contemplated it) you can try storebought. You could also substitute any beef like basic seitan recipe instead. With either of those changes though, I can’t guarantee you’ll get the same 5 good bananas rating results that I had 😛

The kugel:

Image

I hate to give my worst rating to a recipe right away, but I’m giving this the rating of one good banana, 4 bad bananas! 😦 Partly this may have been my fault, because I was really spacey the day I made it, and used 3 matzos instead of 4, and forgot the onions, and left out the lemon juice. However, the way the recipe was written it was easy to forget the onions, but the lemon juice was totally my fault. Despite my botched attempt at making this recipe, I think it would not change much had I done it right. It’s a hunch…but the matzo makes it have this weird taste and it just was too spinachy or something. I wish it was better. Like it has the potential to be a bit creamier like a spinach souffle or the like, but it’s really off-putting. I don’t even want to eat the rest of it that is left over… 😦

Image

the kugel along with everything else on the plate

Oh, and I used a Stop and Shop brand of egg-free noodles. They’re the same shape as the egg kugel noodles, but I verified to make sure they were vegan.

FInally,

The Rugelach!

Image

Well I’m rating these delicious vegan Jewish Holiday pastries that I grew up with (except not vegan at the time) four good bananas and one bad! It loses one good banana simply because I think they could be slightly better. The recipe doesn’t instruct how to get the classic rugelach shape correctly, which I’m more than okay with because they still taste excellently good, but I think the dough may also need a tiny bit of work, as it’s softer than the real rugelach I remember. Otherwise, it’s basically the real deal. The chocolate filling option is amazingly authentic and so tasty!

Image

one out of two baking sheets it made of these babies!

It was slightly challenging to clean the food processor after making these, as well as really hard to roll out, I didn’t slightly flour the surface, I heavily floured it. Except for some of the jelly rolls I made unrolling a bit in the middle, though, I am very happy with it. It makes a ton! I made exactly 48 cookies. Don’t eat a ton of them all at once, as they’re about 100 calories a pop (more on how I calculate this later on in future blog posts).

That’s it for this post today! Hope you enjoyed it! And if you’re Jewish (or not), Happy New Year !

P.S.: Since this is my first ever blog post, don’t forget to check out the about me page on my blog here