Sunday, March 26, 2006

Weekend Cooking

Last weekend I made dinner while my mother and grandmother were visiting. Neither of them are vegan. I used the Shook 'n' Cook Breading from La Dolce Vegan! by Sarah Kramer on some seitan "chicken" that I made. I baked it and it wasn't too bad, just a little dry. Oddly, when heated up in the microwave the next day it was more moist. Next time, I'll either pan fry the chicken or make some gravy to go with it.

I made two side dishes from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas. The Sweet Cinnamon-Maple Glazed Baby Carrots were really good. My 22-month-old son loved them. I also made the Scalloped Cauliflower or Broccoli. I didn't have any vegan cheese on hand, so I made the cheesy sauce that I use for my stovetop macaroni and cheese. I used a combination of cauliflower and broccoli. This dish also turned out really well. It was a nice change from steamed or oven-roasted veggies.

My mother and grandmother liked all the dishes, but they've both been supportive of my being vegan. Still, it was nice to hear the compliments.

This weekend I cooked up a storm to celebrate the end of Parent-Teacher Conference week. This morning, I baked. I made the Cinnamon-Walnut Coffee Cake from La Dolce Vegan! I used the topping as a filling, pouring about two-thirds of the batter in the cake pan, spreading the "topping," and then covering it with the rest of the batter. I then actually topped it with cinnamon sugar. It turned out great!

I also made a variation on the Raspberry Fig Breakfast Bars from The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. My wife picked up some organic dried white peaches at the farmer's market near her work. I rehydrated them in some warm water and used them as the filling instead of the figs and raspberry jam. The Breakfast Bars taste awesome, which is why I keep making them. Everybody in my family likes them. But, they are a little on the crumbly side. So this time, I also tried adding a couple of flax eggs to the oat mixture to make it hold together better. I always add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed to my baked goods, so this wasn't much of a stretch. They did hold together better. And they tasted wonderful. I can't wait to try it with fresh white peaches.

I also made Roasted Breast of Seitan Turkey from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak. I just got this cookbook in the mail this weekend. Somebody over at the GoVegan Forum posted a note about a clearance sale at Vegetarian Times. I also ordered Cooking with Gluten and Seitan, but they sent me the wrong book; have to deal with that tomorrow. Anyway, the Seitan Turkey turned out quite well. I actually wasn't expecting much, but it was delicious. I also liked the gravy that I made from the pan juices.

To go with the Turkey as a side dish, I made the Sweet Potato Gratin with Pineapple and Coconut Milk from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. The cardamom in this dish is what sets this one apart. It is not low-cal or low-fat by any stretch, but it is vegan and it is tasty.

Earlier in the day, just to have something else simmering away, I made the Perfect Hominy White Bean Chili from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. I haven't tasted this one yet; I'll have it for dinner tomorrow night, but, man, it smells good. I was just intrigued by this recipe. I've never had chili with hominy before, but I just had to give it a try.

And for dessert... I made strawberry ice cream using the "Anything Goes" Fruity Ice Cream recipe from How It All Vegan! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. I bought an ice cream maker just a few weeks ago. I'm really enjoying making and eating my own homemade ice cream. I've found that if you process the silken tofu and sugar into a mousse-like consistency, then add the other ingredients, it makes for a really nice soy ice cream.


  1. I just got that slow cooker cookbook a while ago. There are some great dishes in there. I've made the seitan recipe in La Dolce Vegan and it turned out great. I want to try the slow cooker method and see how that works.
    You're making your own ice cream?! Wow! That's cool! (pun intended)

  2. carrie, thanks for your comment. Yeah, I like the slow cooker one. The hominy white bean chili turned out well. It's different, but quite tasty.

    La Dolce Vegan is a great cookbook. I've made the seitan beef and ham, and they're both excellent!