Diving back into World Vegan Feast, this time something with simpler, homier flavors, the Italian Polenta Loaf with Beans and Kale (scroll down). So, clearly that’s a big pile, kind of a patty, not really a fried up slice of loaf. The amount of polenta the recipe called for didn’t seem to envelop the rest of the ingredients well enough. It did set up pretty well in the loaf pan in the refrigerator, but when it was sliced to pan fry, it wouldn’t keep together. Not sure if the answer is to chop the greens finer, use less of them, or what.
This definitely wants a sauce or gravy, even if just a little bit. Instead of Bryanna’s recipe, I used the simpler Rich Brown Gravy from Vegan Vittles. It’s also low in fat so this turns out to be pretty healthy and satisfying.
With bell peppers and tomatoes in the CSA box, I had everything I needed to make another recipe from World Feast Vegan, Ugandan-Style Peanut Butter Stew. I’m a big fan of peanut flavored foods. Usually they seem to have sweet potatoes. So this was a little different than the African stews I’ve made before.
The flavor was nice, but the bell pepper got kind of mushy. Next time I might cut it bigger or add it in a little later. A bed of brown rice soaked up all the tasty sauce.
On the side, that’s just kale massaged with olive oil and rice vinegar.
Yes, yes we did. Pies savory and sweet. Pies, pies, pies.
I made the Scalloped Potato Pie from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites.
And, the Gingerbread Apple Pie from Vegan With A Vengeance.
More pie goodies…. quiche, I think.
My plate o’ pie
Of course there’s a dessert plate. Duh. Steph made two different ice cream pies. Both needed to be tried. Plus the gingerbread apple pie. With ice cream. *BLORT*
How do you take a simple potato-kale soup to the next level? Toss some chorizo on top! Which is exactly what Terry Hope Romero does in the Potato-Kale Soup with Sizzling Chorizo recipe in Viva Vegan! It was so good I ate the whole batch over the course of a week for various meals. Instead of making chorizo, I just picked up some from Trader Joe’s. It worked great but I did use it more sparingly since it’s kind of oily.
Also, Kale is awesome. Cooked or raw.
Viva Vegan! has been in my possession for a while, but I really haven’t made much out of it yet. So when planning the weekly shopping recently, I picked out two recipes to make. The Sweet and Spicy Seitan-Potato Empanadas was the first one. I’d already stocked the freezer with a couple of packages of vegan empanada wrappers so these went a little faster than if you had to make those too.
Kevin doesn’t like olives, so I left those out. Instead of making seitan, I just rehydrated some beefy TVP chunks. They worked beautifully. The more you cook, the more you get a feel for easy substitutions.
Just a little steamed broccoli on the side to round out the meal. This was lunch. The seams held up really well. Only a couple leaked.
This borrows from a recipe that goes way back to 1996, the early days of my vegetarianism. Sometimes there is a component of a recipe that would do well in another setting. Here, the blackened tempeh makes an awesome meal with raw kale salad and mashed potatoes & gravy. It would also be amazing on a sandwich. Maybe that’s how I’ll eat it next.
The theme for this month’s Atlanta Vegan Lunch Group‘s potluck was Cakeapalooza in honor of Lisa‘s Birthday. It wasn’t all cake though. We made a pretty good well-rounded meal out of it. We brought zucchini frittata. A double recipe fills a half sheet pan like so.
And we also brought a lentil potato salad.
Note, if you’re going to mix lentil sizes, start the bigger ones cooking before adding the smaller ones. My small ones got a little mushy. But they ate just fine.
My plate full of tasty bits:
How adorable are these cupcakes? They came from a bakery we didn’t know existed.
A couple of weeks ago I impulse bought a butternut squash. I do that, especially with sturdier vegetables. It’ll just hang out while you figure out what to do with it. This is what happened to that butternut squash. It became a gratin! This is a great example of why you shouldn’t ignore non-vegan cookbooks. Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone was one of my earlier cookbooks and I still use it often. Veganizing this recipe is no hardship. Substitute vegan milk for regular, vegan cheese for regular. Done!
This would make an awesome Thanksgiving side. It also allows me to use the sage growing outside my kitchen. It and the rosemary bush are the only edible plants that I have that thrive without any care whatsoever. I’ve got a pot of mint planted and hope it’ll join them in that.
Oh, what’s this? Soup? I can’t stop! Things are really busy around here lately and I have no imagination when it comes to food. A bowl of soup and some toast is awesome when you’re in a hurry. I still had an asston of white beans left, so I tried out this Classic Tuscan White Bean Soup from Vegan Italiano. It was simple and hearty. Made a really satisfying meal. To get my veggies covered off, I tossed in some kale. You can almost never go wrong by tossing mild greens into a soup.
No, I’m not done with the bowls but I did save some other posts to break them up a bit so it wasn’t bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl, bowl….
Slow cookers are awesome if you don’t know that already. You can turn dried beans into a big pile of mouth-watering bits to eat as is or freeze in batches to use in recipes. All without pot watching. Nothing better than getting home from work to find your kitchen already smells delicious.
This one is Chipotle-kissed Red Beans and Sweet Potato Chili from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Look at that color! If you follow the recipe it’s pretty mild, so punch up the hot stuff if you like to feel the burn. And there’s only a little bit of oil in the whole pot so it’s pretty much just a bowl of goodness. Not pictured: unhealthy bread or corn bread slathered with Earth Balance.