Thursday, October 2, 2008

VeganMoFo - Veganomicon

I bought the Veganomicon (by Isa and Terry of PPK fame and the madwomen behind Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) months ago, mostly because I liked the cover. Yeah, I'm swayed by the shiny. I'm made a couple dishes with some mixed results. My biggest con about the book is that its more food-to-impress, rather than food-for-a-Wednesday-night-when-you-just-want-something-quick-and-yummy. I do love the introduction section where they give you the basics of cooking every bean known to mankind. That's very handy.

I have made -

Acorn Squash and Black Bean Empanadas (pg. 55) - These were worth every single second of effort. The crust was very flavorful and light and flaky. It was just a little difficult to work with. It was much softer and wet that I had expected but was totally workable. I think I had wimpy jalapenos because there wasn't much of a kick to the filling. I froze some and they reheated VERY well (always a concern for me). I think I might actually make these this weekend and I might try the Sour Cilantro Cream (pg. 209).

White Bean Aioli (pg. 62) - I am hopelessly addicted. This comes together in no time at all, and it works perfect in a blender (here's a note, it gets much smoother and easier for the blender to handle once you add the garlic oil). I made this once with prechopped jarred garlic, and the garlic punch what not the same as with fresh.

Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry (pg. 175) - This was lovely. The pineapple chunks were a great addition and I would highly recommend you DON'T use canned pineapple. Just a warning, reheating this in the microwave at work, the pineapple goes lava and gets crazy hot. It says it serves 4, and I don't know who Isa and Terry are feeding but 4 servings of this were enough to feed linebackers.

Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spice Pita Crisps (pg. 177) - In the charming little introductory paragraphs that goes with every recipe (which I love!) it says "Terry says she could live for months on the simple ans scrumptious meal of rice, lentils, and onions, and be assured she has damn well tried." And that is a spot on proclamation. I did do something a little different. I caramelized the onions on the stove top rather than in the oven. Yes, more time consuming and more hands on but I like the results better. Hm, I might have to make this over the weekend also. Oh I also did not make the Spiced Pita Crisps.

Pasta Della California (pg. 192) - This is a perfect light meal that is easily broken down into a single serving recipe. When you're cooking for one, anything with avocado doesn't do leftovers well so I broke the recipe into quarters. It calls for arugula, and I don't think I like arugula very much so if I do this one again, I think I'd go with just spinach.

Tofu Ricotta (pg. 206) - The directions don't tell you to press the tofu first and I highly recommend you do this or else its just too watery. It also calls for nutritional yeast and well, I don't think I like nutritional yeast. I think I'll try the Cashew Ricotta instead. This was not tasty.

Almesan (pg. 207) - The blurb says "...when your pasta needs a sprinkle of a little somethin' somethin'." And they are spot on with this. Almesan is awesome!


Zoey said...

Hi Mimi,

Thank you for sharing your experiences cooking out of Veganomicon. I have only made one thing from that book so far, and it was the chocolate- chocolate chip walnut cookies. They were amazing. You can check out some pictures of my cat helping me make them here:

After reading your review, I think I will give some other things a try!

Mimi said...

Hi Zoey!

My biggest complaint about the book is that they underestimate the time it takes to make some of the dishes. Like in the Lentil and caramelized onion dish, it says it take s 25 minutes to caramelize the onion. I find it take much more time than that. As I said, this is more for weekend cooking than fast weeknight meals.

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

Try the potpie! Or the piccata! Both are incredible... but most recipes in there are.

Bex said...

Definitely try the piccata, it looks fancy and difficult but it's super quick (once you have seitan on hand, making it from scratch will of course take longer)

Mimi said...

Pot pie and piccata huh? I've been thinking of trying to make the seitan and the chick pea patties this weekend.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I am pretty sure everyone has that book except me. lol... The waiting list at the library is a long one.

Bethany said...

I made the empanadas and froze some too. I think I liked them better frozen. Lots of work, but worth it.

I also made the stir fry. Yummy. and a bunch more things like lemon bars. I love this book.

Mimi said...

oh how were the lemon bars?? I've had my eyes on them but I'm a bit scared they won't be tasty.