Thursday, May 10, 2007

Midweek Meal Review

Nigerian Black-Eyed Peas from Rice & Spice. This dish was okay, but I don't think I would make it again. Enough said.

Seitan "Pepperoni" and Mashed Potato Casserole from Cooking With Seitan. This just screams 50s housewife to me: "meat" layered with mashed potatoes and topped with sliced olives and paprika. Seriously though, this was hearty and filling. Everything you'd expect it to be. I made a variation of the pepperoni seitan recipe in the book, taking a few pointers from other such recipes I've seen floating around the web. It is finally getting warmer now, so hopefully I can start moving on to some lighter fare. I will remember this dish for the winter, however.

Cajun Spice-Rubbed Tempeh from Vegan Planet with simple lo mein and broccoli. Hey, we never claimed to be purists around here, and I don't think there's anything wrong with mixing different world cuisines. When I told J I was making the Cajun tempeh, he asked what I was making with it. I didn't feel much like rice since we eat it all the time, so he suggested lo mein. Brilliant! Everything worked together surprisingly well.

Whole wheat spaghetti with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto from Vegan with a Vengeance and peperoni-style seitan. This was by far my favorite meal of recent memory. If you've never tried Bionaturae pasta, I am commanding you to try it as soon as you can. The noodles cook up so perfectly and, with the pesto, taste almost buttery. Complete perfection. I'm not sure why I never thought to combine two of my favorites - sun-dried tomatoes and pesto - into one meal before, but I'm certainly glad I did. As for the seitan, it didn't really add anything sitting next to the utterly perfect pasta.

I wouldn't leave you without presenting an offering of sweetness. These cookies were inspired by a Christina Pirello recipe, Coco-Locos from Cooking the Whole Foods Way. I took out the chocolate chips, added some extra pecans, and ended up with a wonderfully delicious treat. I think next time I would replace some of the brown rice syrup with maple syrup to cut down on the crunchiness and increase the chewiness. Otherwise, these cookies contain a lovely assortment of flavors, reminiscent of a certain Girl Scout cookie...the one with the toasted coconut, caramel, and chocolate drizzled on top. You know, the one with the hole in the middle.

Pseudo-Scout Cookies
(adapted from Cooking the Whole Foods Way)
yield: 25-30 cookies

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown rice syrup (or a combination of brown rice syrup and maple syrup)
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, using your hands at the end if necessary. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for approximately 14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Tips:
  1. When working with coconut oil, be sure that all other ingredients are at room temperature or else you will get oil lumps. It may help to mix the oil with shredded coconut before adding other ingredients.
  2. Do not overmix! Your cookies will be very tough if you do. Mix until ingredients are just combined.
  3. Do not overbake! Your cookies will be hard as rocks. Brown rice syrup tends to make cookies crunchy, so be aware of this and proceed accordingly. Increase the proportion of maple syrup to create a chewier cookie or decrease baking time.
Enjoy!

7 comments:

scottishvegan said...

Perhaps I’m just a 50s housewife at heart, but that casserole looks great to me! I love pretty much any past dish, so your spaghetti looks fab too! I’ve never seen that pasta before…I will try to remember to look out for it!

bazu said...

OMG- do you mean SAMOAS??? Those were my all-time favorite girl scout cookies! The fact that you say these taste anywhere near those cookies makes me want to try them right away- thank you!
I love bionaturae pastas too- so toothsome and tasty. And that sun-dried pesto is a winner- what a combo!
I'm sorry the black-eyed peas didn't work so well for you, they look excellent.

Veg*Triathlete said...

Mmm-I love that cajun spice rubbed tempeh from VP. I've had it the past two nights :-) How's the running going?

laura jesser said...

Ah, vegan samoas. Clever!

It's funny - I made the sun-dried tomato pesto for the first time tonight, then I came over to your blog and saw that you had recently done it too! :) I'm glad your picture looks like mine did. It's not terribly attractive stuff, in my opinion... but quite good.

Johanna3 said...

I’ve never seen that pasta before,I will look out for it.

vegan samoas, oh my.. i need to make this soon.

b36Kitchen said...

i love samoas! (i also love your blog)
my mother in law had samoas at her house the other week which made me determined to make a vegan version.

JENNA

aTxVegn said...

Somehow I missed this post. My Rice & Spice is definitely different from yours. Mine is by a different author and totally Indian food.

Those cookies look decadent!