Posts Tagged ‘cookbook love’

Peanut Butter + Hummus = Good

I am a bit of a library cookbook addict and only a very small percentage of the books I check out actually become books I buy.  One of those was Eat Drink and Be Vegan.

This week I made the Peanut Sesame Hummus (on pg 51).  YUM!  It has chickpeas, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, tamari and a few other seasonings.  It was delicious with celery and carrots and would have loved to been eaten with snap peas, but, alas, I had none.

 

What is your favorite kind of hummus?

 

Drunken Beans with Faux-Rizo

Part 2 of the seitan chorizo experiment…

After letting the sausages chill overnight, I took out 3 to use in the Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo recipe from Viva Vegan.  It is basically pinto beans cooked with onions, roasted serranos, spices, beer and diced tomatoes.

As I do most times when I make pinto beans, I remember after I make them that I should only make 1/2 lb instead of the full recipe. That is a lot of beans and one can only make so many dinners out of the musical fruit in a week.

I wanted to make something else that I knew the kids would eat, since they are both pretty leery of recipes with spices in them.  I attribute it to the fact that they were both conceived in Minnesota and that somehow ensured that they receive the MN-bland taste buds.  In the spirit of bland-ness, I made plain rice with our new rice cooker that I absolutely love.

I also decided to try my hand at making corn tortillas. In college I actually worked for 2 years in a Cereal Quality Lab where the students and professors tested the quality of various cereal grains from around the state and country.  One of the tests of corn quality was to bake it into a tortilla and then use all kinds of fancy and pricey instruments to test attributes of the tortilla.  So you could say I’ve watched more tortillas being made than the average person.  I have never actually made them by hand though.  I figured that a couple of food science degrees should mean that I have a reasonable chance at making something with 3 ingredients (corn meal, water and salt) and that countless home cooks with much more rudimentary kitchens than I have can turn out daily.  It was actually quite easy.  So easy, in fact, that a child can do it*:

* And by ‘do it’ I mean she could shape the tortillas.  I handled the cooking part.  She is only 5 and I’m giving her at least 2 years before she is in charge of making family dinners.  I kid.

The beans and tortillas cooked side by side like the natural partners they are:

And dinner was served.

The verdict?  Good, but I didn’t think the sausages added much.  The beans were delicious and I will be making them again, but without the seitan chorizo.  For the amount of work (and cost of the ingredients), the chorizo didn’t come through.  I have 3 more in the freezer that I’ll try in another recipe or application, but I’m not rushing to make another batch.  The texture was a bit spongy.

The corn tortillas were great and my little girl loved making them.  In the spirit of transparency, the kids had a dinner of rice, corn tortillas, shredded cheese and fruit.  Nary a bean or chorizo touched their lips.

Faux-(Cho)Rizo

I don’t know if I’ve ever used both an X and Z in the same title.  Is there a blog title scrabble out there?  If so, I just scored big points.  If it wouldn’t be a lie, I would have said Quick Faux-Chorizo and gotten ‘Q’ points too.

I’ve already admitted to hogging The Kind Diet from the library.  I’m also avidly reading my library copy of Viva Vegan.

I too chop my plantains in a sparkling white kitchen while wearing a lovely purple dress and straightened  hair.  Don’t you?

The first recipe I tried was for a Chorizo Style Seitan.  Seitan (say-tan, not satan) is a meat like food made from wheat gluten.  I’ll be the first to say I generally avoid meat substitutes.  I’m a bit leery of soy, so I don’t buy all the soy ‘meats’ and ‘cheeses.’  If you open my freezer and dig past the Coscto Bags of frozen fruit, Blue Bell Ice Cream and frozen peas (which my kids eat like candy), you won’t find Boca or Morningstar Farm boxes. They aren’t my thing.

Seitan, being from wheat gluten, seemed a bit less hormone mimicking than soy meats to me.  The recipe looked straight forward enough so I put the kids in front of PBS Kids and starting making (fake) sausage.

First up, wheat gluten and chick pea flour.  I bet anyone reading with gluten issues is now clicking off the page….

Then every spice in my kitchen spices like oregano, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, cumin, coriander, chili powder and a few others.

The spices and flours were mixed with broth, oils and tomato paste.

The mixture was kneaded.  I’ve kneaded my share of bread dough and kneading seitan felt nothing like bread dough.  It was very spongy and, for lack of a better word, puffy.  As this was my first experience making it, I’m not sure if that was normal.  Also, the paprika and chili powder turned my hands nice and orange and the oils made them nice and greasy.  Orange greasy hands and not a cheetoh in sight.  Who knew?

The dough was formed into sausage shapes which looked both fecal and phallic.  I preferred not to dwell on that.

Then the sausages were rolled up like candy and baked.

After cooling and unrolling, I had 6 of these little guys:

They were put in the fridge and used in a dinner the next day.  Stay tuned for the continuing saga of the wheat sausages.  How do they taste?  Where they worth the effort?  Did anyone in the family actually eat one?

Any seitan lovers out there?