Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Food for Hibernation

I've been trying to cook my way out of February and the long cold winter. May spring come quickly and without warning. First a few soups, synonymous with cold weather comfort.

Vcon's Ancho-Lentil Soup with Grilled Pineapple. Now I love grilled pineapple.

From the same, Tomato-Rice Soup with Garlic and Navy Beans. I was too environmentally conscious to fire up the oven just to roast the garlic, so I used the lazy alternative. But I didn't use canned beans! I made a huge pot of white beans, so we'll be seeing more of them in the near future. This recipe is really, really good and totally blows canned tomato soup out of the pantry.

I'm still working on the Nov/Dec issue of VegNews and tried the Barley Soup with Porcini and Dill from page 79. It was tasty, not stellar, but simple to make.

I love Vcon's Black Bean Burgers and have made them twice so far. This is a lousy photo that does not do them justice. They are super topped with avocado slices and Cilantro Sour Cream.

While we were at Rainbow Foods I bought some pre-made seitan and have been eying the Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip recipe ever since I first got Vcon. My only regret is that I didn't buy two packs to make more sandwiches. I want to try again with a huge batch of homemade seitan because these were awesome. The sauce is kinda reminiscent of St Hubert's dipping sauce from my getting-sketchier-by-the-year childhood memories.

I borrowed La Dolce Vegan! from the library and picked out Portobello Pot Pie because Costco sells portobellos by the boatload. This recipe was easy and really good! Both Pete and Princess raved about it. I sauteed everything in a cast-iron skillet and then placed the crust on top and popped it in the oven.

One recipe in Vcon that has received a lot of press is Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream. So of course, I had to make it. In particular, I chose to make it on a night that Sarah let me bring dinner over for the new parents. So far, it's my absolute favourite thing that I've made out of that book, and there's some pretty stiff competition. Here is the calm unbroken expanse of Pine Nut Cream.

We ate it faster than I could take a good photo of the inside.

In top spot for The Best Vcon Dish That Can Be Thrown Together on a Busy Weeknight - Tangerine Baked Tofu. I took a pic of the ingredients because I can't believe how so few things can taste so good together. Of course, booze helps.

Ya, that's Loblaws tofu. I hate shopping there, but they do have good tofu. And here are the citrusy baked 'fus cavorting with broccoli.

Finally, dessert! I took Dreena's recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and changed up the amounts a bit to yield enough cookies to feed our family for a couple of days. At least a day. They are great for lunches because they don't have any nut-related ingredients.

Healthy Kid-Friendly Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice (omit if using chocolate chips)
½ cup organic sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup soymilk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp blackstrap molasses
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine Dry ingredients in small bowl. Mix Wet ingredients in stand mixer on medium speed or in food processor until sugar is dissolved. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix. Add in Extra ingredients. Scoop onto cookie sheets lined with silicone or parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes then let cool on sheets. Makes 2 dozen cookies.


Vegan_Noodle said...

WoW! You have been doing some serious cooking! I haven't made a soup in awhile, just not cold enough here. That moussaka is really perking me up right now with that pine nut cream. How sweet of you to make it for the new parents!

vegan blog tracker said...

So, I may be a dork for asking, but how'd you grill the pineapple? It has those nice grill lines on it... Does your stove have a grill? Did'cha use a George Foreman grill?

Anonymous said...

Yum! Everything looks amazing, and thanks for the cookie recipe! I will be making those soon!


Tracy said...

Thank you!

vegan blog tracker - I used a cast-iron grill pan to grill the pineapple - also great for grilled tofu!

Vegyogini said...

The tangerine tofu is top on my list of what to make next from VCon because I have a bunch of tangerines in the fridge. I'm so glad you liked it. I've been wanting to make the tomato-rice soup, too. I love soup!

VeggieGirl said...

Wow, I never thought to pair grilled pineapple with soup - looks wonderful! As does all the other meals you've been cooking up lately - yum!

Melissa said...

I love the presentation of the first soup. And I definitely have to try that tomato soup from Vcon now.

springsandwells said...

wow, it's cool to see so many things from Vcon pictured. I haven't really experimented much with that book. The first couple of things I made weren't really so great... so I lost enthusiasm. But I have tangerine tofu on the menu tonight, so it was great to see your pic! also... maybe I'll give that moussaka a try. Sounds and looks great.

And of course, I have to agree about grilled pineapple. it's great!

debby said...

i love to shop at www.wholeandnatural.com. they have all kinds of healthy and natural kosher food and snacks including organic blackstrap molasses. the stuff is fresh and low prices.
seeya, debby
btw i used a coupon bldc08 try it