Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cookbook Review: Everyday Vegan Eats

I haven’t done any cookbook reviews lately, partly because I haven’t tried enough from any one cookbook to do it justice! But, Cadry’s Kitchen is having a giveaway of Everyday Vegan Eats, by Zsu Dever, and since I tested for this cookbook, I have tried a goodly number of the recipes in it (mostly different ones from the ones Cadry spotlighted! So, here goes. (Sorry that all the pics are lousy iPod pics. For some reason I either didn’t take any with my good camera, or they are hiding really well!)

Savoury Broth Mix: I have a mock chicken seasoning I make regularly that’s good enough, but I really liked this one for something with a little more depth and punch to it. It’s a good one to have made up and ready to go.

IMG_1038

Salsa Fresca: I’m a huge fan of fresh salsa and I really liked this. I particularly liked that it calls for no vinegar, which doesn’t sit well with me! It uses lime juice instead and it’s very simple to throw together.

IMG_1376

Timeless Tomato Sauce: Delicious! It has a secret ingredient that I would never have thought to stick in tomato sauce, but it was a great addition.

Tender Soy Curls: I made these once during testing to use in one of the tester recipes but I’ve also made it since then as a substitute for ground turkey in chili. Honestly I’m not the biggest fan of soy curls, but they tasted fine.

Bacon Tofu: This is the simplest, tastiest tofu bacon recipe EVER. It calls for 3 ingredients besides the tofu and it was fantastic. This has become my standard bacon. (For the record, it doesn’t work so well with tempeh. I tried.)

Comforting Noodle Soup: The flavour of this was awesome and it was a big hit with our Friday night group (despite the fact that I left the noodles in waaaaayyy too long and they had soaked up most of the broth. Oops.) In fact, it sounds really yummy to me right now being sick. Maybe I’ll make some for lunch today!

Chipotle Chili: Very tasty! I made this to try on its own as well as incorporated into the Chili Mac recipe. I liked the Chili Mac best but both were good.

IMG_0961

Mama’s Hungarian Bean Soup: I loved this one!

German Potato Salad: I didn’t officially test this one but I did make it on my own anyway. It was fabulous hot or cold.

Seven-Layer Tex-Mex Salad: This was delicious and colourful. Our Friday night group liked it!

IMG_1128

Meatless Pies in Buttermilk Herb Biscuits: This was the recipe I made the Tender Soy Curls for. I really liked these. They were a little time-consuming but not in a difficult way, just required some planning ahead.

Hungarian March of the Grenadiers: This is a potato dish that was so delicious there are no words. It uses the Hungarian Paprika Potatoes (separate recipe) and mashes them and serves them with pasta. Potatoes + Pasta = Always a win.

Whole Grain Rice Pilaf: I loved this so much. It is definitely one of the best pilafs I’ve tried. So many just fall short.

Mediterranean Quinoa with Fresh Herbs: I really liked this. It’s supposed to be eaten warm, but I made it as a cold salad and it was very tasty that way too!

Refried Beans with Tomatoes: These were so simple and so yummy.

Classic-Style Benedict: I’ve never had Eggs Benedict, but this was a mighty tasty (if also mighty rich) dish. Not something I would make on a regular basis, but definitely a yummy treat.

Fudge Brownies: These called for mashed bananas. Not being a fan of bananas, I made them anyway because it was such a small amount of banana! Both I and my friend’s bananaphobe daughter could still taste the banana. I still ate them though she didn’t want anything more to do with them. The banana flavour does intensify the next day, at which point I didn’t want any more to do with them either. But, the texture was really nice and everyone else aside from us two really liked them!

Caramel Sauce: Another recipe I’ve made multiple times since testing! I’m still struggling to get it right, because there are so many variables with candy making. Too hot? Too long? Sometimes it comes out like toffee and one time I actually got it slightly saucy. Any way it comes out, it still tastes good! I’ve used it in cookies, vegan ice cream, and other things.

Chocolate Chip Cookies: These taste like cookies from childhood. My favourite chocolate chip recipe is from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, but if you’re going for a more traditional texture and flavour, you would definitely want these.

Carrot Cake: I didn’t officially test this one either but I have made it. It was very good!

Blueberry Scones: DELISH.

IMG_1344

Soft Pretzels: I made the sweet cinnamon variation and they were all eaten up very, very quickly!

Are you hungry yet? Head over to Cadry’s Kitchen to enter the giveaway!

Categories: Cookbook Review | 4 Comments

Six Years!

Mr Pine Nut was sick on our actual anniversary, so we had to postpone our celebrations. We were able to leave the girls with his mom on the 20th of April and head up to Portland for a stop at Native Foods and a jaunt through the Rose Garden. We almost never go out to eat. It’s just not a thing we’ve ever done! So it’s definitely a treat when we do actually go. There’s a new Native Foods opening in Clackamas, my old stomping grounds, but it wasn’t opened yet, so we went to the Tigard location.

As always, the dilemma of what to choose. The first time I went, I got the Chicken Run Ranch sandwich, and it was amazing. A few months ago when I went up there with some friends to see the Pittock Mansion I got the Oklahoma Bacon Burger and it was amazing. I didn’t know that breaded and fried dill pickles would be outstandingly good. But they are. (I don’t like pickles.) And I got the oatmeal creme pie for dessert. Yum.

This time, I decided to go for the Bangkok Curry Bowl.

_MG_3584

It was really, really tasty. The veggies were cooked on the crisp side, which made them a little harder to eat, but I liked it. It took the dirty sock edge off the flavour of the broccoli without really cooking it to mush. The tofu steak was really good and the curry sauce was just the right amount of spice. You can’t see it in the picture, but the tofu and veggies are on brown rice.

I also got a side of Chicken Wings that were delicious. I even actually used the dipping sauces with them. I have to admit, I’m not much of a sauce person. On the whole I like my meatlike substances and salads and French toast naked. And it was actually kind of good. (Though I did eat the majority of the wings sans sauce.)

Mr Pine Nut got the Baja Blackened Taco.

_MG_3585

He said it was very good. I snitched a bit of the tempeh because I was curious and it was the best tempeh I’ve ever had. He also got a side of sweet potato fries, which is about the only way he could keep me out of them, since I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes. At all. I tried a couple and they just made me want to gag.

_MG_3587

So he enjoyed his sweet potato fries in blissful peace while I took pictures of the local scenery.

_MG_3589

What a deal!!

Then it was off to the Rose Garden, where we wandered around and sat on benches and looked at all the things that weren’t blooming and a few things that were.

_MG_3596

And then we found this spot where we took a picture of me in October of 2007 and took another picture of me now.

Me in 2007

Me in 2007

Me in 2014. I know, I know, I totally failed at the pose! But I couldn't remember exactly how I did it.

Me in 2014. I know, I know, I totally failed at the pose! But I couldn’t remember exactly how I did it.

So, that’s that. What should I try next time I hit Native Foods?

sig

Categories: Mrs Pine Nut, restaurants | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Nonfire

_MG_3552

Aren’t those just bright and cheery?

So, Skittles are vegan, if you didn’t know that. No gelatin!

But this post isn’t about Skittles. It’s really about our nonfire. I would have posted about this a long time ago except that I’ve had all kinds of computer issues and then I couldn’t find my card reader to get photos off my camera. So forget that this happened almost two months ago.

As you may recall, last year we had a bonfire. This year, it was kind of wet, and we actually have a house fit to throw a party in, so I decided to have a nonfire instead. I mean, there was a fire in the woodstove, but that hardly counts aside from HEY, IT WAS WARM. And dry. And inside.

We invited a lot of people from church and elsewhere and had a lot of no-shows. All the people who ended up coming were from church. I’m not complaining! Except, yanno, as always, I had way too much food.

_MG_3549

It was March, so I went with a St Patrick’s Day kind of theme. So it was all GREEN and RAINBOWS and stuff. My Irish flag veggie tray was a thing of beauty… at least to me. We also had crackers, pretzels, hummus, guacamole, chips… and the star of the meal was the scalloped potatoes. I mean, what’s an Irish themed meal without potatoes?

As with my chickpea potpie, I faced the dilemma of needing it to be soy and nut free. Usually I use a cashew-based sauce. But I decided to try it with an oat milk based sauce, since that worked in the potpie. And it worked for the potatoes too! They were a hit and so delicious. Want the recipe? Well, here it is.

Soy and Nut Free Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight. Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain. This makes one quart of milk.

When you’re ready to make your potatoes:

Peel and slice 8 c potatoes. Boil in 3.5 c water until partially cooked (7-10 minutes). Drain potatoes and arrange in a sprayed 13×9 Pyrex-type pan, and set aside.

In a saucepan stir together:
6 T oil
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté onion in the oil about 2 minutes. Add garlic.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp of a favourite dried seasoning (I used dill)
3 c oat milk
Stir dry ingredients in first, then add the milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again.

Pour sauce over potatoes. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 more minutes.

_MG_3556

Aside from the food, we had good music, good visiting, and an entertaining escapade with some shrimp that mysteriously appeared in someone’s contribution of supposedly vegetarian Chinese takeout. Train Boy climbed high up in a fir tree and didn’t die. Yep, all in all a good evening.

It was very interesting because we had a different group of people than the usual group that comes to our bon-or-non-fires, so the dynamic was totally new. That was fascinating for me to observe. Is that weird?

And, in closing, here’s a picture of rainbow-hued chocolate chip cookies to brighten your day.

1975220_574077986021137_775113239_n

sig

Categories: dairy-free, dessert, entertaining, entrees, freezer meals, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

In the Soup Together

A "Black Dove White Raven" Fansite

declare the causes

i will tell the world

Creative Wending

cooking, crochet, and a few things inbetween

The World of YA

a podcast by and for YA readers

Vegan Needs

Vegan Lifestyle. Vegan beauty, Food, Reviews & More

the taste space

steam, bake, boil, shake!

Too Cheap for Pine Nuts

Plant-Based Food and Other Stories

The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

Compassionate Eating For Everyone

Made of Stars

Simply vegan

veganinbrighton

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Storyfied Blog

we're all just stories in the end

Mostly Bliss

The healthiest response to life is joy

Eat.Plants.Live.

...a movement for living food and loving life