Friday, 31 May 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 21 - The Best Veggie Burgers On The Planet

This week I have been cooking from Joni Marie Newman's book about Veggie Burgers (all recipes Vegan).
I have made a couple of things from this in the past with mixed results, the tuna melt was good, but the quiche lorraine burger took some serious tweaking. I think the issue may be the conversion from US measure to UK. According to the recipe half a cup of Nutritional Yeast is 60 grams. I used this weight and they were awful, I weighed out half a cup and it was far less than 60 grams.

Anyway this week I have made 6 other recipes:

Tangy Tahini Sauce - this was really not great, I used it with chickpeas, onion & sweetcorn but it was really untasty:

Vegan ham - I was making the recipe for Split Peas with Ham-Burger and decided to use half the "Ham" on a sandwich and just make the one burger. The ham was awful, very sweet and not at all tasty. I threw the sandwich away:

Split Peas and Ham-Burger - Despite the unsavoury ham, this was rather good. I think it would be better to use green split peas but still this was really good:

Sunday Afternoon Grillers - this burger looked great, it tasted nice but did not have a great texture, it was too soggy and stringy:

Ortega Burger - this was quite good, spicy and tasty (very meaty), a bit stringy but overall very good:

Seitanic Stuffer - I saved the best for last. This recipe used just vital wheat gluten & flour (no soya mince etc) and it turned out really well. The idea with this burger is to make 12 patties, fill six with a filling and put the other six on top to make stuffed burgers. I used mushroom and Tesco smoke soya cheese. It tasted great but a little dry on the outside, I think in future I will wrap them in foil when baking:

Overall, even though I did not have great success with this book I really do like it and although I will probably never make these recipes again, I have tweaked the Quiche Lorraine recipe to a point where I have a burger I really like. I will definitely use the book again but I have found that the better recipes are those that don't need soya mince, instead using vital wheat gluten or other ingredients (such as split peas).

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 20 - Vegan Comfort Food

This week I have been cooking from Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson, I have cooked several things from her other book Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food which were good but I was a bit disappointed with some of the recipes from this book:

Homemade Veggie Burger - this was soggy and tasteless. I won't be bothering with this again

Sloppy Joesphs - this wasn't bad, but compared with the recipe in Vegan Junk Food, this just doesn't stand up:

Chick'n Seitan - this is where things get better, I have always liked Alicia's seitan recipes, she always seems to add soya flour which gives it a much softer/less chewy texture compared to other seitan. Taste wise it was delicious:

Tuno Casserole - Chickpeas, seaweek, pasta, peas, onion, soya cheese & a buttery sauce. Combined to make a lovely casserole that I will be making again:

Loaded Baked Potato Soup - This was the best recipe that I tried, its a soup made from potato, soya milk, soya cheese, vegan sour cream & fake bacon bits. I have never had vegan sour cream (or non vegan either) and I have never had a loaded baked potato so I can't make a comparison but what I can say is that this recipe is gorgeous and will be made regularly in future:

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Birthday Food

So that time of year has come around again when I pretend that I am turning 24 when its actually a slightly higher number than that, its at this time when I stuff myself with bad food and here's what I had:

Speculoos & banana on toast:

Eli's Earth Treasure bar (delicious as is the celebrate bar which I also had):

Subway sub loaded with Chinese 5 spice style seitan, Vegusto, sun dried tomatoes & spicy pickle mayo

Delux Brownie from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar with soya ice cream and more speculoos spread:


I also had many other things (Speculoos shreddies, hot choclate, lattes, chocolate covered nuts, ice cream etc)...

Cookbook Challenge Week 19 - Vegan With A Vengeance

I have had this book for years (it was one of the first Vegan cookbooks that I bought) but I have rarely used it, the only recipe that I have made is the Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganachey Icing for my birthday last year which was delicious.

This week I have cooked 5 things from the book -

Breakfast Veggie Chorizo - this was really good - kind of like a spicy bolognese, a bit watery but full of flavour and very simple/quick to make:

Sweetcorn Chowder - this was outstanding good, flavoursome, sweet & spicy, definitely the best sweetcorn/chowdery soup I have tasted and I will definitely be making this again:

Mash with Post Punk Chickpea Gravy - this was another great recipe (the book just seems full of them), warm, lemony and delicious, I made it twice it was so good:

Banana Split Pudding Brownie - this was a good recipe, I have never actually tried a brownie before (I may have eaten something when I was a teen that was reminiscent of a hockey puck and covered in M&M's from Spar but I don't think that actually counts as food) so I was looking forward to trying this and it didn't disappoint. It was chocolatey, sticky, fudgy & delicious:

Finally I also made the blackout cake again (it was my birthday again) and as normal it didn't disappoint:

Overall I think I have underestimated this book in the past, I have looked through it and found the recipes either unappetising or complicated, however I have been proven completely wrong and all the recipes that I tried were great. I will be pulling VWAV out far more frequently in future. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 18 - PETA's Vegan College Cookbook

This week I have been cooking from PETA's Vegan College Cookbook, I bought this book several years ago and one of my favourite recipes come from it  - Chick Magnet Chicken Casserole (layers of soya chicken, silken noochy garlicky sauce, tomato sauce, vegan cheese & tortillas). I have adapted this recipe by substituting the tortillas for Ritz crackers (its now called my Haven casserole because I was watching the Stephen King TV series Haven when I adapted the recipe and also becuase in Stephen Kings book The Stand some of the characters eat Ritz Crackers but enough of my strange rambling!) and now vegan bacon rasher crunchies.
This book hasn't got great reviews online and admittedly some of the recipes are extremely basic (one recipe is bread, vegan cheese & pickle) but other are actually rather good (I have eaten the Haven casserole on my birthday for 3 years running now) so I decide to try some others:

The morning-after scramble - this is tofu, garlic, soya milk, nutritional yeast & salsa. Admittedly it doesn't look very appetising but it was actually really tasty - spicy and cheesey at the same time and completely different from any scramble I have had in the past :

No need to visit a diner for has browns casserole - this was shredded potatoes, broccol & sausage topped with a cheesey sauce - just lovely:

Broke ass cinnamon rolls - these are really simple (bread & sugar & margarine & cinnamon) and were tasty but not great , oddly I ended up making them 5 times:

Mediterranean Muesli - this was my least favourite recipe - oats, soya milk, apricots & dates. It was OK but a bit tasteless and I won't be bothering to make it again:

Not your average burrito - chicken (I used the tofu chicken from cookin crunk), brown rice, broccoli & vegusto vegan cheese wrapped in a tortilla - it was really delicious and I will make this again in future:

WTF wings - Soya chicken coated in soya sauce, garlic powder & cracker crumbs. These were surprisingly good,  I did overcook them slightly but they were still rather tasty:

Chick'n Nachos - refried beans, chicken, salsa & tortillas. This was really good, a bit basic but full of taste and very filling:

Adapted Chick Magnet Chicken Casserole - not great to look at but lovely to eat :

In a pickle chickpea salad - other than the casserole above this was my favourite recipe (Chickpeas, celery, nooch, onion powder, relish & mayo) it was absolutely delicious and I will be making it again this weekend:

Overall I really liked this book, its not fine dining and the recipes probably won't win any prizes but they were quick, tasty and not too unhealthy, a very useful little book when you work late and need a quick snack/dinner idea.