Thursday, 29 January 2015

Vegan Slow Cooking For 2 Or Just For You Week 1

This is the first week of cooking from this book, I've made 5 things and here's what I thought:

Italian Seitan Coins
These were really good, I would cut down the black pepper in future and maybe add some soy flour to soften the texture but as a basic seitan it was good

Roasted Veggies and Seitan
I found this a bit boring, the flavour was lacking so I ended throwing some extras in (nooch, Bragg's etc) which was a big improvement. It was also supposed to contain Tempeh but I didn't have any so I subbed Italian seitan Coins

Basil and Corn Risotto
This tasted really boring, I ended up adding more extras as with the last recipe but I don't think I will be making this again

Italian Seitan Coins with Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy
Fantastic. I made this previously, loved it back then and still feel the same way now

Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque
This was brilliant, one of the best tomato soup recipes ever. In future I would cut down the amount of basil slightly but other than that it was perfect

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Happy Herbivore Holidays and Gatherings Week 3

This week I have cooked 4 things from this book, I was going to cook the Portobello pot roast but ended up not fancying it - I was sick and comfort food was what I ate most of the time

Thanksgiving Loaf:
This was really quite good, very flavourful and filling. I cheated a bit and used instant mash instead of making my own and it worked really well

Thanksgiving Gravy:
Gravy is one of the things that Happy Herbivore gets spot on, this gravy was brilliant and tasted quite similar to the gravy that comes with Tofurky

Mini Soy Free Quiches:
These tasted really good, they didn't actually turn into quiches rather mushy lumps but still tasted good. If I were to make them again I would certainly use less liquid

Hot Chocolate Muffins:
Again these were really good, I used the smallest amount of Cayanne recommended and it gave them a small warm kick at the end. Really quite enjoyable:

This is my last week cooking from this book, I have enjoyed most of the recipes. Most were filling and full of flavour but I have now started to get a little bored with the book and one my primary criticisms of the book is that a lot of the recipes are borrowed from other Happy Herbivore books. Don't get me wrong, some are very original but if you already have the other books I wouldn't bother buying this as a lot of the recipes have been recycled.
From now on I will be cooking from Vegan slow cooking for 2 or just for you

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Happy Herbivore Holidays and Gatherings Week 2

This week I have cooked 8 recipes from this book and lets start with the bad.

Magical Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Neither of these were great, I burned the magical cookies but that aside both cookies just tasted of apple sauce. I won't be making these again

Carrot Hot Dogs
The less said the better. Not great

A now for the good stuff:

Meatloaf bites
These were pretty tasty and came together really quickly. They didn't knock me off my feet but were a nice change from the norm. I served them with Vegusto seitan, veg, baked potato and Tofurky gravy:

Oatmeal for all occasions
I chose the Back to School PBJ option, it was pretty good but I don't think mixing the jam and peanut butter works well, I think it would be better to mix the peanut butter into the oatmeal and then swirl the jam in.

Skillet Green Bean Casserole
Being English I have never understood the concept of green bean casserole, but I have tried it a few times and this is a pretty good version, its very quick to cook and tastes like mushroom gravy with green beans in

West African Peanut Stew
This is a great recipe, not as good as the version in Nut Butter Universe but this is probably half the calories so taking that into account its pretty damn good, very tasty and filling

PB & J Muffins
These were really great, lovely sponge with a dollop of jam in the middle. The peanut butter taste is not that strong but leaves a lovely after taste. I will be making these again but might try subbing the jam for chocolate spread

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Happy Herbivore Holidays and Gatherings Week 1

This week I have made 7 recipes from this book and here's what I thought

Cauliflower Hot Wings:
I loved these, the flavour was excellent. Not too hot but spicy enough to give a kick

Rueben: This was not the best sandwich I have had but the actual mushroom mix/flavourings was excellent and would be great for flavouring tofu/seitan, but as I served it cold the next day it didn't work as well:

Cowboy Beans and Cornbread
I loved the beans (although I would reduce the chili powder). I will definitely be making these again! The cornbread was good, but a little dry (taking into account the fact that it was almost fat free thats to be expected so it was still a good cornbread recipe):

BBQ Sliders
These were made using cabbage instead of pulled pork, they were OK but didn't really do it for me

Cherry Tart Brownies:
These were really good, next time I may sub the balsamic for water and the molasses for syrup but as they are they were really really good. The recipe should have made 9 servings, but I halved it and it made about 2 1/2 big servings (the one picture only contained 231 calories). I also think the base recipe would be good for other things - eg sub the cherries for dates, cocoa for flour, molasses for syrup/butterscotch and it may make a nice sticky toffee pudding:

Rice Pudding:
Another good recipe! As per the recipe I didn't add sweetner due to the sweetened non dairy milk (Almond in this case) and I did have to add some water to stop it from burning in the pan but this tasted wonderful. I served it for breakfast with sliced banana

As far as this goes, so far so good. Back next week with more...

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2015 & New Challenge

As 2014 is over I was thinking about if I should do a cookbook challenge this year, to be honest they can be quite tiring but I still wanted to try one, so here goes. This year I am going to pick my favourite cookbooks or some of those of that I have not cooked from and I am going to cook every recipe that I want. No restrictions on time (which has restricted the amount of recipes I cooked in the past), it will be a far more relaxed "challenge" but I will hopefully be posting a lot more (weekly rather than monthly) about what I have been cooking that week.
The first book I am cooking from is the new Happy Herbivore book (Holidays and Gatherings). I have started my last 2 years/challenges with a Happy Herbivore book so I thought it would be apt to do the same this year.
This week I am going to be cooking Cauliflower Hot Wings, Cowboy Beans, Cornbread, Reuben and BBQ sliders. I will post a review at the end of the week.

Thursday, 1 January 2015


Happy new year! This is a quick post to wrap up last years cookbook challenge. I cooked from 12 different books (the bigger vegan cookbooks or those with lots of recipes I wanted to try in). So which was my favourite? Thats very hard to decide: Big Vegan, Betty Cooks Vegan, Oh She Glows and Isa Does It were all in the running but the top 3 were:
Vegan Casseroles, Vegan Pizza and my very favourite was American Vegan Kitchen.
American Vegan Kitchen is absolutely fantastic and I think its my favourite cookbook of all, but thats yet to be decided this year which I will be posting about soon.

Also here are a few food photos from this Christmas...
Yule Log

Christmas breakfast

Tofurky Dinner

Yule Log

Christmas night snack

Boxing day dinner

Tofurky, chippy chips and gravy

Cookie salad

New years dinner