Monday, March 2, 2009

Adventures in Vegan Cooking

Due to the massive March snowstorm in the Northeast, I have extra time this morning to write a really long post about my adventures in vegan cooking of late. I know; it's not vegan fashion . . . but, vegans have to eat, so I thought I would share. Consider it a brief timeout from the fabulous vegan fashion. I've made all of the following from scratch either from recipes in vegan cookbooks or from recipes I found online and/or invented / changed drastically myself. Get ready for some vegan yum yum!

First, my best creation -- vegan butternut squash soup. This can (right) of pureed butternut squash had been sitting in my pantry for at least 3 months. When I finally took it out, I realized it had a really simple recipe for butternut squash soup on the back of its label that could be easily veganized. So, I switched out the cream for soy creamer (the Silk original) and the butter for soy butter (I use Earth Balance) and omitted the offensive onions and garlic . . . and created a lovely, sweet soup. Here it is on the stove:

The soup ended up a bit more watery than I expected, likely because I switched the cream out for soy creamer. It also was much sweeter than I expected; next time I might use half of the sugar the recipe called for. So, to thicken it up a bit and offset the sugar, I added white rice to it. (I cheated and used one of those ultra-expensive Uncle Ben's ready rice packets.) The final product:

Coming off the vegan cooking high from the soup, I decided to venture into the world of substantial main courses. To start, I made vegan sloppy joes (called "snobby joes" in Veganomican, where I got the recipe from). Basically, its lots of lentils, tomatoes, and veggies with some spices, maple syrup, and yellow mustard. Instead of using offensive onions and garlic, I used green and red peppers. Here it is in the pot; the recipe makes four enormous servings:

For my first meal, I heaped one serving on a hamburger buns (Arnold's). The recipe called for a kaiser roll, but I didn't have any . . . it was great on the bun. For the next three meals, I paired it with Tostitos scoops tortilla chips (I like the baked version). Perfect meals; I'm definitely making this again!

Next, I made a vegan mac and "cheese" casserole using a recipe from Veganomican. It wasn't a smashing success. To be blunt, it was awful, though edible and I slowly have been working my way through the remaining servings. Perhaps I have had real mac and cheese too many times to really enjoy a vegan version. The meal's only saving grace was the peas I mixed into the casserole. The finished product, much of which is still in my fridge:

After the mac and "cheese" failure, I decided to return to my baking roots; I am so much better at baking. I found a recipe for cheddar and scallion scones (really biscuits, I think) via 30 Bucks a Week -- this post. I switched out the butter for soy butter, the egg for egg replacer, and the cheddar cheese for soy cheddar cheese pre-shredded (the Veggie Shreds version). Like Tina at 30 Bucks a Week, I used unsweetened soy milk. The biscuits turned out fabulous. The recipe made 6, but they were so good fresh out of the oven that I ate 2 before I could arrange them for a picture. Here are the remaining 4:
Thanks for a great recipe 30 Bucks a Week!


Anonymous said...

Why didn't I get to see that soup??

Don't be fooled, the mac and cheese was pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I am SO glad the recipe came out well for you. They are crazy tasty (and definitely more like biscuits).