I'm trying to get back in the swing of things with the #VegCookbookClub, and this month's selection was the perfect one for me, since I already owned Mayim Bialik's Mayim's Vegan Table, and was looking forward to trying it. I also knew I wasn't traveling the entire first half of the month, so I'd be in the position to be *able* to cook at home. Which isn't always the case.
So, I'm pleased to say I got off to a roraring good start and made four, count 'em four recipes from Mayim's Vegan Table last week. I did my usual poor planning and #lazycook approach that frivolously substitutes and omits ingredients, but all in all, all four recipes came out pretty well.
The first picture above is of the Tofu and Vegetables Curry. The recipe makes a LOT of food, in fact I had to move to a bigger pot mid-prep, because I understimated how much it would make.
My #lazychef approach:
I substituted coconut oil for canola oil.
I omitted the cinnamon stick and lime juice, as I didn't have any.
I omitted the cilantro, since I have an allergic reaction when I eat it (and I'm beginning to think coriander (cilantro's seed) does the same!
And I really didn't measure the sweet potato.
When I filled the (now bigger) pot with all the vegetables, it really didn't seem like enough liquid to adequately simmer it all (perhaps I had too much sweet potato?) so I added an extra cup or two of water.
Anyway, it was super-easy, didn't take tooooo long, and very subtly spicy. It suggestt serving it over rice or noodles, but I pretty much ate it like soup or stew, on its own. I'd make it again.
I also made the Creamy Enchilada Casserole, pictured at left. This also made a large number of servings. Her book is geared towards families, but the portion sizing also makes it perfect for someone like me, who can cook a dish for dinner one night, then bring servings of that same dish to work for lunch for another day or two.
My #lazychef approach:
I of course used way more than one garlic clove, I mean WHO can you just one garlic clover?
I chose to use the black beans (not a #lazychef thing, but just thought I'd share what I used)
Again omitted cilantro, because yuk
Also omitted the oregano, because I don't like oregano that much to begin with and *definitely* don't think it belongs in a Mexican-inspired dish.
I used corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas for the layers. Just cause.
For the cheese sauce I chose soy milk out of the mil choices offered.
And here's the biggest #lazyweb substitution of all. The recipe called for a package of Daiya shredded cheddar, and I had a package I had opened and used a bit of in the fridge, so I hadn't bothered to buy more. But I realized that was probably WEEKS ago, because that Daiya had died-a. Luckily I had some other vegan cheese in my fridge...a new brand called Door 86 (that started as a Kickstarter project, from what I can tell). The flavor I ahd that seemed most apropos for the dish was not the Sriricha Cheddar that I had gobbled up earlier, and not the Candied Lemon Cashew Cheese that I still had some of, but the only other flavor I ahd left, the Gruyere. So I used that.
I think the cheese choice (and the fact that Door 86 is probably not as focused on melting applications as Daiya) was problematic. But when heating up the sauce I just added a bit of nutritional yeast, and in the end the sauce was fine, the overall flavor of the casserole was fine, and I even served it to a non-vegan friend, who liked it. I *might* make this again, but would probably use a slightly smaller casserole dish (so it would turn out thicker) and use the called-for cheese option.
The other two recipes I made, I ate them up without remembering to take photos. This is how you know I'm not the best food blogger. Or even, really, a food blogger :)
First I made the Corn and Black Bean Salad. It's pretty much corn, black beans, and hearts of palm...hard to go wrong with those ingredients. The dressing, however, is vegenaise-based, and frankly I would have probably preferred some kind of salsa dressing or sesame dressing. I like vegenaise in appropriate mayonnaise-y situations, like in my mock tuna salad, but I've never been a mayonnaise-y salad dressing gal, so this didn't totally float my boat.
The other dish I made that I didn't snap was the Udon with Edamame and Peanut Sauce. Again, kind of hard to go wrong! I used rice noodles i had on hand, rather than actual udon noodles, but this was a very simple and flavorful dish. Blending up the peanut sauce in my VitaMix was a piece of cake. I can see how the sauce might have been a little less powerful with heariter udon noodles, but I don't mind a powerful peanut sauce :)
As always, you can count on the fact that I leave cilantro out. And you know another #lazychef thing I regularly do? I don't grate things. I hate grating things. So I just chop up the carrots pretty fine, btu don't grate them. Same for ginger. Same for, well, anything.
I'm happy I got off to such a good start on this month's #vegcookbookclub sselection. Now I'm off to plan what I'll make in week two. Because on April 16th I leave for some travel, and I don't think I'll be cooking much the second half of the month!