Posts opgeslagen onder 'Cookbooks'
Remember how Bobby was dying? He was on his last legs. And giving him a little gut-supporting pyjama wasn't enough. He just didn't feel as nice, texture was lost. And stuffing sortoff leaked out through the legs. I was having serious anxiety issues about his leaving me. So after weighing all my options (getting over it, finding a professional to help with either his issues or my issues, learning how to knit) I decided to re-knit him entirely.
I then deconstructed and reconstituted him. It seemed a daunting task, but it turns out the difficulty of knitting round with 4 needles is overrated, as is knitting in general. He hasn't felt this firm since I was 4. I do have to confess that counting the stitches was arduous, and that the first attempt at knitting his nose was different than expected. But in the end, it wasn't that impossible. So now he and I will be together forever! Or in any case as long as I will live and am able to re-knit him when things get tough.
As you can see Bobby is reclining atop some very nicely coloured books, cookbooks: Clean Food and Clean Start. And not all that expensive, considering the photographs and invaluable information. They reminded me of Gezond en Lekker Eten, with some macrobiotic tendencies, but they're certainly more modern (also some nutritional information has been updated in the last printing). It's the food I grew up with, healthy and delicious, only vegan and with really nice pictures. The basic how-to-cook-a-pulse-and-why-is-this-vegetable-good-for-me information is all there. Better than Veganomicon by a mile, as far as I'm concerned, or at least more like how I normally cook or would like to cook when I cook something other then pasta with veggies and salad and tofu.
August 18th, 2012
We can now make Challah without egg in this house. Why? Because we are awesome, and because Jewish people should't have to horribly torture chickens in order to have traditional bread. Yes, I am fully aware that taking the egg out of the Challah sort off undermines the "traditional" in that sentence, but who's to know? Not me, because I've never had proper Challah in my life and the only thing I have to go on was that this version tastes damn good. And eggy. But you'll get that when you mix curucma with orgran no-egg. The color alone makes you think festive thoughts.
As you can see we can also make traditional baguettes and pita bread. How?, you may ask. Well, thanks to one wonderful, nay, brilliant book, which is ridiculously easily veganized. That, and I have some French Vegan Boulangerie book with tips on puff pastry, so it won't be long before we have our won croissants and pains aux chocolat.
We have monday-bread-days at our house, I can highly recommend it. Because two (or actually 6) know more than one, and with the waiting during the rising, it's nice to have people around to have tea with and dance to silly music. What's more, you could just as easily fit this into a busy schedule, but we find baking one afternoon a week to familiarize ourselves with the recipes really works, and it's so much more fun. My mum sold the bread maker. It's substandard compared to actually handcrafted bread.
Anyway, go order How To Bake Bread and you will never be able to stop baking bread.
April 15th, 2012
I'm warning you: this post will be rather self-congratulatory. See, I baked an Alaska. The internet usually overhypes the difficulty of recipes, and probably any gimmicky cook with an ounce of self-respect can out-alaska-bake me in a second. However, their alaskans are not vegan. But mine is, and I'll assure you it'll work just as good. It's not that hard, it just takes some patience and some kitchen gadgets.
It's pretty damn straightforward. You just bake brownies from Vegan Cookies, then top with chocolate ice cream. That ice cream in itself was quite the victory: it's probably the best chocolate ice cream I've ever eaten. In my life. Even beating a strange chocolate-amaretto flavor I once had in Rome, both vegan an non-vegan store bought and, dare I say, my dad's home made chocolate ice cream by a mile. Did I mention it's sugar-free, fiber-rich and full of almondy goodness? I probably shouldn't have, but if you plan on being healthy, you could skip the alaska and go straight for the ice cream.
The same isn't true for the rest of the alaska. Granted, there's no egg or dairy, but it consist mostly of margarine, sugar, white flour and powdered sugar. Also potato starch.
But this is decadent-dessert-time, not health-food-obsession-time. This'd be the perfect recipe for a formal dinner, if you have the time to bake and serve for dessert. As always, I'd advise you to check out Ms. Humbles post first. It's full of useful information, although the baking of our vegan meringue is slightly different from regular meringue in this case. You'll need to bake it slightly longer, until the tops turn brown. The ice cream won't melt if you make sure it's cold to begin with.
The Recipe: Baked Alaska
April 6th, 2012
Today, I'll give you two versions of one recipe: the big traditional one and some smaller deconstructed pieces of heaven.
None of these pies would have been possible without Ms. Humble (or Orgran No-Egg). Ms. Humble's picture of a pie wetting itself, along with her explanation of the internal struggle of the lemon-part of the pie inspires greatness. Read her entire post before you attempt this recipe. And Orgran No-Egg just kicks ass. I adapted/invented this recipe a week before Vegan Pie in the Sky came out and I was deeply worried they'd have me beaten to the punch. They didn't. This is still the best Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie I know of.
This isn't the easiest recipe you'll ever master, so you might want to follow it somewhat carefully. However: once you have mastered it, vegans will worship the ground you walk on, just as those with egg- and gluten-intolerance (if you use GF-crust and certified GF ingredients). Of course I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to use their favorite recipe for the crust. I've taken a new shine to the shortbread tart-shell from Pie in the Sky. If you want it really fancy, blowtorch you meringue, or put it under the broiler for a minute or so. I have yet to meet an omnivore who notices it's egg-less, but I'm not sure if this is what one expects from Lemon Meringue Pie. I've never had a fondness of meringues, but since it could be done, I felt it should be done.
A vegan Baked Alaska, also based on Ms. Humbles instructions, will follow shortly. It turns out it's all so much easier to make than I could ever have imagined. Oh, and the "decontructed pies" were a solution because I had to feed people pie without plates or forks or napkins. So after making a big fancy one I just stacked a second batch onto biscuits and added miniature poofs of meringue.
One last word of warning: don't slice the pie before it's completely cooled. I did. The following mess came about. Once it did finally cool, it sliced beautifully, none of the pie wetting itself business, but by then it was dark, so no pictures. Which was the reason I started slicing way too early in the first place, the impending darkness (otherwise known as twilight, the natural phenomenon, not the pathetic hysterical cultural one). The crust stayed perfectly intact as well. The pie was gone that same evening. It's that good. You'll just have to trust me on the brilliance of the filling. Or rather, trust Ms. Humble on the brilliance of hers. She will not let you down. And neither will Orgran.
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie
March 25th, 2012
I planned on making three cakes. Then my dad made some ice cream. And so there were three kinds of soup, three kinds of bread, two types of spread and 5 desserts. And two kinds of juice. Let's just say there's still some leftover food, but our guests managed to eat quite a lot of it and we love them for it. Also, everybody checked out worm-city and it was glorious.
The most impressive cake of all has now been aptly named Cake of DEATH because it has to be kept away from the person with the nut allergies at all cost. Granted, the sugar free nut-mousses don't pipe as easily and regular frosting, but it still looks rather good and no frosting in the world can beat hazelnut-cocoa-mousse. A little tip: I made the cake on thursday and then froze it. And while gluten free chocolate cake beats regular chocolate cake any day of the week, it won't if you freeze it. It didn't have the texture of brick exactly, but it wasn't as fluffy as I like it. Taste-wise there were no complaints whatsoever. It was just a bit sad because it could've been better. So don't freeze your gluten-free baked goods.
The party itself was awesome fun. I did not know I had such nice friends! They even brought presents (though I'd forbidden it), and all of them were wonderful. I really couldn't pick a favorite. I usually discourage present-giving, because people give awful presents that one has to subtly get rid of, but this year ALL OF THEM were spot on. There is of course a special place in my heart for the yellow-submarine-tea-eggs, but good literature, movies, organics showercream, soap and cream that smells of lemon, and chocolate are never a bad thing. YAAAY!
Oh, what cakes did I make? Well, I made the Babycakes Covers the Classics German Chocolate cake with Cashew and Hazelnut topping and chocolate mustaches made with homemade ganache (no recipe, just rice milk and chocolate). Then there were Peter Berley's Coconut Creme brûlée puddings on which the broiler brûlée failed miserably. They were still lovely lovely puddings. And then there were the Strawberry field Hand Pies. With random homemade lemon glaze. They're from Vegan Pie in the Sky. My sister ate 5. If that isn't an endorsement I don't know what is!
February 20th, 2012
Oyster mushrooms can do anything. They are heavenly delicious in a ragout and, well, in anything. And they cost about their weight in gold, which is expensive for something you're gonna eat. Well, they're worth it, just like almost any good but somewhat expensive food-item. But I did add some button-mushrooms for variety, which turned out great. I just halved or quartered them, and I can definitely recommend it, even when they don't look as cool. It's the only thing I've tried from the books so far, but I'm definitely ready for more. The dessert section is astounding.
The books are spec-ta-cu-lar. Also with regards to health and low-fat, but mostly with regards to taste. Waaaahhh, the taste. It is so fucking amazing. Millennium has 2 books. I wasn't really impressed when we first received The Artful Vegan. I didn't get around to reading it, some of the recipes didn't immediately speak to me, they seemed somewhat farfetched. And then I saw a picture of the kalamari. And had to make them. I did away with the stir fry, and we had it with some rice and the mayonnaise. And that's the brilliance of the millennium cookbook (besides the healthfulness). Almost all the recipes have some component that is outrageously good, and the introduction actively encourages experimentation. For those people looking for something more than a generic recipe to sheepishly follow: get those books, NOW.
Photographing mushrooms pretending to be dead squid is quite the challenge. Photographing that attractively I mean. They don't really do colour, or variety. Just texture. And taste, but I can't capture taste on picture. Go with the Revisited Cashew Mayo, maybe substitute all the vinegar for lemon juice and add zest, and definitely add capers, the mushrooms go wonderfully with capers. But in all fairness, assuming these oysters have anything in common with squid is blasphemy. They do have a chewiness and a deep deep lovely fried taste of succulence, but the squid can't hold a candle to the oyster mushroom. Just remember that. And let the squid swim, swim freely!
November 9th, 2011
I give you: homemade sausage in a french-like beanstew. And (in combination with the sausage) easy as pie, or, you know, bean stew. A pressure cooker will help, but I did it without, no hassle. I don't suggest using canned beans, as they are very salty and taste less like the plain legume.
For the sausage, it's best to watch the video Julie Hasson made. I dislike her commercialism, but all her recipes (except for the biscotti, ughh, horrible biscotti) are outrageously good. I used the recipe from vegan brunch, but it's practically the same as Hasson's (exception: use half a cup of mashed beans instead of chickpea flour, it works wonders). The bean stew is compiled of the left over beans (I started out with 1c dried cannelini beans), and everything else in our fridge, The parsley is so yellow because it's celery, that was the only thing we had on hand.
The things in the fridge were something along the lines of carrot, onion and an old celery stalk. I added some more or less french herb-like-mixture and some canned diced tomatoes. Together with a little broth. The sausages tasted incredible. I used some cheesecloth to steam them, because that's reusable and works equally well. Just be sure to tie it real tight with some string or some elastic bands (elastic is reusable!). The outside won't be as perfectly smooth, but I could hardly tell the difference. Well, at least you're not littering the planet then, that must be worth something. Just cut them up and bake them, or use them whole as a hotdog. With baked onions.
June 30th, 2011
Just today I found out that one of my yoga teachers is gluten intolerant. And I know friends don't let friends drive drunk, but friends also don't let friends suffer through life without gluten-free donuts. I adapted the babycakes recipe slightly to be fully brown-rice flour (no beans!), and I subbed sucanat for the vegan sugar. BTW, all organic sugar is vegan.
I have a slight headache, and very very little time on my hands. But I did munch on the donuts big time, so all was well. I converted all the volumes into grams, just weighing them as I go, because I found that the (im)preciseness of cups is not up to the challenge of gluten free baking. Now that I've got a feel for it, now that I know what to and not to sub, I can go from there, with the gram measurements. Foolproof, every time.
Order the new Babycakes book, it is wonderful. These donuts are a pillowy wonder of crispy flufyness, somewhat soggy, like donuts are supposed to be. I say this with the experience of having eaten one donut in my entire life, about 6 years ago, pre-vegan. Anyways, these are good, especially the cinnamon-sucanat coated ones. Surprisingly deceptive, how something so simple can be so totally gorgeous! That being said, I don't like donuts, I just really like cinnamon-sugar.
Credit to my mom for being hand-model:
I froze the lot of them, because I had a little more than planned (do not double the recipe). Just reheat in toaster (be careful in case of topping, maybe top afterwards). Also: these molds, super-cheap in comparison to other silicone molds and tiny! So you have a proper donut at cookie size, so you can eat endless donuts without getting even slightly fat. Did I mention they're made from brown-rice flour?
June 8th, 2011
Having just beaten the whole "thinking about death and loneliness"-borderline stress-thing, actual family tragedy occurred. It didn't feel right to mourn in public/on the blog, but it also didn't feel ok to write peppy fun stuff about space-craft madeleines when a family member just lost his love. Seeing everybody else deal so gracefully with their loss was a turning point. As it turns out, life goes on (at a incomprehensibly fast pace), even if I'd like it to stop sometimes. Better a sad day with a nice picture, than just a sad day.
So, peppy fun stuff: I got the new Babycakes NYC book. I never mentioned the first one because I was unimpressed and really REALLY dislike the "Buy our stuff because we are so suggestive and horny"-clips (ignoring the surprisingly badly cut uniforms). I find it degrading in the PETA-way. I also feel that food should be decadent and incredible, but food is food, and that's enough of a gift as it is. No distractions necessary. No amount of fluff (or softcore videoclipping) will enhance my enjoyment of a nicely decorated cupcake. I'd just like to say that I like the new book, the recipes seem very good and inspirational. I can't say anything practical about it yet, but with our kitchen in remodel (see following picture of doom), baking is a long way away. It will be difficult: having to grind my own gluten free flour, substituting things for spelt, etc, but it should all come together eventually.
Oh, and I recently procured a lobster (as a gift). A plastic one that is. Probably intended for some horrible display of death in some creepy store with everything that isn't labeled "by-catch", my sister has adopted him as a pet. He goes in the tub, well, basically, he goes everywhere. Did I tell you he squeaks? If that doesn't prove to you that invertebrates have feeling too, then I don't know what will. And yes, I know that that reasoning is faulty, but he's good-looking, you have to give him that!
And I am forgetting something: vegan condoms. I am not going to review those in-depth (excuse me), but I thought I should mention them. We have a few options here in the Netherlands, I found I really like Glyde (the have all kinds of sizes and flavours if you are so inclined, though I have only tried regular). They're different from Durex, maybe a bit more rubbery, and I find I prefer them to the condoms who pretend that they're not there. You can order them online, and in bulk, and they're cheaper then going to your local pharmacy. My current policy is that I'll use the non-vegan ones if a non-vegan partner has them, and vice versa. To non-vegan readers this might be a very strange discussion, but I found it important to share because it is one of those areas where your being vegan overlaps with other people's not being vegan (albeit in an intimate way). It's basically a continuation of eating out together with a non-vegan dinner partner in a vegan-friendly restaurant. If a restaurant (or partner) isn't vegan- (or condom)friendly, run, run like the wind. That's just common sense. I'd just like to point this out because I'd have ordered vegan ones way sooner if I'd known they'd be so affordable and neat. We all need condoms anyway, so why not get the (cruelty-free) best. See, that wasn't awkward at all. And very much in the "life goes on"-spirit of things.
May 6th, 2011