Tag Archives: cookbook recipe

2017 Cook My Books Challenge: January

This is my cookbook case.

cookbook-shelf

Plus another shelf. Plus another box at my parents’ house that I can’t find room for here. Plus some cookbooks that can be found on my coffee table and bedside table at any time.

I realized after receiving 3 more cookbooks for Christmas that my collection is getting kind of out of hand for our small condo. And what’s worse is that most of them sit collecting dust on the shelf. Come Thursday nights when I start meal planning for the next week, it’s so much easier to just look up ideas online rather than scour through my cookbooks.

So I’ve given myself a challenge for 2017:

This year I will cook at least 3 recipes per month from my cookbooks and post a recap at the end of each month!

I feel like this is pretty doable – and I actually already surpassed it by making 4 recipes from my cookbooks in January! Here’s what I made:

cook-my-books-january

1. Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Coconut Curry from Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon

This was a great easy dinner that was also boyfriend approved (which doesn’t often happen with meatless dinners)! And unlike some curry recipes, the ingredients were fairly simple and easy to find in your regular grocery store.

Unfortunately we ate this too quickly before I could get a good picture – a testament to how good it was!

2. Florentine Bean Soup from Refresh by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston

This made leftovers for days! It was a little bland, but tasted 100x better when I added Herbamare to it. And it was packed full of nutrition with three kinds of legumes, barley, and a healthy dose of greens in there!

bean-soup-refresh-cookbook

3.Roasted Butternut Squash with Grilled Halloumi and Dukkah on Massaged Kale from My New Roots by Sarah Britton

This is easily my favourite dish I’ve made so far in 2017. I mean, anything with halloumi is usually amazing. Have you tried halloumi yet? It’s the most amazing Mediterranean cheese that has the saltiness of feta but a firm, sliceable texture. It’s best when you grill or pan fry it first, which gives it such an addictive quality! Anyways, it worked perfectly in this salad with the flavours of lemony kale, mint, dukkah, and squash.

halloumi-squash-salad-my-new-roots

4. Chicken Tikka Masala from Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver

I’m a total Indian food newbie – I’ve never even been to an Indian restaurant because of my nut allergies. So when Andrea and I got together to cook dinner, I suggested Jamie Oliver’s chicken tikka masala. Jamie says in his cookbook that this is more of an Anglicized version of the dish, and Andrea agreed it wasn’t like the tikka masala she orders at Indian restaurants. But we both still liked it, and I found it got even better after a day in the fridge! It’s a more time consuming recipe since it calls for making your own tikka masala paste from scratch, but that just made it all the more enjoyable.

chicken-tikka-masala-jamie-oliver

Anyone want to join in this challenge with me?! What was the last cookbook recipe you made?

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Cookbook review: Veganomicon

With a huge daily list of blogs I read, Tastespotting, and Pinterest, I have pretty much unlimited access to recipes online. Sometimes I feel like I never need a cookbook again. But I think there’s something special about cookbooks – the hundred of hours of work that goes into them, the vigorous recipe testing, the author’s passion… these are things that you don’t always get with online recipes.

So to encourage myself to use my cookbooks more often, and try out new ones, I’ve decided to start doing cookbook review posts.

Veganomicon review

First up is a review of Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This book is sometimes referred to as the “vegan cooking bible” and I can see why – it is packed with recipes! But before the recipes there are some informational sections to help the reader get started on cooking the recipes:

– Stocking the Veganomicon pantry
– Kitchen equipment
– Cooking and prepping terminology
– Lower fat cooking
– How to cook a vegetable, grain, and beans

Some of this is pretty basic and can be skipped over if you have cooking experience, but I found the cooking guides to be pretty helpful since I can never remember things like water to grain ratios and how to cook beans from scratch!

What I liked about Veganomicon:

  • It contains a lot of recipes
  • It has a variety of recipes, from salads to soups to sauces to desserts
  • The authors’ personalities really shine through
  • There is an index at the back that separates recipes into soy free, low fat, ready in under 45 minutes, and grocery store friendly recipes

What I didn’t like about Veganomicon:

  • There aren’t pictures for every recipe
  • It sometimes uses obscure ingredients like vital wheat gluten, agar powder, and arrowroot powder
  • The recipes may not appeal to everyone, especially people who are wary of eating vegan foods

Recipes I’ve tried from Veganomicon:

1. Cheater baked beans

Veganomicon recipe: Cheater baked beans

These are a faster version of baked beans made using canned beans and natural ingredients like tomato sauce and molasses. I absolutely love baked beans (I have my own version posted here), but I was a bit disappointed by these. The baked bean flavour was a bit off (probably because the flavours don’t have the usual 3-4 hours to develop) and I found them too sweet.

2. Silken mayo dressing

Veganomicon recipe: Vegan mayo with tofu

This is a multifunctional recipe that can be used as a vegan mayo or jazzed up to create other dressings like thousand island dressing or aioli. It’s thinner than real mayo and slightly sweeter, but it still made a decent substitution for mayo on my sandwiches.

3. Lentil salad

Veganomicon recipe: lentil salad

I loved this one! It’s made with French lentils, tomatoes, red onion, carrots and radishes with a Dijon balsamic dressing, which gives it fantastic flavour. I’ll definitely make this one again to use for weekday lunches.

4. Applesauce oat bran muffins

Veganomicon recipe: Applesauce oat bran muffins

These turned out really nice and moist. And I liked the unique spiced flavour that the cardamom added. Even my mom liked them – she couldn’t believe they were vegan!

Overall I think Veganomicon is a great cookbook for someone starting a vegan diet, especially someone who needs some cooking pointers. I liked most of the recipes I tried and will probably cook from it again!

Have you ever tried a recipe from Veganomicon?

Do you find that the explosion of blogs and internet recipe resources means you don’t cook from cookbooks as often?

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What I’ve been cooking lately III

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all the comments on my post yesterday. I was hesitant about publishing it, but all of your words of support made me glad that I did. I hope that by posting about my decision to go to therapy, I can help others realize that we shouldn’t settle for being unhappy. We all deserve happiness, and there’s nothing wrong with getting help to achieve it.

Anyways, today I have another one of my “What I’ve been cooking lately” posts for you. Check it out:

I. I try to eat fish at least once a week, so this week’s fish dish was a Nicoise salad topped with pan fried salmon – I love the combination of olives, potatoes, green beans, and cherry tomatoes in this salad.

Nicoise salad with salmon

II. I took out Veganomicon from the library recently, and I’ve been trying out some recipes from it this week. This vegan mayo I made was slightly thinner than real mayo, but it was still pretty good.

Vegan mayo with tofu

III. I used the above mayo on my tempeh “BLT”. Delicious!

Tempeh BLT vegan

IV. Lately I’ve been loving fresh spring rolls. I stuffed these with marinated tempeh, carrots, cucumber, red pepper, sprouts, and cilantro ginger dressing, and served them with a Sunbutter sauce for dipping. This was probably my favourite meal of the week!

Fresh spring rolls

V. Although I wasn’t happy enough with my cheesecake recipe to share it on the blog on Monday, it was still good enough to eat!

healthier strawberry cheesecake

VI. I think Mexican food at least once a week is pretty much a given for me. This taco salad was made with Mexican spiced black beans, grilled corn, pico de gallo, guacamole, and plain Greek yogurt over romaine lettuce.

Black bean taco salad

This post is part of the What I Ate Wednesday link up on Peas and Crayons. Go check out all the other posts for some foodie inspiration!

What have you been cooking lately?

Do you ever make your own condiments?

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