Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Love and Other Blogs

Sometimes, to mix things up a bit because we're crazy like that, Rob the Husband and I venture outside of The Kind Diet cookbook and take our chances with vegan recipes from other sources. Blogs are an awesome, awesome place to find some kickass (and sometimes not so kickass) recipes. As much as I love making my way through The Kind Diet recipes (and I estimate at this point I've tried about 2/3 of them), every so often I'll come across a recipe from another blog that looks pretty friggen kickass. With a bit of tweaking, even the non-vegan recipes can work out just swell...

Recipe #1: Soup. Black Bean. Hot. from wilwheaton dot net in exile.

Ah, Wil Wheaton. Seriously, what high school girl growing up in the 90's who happened to be a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation didn't just adore Wesley Crusher? He was completely non-threatening, had the most gorgeous kissable lips (as Ashley Judd was lucky enough to experience for herself...lucky bitch), and could totally rock not only a Star Fleet uniform, but also 24th Century sweater.

Alas, after his Star Trek departure, I went on with my life, only to wonder several years later what had happened to my dearest Wesley. I was thrilled to discover during my internet roaming, that tv's Wil Wheaton had a blog (even though I wasn't entirely sure what a blog was back in 2002) that he maintained himself and updated rather frequently. I've been an avid reader of his ever since, and every so often we get a precious snippet of his home life, which interests me verily. ....holy crap, verily is actually a word...I didn't get the dotted red underlining thing under it like I was expecting as I wrote it. Whadayaknow?

So it was in one of Wil's awesome posts about the every-day little things that go on at home that he shared this recipe for black bean soup. Aside from the clever title (an homage to the great Jean Luc Picard and the way he ordered his tea)...

...Wil's recipe was totally vegan and required no tweaking.

The soup was hearty and delicious. It had a very tangy limey flavour, which was pretty refreshing, and a bit of a contrast to the overall warmth and heartiness of the dish. If sour is not your thing, you can always cut back the lime juice a bit. This soup was definitely a win and will be making a reappearance in my kitchen come cooler weather...definitely a good one to break out in stew season.

The same day I made Wil's soup, Rob the husband was busy experimenting with a recipe he found online as well (I love when he gets all domestic like that). We had been seriously missing mac n'cheese. I mean, seriously. So much so that when we stayed overnight at the Fairmont Pacific Rim for a cheerleading competition in April, we totally cheated and ordered some room service real dairy mac n'cheese because we are weak, weak people. Thankfully, we discovered Daiya and our vegan journey took a very pleasant turn in the direction of even more awesome awesomeness.

Which brings us to Recipe #2...

The same day I was making Wil's soup, Rob found this recipe from a Vancouver vegan blogger for Mac n'Cheese with Daiya, and he proceeded to make it all by himself :) And it was awesome. No, really, I'm serious...this mac n'cheese was AWESOME.

Now, let's be clear...this is not your traditional mac n'cheese...oh no no, this is much more sophisticated. This shit has curry powder in it.

That's right...CURRY POWDER. It's like, Indian-inspired incredibleness.

This dish is so ridiculously addictive and has all the essential properties one would expect from an excellent mac n'cheese dish...the gooey cheesy goodness (thank you Daiya), the slightly crunchy breadcrumby texture (thank you nutritional yeast...which btw is supposed to be crazy good for you), and the satisfaction that comes from eating a truly delicious comfort food. I will bust out this dish for anyone and everyone (as we did at our last very vegan dinner party) is that good.

Needless to say, this was indeed a day of good eatin'...

And now Recipe #3...

When we started the process of our adoption in 2007 I came across this This is written by a mom of ten kids...4 bio and 6 adopted (4 adopted from Ethiopia, which is where we are adopting from). I've been following her quite regularly since then, and in addition to blogging about parenting and frugal living, she is also quite the cook and has even published a cookbook on frugal cooking.

I came across this West African Sweet Potato Soup on her blog and had to try it...I mean, it has PEANUT BUTTER in it. So weird, right? Yah, it was. Weird but good.

This is definitely a more adventurous dish, and probably won't appeal to everyone. It took a bowl or two for Rob the Husband to get on board, but it is really worth trying. The only adjustment I had to make was using Earth Balance instead of butter, so it was an easy recipe to veganize. The peanut butter lends a really rich, deep, unique flavour to the soup, and it is truly unlike anything I've tried before. If you dig Thai peanut sauce, you should appreciate this dish. I'm not sure that I'd make it for company because it is pretty weird, but I will definitely be repeating it for my family as the weather cools down again come fall. It's a really funky soup (funky in a good way!) to have in your arsenal if you want to expand the horizons of your palette.

Her picture is so much prettier than mine :(

Now THAT looks like an appetizing soup. Mine just looks like orange mush. Why did my soup turn out so orange compared to hers? Her veggies are also much more chunky and prominent than mine. Hmmmph. I will definitely be working to try to make my soup look more like this the next time I make it.

Recipe #4...Lentil Cookies.

One of my co-workers has recently started blogging about her journey to healthier living, and she told me about these lentil cookies a couple of months ago. I've had quinoa cookies before, but never of course I was really interested in trying them. I mean, friggen lentils in a cookie? Hells yes. I was definitely thrilled when she posted the recipe on her blog. 

This recipe was also easy to veganize...I once again used Earth Balance in place of the butter, egg replacer instead of the egg, agave nectar instead of sugar, and raisins in place of the chocolate chips (I could have just used vegan chocolate chips, but I didn't really feel like putting chocolate in what was ultimately a breakfast cookie...not this time anyway). When I was mixing all the ingredients together I thought it was all a bit much...a whole cup each of nuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins? But it worked beautifully...these cookies have sooooo much good stuff going on. And like my lovely health-conscious co-worker says, you can do soooo much with them, adding whatever tickles your fancy in terms of nuts & dried fruit. I love the chunky texture...and my mom ABSOLUTELY loved these too. She's not a big fan of anything too sweet, so because this is more of a breakfast cookie instead of a dessert cookie, she gave them a huge thumbs up. 

So there you have it...sharing some yummy stuff from the blogosphere.

Speaking of yummy stuff from the blogosphere...

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch the Canucks win the Stanley Cup.

***edited at 7:20 pm to add...

or not.

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