Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Well we've got the land but they've got the view.

For Christmas I was hoping to get the new cookbook from Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Luckily - my husband is a great gift-giver and I received it! Between moving, I haven't gotten a chance to make as many recipes as I'd like - but the few that I have made so far from Isa Does It have been amazing. I didn't have any doubts that they would be.

I've been a huge fan of Isa since Veganomicon when I first went vegan in 2009 - Blast from the past when first cooking with Veganomicon. Since then I've fallen in love with her dessert books - Vegan Cupcakes take over the world, Vegan Cookies invade the cookie jar.. and my favorite for dinners that never disappoint - Appetite for Reduction.

You might say I have a #wcw on Isa...
Onto the recipes!

First up I wanted to try a simple and warm recipe. The Lentil-Quinoa Stew (with Lots of Kale) stuck out to me since it was ingredients I knew I had on hand and sounded very comforting. Although I am not a fan of kale (but sure have I tried to be!) I knew I could alter this recipe to be something that would be great for a weeknight meal.

I made a few alterations, which I've included in this recipe:

Lentil-Bulgar Stew (adapted from Isa Does It):
Serves 6
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme
6 c vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
3/4 c dry lentils
1 c bulgar
1/2 t ground pepper
1 bag of spinach
1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray or use water to coat the pan for cooking. Saute the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, then add the thyme and Italian seasoning. Add the broth, bay leaf, carrots, celery, lentils, bulgar, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. Add the spinach and stir frequently until it is wilted. Add balsamic vinegar, taste for salt, and let the stew sit for 10 minutes or so off the heat. Thin with water/broth if necessary, and serve.

As per most of my dishes, hot sauce was already on the table and ready when this was finished - so add to your own liking.

As previous posts have shown, waffles are very common in our house. Usually on weekends we are home, Sundays = Waffles in the morning. Isa had a great recipe that I read reviews on stating they were the "best pancakes ever" I knew I had to disrupt our waffle theme.

Vegan Pancakes (adapted from Puffy Pillow Pancakes from Isa Does It):
Makes 6 pancakes
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 truvia packet
1 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and truvia. Make a well in the center. measure the milk into a small bowl. Add the vinegar and Ener-G, use a fork to vigorously mix the ingredients until foamy. Pour the milk mix into the center of dry ingredients. Add the water, apple sauce, and vanilla and use a fork to mix until a thick, lumpy batter forms. It doesn't need to be smooth - just make sure all ingredients are mixed.
Preheat a pan or griddle over medium-low heat and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray. Add 1/3 cup of the batter to the pan and cook for 4 minutes until puffy. Flip the pancake, adding new spray if needed and cook another 3 minutes. Let them rest on a cooling rack with aluminum foil until ready to serve.

After making these, I remembered why I prefer waffles - SO much easier to cook. I was not gifted with the flipping of pancake talent, luckily Jason is better at it than I am so he took on that job. Waffles are way easier since they just sit in the iron and the light turns green when they are ready. :)

One final recipe to review from Isa Does It is her Tempeh Giardino. We are not tempeh fans - although my older posts may have said differently - so I knew I wanted to recreate this dish using tofu.

Tofu Giardino (adapted from Isa Does it):
Serves 4
1 block of tofu, pressed and then cut into smaller cubes
1/2 t salt
1 small red onion, diced
1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise and into 1/4" thick moons
1 zucchini squash, cut lengthwise and into 1/4" moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomat
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Preheat large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the tofu with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned, tossing frequently.
Add the onion and sauté for another 3 minutes - adding water if needed to prevent burning. After translucent, transfer tofu and onion to a large bowl.
Spray pan again and add zucchini and squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing frequently until lightly browned. Move squash to one side and add more cooking spray along with minced garlic. Work quickly so garlic doesn't burn, add chopped tomato to garlic and salt and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minutes then toss the squash and add the tofu and onion back in pan. Mix everything, add the basil, and cook for another 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.

Although we made this recipe in January - it would definitely be perfect for a light spring/summer dish! I'm excited to try it again with more in season tomatoes and produce.

Other honorable mentions from Isa Does It that are not shown:
Pesto Soup, Baked Garlic Curry Fries, Sun-Dried Tomato Penne, Chana Masala, and Alphabet Soup.

I know my next go-to will be her Malai Kafta, which is Jason's favorite indian dish. I feel it will be a great weekend dinner that I know we will love. :)

No comments: