Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Let Them Eat Vegan!

Shame on me! 3 weeks is way too long between posts - so I will make it up to you with a big post with lots of pics!

A few weeks ago I got my copy of LTEV in the mail from amazon.ca. I had pre-ordered it back in oct or nov I think and had been counting down the days for it to arrive. The day it came I spent the afternoon pouring over it and marking down recipes I wanted to try. Of course I want to make pretty much everything in it but a few really caught my eye.

Before we get to the food let me mention a few things about Dreena's latest book. Its the biggest of all her books - which is awesome, all the more recipes to love! And doubling the love for me was that there are no vegan substitutes in this book. No vegan cheese, no earth balance, no vegenaise, nada. I love that. Also there are very few recipes with soy in them. This is great for us because we don't eat much soy. We eat a little tempeh/miso and they very occasional gardein product (2 or 3 times a year) at home and if we are at a thai or vietnamese restaurant we'll have some tofu because they prepare it to perfection but other than that we don't eat soy. Just a personal preference. But we do eat beans - and lots of them. And I have always enjoyed Dreena's books for this reason, her books are pretty bean heavy and this one is no exception. so if your like us and love your beans this book is for you. There are also a lot of gluten free recipes and some raw recipes too.

Ok on to the food!

First up is is the Quinoa Corn Chowder Casserole (or something like that - I don't have my book beside me right now). As soon as I saw this recipe when I flipped through the book the first time I marked it as a first to try. It has all the things my kids love - corn, quinoa, and little white beans. Its super easy to make, I'd say about 10 min to prep everything then it all goes in a 9x13 casserole dish (that I had to borrow from my mom because I seem to have lost mine!) and you leave it bake in the oven for about 50 min, stirring once at the halfway mark. I love dinners that can be popped in the oven and left for awhile so I can prep my salad and such.

This was phenomenal - really and truly phenomenal. Everyone loved it and had seconds with a big green salad. Gabbie took some the next day for lunch and I had a bowl the next two days for lunch. This would be an excellent hearty fall/winter night dish. Make this one - is a perfect 10!

The other day the kids wanted pancakes for lunch. I have always used the pancake recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking - its quick and simple and its never let me down. The pancakes always come out great even thought I always make them with spelt flour. But I wanted to try the Whole Grain Salba Pancakes? from LTEV instead this time. This recipe calls for ground oats, spelt flour, salba or white chia seeds - lots of wholesome ingredients that just boost the nutrition in my opinion. I wasn't sure when I was mixing the batter but they can out great - they are light and fluffy and taste fabulous! What more can you ask for? Even thought they take a few extra minutes to mix up they will be my go to pancake recipe from now on.

I was excited to see a recipe for granola bars in LTEV. I use to buy the natures path ones and they are good but pricey. So I decided to give the Proper Healthy Granola Bars a shot. the only sweetener they use is brown rice syrup which I really like and they have all kinds of super healthy ingredients like hemp seeds and ground white chia. The recipe is versatile - you can add in what you like. I made mine with mini chocolate chips and coconut. I really liked them but the real test was going to be the girls - particularly Gabbie. The verdict? She likes them much better than the natures path ones! She takes one everyday in her lunch and they really keep her fuelled. Yeah for me and my wallet!

When I saw the recipe for the Kids KD soup(?) it looked promising but it had an ingredient that I have never cooked with before. Yes thats right - I am a nooch virgin. Or was. I headed off to the store to pick up some nutritional yeast to make this recipe. I'm not going to lie - I had $15 worth of Sobey's points that I used to buy the nooch incase I didn't like it - then I wouldn't feel too bad about wasting money if it was a bomb. The nooch doesn't smell great and I'm sensitive to smells but I went ahead because every other recipe had turned out so stellar I wanted to give this one a fair shot. I made this soup the night before incase it turned out not too well I'd have time to make something else for supper. I made one change to this recipe and that was to add a head of chopped steamed broc. to it. The verdict - it was actually really, really good! i was very pleasantly surprised by how un-noochy it tasted. It was really more of a broc cheese soup. It was very filling and made about 6 BIG bowlfuls. I have to say thought - I would have eaten this soup without the broc but I don't think anyone else in the family would have. Ollie really didn't like this soup but she is really picky about soup right now - she'll pretty much only eat the monkey minestrone from ED&BV right now which is ok because I love that soup too! I highly recommend this soup though and the broc is a very nice addition. If you've been looking for a good vegan broc cheese soup give this one a try!

Ok I'm saving the best for last. These are the Triple Threat Chocolate Macaroon cookies. Heaven. Pure heaven. My mom used to love and buy these macaroon chocolates all the time when I was little - they looked like hershey kisses but they had coconut in them - anyone know what I'm talking about? These tasted just like those but 100 times better! They also reminded me of a recipe my granny always made special for my dad called moose droppings. Not very vegan sounding I know but they were really good and a special treat we loved to eat whenever we went to grannies house. Thinking back I'm not sure how many of those cookies my dad actually got to eat with the four of us gobbling them up! I think I'll make my dad and batch of these to make it up to him!

Thats it so far. I have a bunch more recipes ear marked and my camera ready so I'll be sure to post more pics and reviews as I go. I know there was some problems with some labeling of the recipes in regards to allergens and that the book is being reprinted so when the new edition is ready make sure you order a copy or ten because this is one book you want to make sure you have. And if you love ice cream you'll love the whole chapter of ice cream recipes!