Week 52: Something Old and Something New

This time of year is a time of reflection on the year gone by and hope for the year ahead.  That said, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!  To be fair to Week 52’s recipes I’ll reserve this post for the Challenge at hand and plan to write more on reflections and hopes in a separate New Year’s post.

IMG_5653I was looking for a gingerbread pancake recipe for Christmas morning and discovered this Whole Wheat Vegan version.  The batter was very thin when prepared as written and wasn’t cooking up as I’d hoped so I added some additional whole wheat pastry flour until the batter reached a consistency I was expecting of a pancake batter, maybe an additional 1/3-1/2 cup.  The additional flour did the trick and the pancakes were perfect in texture, light and fluffy.  The flavors were also wonderful and, as expected, reminiscent of gingerbread with molasses and spice.

My omni parents were coming Christmas Eve to open prezzies and have lunch and I wanted at least part of our meal to be plant based.  After perusing cookbooks I decided on Veganomicon’s Creamy Tomato Soup.  This soup is delicious; it’s packed with flavor and not too acidic, a downfall of some tomato based soups.  The creamy in this lovely soup comes from potatoes, I used yukon gold, blended into the soup at the end.    I think the key to the flavor is the sun-dried tomatoes that add some depth to the canned crushed tomatoes.  It was a very easy soup to prepare ahead and reheat in the crockpot.

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I was very excited to receive Veganomicon author Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new book , Isa Does It from my Secret Santa this year.  My cousin’s and I made our first attempt at Elfster for a Campbell Cousin Secret Santa.  The site makes it a bit easier in that it does the draw for you (and you can set up rules such that certain people, in our case spouses and siblings, don’t draw each other).  My first impression of this book is that it is AWESOME!  It is a large, dense, packed with recipes, serious, cookbook.  Pictures, why yes, there are tons of lovely pictures, and the wit you expect from Isa that makes it fun to read.  In my post-Christmas day of rest I perused this new lovely as I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary (a New Year’s tradition) trying to decide what to make first.  It was an easy decision…Scrambled Chickpeas.

I’ve written before about the hardest thing to give up since transitioning to a whole food plant based diet; it was a bit surprising to me that eggs would be the most difficult.  I love a good egg and most substitutes involve tofu, for which I have yet to find a recipe that I like (let alone love).  There it was on page 250 of Isa Does It, a breakfast scramble that is not tofu but chickpea based –  mashed just enough to appear scrambled while still holding onto some texture.  This recipe inspired my Saturday breakfast.  To make it a diner-worthy weekend breakfast I added Cajun Home Fries from the first Happy Herbivore Cookbook and a piece of rye toast.  

The scramble is perfection! A wonderful texture, egg-like color from turmeric, and flavorful from red onion, garlic and dill.  Adding the cajun home fries and a splash of hot sauce made for a weekend treat.  The Cajun Home Fries have all the flavor of good diner home fries without the grease.  The dish as a whole probably took about 30 minutes start to finish, which is longer than I usually spend on breakfast.  However, it was a simple and minimal ingredient enough to prepare pre-coffee.  This will be made often (albeit on a weekend).

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As I started thinking about how to write up this post and realized I had an old and new recipe from Isa and a brand spanking new cookbook from Happy Herbivore; it seemed perfect to add a Light & Lean recipe to complete Week 52 and come full circle in my final week post of endings and beginnings.  Having made hundreds of cookies (quite literally) but given them all away leaving not a single sweet treat in the house post-holiday, it seemed appropriate to peruse Light & Lean for a whole food plant based dessert.  Ruby Chocolate Muffins are 105 calorie whole wheat muffins just sweet enough to satisfy a craving.  These muffins are moist, light and not too sweet.Cranberries inspire the ruby namesake and add a nice tartness to accompany the chocolate.

IMG_5663[Beautiful mug was another Christmas gift purchased by a dear friend from a local artist, Paula Focazio Art & Design]

New Recipes Made This Week: 5

New Recipe Tally 2013: 153

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