Posted on January 3, 2009 by Jessica
Here’s some food porn from some recipe testers I did this weekend. They’re recipes from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
Béchamel Sauce over Pommes Anna.
I was curious what the two would be like together and did a combination. Omni-mom really liked the sauce. I wasn’t feeling it.
I used a cake pan I found in the cabinet and later found it that it was my Grandmother’s. That really tugged at my heart. Miss you, Grandma. You were so accomodating of my vegetarianism. Thank you.
Filed under: Food | Tagged: cooking, potato, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 30, 2008 by Jessica
I’m not a huge fan of fake meat cause it’s usually tasting like, um, fake meat. I’ve had this package in my freezer for a while now and finally got up the nerve to try it. Let’s see, I went vegetarian again October 23, so this has been in the freezer since at least February, probably.
They crisped up alright. And the texture was similar to chicken nuggets. The flavor wasn’t exact, of course. It tasted like freezer burn chicken nuggets. Maybe that was because I’ve had them in the freezer for so long? Once I started dipping them in stuff, then they improved drastically. Would it fool someone? I don’t know. I don’t know if I would do that. The only person I would try to fool knows that I’m vegetarian so would know that I’m not fixing her real chicken. This would be more “realistic” (to me) if it were covered in barbecue sauce and/or kept wet with the dip.
No, not vegan because they contain egg and milk.
Will I buy them again? No, I don’t think so. Just not sure why I would. I’m flirting with veganism so the egg and milk would make them “out.” I also don’t think it’s “worth it,” you know?
Filed under: Food, Review | Tagged: chicken, fake meat, fast food, mock meat, quorn, vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 30, 2008 by Jessica
Acorn Squash with Pecan-Cherry Stuffing. Recipe test from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
This dish wasn’t that hard — once you get the darn acorn squash cut in half — to make but is a lovely presentation. I can definitely see serving this with a Fall meal like Thanksgiving. Also, I wonder since you slice up little serving bowls like this, what it would be like to tweak the stuffing for each “bowl.” Hmmm….
Usually I slice my acorn squash length-wise like above, but Dynise’s recipe called for the half-wise so you get a scallop effect. It was easier to cut length-wise. :: grin ::
Filed under: Food, Side | Tagged: side dish, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 29, 2008 by Jessica
Parsnips St. Jacques. Recipe test from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
Delicious! Again, it filled the kitchen (and outside via the exhaust fan) with great aroma. Dynise does a wonderful job of combining flavors in a layering effect, I think. It’s also a good looking dish.
There’s wine! And I don’t know wine, as I said before, so I relied on that shop owner of Wine for Cheese. This is the wine and I thought it was a lovely choice. I thought the wine was good for this dish but it was not unanimous. So be it.
Filed under: Food, Life | Tagged: UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 28, 2008 by Jessica
I had a bag of kale leftover from another recipe. I also had some parsley from another recipe. The great thing about being a recipe tester for a cookbook is trying new stuff! The not-so-great thing about recipe testing is having leftover ingredients waste in the fridge. Pantry soup time!
Black Bean and Kale Soup
I didn’t measure so most of this is guesstimates. Let your own fridge and pantry inspire you.
- 1.5 T Olive oil
- 2? tsp crushed red pepper
- 5+ cloves garlic, minced — I love garlic.
- 2 onions, chopped
- A bag of kale, stems removed, chopped — I guess it was about 4-5 cups.
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 3? tsp oregano
- 3? tsp rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes, then the onion, and then the garlic. Cook till onion is softened. Then add the kale in batches and saute till it wilts down. Add crushed tomato, seasonings, and black beans. Add half the crushed tomato can of water to thin it a little, if needed. Cook for about 15 minutes. Toss in parsley at the end.
Filed under: Food | Tagged: soup, vegan, vegetarian | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 28, 2008 by Jessica
John’s Marinara Sauce. Recipe test from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
My favorite spaghetti sauce was Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti Sauce. No longer! This vegan sauce was delicious, rich, aromatic, and hearty! I served this over some spaghetti noodles with a side salad with Dynise’s basil-flax dressing. She said we could put some nutritional yeast on top but I felt it needed nothing but an appetite.
We’re not supposed to give details but I think it should be alright to say there’s wine in it. That’s quite common. I’m not a drinker so wasn’t sure about what to get. I was also feeling adventurous so stopped at the new, locally run wine shop on the corner called “Wine for Cheese.” They were a pleasure to deal with! I said what I was doing — spaghetti — and he went through the different reds he had. He definitely had a passion and knowledge of wine! I later learned that my mother stopped by the same place a few days ago to get a wine from Georgia (Russia). The gift receiver was very impressed!
Agur Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Filed under: Food, Main | Tagged: italian, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian, wine | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 27, 2008 by Jessica
Sun-dried Pesto. Recipe test from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
I served this spreadable pesto on top of toasted thinly-sliced French bread. This was incredible! The layers of flavor were beautiful. This was supposed to be done with a food processor, but I’m still unsure about Grandma’s food processor so I tried the blender. It worked very well! Who needs a fancy-dancy food processor that takes up precious kitchen room!
Filed under: Food | Tagged: pesto, side dish, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 26, 2008 by Jessica
Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Recipe test from Urban Vegan’s upcoming cookbook The Urban Vegan: 250 Street-Smart, Animal-Free Recipes (publish date: late 2009).
So, you know how this is my first time serving as a tester for a cookbook, right? Well, I recommend the experience to everyone. The only drawback is that I can’t give details. I wish I could say what went in this to show you how surprising it is! Mom, more a meatetarian than I was, was puzzled, which is fun. It was so rich and so delicious with no decadent cream or eggs! It was also my first time making a bread pudding. Dynise made it so easy!
I’m also experimenting around with food photography. I’ve gone from the clamp light to a clamp light with white tissue paper in front of it to diffuse the light. I was going to make a photo studio box but didn’t have the right shaped box. The tissue paper helped, I think. I snapped a few pictures of an acorn squash — that I bought for another test recipe — with clamp lamp with tissue, clamp lamp without tissue, macro setting on the camera (which popped the flash), and the usual no flash with Av setting.
Filed under: Food | Tagged: dessert, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 25, 2008 by Jessica
Tri-color Quinoa, tester from Urban Vegan’s cookbook
I have discovered something. I am not a huge quinoa fan. It’s too mellow for me. Or maybe this was too mellow. This is the second recipe that has been fine but not a repeat. The texture is fine. It’s pretty enough. I want to add BAM! to it, y’know?
Did the same lighting as the previous tester recipe with a reflector clamp lamp.
Filed under: Food, Side | Tagged: quinoa, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 24, 2008 by Jessica
Modular Pakistani Kima from Urban Vegan‘s cookbook.
Oh, how the house smells! This is my favorite so far. And I look forward to taking this to work tomorrow and making the whole floor envious! (Well, those that are still there and not off on vacation.) Silly me. I had this post scheduled and didn’t think about when it would hit. I did take this in on the 23rd. There weren’t nearly enough people to make jealous!
A bit about the photo…. I didn’t get this finished till very late which meant no good lighting in the house. I have a spot light from doing a still life of an apple and pulled that out. I tried directing the light on the dish and then away. Getting better. It’d be even better with some sort of diffuser. Which is more fun? Being a recipe tester for a great cookbook or taking pictures of all the dishes? Yeah, I don’t know either!
Filed under: Food | Tagged: indian, UrbanVegan, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »