Friday, April 16, 2010

This is a Test

Of the Emergency Deliciousness System. If this had been an actual Deliciousness Emergency, the post you are viewing would include many healthy recipes to shock, amaze and astound. This blog serves the Greater Veganistan area. This concludes this test of the Emergency Deliciousness System.

Sorry, I'm in a silly mood today. That's my longwinded way of saying today's post is going to be all about tester recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowtiz's upcoming low fat and whole foods book, Appetite for Reduction.

Yes, it's April, but I'm still very much in soup-and-stew mode. I'm a sucker for one-pot meals and aside from a crazy heatwave we had a while back, it's pretty chilly around here anyway. So most of these dishes are ugly, but almost all of them are delicious (which is pretty much par for the course around here).

Bistro broccoli chowder:
A pretty basic broccoli soup, with potatoes for creaminess. It's nice and herby, and even my anti-broccoli father said it was "edible" (which means "totally rad" when my father is talking about broccoli). I like that it uses the stems, since I'm never sure what to do with them when they're not included in the recipe and I feel guilty tossing them. One day, I'll Google "broccoli stem recipes" and post all about it. Really.

As long as we're talking about broccoli, here's pasta con broccoli:
Most Italian restaurants have at least one vegan thing on the menu: pasta with garlic, oil and broccoli. This is that, turned up to eleven. Nutritional yeast makes it slightly cheesy and pignolis make it...pine nutty (which is synonymous with fabulous). Happily, this recipe also uses the stems.

Classic black bean and veggie chili:
Oddly, when my family thinks of "vegan food", they think of chili. I think it's because one of the first dishes I made that they tried was the Better Than Basic Chili from Yellow Rose Recipes and they all loved it. So now, whenever I say I'm making dinner, they always ask if I'm making chili. Then they're disappointed when I say no. THEN they actually eat the food and feel stupid for being disappointed because they love whatever non-chili dish I've prepared. That was a roundabout way of saying my family had very high hopes and expectations for this chili. It did not disappoint. The zucchini and carrots made it different from the usual bean and corn fare, while still having enough of both of them in there to keep people from calling it "stew" (the chili powder helped too, of course).

Spinach Lasagna With Cauliflower "Ricotta":
Generalization: low fat vegan lasagnas kick ass. Seriously.

I made the one from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen a couple of years ago and it was divine. Very difficult to stop eating. I had the same problem with this one. People who've never had it may find this hard to believe, but if you squish up some extra firm tofu, there's no need for ricotta cheese. Really. I suppose this could have been fun with something mozzarella-ish overtop, but it's not really necessary. My family, suspicious of cauliflower, was shocked by how much they liked this and how ricotta-like the filling was. All while still being healthy and relatively cheap.

Arabian Lentil And Rice Soup With Cumin And Lemon:
Lemons and lentils and cumin and rice....these are a few of my favorite things!

OK, maybe it doesn't scan as well as "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens," but that doesn't make it any less true. This soup is really thick and hearty (rice AND lentils), almost like a split pea soup, but the lemon surprises your mouth into happiness with every bite.

Veggie Pot Pie Stew with Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits:
I did warn you that some of these pictures would be terrible, right? I know it looks like it's already been eaten, but I'm showing you the picture anyway so you can see how thick this stew is. It's practically solid. Amazing. And with a small biscuit crumbled in instead of a load of pie crust, it's healthier while still being fun. Also, the nutmeg in the biscuits is a total game changer. The only time I've ever had anything like that was the Bajan Soup With Spiced Dumplings from Caribbean Vegan.

Butternut Apple Soup:
A new twist on classic butternut squash soup. Easy and fast to make, delightful to eat.

Sauteed Kasha & Mushrooms With Dill:
Kasha is a staple food in many Jewish homes (including mine). It's often served as kasha varnishkes: kasha with bowtie noodles and usually onions and mushrooms. For healthiness, we skipped the bowties, and I just couldn't get behind kasha without them. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't GOOD, either. It just...was.

But aside from that, pretty much every recipe I've tested from this book so far (over thirty) has been a winner and my belly and I are looking forward to many more.

1 comment:

Babette said...

I got Appetite for reduction for XMas and just tried the lasagna. It was very tasty, and easy to make. Just too bad it doesn't fill an 9x13 pan!