Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.

The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint

It was my turn to make the food for my monthly dinner with my neighbors. I was making Asian marinated tofu from Veganomicon and needed a side to go with it. I had planned to make sesame cucumber salad, but found I didn’t have enough cucumbers in my garden. I’ve got a lot of summer squash and mint in my garden right now and my sister has told me repeatedly that she really likes this recipe from Fresh Food Fast. So even though it really wasn’t on theme with Asian tofu, pan-seared summer squash for the win!

If you’re like me and don’t have a griddle, searing the summer squash in round cast iron pans is a bit time consuming. But other than that, this recipe is really easy and comes together fast. I left out the red pepper flakes since I’m avoiding spicy foods. I cut the olive oil in half and the salt by 3/4, which meant I added 1.5 tbsp olive oil and 3/4 tsp of course salt. I think if I was making this for myself instead of guests I’d just use 1 tbsp of oil. But the result was really tasty and my neighbors loved it. One recipe was the perfect amount for three people (plus a 3-year-old who had 1 bite). Surprisingly, it went really well with the Asian tofu, and my neighbor discovered that is was delicious with the tofu on buttered ciabatta to form a funky bahn mi as he called it. Honestly, the funky bahn mi sandwich was so good I’m already craving it again.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash w/ Garlic & Mint

Zucchini-Scallion Chickpea Flour Pancakes

When I was in Germany visiting my sister and her family, Rose made a vegan version of these pancakes (since my mom is vegan and the original recipe has egg). They were so tasty! And since it’s zucchini season in my garden, I thought I’d try to make them.

I made Rose’s original version from her blog with buckwheat flour and egg. Super easy and yummy. Rose made them with dal for dipping, which was surprisingly tasty. But since I’m currently trying to eat low FODMAP, lentils were off the table. Instead, I made them with a cold east African soup from The Ethnic Vegetarian. The combo worked really well!

I made the batter over the weekend and just cooked up the number of pancakes I wanted to each each day right before I ate. This worked really well and I had no issues with the batter keeping all week.

Ian is nervous about eating buckwheat flour, so next time I’m going to try to make a version without the buckwheat and report back. I really liked the buckwheat flavor but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for the texture.

Green Tacos

I needed to use up kale from my garden before it went to seed. And I was in the mood for tacos. So I decided to try this recipe for sweet potato and kale taco filling. The recipe calls for grated sweet potatoes. I was a little skeptical of this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The texture was great in the tacos. The recipe is super fast and easy and very tasty. I made it with this tempeh chorizo recipe and kidney beans. The combo was great. I’ll definitely make this again. In fact I already bought another sweet potato!

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-tacos

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

In my second attempt to make my own desserts, I decided to try a no-bake cookie recipe. I started with this recipe but made a ton of changes. The result was pretty yummy. It makes about 40 cookies that are 100 calories each. Not a bad treat.

1 cup sugar

1/2 butter or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

3/4 cup milk (I used 2% but I think any vegan milk would work fine)

4 1/2 cup oats

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine sugar, milk, and oats in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low, stirring constantly for 20 minutes
  2. Stir in cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, cooking for a couple more minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract
  4. Drop spoonfulls of batter onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Leek, Kale, and Potato Latkes

My kale is starting to go to seed so I was looking for recipes to use it up. But most of the kale recipes I could find were for soups and hearty stews, and with the weather so hot I just couldn’t get in the mood for that. So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for latkes that uses both kale and leeks, two things I had in my garden.

The result was mixed. The first few I made would not hold together. The 1/4 cup flour just wasn’t enough to hold them. So I added an additional 1/3 cup, and that worked much better. The latkes weren’t amazing or anything. And mine were much less beautiful than the ones on the website (which was likely due to a combination of the fact that I didn’t deep fry and my less thin slicing of the veggies). But they were tasty enough and this was a good and unique way to use up late season kale. I think next time I’d add one additional potato.

Hot and Sour Soup

I’d never tried Hot and Sour Soup because usually at restaurants it’s not vegetarian. I’ve always wanted to try it though, so I was excited when I found this recipe from The Woks of Life.

The hardest part of making this recipe was finding the ingredients. I’d never cooked with a number of them, including dried spiced tofu, lily flowers, and wood ear mushrooms. I spent a really long time wandering around my local asian market looking for the ingredients. It took me a particularly long time to realize that dried spiced tofu would be in the refrigerated section with the regular tofu.

Once I had all the ingredients, this was really easy and quick to make. And quite tasty. My only issue was that it was a bit too spicy for me. Next time I made it I’d half the white pepper called for.

Creamy Vegan Potato-Leek Soup

I already had all the ingredients required for this recipe from Isa Does It, so I decided to try it. It was pretty easy to make. The recipe tells you to mash the potatoes after cooking them with a potato masher. But I don’t have a potato masher, so I took out about 1/3 of the cooked mixture and blended them with the immersion blender. It left so potato lumps in, but overall the technique worked alright.

I enjoyed the soup, but it also wasn’t anything special. It was about as good as any potato leek soup I’ve tried. So if you particularly need a vegan version of this classic, this is a good option. But if not, maybe just stick to a standard recipe.

Kabocha Udon Winter Stew

I’ve had Veganomicon for years, but have never made any of the soup recipes in the coobook. However, recently I’ve had luck with the soup recipes in my new Isa Chandra Moskowitz cookbook Isa Does It. So I thought I’d go back to Veganomicon and pick out some soup recipes to try. I started with this recipe for a Japanese-style broth with squash, udon noodles, and tofu because the picture in the book makes it look so appealing.

I used butternut squash instead of kabocha, since I had trouble finding kabocha. Isa says to cook the squash for an extra 15 minutes. But I think this was too long. The squash ended up a little overly soft. I think I would recommend reducing this to an extra 5 minutes.

The broth in the soup was pretty good. My main problem with the recipe was textural. Everything in it was mushy. The only thing chewy was the mushrooms, and there were only a few. The recipe says to cook the noodle as instructed on the package, but this was a mistake because they ended up overdone in the soup. If I made this again I’d undercook the noodles by 3ish minutes to maintain some texture. I’d also double the mushrooms. But I doubt I’d make this again. It just wasn’t good enough.

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=481294

Wild Rice Soup with Browned Seitan Strips

For my birthday this year my friend Ellen got me a new Isa Chandra Moskowitz cookbook called Isa Does It. I’ve been very excited to try some recipes from the book. One of the first recipes I picked out to try was this recipe for soup with wild rice, white beans, and seitan. It stood out to me since I have been looking for more wild rice recipes and I really like seitan.

I used the seitan recipe in the book instead of my usual Simple Seitan recipe from Veganomicon. The seitan didn’t come out as well as it usually does. It was more loosely structured and spongy. In the future I’ll stick with my usual seitan recipe.

I enjoyed this recipe and it was indeed easy to make. It was flavorful and the seitan made it feel like more of a treat. However, I thought it had a bit too much rice and not enough broth. Next time I’d use 3/4 cup of wild rice instead of 1 cup and 7 cups of broth instead of 6.