Sunday, May 21, 2006

Vegan with a Vengeance

I was so excited to get this book after hearing about it for so long. I have read about halfway through and just love the author's style. I've marked a bunch of stuff to try but so far have just made these three recipes:

"Fronch" Toast - This is interesting - the batter is made with chickpea flour, cornstarch, soy creamer, and rice milk. Stale italian or french bread is suggested.

My experience: Looks amazingly like french toast - great texture and good taste. I used a baguette that I left out overnight for this recipe which was just the perfect amount of bread. I did not have the soy creamer or rice milk so I used all unsweetened soy milk for both of those. I added a little vanilla to give it flavor. I think next time (and I will definitely make this again - it's so easy! and good) - I would use regular (not unsweetened) soy or rice milk or even vanilla flavored. If I only have the unsweetened soy, I will add more vanilla and some sweetener to give it flavor. If you put maple syrup on your french toast - this will probably not bother you but we top our french toast with applesauce or often just straight butter so I would have liked it to have a little more flavor.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - a basic vegan muffin recipe - ony 1/4 cup sugar which was refreshing as most cookbooks use too much sweetener for my taste.

My experience: Let me tell you what these poor muffins went through. First, I had decided to make the RFD Spelt Mac and Cheese the same night but I saw my jar of poppy seeds so I thought I'd try this muffin recipe too. My girls were excited to help make muffins and I also had the radio going as there was a segment on the local station I wanted to hear. Needless to say, I was a little distracted. I had it in my head that I would need to halve the recipe for the Cheese for the mac and cheese and somehow, I started halving the muffin recipe. Unfortunately, the only thing I halved was the flour. We made up the whole batch and had just finished pouring the batter into the greased muffin tins when it dawned on me why the batter was so watery. Not wanting to waste all that work and ingredients, I dumped the muffin batter back in the bowl. Now you may not have thought if it - but it is really hard to pour batter OUT of a muffin tin - the batter pours in all different directions. So about 3/4 of it made it back into my mixing bowl. As my daughters scooped the spilled batter into their mouths, I added the missing flour and oiled my mini-muffin tins and filled those. So after all that, can you believe the muffins were DELICIOUS! They were. Imagine how good they would taste if I made them right in the first place.

Pumpkin Muffins: Muffins made with pureed pumpkin, spices.

My experience: I had nonvegetarian friends over to dinner and made these muffins along with a bean/barley/vegetable soup. The muffins disappeared quickly - everybody liked them. I varied the recipe slightly - I reduced the sugar from 1 1/4 cups to 1/2 cup which was perfect to go along with soup. For more of a sweet, I think 3/4 cup sugar would be plenty. I also found the batter a little stiff and increased the soy milk from 1/2 cup to 2/3.

Pumpkin Waffles - Spiced waffles made with pureed pumpkin.

My experience: Well - the waffles did not work out too well for me. The batter was fairly easy to whip up. I scooped it into my waffle maker and waited until it stopped steaming (almost 10 minutes) and then I couldn't get the waffle iron open. I pulled and tugged and tugged and tugged. I finally managed to wrench it apart and the waffle was mostly glued to the iron. I finally managed to scrape it out - actually only 1 half stuck - the other half was okay. But very thin and crisp. I tried one more - it took forever to cook and then again was stuck a bit and was thin and crispy. I cooked the rest as pancakes and those were yummy. If anyone has success with these as waffles - please give me your secret. In the meantime, we'll keep eating these as pancakes.

1 comment:

Artie said...

I've made the pumpkin waffles numerous times, and they've always turned out great. I use a Belgian waffle iron, so I don't know if that's the difference. My iron calls for about 1/3 cup of batter per side, then I let them cook until they stop steaming. Also, I will usually spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray after every 2 or 3 waffles to prevent the stickiness.

I've also made the fronch toast, using the creamer, the rice milk, plain soy milk, even a mixture of coconut milk and soy milk (the creamer probably works the best, but they're good all ways). I also like to add a little extra vanilla and cinnamon to the batter. But they are really yummy too.

I'll definitely need to try the lemon poppyseed muffins too. I'll have to try them with the reduced sugar. Thanks!