Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Fusilli

Spicy Tempeh with Broccoli Rabe and Fusilli

Our youngest son gave me a vegan cookbook for Christmas called Veganomicon by Moskowitz and Romero and I have been reluctant to look at the recipes because, well, they are vegan, and I am trying to avoid that word.  The two cookbooks I received from my middle son and his girlfriend (Plenty and Jerusalem by Ottolenghi) have a lot of vegetarian recipes, but they are not vegan.  Those cookbooks use dairy products and have some meat oriented dishes.  Veganomicon is vegan, pure and simple.  Recently, I decided to expand my vegan recipe repertoire from mostly rice, beans and quinoa to tempeh, so I decided to look at the recipes of Veganomicon and I was pleasantly surprised.  I made this spicy tempeh with broccoli rabe and fusilli (or rotelle) and it was good.  The only comment I would have is that I have found that my tasting partner and I, following the ‘vegan at home diet’, like our foods a little more spicy.  The flavors were delicate and a nice contrast- the crispness of the broccoli rabe, the chewy texture of the tempeh and the fusilli pasta, but it was lacking some oomph.  In the end, we added more balsamic vinegar to the dish and next time I would double the red pepper for more of a punch, but I really liked how the tempeh was steamed in the sauce and the picked up the flavors.  I hope to have more from Veganomicon in later posts.

Recipe after the jump

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini (from A Girl and Her Pig by April Bloomfield and Smitten Kitchen)

Lentil and Chickpea Salad with Feta and Tahini and baked yam

By now you know we have been following a ‘vegan at home’ diet and as a result, most of the web based recipe blogs that I read are now vegetable and vegan based.  One of my favorite blogs in the has been ‘SmittenKitchen’ by Deb Perelman and even though she cooks with meat, I still read her blog regularly and can often adapt her recipes to fit our diet.  This recipe is originally from April Bloomfield’s ' A Girl and Her Pig' but I found it on Smitten Kitchen.  I did make a slight change to the recipe.  I used all the toasted and ground spices even though the original recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon of the combined spices.  I have found with other recipes that I like bold spice flavors and often add more spice than called for.  With this recipe I bought new containers of both coriander and cumin seeds for the freshest flavors.  My tasting partner had an interesting reaction to this meal.  When he saw it plated up, he made a sad face and said ‘‘this is it?’’ and I was tempted to respond “yes, that’s what you get when you eat a vegan diet” but I didn't, I said nothing.  He then tasted it and said “wow, this is fabulous and the baked yam is a wonderful complement”.  I did serve this lentil and chickpea salad with a baked yam and it was delicious.  It does take time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. 

recipe after the jump