Having gotten over my irritatingly long illness, I was all set to dive right back into the cookbook challenge with last week’s book, 500 Vegan Recipes. Having found the recipes available online to be few and far between, I decided to wait until my copy arrived to begin. So I waited. And then waited some more. And then the books that I ordered two weeks after it began to arrive, and the week was over. It finally arrived today, just in time to begin the following week. I’ve decided to return to 500 Vegan Recipes after the challenge, since the lateness wasn’t the book’s fault and it deserves a fair go.
But onto this week! I have been, and will continue to be, cooking from American Vegan Kitchen. A flip through the contents page of this book made me feel like I needed to buy one of those little, red, plastic baskets that you see in diners and junk food establishments in the US (my beloved Foodswings comes to mind). Burgers, cheesesteaks, onion rings- it’s all here and it’s not at all healthy-sounding.
For our first meal, I decide to acquiesce to Chadwiko’s near-constant demands for one of his favourite vegan meals, seitan ribs. American Vegan Kitchen has a recipe for sweet garlicky ribs, so I immediately turned to that page.
Unfortunately, I didn’t care for these at all. While the recipe I usually use is fairly simple, this was a lot more complex and for me, the result just wasn’t worth the effort. And while my usual ribs are baked then grilled, these were steamed before being grilled. I’ve never had great success with steaming seitan, and this was no different. The outcome was rubbery and unpleasant. The barbecue sauce, however, was great. My only complaint here is that it made more than I (or anyone) could ever possibly use, which just felt wasteful. I served the ribs with the movie night potato skins, which I loved. I left out the asparagus because Chadwiko hates it, and added chives instead. These were garlicky, creamy and completely delicious. I’ll definitely be making these again- alongside my trusty usual ribs.
Tonight’s meal was a far greater success.
This fettucine alfredo was creamy, slightly tangy and, although not as good as the recipe on Vegan Dad’s blog, was tasty indeed. Since sampling the alfredo at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, which contains broccoli and roasted capsicum, broccoli has always found its way into my homemade alfredos. So this broccoli variation, affectionately dubbed ‘broccalfredo’, in American Vegan Kitchen was always going to appeal to me. Although a little gritty from the unsoaked cashews that refused to smooth out in my food processor, this really hit the spot. I find the Vegan Dad recipe easier, so this probably won’t make its way into my regular meal rotation, but it’s definitely nice for a change.
So far American Vegan Kitchen has been inconsistent, but still has some great potential. And now back in good health, I’ll be here for the challenge!