I guess it really is shifting into autumn, because I've been wearing socks and thinking about soup. About three days ago, we went - literally overnight - from flip flops and tank tops to scarves and fleeces! So... tonight I made a HUGE pot of delicious minestrone soup. It's so good. It's based on the "Classic Minestrone Soup" from "Vegan Mediterranean Kitchen." I love that cookbook. It's got homemade broth, shell pasta, kale, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, green beans, tomatoes, herbs, potatoes, summer squash, and cabbage. Mmmm! It really hit the spot.
Musty's been out of town this weekend... so I've been eating lots of kale! YUM. These are the Porcini Pesto & Tofu Ricotta ravioli that I made a while back. They've been hiding out in the freezer waiting for me to eat them. They are super flavorful and salty on their own, so I just drizzled on a tiny bit of olive oil and ate tham like that.
Some time last week I finally busted this Tofurky out of the freezer and into the oven! I got this Tofurky a long while back - the whole "tofurky meal" was $.99 How could I pass that up? Well... in truth, even with such a good deal, it was a far cry from our favorite meal of the week. Tofurky is generally okay, but after eating so many whole foods, it tastes super processed to me. The "dumplings" were a bit odd - sweet and of undetermined origin. Of course I made up a big bowl of roasted veggies too, and that was our favorite part of the dinner. If you're ever looking for a quick premade "roast" thingee, I can't say I'd recommend the Tofurkey dinner - instead I'd definitely recommend the Celebration Field Roast. Now that little baby is tasty!
We're getting SO MANY delicious cherry tomatoes from our garden... so I made a wonderful pasta sauce with loads of cherry tomatoes.
I also made an old favorite dish of ours... Beet Risotto. This is from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison. This wasn't the best batch because my beets weren't fresh enough... so it wasn't as intensely BEETY as it sometimes is. Still, if you like beets, I really recommend this recipe.A fun food first! We have a nice veg restaurant near our house called Dharma's. They have a Tempeh Reuben Sandwich on the menu, which I had heard good things about. However, I had never tasted sauerkraut before, and I had never even had a "genuine" Reuben sandwich... So I was nervous about trying something new. But! You only live once! So I took the plunge! And, I have to say I really loved it and I will definitely order it again. Yumola!
Another Food First! I made a delicious batch of Bhindi Masala - my first time ever cooking with okra! And.... it turned out so well! I used this recipe, and it was pretty easy to follow. A few tips - "jeera" = cumin seeds. Also, it takes about 35 minutes, not ten minutes. And the cooking part at the end, I did for 20 min, rather than 10 min. I really recommend this recipe. Very good & easy.
So, how many times could I look at Celine's blog before breaking down?! It was bound to happen. These are her amazing peanut butter cookies... and they were SO FREAKING GOOD. They're thick and moist and flavorful... I was having some sort of peanut butter cookie cravings and these buddies really hit the spot.
Our apple tree is very busy right now! Making lots and lots of apples. The warm winter and summer that we had this year was very good for fruit production and pretty much all fruit trees around here are going nuts. But, they're also early. I just happened to go out behind Musty's guitar workshop, where the apple tree lives, and there were a bunch of apples on the ground! Just to give you an idea, in the past I have made our family's Thanksgiving pies with apples from our tree. Whoa!
As I'm sure some of you know, an apple tree is quite a blessing, but it sure can keep you busy. I go out once every few days, pick up the rotten ones, and sort out the salvagable ones. I have to cut out lots of worms and bugs and rotten bits. Usually I make applesauce, but there is only so much applesauce you can eat in a year. One of my friends gave me a new idea...
One of my favorite things about moderating a Yoga Book Club, is that every time we get together I get to do a bunch of baking! I've had my eye on these for a while, and they were super delicious... they're Celine's Black Forest Cookies. Thanks for so many amazing recipes Celine - you ROCK!
In addition to the cookies, I also made a "Fresh Apple Cake" for bookclub. WOW. This recipe is from a book called "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures." I think "QVP" was the first cookbook I ever bought and it was one of my very favorites for many years. It's pretty heavy on cheese, but I still find that most of the recipes are just as good without the cheese. In any case, this cake was easy to veganize - all I needed was some EnerG egg replacer instead of 3 eggs & I was good to go.
It's a really good cake - and it uses up 5 apples, so that's important too! It's a super moist and delicious cake... you put in some batter, layer on some apples, more batter, more apples, and more batter. I had some trouble getting it out of the bundt pan... but I pieced it together & it was so insanely good that no one cared. Ha!
Maybe I'll actually post a few times this week... but either way, next weekend I'm heading up to the San Francisco Vegetarian Society's big World Vegetarian Day celebration. I haven't been able to go in the past, so I am really looking forward to it! I'll be sure to blog about that in full detail.