Thursday, April 02, 2009

Week of Blogging: Vegan Soul Kitchen

"Vegan Soul Kitchen" by Bryant Terry was one of two new cookbooks to enter my life last week. Instantly Mr. VeganEats&Treats declared that from now on we will refer to this book only as "VSK." All the cool kids are doing it.

So, I set right to work flipping through the pages, looking for recipes I'd like to try out. The first one I made was "Creole Hoppin'-Jean" - a lovely mix of brown basmati, black eyed peas, and Creole spices. The dish is hearty, but not heavy, and has a pleasantness to it. I liked it, but when I followed his suggestion and added some Louisiana hot sauce, I loved it! I'll definitely make this again.

Next up, "Good Green Tempeh Packet" - a mix of tempeh, asparagus, and minced spinach baked in a tinfoil packet. I'm sorry to say, this dish was a serious dud. Did I do something wrong? Suffice it to say, Mr. VeganEats&Treats went and got some beanies and weanies after tasting this. Even more noticeably, our cat Yummers, who is a TOTAL FREAK for asparagus, didn't even ask for any. Truly, that is noteworthy. Something about the methodology of this dish left everything flavorless, even the delicious asparagus straight from the farmers market. I ate it anyway, because I am that way. But I can't say I've been too cheerful about it. This disappointment was especially vexing since the recipe asked for the tempeh to simmer for 1 hour and then roast for 20 minutes... and then bake for 13 minutes. That's a big time sink for something that isn't delicious. Sorry VSK, I won't be making this one again.

But let's end on a positive note. Terry's "Rosemary-Roasted Tofu Cubes" were a great hit with Musty and me! I made them as a side dish to a main course, and so I only made a half batch. Next time I will go a little lighter on the salt and a little heavier on the rosemary, but only a little. I loved this fast and fun way to make tofu, and the crisp/chewy outside with the airy/soft insides were great! They were all devoured, and I'll definitely make these little morsels again!

11 comments:

  1. Ooh, my review copy of VSK arrived today! I'll stay away from the green packet, but the other dishes sound yummy!

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  2. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Yay, I just got this cookbook last week too, so I'm happy to see a post on it! But boo, that is no fun when a time-consuming dish doesn't turn out well. I doubt you did anything wrong - I bet it the multiple cooking methods cooked the flavor out of it by the end.

    I will be making that hoppin' john soon though - good to know about the hot sauce. And also good to be in the know about referring to the book as VSK :-)

    jen e.

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  3. Well, that settles it, now I really must buy this book. The tofu looks absolutely delicious, mmm rosemary!

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  4. Way to add to the pressure to buy this book. :P

    Those little cubes of tofu are so delectable looking!

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  5. mmm, the tempeh & asparagus looks awesome. i have rarely roasted things in foil, but it is a great technique. and i love tofu done in the oven. so good!

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  6. I really want to buy that cookbook. I am trying to wait until summer when I know I will no longer be able to resist the watermelon chapter.

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  7. i'm sorta wanting on this book too, but i just can't decide. it seems like it's gotten pretty mixed reviews. how is it on the gluten free front?

    xo
    kittee

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  8. Anonymous6:48 PM

    mixed reviews? all the reviews that i have read are stellar.

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  9. The Creole Hoppin'-Jean was also the first thing I made, and we really liked it. My husband can't eat things too spicy, but I may have to try the hot sauce on my servings next time.

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  10. Rut roh! I hate when I make a dish that I'm not in to! I got VSK as well & I've had one so-so dish. I need to try some others.

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