It’s kind of hard to think about comforting winter soups when it’s going to be near 70 degrees today. But it looks like winter temps are headed our way again, at least for night, so I can go ahead and plot my next soup. This week I made Lentils and Pastina Soup from Vegan Italiano. It had all the standard ingredients you’d expect to find in your basic lentil soup. I used orzo for the small pasta and it adds a nice texture difference in your mouth when slurping it down.
Thought I’d better get a shot of this banana bread before it disappears. As you can see, that’ll be really soon. I have bounced around and tried many different banana bread recipes. Usually making banana bread is spur of the moment. (oh shit, those bananas are about to liquify. guess i’m not going to eat them. time for banana bread!) So, which recipe I use is generally dependant on ingredients I have on hand. This one is from How It All Vegan and is probably one of the best I’ve made. It’s moist on the inside, browned on the outside. No spices involved so it really focuses on the banans. The recipe called for dates but I used walnuts instead. And it includes wheat germ which doesn’t hippy it up at all…you don’t even notice it after it’s baked.
If you want an impressive dessert you can whip up from staples that are easy to keep on hand, this chocolate strudel from Vegan Italiano is for you. It’s really just confectioners’ sugar, baking chocolate, almonds or walnuts and a sheet of puff pastry. And if you remember what eating chocolate filled croissants was like, it’s kind of like that.
If you’re one of those vegetarians/vegans who doesn’t get into fake meats, tofu, seitan, etc. you’ll love Vegan Italiano. It sticks to mostly naturally vegan classic Italian recipes. I’ve also made the Ligurian Basil Pesto which came out quite nice. But then I’ve never met a pesto that I didn’t like. Also, with as many cookbooks as I have, sometimes they start to look alike. A lot of recipe repetition. This one has enough new and different (to me) recipes that I’ll get plenty of use out of it.
I like the french toast in Vegan Vittles and have made that a number of times in the past. But I hadn’t tried the Fronch Toast in Vegan With A Vengeance yet. Fronch Toast is a good alternative if you don’t like nutritional yeast which is used in the Vegan Vittles recipe. When I whipped up the batter, I was a little concerned because it tasted like the corn starch. But once they were fried up that taste disappeared. I almost think the Fronch Toast fries up a little crispier than the Vegan Vittles recipe. But I do love the nutritional yeast flavor. Maybe next time I’ll throw a little bit in the Fronch Toast recipe and have the best of both. The batter keeps well in the refrigerator and I ate it all up as leftovers. Oh yeah, and there’s the applesauce I made to go with the latkes. I think I’m going to need to freeze some. I’ve still got a ton of it. Good think I halved the recipe.
Before Hanukkah runs out, I thought I’d get in a batch of latkes. I used the recipe from The Candle Cafe Cookbook and also made their applesauce earlier this week. I was very skeptical that they’d stay together, but sure enough, once the first side browned, it was a pattie. The recipe made a ton of latkes. I ate four with the homemade applesauce on top and a mess of steamed broccoli for dinner. I froze 10 and have 10 more in the fridge. I was drinking wine while flipping latkes and it did make the time pass a bit quicker and I was nicely toasted by the time I got to the last batch. I think over the next week off, I’ll try to stock the freezer with a few things for quick dinners like tofu patties etc. Guess I should start deciding what to make.