My Favorite Winter Soup: French Lentil with Tarragon and Thyme (and a Side of Cornbread)

French Lentil Soup

Of all the recipes I’ve made from “Veganomicon” (and there are still a ton that I haven’t made), I’ve probably made this French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme the most. (You can find the recipe here.) The soup comes together really quickly; just chop the onion and carrots and throw it all into a pot to simmer. I like to serve mine with crumbled cornbread on top, making it a hearty and filling meal for a cold winter day.

Enjoy!

Vegan Round-up: Burritos, Meal Planning and Smoked Buns

Caffe LatteI haven’t exactly been living up to my New Year’s resolution of blogging more, have I? Excuses, I have them. But you don’t want to hear those. I hope the New Year is treating you well. Here are a few things I found on the Web to send you off into the weekend. I hope all is well!

I’m making these delicious-looking burritos for our lunches next week.

Where did Vegan Yum Yum go?

I’m curious about Luminous Vegans’ experience with Well Vegan, a vegan meal-planning site. (I still want to make this site more about meal-planning.)

The New York Times has some great recipes if your New Year’s resolution was to go vegan.

Smoked Tofu Buns? Um, yes, please.

Here’s another new vegan cookbook I’d like to add to my collection. Too many to choose from nowadays!

Have you heard? David Bowie is putting out a new album! Here’s the first single (hopefully it won’t get taken down):

Have a great weekend!

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart

Our downstairs neighbors and friends have a Thanksgiving potluck every year, which is always a lot of fun. This year, I decided to bring my family’s Sweet Potato Balls in vegan form, which are practically a dessert. I also decided to bring this Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from “Vegan Pie In The Sky.” The tart is incredibly easy to make; you just need to allow a few hours to make the crust and then let the whole thing set up in the fridge. The authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, warn in the recipe’s introduction that the tart is extremely rich, and, man, they weren’t joking. Granted I was really full from dinner, but I could not finish my slice even though it was really, really delicious.

Also, on a side note, because of family obligations, we’ve decided to have our vegan Thanksgiving feast on Friday, but I will post pictures from the meal soon after. I hope you all are well!

Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping

This is one of my favorite recipes from “Veganomicon” — the picture doesn’t really do it justice. Penne pasta is tossed with a cashew ricotta that is mixed with pumpkin, spices and caramelized onions. Walnuts are toasted with breadcrumbs and sage before being added to the top of the penne mixture. The entire thing is baked in the oven until it’s bubbly and delicious. It’s such a comforting dish.

I was able to find the recipe online here, but the cookbook itself is definitely worth the money.

I hope you all are well!

Vegan Weekly Roundup: Fall Soup, Halloween Treats and Musical Inspiration

I don’t know about you guys, but I am already dreaming of Thanksgiving food. Last year’s feast was a big success, and I’m already planning this year’s menu. In perusing the Web to find recipe ideas, I came across some vegan finds that I think you’ll enjoy. I hope you’re having a great Monday so far.

A simple, healthy fall soup.

A healthy alternative to a stuffed potato.

So happy to see that Lauren Ulm is back to posting on her fabulous site, Vegan Yum Yum.

Cannot wait to pick up Terry Hope Romero’s new cookbook, “Vegan Eats World” (as if I need another cookbook).

No-bake vegan Halloween treats.

Bryant Terry talks about the music that inspires him in the kitchen.

And, finally, here’s a little music to get your week started off right:

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

We’ve been wanting to make these brownies ever since we picked up our copy of “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” a few years ago (sorry for the crappy picture). And these bad boys were made by my husband. I provided the taste testing and they were outrageously good. Rich chocolate brownies are topped with a pumpkin-pie-style topping. It’s a great dessert to follow a pot of chili (I’ll have a recipe for that posted soon), which is how we spent our lazy Sunday. That and back-to-back classic horror movies, such as “The Wolf Man” from 1941.

I love this time of year. I hope you all are well!

Chickpea Cutlets and Lemony Roasted Potatoes

These cutlets are one of the first recipes I made when I first received “Veganomicon.” They really are wonderful, but I still can’t get the shape right. Mine just kind of look like a big blob. I mashed the chickpeas with a potato masher, but, next time, I’m thinking of giving the chickpeas a whirl in the food processor to break them down so that I can form them into neater patties.

As for the Lemony Roasted Potatoes, this was the first time I’ve made them and they will definitely be in our regular recipe rotation. Wedges of potatoes are cooked down in a wonderful broth of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs — super easy to throw together for a weeknight meal. Making them reminded me that I really need to dig back into that cookbook more because there are so many recipes that I still haven’t made.

A dollop of Dijon mixed with Vegenaise made for a nice dipping sauce.

Peruvian Seitan and Potatoes, Yellow Rice with Garlic

Friday night, my husband and I had a wonderful dinner with our downstairs neighbors. We decided to cook out in the backyard and didn’t really plan anything elaborate. We each just brought what we wanted to eat as a couple and shared what food we had.

Tired of the same-old veggie burgers and hot dogs, I decided to make the Peruvian Seitan and Potato Skewers  (you can download the recipe here) and Yellow Rice with Garlic featured in “Viva Vegan!” The Yellow Rice I’ve made before, but the skewers I’ve been wanting to make since I first got the book. And, wow, it did not disappoint.

The pictures you see in this post aren’t of the skewers we put on the grill (it was too dark to take pictures), but of the leftover seitan and vegetables that we cooked in a cast iron skillet the next day. Both cooking techniques produced delicious results. The marinade for the skewers was tangy and spicy, with ancho chile powder, garlic and red wine vinegar, among other ingredients. I only marinated the seitan and veggies about 30 minutes for the cookout, and it was very flavorful. For the leftover dish in the pictures, everything was allowed to marinate overnight.

I really wish I could have taken pictures of the whole meal because, even though we didn’t plan it that way, all of the dishes worked together so perfectly. My neighbors made chicken on the grill, but also brought Calabacitas, a wonderful Southwestern squash and corn dish. They also made a grilled Romaine salad that was so, so good. It was a wonderful way to share an evening with good friends.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Banana-Toffee Pie

Pies are still unfamiliar territory for me. The crust, the filling — it’s all still intimidating. But this Banana-Toffee Pie (found in “Vegan Pie In The Sky“), with the help of a store-bought crust, was really easy to put together and it was really delicious.

The filling is a dulce de leche-like caramel that surrounds slices of banana. Whipped topping and shaved pieces of semi-sweet vegan chocolate are layered on top.

I had originally planned to make the coconut milk whipped topping for this, but I didn’t realize that you need to refrigerate the can of coconut milk a few hours before. So, for a substitute, I used a can of soy whipped cream, which was just okay. It’s very pricey for what you get and it deflated by the time I was ready to serve the pie, which was disappointing.

I will say, the next time I make the pie, in addition to making the topping from scratch, I’m going to double the filling ingredients because it didn’t seem to make enough. Of course, that also could be because I took some out of the pan to eat with a spoon. Yes, it’s that good.

Negimiso Veggie Dog and Wasabi Fries

This Japanese-inspired veggie dog recipe comes from Terry Hope Romero and is featured in the June issue of VegNews magazine. Miso, cabbage, green onions — the flavors sound a bit odd for a hot dog, but they really do work.

For the hot dog itself, I used the Field Roast Frankfurters, which stood up nicely to all the bold flavors. I wasn’t so sure how well miso would work here, but I couldn’t get enough of the miso sauce. It was so good as a condiment for the veggie dog.

For the wasabi fries, I took a shortcut and used Trader Joe’s frozen fries. I coated them with a little bit of oil before baking, and then sprinkled the vinegar and seasoning onto the fries after they came out of the oven. Also, instead of using the aonori seaweed flakes as the recipe suggests, I used dulse flakes that I already had on hand. The fries provided a nice kick to the veggie dogs.

All in all, a nice variation of an old classic that comes together really quickly and would be perfect for a cookout.