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Posts Tagged ‘Viva Vegan’

Gallo Pinto
I live mainly of different combos of rice and beans; Viva Vegan has brought another 20, or so variations on that theme into my life. Also, this cookbook has given me a reason to buy the more obscure types of beans from the supermarket that I’ve previously passed over, not being sure what to do with them. (The beans used here are “Central American red beans.”
I’m currently training for a half marathon and starting to get up there in the mileage on my long runs. I’ve gotten to the point where I can no longer fake my way through by just eating whatever I feel like: I notice I get seriously wiped out after my long run if I don’t do some plan ahead and stock up on carbs before a long run and replenish my stores with plenty of high-quality food after.

I figured Gallo Pinto, a Nicaraguan/ Costa Rican takes on this classic combo would serve me well. And it did. I didn’t cook it quite as long as the recipe indicated, so not sure if it perhaps is less mushy than the traditional should be. I liked it this way though. I think the recipe said this would make 6 servings, I ate about 1/2 of the whole batch in one sitting. Hey, I was hungry.

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Spicy Tortilla Casserole with Roasted Poblanos; Classic Cabbage

I’ve had my eye on this recipe out of Viva Vegan for a while. Mostly due to the fact that I had a perfect amount of somewhat stale tortillas sitting in my fridge, left over from the time I made enchiladas, vast amounts of frozen tomatoes from this summer and a shitload of potatoes, thus having most of things on the ingredient list at my disposal. Things that needed to be used, to boot.

This turned out great. I will say that I made the sauce and pine nut crema, roasted the poblanos, as well as boiled the potatoes the night before, which greatly reduced the cooking time. Had I not done that it would have been early evening and I would have been starving by the time lunch was ready. Also, the recipe says 2-3 jalapeƱo peppers and cautions it can get hot. I used 2, de-seeded and for me, this was not at all spicy. The next time I’ll leave the seeds in at least on of the peppers, and probably use a grand total of 3. I found myself dousing this in hot sauce to up the spice.

Also, while the tortillas were pretty old, they’d lived in my fridge and where thus still kinda moist. I left them out under a kitchen towel over night to dry them out and achieve maximum staleness. I think this was a good thing as they held up well in the casserole, I’ve read that other people had problems with the tortillas disintegrating completely. I may also try making the casserole with beans and/or greens and mushrooms next time.

I paired the casserole with another Viva Vegan recipe. “Classic Cabbage” basically a coleslaw with a lime-cliantro vinaigrette. I made the “Cilantro-Citrus Vinaigrette” according to the directions in the book (I made the lime only variation). Next time I will up the proportion of citrus significantly as it wasn’t quite zesty enough for me. Still, I like to make a recipe according to instructions the first time I make it, to see if I might learn something new.

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I’ve been craving a hearty black bean stew lately. I don’t know what it is about black beans, they just seem more lush and filling than any other bean.
Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan is full of recipes I want to cook, but the Portobello Feijoada was calling my name extra loud. I just got a new CSA load and it was one of those things where everything aligned and I happened to have all the necessary ingredients to make exactly what I was craving (minus the Portobellos, which I bought at the store today).

You guys, this dish is fucking delicious!

Portobello feijoada & friends

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So, as mentioned I’m a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) by foods at the moment. I recently bought Viva Vegan a great Latin vegan cookbook, and really want to cook from it,but also don’t want to stock my fridge any extra ingredients beyond what I already have.

So I was leafing through that, and Veganomicon, and contemplating what I needed to “get rid of” including a large stack of chickpea cutlets, that’d frankly take me years to get through were I to eat them all as is. Then it came to me:

Enchiladas!
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Even though I haven’t quite achieved my goal of cooking every recipe in Veganomicon (or any of my many other cookbooks) I broke down and bought two new ones. Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan and Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen. Both of them are chock-full of amazing-looking recipes that I can’t wait to cook. I’ve only done a few from each so far, but they’ve all been great.

I wish my first blog post from Viva Vegan was something more photogenic than this soup, as I’ve cooked several pretty things from it. But, as they say on the Internet: pictures or it didn’t happen.

Anyway. Here’s the soup:

Tropical Pumpkin Soup

I won’t post the recipe, as it’s in the book. But I will say that I used Delicata squash and red-skin potatoes instead of the Calabaza and waxy white potatoes that she suggests. Only because that’s what I got from my CSA share and part of the reason I made this soup was that it was a perfect way to use up a bunch of CSA veggies in one go. The only real seasoning was black pepper, but it still came out very flavorful and spicy (not in a hot way). So try it according to recipe before messing with the spices, is my advice.

Also, she says to blend the soup until completely smooth. I left a few chunks in there, because I like my soup like I like my women… chunky!

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