So anyway, the other thing I've been doing lately is cooking my way through Viva Vegan
. It's a great book, generally well written and full of interesting sounding recipes, and ingredients I don't often cook with. The first thing I cooked out of it this year was the potato & chickpea enchiladas, which got the response "how is this vegan? it's really tasty!" which is amusingly wrongheaded but flattering nonetheless.
In the last two weeks I've also made the seitan chorizo - look, before i say what i thought, i should qualify that a) I'm not actually vegan and b) pretty much my favourite way of eating animals is as spiced preserved pork products - salami, chorizo, bratwurst from the vic market - all those types of sausages are why i end up being "vegetarian-ish" and not actually vegetarian. so, look, the seitan chorizo is good, sure, but it's not a lot like chorizo. It's the same texture all the way through (chorizo usually has lumps of meat and fat in it) and it's awfully bread-like. Which is unsurprising for something made from flour and spices. The recipe made six sausages, which i put in the freezer - still have one left!
The first meal we ate the chorizo in was caldo verde - a potato soup with leafy green vegies stirred in, and chorizo on the top. I quite liked the soup, but next time might make it with more chilli in or something - it was the tiniest bit bland. I also chopped one chorizo into some chilli sin carne one evening, but it was wasted in there.
The other day I made drunken beans with seitan chorizo - i used two cans of pinto beans so that I could make it after work and not soak and boil the beans for 10 hours or whatever. I also changed the recipe by using a whole can of tomatoes (instead of one cup) and left out the tequila (cause i wasn't going to buy a bottle for the sake of one tablespoon). Really good. Really really tasty. definitely making this again.
I served the drunken beans with yellow rice & garlic - should have broken up the annatto paste more, it was a little lumpy - and simple cabbage salad. I don't even like cabbage much, but i thought i'd give it a try: shredded green cabbage, grated carrot, dressed with cilantro-citrus vinagrette. and it was so good! so tasty. now i kind of want cabbage in the vegie box next week so that i can make this again! The recipes were written to serve six; we got two serves of leftovers and still both of us ate so much it was almost painful.
Last week I made the chimmichurri baked tofu, brazilian orange rice, and silverbeet with raisins and capers. The rice and the silverbeet were good - the silverbeet particularly is on my "make it again!" list - but the chimmichurri baked tofu seemed like a lot of effort for not a particularly great result. I'd like to try the other baked tofu recipes, still, but I wasn't particularly impressed by this one.
Actually all the baked tofu recipes seem to be a little awkward: one bakes the tofu for about twenty minutes, and then coats them with the marinade/sauce and bakes it for another 20-30 minutes. It seems to me that that's only good enough to have the flavour around the edges of the tofu and not really all the way through! But the ppk forums are pretty enthusiastic about the orange mojo baked tofu so I'll give that a go soon.
I've also made the quick red posole twice now - once for just two people and once for four. the cans of hominy i can buy in melbourne are twice the size of the ones called for in the recipe, so when i served it for four i just used the whole can. Actually I should have upped the beans when making it for four too - to be honest i can't remember if there were leftovers when i made it as written for just me and danni! but the quick red posole is totally on our make again and again and again list, and I've even got a couple extra cans of hominy in the pantry so that i don't have to keep going back to johnston st (which makes it considerably less quick). new fact this year: hominy is actually really tasty! it's just corn, but processed in such a way as to make the kernals both fluffy and chewy, and it is delicious in a tomatoey-beany soup with avocado and chilli and corn chips on top.
on the weekend i'm going to make tamales, i hope: red chile seitan and veggie mole. The thing about a lot of these recipes is the other recipes you have to make first: for example, the enchiladas way back in march required green tomatillo salsa (which is pretty simple - things in a blender, then cooked up a little) and pine nut crema (which is even more simple - things in a blender, then left until the next day), but it means you have to keep flicking back and forth between different chapters to put together your shopping list and plans, and that you often have to prepare part of the meal the day before you eat the rest of it. I find it a little off putting, and it's why I've mostly stuck to the simpler recipes so far. but not now! tonight i shall make steamed red seitan, red chile sauce and mole sauce, and then tomorrow make fillings, and then make the tamales themselves. And then our freezer shall be full of delicious foods! conceivably i will even get danni to take pictures and then do a real food blog for it.