I realized that recently I haven't posted much about food. How can this be?!
So as I've done in the past couple of months, I'm giving you a list of recipes and links that we've liked since the 2nd semester started. All of these were successful, though not always by the same standards.
Dilly Stew with Dumplings from the PPK.
This was a combination of things I love: rosemary, biscuits, dill, and creamy stew. The roux makes it seem like it has cream in it and the biscuits, carrots, and potatoes soak it up while they cook. John was skeptical of this recipe because apparently he "doesn't like chicken n' dumplins" (what kind of southerner is he?!), but he loved this. We both did. Served with a salad, I didn't feel bad about eating several creamy-coated dumplings.
Italian Seiten Sausages with Tomto Sauce. The sausages are from the PPK and are also in her Vegan Brunch cookbook.
Sometimes John and I just have pasta with jarred sauce for dinner, sometimes with a few added veggies like mushrooms and zucchini. And sometimes it falls so flat as to be unappetizing. But this dinner was really great. The Italian version of the PPK sausages is wonderful and spicy with the right amount of red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. We fried them separately in a pan before adding them to the top of this jarred pasta sauce with zucchini and 'shrooms. All the flavors worked together so well, and the sausage turned out just right. Yes, the involved several steps and a bunch of ingredients, but most of the cooking just involves steaming them and walking away. Two thumbs WAY up for this meal.
Peanut Butter Swirl Pancakes from Oh She Glows.
These were my reward for losing 2 pounds since Christmas. I have a ways to go before I meet my ideal weight range, but it's do-able. Last time I lost a bunch of weight, about 2 years ago, I limited dessert to once per week - and then I made a point of eating something awesome, like cupcakes "for my students." So these pancakes were the treat recently. I made them on a Friday night for breakfast-for-dinner, and they turned out well! The first couple of swirls I made were too big because I cut too big a hole in the bag. But when I needed a second batch of the swirl, the hole was smaller and the designs were more manageable. Also, who knew that peanut butter combined with applesauce turns into peanut butter frosting? That's exactly what it tastes like. Add a few chocolate chips to this and you'd have actual dessert, aka, My Usual Method for Making Pancakes for Dinner.
Orange Cranberry Lentil Quinoa Loaf and Mashed Potatoes from Daily Garnish.
First, the mashed potatoes weren't from DG - I made them up. And they were decidedly not vegan, with a couple tbs butter, a splash of milk, and about 2 tbs Greek yogurt (I know people always say it tastes like sour cream in these contexts, and I doubted them until this week. Delicious!). They were perfect with this "loaf."
The nut loaf did not behave at all like a loaf when I cut into it, but we didn't really care. It's delicious and full of good-for-you foods. I think if I were to make it again (and I probably will), I'd make it in a casserole dish and just call it a casserole rather than fooling with the loaf pan. Do not skip the salsa on top. We spooned on more after serving it - the salsa really takes this up a notch.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles from the PPK
Can you tell I'm in love with the PPK as of late?
A couple weeks ago, hell froze over when all 25 of my students turned their assignments in on time, stapled, and with shockingly few mistakes. I don't think this has ever happened, so I rewarded all 26 of us with treats. This cookie recipe is a whole lot like the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes in the PPK's cupcake book, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Instead of chocolate extract I subbed some coconut extract. With a 1/2 tsp of cayenne, these were even spicier than the cupcakes! They went over well with my students and I had a couple to share with my beloved office mate afterward. Also, like most PPK baked goods, they only take one bowl. I'll definitely make these again.
Pad Thai from Eat, Drink, and Run
Finally. I have wanted to make Pad Thai for years as it is one of my favorite foods to order at restaurants. It's oily and indulgent, great for a night when you want to have something like restaurant food without having to leave the house or order take out. I followed Shelby's recipe but omitted the shrimp, and I wished I had upped the tofu to compensate for it (I also at fish sauce, because we still have some. Once it's out, I will quit eating it). This recipe is delicious and it made us want to make Pad Thai all the time.
Lasagna Cupcakes from Framed Cooks
A friend of mine posted this recipe on Facebook a while ago and John and I immediately started drooling at the thought of lasagna cupcakes. It turns out, wonton wrappers make excellent lasagna layers! I had a couple of hiccups while making these. First, they made fewer than the recipe indicates, and I ran out of cheese. Conversely, it may be that I put way too much cheese in each one. They were also greasy and indulgent, like the Pad Thai. Alongside a salad I could almost pretend it was a healthy dinner! They'd be great party food. If you click the link, note that the author of this recipe also has one for macaroni and cheese cupcakes. That would be seriously good party food for our next potluck.
Last but not least, we made this super flavorful Mushroom and Leek Soup from Closet Cooking. We made it once in Fort Wayne and it was a big hit with my parents, too (obviously we are a mushroom-loving group of people). Roasting the cauliflower adds so much flavor. It's perfect for a chilly winter night.
Here's to a cloudy Groundhog Day! It turns out that Canada has their own groundhogs for the occasion, and Wiarton Willy did not see his shadow. Spring is immanent, I'm sure.