Thursday, 14 May 2009

Recipe Round-Up: Vegan Cooking For One

As previously mentioned, I have a ridiculously HUGE backlog of food photos on my computer, so I figured the best way to deal with them would be to do some recipe round-ups from my cookbooks. Of which there are many, and they continue to grow (damn you Borders and your occasional really good discount coupons!). Hee.

Today's cookbook is Vegan Cooking For One, by Leah Leneman. Even though I have been a vegan cooking for one for several years until I moved back home at the end of 2008, I must admit that I resisted buying this book for a long time. It was more about the sadness of the title, cooking for one, and the implication in the blurb on the back that vegans cooking for one a a sad, time pressed species. Which is of course, rubbish and I am undoubtedly being over sensitive. And it is true that there are many vegans, be the single or the only vegan in their household, that need to cook for themselves alone.

I ended up buying this book with one of the above mentioned Borders coupons. Buy three cookbooks and only pay for two? Hell yeah! Plus I have another of Leah's books, Easy Vegan Cooking, which has some lovely stuffy in it! The book is divided into Summer/Spring and Winter/Autumn recipe sections, which don't seem to be that relevant. It is presented into week long menu plans, and includes a shopping list at the start of each week. Which would be handy for some, but for me I just pick out the individual recipes I want to make. I have only made a few of the recipes in this book thus far. I tend to save them for days when I'm cooking for myself or only two of us. It is very easy to multiply ingredients to increase the number of servings. The recipes I have made range from absolutely delectable to satisfying. I find the serving sizes to be pretty large! You need to add vegetables to most of these, which Leah points out by recommended each recipe be served with steamed vegetables or a side salad. Otherwise you shall all get scurvy and die! Or something like that. ;)

So here are some of the recipes I have made thus far:

Creamy Pasta with Mushrooms and Walnuts. The cream sauce here is a little bit bland. I improved it immensley by ading buckets of my beloved nooch. That stuff is so gooood! I also added some peas and baby spinach leaves to the mix, to increase my greens. Also, nuts in pasta doesn't excite me overmuch, though that is my issue - not the recipe's. I think on its own it would have been a bit blergh, but with a few easy additions it makes a happy little dinner indeed.

Gado Gado. This is a tasty if not particularly authentic or exciting Gado Gado. The sauce is peanutty, but nice and tangy.

Spaghetti with Bean and Caper Sauce. This was tasty, though you can see from the size of the bowl was a huge serving of spaghetti! Next time I shall make it with less, which I normally do with most recipes anyway. 500g (1 pound) of dry pasta for 4 people? Too much! Too much! Anyway, off topic. I replaced the green capsicum (ewwww) with zucchini (hurrah) and served with some steamed broccoli for extra green stuff.

Potato and Lentil Bake. NOM! This was one of the delectable recipes I was referring to before. It is pretty simple, but is just one of those moreish type things. Interestingly, it is in the Summer/Spring section, but I would make this on any chilly night! The base is sliced potatoes. And the top is a stew made from red lentils, mushrooms, onion, tomato paste, Nuttelex, flour, soy milk and basil. All baked until delicious and ready for your tummy! And served with lots of vegetables on the side to keep the nasty scurvy at bay.

Tofu and Vegetables in BBQ Sauce. This was a tasty little dish. The tofu is frozen then defrosted to give it that nice chewy texture. The sauce is a very simple homemade BBQ sauce - nothing out of a squeezy bottle. I did make double the quantity of the sauce though, otherwise it would have been a bit dry. Served over cous cous and enjoyed.

Cauliflower and Pea Curry. This was originally meant to be just for me and the parentals, then the brother and his girlfriend declared their presence. So I have added some cubed potato to it to fill it out. It was really nice, and enjoyed by all! Served over brown basmati rice with some Mango and Paw Paw Chutney and, my favourite, Tamarind Chutney. And a teeny smidge of Lime Chilli Pickle. Which is insanely hot. Hee.

Greek Style Zucchini and Chickpea Stew. Another Summer/Spring recipe that I happily made on a nippy autumn evening. This is really tasty and satisfying. I changed the ingredients slightly to make it for 4 people, increasing the quantities of things and changing the fresh tomatoes to tinned tomatoes. I also added garlic. Just because everything should have garlic if possible.

So there you have it, as I said, I haven't made that many recipes yet! Which is why it seemed an easy place to start clearing out the backlog! So stay tuned for more picture heavy posts as I continue to share and share and share. I've also been renaming and resorting all my food photos. While I may be slightly OCD about this, it does mean I am getting a fabulously organised resource of food pictures. So yay!

Finally I wanted to say that I have been pretty slack about posting comments on peoples blog, largely in part to being busy with my Masters and so having huge catch up blog reading sessions as opposed to the previous daily meanderings. But please know I am still reading and enjoying, even if I haven't been able to post! I will get on top of it all eventually. Famous last words.

Hope everyone is having a lovely time!


  1. I really should stop to read blog entries about cookbooks. All your yummy pictures make me want go to the amazon site...

  2. It's nice to see someone else who uses buckets of nooch! Some people use it sparingly, and I have no idea why.. I can easily use a half cup of it in a recipe for 2 people!

  3. Oooh, thanks for doing a review! I have seen this book around a lot and considered buying it, so a good review like this is always appreciated.

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