Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Recipe Round-Up: The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook (A Year In Review Part 2)

Part two of my year long trek through The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Last year I challenged myself to cook a recipe from each chapter around the time of each holiday contained within. See part one here for New Year through to Easter.

Tempeh Shepherd's Pie with Whipped Sweet Potatoes (Passover): I made a half recipe of this, which gave 2.5 to 3 serves... according to the book a full recipe will serve 8-12, but I guess maybe serving with other things? The sweet potato is baked before being whipped. Mine was a largish one, and I was glad that I started early because it took almost two hours to roast until it was soft enough! I used Nuttelex for the whipping instead of coconut oil. The filling is based on tempeh, mushrooms and vegetables, with lots of flavour. It does have anise seeds in it, which I found tasted a bit odd. You are meant to pipe the whipped potatoes over the top in a pretty pattern, but I just spooned mine over.
Rating: :)

Tempeh Shepherd's Pie with Whipped Sweet Potatoes


Tempeh Shepherd's Pie with Whipped Sweet Potatoes


Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Candied Pecans (Cinco de Mayo): I made these for a bake sale, where they were quite popular. My liners were more muffin-sized rather than cupcake sized, so I ended up with 9 rather than 12. They rose a lot when baking! The heat comes from cayenne pepper, which gives them a spicy kick. I went almost the full amount of cayenne, as I was making them for the sale. I only made a half batch of the chocolate glaze, which was more than enough and very runny. I chilled it carefully in the fridge to get it to a spreadable consistency. I also just made a half batch of pecans, using one pecan half per cupcake rather than a sprinkle of chopped pecans.
Rating: :)

Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Candied Pecans


Pan Bagnat (Mother's & Father's Day): Last year I continued my tradition of making my parents a Mother's and Father's day menu of their coice, so I only made one recipe for this chapter, around our Mother's Day in May as I was busy making them three course delights on the actual days (also in Australia, Father's Day is in September). I made a half batch of this chickpea and mayo-based filling, which filled three turkish rolls. It is a pretty hefty filling! And made for a fun, though saucy and sloppy, dinner.
Rating: :)

Pan Bagnat


Crackly Potato Kabobs (Fourth of July): This was in the middle of winter, and while I do have a BBQ on the deck I wasn't really feeling like going outside. So I tried these in our little mini George Foreman grill. They were fine, but certainly didn't go super crackly like I think they would on the outdoor grill. Also the only small potatoes I could get were these weird 'low carb' ones (WHY?????), and they just weren't as potato-ish as they should have been. Although I still enjoyed them a lot, I will try these again with real potatoes on the outside BBQ now that it is summer! Also, the oil/lemon/salt/pepper mixture to coat them with was super oily, I had hard time getting any of the bits to stick to the outside.
Rating: :|

Crackly Potato Kabobs


Broccoli Kugel and Brown Sugar Carrots (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur): I made a half recipe of the kugel and got four serves out ot it. I couldn't find the right noodles, so I just used some broken up linguine. I have no personal history with kugels beyond the few that I have made, mostly from Isa recipes. I always find them a little bland, but kind of comforting. This went nicely with brown sugar carrots. A half recipe of this just made three small serves, but you will want more than that. As well as sugar, they have a touch of orange. I didn't have any orange zest, so just used a tsp of ready made OJ.
Rating: Kugel :), Carrots :)

Brown Sugar Carrots; Broccoli Kugel


Spaghetti and Balls (Halloween): Being from the spooooky chapter, the balls are meant to represent a certain part of the anatomy, but I don't hold with food that looks like that, it is gross. Why do you try and make food that looks like gross body parts, America? So instead of coating the balls with almond ricotta and putting a cherry tomato on as a pupil (bleh), I just sprinkled on some ricotta and chopped tomatoes. Much better, and doesn't make me want to be sick while eating. I used 300g of spaghetti for this, instead of 450g, and I used some leftover pasta sauce from another recipe in another book. he tofu balls were really yummy, and held together well. It says that it will make 16 balls using golf-ball-sized scoops, but I only got 10. Maybe I don't know how big golf balls should be? I also used some onion powder in the balls rather than chopped onion, so that would have accounted for at least a little bit less volume. The ricotta was nice, though a bit dry (but I had to modify it to remove the coconut oil from it), and the chopped tomatoes added some nice freshness.
Rating: :)

Spaghetti and Balls


Caramelised Onion and Cauliflower Casserole (Thanksgiving): This was a bit strange, I don't know really what I was expecting as I have never had anything like this before. It has a custardy base that is quite tangy, and overpowered the flavour of the cauliflower a little. The custard is made with silken tofu, lots of tahini, nooch and lemon, so it is quite strong and rich. I served it a side with some soy-glazed Fry's chicken strips and some green beans.
Rating: :)

Caramelized Onion and Cauliflower Casserole


Caramelized Onion and Cauliflower Casserole


Kasha Varnishkes (Hanukkah): I really liked this! Bowtie pasta, kasha, and lots of onions with mushroom gravy maybe doesn't initially strike as a winner, but it was. I only had regular buckwheat groats, so I toasted them for 10 minutes in a dry pan for 10 minutes to make them into kasha. I also only had 3/4 cup instead of a whole cup, so I adjusted the cooking water appropriately. My onions got wonderfully caramelised in about 15 minutes over a fairly high head as well. I served this with the option Fancy/Not So Fancy Mushroom Gravy from the Thanksgiving Chapter. I went with the Not So Fancy Gravy, which just meant I used regular mushrooms instead of fancy ones. The gravy was lovely, and I highly recommend it as it added such a wonderful flavour and stopped it from getting too dry. There is also lots of dill mixed through. This was great the night of, but even better than next day!
Rating: :D, Not So Fancy Mushroom Gravy :)

Kasha Varnishkes


Cranberry-Spice Oatmeal Cookies (Christmas): The Christmas chapter has a whole lot of cookie recipes, Americans really like cookies at Christmas! I am happy to jump on board, and make an excellent choice with these beauties. Because we had so many other Christmas sweeties around, I only made a half batch (one dozen cookies). I had to bake them for 15 minutes, rather than 12, to get them looking good. The dough was quite wet, so be prepared to get your hands wet. But these are SO GOOD. They use pumpkin pie spice, which isn't a thing here but Isa tells you how to blend ginger, cinnamon and cloves to make your own. Plus cranberries and walnuts and oats. Amazing!
Rating: :D

Cranberry Spice Oatmeal Cookies


I had a lot of fun with my challenge for last year, and it was something easy I could focus on during the rough times. I have made quite a few other recipes as well, which I look forward to sharing with you in a future round-up, and I have many more marked to try out.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Holly and Aggie


This is Holly (tortie) and Aggie (black), two little cuties up for adoption at work!

7 comments:

  1. The onion and cauliflower casserole and the kasha varnishkes both sound like great dishes! Holly and Aggie are too cute! :)

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    1. They are very cute! They've been moved to one of our other clinics now, and I miss their little faces.

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  2. This looks like a great book. I hope I can find it at the library soon.
    Low carb potatoes??Why, just why? And how do they take the carbs out?
    Holly and Aggie are so sweet. It would be awesome if they got adopted together they look like great pals!

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    1. The thing that makes potatoes so great is the carbs. Delicious, potato, carby goodness. It is so wrong to take that away!

      I hope they get together.

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  3. I love that you kept this up!! I fell off around the 4th of July. Just totally slipped my mind for that holiday, and then I got all sad and was like, well, it's too late now. I thought I might try again this year, but I've already missed NY Day so ... :-)

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    1. Sometimes it was a struggle to fit in, I am glad it is over. Looking forward to just making things for fun as I feel like it.

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  4. I made that tempeh shepard's pie. IT WAS AWESOME! I will be making it again, but I ran a little low on sweet potato. I had to work with whatever I had left.

    Low carb potato? I betcha they were were a variety that existed awhile ago, and they are just trying to market it a-new. They did that in the states with the Florida avocado for being low cal. They aren't as rich and creamy as a haas, but they have their place. Plus less of a carbon footprint for me. So I am sure a low carb potato has a place- just not for grilling.

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