Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lentil Soup & Vacation Eats

lentil soup with bread
Lentil Soup with Harissa and Homemade bread. We went on a mini-vacation visiting J.'s relatives and had the opportunity to cook each night - or at least assist. The first night, we assisted in the prep work for a lentil soup which included onions, garlic, herbs & spices, tiny diced carrots, tiny diced zucchini, canned tomato - and a first for me: Harissa. The harissa recipe was from Vegetarian Planet, and included jalapenos, garlic, cumin, caraway and possibly something like roasted red pepper to make it reddish, I don't know if the recipe was followed exactly - but it was red, and delish! It was exactly the perfect thing to add to lentil soup.

I had imagined I would want to make awesome breakfasts each morning, but there were graham crackers in the house, and that pretty much killed any such plans. I just feasted on graham crackers and bananas each morning, and then didn't have the drive to make pancakes or anything. Oddly, graham crackers are one of those things I have little self control around - they are just so sweet and crunchy!

We made black bean + sweet potato chili, basically chili powder, cumin, onions and garlic, canned tomatoes, cinnamon, smoked paprika (now I know why everyone loves smoked paprika), oregano, cocoa powder, canola oil & a bit of maple syrup.

Later that night I decided to make the cornbread biscuits from vegan brunch. Oh dear, these were so good, so, so so good. I was kind of freaking out about them, so that I was being a bit protective of them. Of course, I didn't make a whole recipe, only a half recipe, that was the problem. Picture not exactly stellar, I know.

Nextly, we made homemade pizza with follow your heart cheese. Homemade pizza is good, but we make it frequently, so I'm not going into details.

For fathers day, we made cashew cream & berry sauce crepes from Vegan Brunch and a sad, sad attempt at hash browns which stuck to the pan super bad. The cashew cream was good..though we should have put more lemon zest in, and the crepes were annoying. I could not get them to come out satisfactorily, and they took exactly forever to cook. I have to say, Vegan Brunch is turning out to be a fantastic investment. Twice already I've done up some 'extra lentils I had cooked & frozen' a la Ethiopian style from that cookbook, and that is such an incredibly quick and satisfying meal (except instead of tomatoes I used a small qty of tomato paste) (I bought the injera though, as we are surrounded by awesome ethiopian restaurants). I should mention that I'm very hard on cookbooks, I am very critical and picky about food. Well, I don't dislike a lot of foods, but there are some people who like just about any dish - even if its low on flavor, or has a flavor combo that isn't quite right, so I'm picky in that sense. One of the best things about the kitchen (aside from all the wonderful space in it - our kitchen is teeny), was the knives. It made cutting so much easier, I felt like cutting was not so bad or hard at all. Usually my knife skills are pretty low.