If I’ve ever said that a recipe in V’con was the best recipe in the book, take it with a grain of salt and understand that it may have been my own inexperience that was talking. Because all has changed. I now realize that the greatest recipe in the book is the Leek and Bean Cassoulet. The proof is up above, but I’m giving you an extra picture for further proof. I added the seitan (because if there is an outside chance seitan can be added to a recipe, I just can’t help myself) but it definitely wouldn’t need it. This recipe is life changing. It could be the secret to world peace. Try it and see.

I actually felt giddy as I watched the shortening in the biscuits melt and they turned such a pretty golden brown. I’d wanted to make this since the cookbook came out but kept using my leeks in other recipes. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Just in case you want something sweet after such an amazing dish, here are the rice krispy treats that my family has made forever. Now I make them in an 8 inch pan so it’s a half recipe, but double it if you want a 9 X 13. They’re addictive. And easy.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats
1/2 cup corn syrup (I know….)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (I prefer smooth)
3 cups rice krispies
1 cup chocolate chips

Melt the sugar and the corn syrup over medium heat til bubbly and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter until it’s all mixed in. Add the rice krispies and press into an 8 inch square pan that you’ve greased. Let cool. Melt chocolate chips and spread on top.

That’s it!

Tonight’s dinner: something with seitan.

Around the World in Food

I have a hard time coming up with clever names and ‘real’ subject material for this blog. I’m good at random posts with no real context throughout. I tend to just focus on the food, probably because that is my real intention for this blog.. but still I’d like it to be fun and sometimes insightful besides just a diary of what we eat every once in a while.

So this post is more fun (but no more insightful) and the theme created itself. Think of it like a beauty pageant for food, with lots of different nationalities represented. Is that really progress? Maybe not… but these recipes are definitely all winners.

This is the amazing Vietnamese Seitan Baguette from V’con. I can’t rave enough about this sandwich and no matter how many times we have it I want it more. As in, I’d love it for two meals in a row or more. Did I say two meals? I meant more like 2 weeks straight.

How about a Pad Thai alike? That sauce from VwaV is absolutely the best! Even if the vegetables aren’t so traditional, the taste is amazing. Just the right amount of heat!

These Pierogies (which I spell differently every time I type the word!) are adapted from Vegan Planet and jordanpattern over at the PPK. This is the first time I’ve made them and I was a little intimidated. I’m here to tell you not to be like me– make them! They’re not as hard as they sound. Yeah, there are a few steps, but nothing difficult. They’re really worth it, too, when you taste that wonderful crispy panfried outside, the creamy potato and dill inside and the caramelly onions…(sorry, I was channeling Giada for a minute)….

All this brings me to white pizza. That’s the picture up top. I used the Pine Nut Cream from V’con (as suggested by esme at the PPK), and it was delicious. Really delicious. I had some leftover roasted garlic (if you make caesar salad, roast some extra for this) and also topped it with spinach, roma tomatoes, red peppers and red onions. And pine nut drizzle. Hmmm… with all that red, I could leave off the spinach and shape the pizza like a heart and get off easy for Valentine’s Day. But I won’t.

We also had quesadillas this week. We love these with finely chopped seitan and whatever vegetables you have around. These also had black beans in them. In my opinion, the guacamole makes the meal, but that’s just me.

A bonus pic of the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for Isa’s upcoming cookie book. These are fantastic and much better than the picture makes them look. Great texture! I’d tell you more, but Giada is no longer coming through. Probably because these cookies would put her baking to shame.

Tofu, Tempeh and Soup!

People have been raving about these recipes for a loooong time. I finally got around to making them. Now I can see what the fuss is about and hope to listen better next time.

This is the White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup from VwaV. Mmmmmm! I had an issue with the blender (it..ummmm…tipped over) so we only had about 1/2 the recipe. In a blatant attempt to make up for the sad lack of soup, I made these biscuits at the last minute. It’s another one of those all-the-buzz recipes, and is definitely a keeper. If it were a tiny bit sweeter, it would be the ultimate shortcake biscuit.

Not the most beautiful of presentations, but this was so good that we didn’t care. Smoky Grilled Tempeh from V’con with some improv potatoes (YRR mac and cheese sauce with herbs added), and Roasted Green Beans from V’con.

Making a repeat performance, the Tofu Marsala from Tofu666. This is one of my all-time favorites– I add a few extra red things (sundried tomatoes and peppers)– but honestly, it doesn’t need it. So full of flavor!

Dinner tonight: I’m thinking quesadillas.

More Meringues and Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies

My love affair with Susie’s Meringues is ongoing, if you’re interested. Here they are with chocolate chips. Her method is fascinating, and one of them with the chips still soft from the oven could actually be life changing for vegans. It was for me.

Next up are these lovely melt-in-your- mouth Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies from Isa and Terry’s upcoming cookie cookbook. The texture on these cookies is just out of this world. Delicate, crisp and buttery, all in perfect balance.

To prove I don’t just do desserts, we also had Curry for the first time yesterday. It’s from V’con. While I think it’s a good recipe, I wanted more oomph. I’ve never had curry before so I was imagining elephants and tigers, exotic flavors and the idea that every movie is a musical. Maybe I should just add some totally inauthentic hot sauce or buy better curry powder or not eat so many cookies before dinner.

An Unassuming Cupcake and Not Nutter Butters

This cupcake is from Kittee’s zine, Papa Tofu! I love that zine. I’ve been reading and rereading it since the first of the year because I really like her style. The recipes are terrific, too, of course. This is her chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Her frosting recipe is actually for a chocolate cream cheese frosting, but I like plain cream cheese frosting on chocolate. Easily adapted! The frosting was declared “Splendid!” by one of our guests and I thought the cupcakes may have been the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve made so far. Now you can see why you’ll never see me post cupcakes at the PPK. Mine always have a very homespun (wallflower) look compared to the pics posted by the wonderful bakers at the PPK. Those are runway cupcakes, strutting their stuff up and down the page, knowing that everyone has eyes glued to them. My cupcake is happy to stay home with a book and a cup of tea. And just be it’s own fantastic self.

We also had the Nutter Butters from Autumn Vegan. Ok, mine aren’t really Nutter Butters because they lacked the required peanut shape. Mine are more like the Gauchos that we used to sell in Girl Scouts. These have great texture and knock-out flavor. Yummy!

Tonight’s Dinner: A Curry (recipe tbd). It’ll be our first curry ever.