the taste space

Brazilian Black Bean and Seitan Stew & Afro Vegan Review+Giveaway

Posted in Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on July 1, 2014

Brazilian Black Bean Soup Afrovegan

You know Rob is a keeper when he doesn’t kill you when it is time to pack. And a) you have essentially doubled your cookbook collection while in Houston (although I limited myself to 10 books for my move) and Rob is now packing your heavy books; b) while you should be packing, instead you are cooking the last of the bits in the refrigerator, so I am still net loss worth for packing. And then there’s c) please don’t pack my cookbooks I still want to review!  Eventually I had to give in…. and help pack. And thankful that most books I receive to review come in electronic form.

Especially after making my own e-cookbook, I have grown to appreciate digital books. They have their pros and cons. They are easier to search, but not as fun to read. I miss the ability to curl the pages and find new random recipes. Although they are definitely easier to move. They also allow me to write posts in the airport.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup Afrovegan

Afro Vegan is Terry Bryant’s new cookbook. A lover of good food, he has managed to fuse soul comfort food with gourmet twists. His muses vary from Caribbean soul cuisine, Southern US down home cooking and African menus. Pecan cornbread with dukkah? Sweet plantain and Fresh Corn Cakes? Peanut Pumpkin Fritters? Jamaican Patties Stuffed with Maque Choux? Spinach Peanut Sauce? Trust me, it all sounded good to me, I was sad I haven’t had enough time to explore it.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup Afrovegan

While a bit more complex than my weeknight meals, there are more simple and more elaborate dishes. Delicious and innovative all-round. I loved, loved, loved my version of his Southern black eyed peas, I shared it before the book was even released to the masses. Now I am sharing another great soup, which I simplified by skipping the dumplings. This black bean stew, inspired by the Brazilian feijoada, is more tomato-heavy than my previous versions, but still nice and hearty and simple enough for an easy meal.

Afro-Vegan book cover

Thankfully, the publisher is letting me share the recipe AND give a cookbook to one reader living anywhere (except maybe the moon). To be entered, please leave a comment here, any comment. I will randomly select a winner on July 30, 2014. Good luck!

Recipes from Afro-Vegan shared elsewhere:

Hominy and Spinach in Tomato-Garlic Broth

All-Green Spring Slaw

Glazed Carrot Salad

Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens

Summer vegetable and tofu kebabs with pomegranate-peach barbecue sauce

Savory Grits with Slow-Cooked Collard Greens

Stewed Tomatoes with Black Eyed Peas with Cornbread Croutons

Texas caviar on grilled rustic bread

Creole-Spiced Plantain Chips

Za’atar Roasted Red Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes, Peas and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil

Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas with Spring Herbs

Creamed Cashews

Skillet Cornbread with Pecan Dukkah

Ambrosia Ice Pops

Cocoa-spice cake with crystallized ginger and coconut-chocolate ganache

 

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(Battle of the) Lemon Zucchini Cookie

Posted in Desserts by janet @ the taste space on December 15, 2011

Of all the cookies this week, the Ginger Oatmeal Raisin Cookies probably win for packing in tons of nutrient-dense foods.

I consider this an unhealthy cookie with zucchini as a bonus. There are not many nutrients to gain from white sugar, butter and white flour. But hey, if you are going to indulge, you may as well reap the benefits of some hidden veggies. ;)

As you can tell, I am actually unearthing an older post that I had written up many moons ago, prior to my vegan days. I don’t why, but it takes me a while to post up my sweet treats. Last year, I posted about the Key Lime Meltaways I had made the year earlier! I suppose I like to post things in season.. and come January, cookies don’t seem so mouthwatering.

I made these during the fall, when zucchini was brimming from my friend’s garden. I was heading to a party and decided to have a bake-off of two different lemon zucchini cookies (I know, I couldn’t decide which one to make, so I made both!). I quizzed people at the party about the “secret ingredient”. Despite the hint with the little green flecks, no one could figure out zucchini was hidden in there. You really couldn’t taste it amongst the lemon and vanilla flavours. Instead, it adds moistness.

Despite both having similar ingredients, I preferred the recipe from Food52 (pictured above). It produced a cookie that was more airy but firm at the same time. Martha’s cookie from Everyday Food (September 2009) was more dense and the cornmeal added a different texture (pictured below). I also made bigger cookies with Martha’s recipe. Don’t get me wrong, they are both nice cookies, and a great alternative on a cookie platter. However, if you have a choice, shun Martha. I actually have no problems shunning Martha, because when I battled her Earl Grey Tea Shortbread cookies, her recipe was the loser. By a long shot.


PS. Since I made these in my pre-vegan days, I haven’t tested out the vegan alternatives with oil and chia eggs. There are vegan zucchini cookies that look similar, so I think the alternatives could work. Baker’s discretion, though!

This is my submission to Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice for this week’s Magazine Mondays and to this month’s Cookie Blog Hop.

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Triple Corn Pancakes

Posted in Breakfasts, Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on September 7, 2011

I had a sense of deja vu this weekend. But not in the typical I’ve already done this sense. Rather, a ‘why haven’t I learned my lesson yet’ kind of deja vu.

We visited friends in Horseshoe Valley for a weekend filled with friends, food, games, adventure park fun (o-go ball is highly recommended) as well as a trip to the beach. While I am not too fond of beaching, I was excited when my friend, Greg, suggested we bike to Wasaga Beach instead, which was 45km away, he said. Rob checked: it was 27km away.

While Rob and I haven’t done many long-distance cycling trips since our big adventure to Kingston, 27km would still be a quick stroll for us. An hour, maybe an hour and a half, I told myself. We packed light for the trip, with just a couple bottles of water. Our snack would be waiting for us at the end, at the beach, when we would arrive for an early lunch and meet up with the girls. We could easily cycle back, too. Greg, our fierce leader, wasn’t keen on cycling back. OK, no problem.

As soon as we pulled out, I was reminded that this may not necessarily be as flat as I had predicted. We were starting at the bottom of the valley. We only could go up! Greg suggested taking smaller side roads to circumvent the huge hills on Horseshoe Valley Road, which we thought was a fabulous idea.

We twisted up the side roads and meandered through lovely rolling hills. After 13km, I needed a break and nonchalantly stated we were half-way to the beach.

Not so. Rob, plotting our progress through GPS on his phone, said we were now further from the beach than when we started!

I’ll spare you the details, but yes, we had lots of rolling hills with challenging uphills. The wind was fierce. We added detours to forgo traffic-heavy roads. I broke out my emergency larabar. Thankfully, the last 15km was mainly flat, maybe slightly downhill to the beach. The flat 27km bike ride ended up being a very hilly, very windy 57km.

We were greeted by a mild sand storm at Wasaga as the strong winds pushed sand around ruthlessly. Greg still jumped into the lake, cycling clothes and all. We arrived for a late lunch. The girls had already eaten without us and warned us there was probably sand in the sandwiches. ;) My quinoa salad had fared a bit better.

Steph made delicious vegan cupcakes for dessert – matcha green tea with marzipan flours. It had been a while since I had a cupcake yet I devoured it for dessert. Sometimes crazy cycling can do that to you!

It was on the way back home that Rob and I picked up the corn on impulse. Where else would we get such freshly picked corn?

When we got home, Rob started the barbecue and began grilling the corn for dinner. I had a hankering for baked goods and used corn to make these corny pancakes from Ricki.

Using three different forms of corn – fresh corn kernels, corn meal and corn flour (masa harina) – these are a seriously corn-stuffed pancake. With corn as the flour base, it was reminiscent of a sweet polenta. Flavoured with both vanilla and lemon, it was an exotic twist. Slather it with Earth Balance for pure simple bliss, or top with your favourite compote or salsa.


This is my submission to this month’s Simple and in Season.

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Creamy Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis (What I Eat When I Eat Alone, Part 4)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on May 24, 2010

“Here is what you need to know. As with any other solo pursuit, eating alone requires a carefully balanced combination of commitment, enthusiasm and self-adoration. It should, after all, be a meal with someone you love. Hell, if you go out for dinner by yourself and discover you don’t like the company, you really are in trouble. So you need to be in a good mood. I regard myself as a gregarious man. I like people and their chatter but sometimes the conversation I really want is the one with myself – we never disagree, me and I – and that happens best over food.”

- Jay Rayner, Restaurant Critic

In my journey of sharing some delicious meals for one (but still complete with leftovers), I finally tackled polenta after seeing it pop up in Madison’s What We Eat When We Eat Alone.  Polenta was been on my ‘to-try’ for while due to its high marks in both thriftiness and wholesomeness.  While perusing the The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook (with the recipe also posted here by the Mayo Clinic), the creamy polenta with roasted red pepper coulis beckoned.

While a bit time intensive, it was absolutely delicious.  The long cooking time allowed for a very creamy, smooth polenta without the need for added cream or cream cheese. I was initially perplexed how the polenta would still be creamy despite a 15 minute baking time, but it allowed it to keep its shape while still being creamy- perfect for serving.  It firmed up a bit as leftovers but was still really good. There was a bit of cheese in the polenta, which I thought was more than enough to infuse a subtle tang of Asiago and the red pepper coulis, with the garlic, made sure this wasn’t a bland cornmeal dish.


This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once (who also currently runs the show!).

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