I recently challenged myself to get through my shelf of cookbooks by choosing two books each month to cook as many recipes as possible from. This month I am working my way through Weight Watchers Meat Free Meals and Veganomicon. So far I’ve tried a few recipes from each book so it’s time for an update!
I’m loving this book so far! I keep saying it’s like the bible of veganism and if it was gluten free I would have the best possible recipes. This week I made Tomato and Roasted Eggplant Stew with Chickpeas.
This was an easy recipe to follow and I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen already so no shopping was required. I did make a few substitutions though. I left out the red pepper because I didn’t have any and I replaced the white wine with vegetable stock as I don’t drink alcohol. I added courgettes as I had two that needed using and know how well they go with aubergines (or eggplants if you’re american!). I was also out of normal paprika so used smoked paprika instead. The recipe was easy to follow even though it took a while as the vegetables needed to be roasted before the stew was made.
I love how each recipe in Veganomicon has a couple of paragraphs before it giving some background on the food. This was described as a “deeply satisfying Mediterranean dish”, a comment that I can’t disagree with! It tasted amazing and was a gorgeous winter warmer. The chickpeas and aubergine went really well together and the herbs and spices combined beautifully. I’m glad I used smoked paprika because I loved the smoky flavour in this stew. I’ll definitely be making this again!
Weight Watchers Meat-Free Meals
This book is quite different from veganomicon. The recipes are a lot simpler and based more on everyday meals which makes them very versatile and user friendly. This week I’ve made quite a few recipes from this book.
One of the salad recipes that attracted my attention when we were quite short on vegetables was the Carrot and Sunflower Seed Salad. I had all of the ingredients needed already in the kitchen and decided to make this for my lunch. The only substitution I made was using agave instead of honey to make it a vegan recipe. The instructions were minimal and basic as all that was needed was to mix everything together! I have to admit that grating 4 carrots was quite labor intensive but that could be solved with a food processor! The salad was lovely and had an asian type flavour to it due to the sesame oil and tamari. The seeds gave a nice crunch and some added protein. I served the salad in rice paper rolls with some hummus and it was a lovely spring lunch. I’ll definitely be making it again (with the possibility of some grated courgette maybe?).
I had two aubergines sitting in my fridge and had been out in the cold all day so the Aubergine Madras recipe was calling to me! I did make some substitutions in this recipe as I didn’t have all of the spices needed. I used coriander leaves instead of coriander seeds and replaced the fennel seeds with caraway seeds as they both have an aniseed flavour. I also had to use ground ginger rather than fresh ginger and added some red pepper with the tomato. The curry was lovely (if a bit too hot for my taste!) and the coconut milk was an excellent addition. I had thought that only having aubergine in the curry would be a bit boring but was proven wrong! The instructions were exactly right and super easy to follow.
This is the Paella with Roasted Vegetables (and yes I was very impressed that my dish looked exactly like the photo!). I’ve had a bag of paella rice in my cupboard for a while now without knowing what to do with it so I was very happy when I found this recipe. The only thing I substituted here was purple sprouting broccoli for the asparagus. I would never have though of putting balsamic vinegar and soy sauce on the vegetables before roasting but it made a nice contrast with the smoky rice. The rice itself was like a smoky version of a risotto. One forkful and I was in love. Smoked paprika is now my favourite spice!
So that’s this week’s update! Check back next Monday for some more recipes from these two books. So far I’m getting on very well with them.
Do you have either of these books? If not am I tempting you at all?