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Today was a day of discovery. It all started last night when I purchased Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz for my Kindle.  Now, I’m not a vegan, I’ll never be a vegan. I love ice cream and cheese far too much to go vegan. It’s just the way it is. But as I mentioned before, I’ll always love vegetables, beans, and legumes over meats and I’d been looking for a recipe book that would give me some new ideas. I was hesitant at first to buy this book, because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to adapt many of the recipes for vegetarian cooking (sorry Ms. Moskowitz – I can’t help it) but after reading through many of the recipes, I realized that most of them are very adaptable and the ones that aren’t seem tasty enough to try as is. And that’s what I did tonight.

But first, a discovery of a different kind.

For a while, the husband has wanted to try this:

Stevia, it’s a natural sweetener that has 0 calories. Unlike sugar and unlike Splenda. I think it’s from a flower. (Don’t quote me on that though) Apparently you can bake with it too. So today, I set out to try my cookies.

This was all the Stevia I needed according to the recipe on the Stevia website. See the butter? See the Stevia? Wow. I thought.

I ended up with the stiffest, blandest dough ever. So I added 2 tablespoons of milk and another teaspoon of Stevia. Now I had less stiff, but still bland dough. I considered that maybe the Stevia would sweeten up in the oven so I baked a test cookie without the chocolate I was planning to use.

Well, they were NOT cookies. I’ll need to work on that. What I did get, however, was the nicest and quickest milk biscuit I’ve ever seen.

So I added some cheese to rest of the dough and popped them into the oven.

The husband, though a bit surprised about the cookies, was also pleased by these. He told me not to forget the recipe so I could make them again. Quick, easy, and next time I’ll use more salt and leave out the Stevia.

  • 115 grams butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Combine. Cook at 180°C for 12 – 15 minutes.

Onto dinner.

For my Veganomicon trial run I chose one recipe to make as is and one to change around. The first was her Snobby Joes – basically sloppy joes made with lentils rather than beef.

I’m not going to post the recipe as I’m sure Ms. Moskowitz has it copyrighted – as well she should – and really, just buy the book. It’s worth it (and I’ve only made two recipes).

It started with all of these ingredients though.

And ended up like this.

Served on a corn bread roll.

While I think my chile powder must be way more spicy than hers (I had to scale it down ALOT), it was still an absolutely delightful, low fast and tasty dish. The husband and I both enjoyed it. I loved it, and even though I halved the recipe there was still plenty to freeze for another meal later in the week. An excellent consistency, good flavor, filling and hearty. And vegan!

The other recipe – the one I changed – was her Tomato Zucchini Fritters. I changed some of the spices – because I didn’t have mint or dill in the house – and used thyme and rosemary instead – more Mediterranean than Greek. Then instead of tofu, I used an egg and cheese.

But I mixed and baked them according to her recommendations (again scaling the recipe down to serve two).

And the result was a nice vegetable side dish (with cheese) to go along with our Snobby Joes. I should have used a different bread for my homemade breadcrumbs – buckwheat bread is a little strange as a breadcrumb – but they were lovely all the same. Very flavorful and a nice twist on the classic zucchini fritter that I’ve made in the past.

I’m thrilled by this book so far. There are some great recipes in there and most of them are not supermarket scary – even the ones she doesn’t have listed as supermarket friendly. Obviously, it’s easier for me as I won’t mind changing things around to be non-vegan, but it has amazing recipe ideas that I can’t wait to try.

2012 I’ve promised myself, is going to be a year of discovery. Discovering good food, French, a possible new career, and furthering my writing. But I’ll leave the writing aspect of this blog for a later date after I get the writing page up and fully functioning. Happy New Year!

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