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The Real Food Daily Cookbook review

Starters and small plates
Hummus with pita

    This was good. Definitely preferable to do home-made hummus versus storebought. I feel like this had more lemon than the stuff in the stores, maybe. (fb)

Lentil-walnut paté

    this is one of those things that improves as it sits and has its flavors 'meld.' The herbs/miso take over more, rather than just tasting like lentils + nuts. I didn't have ume, and didn't replace it. (fb)

Better with cheddar nachos

    If I wasn't so lazy with cleaning my food processor, I'd be making these A LOT. Their "cheddar" is truly great. I don't know if it can be mistaken as real by the discerning omni, but every person I know (omni or not) who has had it loves it. The recipe replicates it exactly, which is great. For this I didn't make my own black beans or sour cream, but I made the other components. It's *the* version of supreme nachos for me. There's nothing to be missed. (fb)

Spring rolls with raw mango sauce
Living paradise with raw tomato sauce
Seitan fingers with tamarind sauce

    I wound up making these because I had leftover seitan from making The Club. The batter is slightly different, but it's not very noticeable in the end. I like these, but I don't think they're really worth the effort of making the seitan if that's all your making it for. I didn't make the sauce. (fb)
    I made the seitan fingers for my kids for Christmas (without the Tarmarind Sauce) and they were okay.  I definitely liked that they could be made in advance and fried at the last minute.  (I made them at home and cooked them at my mother's house.)  I didn't have the ingredients or time to make the Tamarind Sauce and I am sorry I didn't.  My kids were pretty cool on them so I'm not sure I'll make them again since I have other seitan recipes they seem to like better (although I might use this recipe with different chicken style seitan). (jkl)

Green noodle roll
Nori maki
Phyllo triangles with spinach and tofu cheese
Butternut squash, corn, and cilantro phyllo rolls

    These come out very sweet - not overly sweet - just way more than I'd expect. They could practically pass for dessert. I had some trouble handling the phyllo dough, as usual, but they came out fine anyway. However, all the leftovers were soft, but I don't think that can be avoided if there is any moisture in the filling. My boyfriend really liked them, and he was convinced before that he doesn't like winter squash. If I could be lazy/cheap with the recipe, I'd omit the tofu ricotta. It does contribute to the flavor, but the butternut+corn+cilantro combo is so great that it can stand on its own. (fb)

Sea vegetable and cucumber phyllo purses
Salsas, Sauces, and Gravies
Hickory barbecue sauce
Teriyaki sauce
For DH's birthday last week I wanted to make the "Grilled Seitan Skewers with Pineapple and Sushi Rice." Somewhere along the lines I had forgotten the recipe called for seitan and planned to use tofu, only to be surprised on birthday morning when I opened up the cookbook.  So I used firm pressed tofu, broiled and not grilled since we don't have a grill, and not on skewers since it's too much of a pain, and white sushi rice instead of the brown rice blend she calls for.  So I'm not reviewing that recipe because I made too many substitutions, but I did make the Teriyaki Sauce, which is a central part of the recipe. The Teriyaki Sauce is outstanding.  A bit of a pain to make with the fesh pineapple and mango, and expensive with all that maple syrup. You have to cook it then puree it then strain it.  As soon as it was finished I tasted it and I thought blah, what a waste of effort.  But by later that day the flavors came together and it was really good. The recipe makes a lot--at least 4 cups--and a few days later I used some of the leftovers for baked tofu. By that time the fruit flavors came out and it was outstanding.  I still had some leftover and froze it but I suspect it will lose some flavor.  I would definitely make this again, but at least the day before I planned to use it. (jkl)
Basil pesto
Guacamole

    It's a good recipe, but like many guacamole recipes, there's nothing that makes this recipe particularly stand out. That being said, it's simple enough that you may as well make it if you're making another recipe that calls for it. (fb)

Carrot salsa

    I'm sad that they no longer offer this at the restaurant. However, it's great to have the recipe - it comes out just like we remember it. It seems like a weird idea, like it might be "vegetabley", but carrots really do well as salsa. The first time I made it, it seemed there was too much lime juice, and the second time it was fine. I might have measured wrong one of the times, but the next time I'll keep the dressing stuff separate before adding to the carrots just in case. (fb)

Pico de gallo

    Maybe a little too much onion, but it's easy to leave some out. Solid recipe otherwise. (fb)

Herbed tomato sauce
Cucumber raita
Ranchero sauce

    The title of this recipe makes it sound like it might be some sorta spicy or unusual sauce. In reality, it's more like a mildly spiced tomato sauce. But, that works fine for what I was making it: the R&B burrito. (fb)

Golden gravy

    I love this gravy. It's the best unhealthy vegan gravy I've had. Fatty, salty, and fatty. Anyway, it has some nooch in it, and I'm usually not keen on sauces based off nooch, but it's not so noticeable here. It blends in well. This would be a good gravy for Thanksgiving or the like, when you have to impress family and health concerns go out the window.(fb)

Mushroom gravy
Tofu sour cream

    I didn't like this. I didn't have umeboshi vinegar, so I used brown rice vinegar. It came out tasting like tofu + vinegar + mustard powder, which happens to be pretty much what it is. I'm not sure where to get plum vinegar or if it would really make this turn out differently, but it might be better if umeboshi plum paste were used instead. Still, I'd sooner use Tofutti than retry this. (fb)

Tahini mint sauce
Homemade ketchup

    This isn't as thick as ketchup, but it's thicker/stronger than plain old tomato sauce. One could probably get it to be more ketchup-like if it's cooked longer than stated, but I was impatient. It's a good, sweet/tangy tomato sauce, it's just that you have to use more of it to have the same effect. (fb)

Soups
Butternut squash soup

    Good soup. I think some of the "unusual" additions to the some make it different and better than what might come out of a carton or can - fresh ginger, orange zest, and nutmeg. I always like butternut soup, so it was hard for me not to like this. Pleasantly sweet. (fb)

Asparagus and cilantro soup

    I like this soup. I'm always on the fence when it comes to asparagus, but pureed in this form is quite different - it reminds me more of broccoli this way. It's not a totally thick/creamy stew-like soup, nor is it one of those watery concotions - right in between. I added more cilantro than was called for, because that's the kind of gal I am. (fb)

Black bean soup with jalapeño-lime crème

    So, I didn't make the soup but I did make the cream. It's limey/creamy, and is only a touch, barely a touch, spicy. I used it as a sandwich spread instead of in soup, and it worked well - could maybe replace mayo or cheese there. (fb)

Corn chowder
Country-style miso soup
Cream of napa cabbage and watercress soup with basil
Curried yellow split pea soup

    This is a nice change from regular split pea soup. I thought it might be weird, but curry goes really well with split pea, and the amount of curry in this recipe is just right. I had some trouble getting my soup not to burn, because it becomes so thick. I noticed this recipe doesn't say when to take out the kombu, and if you leave it in after the adding the other vegetables, it'll soften and almost disintegrate (which is ok, it tastes good... I just wish I knew when it was supposed to come out...) (fb)

Creamy broccoli soup with red pepper crème

    I didn't make the broccoli soup, but instead made the creme. My cashews didn't blend down into a paste, but stayed a little gritty, but that was ok. I had the creme with the asparagus cilantro soup also from this book, and it went well. Even though the recipe uses roasted pepper, it still kind of has that fresh, raw taste to it. It would be a good creme for a number of soups, not just these two. (fb)

Lima bean and corn soup

    Do not think that this is some ordinary soup. This is the best soup I have made from here thus far, which is saying a lot. The combination of herbs (oregano, dill, basil) goes perfectly with the blend of vegetables, and the kombu imparts the perfect saltiness without any extra salt. I figured that I didn't really like lima beans, but they're great in here, more like softer cannelini beans. I. love. this. soup. (fb)
    Good. Not as good as the Tortilla Soup imo, but still pretty good.  It gets better after it sits a bit. Don't be afraid of adding the miso, as I was, since it really adds another flavor dimension to the soup.  The only reason I might not make it again is that between the lima beans and the cabbage my entire family has had a  gas explosion.  Think twice before serving to company! (jkl)

Rustic italian soup

    This was the first thing I made and I was excited to try it because it seemed different (kale, red kidney beans, sage) and super nutritious.  My children hated it and I did not think there was enough going on in the flavor department. Will not make this again. (jkl)

Tarragon, tomato, and leek bisque

    I changed this a bit by adding less tarragon and using basil & oregano (not a big fan of tarragon). It was good tomato soup, but there wasn't much particular leek flavor. Maybe this is because of the extra herbs I used, since leek's never that strong anyway. Reasonable tomato soup.

Turkish lentil soup

    This is probably an excellent lentil soup recipe.  However, I don't cook with onions, and this is not a soup to try if you're going to cut them out, since the onions are very important to the final product (which I realized too late).  I tried subbing other vegetables, but the flavor wasn't there.  The other stupid thing was that I wimped out on adding all the rosemary.   It called for 2 tbls choppsed fresh rosemary, which sounded like an awful lot.  However, the rosemary is added very early in the cooking process, and by the end it mellows out.  So I tried to correct for it at the end, and then ended up with an overly rosemary-ish soup.  BTW, the recipe makes a huge pot of soup. (jkl)

Tortilla soup

    A thick, slightly gritty, tomato-y soup, just like tortilla soup should be. It's a good alternative to tomato soup (pretty similar), and would be a good comfort food. (fb)

    I served this to company one night as part of a taco dinner.  It was super easy to make (I tossed it together while six kids wrecked my living room).  Didn't have fresh tomatoes but 2/3 of a large can of plum tomatoes worked great. I also didn't make the optional tortilla strip garnish but just used crunched up chips from a bag.  Very delicious and my omni guests loved it. (With the jalepeno it is too spicy for my kids.)  Be sure to use fresh avocado to garnish. (jkl)

White bean soup with caramelized leeks and onions
Quinoa vegetable soup
Salad and Dressings
House salad with tahini-watercress dressing
Caesar salad with blackened tempeh

    I made the dressing and croutons, but not the tempeh. The dressing is *really* fatty, but it's pretty good. Beware of how much garlic you add... you might want to add it to taste. This came out a little more tart than I remember caesar being, but it's fine. The croutons are good too (perfectly crunchy, and they crunchy if kept sealed), though it seemed like there was quite a bit of extra herbs. (fb)

I've tried the Blackened Tempeh from the Caesar salad with blackened tempeh recipe. I didn't do the breading, though. It's awesome. Sweet yet savory. However the recipe uses a lot of brown rice syrup and a lot of oil. Lately I've been using my adapted recipe, replacing the brown rice syrup with a smaller amount of maple syrup and lessening the oil. It's just as good. Oh I also always boil/simmer the cut tempeh for 10-15 minutes before marinating. That way it expands in size and any bitterness is eliminated. (laur b)
Ying yang salad with peanut-sesame dressing
Asian slaw with wasabi vinaigrette
Tempeh and potato salad
Indian quinoa salad
Mexicali chop with crispy tortilla strips and lime-cilantro vinaigrette

    Good. Instead of frying my own pieces of tortilla, I just crushed tortilla chips. An easy salad to eat, though the olive oil in the vinaigrette is kind of weird. My olive oil is pretty strong in flavor, so maybe a milder one or a different salad oil would work better. (fb)

Corn and black bean salad

    The dressing on this was too much for me. I could only eat a small amount at a time, so I'd recommend half the amount of dressing unless you don't want to eat too much at a time. The vinegar/mustard combo is pretty strong.(fb)

Lemon-lime jicama salad
Cherry tomato salad with tarragon and chives
Barbecued tofu chop with ranch dressing
Cold penne salad
Breads and Spread
Multi-grain quick bread
Southern-style skillet corn bread

    My attempt at this cornbread was semi successful.  It game out a bit too gummy and dense.  However, the crunchy crust was delicious.  I'm not sure if it's the recipe of something I did wrong. (conniex721)

Wheat-free corn muffins
Five-spice carrot-cashew butter

    Sort of unusual. I mean, it's not weird in that it tastes exactly like you think it would (cashew butter + cooked carrots + little bit of five spice), but the flavor combination is unique. Kind of sweet, rich, and there's just a tiny bit of spice. I often don't like five-spice though, so that was good. We used it for crackers; I think it would be tough to spread on bread. (fb)

Tahini-miso spread
Scallion butter
Warm pear and apple compôte
Sandwiches
Total Reuben with Thousand Island dressing
Ciao bella sandwich
RFD burger

    I hate beets, so I subbed the beets with more carrot. This yielded more than stated - I made 1/3 of the recipe (weird, I know), and yielded 4 burgers easily (it should yield two based on what the book says). Maybe it's a typo or maybe their burgers are huge, idk. Baking the basic "meat" mixture helped dissipate the strong tempeh flavor, but after incorporating the rest of the ingredients the burgers were pretty soft. However, I didn't let them sit around much before pan-frying, and the book says to refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so that probably would have made a difference. They're not like meat, they're just like... veggie burgers. (fb)

The club

    This is my favorite sandwich at RFD. For that reason, I took no shortcuts with this recipe. The chicken-style seitan used for this recipe is pretty firm and holds up well to frying. I used the Tempeh Bacon Revamped recipe from Vegan Brunch (I like that one better than the bacon at RFD). I liked making this because I've been getting that sandwich so long at the restaurant, but if you've never had it, making/frying the seitan might not be worth the effort, and fake turkey slices or the like might do. Also, I was a little lazy (heh) and didn't cut the seitan as thin as suggested, so I had big pieces (one per sandwich) instead of two per sandwich. Also, the batter was pretty thick, so I thinned it down a little, and even so I didn't have enough for all my seitan; I got about 3/4 of it covered. It would probably cover even less if the seitan was cut as thin as suggested. I'll probably double the batter next time for that reason. (fb)

Barbecue sandwich with barbecued tofu
Grilled herb tofu sandwiches with sun-dried tomato pesto
Side Dishes
Spanish rice

    This comes out pretty much like the rice they have at the restaurant, but it's nothing that sticks out. If you're making Spanish rice just to have in a burrito or the like, this is fine, but if you want it to stand out in some particular way, this isn't the recipe.(fb)

Black beans

    I like the way they prepare beans, with the kombu. However, I don't like to drain the beans after soaking, because black beans will lose their color (and some flavor) if they're rinsed too much. Also, I think kombu imparts the right level of saltiness by itself, so there's no need for additional salt. Also, the onion/garlic can alternatively be boiled with the beans (and then puréed to make refried beans), but either way is good.(fb)

Refried black beans
Athena barley with kalamata olives and tomatoes

    I like this as a different way to have barley (rather than just plainly in soup or something)... I'm not used to it in a pilaf/salad like this. It's a nice change from rice. However, I think there's a little too much lemon juice in this, so next time I'd add juice to taste.(fb)

Amaranth sauté in kabocha squash
Mashed parsnips and potatoes

    I was a little wary of having mashed parsnips, but this worked well. With the soymilk and olive oil in there, it gets pretty creamy. I think next time I'd like some garlic in there (roasted, boiled, whatever) to make it closer to regular mashed potatoes. I wouldn't say this would entirely replace mashed potatoes for me, but it's a nice change if I'm tired of just potatoes. I'm not huge on parsnips myself, so it can probably be sneaked by non-parsnip people.(fb)

Garlic mashed potatoes

    I love these potatoe at the restaurant, and I love them here. Well, except when I made them I only had sweetened soymilk (a little weird), but still good. I'd probably add even more garlic next time... 5 cloves per 3lb of potatoes is not crazy enough for me. The amount of soymilk in here makes them pretty creamy.(fb)

Garlicky greens

    Whoah, just about too much garlic for me. Don't get me wrong, I like garlic, but it gets to the point where it's too acidic to eat much of this. It's probably fine for a small sidedish, but not if you want to eat a lot of greens. I'll probably cut it down from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup next time, too keep them garlicky but not too much. Besides that, this is a good greens recipe, as I'm often accidentally overshooting the cooking time and get overcooked greens. I like have a set method and amount of time for them to cook.(fb)

Adzuki and mung beans with bell peppers and cilantro
Roasted spring and summer vegetables

    Pretty good, though I'll probably sub basil or oregano for the tarragon next time. I didn't have yellow squash, so I subbed more zucchini, and I added some snow peas as well. My green beans didn't do well roasting (stayed pretty firm, though cooked)... I'm not sure if that's just how they roast, or if my green beans sucked. (fb)

Roasted fall and winter vegetables
Confetti jasmine rice with coconut

    A nice, simple rice. Easy way to dress up a 'regular' food. (fb)

Mexicali rice
Basmati rice pilaf with roasted peanuts and cilantro
Daily Spring Entrées
Sesame tempeh with sautéed collard greens and whole roasted garlic
Seitan enchiladas with salsa verde
Chicken-style seitan

    There are a lot of ingredients in this seitan and the end result is a product that doesn't have the typical seitan texture.  It is much more loafish than regular seitan.  My husband and I liked it as a change of pace.  My kids didn't love it and complained.  I used one pound to make the seitan fingers and another pound and a half to make a shepherd's pie. (jkl)
    I like this seitan in that it's doesn't come out as chewy or stretchy as homemade seitan usually does, but this one is a little more plain than the (I think it's called?) Basic Seitan that is used for the Salisbury Seitan. I'd rather make that one, but this one has the benefit of being less rich.(fb)

Seitan tacos
Spinach lasagna with herbed tomato sauce and tofu ricotta cheese
Ann's Tofu Ricotta Cheese is absolutely amazing and worth the price of the book. You can use it in so many things and it takes 2 minutes to make. I often just mix it with tomato sauce and cooked pasta, then bake it a while to make delicious baked ziti. The whole spincah/vegetable lasagna is really good too, but very labor and time intensive. I prefer the lasagna without all the vegetables because the tofu ricotta is so good it makes the dish. (laur b)
Tofu quiche with leeks and asparagus
Stir-fried vegetables with steamed rice
Daily Summer Entrées
Supreme burrito

    I made the R&B version (more simplified), mostly because this was the version we liked best at the restaurant - the Supreme one had too much going on. Anyway, this recipe is sort of a collection of other recipes from the book, and they all go well together. I'm not super enthusiastic about the Spanish rice recipe, but here it works because I wouldn't want one single thing standing out. The combination of things here is better than everything separately, and it makes for a nice hearty meal. (fb)

Red bean chili with butternut squash and okra

    I feel like this chili isn't really chili but more like spicy-bean-and-tomato-soup. There's just something missing. It's not thick enough, there's no cumin, something along those lines. Anyway, I didn't use any okra for it, and the soup's ok. It's weird because I like red beans, I like butternut squash, but I'm not really into this soup. It's not bad, but it's certainly not some great chili recipe. I'm not sure how to tweak it, since I was hoping for some cool chili-butternut amalgam.(fb)

Black bean tostadas
Grilled polenta and vegetable stackers with tomato-saffron coulis

    This was great. Sometimes I resist making recipes for things I see as pretty basic - like polenta - but it was well worth it here. It's garlicky, and the soymilk in it makes it a little creamy and sweet. For the coulis, I didn't have saffron or fennel, and used some turmeric/fenugreek instead. It was sweet, a little thick, and a bit oniony (in the good way). The combo of polenta+the tofu ricotta+the coulis is really some synergistic magic. It's magical like pizza: grain, tomato, "cheese." This is definitely something to make again. Regarding the tofu ricotta, it's a very strong "cheese" that isn't quite ricotta to me (not like I remember very well how it tastes), but some other type of cheese, and it's really rich. We ate the leftovers with crackers, and a little goes a long way. (fb)

Grilled teriyaki seitan with sweet rice and pineapple
Sweet-and-sour tempeh with vegetables
Daily Autumn Entrées
Spicy tomato seitan stew

    This didn't come out quite like I expected, but it was quite good. It comes out like a Thai curry of a tomato stew, and the vinegar was a little too much for me, so I added some coconut milk (making it more like Thai curry, hehe). I didn't use the RFD seitan recipe, but instead used storebought seitan. Whether or not you add coconut milk, it's definitely something to be eaten with rice, because it's pretty rich/the flavor is strong.(fb)

Seitan fajitas
Tempeh meat loaf

    It didn't stay together too well, and I was just kind of "meh" about it. My boyfriend loved it though, probably because one of its ingredients is ketchup, haha. I think it's just a tempeh thing. If i made it again, I'd probably increase the herbs. (fb)

Baked spelt macaroni with cashew cheddar cheese

    Changes: brown rice pasta instead of spelt, not baked and just heated stovetop, and no agar in the cheese (from past experience of making it, I thought it would have been too firm for pasta). I had some leftover cheese, and it actually firmed up pretty well in the fridge anyway. I love their cashew cheese, so it's hard for me not to like pasta + cashew cheese. It's probably pretty high in fat though... whatever. My previous favorite mac & cheese was the Best Mac & Cheese in the World one, and this one wins now by a small margin. (fb)

Faux turkey breasts
Corn-sage stuffing
Green bean casserole
Mashed yams
Cranberry relish

    Best cranberry sauce I've had. It's definitely worth using the maple syrup... I didn't think it would make a whole lot of difference, but it does. It's such a simple recipe, but it really doesn't need anything else added to it. Also, I didn't add salt.(fb)

Acorn squash stuffed with sweet rice, currants, and vegetables
Daily Winter Entrées
Salisbury seitan

    Whenever there's somebody new to RFD, we force them to have this dish. It's probably not a whole lot like steak, but it's delicious. This recipe replicates it faithfully. The herbs in here (thyme and sage) are perfect for the other seasonings, and make it kind of Thanksgiving-y. In fact, I'd serve this instead of a turkey imitation for Thanksgiving. It's like the definition of savory. The texture of the seitan here is perfect IMO - too often I make seitan that's too squishy because it's been boiled or steamed, but the method here (combined with some flour and nooch, and baked) gives the dense, "meaty" texture I want seitan to have. (fb)
    Five stars.  I made it using the basic seitan recipe in the book, which is probably the quickest and easiest seitan recipe I've come across.  The seitan bakes up very meatloafy, though, and doesn't have the chewier texture that I like.  However, it is quite tasty and works well in the Salisbury Seitan recipe.  The other great thing about the dish is that it is easy to make and can be mostly made ahead of time and refrigerated. It only needs 15 minutes in the oven before dinner.  I ran out of steam and didn't make the Golden Gravy, serving it with instant gravy instead, but it was still very tasty. I served it with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes.(jkl)
    (Basic Seitan) It was ridiculously easy, and had a great flavor, but the texture was a little spongy.  I made it for the Salisbury Seitan recipe, but ended up soaking it in a soy "buttermilk" and frying it like "chicken" nuggets.  That was a good decision: my family asked me to make it again for dinner the next day!  I will definitely make it again, and try it in the Salisbury Seitan recipe next time. (SweetGeorgiaPeach)

Creole tempeh gumbo
Thai rice croquettes with udon noodles and peanut sauce

    I just made the croquettes, and I didn't like them much. I remember liking this dish at the restaurant, but here it doesn't seem to be the same. The croquettes were too dry (especially the rice on the outside), and the flavors weren't quite what I was used to - maybe too much pb and curry? (fb)

Orange-Glazed Tempeh Triangles
We are not big tempeh fans, but I make it once a month. This recipe produced very good results.  I followed it almost exactly, except I poached my tempeh before adding it to the marinade and I omitted the red pepper flakes. The recipe calls for two blocks of tempeh, and one of them I cut into 12 strips for my children. The other block I cut into triangles as directed but I misread the directions and in the last step I cut them in half down the middle instead of slicing them in half horizontally to produce very thin layers.  They would have been even better had I followed the directions exactly. My children's strips I dredged in flour and pan fried.  My triangles I broiled as directed, but it does make a black mess of the pan so lining it with aluminum foil is a good precaution.  The two older children ate theirs with ketchup and the littest one protested but ate about half of her serving. (I ate the other half). Very nice way to serve tempeh, I think. The marinade was pretty easy to pull together. However, it uses copious amounts of maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, canola oil and brown rice syrup, making it possibly the most expensive tempeh marinade ever. After the tempeh is through marinating, only a little of the marinade is brushed on before broiling, leaving the rest to be poured down the sink. That part felt quite wasteful and it made me sad. (jkl)
Roasted vegetables napoleon with portobello mushroom demi-glace
Chorizo tempeh samosas
RFD Meal
Steamed toasted millet and quinoa
Arame with snow peas and carrots

    I used hijiki. I've only had it a couple times before, in limited quantities. It has a very, very strong sea flavor (more than nori or wakame), so it's difficult to eat much of this at once. I think it does better as a relish type of thing, considering. The arame takes over, and soy sauce/sugar are the secondary flavors. But, arame might not be as strongly flavored - I've never had it. (fb)

Black-eyed peas with kombu
Steamed brown rice
Steamed greens
Steamed spring and summer vegetables
Steamed fall and winter vegetables
Pressed salad
Corn on the cob with umeboshi
Steamed whole winter squash
Pickled radish
Gomasio
Desserts
Pecan pie
Peanut butter and jam cookies
Tofu cheesecake with raspberry purée
Chocolate chip cookies
Double chocolate layer cake

    This has always been *the* cake to get, in whatever variation it comes. For the decaf coffee powder, I used instant espresso. I thought the cake tasted more like the barley flour that went in it than the one sold at the restaurant, but my boyfriend swore it was the exact same. ? Also, it was a little dry, so I think I might have overbaked it a little bit. The frosting is very thick and not overly sweet. It's not frosting like buttercream, but fudgier... it's sort of like thick mousse. It's very easy to pipe into shapes and decorate the cake(fb)

Double-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Strawberry kanten
Coconut cream pie with chocolate sauce

    This is a pretty good pie. I like that the coconut is actually blended in the mix, not just stirred in, which gives it a better, smoother consistency. Though I like coconut, I'm never floored by coconut cream pie type creations, and this one isn't really different. It probably doesn't make much of difference using maple as opposed to regular sugar. (fb)

Five-spice carrot-cashew butter
Sort of unusual. I mean, it's not weird in that it tastes exactly like you think it would (cashew butter + cooked carrots + little bit of five spice), but the flavor combination is unique. Kind of sweet, rich, and there's just a tiny bit of spice. I often don't like five-spice though, so that was good. We used it for crackers; I think it would be tough to spread on bread.

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Hi FB I see you made the Thai rice croquettes. In the book, there is a recipe immediately following for Orange-Glazed Tempeh Triangles.  It doesn't have it's own bold heading--it is just a recipe that follows as a suggested accompaniment.  I was wondering if you have made this and how it turned out. I was thinking of trying it this week. Thanks!

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nah, i haven't. I'm not much of a tempeh person, and I can't find brown rice syrup locally (it's in the recipe). I might make it sometime though...

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Orange-Glazed Tempeh Triangles--this is on page 195, after the Thai rice croquettes recipe.

We are not big tempeh fans, but I make it once a month.  This recipe produced very good results.  I followed it almost exactly, except I poached my tempeh before adding it to the marinade and I omitted the red pepper flakes. The recipe calls for two blocks of tempeh, and one of them I cut into 12 strips for my children. The other block I cut into triangles as directed but I misread the directions and in the last step I cut them in half down the middle instead of slicing them in half horizontally to produce very thin layers.  They would have been even better had I followed the directions exactly.

My children's strips I dredged in flour and pan fried.  My triangles I broiled as directed, but it does make a black mess of the pan so lining it with aluminum foil is a good precaution.  The two older children ate theirs with ketchup and the littest one protested but ate about half of her serving. (I ate the other half). Very nice way to serve tempeh, I think.

The marinade was pretty easy to pull together. However, it uses copious amounts of maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, canola oil and brown rice syrup, making it possibly the most expensive tempeh marinade ever. After the tempeh is through marinating, only a little of the marinade is brushed on before broiling, leaving the rest to be poured down the sink. That part felt quite wasteful and it made me sad.  :(

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Tried two things last week:

Salisbury Seitan:  Five stars.  I made it using the basic seitan recipe in the book, which is probably the quickest and easiest seitan recipe I've come across.  The seitan bakes up very meatloafy, though, and doesn't have the chewier texture that I like.  However, it is quite tasty and works well in the Salisbury Seitan recipe.  The other great thing about the dish is that it is easy to make and can be mostly made ahead of time and refrigerated. It only needs 15 minutes in the oven before dinner.  I ran out of steam and didn't make the Golden Gravy, serving it with instant gravy instead, but it was still very tasty. I served it with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes.

Turkish Lentil Soup:  This is probably an excellent lentil soup recipe.  However, I don't cook with onions, and this is not a soup to try if you're going to cut them out, since the onions are very important to the final product (which I realized too late).  I tried subbing other vegetables, but the flavor wasn't there.  The other stupid thing was that I wimped out on adding all the rosemary.   It called for 2 tbls choppsed fresh rosemary, which sounded like an awful lot.  However, the rosemary is added very early in the cooking process, and by the end it mellows out.  So I tried to correct for it at the end, and then ended up with an overly rosemary-ish soup.  BTW, the recipe makes a huge pot of soup.

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I made the basic seitan recipe lately, too.  It was ridiculously easy, and had a great flavor, but the texture was a little spongy.  I made it for the Salisbury Seitan recipe, but ended up soaking it in a soy "buttermilk" and frying it like "chicken" nuggets.  That was a good decision: my family asked me to make it again for dinner the next day!  I will definitely make it again, and try it in the Salisbury Seitan recipe next time.

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My attempt at this cornbread was semi successful.  It game out a bit too gummy and dense.  However, the crunchy crust was delicious.  I'm not sure if it's the recipe of something I did wrong.  :-\

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Spinach lasagna with herbed tomato sauce and tofu ricotta cheese

Ann's Tofu Ricotta Cheese is absolutely amazing and worth the price of the book. You can use it in so many things and it takes 2 minutes to make. I often just mix it with tomato sauce and cooked pasta, then bake it a while to make delicious baked ziti.

The whole spincah/vegetable lasagna is really good too, but very labor and time intensive. I prefer the lasagna without all the vegetables because the tofu ricotta is so good it makes the dish.

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I've tried the Blackened Tempeh from the Caesar salad with blackened tempeh recipe. I didn't do the breading, though. It's awesome. Sweet yet savory. However the recipe uses a lot of brown rice syrup and a lot of oil. Lately I've been using my adapted recipe, replacing the brown rice syrup with a smaller amount of maple syrup and lessening the oil. It's just as good.

Oh I also always boil/simmer the cut tempeh for 10-15 minutes before marinating. That way it expands in size and any bitterness is eliminated.

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Teriyaki Sauce

For DH's birthday last week I wanted to make the "Grilled Seitan Skewers with Pineapple and Sushi Rice."  Somewhere along the lines I had forgotten the recipe called for seitan and planned to use tofu, only to be surprised on birthday morning when I opened up the cookbook.  So I used firm pressed tofu, broiled and not grilled since we don't have a grill, and not on skewers since it's too much of a pain, and white sushi rice instead of the brown rice blend she calls for.  So I'm not reviewing that recipe because I made too many substitutions, but I did make the Teriyaki Sauce, which is a central part of the recipe.

The Teriyaki Sauce is outstanding.  A bit of a pain to make with the fesh pineapple and mango, and expensive with all that maple syrup. You have to cook it then puree it then strain it.  As soon as it was finished I tasted it and I thought blah, what a waste of effort.  But by later that day the flavors came together and it was really good. The recipe makes a lot--at least 4 cups--and a few days later I used some of the leftovers for baked tofu. By that time the fruit flavors came out and it was outstanding.  I still had some leftover and froze it but I suspect it will lose some flavor.  I would definitely make this again, but at least the day before I planned to use it.

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that's what stops me from making several things from here - stuff like loads of maple syrup. and that's something that's hard to substitute without losing the effect... hmm

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that's what stops me from making several things from here - stuff like loads of maple syrup. and that's something that's hard to substitute without losing the effect... hmm

And it's even worse when it goes into a marinade that gets poured down the sink!

Her recipes are definitely in a higher class than the average everyday cookbook. I find many of them a  little too time-consuming for the average weeknight supper ('m dying to try the tempeh meatloaf  but I get tired just reading the recipe).

I see she has a new family supper cookbook out and it's going on my xmas list.

PS: but try the teriyaki sauce some day and halve the recipe since it makes a ton.

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I read the reviews of that one, and it has some of the some complaints. But I wonder if that's more of people complaining about ingredients that are hard to find in certain areas (that would be easy for me), or a reliance on expensive ingredients (like maple syrup). Hmm

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I read the reviews of that one, and it has some of the some complaints. But I wonder if that's more of people complaining about ingredients that are hard to find in certain areas (that would be easy for me), or a reliance on expensive ingredients (like maple syrup). Hmm

On Amazon ppl seem to be complaining the recipes are too much work.  I'll have to check it out in the bookstore first.

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Cream of napa cabbage and watercress soup with basil:

This was the recipe that caught my eye in the bookstore, and finally the triumverate of essential ingredients appeared before me at the markets. I thought the soup was just okay, however, my family loved it. They slurped down a double batch in less tha a day (good thing, too, because it doesn't keep for very long). I usually don't like miso added to non-Asian dishes, but it worked well here as I added it just after reheating the soup, along with the basil. The recipe calls for green cabbage as well as napa cabbage, but the quantities aren't exact, and next time I think I will be more conservative with the cabbage.

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