This month the team set out to try different recipes from the wonderful cookbooks sitting on the shelves in the Livery Shop. Below are the true tales of the culinary challenges our fearless cooks faced this past week.
Caution: please be advised to read on a full stomach, or at least have a gosh darn good snack in front of you. Also, be aware of your own drool marks as the deliciousness from these stories is immeasurable.
The First Mess Cookbook
Broccoli Caesar with Smoky Tempeh Bits is a regular go-to around our house. I love it, my husband loves it, and I'm pretty sure our fetus loves it because between the tempeh, the broccoli & the cashew butter, it's super nutritious.
As a serious Caesar salad fanatic, I can say with 100% certainty that this is the best Caesar salad dressing I have ever had. It'll probably become your new party trick.
In the recipe's preamble, the author (Laura Wright) mentions that you can either blanch or roast the broccoli. I would HIGHLY suggest roasting the broccoli. It gets so crunchy and flavourful. While the broccoli is roasting, you make the dressing and the tempeh "bacon" and the whole meal is ready to devour in 20 minutes.
HOT TIP: make twice the amount of sauce & roast the broccoli
Hot For Food - Vegan Comfort Food
As an inexperienced cook, I wanted to choose a recipe that was simple, but still more than just a handful of ingredients. I ended up going with “Spicy Peanut Noodles” from “Vegan Comfort Classics” by Lauren Toyota and it definitely did not disappoint! The peanut sauce was soo easy and soo delicious, and was all around the perfect dinner recipe.
Lauren is the brain behind the blog ‘hot for food’ and this book focuses on ways to make your favourite comfort classics, but without the use of any animal products. It definitely makes vegan comfort food totally accessible to everybody, whether you’re vegan or not and whatever your skill level may be!
HOT TIP: One of the best parts about this recipe is how customizable it is – add tofu, add veggies, take out veggies, put it on rice instead, the options are truly endless.
Moon Juice Cookbook
I made the Celery Cilantro Punch from the Moon Juice cookbook. The Moon Juice cookbook has a lovely soft-touch cover and is black like my soul so I was drawn to it instantly. I chose this recipe because I had a bushel of celery in my fridge already :) The book also said that it provides stress relief and detoxification so I wanted to live my best life and be the picture of health. In my head I imagined myself drinking this juice from a mason jar with a reusable straw after a yoga class.
In reality, this juice tastes just like its name except for more celery-y.
HOT TIP by T: I would add some extra apple to up the sweetness & probably customize it with some turmeric & pepper for that extra anti-inflammatory benefit!!
15 Minute Vegan
The 2 minute chocolate chip and pecan cookie was fairly easy to make. The ingredients were readily available in my kitchen (minus the pecans) and easy to prepare. If you’re feeling like making a single cookie to indulge yourself, this is the recipe for you. The best part was how fast it was to prepare. Once you have all the ingredients prepped and ready (about 5 minutes), the process of making the cookie only took another 5 minutes.
I did make a couple of modifications to the recipe. I ran out of vanilla extract and substituted that with coconut milk, and I had regular butter instead of vegan butter. I also used sea salt dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate chips. While this may have changed the original flavor the author had intended, I thought the flavor was still good even with the new additions. The most interesting ingredient was probably the pecans – I’ve never had a chocolate chip pecan cookie before and the crunchiness was a nice addition to the gooey chocolate.
I do wish that the cookie was softer and more moist. The cookie turned out to be crumbly and slightly dry, but the pecans and chocolate chips made it up for it. You may have to experiment with the proportions of wet/dry ingredients to find the optimal consistency. Best enjoyed with a glass of milk of your choice!
HOT TIP: I would recommend mixing the dry ingredients together first, then melt the butter and add it immediately. The recipe calls for 1 tbsp of butter – I added 2 tbsp and it was still slightly dry. I would recommend adding even more (2.5 - 3 tbsp) depending on the dough consistency.
Green Kitchen Travels
I am going to say upfront, I took some liberties when it came to making the recipes I chose. First of all, I had to work around a main that I had already taken out of the freezer that morning, open face lamb burger on toasted olive bread (#delicious). Lucky for me, I found two Moroccan Salads from from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl, which is a sister book to their first cookbook, Green Kitchen at Home. Shared in this cookbook are the couples favorite vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes from years of travelling the world. I chose, Marinated Carrots and Lemony Pepper & Tomato Salad.
First of all, I didn't have four red peppers, cumin or four giant orange carrots. So, rather than buying exactly what I needed, I used what I already had in fridge, different colour peppers, a cumin interpretation of chilli powder-curry powder mix, and eight smaller sized carrots. The most difficult part for me was peeling the skins after roasting the peppers. I have never done this before, and instead of using my brain cells, I decided to try and peel them while they were fresh out of the 400 degree oven...ouch. In the end, they turned out to be fresh, healthy, and easy sides to make.
HOT TIP: make sure you have cumin and also youtube how to peel roasted peppers before your fingers have regrets.
Hopefully, our cookbooks have inspired the culinary genius in you and thanks for tuning in this month! #theliverylovesyou