For people who didn't read the blog during last years MoFo the Cookbook Challenge is where I pick the names of my cookbooks out of a hat (I even have a real hat this year!) & use a random number generator to select which recipes I'll be cooking. I also won't be cooking any recipes I've made before & I'll be choosing the weeks recipes at the start of the week so that I don't have to food shop every day. That'll also mean that the challenge isn't too planned out which is part of the fun.
The first cookbook out of the hat today was Color Me Vegan.
This is one of my newest cookbooks & it's the second one I have that's written by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I have actually managed to cook a few things from it & my favourite recipe so far has been the Swiss Chard Pie which I've made three times subbing spinach for swiss chard each time.
Today the recipe generator picked me page 130 Kiwi Banana Muffins. This definitely isn't a recipe I'd have picked myself. I'm not the biggest kiwi eater, I do like them but they're not something I often buy... I don't really know why!
I got my ingredients together.
I was surprised that all of the liquid in the recipe came from fruit, I usually bake with oil so using margarine was a bit of a change. The recipe came together quickly but I'm glad that the recipe included the amount of kiwi purée the fruits should yield rather than just the number of kiwis because the number of suggested kiwis actually made twice the amount of purée the recipe needed which would have resulted in incredibly soggy muffins.
I thought that the muffins came out a little strangely. They hardly rose & were quite heavy. These weren't dense as I suspected they might be when I pulled them out of the oven, they were actually quite moist but also a little gummy. I don't think I over mixed them but then again you never know. That said I doubt I'll be making them again because peeling & mushing the kiwis seems like a lot of effort for a just-okay muffin!
Next out of the hat was Please Don't Feed The Bears.
Now I have to be honest here, I cooked one recipe from this cookbook last year during the Cookbook Challenge, it didn't turn out brilliantly & I haven't actually used it since. The recipe the generator picked me was the Frankenbeans. This certainly looked very promising, I like all of the ingredients & the directions were just to throw them all into a pan together & heat them up.
I chose a smokey tofu hot dog for this recipe because it seemed that it would go well with the other flavours in the dish. I'd also never tried them before which fitted in with the challenge. The dish also included light molasses which I haven't ever been able to find so I used part molasses sugar & part maple syrup. These were really, really good.
Really good! Especially given how ridiculously simple the recipe is. This dish was great on it's own but I imagine it'd make a great beans & rice bowl with brown rice & smokey greens. You could even make this a much cheaper dish by making steamed smoky seitan sausages rather than buying expensive hot dogs. I'll definitely be making these again, in fact thinking about it they'd probably make perfect drunk food!
The third & final cookbook of the day was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. I've actually had this cookbook for about two years & I don't think I've ever used it. It was included in last years Cookbook Challenge but it never came up & I've always found it a little intimidating, probably because it's quite big & has no photos at all.
The recipe that came up was the Tuscan White Bean & Fennel Stew with Orange & Rosemary. This sounded promising, my only worry was that whilst I'd never actually cooked with fennel I'd decided after smelling it that I probably wouldn't like it. I do love stews though especially now that the weather has turned all Autumnal & tying new things is the point of the cookbook challenge so I soldiered on.
It was another easy to throw together recipe, not as easy as the Frankenbeans but I don't think anything ever will be!
I was pleased to realise that cooked fennel tastes much milder than raw fennel smells. I don't even think I could taste it in the finished stew. I loved the taste of fresh rosemary, I don't actually think I've ever cooked with it before but I'll probably make more of an effort to get fresh herbs when recipes call for them now.
What's your favourite recipe from Vegan Planet? I'd love some ideas of what to make from it once the challenge is over. Today's been super fun & I'll be back with more cookbook challenge fun tomorrow!