Tuesday 16 October 2012

Cookbook Challenge Tuesday

I don't think a Cookbook Challenge Tuesday has ever come together as perfectly as this one. The books I pulled out of the bundt pan today were The Urban Vegan, Vegan With A Vengeance and Veganomicon, in that order. As I was picking the pages a plan started to come together...

The Urban Vegan, Page 133, Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin
Vegan With A Vengeance, Page 88, Seitan and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms
Veganomicon, Page 53, Autumn Latkes

...can you see it? All of these things go together!! Unlike the time I made cookies, cookies, and potatoes or french toast, beans, and a burger these are things I could cook at the same time & put on the same plate. Amazing! The other thing about all of these recipes is that I would never have picked them. No chance, I'm meh about brussels sprouts, Nick hates mushrooms and to be quite honest I wasn't entirely sure what a Latke was!

I started by getting all three work areas together...

I was pretty pleased when I realised that each recipe was actually pretty simple and that they all used different cooking methods, one under the grill, one in the oven and one in the frying pan. Win!

The brussels sprout dish from The Urban Vegan was one of the simplest recipes I've ever seen, there are only three ingredients and I could probably have thrown it together blindfolded!

The stuffed mushrooms were the more labour intensive, but really, if you have some seitan knocking about they're easy!

After reading the recipe I quickly worked out what a Latke was, a fried potato pancake not dissimilar to a hash brown. This recipe uses sweet potato, carrot and beetroot in place of potato and I think I made a bit of a mistake here. I've never actually cooked with beetroot before having only recently developed a taste for it and I picked up a packet of cooked beetroot at the store. I think that how runny my latke mixture was means that I shoulda used raw beetroot, there were no disasters though, I just had to be super careful getting them into & out of the pan.

I was super amazed at A, how delicious everything was. I enjoyed everything which given that these were recipes I felt a little underwhelmed by upon reading was quite a surprise. And B, how well everything went together given that they were randomly chosen, from different cookbooks, and not things that you'd immediately look at & put together.

The noochy brussels sprouts were great, I usually save sprouts for Christmas lunch because they're traditional, eat one or two, and leave the rest. These? I ate the whole lot and I'd definitely make them again. The stuffed mushrooms were delicious, as you can see from the picture I decided to do big mushrooms instead of the little ones recommended in the recipe and that worked out pretty well. I really liked the herby seitan stuffing and I'd consider making it to stuff inside almost anything! The latkes were probably the star of the show though, not necessarily because I liked them most but because I was most surprised by them. As I said earlier I'm a new convert to beetroot after years of trying, sweet potato is pretty low on my much loved veggies list, and usually, if something has fennel in, it I'll run screaming in the opposite direction...well, not literally, but you get the idea! I really didn't think I'd like these but I was totally won over by their earthy, sweet flavour and crispy fried outsides. What a great meal!


  1. Those Brussels sprouts have been on my "to try" list forever. They look different than what I expected somehow. I think I was expecting a crispy or gooey topping, though I don't know how you'd get that from just EB and nooch.

  2. i'm loving your cookbook challenge! I tried something similar in the past - i.e cook three new things a week, but failed. I'm thinking maternity leave is the perfect opportunity to get the recipe books out :-)

  3. Anything that makes sweet potato taste good s got to have some dose of freaky magic in there. I'll go for double the brussels sprouts!

  4. Wow it really does seem like you planned it since everything went together so well and it's totally a fall holidays meal too! Looks great!

  5. I have all of those books but haven't tried those recipes yet, everything looks so amazing i'll have to give it a go myself! =D I love sprouts though I seem to serve them more around the holidays then any other time.

  6. What a fluke! I was just wondering how that worked too, when you pick three things that are horrible together do you allow yourself a redraw? I think it’s awesome that you pretty much picked all fall type meals too. Those Brussels sprouts sound super good, I need to go get that book from the library again because I’m pretty sure that recipe was overlooked last time.

    1. Nope, no re-draws! If the things don't go well together I just end up eating very strange meals!

  7. That is an excellent combo indeedy! I have not tried that Brussels sprout recipe yet, but now that you liked it I am going to. The Autumn latkes look so tasty and pretty! I like that they're a bit charred. Awesome cookbook challenge! You kicked serious butt!

  8. I've been meaning to give brussel sprouts a try...I've never tried them.

    But I LOVE latkes with apple sauce and vegan sour cream! Soo good.

  9. I really must try those mushrooms! It all looks so good.

  10. What a fantastic selection of random recipes, you really lucked out this time! I love brussel sprouts but have never had them with nooch before, they sound great. The latkes and mushrooms look really good too.

  11. those mushrooms look effin rad! it all does.

  12. yay! I love that you had such a super successful cookbook challenge. I am totally impressed at your dedication to The Rules. I love the way that you make whatever you pull out of the bundt pan, no matter what. You are awesome!!!

    also, I like the way you call it "beetroot." I call it "beets"

  13. I have all of those books and haven't made any of those things but would be up for trying them now after seeing this post, especially those beautiful looking latkes!

  14. I think I am gonna make those latkes now!

  15. If you need a coffee shop that is more ethical (heard new york cafe doesn't do fair trade so makes vegan cake a bit pointless.... :() , come down Cowley club on London road on Thursday nights, do tea and coffee till around 10pm if you want and even get an awesome vegan meal for £4 (or can just get tea or coffee, fair trade and with oat milk, often do vegan cake too!) , last night was a full 3 course meal, bloody tasty!

  16. Hey, i own a business in Brighton and have been thinking about becoming a vegan for a while now. I really love your blog, it's encouraged me, I'm a few steps closer to making the plunge. Thank you.

    PS Everything looks scrumptious!!

    Jenni xxx


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