Tuesday, August 22, 2017

America's Test Kitchen Local Vegetarian Eats

We're in the produce sweet spot right now.  There are so many yummy gifts to be picked from the garden daily.
It is a thick, riotous jungle of vegetables and flowers back there.  The bees are buzzing on the blossoms.  Each day my plate is full of bright, glossy peppers, luscious  and beautiful eggplants, tender green beans, magnificently aromatic garlic, and so on.  It is just delightful.  And delicious.  And tremendously satisfying.
We've been using this abundant variety of veg to work through this rather fantastic book--The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen.  My dad had a friend who didn't want it and so he snagged it for me, because he's a thoughtful fellow like that knowing how I like my vegetables, books, and cooking.
Now usually I'm not much for plain ol' vegetarian cookbooks these days.  I've got enough vegan cookbooks and recipes under my belt and enough family recipes to veganize that I don't actively seek out non-vegan cookbooks.  Too much cheese to work around more often than not.  My dad actually commented on this when he offered it to us.  However Matt and I both appreciate the scientific approach taken by America's Test Kitchen so we opted to give it a closer inspection--and man, oh, man....what a great cookbook!
Everything we've tried has been incredible.
The lo mien, tempeh tacos, fried tofu fingers (so chewy and delightful in their light dusting of cornstarch), fideos, vegetarian fish sauce (which really takes our Drunken Noodles recipe up a notch, I gotta say), sweet potato fries, Thai-style curry over these magnificent little fried rice cakes....every single thing we've tried we're excited to make again and again.
Except the sweet potato fries which Matt said were too much work to fry.  (I'm devising a method to bake them instead.  The crispy coating was perfect, but I can see Matt's point.  I want more sweet potato fries in my life, but I don't care if they're actually fried.)  We also refuse to use anything but extra-firm tofu.  We don't care what the Test Kitchen says.  We find the texture much more pleasing.
Of course--full disclosure--we're only partially following the directions on some recipes because that is how we roll.  
I mean, so what if the curry doesn't really call for cauliflower?  We love curried cauliflower and we have cauliflower so curry with green beans, peppers, and cauliflower it is.  And sometimes they're just a little too fancy in their preparation methods.  I'm sure their way is marginally superior--taste tested as it is and all--but my way is still fantastic and considerably fewer steps so....
It is a swell cookbook--tasty, flexible recipes, instructive tips and techniques, and helpful and appealing photographs.  I highly recommend it.
...now I gotta lay hands on the Test Kitchen's Vegan for Everybody collection!

2 comments:

  1. That all looks so delicious...and your garden is gorgeous!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!! Gardening combines our two loves--food and nature! <3 Hooray for good eats and time to putter in the tomatoes!

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