Cooking from Forks Over Knives Cookbook

I’m following along with the Veg CookBook Club this month. I wish I was “cooking” along, but that doesn’t seem entirely accurate; I have only managed one recipe so far in November! The book is Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook, by Del Sroufe. The documentary by the same name was released in 2011 and is a very informative movie on health reasons to go vegan. I highly recommend it and couldn’t possibly do it justice by trying to summarize. Two weeks ago, I managed to make the Barley and Sweet Potato Pilaf the night before I was working a half day and leaving for a conference. This is the preface to explain the hurried pictures.

I know it’s goofy for a vegetarian, but I’m not a huge onion fan. Because they typically are needed for flavor, I decided to cut the amount of onion in half. I just don’t like them in large amounts, in every fork or spoonful. The Forks Over Knives folks believe in cooking without oils and the recipes often call for cooking onions and garlic (or whatever the starter vegetables may be) in water. I was anxious to see how this would work. It worked fine in my enameled cast iron pan. You add a tablespoon or two of water when needed…no sticking problem encountered. I also liked the fact that this recipe is a single-pan dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, I used dried tarragon due to availability issues at my grocery. The pilaf seemed like it might be rather bland until I added the freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest at the end. I loved the flavor, with freshly ground pepper added too. This would especially taste great as a spring dish.

Not a bad start to this book, even with the onions! I think I will keep going with this book for the next month. If you are curious, check out the Veg CookBook Club. If you read the blog comments, you will get a feel for whether this might be a cookbook for you. It could very well be at your library too! Additionally, if you explore the Forks Over Knives website, I saw some great recipes posted there.

I just had to share that the Gardein Holiday Roast was worth the wait until Saturday. The omnivore adults surprised me by (every one of them) tasting it and commenting that they thought it was good. They were quite intrigued by the resemblance to the “T” word and the ingredients list. Very tasty, especially with extra cranberry sauce added along.

Have a splendid week!

Happy Thanksgiving. Yep, not that original, but heartfelt…

I do wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. What a good holiday I’ve had so far…

  • Brought my son to run his first ever Thanksgiving Day 10K. I couldn’t run, but you know, I’m thankful for having been a spectator. Beautiful sunny morning, Starbucks coffee in hand, total inspiration in the experience of watching people of all shapes and sizes accomplish a goal.
  • Took a family walk in our nearby park. I’m thankful for having a park with a one mile wooded trail just down the street.
  • Pumpkin pie is baking in the oven to bring to Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for food. Pumpkin pie kind of food!
  • I am anticipating (big time) my non-meat Gardein Roast but decided to wait until my side of the family celebrates Thanksgiving Saturday. I did pull it out today to gaze longingly at it…
  • I am thankful for you too. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. I may not always know how to space things out (e.g. pictures, text) or write them with correct grammar, but it’s been a blast so far.

Did you happen to see this Google Search homepage today? Macy’s parade theme.

Don’t forget to enjoy your veggies today! I know I will. Just to make you smile, here are some veggie “outtakes” from this year…pictures I didn’t use on the blog, or shouldn’t have! We have “mangled” squash, overcooked squash, and really ugly kale chips. Oh my.

 

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

Good Finds this Week including Thanksgiving “Roast”

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I’m really excited about! I found Gardein Holiday Roast at Whole Foods on Saturday by searching the entire store (the guy near the front taking holiday orders was not sure if it was in stock yet). I was unsure whether I could find this vegan “faux” holiday roast because I don’t live near Whole Foods for frequent checking and I thought they might go quickly. This looked terrific in VegNews magazine. Gardein makes some tasty products which are designed to be the plant-based protein source in a meal. This is my third Thanksgiving as a vegetarian, and my first time to try a product like this. It will be fun to have a “main dish” I can eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some other things I stocked up on that I can recommend. I love red lentils and can’t find them at my local grocery. The last time I was at Whole Foods about 3 weeks ago, their normal slot on the shelf was empty. I wistfully found a store employee and asked whether there could be red lentils in the back. I felt a little self-conscious at that point, but I just had to check. Red lentils cook in 20 minutes and can be added to soups, simmered with any sauce or broth, and seem to come up often in vegetarian recipes.

The Nature’s Path organic instant oatmeal is my favorite quick breakfast when I don’t make oatmeal in my rice cooker. I love the blueberry, flax, and cinnamon combination.

I’ll admit I haven’t tried the 365 brand organic canola oil yet, but it’s definitely better to use organic canola from what I have read. See this post for details.

Lastly, Soy Boy Tofu Lin is Asian flavored organic tofu which is already marinated and cooked. I just cubed it and added it in my veggie stir fry towards the end of cooking, to heat it through. I love how easy that is when you don’t want to press, marinate, and cook the tofu. And tofu and I have an ongoing battle anyways, don’t we?

Have you found any interesting products lately? Are you preparing for Thanksgiving yet?

Fall Cooking and that Little Election Thing

Hi there! Yes, it’s been a little while. You see, we live in Ohio, USA. I’ve been busy standing by my answering machine hitting the delete button upon receipt of political calls all day and evening long. It was hard to cook that way. I was afraid my machine would become overloaded and somehow bring down the entire power grid in my house. You get the picture. Yesterday Ohio let out a collective sigh of exhaustion and became a humble and insignificant place once more. So, here’s what’s on my mind…

I tried, but could not stop cooking squash. Hey, it’s healthier than cooking desserts, right? I made another spaghetti squash, which was once again awesome (see the last post). I made a small acorn squash, which in keeping with my natural cooking karma, was a debacle. I thought it was becoming darker green as it cooked in the oven. In fact, it was becoming charred. Luckily, I took it out before it started smoking. I had tried the same basic baking method I discussed in my last post. This time I used a green acorn squash and not the more unusual white acorn squash I had cooked last week, thinking it was the “typical” acorn squash. I am pretty convinced that I might need to give up on all colors of acorn squash…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry salsa served with blue corn chips

Last weekend, I made a cranberry salsa, following the recipe on a bag of Paradise Meadows brand fresh cranberries. I’m going to write it out here, in case you don’t want to go to the website. The bag and website recipes are identical. I will tweak this recipe next time to chop the green onions myself (the recommended 3 inch pieces did not shred with the medium processor blade) and to mix the sugar and lime juice together before adding. I will probably decrease the sugar by about 1/3 to start and then adjust from there. It may be just as delicious with less sugar.

The salsa was a hit with the adults who tried it. I must admit, I didn’t go out of my way to share and consumed about 75% of it! I plan to serve this over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. This recipe is something different to serve or bring to gatherings. In addition, I firmly believe all things with cilantro are perfect…

Cranberry Salsa (recipe by Paradise Meadows)

  • 1 12 oz bag of Paradise Meadows cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1  bunch green onion, cut into 3-inch lengths (see my note on this)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a medium blade. Chop to medium consistency. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Serve at room temperature.

Lastly, I received the Forks over Knives Cookbook by Del Sroufe for cooking and participating in the November Veg CookBook Club, but have not yet started cooking from it. My first recipe will be (I hope soon!) Barley and Sweet Potato Pilaf.

Enjoy your cooking adventures! I will be enjoying my silence.