Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Recipe Review List for: A Modern Way to Eat, Anna Jones

UPDATED: 8/22/2016

A while back, I did a book review on I've Been Domesticated for Anna Jones' A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes (That Will Make You Feel Amazing).  I thought it would be interesting to start going back to some of the books I've reviewed and tell you if they're actually as good as I thought they were going to be.

For the record, this cookbook is not vegan, but it is easy to convert her recipes to vegan friendly ones. She points out in her introduction, "Many of my recipes are naturally vegan...I've included a lot of egg and dairy alternatives in my recipes as it's becoming more and more a way of life for people who want to lighten the load on their bodies and the planet."  So great, they're easily veganized, but are they good?  Here goes:



Overnight oats with peaches p. 20  Okay, so I left out the lemon juice and peaches, but it's not peach season!  Otherwise, I mostly followed this recipe.  It was my first foray into muesli, or overnight oats.  It is amazing and while I still don't follow this recipe to a T, I do use it as a guideline for how much nuts, seeds, etc. to put in.

Banana, blueberry, and pecan pancakes p. 39  Mine looked nothing like the picture.  They came out like an oatmeal cookie/pancake hybrid.  I think I took "Grind the oats in a food processor just slightly, until you have a rough oat flour" too literally.  And She said the pecans should be "roughly chopped."  I ground both to what I thought was a rough flour, and I think that was the problem.  I'm going to try these again, but I'm going to grind both the oats and nuts into a normal looking flour.  They were good, but not what I wanted when I was looking for a pancake breakfast.

Banana_pancakes
Picture from http://annajones.co.uk/recipe/banana-blueberry-and-pecan-pancakes

Cherry poppy seed waffles p. 42  I think these were meant for a Belgian waffle maker, not my old school, cast iron, flat, rectangle waffles.  They came out doughy.  So far the only waffle recipe I really like in mine is Marion Cunningham's yeasted waffle recipe.  I bet these would be better in a Belgian waffle maker, so I'd give it a go if you own one.

Speedy sweet potato quesadillas p. 52 Honestly, I didn't think this would be impressive.  I mean, really, grated sweet potatoes and mashed beans?  They turned out to be really good!  I used these habanero and lime tortillas from Trader Joe's.

Walnut miso broth with udon noodles p. 80  Much like the Ricotta, thyme, and sweet potato bake, this is a dish that sounds weird and seems like it shouldn't work, somehow it does.  I used shuchieh spinach I got at H-mart, enoki mushrooms only since I had no shimeji mushrooms..mainly because I don't know what they are...and udon noodles.  She said soba noodles could also work, but I think udon are the better choice.  ,We also wound up using twice as much udon noodles as the recipe called for.  The walnut miso paste is so good, I could sit and eat it with a spoon.

Pan-dressed noodles with crunchy cabbage and crispy tofu p. 157  This recipe had a pretty picture and I happened to have all the ingredients laying around, so I figured why not.  (I used Nasoya Sesame Ginger TofuBaked tofu, I don't know how it is with plain tofu.) Honestly, I wasn't expecting much because the recipe didn't seem that exciting.  Then I made it, and holy guacamole, it was amazing!  Like really amazing!  If you're not taking a pic of your incredible meal before you eat it, just go ahead and mix everything together when you're done with the components.  It'll be easier to get a little of everything in every bite.

pan-dressed noodles
Picture from https://www.psychologies.co.uk/pan-dressed-noodles-crunchy-cabbage-and-crispy-
Perfect chili p. 182 This is the perfect warm weather chili.  Light, but filling.  Definitely a great change from the typical bean-heavy vegetarian chili recipes you usually see.  I actually prefer this to the beef chili I used to make back in the day. 

The really hungry burger p. 186 I have yet to find a veggie burger recipe that is like the holy grail of veggie burgers, but this one is really good.  I like the addition of dates, soy and miso.  It adds this whole sweet, savory, umami thing.  There is a lot of depth of flavor for sure.  Mine did not look remotely as dark as the one in her picture, and they were way better sauteed in a pan with oil than baked.  Baked was a little on the blah side.

hungry_burger
Picture from http://annajones.co.uk/recipe/really-hungry-burger

Ricotta, thyme, and sweet potato bake p. 192 This was labor intensive.  Well, definitely too labor intensive for a weeknight meal.  I was really skeptical about the lima bean sauce...especially since I am quite certain I never ate a lima bean before.  Guess what?  Super delicious!  The sauce especially.  I feel like this combo of food shouldn't go together, but it did.  I did use ricotta cheese, since I was vegetarian and not vegan when I made it.  I wonder how it'll be with a non-dairy ricotta.  I'll keep you posted.

One-pot mushroom and bay leaf biryani p. 212  My Indian friend said it's good, but it's not biryani.  She didn't specify why, but there was an undertone of a white person can't possibly write a good biryani recipe...in an Indian pride not anti-white way.  Whatever....I liked it.  I'm all about one-pot dishes.  So is the Hubby, since he's in charge of clean up.

Artichoke and fennel seed paella p. 218  This was amazing.  Like, wtf? how is this this amazing?  I was going to add some vegan sausage, but it really didn't need it.  I left out the green peppers, because I didn't have any.  And if you don't have saffron, don't worry.  Just substitute 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric plus 1/2 teaspoon of paprika for the 1 teaspoon of saffron.  I substituted shaoxing wine for the dry sherry, 2 teaspoons of dried parsley in lieu of the fresh and a 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers instead of the piquillo peppers.  This is one of my favorite recipes from this book.

Any-night-of-the-week pizza p. 226 Now, for the record, I didn't make make this recipe.  I made the pizza base, which is a cauliflower crust.  As for the toppings, I just used sauce and vegan mozzarella.  I was surprised it worked, but it was delicious.  Definitely not the same thing as a nice, crispy, chewy, doughy pizza, but a nice change of pace.

Super raw brownies p. 299 Holy crap. If you've never made a raw brownie before, this is the one to try.  I substituted Be Free Honee for the regular honey, and walnuts for the pecans.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to bring these to hide in the work fridge, so I don't have to share with anyone at home...

Endless lemonades p. 322 This was good and inspired me to start making lemonades and ice teas on a regular basis.  I didn't really like it with the agave, but I think that's because the agave I have is kind of blah.  It was better with pure cane sugar.

These are recipes I intend to try, but haven't gotten to.  Either I don't have an ingredient readily on hand or I'm waiting for the summer when I'll have garden fresh veggies to use.  I'll update this post as I continue to cook from this book.

Dosa-spiced potato cakes with quick cucumber pickle p. 45 (I always forget to save avacados for this)

Smoky walnut and cumin muhammara p. 58 (I keep thinking I'll pick up pomegranate molasses and Turkish chile flakes, but it's not happening.  I'm going to just make it with her suggested substitutions)

Maple peanut California wraps p. 60 (No clue why I haven't made these yet)

Spiced salt-caramel popcorn p.66 (butter free caramel? I'm intrigued)

Killer smoked tofu club sandwich p. 69 (Again, always out of avacados and chipolte)

Chickpea and preserved lemon stew p.74 (There are a handful of ingredients I don't have at home)

Seeded bread and roast tomato soup p. 77 (waiting on those tomatoes)

Restorative coconut broth p. 82 (I never have lemongrass, my mom is successfully growing it in Alabama, so maybe I'll try it too)

Sweet tomato and black bean tortilla bowls p. 85 (tomatoes...when will it be spring?!)

Lemony lentil and crispy kale soup p. 91 (my kale plant is frozen solid outside)

Okay, typing in all the recipes I intend to try is taking forever.  You'll just have to check back and see how it's been going.

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