Monday, April 2, 2012

Noodles, Pralines, Granola Bars, Stew, and Loaves

Any Real Housewives fans out there?? I can't wait for the Vancouver version which starts on Wednesday!

Here are some things I've made recently (and I used the term recently loosely haha) that I didn't think warranted their own blog posts but still wanted to mention.

Coconut Ginger Vegetables with Udon Noodles from ExtraVeganZa
I really like this cookbook and a lot of the recipes in it but this one was just okay. Now that I'm reading over the ingredient list I'm thinking that maybe there wasn't enough sauce or something as the components sound like something I would love - ginger, cumin, coconut milk, lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce. The noodles are mixed with cabbage, peas, kale and cashews. It sounds like it should be good right? So maybe it was just me. (The noodles turned purple/pink from the red cabbage.)

Texas Pralines from The Pastry Queen
I think this is the only thing I've made from this cookbook so far. Lots of yummy sounding things I want to try though. I made these for my mom for Christmas as she's talked about these "pecan pralines" that she likes. I wasn't sure exactly what she meant - sugared nuts? Caramelly nuts? Well I thought I'd just try this recipe out. I'm not sure what traditional pralines are like, but these were mostly soft caramel with a bit of nuts. I think my main problem with these was that I don't love the vanilla I have and found it really overpowering. And while I love caramel, I think there should be more nuts for that amount of caramel.

Pumpkin Chocolate Granola Bars from The Pastry Affair
Admittedly I don't like granola bars. They're too sweet and I usually don't like dried fruit. But these had pumpkin in them! And I do like pumpkin. So I had to try them. And I figured if I didn't like them, E would eat them as they have chocolate chips in them. Not surprisingly, I wasn't a big fan of these. E thought they were okay. I modified the recipe a bit - 1/2 cup pumpkin puree total (instead of pumpkin + applesauce), cloves instead of nutmeg, more vanilla, more dried cranberries, less chocolate chips and pecans instead of almonds.

Portobello Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Portobello Mushrooms) + Savoury Orange Rice, Brazilian Style from Viva Vegan!
I know that Janet really enjoyed this stew, but unfortunately it wasn't my favourite. I didn't change the flavours (ex. liquid smoke, thyme, cumin), but I did omit the TVP (never liked it) and used twice as much mushrooms. But do remember that I'm not a bean lover so you may enjoy this as Janet did. The savoury orange rice which was suggested to go along with it was alright but probably not something I'd make again.

Maple Pumpkin Spice Bread from Vegetarian Times
I'm completely addicted to the maple syrup from Costco and always hope baked goods will taste more maple-y without using maple extract. But this loaf did not taste very strongly of maple. The spices were really strong - maybe a bit too strong. Overall the loaf was pretty good but there are better pumpkin loaf/muffin recipes out there and I've posted some I enjoy.


janet @ the taste space said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like the feijoada, Ashley. Rob liked it more than me, actually. I like that you added more mushrooms, though - they were kind of hidden in there.... but I liked the TVP in there, too. I try not to eat it too often.. I think I still have the package from when I made this originally, haha! ;)

Joanne said...

Real Housewives ADDICT right here! SO excited for the new season!

Hannah said...

I've been looking everywhere for a solid maple pumpkin bread. I've tried a few and the maple flavour never stands out.. And this may have been fueled by my excessive amount of Costco maple syrup.

Anonymous said...

Hm these still look amazing- my family would happily gobble it all up :)