In what is now a yearly tradition, the PPK is currently running a cookbook challenge where we pick a specific cookbook and then cook as many recipes as possible from that book for one week. This week was Collen Patrick Goudreau week and I chose to try out some recipes from Vegan Table. I’ve had this book for awhile, but I don’t often use it because I don’t like the way the recipes are laid out.
Instead of having chapters for different recipe types (e.g., a salad chapter, a soup chapter, a dessert chapter, etc.), recipes are laid out by dinner party/celebration type. So there is a chapter of recipes for cooking a meal for two, a chapter for big celebrations with lots of people, etc. This makes it difficult to peruse a certain type of recipe via the table of contents.
Complaining aside, it is a very pretty book with lots of color and photos. I also like that it has recipes for a variety of situations…breakfast, brunch, lunch, romantic dinners, holiday feasts, and so forth.
For the challenge this week, the first recipe I tried out was the spicy black bean burgers. To be honest, these were a bit of a flop. I knew when mixing up the burgers that they would be way too delicate and crumbly. I added a bit of vital wheat gluten to try and help firm them up, but I guess I didn’t add enough because they were still ridiculously crumbly. To go with the burgers I made the quinoa and corn medley. I thought this was a bit ho-hum but my husband really liked it.
Burgers with mustard (because almost everything is better with mustard) and quinoa-corn medley:
I also tried the carrot ginger soup. This is a pretty simple soup with not many ingredients, but it was really good! It was my first time using potatoes to make a soup thick and creamy and I was surprised at how well it worked. The soup wasn’t “potato-y” at all! I will definitely use this trick in the future. My carrots weren’t very sweet, so I added just a tiny little bit of agave. My husband liked this too, and usually he doesn’t like veggie soups like this. In fact, he even said something along the lines of “this reminds me of something you would get at a fancy restaurant.” Now that’s a compliment!
Finally, I also made the Scotch broth. After seeing Autumn’s post with this stew + dumplings, I knew I had to do something similar. I also didn’t have a lot of the ingredients on hand, so I guess this is my own take on Colleen’s stew…but that’s what’s so great about stew, you can really play around with the recipe and make it your own! I also started out with a roux to thicken it up, rather than just have watery broth + veggies and lentils floating around. The dumpling recipe is a modification of a recipe in Vegan Diner.
Veggie-Lentil Stew with Dumplings (based on Scotch Broth from Vegan Table and on this post from Hot Vegan Chick…Peas)
For the stew:
-1/4 c. flour
-1/4 c. oil
-1/3 c. dry split peas
-3/4 c. dry whole lentils
-1/2 c. brown rice
-1 onion, chopped
-2 medium potatoes, diced
-3-4 carrots, chopped
-6 c. veggie broth (or water + bouillon cubes)
-salt + pepper to taste
For the dumplings:
-2 c. flour (I used all-purpose as I didn’t have any whole wheat, but I think a 50/50 mix would be good)
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 c. water
-2 tbsp. canola oil
First let’s make our roux. Heat your stew pot over medium heat. Add oil and then the flour, whisking constantly. The roux should become smooth. Keep whisking over medium heat until the roux turns color – it should be a brown color. If you want more detailed instructions, see this article, it even has a photo tutorial if you so desire.
Add the rest of the stew ingredients. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it do it’s thing for 1 hour.
When the hour is almost up, mix up your dumpling dough. Put the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a bowl and mix. Add water and canola oil. Mix until just combined, you don’t want to overmix.
Open the lid to your stew pot and spoon the dumpling dough on top. Cover the lid and don’t open it for 20 minutes (the steam is what cooks the dumplings, so if you open the lid this will mess up their cooking time).
My husband HATES leftovers, but he actually willingly ate this for supper the next day so it must have been good! It thickened up in the fridge quite a bit so we added a bit of water when re-heating.
Be sure to check out what other PPKers made for Colleen Patrick Goudreau week!