Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Veganomicon

It sounds ominous but actually it is just a cookbook and a pretty good one at that. Without making any 'resolutions' about it, I decided to up the ante a little bit this year with the vegan cooking. Having seen some interesting-looking recipes from this book elsewhere on the 'net, I had to try a few myself. About 9 recipes later, it definitely gets the early stamp of approval. Nothing too tricky so far, quite easy but good stuff!

Last night we had the chickpeas romesco - just spicy enough & excellent with brown rice & plain fresh green beans. The snobby joes on kaiser rolls (they feel superior to the sloppy joes because they don't have any meat in them...) were a family hit - will definitely have to put that in the permanent rotation. The broccoli polenta was pretty good too but I prefer my polenta plain, or just with a big handful of chopped fresh herbs (marjoram, parsley & chives) mixed in right at the end. However Veganomicon's plain and simple marinara sauce is terrific. I would use that with my polenta any day.

Probably the single best recipe I have prepared from the book so far was the lemony roasted potatoes. Everybody liked that one - a lot! Just like those potatoes you get with Greek food, but not nearly as greasy. The rustic white beans with mushrooms were delicious, almost had a cassoulet-like feel to them. Comfort food all the way. The smoky red peppers & beans gumbo - complete with roux - took a little time to prepare but it was more than worth it. We had to have some white rice for that! The penne vodka (with almonds blended into the sauce) had a delicious creamy taste - and there's plenty of vodka and half a pound of penne left so we'll have a do-over soon. I take back what I said about the lemony roasted potatoes; I had forgotten about the pasta della california. This linguine with avocado & broccoli was out of this world. Maybe a little high on the calories (2 avocados in a dish meant for 4) but who's counting anyway...

Next on my Veganomicon 'to cook' list is chile-cornmeal-crusted tofu... I might just decide to work my way through most (all?) of the recipes in this book. The sugary ones will have to wait until after Boston or until I find my long-lost abs, whichever comes first.

Last week was a much better one on the running front than the week before. A total of 43 miles including a very good (if slow) 14-miler on Saturday morning along Buffalo Bayou. Most importantly my left knee (which is still not 100%) held out fine. Tuesday's mile repeats clocked in at 7:13, 7:10, 7:11 and 7:09. I will try to get them a little closer to 7:00 as we get closer to Boston. On Wednesdays I now have a standing appointment at 5:30 with a neuromuscular massage therapist, followed by a longish run at Memorial Park. I managed 10 miles there last week, always a fun place with tons of people around.

This Sunday is the Houston Marathon. Kath and I will be doing the half. I will be jogging it, taking a camera and for once will try to really enjoy the day, as opposed to subjecting myself to the usual relentless push for a PR or a qualifying time for this or that. Should be a novel experience! Although I am starting in the red corral, I'm thinking Kathleen might catch me - perhaps we can finish together like we did in the marathon in 2003.

5 comments:

Burger said...

Nowhere near close to being a vegan convert but those actually sound tasty - especially the potatoes.

Hope to see ya in Houston Bert. I'll be armed with a camera too. Try not to embarrass guys like Ritz, Sell and Meb too badly during the half.

Amy said...

You should definitely give the Chickpea Cutlets a try - we absolutely love them!

johnking said...

Goodluck this weekend Bert and take plenty of pics! I will be waiting for the race report, it will be a good tune up to test the knee. Keep that baby strong! Like the recipes, it's lunchtime here, so I had to grab a handful of dried fruit thanks to you.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Vcon is absolutely one of my favoraite cookbooks! I will have to give the roasted potatoes and snobby joes a try!
Try the eggplant & potato moussaka, it's one of my favorites! And the smlove pie once you can have sweets again...

I'm planning on coming out and cheering on the marathoners at the Hawthorne and Montrose intersection, I'll be sure to look for yall! Good luck!

johnking said...

Bert,
shoot me an email at johnking82@yahoo.com to let me know your status. I read over your RW post....take care man and stay +