Sunday, June 19, 2011

A So-So Soup and a Delicious Dip

Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans

Father’s Day shone bright and sunny outside but inside the kitchen some of my efforts were not quite as successful.  I started by baking a chocolate cake which is always a hit and then popped two full bulbs of garlic in the oven for “Tomato Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans” from Veganomicon. The soup is not exactly a summery selection but it was the only one I had all the ingredients for and it sounded hearty enough to anchor a meal. As the soup got underway, I whipped up an intriguingly titled “Mediterranean-Style Cashew Cucumber Dip” also from Veganomicon which the cookbook authors claimed as one of their favourites.

I’m happy to say the dip was delicious; much richer than the traditional dairy based tzatziki which inspired it. The cucumbers added a welcome freshness to the cashew base. I ended up slathering the remains on toast when we ran out of toasted bits of pita triangles.

The soup was disappointing but I shouldn’t have been surprised. The recipe called for two large cans of crushed tomatoes and I almost always find tinned tomatoes to have an awful flavour unless combined with many other ingredients or spices and then cooked for a very long time. The texture of the soup was good. The brown rice gave it a wonderful chewiness. It was a major disappointment to not be able to detect so much as a hint of the roasted garlic over the canned tomato. I think this soup could be very tasty if the canned tomatoes were replaced with fresh tomatoes plus tomato paste and some veggie stock. I’m glad I tried it because I enjoyed the rice and beans combination and look forward to experimenting with the soup base.

For our weekly cooking challenge, the dedicated and always on time Kathryn has posted a scrumptious (and easy!) looking recipe for Dark and Fabulous (Vegan) Chocolate Pudding on her blog.  Check it out here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake
Since I love tofu and eat it just about every day, I borrowed Tofu Cookery (25th Anniversary) by Louise Hagler from the library.  It's an older book and I wish the photos were more attractive but I'm interested in trying quite a few recipes.  Today was a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon and I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  This recipe for Strawberry Shortcake caught my eye and the whole family was happy with my choice and the results. 

I thought the shortcake dough (which contains silken tofu) was rather sticky but they baked up perfectly.  I'm not used to working with biscuit dough so I'm sure it was fine.  They were tender and not too sweet, the very bottoms where browned from the baking pan were slightly tougher.  The Sweet and Creamy Topping which I also made from silken tofu (although the recipe called for regular), had a mild sweet flavour.  I added an extra couple of teaspoons of lemon juice because I thought it was initially a bit too bland.  We ate the shortcake and cream with fresh cut strawberries which makes this a great summer dessert but next time I think I will add some type of strawberry sauce or maybe just macerate the strawberries for a while before serving to make them juicier.  All in all, this was a successful dessert despite my nit-picking and I will definitely make it again. 


Kathryn made the most delicious looking Black Bean Tempeh Stir-Fry dish last week (she's ahead of lazy me again) over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen.  Check it out here!