Test Kitchen: Veganomicon


Veganomicon self-identifies as the “ultimate vegan cookbook.” Created by Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero [Post Punk Kitchen], the book strives to be a bible for the vegan chef.  Its recipes run the gamut from quick to intense, vegan-izing some of the most traditional ethnic foods from all over the world [well, those that aren’t already vegan].

It’s appeal to me is its breadth, depth, and simplicity. Not every recipe requires you have a fake meat, seitan, or tempeh on hand; in fact, some of these babies are quite basic. It’s approachable vegan. I have been looking forward to putting it to the test ever since the book arrived from Seattle [thanks, Bev!]. Tonight’s [freakish] calm seemed like the best time.

Indian was on the menu: “Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes” with a ginger-sauteed spinach and tomato side dish. The tomato-spinach side was really simple: ginger, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, spinach, boom, done. The baked potatoes were a little more of a trial. The authors wrote, “When you want all the spicy goodness of a samosa but don’t want to go through the trouble of making a dough, enter Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes.”

But honestly, I think it would have been easier to make dough. Ugh. I couldn’t get the potatoes to bake properly [took over 1.5 hours], then, spooning out the insides was for some reason one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Chalk it up to being overtired, perhaps? Thankfully, the result was well worth the hassle. There were a lot of flavors and spices I’ve never cooked with before [I’ve only made Indian once, and that was just a chickpea chana masala], including this gem:

and I got to use the mortar and pestle.

Whole coriander seeds, crushed right before cooking. The smell was outstanding. When mixed in the pan with mustard seeds [that popped like crazy], it was heavenly.

pre-twice baked.

i just kind of love this photo.

after bake #2.

served.

I think this cookbook will be a great addition to my collection. It will definitely help me create vegan dishes without using tofu as a crutch. After two recipes, I recommend it, but stay tuned for some more samples. These potatoes rocked, too, although they did cause a bit of kitchen stress. But if you’ve got the time, they’re well worth it, if not just for their novelty.

Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes (Vegan, Vegetarian)

From Veganomicon at page 60 (my modifications noted)

Prep Time: 30 minutes, after the potatoes are baked (400 degrees for 1 hour, or 1.5 if you have an oven like me)

Serves: 2 (the recipe in the book is actually for 8 halves, or 4 people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes, baked, sliced, insides removed
  • 1/4 cup water (or non-dairy milk or vegetable broth)
  • 1-2 tsp oil (the recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I always cut back on oil)
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves (I actually used 3), minced
  • 2 tsp ginger (recipe calls for fresh, but we’re out so I used ground)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt (recipe calls for 1/2 but I cut it back)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a saute pan, cook the mustard and coriander until the mustard seeds “pop” 0 then add the onion and carrot for 7-10 minutes.

3. Then, add the ginger and garlic for a hot minute, followed by the cumin, turmeric, salt, some water, and potatoes. I used a potato masher here to smooth out the potatoes a bit. Mix well.

4. Mix in the peas and lemon juice. Spoon the finished mixture back into the potato skins and bake for 20 minutes. The mixture will start to brown, and the kitchen will smell like heaven. Serve with veggies doused with ginger and lemon, and you’ve got a great meal.

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Categories: Food, Recipes

Author:ryesandshine

Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/

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4 Comments on “Test Kitchen: Veganomicon”

  1. November 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    There isn’t one recipe that I have tried in Veganomicon that strikes me as missing the mark. I have yet to try this one and it’s now on my next to-do! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • November 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

      That’s good to hear! Since you seem like a veteran Veganomicon user, what other recipes would you recommend I try next? There’s just so many!

      • November 7, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

        We make the Manzana Chili Verde at least once a month. The Cashew Ricotta can’t be beat and the Chickpea Cutlets are divine (we broil them)! If you try the Simple Seitan – it’ll make you feel invincible!

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