Seeing as my last What I ate post got about 4 times as much likes as my normal posts do, I figured it was time to do another one. This time I am combining it with a review though.
At the beginning of April I received this cook book in the post. I had pre-ordered it via Waterstones… so I got a signed edition, with 6 extra recipes. Jeey. Loving these guys recipes from their Youtubes, I was very excited. We ended up eating stuff from this book all throughout the rest of April… and this is what we thought.
Nuevos Rancheros can be found in the breakfast chapter… but we had it for dinner (and lunch the next day). It can definitely be a very nice breakfast dish though (though I am starving as soon as I wake up so I don’t have the patience to cook up something). It is a nice and hearty dish, filled with spices like cumin and paprika, tofu and lots of veggies.
Moving on to the Quick chapter we have a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I didn’t end up following the ‘sandwich recipe’ (suggestions for toppings) but made the Home-made Melty Cheese and topped it with bbq sauce/mosterd and spring onion (I had some left over). I couldn’t get my hands easily on tapioca flour and used cornstarch instead. Because of this I didn’t get the gooey consistency, but the taste was still great.
More from the Quick chapter – the Ibiza Sunset Burger. Again, our shop didn’t sell some of the ingredients (this time vegan cheese), but it was still very yum without it. This isn’t a recipe for the burgers btw… it is for the sauce, the onions and the combination of toppings. This was the first time we tried the Beyond burger, which was also very good (though very expansive, so not something we will have often).
This is what our Easter looked like. From the Big chapter I made the Mini Mushroom Pies (though I only made the filling, I got the pastry pre-made from the store because of reasons I will explain later). These were very nice and very close to the pastries we used to have. On to the chapter Sharers and Starters with Camembosh. With this I had the same issue as the Melty Cheese in that I couldn’t get tapioca flour, so the consistency was all wrong. The flavour was good though – but not something I would call Camembert. On to the Greens chapter, where from the Mega Mezze Platter I made the Lemon & Coriander Hummus and the Baba Ganoush. The latter forgot to mention one should prick holes in the aubergines before putting them in the oven… which I therefore forgot to do, and ended up with an aubergine exploding in my oven. Both of these were very good, and very big portions (we ate from it for days). Lastly, from the Quick chapter, I made Faux Gras. I wasn’t going to get cognac just to put 2tbsp in this and used some wine instead. And I think I put in a bit too much beetroot… so the taste wasn’t as it was supposed to. Still very tasty though, and again very good portion size which we enjoyed for a long time still.
Ian’s Delightful Daal was Delightful indeed. This was a very tasty, belly-hug dish. I always love Daal, and I very much liked the consistency of this. The lentils aren’t just cooked in water, but also in coconut milk which makes it all very nice and creamy. However, I have had Daal of which I liked the taste better. I will combine this recipe with some of my others, to make some Epic Daal…
One of the exclusive recipes is for Cinnamon Swirls. This one was very simple, but very nice. The recipe calls for drizzling the icing ‘as neatly as you can’… I really couldn’t be bothered. I also think I may have rolled it the wrong way, but fck it. It tasted good.
None of these are really ‘bad’, more underwhelming. And a lot of it, I have to say, can not be blamed on the book. Missing ingredients and a shitty oven were more to blame for it.
The ‘failure’ that were the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes is definitely an error in the recipe though. I think. These are basically pancakes, in which as soon as you put the batter in the pan you make a swirl with a cinnamon-butter-sugar mixture. But when you flip the pancake (as the recipe tells you to) this swirl melts off and you are left with a pan full of sticky melted sugar. In the picture you see one that I didn’t flip (I know, my swirl ain’t very pretty. Again, fck it). It all tasted very yum, but really… the recipe didn’t work.
Another recipe that didn’t work for me is the Cauliflower Alfredo (one of the extra recipes). I have made a similar sauce before and then it was great. This one makes you roast the cauliflower in the oven (instead of cook it) which may have made the difference. Basically, my sauce didn’t get creamy at all. The cauliflower stayed lumpy, no matter how long I blended it. The taste was very meh as well – the roasted garlic overpowered whatever other flavours might have been in there.
This one was not the fault of the recipe, but of our shitty supermarket and my lack of willingness to order stuff online. This is a dish The Husband requested, the Big Breakfast Bagel. And it wasn’t great… but we missed half the ingredients (and some important ones, like kala namak). We didn’t have liquid smoke, silken tofu and vegan cheese… Oh well.
This picture shows two dishes from the book: Crispy, Fluffy, Perfect Roast Potatoes, which were just that and I have no complaints about it. What did fail was the Seaside Roll. Part of this was my shitty oven which made the top burn way before the roll was supposed to be done – due to which the bottom was very soggy. The roll also didn’t fit in the oven, so I had to bend over the sides a bit which sadly created the gap through which the filling leaked. But… the filling didn’t taste that great to be honest. We have tofu-roasted pepper mixture, and a cucumber-watercress ‘salad’ in the middle. This salad in itself is fine… but then it gets baked and it is just weird. Not something I will try again, not even with a good oven.
The picture really doesn’t do this dish justice… because it looks very good IRL. This is a One-Tray Pasanda, which is the first recipe in the Quick chapter. Quick and easy it is for sure. The flavour though, not my favourite. This is all personal preference though. I like garam masala in certain dishes, but for me it didn’t work in this curry.
Back to the disaster that is my oven: Classic Victoria Sponge. The taste of this was good… but the bottom half was overcooked and very dense (basically a cookie), while the top was barely done. While both were in the same place in the oven, at the same temprature, for the same time, with the same mixture. You get it? I don’t… The only difference was that the top cake tin was 1 cm smaller. Anyway, we somehow did manage to make this whole cake disappear in a day (with just the two of us), so I guess it wasn’t too bad…
These dishes were ‘Blow-your-mind’ good. I loved them so so much, and they make this book worth every penny.
Guacajacks are jacked sweet potatoes, stuffed with a black bean guacamole. This honestly is the best guacamole I have ever had. I love it.
The Holy Trinity Louisiana Gumbo. This is the first time I had gumbo, so I cannot judge how good this particular recipe is. It was damn tasty though. I couldn’t get my hands on okra so put in green beans instead (I know, blasphemy) – if someone knows a better substitute please let me know. But this was as good as I had imagined a gumbo to be.
After some of the previous baking failures, I still wanted to try something from the dessert chapter. So I decided to have a go at the Shortbread. This is part of the Empire Biscuits recipe, but I left of the icing and jam. These are very simple, but very very yummy biscuits. And the recipe made soooo many. I made 4 full batches. Luckily, because these were very addicting.
One of the extra recipes: Moreish Moussaka. I made this after our trip to Greece, where I had a very good vegan Moussaka… so I was prepared to be disappointed. But I wasn’t. This was Amazing. The baked aubergine at the top wasn’t the best idea (again, because of my shitty oven they burned very quickly), but the moussaka itself was stunning. We immediately shared the recipe with my mom. It was good.
There are two dishes in this picture: Singapore Fried Vermicelli (though slightly adjusted with vegies I still had in the fridge. It was nice but nothing spectacular) and Vietnamese Sticky Tofu. The Husband has stated he only ever wants to eat tofu like this from now on – and that he can eat it anyday. Which means a lot, because he rarely has strong opinions about food (he will eat anything, and is fine with anything) and isn’t the biggest fan of tofu. Him liking this one so much means it really is an epic recipe.
A dish I could eat every day is this Bang Bang Noodle Salad. I did already have a weak for noodles with a peanut dressing, but this salad is really banging. It brings all the comfort, while also having all the freshness of a salad. It’s amazing.
And lastly, the Classic Lasagne. This is just as good, if not better, than the real thing (or so I am told by The Husband). You can put this in front of anyone, and if you didn’t tell them it was vegan they would think they are eating meat. This is so so good. I am very happy I no longer have to miss a good lasagne. Thank you Bosh…
So that is what we ate in April. I am very much in love with this cookbook. It has 140 recipes or so, so plenty to try out still. The pictures in it are great, the recipes clear and easy. I would have liked an estimate of how long it would take to make at the start of each, but that is just a small thing. There is a great variety of dishes, for all occasions. From simple weeknight dinners to whole Christmas feasts. The meals are all comforting food… normal meals, not a bunch of boring vegan salads. And surprisingly cheap as well (we spent less money on this than we usually do) – while giving great portions (we had quite a bit of left overs… and both gained some weight). Overall, highly recommend picking this one up.