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The official Veganomicon recipe review (to be updated)!

Tino, do you think you kneaded them enough? You shouldn't really have clumps of dough. It should all be stringy. That's all I can think of, since you cooked them so long. Also, make sure your frying heat is not too high.

Anyway, because of your cutlet mention, I got hungry for them! I made them according to recipe this time, and they are always superb. I also made the soft poppy seed polenta. In my memory, this is my first time making polenta. I've made grits, and lots of other things, but I don't think I've cooked polenta before. I think it came out a bit runny? I'm not sure, but it's really good. I don't know how much the poppy seeds add, but it's a nice, comforting dish.

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Basic broiled tofu

-This didn't turn out quite like I was expecting. I was making it to add to something else, so I was mainly looking for the right texture, and this wasn't it. I wanted it really firm and chewy, and it was still pretty soft. I'm just not used to baking tofu!

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Tomato-rice soup with roasted garlic and navy beans- I halved this recipe (I didn't want 12 servings if it wasn't really tasty!), except I used the full amount of garlic and herbs. I also added 1 qt of veggie broth instead of using water. It turned out well and was really easy/cheap to make. Nothing blow-your-mind amazing, but it made a healthy dinner and tasted good.

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Everyday chipotle-vegetable tamales
Despite the name, I was *still* surprised with how easy these are to make. I made them larger than suggested - 3 Tbsp of masa for a tamale is not enough - and so I had way too many husks for wrapping. Maybe 2 to 3 times as many as I needed. Also, these were hard to stuff into my stockpot (it's not very big at all...), but they still steamed fine. The first batch seemed a touch underdone, so we steamed the next batch for 10 extra minutes, but as it turns out they firm up upon cooling anyway. I'm not sure of the purpose of the baking powder in this recipe, as I've never really had a "fluffy" tamale and masa seems to expand all on its own. Anyway, the filling was almost too spicy for my boyfriend, but fine for me. I really like the filling, in the tamale or not! I'm more used to Guatemalan tamales, but these were a nice change and way easier to make.

Black bean vegetable soup
I made this, with a few changes: half the onion (1) was cut into big slices and boiled with the beans, one clove of garlic crushed and boiled with the beans too, plus a little marjoram for boiling as well. I also never drain/rinse beans after soaking/cooking (so they stay black/brown and not light purple...). This was really delicious soup (and I used water, not broth), and after about half was gone I puréed the rest. Good either way, better puréed IMHO. Healthy, tasty, AND affordable.

Spicy peanut and eggplant soup
I was expecting this to be insanely rich, but it was kind of regularly rich (maybe like a thai curry?). I had no green beans so I used chopped snowpeas instead and some bell pepper. I also didn't salt/rinse my eggplant initially, with no ill effects (I never know what this bitterness is that we're getting out). Anyway, it's too rich to eat a whole bowlful of it alone, but it's great half and half with steamed rice. It's not super peanut-y even.

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Not-tella

I love this!  I didn't have hazelnut liquor/extract or soy milk powder, and I used peanut oil.  Skinning the hazelnuts was a chore (and I didn't even get all the skins off but whatever), and I didn't think the nuts would EVER get to marzipan consistency.  But they did with enough time!  I added some extra vanilla and a splash of almond extract.  Soooo good. 

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Curried Carrot Dip
I liked this, but its flavor is quite strong (or is it "rich"? it's just that the carrot + curry is very dense), so it was hard to eat a lot at once. It could probably be thinned with a little silken tofu or something. Anyway, curry + carrots seems weird, but they go together pretty well. It's a thick, sweet dip.

White Bean Aioli
This was garlicky, but not too garlicky for my tastes. I could definitely see how it's supposed to be "aioli" (but for sure it would never be mistaken as such), and we didn't eat it as a spread, but instead a dip with crackers. Also, I used cannelini beans instead of great northern/navy/whatever it said. Strong but tasty.

Rustic White Beans
This is more of an alternative to cooking plain beans than an actual side dish for me. It just didn't have enough flavor by itself for me. However, it would be good to use for something calling for canned beans.

Hot & Sour Soup with Wood Ears and Napa
I didn't use napa. This was pretty similar to hot and sour soup I've had, except this was a little too sour for me. I should have gradually added the vinegar to taste =/ but that's ok. I probably would have settled with 2/3 of the amount of vinegar. Good with rice, and would probably be better with rice noodles cooked in. Hard to eat a lot at once, because of the acidity.

Almost-All-American Seitan Pot Pie
Tasty tasty tasty. Looking at this recipe, it looked pretty labor-intensive, but it wasn't all that bad. The crust came together easily, rolled out easily. For the seitan, I didn't make the recipe from the book, but instead used plain steamed seitan (like no flavorings at all added, just gluten). Because it was plain, for the sautéeing I tripled the soy sauce (1 Tbsp), and I added maybe 1/2-1 tsp marjoram, some garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked salt. I was worried that the chickpea flour would burn while cooking the vegetables, but it came out fine (I usually make my roux the other way around, adding flour after the onions have cooked). I noticed the recipe didn't say when to put in the seitan ever, so I put it in at the last simmer of 6-8 minutes. I had to bake the entire thing for 15 minutes longer than stated because my crust hadn't changed color much. All in all, a perfectly seasoned, well-rounded dish. The crust was thick and not super greasy. I'd serve this to my omni family.

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Hot and sour soup with wood ears and napa cabbage: This is my new favorite soup!!! SERIOUSLY... i added some extra fresh wood ears and no tofu... those were my only changes. So good!

http://i325.photobucket.com/albums/k397/amymylove/100_2176.jpg

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Wheat-free chocolate chip cookies
These spread A LOT. The flavor is pretty good; a bit different from standard chocolate chip cookies, but not chunky like oatmeal cookies. These seemed greasy, even though they have less margarine/flour than my regular chocolate chip cookies. I'd make these again.

Pistachio Rosewater Cookies
It's a wonder to me that there isn't "lime" in the title. I can kind of taste the rosewater (more when they first came out of the oven), but they wind up pretty limey. Not so much lime that they can't be enjoyed or anything, but it's too much lime for something that's supposed to taste like rosewater. They do get a bit hard (& are chewy), so I microwave them for a few seconds. I was hoping for a cakier rosewater cookie :/

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French Lentil Soup
It's reasonable. The tarragon give it a licoricey flavor... I don't really like licorice-type flavors, but it's ok here. There wasn't enough liquid, though - I had to add a cup or two, and even then it was dry.

Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya
Pretty good. Makes a huge amount though! I had to split it into two pans. Instead of seitan I used some "Shanghai Vegetarian Chicken", and it turns out that it was really tofu that was chicken-colored. :/ Anyway, still good. We never got tired of it even though it made a boatload. It wasn't overly spicy, and the rice baked fine without an excess liquid or dryness.

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Why haven't I reviewed the pound cake yet?!  I made the lemon version, and it was amazing.  Topped with raspberry sauce = HEAVEN.  (Disclaimer: I have never had non-vegan pound cake, so I can't compare, but I just know that this recipe rules.)  It's so moist & flavorful, yet not dense.  Definitely better the next day, too, so make it the night before.

I'm making the vanilla variety tonight to serve for dinner with friends tomorrow night.  I think I'm topping it with caramel & chocolate sauces (because apparently I'm trying to get fat & "pound cake" isn't serious enough for me?!).  Will report back on that.

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thanks AC! I think we figured it out - we added twice as much broth as the recipe called for. next time I'm going to make sure to do it all right because those suckers tasted really good - but I was afraid to eat them in case the dough made me sick!

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Cholent
I didn't have enough TVP, so I added some extra lentils and kidney beans. Despite all the stuff in this, I found it kind of plain. At the same time, I wasn't a huge fan of the caraway + tarragon flavor. It would be good food when sick.

Green Pea & Lemon Risotto
I didn't use any roasted peppers. I was afraid the lemon flavor might be too strong, but it was fine - noticeable but not sour or overwhelming. This did have a sort of "summery" feel to it, probably because of the zest, and it's nice to have a different take on risotto. Wasn't too much trouble putting together either, and the flavors were pretty balanced. I ate it with soup =)

Mediterranean Lima Beans
I was sort of wary of this recipe, since I didn't like the Rustic White Beans too much (I figured they'd be similar for some reason), and because lima beans seem to be a classically hated "vegetable." But, I liked it. The sugar + vinegar in the tomato sauce made it a little sweet-sour, and the oregano went along with that nicely. While my beans were soaking, several of the skins just floated off (which I discarded), so after boiling some of them turned mushy (just made it a little hard to drain). I think the skins on the beans are kind of weird and chewy, so next time I'd made an effort to remove the skins.

Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
For half of these, I used dried cranberries (I think fresh would be too sour), and for the other half I used chocolate chips. These have a nice blend of spices - I like it when pumpkin (or apple) pastries don't *just* have cinnamon as the spice; these were more interesting. I can't really comment on texture because... I somehow forgot to add the baking powder D: So yeah. They were like brownie-textured pumpkin scones.

Pumpkin Crumb Cake
I didn't use pecans in the streusel. I used 2/3-3/4 the full amount of sugar (it seemed like too much!), and it still came out pleasantly sweet. I baked it in a 9" tart pan, and it puffed up A LOT, almost over the edges of the pan. The streusel seemed a little dry when I was making it, so I added a little bit more oil to make it more... crumby. Good cake! I shall look no further for pumpkin crumb cake.

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Caramelized onion-butternut roast with chestnuts -  I made this for a Thanksgiving entree, and it was utter perfection!  I cut the recipe in half and baked it in an 8x8 pan.  The chestnuts were out of this world, and the spice combination was perfect. 

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Spicy tempeh and broccoli rabe with rotelle-I ate this with rice instead of noodles.  The broccoli rabe was too bitter for me.  I will make it with kale next time.  The tempeh part was really good though.

Sauteed Collard Greens-This is really good.  The liquid smoke gave it a nice flavor and was not overpowering.  I added seitein to it to make it a meal.  I will make it again.

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Mediterranean olive oil and lemon vinaigrette

Made a double batch of this in the food processor to serve with moussaka and other Greek things.  It was great - added a little bit of extra olive oil because my lemons were extra tart.  This may be my new favorite salad dressing.

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Potato latkes
Greasy and tasty. I wish I had added more salt to the batter before hand (I think I might not have added any...), and the texture is good, almost chewy. I had different latkes back in the day, they might have even been battered, but these were good. They're not the same as just cakes of hash browns, they're different and worth the effort.

Snobby Joes
tomato-y, somewhat sweet, a bit spicy. I think this worked great as a sloppy joe sub, without involving imitation-something/TVP. Actually, it would probably be pretty good with TVP instead of lentils. This is a nice, cheap, satisfying recipe, and is thick enough as is without any modification.

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I got this for xmas and so far have only tried the cheesy sauce, but it was tasty. pretty standard compared to others i've made, but thickened up better.

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Lentils and rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps

First meal-type recipe from Vcon that I've made so far. I did the onions in the oven, and used red lentils, short grain white rice, and wild rice. The mild taste was good, but not strong enough for me. I made the spiced pita chips to go with it and put ground garlic pepper on them, which went well with the lentils & rice. Next time I'll use brown rice but probably keep the wild rice in there, and fry the onions in the same pot before putting the rest in to really get the onion flavour mixed in. I'd probably also use broth instead of water.

I also had to add more liquid as it was cooking - after the first 15 minutes the rice had absorbed most of it.

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Rumnog pecan cookies

I, too, had to add more flour.  I figured it was just me though (I have repeated issues with dough in Miami due to heat and humidity).  The flavor was delicious... very rummy (but I like rum!).  I also ended up using a LOT more pecan to roll them in which was a pain because I ran out since the recipe called for such a small amount.

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Home-style potato rolls (or whatever they're called)
The dough for this is might sticky... I added more flour, but it was still pretty sticky. Anyway, aside from issue with handling the dough, this recipe came out well. The rolls are the perfect sweetness, and though they harden quickly, they're easily rejuvenated in the microwave. I'd be making these more often if the dough wasn't such a pain. The instructions say to stretch out the dough in a rope, cut it, roll into little balls, and use three balls per muffin cup, but forget that. It was too soft to do any of those things, so I just plopped the dough in and it came out fine & smooth. I would have added even more flour, but I didn't want to overdevelop the gluten or mess things up. Still... very tasty.

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