Monday, January 26, 2009

Dust Off the Shelf - Uncheese, Kitch, & Maximus

I mentioned a few posts back that I have been struggling somewhat to find cooking inspiration. Reviewing many of my recent posts, it may appear to my readers that all I eat are cupcakes and treats! While I do tend to indulge in something sweet once a day, the bulk of my daily food intake is actually quite healthy. All I had to do to find a little inspiration (in addition to your suggestions... thanks!), was dust off my cookbook shelf and rediscover all the recipes I already have at my fingertips! So, I'm going to be doing a series of "Dusting Off the Shelf" where every few weeks I'll make a recipe from 3-4 predetermined cookbooks, with particular attention being given to those I use less or that have been a new addition to my ever-growing and hopefully now less dusty shelf.

First up: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and Gastronomus Maximus.
The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook is one of those books on my shelf that I have yet to make a single thing from.. embarassing I know! I chose to try the Broccoli and Rice Casserole since it's a dish that I recall fondly from my childhood. This version was super simple to prepare and required minimal ingredients. If you are a fan of noochy rice, this one is for you.
I was one of the lucky recipients of Amey's holiday zine, full of wonderful recipes and adorable drawings. This recipe for Quinoa with Brussel Sprouts and Tempeh is originally from Fresh Food Fast. I used a mixture of red and regular quinoa to add some color to this healthful dish. (and shhhh... I also made a cookie recipe she put in the zine as well ;-)
The arrival of my Skinny Bitch Total Body Workout video reminded me to revisit Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. I am a big fan of their "Down Home Cookin" section (e.g. the meatloaf), so I took a chance on the Sloppy Joe recipe. My mom calls these "yummies" but I always called them "yuckies". Maybe I just needed to try the vegan version, because now I agree with my mom. Oh, and I made my own buns using Vegan Dad's recipe.... not sure if I have the patience to wait 5 hours for buns ever again, but they sure were good.
To accompany the Sloppy Joes, I also made potato salad, yet another Southern dish that I've been avoiding all of my life. And once again proving that vegan versions are far superior... I couldn't get enough of this stuff. The veganaise, the sweet pickle relish, the dill, mmm mmm! Bring on summer picnicing season (not so far off here in Houston) because I'm ready with my potluck dish to share!
And even though it wasn't included in last week's assigned cookbooks, here's a bonus dessert from My Sweet Vegan, the triple threat chocolate cheesecake. It pleased a table full of omnivores with it's rich, chocolatey, creamy layers.

30 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

You definitely seem to be out of your cooking rut!! Lovin' the eats and treats :-)

pixiepine said...

Everything looks delicious!

DJ said...

That potato salad and chocolate cheesecake overdose definitely look like excellent BBQ stalwarts!

Eddie G said...

That all looks great!

Ricki said...

Everything looks so delicious! What a great idea to go through existing cookbooks like that. I need to make more from the Uncheese Cookbook, too! And of course that cheesecake looks to die for. :)

Jes said...

I can't decide which looks better! I love the dustin' off the shelf idea though. What a great way to amp your creative energy!

Anonymous said...

I agree, this is a great idea for a series of postings.

Animal-Friendly said...

I love finding little gem recipes in books I haven't used in awhile and those sound like some great dishes. The cheesecake has me drooling!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I love this idea of featuring recipes from cookbooks you want to explore more! I also have too many cookbooks and not enough time, but when I see recipes from them on a blog, it gives me some direction for where to start.

Kristen4peace said...

The food looks yummy! I need to create something from my Uncheese cookbook also! I keep wanting more books, but have several I've not even used yet! : )

Bex said...

That looks like some seriously yummy stuff. I keep looking at The Uncheese Cookbook but haven't picked it up yet. Considering my love of nooch it won't be long before I give in.

Vegetation said...

Mmm it all looks wonderful! I too have some cookbooks on my shelf I really should clear the dust from! Great idea for getting some inspiration.

mrs. blogoway said...

I'm so excited to find your blog. I'm very new to vegan cuisine. I'm on week 3 of an all vegan cleanse. I've lost 12 pounds and am feeling so great! I would love to try the broccoli recipe you mentioned but I wonder if I can find it online?

Kelly said...

Potato salad is so hit or miss, but I'll trust your judgment on this one! Everything looks lovely. :)

Natasha said...

Yummy - I am drooling over the potato salad and cheesecake!

jessy said...

i love the "dusting off the shelf" idea/theme! that's so cool! i don't have Gastronomus Maximus - i think i need to see if i can get that.

we also have the uncheese cookbook, and like you we have yet to try anything from it - think we may start with that broccoli & rice casserole, too - it looks awesome!

glad you liked the sloppy joes. i always liked them when i was wee - with pickles & mustard. mmmmmm! that's cool that Vegan Dad's buns were good - but crazy that they took 5 hours! eek! huzzah for making your own! i looove making my own bread, buns, etc. makes me feel uber accomplished or something. ;)

that's one tasty look'n potato salad - and the triple threat chocolate cheesecake = the best! why do i not own My Sweet Vegan? going to put that on my amazon wishlist, fo 'sho!

you've got some seriously good eatz go'n on! yummers!

Melody Polakow said...

I never had a sweet tooth until I discovered vegan baking. uuugghh..

Love the idea of making new recipes.

I feel somewhat in a cooking rut right now too.

Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) said...

The chocolate pie looks incredible!

allularpunk said...

these all look wonderful! i've been trying to do more with the uncheese cookbook myself...the gooey grilled cheeze is really good, you should give it a go! it's extra awesome with a slice of tomato :) also, potato salad and sloppy joes are things that i only like vegan versions of. i usually make potato salad once a week in the summertime now!

and that cheesecake? omg.

Hannah said...

Oh, I just got Amey's zine too- Isn't it the cutest?!

The cheesecake looks awesome, by the way! :)

Bianca said...

Ooh, I'm glad you got the workout video! Don't you love it! I can't wait until their yoga/dance video comes out.

I got Amey's zine too! I'm making the borscht soon, but that quinoa is on my list.

River said...

So much yumminess in one post! I got Amey's zine too, and already made a few dishes. Every single one was delicious and they will go on my next post!

The triple threat chocolate cheesecake looks SO heavenly! Wow, the chocolaty richness is killing me!

Theresa said...

I love dill! That potato salad looks really yummy. That's a good way to reinvigorate your kitchen mojo. I look forward to seeing your future dust-off-the-shelf posts!

Emmie said...

Like many other people I've made very few recipe from the uncheese cookbook. I've made one or two versions of block uncheese but that's it. that rice dish does look lovely though. I love rice as a comfort food.

There's a couple of books in my bookshelf that could use some dusting off. I should really get to it, shouldn't I?

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

How cute is Amey's zine?! I want to make the Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts and Tempeh too!

Sal said...

That chocolate cheesecake looks so. freakin. good. I must buy that book – I keep meaning to!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I never made anything from "UnCheese," either, until this past summer--even though it was the second vegan cookbook I bought (2+ years ago!). That broccoli-rice dish looks AMAZING, and that is also something I remember fondly from childhood. I should make that soon...

It's funny that we're both trying to use our cookbooks more. :) I need to dust off my shelf...

Vaala said...

I really like the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook - the grilled cheez sandwiches are a favourite round here.

Yeah that chocolate cheesecake from My Sweet Vegan has all my friends in amazement that it could possibly be vegan!

Stacey said...

Great idea! I also have many cookbooks I've never used. That apple crisp looks so good!

zlamushka said...

Wow, check out the cake..
a long time ago, I was vegan for 2 years and I know sometimes I would kill for a rich creamy chocolate cake :-) that is probably why my will broke along the way :-( now after two years of crap diet, I am re-living my vegan journey again with my 21-day vegan challenge, as from what I was told, it takes three weeks to change one´s habits....

I ll be back for more inspiration :-)