New recipes, Old favorites

When you have a ton of favorite recipes that you love to make and love to eat, it's great to be able to impress everyone you cook for an...

When you have a ton of favorite recipes that you love to make and love to eat, it's great to be able to impress everyone you cook for and perfect those recipes and even update them a little and make them even better. But when you make them all the time, you get into a sort of food rut, and find yourself feeling things you've never felt before, such as, sick of mexican food and tiresome of cupcakes.. It's total blasphemy, I know. Just when you thought you could eat guacamole three times a day every day, spread mustard on everything from bagels to spaghetti-pie, and dip your french fries in peanut butter, you realize the day's finally come that you can no longer look at a tofu pup, you've run out and not replaced you're stash of hummus for 3 months and an avocado has actually gone bad in your fridge. Where on Earth is left to search for inspiration?
 Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins. Back to my roots, and the very dawn of my baking days. My mom used to make strawberry muffins in the summer after picking enough strawberries to fill the fridge, freezer, and stock-pile freezer in case of nuclear warfare. I once made these muffins for my co-workers back home, and they went crazy for them! I was then inundated with requests for more. My recipe, just like all good recipes, has been updated, given the switch-up, and been re-run the vegan remix on. The addition of rhubarb to this muffin is no mistake. Soy yogurt brings it in for the home run.

Have I mentioned that I am testing recipes for Terry Hope Romero's new international-themed cookbook? Well I sure am. I've tested 20 recipes so far and feel like I've both run a marathon, or cookathon rather, and took a jet to vietnam. I plan to make at least 10 more of her recipes, because then I get a free book. Score.
 Ban Xeo
This is a rice flour crepe with spices and spinach, mushroom and tofu filling.  Apparently it is rather popular in Vietnam. I've never had real Vietnamese food, because I was assured that everything has fish sauce in it. Who knew?

 This is the mock fish sauce I was just telling you about. It's working title is Mock Nuoc Cham sauce. It called for a whole red chile, but I still can't taste the heat. Yup, too punk for red chiles.. I need like three.

Come on, you've really ever met a person who didn't like pickles? I don't believe you. This was my first pickle-making experience and my life is now re-purposed. I told her that she should write a cookbook about pickles. Maybe how to make fancy pickles out of weird things, and all different ideas on what to put pickles on. There could be a relish-chapter? These pictured are daikon radish and carrot pickled with star anise and green chiles, though the chiles don't really retain their heat after soaking. I left the seeds in hoping they would. Made a killer bahn mi breakfast scramble that I forgot to take a picture of before devouring.

Everyone's favorite Indian flatbread. Unless you're favorite Indian flatbread is paratha. Or Roti. Anyways, it's my favorite, so that's why I made it. It was so late on a weeknight, and I was sooo full from dinner, but still I decided to make this, and couldn't stop ripping pieces off and eating them. It was so good, I would make this again for sure, next time I get a stew goin'. P.S this naan looks a lot like New Jersey (Naan Jersey?).

This is a Two-In-One recipe picture, of Jollof Tomato Rice, which is of West African origin, and I hadn't heard of it before I made it. It's baked rice with tomato paste and other things. It tastes awesome. Needed more heat, so I dumped a bunch of hot sauce in. It is pictured with the Seitan Corriander Cutlets, which also had great flavor. I ought to make more seitan. Viva Vegan has a bunch of good seitan recipes I need to try. I will try this recipe again as well.

Basic baked tofu
Teriyaki-tasting, chewy, appropriate for mostly all things. I used it in the Ban Xeo crepes today. I often put it in salads, burritos, stir-fries, soups, chilies, sandwiches, on top of pasta dishes, on rice, my boyfriend's head...

Terry's book seems like it's going to be great. I realized that it's so important to make comfort food accessible for vegans, otherwise, people aren't going to stick with the diet. It's always hardest when you're hungry and you're around family and food you grew up eating. I can't tell you how many times I've had people say to me, "I was so inspired by what you do and the food you make, so I started eating vegan, but then I visited my family from Texas, or my uncle paul from Sweden and my Aunt Lucia from   Hamburg or my Grandpa from Kalamazoo and they made me all this great meaty food, so I stopped." And I'm like... "Oh. Cool Story Bro." Just kidding, but that's just it. People don't want to miss out on great food. And that's why I think it's so great that Terry has made it her mission to veganize cultural favorites from around the world. That way when I show up at Wigelia with a pan of vegan pierogi and a bottle of Visnowka, I can have my cake and eat it too. And I can share it with my family and we can all continue a great tradition together. So I think it's a great idea for a cookbook. Get it, Girl!

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