Saturday, January 5, 2008

Soup and baked goods

Wednesday night, I made Porcini-Wild Rice Soup from Veganomicon. Comme d'habitude, I substituted 4 stalks of celery for the onion. Since I had it in the pantry, I used a brown rice blend instead of wild rice and dried thyme instead of fresh. The porcinis smelled pretty bad when they were soaking, so I was a bit worried, but I shouldn't have been. This soup has a lovely, mellow flavor that is perfectly comforting and hearty. The leftovers are more of a creamy risotto than a soup, as all the liquid absorbed, but I'm ok with that.

Yesterday morning, knowing that I'd have a crowd of people over later in the day, I baked the Maple Pistachio Cremes and Crumb-Topped Brownies from My Sweet Vegan. Let me tell you, the pistachio creme is divine. Thank goodness I have some left over. I wonder if it'll make an appearance in a sandwich or if I won't be able to resist just eating it with a spoon. It's sweetened with maple syrup, so it's not unhealthy in the sugar department. Side note about making the pistachio creme: It took a long time for the pistachios to form a paste in my food processor (a very nice Cuisinart), so be patient with it and make sure to scrape down the sides often. The cookie part is soft and subtly maple-flavored. I was pleased with the texture, especially because I was a little concerned that they'd be crumbly after cooling. All in all, with the exception of the time it took to make a pistachio paste, this is a quick and easy recipe with delicious results.

The brownies also came together fairly quickly. I do recommend seriously cooling your melted Earth Balance before adding it to the mix. As in, see if you can wait until it's actually cool and not just lukewarm. It tends to re-solidify easily. I had difficulty getting the crumb topping for the brownies to actually form clumps. Instead, I had a very soft paste even after sprinkling in a tiny bit more powdered sugar. I'm not sure what happened, but I simply dropped the paste in small dollops on top of the uncooked brownie batter anyway. The brownies came out fudgy and rich and absolutely delicious. It didn't have the crumb topping, as the paste kind of held the shape of the dollops I'd dropped, but who cares. They taste fantastic and the texture is perfect!

In non-homemade food news, I tried the Berry Almond Luna Bar today and am not a fan. :( It's chewy, tangy, and tastes ok, but it's not what I want out of a Luna Bar, you know? I'm partial to the flavors that have the soy yogurt coating on the bottom and are a little more dense, not the ones that are more like a soft granola bar. So, it's really just a matter of my personal preference and not that they taste horrible. Maybe you're more of a soft granola bar person and you'll love them. :)

I'm planning to attend a vegan Meet-Up event at Madeleine Bistro, a gourmet vegan restaurant in the San Fernando Valley, this afternoon. Let's see if I can remember to take my camera!


Ruby Red Vegan said...

Ooh, I'll be excited to hear how your Veg Meet-Up goes! I really do hope you bring your camera!

I would never have thought of having pistachio creme in a sandwich! But since pistachio is a nut, I guess it's not that weird: it would be similar to almond butter or peanut butter. With or without crumb topping, brownies are brownies. Meaning delicious! Especially if they're from My Sweet Vegan.

I didn't like the Berry Almond Luna Bar either! My favorite is the Luna Sunrise Blueberry Yogurt.

bittersweetblog said...

I'm so glad that you liked both recipes, even if the crumb topping didn't work out quite right. Maybe it was just humid, or there was some excess liquid? Anyway, if that happens again, you can just add a touch more flour to dry it out a bit.

And I do agree about the Berry Almond Luna Bar- It's fine, but... Not a flavor I would chose over any others.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Have tons of fun at your meet-up :o).

You're not alone in your dislike for the berry Luna bar... but then again, being a chocolate-covered vegan, I am partial to the chocolate-y flavors!

Jackie said...

Happy New Year.

The Maple Pistachio Cremes look so yummy, makes my mouth water.

VeggieGirl said...

I'm so excited that you made the Maple Pistachio Cremes and Crumb-Topped Brownies from My Sweet Vegan!! And no worries - despite the lack of a crumb topping, your brownies STILL look decadent and delectable to me!! :0)

Isn't the Berry-Almond Luna Bar purple or something? I think I heard that from someone... that would be a bit off-putting to me, regardless of the flavor, haha ;0)

trina said...

I'm so happy to hear about your delicious results from My Sweet Vegan. I want it, I want it!

Vegyogini said...

Wow, thanks for commenting and for the advice, Miss BitterSweet! I'm really glad that 3 others of you don't care for that Luna flavor; maybe the Luna people will stumble across this blog and do something about it! ;) I'd love it if they'd bring back the Caramel Apple flavor. Yum! Thank you all for commenting; I really appreciate it!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh those cookies sound so good, I love anything with pistachios. And your brownies sound so decadent! I'll have to make both of those from my sweet vegan soon... so many to choose from!

I have tried the berry almond luna bar... thought it was okay too. I think my fave are the chocolate peppermint... mmmm.