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The new addition has been keeping our house a veritable hive of activity, so week two of the cookbook challenge has gotten off to a slow start. But tonight I was determined to make up for that. This week’s cookbook, Veganomicon, doesn’t need a lot said about it. Everyone has it, and everyone loves it- even my decidedly non-vegan mother, for whom I bought the book for Christmas (much to the horror of my would-be-entirely-carnivorous-if-it-wouldn’t-kill-him brother). Perhaps the best signifier of my love for this book was the look of pure joy on Hank’s face as he sniffed my battered, stained copy and discovered the smells of dozens of spilled ingredients and thoroughly enjoyed meals.
The real challenge this week is picking out meals that I haven’t made before. Two recipes that I started with today are ones that I’m honestly slightly surprised that I hadn’t tried yet. The first was hommus.
Why I hadn’t tried this hommus recipe before is still a mystery to me. But this gave me the chance to test out my new blender- although it struggled at first and took longer than using a food processor, I was pretty pleased with how this turned out. Chadwiko couldn’t tell the difference between this and my usual recipe (which, admittedly, is almost identical, with the use of the blender being the main difference), but I found it creamier. In the end, it’s hommus, which almost always equates to delicious.
I also made the rosemary foccacia from Veganomicon, which is a lot less labour-intensive than it seems. It was so easy to throw together and leave to rise while I made dinner, and then bake as we were eating. This was very similar to the way that I make garlic bread, which is probably a good thing since we like that garlic bread enough that it gets made every couple of weeks. But this makes a lot, too much for two people, so I’m hoping that it freezes well.
Tonight’s second ‘why haven’t I tried this before?’ recipe was tamarind lentils.
I love tamarind, and often wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t seem to love it as much as me. I don’t often see recipes including tamarind, so my jar usually only gets used when I’m making up or adapting my own recipes. So why I hadn’t made a dedicated tamarind recipe is entirely beyond me. But now that I have, I definitely will again and again. Chadwiko raved about this dish, loving the pairing of the flavourful lentils with the gingery spinach and tomatoes. I had to agree.
I also loved how weeknight-friendly this was. Once the lentils were boiling, there wasn’t a lot to do other than run around the backyard trying to stop Hank from addressing our outdoor wolf spider infestation with only his teeth. As soon as he was safely back inside with his only injuries to his pride, it was time to finish up the lentils and sautee the spinach and tomatoes.
A healthy puppy, spiders banished outside and a satisfying hot meal on the table? It doesn’t get much better on a Wednesday night.