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Heating up the Kitchen

The past month I've been making quite a variety of dishes in this kitchen!

My brother and sister-in-law gave me Vegan with a Vengeance for Christmas and I'm pretty much in love with it.  The majority of the recipes below came from there.  One is from Veganomicon and the other from a blog.

I may have mentioned that my sister, Karen, has very different tastes than I do.  One of these dishes was chosen to please her with a bit of me thrown we're going to play:  Karen approved?

Black Bean, Mushroom, & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - Vegan with a Vengeance page 83
Karen liked this one, although she thought it was a bit too spicy.  (I may have gotten a bit excited with the chili powder.)  Later, when she was complaining about some other food she said, "Don't you have any stuffed peppers?"  To which I said, "I rarely make the same thing twice."  So because of that statement, we'll say this one is Karen approved!

Spicy Indian Rice with Toasted Almonds - Vegan with a Vengeance page 108
Karen didn't actually try this one, but let me tell you, there's lots of flavor in this one and pretty delicious.

Mexican Rice recipe from my rice cooker
This one's an easy to go for me:  onions, tomato paste, spices, rice.  Boom.  Karen didn't try this one either.

Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf - Veganomicon page 115
Well, this one Karen would not try.  This one was so easy to make and delicious.

Ginger Roasted Winter Vegetables - Vegan with a Vengeance page 116
Karen tried this one...she did not approve.  She went and served herself a helping and when she was about halfway done she asked, "Will you eat the rest?  I think I was a bit over ambitious."  I thought it was pretty good, I'd never cooked with parsnips before.  Basically, winter anything will never win for me.  But I'm glad I tried to embrace the winter veggies.

Garlic & Kale Baked Gnocci (recipe here)
This one was easy:  Karen approved!  I made it the day before she took it to work with her for lunch and she called me to say how good it was.  Then, "Is that spinach in the bottom?"  Me, "No, it's kale."  (Karen doesn't like kale...or at least she didn't think she did.) Karen, "I thought kale was orange."  Me, "nope"  I may have tricked her, but she liked it!

Chickpea Broccoli Casserole - Vegan with a Vengeance page 96
This is nothing like what you are probably used to when you think of broccoli casserole (with cream of mushroom soup, the onion toppings).  
Lots of chickpeas and mashed.  If I read the recipe before picking this, I probably wouldn't have made it because mashing beans takes me back to when I first moved to Mexico and I had to mash black beans for something my roommie Jess was making.  It was pretty terrible.  I remember my thumbs hurting, bending many forks, and really stretching my patience.  Ugh bad flashback.  BUT I made it.  I mashed those chickpeas with a fork with the best of them (and honestly, it wasn't as bad at those black beans...Jess also has higher standards than me).
I should have chopped the broccoli a bit more, but after cutting my pinkie while chopping the onion (the first thing I chopped), everything was a bit chunky this time.  (Except the carrots since they were grated.)
Overall though...this was delicious!
Oh, Karen didn't try this one either.

Also, anyone else mark up cookbooks after trying recipes?  I think I picked up this habit from my mom in high school.  While I so rarely cook the same thing twice, I still find it useful.


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