Sunday, January 12, 2014

Vegetarian Times Review

Last week our food plan had several recipes from the January/February 2014 issue of Vegetarian Times.  I've been subscribed to this magazine for years and I plan to continue.  The funny thing is that while I like the magazine and enjoy reading it, I generally have bad luck with the recipes.  Often they seem unnecessarily difficult.  I get a lot of inspiration from the recipes though so I end up with a lot of great recipes from the magazine that were never actually printed!  Having said that, a few of our favorite recipes come straight from Vegetarian Times with no adjustment at all.  The apple crisp that we make every fall is from a late-1990's issue!

So here is what we thought of the recipes we tried last week.

Sesame-Ginger Broccoli Soup - In one word, weird.  It was very thin and the ginger flavor overpowered everything.  Personally I like ginger and once I got past the weirdness, I didn't mind it.  I can't believe there was so much broccoli though, and I couldn't taste it at all.  Kayleigh ate hers, Bill had 2 spoonfuls. I had pickled ginger in my fridge for ages and finally threw it away last summer because I never use it.  I actually went out and bought more specifically for this recipe and now I'm sure that will sit around a couple years until I need the space and throw it away again!

Red Curry Vegetable Soup - My issues with this recipe aren't actually the fault of the recipe itself.  We had this with brown rice and I think we would have really liked it except for two things.  First, I don't know what is up with Thai red curry paste the last year or so but it is not spicy at all.  We thought it was just a fluke with one jar so we bought another and then tried several other brands but they are all way too mild for our taste.  We ended up adding random hot sauces trying to increase the flavor so that messed with the overall dish.  The other issue is that the last 3 times we had green beans, they were not good.  I don't know where the grocery store is getting their green beans from but the taste is really off lately.  We all ended up picking them out of the soup.

Black Bean Tostadas with Kiwifruit Salsa - I don't know why I put this on the menu because it really doesn't sound like something we would like.  Then I came home and saw it and really started to question what I was thinking!  But then I tasted it and, surprise, it was my favorite meal of the week!  I loved it.  The kiwi salsa was so good I made a second batch for this week.  Bill and Kayleigh made dinner the night we had this so I told them to skip the grinding a chili pepper step and just use cayenne.  Also, we obviously used vegan sour cream instead of yogurt.  I was really disappointed there weren't any leftovers from this.

Oven-Fried Truffle "Chips" - I chose this recipe mostly because my mom bought me truffle oil a few months ago and I have yet to use it.  Here is my first example of Veg Times making things too involved.  I make "fries" all the time and never have I had to do so many steps or use so many pans, bowls, etc.  I have never boiled the potatoes before roasting them but I thought maybe it would make them cook up better.  No, it did not.  They also didn't cook any quicker so it was a completely useless step.  Also, in my opinion these had way too much oil on them and the oven temperature was too low.  I can't believe for a minute the fries pictured were actually made by following this recipe!

Cherry Turnovers - Recipe number two that they made much harder than necessary.  Unlike the fries though, these were delicious!  The recipe had you moving back and forth to the refrigerator after each step.  I did not do that and they still turned out fine.  I've decided to keep frozen cherries and puff pastry in the freezer at all times now so we can have these whenever we want.

As usual, we had some winners and some losers and I came away with a few new ideas.  Overall I'd say this was probably one of the better issues as far as recipes go.

I realize now that I should have taken some pictures during the week but I didn't even think of it until right now!