Saturday, April 25, 2015

March Recipe: Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats

Up this month for new recipes was a book I received as a present a couple years ago, Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. While eliminating gluten is something I would never do without a severe medical need, too much of anything is never good, so I wouldn't mind having some options of recipes in my repertoire that happen to not include wheat. It's a very pretty and well-organized book, even color-coded sections, which gives it some automatic points.

Some of the recipes are gluten-free by substituting non-wheat flours, but a fair number are items that just happen to be gluten-free, so I picked a couple of those. Upon reflection, perhaps two items that didn't really blend together well in a single dish. 

There are definitely other items in the book I'd like to try, but I've been aiming for healthier options for this monthly goals. But the croquettes and some of the desserts in the book have not been ruled out for future cooking.

Drenched pad thai salad

Difficulty: 4 of 5 - No one piece was terribly hard, but it just involved a lot of steps and components, and it'd have to be really incredibly delicious to be worth it. It wasn't.

Enjoyment: 2 of 5 - The tofu was pretty good, the taste of the sauce was ok, and the concept of the zucchini noodles wasn't bad, but the texture of the sauce on the zucchini noodles was really bizarre and gross. Even Abe thought so, and he'll pretty much eat anything.

Likelihood to make again: 2 of 5 - The sauce might not be so bad on real noodles (might make the whole thing less slimey feeling?). I actually think I might do the marinade on tofu again. But the whole package, not so much.

We don't have a spiralizer, but using a vegetable peeler to noodle-ize worked just fine, and I was able to get some relatively nice long strips with that. We also lack a grill of any kind, so I sauted the tofu and pineapple on the stovetop, which is one of my standard ways of preparing tofu, so it also worked out. I was kind of worried about the marinade including Chinese 5-spice, as that contains both anise and fennel, and I typically don't like that licorice taste, but it somehow worked and wasn't too overly strong in the end.

Cinnamon roasted cauliflower

Difficulty: 1 of 5 - Just cut the cauliflower, coat with oil and the cinnamon mixture. Can't get much easier than that.

Enjoyment: 3 of 5 - I'm not sure if I didn't let it bake long enough? I didn't get as crispy as I would have expected, but I was afraid of letting it burn. Kind of a weird flavor profile, in my opinion, as I'm used to cinnamon in sweet dishes. 

Likelihood to make again: 3 of 5 - I think I would want to add at least a touch of sweetener to it, and bake longer and hope that might help the texture a bit.

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