Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Curried Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup

This is another new-to-me soup, this one from Susan V's Fat Free Vegan Blog - Curried Split Pea & Cauliflower Soup. The recipe is at her blog.

Curried Split Pea and Cauliflower Soup

This was the first time I used my pressure cooker in probably 3 years. In fact, last year when I went to use it I noticed the ring was tacky so had to order a new one from Amazon. Although the ring came within a week or so, I never put it on the pot but had it hanging around the house all this time. A few weeks ago I was going to make a different pressure cooker recipe and when I grabbed the lid realized I never put the ring in, but when I went to get it from where I thought I put it when cleaning for Christmas, it was gone. Those gremlins like to hide things in the house and sometimes it takes weeks before they reappear. I recruited both my guys to help look for it, but when none of us could find it I just ordered another one. They're supposed to be changed about every 18 months, anyway, according to the package, so when it turns up I'll use it for the next scheduled change.

So, the soup smells wonderful and has a nice spicy kick to it. I used less than one tablespoon of the curry because we don't like things *too* spicy around here. Yeah, I'm a spice wuss. So what? LOL  See how creamy that soup is? That's how great the peas fell apart after pressure cooking. Usually I use the immersion blender for pea soups but this one doesn't need it at all, and it's fun to see those tiny bits of carrots. Next time I'm already planning on defrosting the cauliflower first and chopping it up into smaller pieces. We don't like big chunks of stuff in our soups if we can help it. I had nice fat carrots so sliced them into quarters before chopping to keep the size down.

Susan, if you're reading messages here, thanks for a wonderful soup and thanks for getting me to use my pressure cooker again. I stopped using it when it got stored in an out-of-the-way area in this cluttered apartment. Now that things are arranged differently and I can easily get to more of my kitchen stuff, like the food processor and this pressure cooker, I plan on using it much more often. Heck, I may soon unpack the "new" Crockpot I bought almost a year ago and finally break that in, too! LOL

Monday, March 19, 2012

Vegan Pie in the Sky - 6 months later

Vegan Pie in the Sky is the third book in the dessert series by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The book has been out since last September.

So why is the New York Daily News just getting around to reviewing it NOW??

McDougallers may want to avoid the review - the Boston Cream Pie recipe will surely be responsible for us going off the food plan! LOL

Jeff Novick's Fast Food - Burgers & Fries DVD

Ever since Jeff announced on the McDougall forums that he had 3 new videos in production I've been waiting for his next in the Fast Food series. Although I'm a little disappointed that it's NOT another video full of more one-pot meals as promised but the burgers one, instead, I'm still going to get it. 

The video is now available for pre-orders on VegSource, and here's the promotional video with the Nelson girls and their teen friends having a BBQ with Jeff as the burger chef:

Heart Healthy Pizza - For St. Patrick's Day!

I wish I had seen Mark's blog post sooner and we would have had pizza instead of Irish Stew this past Saturday!

Mark Sutton, a familiar name on the various fat free vegan mailing lists and forums, has written a cookbook dedicated to making pizza that's safe for us McDougallers and Nutritarians and Esselstynites and all the other people who follow a no added fat vegan lifestyle. The few sample recipes he posted on a few Yahoogroups Groups look amazing, and people who already own the book already and have tried the recipes have nothing but praise for him. Even Robin Robertson, author of over 20 cookbooks (many of which reside on my own book shelf) has written about this book on her own blog. Go on over and see for yourself the gorgeous photos of Mark's pies from the book!

After experimenting with those recipes, we're all gonna have to do a Mary's Mini to recuperate!

Thanks, Mark, for making tasty pizza available again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Return to Cooking and Pressure Cooker Rant

Well, I'm always cooking, just trying new recipes again.

First, I signed up for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's web site, a "gift" from my husband. Plenty of stuff to read there, from newsletters to forums or recipes; a slew of lectures on mp3; the doctor himself commenting on various posts on a daily basis, not just when the mood hits and not just on important stuff he wants to argue against.

Anyway, one of the nice things I discovered over there is this thing called a microsalad, or confetti salad. You take a bunch of raw salad ingredients - leafy greens, green & yellow veggies, even fruit - and toss it all into a food processor and chop it up fine, so it looks like confetti. The reasoning behind doing this is that it makes the micronutrients easier to be absorbed into the body and because the overall bulk is reduced you can eat a lot more of these very low calorie dense foods. I always hated salads, no matter what leafy greens or raw veggies I put in there. Drowning them in creamy (high fat) salad dressings helped a bit, but I still choked them down, not because I liked them but because I had to.

I decided to try doing it the microsalad way and OMG! The flavors just POPPED! All these various types of lettuce and greens and just a bit of beets and onions and wow! It actually tasted a bit sweet! There will be no problem getting me to eat a salad before my main dish like Dr. McDougall suggests in the MWLP book! I've been doing this for a few days now and finally started moving off this plateau I've been on for a few YEARS, even while eating MWLP and reducing starches to almost nothing.

Another thing I've been doing is making soups, lots and lots of soups. It started with some of Mary McDougall's found on the McDougall Made Easy and McDougall Made Irresistible DVD's and now I have a whole new slew of recipes to try.

Today I decided to dust off my pressure cooker and make one that's new to me,
Susan V's Curried Split Pea Soup with Cauliflower. I ran into a problem as soon as I grabbed my pressure cooker. I last used it over a year ago and had to stop when the silicone ring in the lid became tacky, a sign of deterioration. No problem - it seems they're supposed to be changed yearly and I hadn't done so since I bough the pot about 5 years ago. A quick order to Amazon and within a few weeks I had my new ring.

But I never put it in. It sat on a rocking chair for months while I made meals on the stovetop, oven and slow cooker. I even converted many pressure cooker recipes to stovetop. One day I needed the rocker the ring package was on and moved it, putting it in "a safe place" so when I needed it I would know where it is.

That's the last time I saw it.

I spent over an hour tearing the apartment apart trying to find it. I even had my son in on the chase, and usually he's great at finding things I misplaced, but it eluded even him. So I ordered a new one. At least this time I have Amazon Prime with its 2-day shipping policy so it'll be here Thursday. Good, because I have another pressure cooker meal planned for Friday.

As for that pea soup? It looks and smells delicious! I had a sip after putting in the curry and this is going to be a keeper! I have some whole wheat naan bread in the freezer that I'll defrost and serve a little microsalad before it and here's a complete meal.

I'll be back with more cooking adventures soon. Don't worry - I won't make anyone wait until next VeganMoFo this time.