Getting to know Dreena

7 Jan

My Friday off started in a typical way:

Yep, oatmeal and coffee. I did the oats a little differently this time, though. I took a cue from SnackFace and added a mashed banana into the boiling water with the dry oats. I loved the flavor, but I should have used less water. I tend to like my oatmeal less watery, and it didn’t occur to me that the banana would add so much more moisture. I also tossed in a couple of chopped pecans, about a teaspoon and a half of maple syrup, and a healthy shake of cinnamon.

I plan to do a full post – maybe this weekend? – on all my great kitchen-related Christmas gifts, but for now I offer merely a preview.

My taller half’s mother gave me Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink and Be Vegan for the festivities. I’ve been interested in the book for a while, thanks largely to Caroline, who frequently makes and then sings the praises of Burton’s Cashew Ginger Tofu. I must try it for myself soon.

Because things have been crazy since November 30 (my first rehearsal), I’ve tackled two easy and fairly quick recipes from the book. The first (prepare for camera phone pictures):

Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus.

I swear it looks better in person. Check out the link above.

I love hummus, which I don’t think is a secret here. I love creamy, garlicky, garbanzo hummus. I love thick, flavorful hummus made from other beans. However, making my own delicious spread has always eluded me. I have a food processor, but the texture and flavor were never both right at the same time. This recipe, however, is delicious. It doesn’t have the velvety texture I usually prefer, but the slightly chunkier/grainier feel works with the more intense flavors. I’ve had it with carrots and atop a baked sweet potato. Either way, it’s delicious and zesty.

The second:

Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup.

This stuff is really, really delicious. I only made a half batch (with full spice measurements), and it was still plenty for three full lunches (as in I was too full to eat anything else with it those days). It’s very hearty, thanks to the garbanzos and the lentils, and it had a rich flavor. I went with the zucchini option rather than the tomato, though I think next time I’ll do half and half. I omitted the celery because, believe it or not, Reasor’s was out. This irked me, but it was nothing compared with the sad, black, horrible day when they were out of garlic. I shudder just remembering it. I also reduced the olive oil because I’ve been brainwashed by my friend the Vegan Epicurean. 🙂 As you can see, I topped with hot sauce.

So far, Ms. Burton has a believer in me. I have a ton more of her recipes marked, so I hope to have more to report soon.

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