Thursday, August 29, 2013

Betty Goes Vegan in August

It's the end of the month and I never did locate a copy of the August VegCookbook Club pick, Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon. However I bet there will be plenty of copies at DC Vegfest, when the Shannons present their much-anticipated cooking demo. That's Saturday, September 28th at 2ish. (Full schedule here.)

I did make a couple of items from the authors' recipe-rich website. The recipes are playful takes on the All-American dishes engineered for General Mills' Betty Crocker brand. These veganized versions were created for "The Betty Crocker Project," the initial blog challenge that spurred the Betty Goes Vegan cookbook.

Here's what I made:
Cowboy Caviar
This recipe is for "the Hostess with the Mostess." It's a colorful and quick combination of crunchy veggies and tender, cooked beans that can serve as a salad, a side, a condiment, a dip, or taco fodder. I loved this recipe because it required no cooking, of course. I think you could vary the canned ingredients to feature what was fresh and in-season. Fresh cilantro and ripe avocado seem key.  

BLT Crostini
A wacky recipe but not without its charms. These faux "cheesy" crostini are meant to be baked on a pizza stone but I cheated and cooked these in the toaster oven. I used local heirloom tomatoes for the "T" and smoky tempeh for the "B." The wispy lettuce leaves looked attractive but didn't provide much flavor. Maybe something peppery like arugula or watercress would work here?

Orange, Agave & Mustard Dressing  
This dressing accompanies a spinach salad recipe. I've been looking for an oil-free dressing and this one is a nice marriage of zesty orange and zippy mustard. However, I thought the agave was too sweet and cloying, even when reduced by a third.

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