Saturday, January 29

Cook Book Challenge Week #3

The Urban Vegan
Friday's Menu: Fettucine Alfredo and Choco-Coco-Oat Bars
Today's Breakfast:  Better Than Buttermilk Pancakes

dinner's ready!
Friday's dinner was Fettucine (capellini, actually) Alfredo.  It was really quick to make and I followed the recipe pretty closely.  A few changes I made were using about half of the pasta, cutting the Earth Balance from six to four tablespoons (I just couldn't bring myself to use ALL the butter), adding a few Italian seasonings and fresh broccoli.  The sauce was pretty easy to make.  I read somewhere else that people had trouble with the sauce thickening, so I added a bit more than a tablespoon of cornstarch and a little extra nutritional yeast.  The sauce still wasn't "thick," but it was an okay consistency.  It was pretty flavorful, but not exactly "Alfredo."  I haven't had fettucine Alfredo in years, even though I used to LOVE it, I couldn't bring myself to eat it, knowing it's so unhealthy.  This sauce wasn't quite as rich, but it was a decent substitute.  It was also really easy to make, so I can't complain there.  We served it sprinkled with extra nutritional yeast and a glass of wine!  Some crunchy garlic bread and a fresh side salad would've been a good addition.

crumbly goodness
I always like to make a dessert or something special on Friday, since we have extra time, so I flipped through the dessert chapter.  I found "Choco-Coco-Oat Bars" and had everything I needed.  As chance would have it, I had picked up some random ingredients at Whole Foods last time we were in Madison (coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes and dark chocolate chips), which was just what I needed for the recipe.  I haven't used coconut oil before, but as soon as I opened the jar, I could smell the amazingly sweet scent-- not what I expected from oil.  I also used a little to grease the pan.  I love the smell and hopefully I'll find another use soon!  The bars definitely satisfy a sweet craving, without being too incredibly unhealthy.  I'm not sure what I did, but they didn't exactly turn into "bars," more of a crumble.  Maybe I didn't let it cool long enough before digging in.  The way it turned out, I can imagine it would be even better with a scoop of coconut ice cream!  (Note: this morning they have cooled into real bars.)

topped with EB and syrup
This morning Schatzi woke us early (by early, I mean before 8:00), so I whipped up the pancake batter right away.  I left the batter pretty thick; the recipe called for up to an additional four tablespoons of milk.  I greased the griddle with coconut oil (yay!), and it gave the pancakes just a little added sweetness.  As far as pancakes, I would say they were pretty standard, nothing too exciting or out the ordinary.  I planned to make the apple cinnamon variety in the recipe, until Chad snacked on the apple earlier in the week!  Not a bad recipe, but not one I'm super excited to make again.

Another week of the challenge is on the blog.  What did I enjoy about The Urban Vegan?  I really liked the Chickpea Chili Burgers; this is definitely something we'll make again and probably often.  I liked all the variety in her recipes, even though we stayed pretty simple again.  I didn't recognize a lot of the recipes, so that may have added to my apprehension.  I don't think this is a book I'm dying to buy, but I would check it out from the library again and try a few more things.

When I asked Chad what he thought about last night's meal, his only comment was "Good."  Guess that answer is good enough :)

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