Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Had a Flame, But She Had a Fire

Cool points to those of you who get my title reference without using Senor Google!  Anyway.  Hello all!  I'm really trying to get back into the blogging spirit with summer just around the corner.  Remember when I told you that we left our bbq grill in Texas?  Well, we finally got one after a year and a half in the desert.  We've been grilling up a storm lately so there are plenty pics to come.

Quick Red Posole w/ Beans (pg. 136) garnished with Pickled Red Onions (pg. 43)

But first...I'm sure you've heard of a little cookbook by the name of Viva Vegan!  Trust me when I say that you need this in your life!  SO good.  I was fortunate enough to test for Terry, and the entire process really changed the way I viewed Latin cuisine.  I'm from South Texas, so I really thought I knew a lot about cooking some food...but this book really has a bunch of different cultures in it.  I felt like I was taking a trip to North, Central, or South America just reading a description of the food.

Yellow Rice w/ Garlic (pg. 96)

My favorite thing about testing was how inexpensive the ingredients were.  If you live in a Mexican-American neighborhood or have access to a Mexican grocer, a lot of this stuff will cost you less than a couple of bucks.  The most I paid for any single ingredient was probably 5 bucks...and the aji paste is still in my fridge.

Pupusas Stuffed w/ Black Beans and Plantains (pg. 162), Simple Latin Tomato Sauce (pg. 46), Swiss Chard w/ Raisins and Capers (pg. 123)

For people with special dietary needs, there are a lot of gluten free and soy free options.  I would also say that a huge majority of the food is based on whole foods.  I think almost every recipe that calls for prepackaged vegan cheese lists it as optional.  Plus, there is a huge condiment section that can really spice up your taco night!

Cashew Crema (pg. 51)

The dessert section is pretty epic for me.  As a San Antonian, I have dreamt about things like vegan churros and tres leches for years.  I can tell you that both of those recipes are worth the price of the book alone.  I'm pretty sure the day I first made the churros, that was all I consumed all day!  Haha.  There's also a drink section with some really badass alcoholic and non-alcoholic recipes.  Plus a shopping list and a bunch of menus! 

Coconut Tres Leches Cake (pg. 230)

I think the best possible thing I could say about Viva Vegan is that it completely makes me never want to go to a restaurant again.  Why go pay 10 bucks for a plate of food when I can make an entire meal for four?  Plus...super moist and delectable vegan tres leches!

I tested about 40 recipes, so I'll leave you with my personal favorites:
Annatto-Infused Oil (pg. 31) will change your life...and probably stain your chucks.
Chorizo Seitan Sausages (pg. 36) are amazing if you use half ancho and have chipotle for the chili powder.
So Good, So Green Dipping Sauce (pg. 43)
Cubano Vegano Sandwich (pg. 66)
Home-Style Refried Beans (pg. 86)
Yellow Rice w/ Garlic (pg. 96)
Latin Shredded Seitan (pg. 106)
Yuca w/ Cuban Garlic-Lime-Mojo Sauce (pg. 127)
Arroz Con Seitan (pg. 145)
Arepas (pg. 177)
Churros (pg. 223)
Coconut Tres Leches Cake (pg. 230)

Well, I have some marinating to do.  I'll be talking about Mexican hot dogs in my next entry because I was just introduced to them.  Weight loss is still going.  I didn't gain or lose any last month (because I just stopped working out), but this month I've lost a couple of pounds so far.  I'm hoping to push through by the end of the month and meet my next goal soon.  Happy Sunday all!


radioactivegan said...

Oh, baby, I was bound for mexico! I love cake like none other :)

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

WORD. I took a road trip and decided that Prolonging the Magic is the absolute best for driving 1-10E through the nothingness. Haha.

Andrea said...

You've made a good case for buying that cookbook. It sounds fantastic. I want it!

Mihl said...

What an awesome review, Mo! Your Tres Leches Cake looks stunning!

Mihl said...

P.S. About that title, well, no idea what kind of cake you're talking about here.

jessy said...

hooray for getting a new grill! that rocks, Monique - i can't wait to see all the awesomenesses you all grill up! w00t! i need to get my hands on Terry's new book - when i was in NY i saw a bookstore that was featuring it & i believe she was due for a signing as well. i wish i could have made it. thanks for posting all of your favorites - everything look AMAZING and i love that they're mostly whole foods recipes with lots of gluten-free goodnesses. yay! authentic + inexpensive ingredients + awesome = the best! congrats on the pounds lost this month, too. :)

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Andrea-Yes! You won't regret it.

Mihl-Thanks! Cake is the name of a band and they have this song called "Mexico."

Jessy-I think you'd love it! Tons of greatness.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

OMG, Mihl! I just got what you were saying. Seitan is my motor! Wow, that one flew right over my head. Bahahahaha!

Jeni Treehugger said...

That coconut Tres Leches Cake has just made me weep!

dreaminitvegan said...

ALL OF IT, just give me all of it! All of tha wonderful food.yay for your new grill.

kmouse said...

You were awarded a Sunshine Blog Award at my blog! Thanks for the inspiration!


the rachface said...

This post makes me HUNGRY! I am so glad I have this book because I'm going to make arepas tonight.

Also, I puffy heart all the Prolonging the Magic love.