Thursday, February 21, 2008

When They Were Bad They Were Very Very Bad, But When They Were Good They Were Awesome

So I feel a TEENY bit bad giving Veganomicon such a hard time yesterday. I don't hate the cookbook, and I don't want it to come across as such. Granted, I've had a couple major flops. And they flopped hard. But I've also had some damn good experiences as well. And I don't want the bad to eclipse the good here (speaking of eclipse: you catch the lunar one last night? fricking bad-ass awesome).

So today, I'm lacing up my boxing gloves, putting in one of them mouthguard thingies, and hopping around in the ring ready to take on the chickpea-cutlet dissers because, good god, peeps, I loves these things.

Yesterday, my mom had an appointment for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, which I took her to. (I'm sure she'll be EVER so pleased that I'm talking about her asshole for everyone around the globe to read.) Anyways, she was starving since she had to fast all day. So I decided to cook her dinner. And I decided that I'd whip up the chickpea cutlets again, this time in nugget form.

And seriously peeps: I know that tastes vary. So I'ma chalk up the haters to that fact. (I hate brussel sprouts, but I know many of you who would happily use them as anal beads, you love them that much. All a matter of taste, you brussel sprout pervs...) But *tightening the lacing on my boxing gloves* I'll totally rope-a-dope those of you who argue that the recipe itself stinks, because even after forming them into nuggets, I still had absolutely no problem with it, and they came out delightful (albeit, looking a little bit like poo-logs; but once you get around that, they're damn tasty, and I recommend the nugget form for those of you trying to feed kids). In nugget form, these would make an AWESOME finger-food for parties (with a few sides of dipping sauces) or an easy way to please an omnivore.

Seriously: poo or chickpea nugget?
Hard to tell...

For those of you interested in trying them out this way, you'll just want to form them into about 12-15 nuggety shapes (see pics) evenly spaced on your pan and flip them over every once in a while until they are firm enough that you can pick them up (I think I only ended up reducing the cooking time on the original recipe by about 5 minutes to make them in nugget form).

I also made the lemony roasted potatoes for dinner as well, and mother of god, these things were good. They left my house smelling wonderfully aromatic, like Thanksgiving day had made an unexpected layover in Cleveland. Despite the fact that I am the worst cutter-upper of potatoes, they turned out delicious, the perfect hint of delicate lemon flavoring.

So yeah: Veganomicon has disappointed me a couple times. But I'm hoping that the two incidents I mentioned yesterday were just isolated events and that the good moments (like the chickpea cutlets and lemony roasted potatoes) will engulf the bad moments, chew them up, and spit them out, as I try out more and more recipes from this book. *Fingers crossed* since I intend to whip up that eggplanty curry recipe this weekend along with the tomatoey-rice soup recipe.

Those are the technical names, obviously.



  • 2.5 pounds Russet potatoes (medium to small potatoes work best)

  • 1/3 c. olive oil

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped finely

  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 c. vegetable broth

  • 2 t. dried oregano

  • salt to taste

  • 1 t. tomato paste (or I used steak sauce)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Chopped fresh parsley or dried oregano (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half into wedges no more then 3/4″ thick.

In a large, deep baking pan or casserole dish (at least 10 17-inches or bigger), combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vegetable broth, oregano, salt, and tomato paste. Add the peeled, sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and toss the potatoes to cover with the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with foil (or use lid of casserole dish), place in the oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are almost done. Several times during the baking process, remove the pan from the oven, uncover, stir the potatoes, place the cover back, and return the pan to the oven.

Uncover the pan one last time, stir the potatoes again, and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15-20 minutes, until most of the sauce has evaporated and some of the potatoes have just started to brown on their edges. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or more dried oregano before serving.

serves 4-6

(Posted at The PepperTree, originally from Veganomicon)

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