More cooking from Isa Does It

I’ve been cooking quite a bit from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz lately. It’s such a great cookbook– awesome recipes and gorgeous photos mean I sit there flipping through it over and over all brainwashed like.

I couldn’t go past the Roasted Yellow Beet Salad with Warm Maple-Mustard Dressing, seeing as I bought a bunch of golden beetroot from the Coburg Farmers Market a few days before. The beets are roasted, so there’s no fussing there. The dressing is a simple maple mustard combo and instead of the pecans I went for the tempeh option. The tempeh was marinated in tamari, liquid smoke, thyme and red wine vinegar.  I’m really not a big fan of tempeh so I made sure I came close to incinerating it in the cast iron pan.  I like tempeh bacon but it has to to very thin and very very super burnt. For my salad greens I used baby spinach (I would have preferred a salad mix including rocket/arugula). I liked the simple dressing but I have to confess I’m not really a beetroot fan so I wouldn’t make this for myself.  I would probably make a big bowl if I was having people over but I’d use the pecans instead of tempeh:

golden beet salad
The Tofu Mushroom Stroganoff was super easy to make. A cashew-broth base is added to mushrooms, onions, garlic and tofu that have been cooked with some tomato paste, thyme and white wine.  I bought this wholemeal fettucine in Aldi and I found it a bit too heavy so next time I’ll use a different pasta. DeeW liked the sauce but not the ‘bits’. Husband doesn’t like anything with a cashew base and Arthur won’t eat mushrooms. This would have made a simple, tasty family meal if only the fussypants humans element were removed:

tofu mushroom stroganoff

I’ve been looking for a good quinoa recipe lately and the Smoky Incan Stew was perfect.  I finally got to open my little wee can of chipotles in adobe sauce.  This photo was taken the day after I made the stew, so you can see I could have done with a little more liquid but I’m a chunky-stew girl so this was just right for me:

smoky Incan stew

To finish off the tempeh I had in the fridge, I made the Tempeh Orzilla. This is another simple, easy to make recipe with a saucy part made with broth, white wine, onion, garlic and sundried tomatoes.  For the tempeh crumbles, I chopped them as finely as possible and burnt them as much as possible so they were crispy.  Unfortunately though I had to admit defeat: like leggings-as-pants, tempeh is just not for me. As much as I love the taste of various marinades and dressing, there’s still the texture to deal with.  So long tempeh (though I really want to try chickpea tempeh):

tempeh orzilla

The cookbook photo of the Cast Iron Stir Fry recipe results in a fair bit of drooling.  The sauce is made mostly with tamari, hoi sin and mirin.  Super simple and really delicious.  Instead of rice I used soba noodles and I left out the avocado and peanut sprinkle-over bit at the end:

cast iron stir fry

For breakfast one day, I made the Coconut French Toast.  It’s your basic French toast recipe but you dip the soaked bread slices in coconut before cooking. Arthur and I loved these but DeeW refused to try any as she’s not big on French toast and thinks toast should come out of a toaster (“that’s why it’s called toast”):

coconut French toast

The Marbled Banana Bread has been made a few times. This time, I did the marbling myself.  Arthur and DeeW tend to go a little overboard so the batter goes beyond the marbled stage in to the fully mixed stage:

marbled banana bread

Arthur and DeeW had friends over so I made the Jumbo Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies.  Guess what, these friends hate raisins so I had to eat their share. WAAAAAH:

jumbo oatmeal raisin cookies

I finally got around to making the Strawberry and Cream Bread Pudding.  I threw in some mixed frozen berries as I didn’t have enough strawberries. Plus it was the Fourth of July so I put in a little red, white and blue for my American readers. This pudding is super easy to make and involves briefly soaking some bread in a mixture of coconut milk, a non dairy milk (I used soy), cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice.  I made half of the optional icing recipe.  Everybody loved this, except Husband who really dislikes coconut in desserts (but he eats coconut based Thai curries). Naturally, I valiantly ate his share:

Berries and cream bread pudding

I really love Isa Does It and count it as a top notch favourite.  Isa’s recipes are straightforward, entertaining and delicious. There’s no stop-yerrrr-fussin-boy fussiness about any of the recipes I’ve looked at and there are so many more dishes I still want to make. Aaand now you all have the voice of Toni Childs stuck in your brains.

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14 thoughts on “More cooking from Isa Does It

  1. Coconut french toast! I have missed french toast since going vegan – I never had it often, but it was one of those things I really loved on occasion. Your version here looks fantastic. The beet salad with maple mustard dressing sounds wonderful too, even though theoretically I’m not a huge beet fan either.

    • I’ve seen lots of vegan french toast recipes with different this-and-thats added so I thought something ‘extra’ had to be done to make up for the lack of egg. So I was surprised that this recipe was basic in that respect. Isa also has a pumpkin french toast recipe on theppk.com I want to try 🙂

  2. You make me want to spend more time with Isa Does It – I love the book and have made some great dishes from it. And all your dishes (and the cute kitty) look great. Love your marbling, wonder if coconut might be the key to french toast for me – I feel about it like you do about tempeh – doesn’t work for me any old way – I do love tempeh when it works – had it recently and was amazing E ate it because it still wasn’t nuked quite enough for me at first. And if your kids wont eat your food, couldn’t they find some friends who aren’t fussy – ha ha (says she who went out with Sylvia’s friends recently and felt good that Sylvia wasn’t the fussiest kid at the table!!!!!)

    • Ha! Unfortunately I don’t think my family will go for the fennel farroh (though I would use buckwheat) salad or the pumpkin chimmichurri or butternut alfredo I want to make tomorrow 😉

  3. You really are exploring that book! Looks like lots of yummy stuff. I haven`t tried to cook tempeh very often. I was a bit turned off when I had a disgusting burger at a restaurant in Toronto years ago. But I will give it another chance… Is that your kitty? So cute!

    • I never order tempeh in restaurants because I think there’s a very high chance I will hate my meal 😛 Yep that’s our cat, I keep meaning to blog about him and his brother!

  4. This all looks great! I hear you on the fussypants issues 🙂 I would happily devour all of this, although I’m with you on the tempeh, try as I may I cannot make myself like it

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