By Brannan Sirratt
After working through about 1/3rd of “The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook“, I have begun to spread my own culinary wings a bit. See, this is the first time that I’ve really followed recipes, and while I still prefer to look at meal ideas and then wing it from there, it has helped me to branch out a bit, as well as to learn the construction of a good recipe.
Watching patterns (like 1 tsp of baking powder to 1 c of flour for muffins as a good rule of thumb) has helped me to take the base construction of recipes and turn them into something all my own. I’m still new at this, but here are a couple of my favorites so far (click on the recipe name to see ingredients/directions on Brannan’s website):
This one was a huge stretch for me, but what can you do when a craving strikes? This one was killer and not letting up. As much as I like to talk, I’m horrible at describing things. So, the best I could muster was “biscuity pancakes” or “pancakey biscuits.” This helped no one.
Finally, I whipped out the cookbook and looked at what it took to make biscuits and what it took to make pancakes, and we met in the middle with these guys. I love that there is no kneading, mess, or long wait involved, but I can dump gravy on them with no remorse. Be sure to use cold coconut oil or butter, or your texture will be less biscuit and more pancake. Equally delicious, but not at all as cool.
No vegetarian household (or any household, for that matter) should be without homemade refried beans. The canned stuff just doesn’t cut it anymore. Really, there is no telling what they put into those too-creamy-to-be-real jars of wannabes, and it’s just not the same.
I still can’t tell you what the difference is between restaurant beans and the canned ones, but I will tell you that homemade refried beans come much closer, and sometimes they even surpass them (sorry, Oseguera’s. I did say sometimes. You will always have my loyalty). The best part about homemade refried beans (besides the ability to justify copious amounts of Mission Strips) is that you can make them from any kind of bean. Try white ones, you won’t regret it.
While I’m a huge fan of veggie burgers and black bean burgers, sometimes you just want something greasy. As a kid, that was always fried chicken or chicken fried steak. So, I took the cooking principles of each, cleared off my counter and prepared to make a mess. The result? I bet you didn’t know that lentils were such good actors.
I’ve got a long way to go before the cookbook is finished, but I’ve already come so far. A bit of accountability and a lot of bulk foods have transformed our diet and overall well-being. And the journey continues.
The Preggie Veggie is a local mom of two (and one on the way very soon!) who is working her way through The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook. These three recipes above are her original creations, but the majority of her website includes reviews of recipes from the book.