Szechuan Peanut Noodles

This is from Vegan Family Meals. It was... okay. I think that a wider, fatter noodle would work better (rice, perhaps?) The veg was listed as optional in the recipe- I think it's mandatory- the noodles and sauce alone would be rather grodie, it really needs the vegetable textures and flavors to break up the peanut overload.

It was kinda meh. I have to say, I really prefer the RFD book to this one, and if I didn't know better, I would never peg this food as being made by the same chef that made the RFD recipes. But, that book is so stellar that I would never say anything disparaging about her food!

Pinto Bean Enchiladas

These are from Ann Gentry's new book, "Vegan Family Meals". She is the founder of the life-changing Real Food Daily restaurant and accompanying cookbook). If you've seen this blog before today or met me or Davey, you know that we eat RFD either from the restaurant or the book at least once a week. Their food is mind blowingly amazing. So, I was really looking forward to new recipes from Ms Gentry, since, as amazing as RFD is, you can burn out if you're eating the Taco Town tacos a few times a week (Davey would beg to differ, but still.) However, this book is a bit different. She explains that the RFD cookbook recipes are so complex because they are literally what the restaurant uses. So, they have one person making seitan, another making sauce, another making cashew cheese, etc. So this book is supposed to be more geared for a home cook who has to do it all themselves and may not have time to make 4-6 recipes for one dish.

I gotta say, though, so far- I give it a firm 'meh' for a review. This dish (the pinto bean enchiladas) was actually one of the best that I've tried, and so far, I've tried; the Hippy Granola, Baked Kale Chips, One Pot Vegetables, Lasagna Rolls and this. The recipes are a bit shorter than the RFD ones, but they really are no where near the amazing heights of those either. Which kind of points to a truth that I think all of the cooking that I've done with this blog has taught me- generally- great meals take time. You'll notice a huge gap in this blog where I hadn't posted much for about 6 months until last week. It was because I was working a job that took up about 60 hours a week and about 100 hours of head space a week. So I wasn't making great meals. I was using a lot of jar sauces and pre-made things, and none of that is really worth exploring on here, because it's food, but it's not a meal.

So, back to these enchiladas. They had a load of Asian ingredients, which I found odd for a Mexican dish; Tamari, Umeboshi Paste and Kombu. They used soaked bean water as a stock (versus chilis or tomato based sauce, like enchiladas usually do). They were alright. They were actually pretty good- but you have to readjust your "enchilada" expectations, because they just aren't what your mouth is expecting. I may make them again, but it's kind of unlikely. They did take hours with the bean prep and all, and if I'm going to invest that time, I'd rather make the enchiladas verde from the RFD book. I am a bit let down at this book, but I have no bad feelings because RFD literally changed our lives- we eat so much better and so differently than before we moved here. I'd buy any book that she comes out with- if only as a thank you.