PPK Cookbook Challenge – Cookin’ Crunk

The next book picked for the PPK Cookbook Challenge was Cookin’ Crunk. I’ve not had this one as long as the previous two, but have enjoyed what I’ve made so far and as usual, had quite a few recipes pencilled in to try so the cookbook challenge was perfect for me.

First, I made 2 recipes in one evening – the Some Like it Hot TLT sandwich with the dill potato salad. The first T in the sandwich is tofu and it marinades overnight in a spicy mix. For my taste there was too much hoisin in the mixture and it dominated the sandwich, giving it a strangely out of place Chinese flavour. It did add smokiness and a sweet edge, so I would use it again, but much less. I really liked the potato salad though – the addition of green olives and dill worked very well, even though I cut down the mayo a bit just because it felt about the right texture before I finished adding it.

Next I made the Cheezy Tofu Scramble for breakfast and served it in a burrito with roasted potatoes. For my vegetables I chose mushrooms and red peppers. I always like tofu scramble and I especially liked the texture of this one, even though it wasn’t as cheezy as the title suggested.

I didn’t take a picture but for lunch one day I found I had everything I needed to make the black eye bean hummus so I had it with some crackers. You know what hummus looks like, don’t you? It wasn’t so very different from any other hummus but used black eyed beans – I love the flavour of them in anything so this was a nice change to chickpeas.

For my next dish I made the Red Beans and Quinoa. I’d been looking at this one since I first got the book but I’ve got out of the habit of soaking and cooking my own beans, and you can’t really substitute tinned in this recipe because the cook with all the flavourings for a long time. So over 2 days I soaked and cooked in readiness for this dish, which was well worth it. It looks so bland and worthy, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s not the most exciting dish I’ve ever made, but it was thick and comforting and much tastier than I was expecting. I doubled the Cajun seasoning in the beans and added hot sauce liberally at the table. This makes loads and I’ve stashed a portion in the freezer because it felt like a perfect dish for when you’re feeling under the weather.

My final dishes for the challenge were the Seitan Wangz with Buttermilk Ranch dressing. I used seitan I already had in the freezer (I think probably the no cluck cutlets from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day which I love) so it made for a quick and easy meal when I got in from the pub. I used the Franks Extra Red Hot in the sauce, so it really was very spicy, but was perfect for us. The Buttermilk Ranch was an excellent soothing accompaniment, along with some oven fried potatoes and celery to give the illusion of eating vegetables.

Other recipes I’ve made from this book: Creole sausages (delicious), BBQ tempeh and carrot sandwiches with poppy seed coleslaw (made this the day the book arrived and was not disappointed), Cauliflower Creole, which I found a bit bland, the Southern Fried Tofu and the Dijon Pecan Seitan with Maple Mustard Glaze (probably my favourite, but I tweaked the amounts of dijon mustard as it’s hotter here than in the US). There are still things I want to try too, the Black Eye Bean Burgers, Sweet Potato Hash and the Curried Sweet Potato Fries.

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