Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Celine and Joni’s Orange Chipotle Wings, and Twice-Baked Potatoes + An Announcement...
Before I get started gushing about last night’s dinner, I have an announcement. After a lot of careful thought I decided a few months back that I would be going back to school this year to study holistic health. Health and wellness is a subject I’m very passionate about, and over the past year it’s a subject that’s taken up a considerable amount of my time. Whether I’ve been reading books out of personal interest or for personal growth, writing this blog, or guiding the people in my life to a more healthful way of living, the path of health seems to be one I’m currently traveling along. The decision to go back to school came about mostly out of my own desire to further my knowledge on the subject, but it was also born out of an interest to help others. In going back to school I hope to acquire and further develop the tools I need to help others help themselves. I’m very excited about the prospect, and a little nervous also which I think comes with the territory. After all, virtually everything new Is scary right? It’s been a long time since I’ve been in school, and the subject matter is quite a bit different then anything I’ve studied in a school setting in the past, so I don’t know quite what to expect.
However I’m hoping that the addition of school to my already relatively full plate won’t have a negative impact on my writing this blog. I don’t plan to go MIA, and I really want to keep up the level of posting that you’ve all become accustom to, however I can’t promise that there won’t be stretches of inactivity. I don’t think it’ll be the case, but I thought fair warning was in order, as I don’t know yet what burden the school work will place on my time. So if you find my posting becomes erratic, or that I haven’t been quite as creative lately - for example relying on cook books more then imagination - I hope you’ll bare with me, and realize that it won’t be forever. This blog means a lot to me, and so do you, so hopefully I’ll be able to continue to juggle all aspects of my life with relative ease, and now lets move onto the food.
This past week I’ve been spending more time cooking from cook books then I have from my own imagination. It’s been fun, and delicious as always. The past couple of days I’ve been relying on "Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites" by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman which I received for Christmas, and it’s been wonderful. Perhaps not the healthiest that vegan food has to offer, but certainly delicious, decadent and comforting, and sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
Last night I made the Orange Chipotle Wings, and the Twice Baked Potatoes from the book, and both were exquisite, and mouth wateringly amazing! Seriously, I’ve never been a big fan of Tempeh but I swear I’m in love now. Battering then baking tempeh - what a brilliant idea! First the ‘wings’ are marinated in a mixture of orange juice, zest, chipotle in adobo sauce, garlic and onion. They’re then ‘floured’ in cornstarch, dipped back into the marinade then rolled in Panko breadcrumbs after which they’re lightly sprayed with oil and baked until crisp in a super hot oven. You save the leftover marinade, mix in a bit of brown sugar and cilantro and use it as a dipping or glazing sauce afterwards. Incredible! The potatoes are baked, then scooped out of their skins and mashed with a creamy sauce that’s made with soy milk, garlic, vinegar, Earth Balance and cornstarch. This sauce actually reminds me quite a lot of Ranch dressing, delish! Then you scoop the potatoes back into their skins and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown on top. I ended up taking a couple of the suggestions in the notes section and added green onion into the potato mixture, I also added Daiya cheddar cheese to the tops of my potatoes, then drizzled some extra sauce over top. Fantastic! I served the ‘wings’ and potatoes with a simple dish of roast broccoli with olive oil and garlic to make it a well rounded and winning meal. It was the ultimate comfort meal, seriously and it tasted so good, restaurant quality for sure.
So far I’ve been nothing but pleased with this book, and I highly recommend it. I haven’t made too many dishes from it yet but everything I have made has been mind-blowing. In fact I plan to make the five cheese baked macaroni and cheese tonight and I can hardly wait! So without any further hesitation run to your local library, bookstore or log onto your Amazon account and purchase a copy of this book, you will not be disappointed.