Although... "happy herbivore" reminds me of these "Happy2BHardcore" CDs that I am really into. Happy Hardcore is a dance genre that is basically electronica with high, cheery vocals. This CD pictured below is one of my favorites:
The first recipe I tried was Red Lentil Dal (recipe linked here). One of the ingredients was garam masala, which I could not find in the market but was able to substitute by combining other spices, which is what I did here:
From the cookbook, I also made the cornbread recipe. See my lovely method of keeping the cookbook open???
I had some frozen corn on hand, so a dumped a little bit of it into the batter. "The Ukrainian" was later pleasantly surprised to find corn in the cornbread.
Here's the uncooked batter in a silicone pie dish:
And here's the after-shot. Look at how beautifully it popped out of the dish! Keep in mind there was no fat added or pan greasing involved. I added paprika on the top before baking.
The cornbread had a nice texture (not too dry or moist) and no weird "spoiled milk" smell that I feel comes from a lot of cornbread that I've had. It is a little sweet (because I added the "optional" 2 tbsp of raw sugar), so I think I'd omit that next time. I also think it could have used a little more salt, but perhaps removing the extra sweetness would take care of that problem. For something made out of coconut milk and whole wheat pastry flour, this sure came out good!
Finally, I wanted to try one of the faux-cheese recipes that are in The Happy Herbivore. Admittedly, although I've made vegan mac n' cheese before, I was worried about how this would turn out.
Here's the whole dinner together. I made some mixed rice to go with the dal. The dal was not what I expected it to be. It was not spicy at all in spite of adding chili powder at the end. In fact, I found it to be a little bitter... not sure why. There are similar recipes in the book tha actually call for curry powder, which was the taste I was sort of expecting while making this.
What I did learn, though, is that red lentils cook 2x faster than green ones!
There were plenty of leftovers for "The Ukrainian" to take the work for the next couple of days, which is always my goal when I make dinner for him. I feel good knowing he's eating something flavorful and healthy.
In short, I'm really diggin' this cookbook so far! Stay tuned for more recipes from this cookbook!