Review: Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious RecipesMinimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes by Dana Shultz

My rating: ★★★★★

When we visited friends in Scotland in April, they introduced me to a vegan cookbook called Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes. Because I am me, and have difficulty Calming Down and Just Enjoying Things in Small Amounts, I immediately checked it out from the library and have already made six recipes from the cookbook. (And one from the website.)

Carrot, Potato, & Chickpea Red Curry: The end result was so rich and well-seasoned that it belied how easy it was to make.

Thai Baked Sweet Potatoes: What a unique and tasty combination! The ginger-tahini sauce makes this a standout.

Butternut Squash Garlic Mac ‘n’ Cheese: Three things I love that combine perfectly in this quick-to-prepare recipe! I especially loved how fast the cubed butternut squash roasted up. Make sure you choose a solid gluten-free pasta for this one; unfortunately, the one I tried got a bit gummy when cooked.

Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers: These are easily my favorite non-meat burgers, beating out even Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger. I used gluten-free breadcrumbs and they worked very well.

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Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers

Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms: While this is an appetizer recipe, it was a perfect light dinner after a late lunch. The homemade vegan “Parmesan” was especially impressive! Mushroom-averse, be warned: the mushrooms remain very mushroomy.

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Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms

Creamy Golden Milk Smoothie: I subscribed to the Minimalist Baker website in my RSS reader and this recipe popped up. I’m a smoothie fan, and the turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon combination sounded like something FunkyPlaid and I might enjoy. It was! I added carrot juice for sweetness and chia seeds for fun.

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Creamy Golden Milk Smoothie

Cashew Soba Noodle Salad: I used rice noodles since I can’t eat soba noodles, but the deliciousness did not suffer. I’m glad I made a double batch.

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Cashew Soba Noodle Salad (with rice noodles)

While I do not adhere to a vegan diet, this cookbook has changed my mind on how easy it can be to prepare delicious vegan food that is also gluten-free. I will continue to work my way through this cookbook — quickly, before someone else at my library wants to check it out!

My immune system collapsed in the wee hours this morning, when I woke up to a coughing fit and severe sinus pain. I haven’t done much today except sleep, but I did manage to put a meal in the slow-cooker so I will have home-cooked lunches this week. I love this recipe for barbecued chicken and cornbread because the cornbread bakes on top of the barbecued chicken like some sort of food sorcery. This is my first attempt with my new favorite gluten-free store-bought barbecue sauce.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “This Christmas” by Mason Embry Trio from Spotify’s Christmas Peaceful Piano playlist.

I used a coupon for a fancy space-age future food delivery service and a box was waiting for me when I got home from work tonight. I am skeptical, but at least it saves me from calling a couple slices of turkey, vegan cheese, and a pickle slice a “proper dinner”.

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah / Monie Love.

This slow-cooker Thai curry recipe turned out great. Now I have lunches for half the week, too. It’s gluten-free but not vegetarian; I think it could be made vegetarian with a bit more eggplant and sweet potato instead of the chicken, plus a proper substitute for fish sauce.

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It’s disappointing not to be able to share the new-recipe victory with FunkyPlaid, but I’ll just have to make it again when he comes home.

I also made a small gif of the autumn leaves swirling about my home in Second Life.

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Back to work in the morning! I hope this cold shoves off soon …

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: freight trains in the distance.

Today I made vegetarian mole chili, cornbread, and raw chocolate chip cookie dough bites. Tonight I am full!

 

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In the wee hours of the morning, Zen heaved herself up the stairs not once but twice because FunkyPlaid and I were too asleep to pay attention to her. Goodness knows how long it took her to climb the stairs, but she did it. After accomplishing that feat, Zen shoved the bedroom door open and yowled at the top of her lungs.

That was a fun way to wake up.

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: Maria Bamford’s “Ask Me About My New God!”

Shortly after FunkyPlaid and I moved to Portland, our dear friends C and R introduced us to the delicious Mexican-style rotisserie chicken of Pollo Norte. Tonight it was a perfect dinner option for our exhausted, stressed selves.

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I love my job and I am also desperate for the work week to be over. I’ve been on the edge of a cold for days now and could use a Saturday filled with nothing but sleep.

Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: nothing at all.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: pumpkin spice time!

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Writing from: my study in Portland, Oregon. Listening to: my bedtime alarm going off. Good night!

Sometimes you sit at home in a world that only exists in a collective imagination. (Credits below.)

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Sometimes you go out into the real world and inhabit what a joyful fever-dream of a Kevin Costner-obsessed, seven-foot-tall clown who will never speak, only sing and grunt and command people to eat cupcakes while he sings “Under Pressure” at them.

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Sometimes you are at work and an echo of your past heart walks in as your throat closes and you half-kneel, half-crouch, bargaining with time so maybe this moment could last a little longer than it surely will, bargaining with your shoddy memory which deftly picks exactly now to tell you that this isn’t your beloved but rather someone else’s beloved and can’t you see that all the details are wrong and it doesn’t matter but you won’t cry, no you won’t, not at work, not at a new job, and so you make all of your adult body stand up and smile and walk away.

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And the rest of the week? You simply take pictures of the things that fill up other spaces in your brain, colors and shapes in pleasant arrangements, nothing too dangerous, nothing too bizarre: myriad mundanities that somehow add up to a life.

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Credits for Second Life snap (vaguely left-to-right):

 

  • Studio Skye – Enchanted Woods v2 – 4 (clearing) [resized]
  • Trompe Loeil – Garden Bard Abode (no gardens)
  • Schadenfreude Gunmetal Distressed Bethlem Apothecary Cabinet
  • Schadenfreude Dark Angel Dress Form RARE
  • .random.Matter. – Ire Cabinet – Rose
  • Ex Machina Terrarium 1
  • *HEXtraordinary* Chameleon Companion – Green Rainbow – RARE
  • Apple Fall Books
  • Concept} 07. Retro Radio – Cere – RARE
  • Concept}  Retro Radio – Books
  • DIGS – Heritage Armchair – FLF Limited [MESH]
  • junk. battered leather couch. brown. pg.
  • Trompe Loeil – Antique Floor Lamp with projection lighting
  • MIASNOW Home – RUG LOTUS 10 ~black to brown

 

{ Visit Chez Cygnoir in Second Life! }

Writing from: my study in Portland. Listening to: “Wasted Time” by Eagles.

Sometimes the Internet pacifies my laziness in a great way. FunkyPlaid and I were hunger-yawning by the time we got to Eugene so I asked my Pocket Computer for nearby food options and it told me about Cornbread Café. Turns out this place is a vegan diner! Check out the darling decor. I enjoyed my Eggfu Benedict, especially the cashew hollandaise, although the tofu “egg” was a bit texturally weird for me.

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Writing from: my study. Listening to “Cranes” by Tigue.

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