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Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 11:22 AM
Til a few months ago I had hardly cooked a thing, outside of frozen food or microwave meals.

But I got a very basic cookbook that literally starts with boiling an egg and goes from there. That was my level so that was perfect for me.

It is good fun...as a Vegetarian my diet was very limited before, the same three or four meals repeated over and over. But now I've completed several decent meals, and a handful of successful of puddings. All very simple things, like a Mushroom Curry or Bread and Butter pudding, but still, considering my non-existent experience a few months ago, I'm happy with my progress.

Anyone have any favorite recipes or cooking tips for a beginner like me? Anyone have any ideas for key ingredients to have that can add flavor and interest to food like Rice, Pasta or noodles?

cellophane
Feb 16th, 2011, 01:53 PM
These cookbooks are pretty good. I've cooked quite a few things from them and liked most of it...

You can browse the recipes in the books without actually buying them (you need just need an Amazon account which is free).... just click on "Look inside". It doesn't let you see the whole book... but you can look at the index and then search for the recipe you want... that way you'll be able to see individual recipes.

http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpt=1255373871&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=3&campid=5336105959&toolid=10001 http://www.amazon.com/Vive-Vegan-Delectable-Recipes-Everyday/dp/1551521695/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1297867764&sr=8-3 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FVive-Vegan-Delectable-Recipes-Everyday%2Fdp%2F1551521695%2Fref%3Dsr_1_3%3Fie%3DU TF8%26qid%3D1297867764%26sr%3D8-3&tag=5336105959-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325)

http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpt=2071270307&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=3&campid=5336105959&toolid=10001 http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Drink-Be-Vegan-Celebrating/dp/1551522241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297867764&sr=8-1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FEat-Drink-Be-Vegan-Celebrating%2Fdp%2F1551522241%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie% 3DUTF8%26qid%3D1297867764%26sr%3D8-1&tag=5336105959-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325)

njnetswill
Feb 16th, 2011, 02:32 PM
www.allrecipes.com

U.S. website, but I'm sure you'll find many things of interest. I'm pretty sure you can convert the recipes to metric, but I'm not sure. :cool:

I'm a fan of peer-reviewed recipes because sometimes the original recipe needs a little fixing and you can read the suggestions from other fellow amateur cooks. :)

Ksenia.
Feb 16th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Til a few months ago I had hardly cooked a thing, outside of frozen food or microwave meals.

But I got a very basic cookbook that literally starts with boiling an egg and goes from there. That was my level so that was perfect for me.

It is good fun...as a Vegetarian my diet was very limited before, the same three or four meals repeated over and over. But now I've completed several decent meals, and a handful of successful of puddings. All very simple things, like a Mushroom Curry or Bread and Butter pudding, but still, considering my non-existent experience a few months ago, I'm happy with my progress.

Anyone have any favorite recipes or cooking tips for a beginner like me? Anyone have any ideas for key ingredients to have that can add flavor and interest to food like Rice, Pasta or noodles?
Weird to hear, my meals have become a lot more diverse since I went veg :scratch: Not to mention you can substitute real meat for veggie meat in most of the recipes.

www.allrecipes.com

U.S. website, but I'm sure you'll find many things of interest. I'm pretty sure you can convert the recipes to metric, but I'm not sure. :cool:

I'm a fan of peer-reviewed recipes because sometimes the original recipe needs a little fixing and you can read the suggestions from other fellow amateur cooks. :)Make up your mind :sobbing:



Anyway, back on topic, I wish I had more time for cooking :sad:

Sally Struthers
Feb 16th, 2011, 03:02 PM
I have a tip! Amateurs always under-salt their food. Don't do it! If something doesn't taste quite right, you probably need more salt.

Kart
Feb 16th, 2011, 03:42 PM
My tip is to get Sally Struthers to come round and cook for you as she's a splendid chef.

Or so she keeps telling me anyway - I'm still waiting on my invite !

Mrs. Peel
Feb 16th, 2011, 05:09 PM
Til a few months ago I had hardly cooked a thing, outside of frozen food or microwave meals.

But I got a very basic cookbook that literally starts with boiling an egg and goes from there. That was my level so that was perfect for me.

It is good fun...as a Vegetarian my diet was very limited before, the same three or four meals repeated over and over. But now I've completed several decent meals, and a handful of successful of puddings. All very simple things, like a Mushroom Curry or Bread and Butter pudding, but still, considering my non-existent experience a few months ago, I'm happy with my progress.

Anyone have any favorite recipes or cooking tips for a beginner like me? Anyone have any ideas for key ingredients to have that can add flavor and interest to food like Rice, Pasta or noodles?

Good for you! You will find cooking more very rewarding. I have always cooked but these difficult financial times has forced me to cook more often as it is much cheaper AND healthier. I had to look for variety because cooking just for yourself can get a little boring.

One new recipe I made this weekend, that knocked me out was a marinated portobello mushroom burger. Are you vegan? Please say that you still love cheese!

Ingredients

4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 (1 ounce) slices asiago
Directions

Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

Garnish with lettuce, tomato and red onion!

Sally Struthers
Feb 16th, 2011, 07:23 PM
My tip is to get Sally Struthers to come round and cook for you as she's a splendid chef.

Or so she keeps telling me anyway - I'm still waiting on my invite !

You're welcome to drop by any time. And Barney too ;)

You can even use my treadmill. I won't kick you off in favor of my fat cleaning lady. :tape:

Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the responses! I made Rice pudding today, following a recipe naturally, it was pretty good but it didn't seem to have a texture of a Rice pudding, maybe I overcooked it, as the Rice seemed too mushy.

But like I say it tasted good so that's priority one at the moment.

Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 07:56 PM
Good for you! You will find cooking more very rewarding. I have always cooked but these difficult financial times has forced me to cook more often as it is much cheaper AND healthier. I had to look for variety because cooking just for yourself can get a little boring.

One new recipe I made this weekend, that knocked me out was a marinated portobello mushroom burger. Are you vegan? Please say that you still love cheese!

Ingredients

4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 (1 ounce) slices asiago
Directions

Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

Garnish with lettuce, tomato and red onion!

Sounds delicious! The one outright failure I've had so far was with bean burgers, they simply disintegrated as soon as they hit the frying pan, and they tasted pretty bad too.

But I love Mushrooms and I'll be sure to give the recipe a try, cheers!

Apoleb
Feb 16th, 2011, 07:59 PM
Don't you veggies lead miserable lives? :shrug: Do you feel satisfied with just eating vegetables/dairy products without fish/chicken/beef..etc?

Slammer7
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:14 PM
Sounds delicious! The one outright failure I've had so far was with bean burgers, they simply disintegrated as soon as they hit the frying pan, and they tasted pretty bad too.

But I love Mushrooms and I'll be sure to give the recipe a try, cheers!
Maybe you didn't have enough binder ie flour? :shrug: The trick with bean burgers are that you need a mixture of textures, some semi whole beans and some pulverized. You also need to press them together fairly firmly and chilling them as well as dredging them in flour before cooking (to create a crust) are also keys to keeping them together. Most veggie burgers (especially homemade) are very fragile and need to be handled carefully. Maybe you need to look up another recipe as well? I hope that helps. :)

You could also do a kind of pizza with a portobello mushroom cap. You just have to take the gills out or it will be too watery. :)
Don't you veggies lead miserable lives? :shrug: Do you feel satisfied with just eating vegetables/dairy products without fish/chicken/beef..etc?
Most vegetarians eat dairy and eggs. It is the simplest and easiest form of protein, especially for beginners. People that don't eat any animal product whatsoever you are Vegan. I've even seen some "vegetarians" who eat fish occasionally as well.

Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:42 PM
Maybe you didn't have enough binder ie flour? :shrug: The trick with bean burgers are that you need a mixture of textures, some semi whole beans and some pulverized. You also need to press them together fairly firmly and chilling them as well as dredging them in flour before cooking (to create a crust) are also keys to keeping them together. Most veggie burgers (especially homemade) are very fragile and need to be handled carefully. Maybe you need to look up another recipe as well? I hope that helps. :)

You could also do a kind of pizza with a portobello mushroom cap. You just have to take the gills out or it will be too watery. :)

Most vegetarians eat dairy and eggs. It is the simplest and easiest form of protein, especially for beginners. People that don't eat any animal product whatsoever you are Vegan. I've even seen some "vegetarians" who eat fish occasionally as well.

Thanks!

As I remember I didn't really make the required about of breadcrumbs, that was a factor I expect. Also, the beans were meant to be mashed and I just couldn't get them to break up.

Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 08:50 PM
Don't you veggies lead miserable lives? :shrug: Do you feel satisfied with just eating vegetables/dairy products without fish/chicken/beef..etc?

I ate meat til I was a teenager, I liked the taste of it, still like the smell of it.

I'd always avoided watching slaughterhouse footage, because I knew I wouldn't be able to bear that. One day I saw it, knew I couldn't eat meat again.

Til recently I'd have agreed about the lack of variety, but through the recipes I've been trying recently, I've really discovered much more food than before.

Slammer7
Feb 16th, 2011, 09:46 PM
Thanks!

As I remember I didn't really make the required about of breadcrumbs, that was a factor I expect. Also, the beans were meant to be mashed and I just couldn't get them to break up.

No problem. :)

Oh, OK then that would explain a lot. Veggie burgers are a balance. Keep trying though, once you get a recipe that works you can make a bunch ahead and freeze them. Then all you have to do is pop one out of the freezer and cook it. It can be something quick and easy.

njnetswill
Feb 16th, 2011, 11:12 PM
The solution to boring vegetarian diets is Indian food. I'm not even vegetarian but I could happily eat vegetarian Indian food for a long time without missing meat. So many different flavors.

Halardfan
Feb 16th, 2011, 11:47 PM
The key thing I'd like to have is the ability to turn a handful of leftover ingredients into a tasty filling meal.

I'll be shopping on a tighter budget in coming months, so cheap staples like Pasta and Rice are gonna be prominent, but I need to find cheap easy ways to pep them up a bit.

Ksenia.
Feb 17th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Don't you veggies lead miserable lives? :shrug: Do you feel satisfied with just eating vegetables/dairy products without fish/chicken/beef..etc?

Shouldn't eating something what used to be a living creature and then was killed so you could eat it make you feel miserable?

Sam L
Feb 17th, 2011, 11:02 AM
I've been buying lentil or veggie burger patties and making veggie burgers.

It's easy and healthy. I have it with a wholegrain bun, low fat cottage cheese, tomatoes, bean sprouts and onions. It makes a meal.

Also, for cooking a tip I have is to use Rice Bran oil. It's simply the best oil there is. I just love it. I cook all my stirfries with it. It has a high cooking point so it doesn't burn. It doesn't have a strong smell or taste so you can actually taste your food.

The only other oil I use is olive oil for salads (don't use rice bran for this) or for pastas.

I've also discovered the joy of cooking. I've been making a lot of pastas lately, making my own sauces with wines and vinegar. It's just so much fun to experiment. I also made vegetable dumplings but they didn't turn out too well.

Apoleb
Feb 17th, 2011, 11:15 AM
Shouldn't eating something what used to be a living creature and then was killed so you could eat it make you feel miserable?

Not if it's tasty. :lick:

Kart
Feb 17th, 2011, 05:42 PM
You're welcome to drop by any time. And Barney too ;)

You can even use my treadmill. I won't kick you off in favor of my fat cleaning lady. :tape:
:kiss:

nevetssllim
Feb 18th, 2011, 05:54 AM
The solution to boring vegetarian diets is Indian food. I'm not even vegetarian but I could happily eat vegetarian Indian food for a long time without missing meat. So many different flavors.

This. I'm not a vegetarian but I think I prefer vegetarian Indian meals. There are some great ones in Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible. :yeah:

I don't have the recipe but I've made a red lentil and kidney chilli quite a few times this winter and it's really good and really simple.

mykarma
Feb 18th, 2011, 02:26 PM
www.allrecipes.com

U.S. website, but I'm sure you'll find many things of interest. I'm pretty sure you can convert the recipes to metric, but I'm not sure. :cool:

I'm a fan of peer-reviewed recipes because sometimes the original recipe needs a little fixing and you can read the suggestions from other fellow amateur cooks. :)
Allrecipes is a great website and once you sign up recipes come to your computer daily. Generally there is a meat recipe and a veggie recipe.

skanky~skanketta
Feb 18th, 2011, 04:37 PM
I made this recipe up myself once when I was in uni and it was a success.

Ingredients:
Around 15 button mushrooms (No need to slice)
2 cloves garlic diced
2 tablespoons honey
3-4 table spoons soy suce
1 tsp chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric
Some oil

Heat up the oil, throw in the garlic and let it turn golden brown. Throw in your mushrooms. Once it starts oozing water, put in the chilli powder and turmeric. Let the water evaporate (high fire is fine). As it is evaporating, put in the soy sauce and honey. Once it looks dry-ish or water is thickish, it's ready to serve.

Keep in mind that this dish is relatively sweet. If you want a denser flavor, substitute the honey with maple syrup.

Do you eat eggs? PM me if you want some good recipes. I'm a great cook, and I experiment a lot so most of the time I make do with what I have at home.

Miss Atomic Bomb
Feb 18th, 2011, 05:51 PM
This is what I eat for dinner everyday

Frozen mixed veggies ---> boil with some herbs and a bit of olive oil
+
Soya mince or dried beans (soaked overnight) boiled in water for 10 mins
+
Frozen fish/ chicken breast(stuffed with spinach) ---> wrap in kitchen foil with a bit of olive oil/onion and sage and bake in the oven for 25 mins

Done.

mykarma
Feb 18th, 2011, 08:28 PM
I have a tip! Amateurs always under-salt their food. Don't do it! If something doesn't taste quite right, you probably need more salt.
If cooking with sea salt always use less than recipe calls for.

JN
Feb 18th, 2011, 09:27 PM
I'm a meat eater, but this will work with potatoes, eggplant or whatever else you can think of.

Anything Curry

For 2 people.
Read through an make sure ya get all the stuff needed.

1. Saute one large chopped onion in half a cup of olive oil in pot.

2. When onions change colour, add one cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves.

3. Remove from stove when golden colour.

4. Add the following:1 whole green chili.
2 cloves chopped garlic.
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder.
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander.
2 heaped teaspoons ground garam masala.
1 level teaspoon cumin (jeeru).
Salt to taste.
5. Return to stove and braise for 30 seconds.

6. Add enough meat/anything for 2 people (about a lb) See note 12.

7. Add a mug of water and stir well.

8. Add 2 medium sized potatoes (2 carrots sliced lengthwise and cut into 1-inch chunks, if using potatoes in step 6), 1 chopped tomato, and 6 curry leaves.

9. Bring down to low heat and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop sticking. Add a little water if too thick.

10. Curry is done when potatoes are cooked through and meat is tender.

11. Serve on Basmati rice, with fresh chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves as garnish.

12. If you use squid or octopus, add only about one minute before end. This goes for clams, mussels, etc. If you want to make a oxtail or tripe curry, then you must boil these for three hours before adding. (See note 6)

antonella
Feb 18th, 2011, 10:04 PM
I'm a meat eater, but this will work with potatoes, eggplant or whatever else you can think of.

Anything Curry

For 2 people.
Read through an make sure ya get all the stuff needed.

1. Saute one large chopped onion in half a cup of olive oil in pot.

2. When onions change colour, add one cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves.

3. Remove from stove when golden colour.


4. Add the following:1 whole green chili.

2 cloves chopped garlic.

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder.

2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander.

2 heaped teaspoons ground garam masala.

1 level teaspoon cumin (jeeru).

Salt to taste.
5. Return to stove and braise for 30 seconds.

6. Add enough meat/anything for 2 people (about a lb) See note 12.

7. Add a mug of water and stir well.

8. Add 2 medium sized potatoes (2 carrots sliced lengthwise and cut into 1-inch chunks, if using potatoes in step 6), 1 chopped tomato, and 6 curry leaves.

9. Bring down to low heat and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop sticking. Add a little water if too thick.

10. Curry is done when potatoes are cooked through and meat is tender.

11. Serve on Basmati rice, with fresh chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves as garnish.

12. If you use squid or octopus, add only about one minute before end. This goes for clams, mussels, etc. If you want to make a oxtail or tripe curry, then you must boil these for three hours before adding. (See note 6)


That's good:), but I'd also add:

Step 1 : Use canola or any neutral-flavored oil instead of olive oil (which is too strong!!). Fry 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (till they pop) and the curry leaves first before adding the onion.

Step 2: Add a cardamom clove.

Step 4: Add some minced ginger.

Step 10: Use a souring agent(sparingly!) such as lemon juice, yogurt or mango powder (Amchur).

Halardfan
Feb 18th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Thanks everyone for the many interesting recipe ideas, lots to try in the coming months.

Gonna try a chocolate cake next week, plus a Mushroom soup and some stuffed peppers. Not all in one meal of course!