Kale Chips, Penne with Veggies, Three-Bean Chili, Warm Spinach Salad + Garlic and Greens Soup

Hello VegCooks!

Sorry it’s been so long since I did a round-up/VegCookbook Club Story Swap. I think I’ve mentioned that I have a new, almost full-time job, and I’m having trouble finding time to blog here regularly.

Plus, y’all been cooking up a storm. It’s hard to keep up! Over the three weeks, 25 of us have made and shared almost 120 recipes from our January and February VegCookbooks!

Just out of curiosity, how useful/interesting are the VegCookbook Club Story Swaps to you? Should I continue them, or do you follow along with people’s VegCooking on your own?

*****

Since I last posted a round-up a few weeks ago, I’ve made a bunch of stuff from The Vegan Table by our February VegCookbook author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau:

I made the Three-Bean Chili last weekend for the Super Bowl. Very yummy and so colorful. I didn’t include the suggested cayenne powder ’cause I’m a spiciness wimp. I’ll definitely make this again.

Three Bean Chili

This is the second time I’ve made the Warm Spinach Salad, but this time I used 3/4  of a cup of balsamic vinegar rather than the suggested 1 cup because my notes said, “Good, but less vinegar, or more oil.”  It was just as good the second time, but still too vinegar-y. I’ll use even less vinegar next time.

Warm Spinach Salad

I also made the Garlic and Greens Soup last night. It’s raining like crazy this weekend in the Bay Area, and lots of people at work have been sick, so it seemed like a good time to eat a head of garlic.  The soup has a surprising sweetness that I really like, but it’s not very filling. If I make it again, I will add white beans, so that it can more of an entree soup.

Garlic and Greens Soup

Last weekend I also made the Penne Pasta with Fresh Vegetables, which was delicious, but it doesn’t make great leftovers. Because the vegetables are fresh, they get increasingly soggy and limp with each day. I would only make this again if I knew it could all be eaten the day it was made. I would also sauté the Field Roast Sausages in a separate pan before I added them to the the dish to give them some crispiness.

Penne Pasta with Fresh Vegetables

Last month, I tried two more recipes from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean by our January VegCookbook author, Lindsay Nixon. I liked Scott’s Burrito fine, but decided that I prefer for my burritos to be a little warm.

Scott's Burrito

The last thing I made from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean was the Kale Chips. I made a mistake that I’ve done before when making kale chips: I wash the kale and then put it in the oven without drying it off first. Don’t do it! It take for-ev-ah for them to crisp.

Kale Chips

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 VegCookbook Club Story Swap

February: The VegCookbooks of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Color Me Vegan

The Joy of Vegan Baking

The Vegan Table

Vegan’s Daily Companion

January: The VegCookbooks of Lindsay Nixon

Happy Herbivore

Everyday Happy Herbivore

Happy Herbivore Abroad

Happy Herbivore Light and Lean

*****

What have you been VegCooking?

19 responses to “Kale Chips, Penne with Veggies, Three-Bean Chili, Warm Spinach Salad + Garlic and Greens Soup

  1. Tonight we also made the coconut rice from Colour Me Vegan. I really liked it! It was perfect with a side of orange brocolli from a different cookbook. It seems to get even better when you let it sit because I snuck a spoon as I was putting away the leftovers and at that point the coconut milk was really coming through! Note: we did have to add some extra water towards the end because we used brown rice.
    P.S YES!! I find the roundups VERY useful. I don’t have an instagram account so your roundups are the only way I wind up following people’s posts using instagram pictures. In general, I just find it useful to get the roundups once a week from you, I may forget if I had to remember to check up on people’s posts on my own.

    • Hi Barbi,

      I’ve included the Coconut Rice in the round-up I just did.

      If I stopped doing the round-ups, what are the chances you could join Instagram? The program works on the iPhone and Android and the VegCookbook Club community there is hopping!

      You can see all of the Instagram photos tagged with #vegcookbookclub here: http://statigr.am/tag/vegcookbookclub to get a taste of what it’s like there.

  2. Hi Britt, I love reading the roundups mainly to see what comments you have, since you are the one who oversees the whole operation. But I don’t actually click through on the links to people’s blogs any more, because I see enough photos on Instagram already. Maybe your role can morph into giving overview commentary, giving us news and notes on veg books that are being published soon, and running the selection/voting process. And maybe you can list the bloggers who are participating so we can subscribe to or visit their blogs on an ongoing basis when we can.

    I’d hate for you to become overburdened by the process. Please do what you need to to make it workable for you. I don’t like seeing that you have to stay up to 3:17 a.m. to write these roundups for us. :( But thank you!

    • Hi Eve,

      Oh my, I didn’t stay up till 3:17 AM! There must be something funny with the date & time formatting.

      I like these ideas:

      – giving overview commentary
      – giving us news and notes on veg books that are being published soon
      – running the selection/voting process
      – list the bloggers who are participating so we can subscribe to or visit their blogs on an ongoing basis when we can

      Thanks for sharing them!

  3. I had similar thoughts it seems as Eve, Britt. I really respect the time and effort you’ve put into this project. You’ve helped build a fun and engaging community, but clearly it has grown too much for you (or anyone!) to have time to make all the links from a blog post. I think it makes sense to put out the information that Instagram (I think) seems to be the main vehicle folks are using to communicate within this community. It’s easy to set up an account and one can stay anonymous as far as screen names if privacy in social media is a concern. I personally would love if you did still comment on what you’ve cooked yourself, since it is your blog after all and I enjoy your writing style and opinions. But if you did not have time, you could skip that. Your presence as a moderator with a blog entry periodically to remind us all what cookbook we’re on and voting/picks for the next month are the most essential in my opinion. You could always highlight a few awesome entries/pictures you’ve noticed within your posts. The comments section in your blog is always another vehicle participants can use to link to their own blogs or to summarize their cooking adventures and opinions. Additionally, maybe a few guest editors once in a while could lighten the load? I hope you will continue but lighten the load for yourself! 😉

    • Thanks for all of these great ideas, Julie:

      ~Put out the information that Instagram seems to be the main vehicle folks are using to communicate within this community.
      ~ Still comment on what you’ve cooked yourself.
      ~ Remind us all what cookbook we’re on and voting/picks for the next month.
      ~ Highlight a few awesome entries/pictures you’ve noticed within your posts.
      ~ Maybe a few guest editors once in a while could lighten the load.

  4. dianaveggienextdoor

    Wow! That was quite the round-up Britt!

    I do enjoy seeing a summary of what the group cooked but now that its getting so long, maybe you could pick a few submissions each week that caught your eye to feature? I especially love seeing which recipes are made by the most people since that usually indicates a winner :-)

    • Thanks for these super ideas Diana!

      ~ Pick a few submissions each week that caught your eye to feature
      ~ Especially recipes made by the most people since that usually indicates a winner :-)

  5. Hey Britt,

    What a massive round-up. Obviously there is a balance between making these challenges inclusive for all but with so many people participating, it makes it harder for you. I wish more people would use http://vegansprout.com for their feedback (they can even add photos) so that it will become a nice repository for finding great vegan recipes/treats.

    Since I don’t use instagram, I really do like the weekly round-ups. However, highlighting the more popular recipes also sounds like a good idea to me.

  6. Another report from tonight’s recipes, I didn’t bother to post the picture because it didn’t turn out well. We made the Black Bean Brazillian stew from Colour me Vegan. It was decent but not a dish we’d go back to. Nothing wrong with it, but personally we’re not big fans of tomato-based broths/sauces and we found this one quite tomato-y. I also am currently snacking on the kale chips from 30 Day Vegan Challenge. They are also not bad but I’m again not in love. She’s not lying when she says a bit of the spices goes a LONG way. I am finding them a bit too salty.

  7. First off, thank you so much for taking on all that you have over the past several months. I’ve been a member since Oct and the group seems to have exploded with people cooking up a storm! I was thinking that it would be impossible to keep up with that level of activity, so your post comes as no surprise to me. But, we can still flourish in a modified format.

    My suggestion echoes some of the voices above. In my opinion, your role could slim down to the following responsibilities: conducting polls, soliciting feedback and deciding & disseminating info on that month’s selection. Most people are on Instagram and we can use that as our platform for sharing (if you aren’t on, it’s free and easy to join, and you can look at the photos that are posted using the hashtag #vegcookcookbookclub). There is commentary and exchange associated with everyone’s photos too.

    Or, as someone else suggested, you could write-up the dishes you make and perhaps, if you wish, also do a narrow selection of a few others that and perhaps, if you wish, also do a narrow selection of a few others that catch your eye. I think this would reduce the workload substantially. You are very busy (congrats on your new job, by the way) and you don’t want our fun club to take over your life!

    This also makes sense as the format of late as been to cook from one author as opposed to one book, so people that the chance to make more things, which in turn will lead to more work for you!

    Thanks again for all that you do! I very much support you slimming down your role, but hope that you may still continue in some fashion! Happy cooking!

    • PS I’m Jenncooks on IG

      • Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough and helpful comment, Jenn! I like these ideas:

        ~ Conducting polls
        ~ Soliciting feedback and deciding & disseminating info on that month’s selection.
        ~ Most people are on Instagram
        ~ You can look at the photos that are posted using the hashtag #vegcookcookbookclub
        ~ Write-up the dishes you make
        ~ Do a narrow selection of a few others that catch your eye.

  8. Thanks everyone for your awesome feedback and ideas. I really appreciate it!

    Here’s a summary of your ideas:

    ~ Focus the community towards Instagram. For folks who aren’t on Instagram, encourage them to share their experience in the comments of this blog, or to link to their blog post or Vegansprout review in the comments of this blog. They can also view the Instagram community at http://statigr.am/tag/vegcookbookclub.

    ~ List bloggers who are participating so that members can subscribe to, or visit their blogs on an ongoing basis.

    ~ Invite guest editors to post.

    ~ My role could be:
    * Giving overview commentary (e.g. highlight awesome entries/photos/ popular recipes).
    * Giving us news and notes on VegCookbooks that are being published soon.
    * Running the selection/voting process.
    * Commenting on what I’ve cooked yourself.

    Lots to think about!

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