13 February 2014

Vegan Fruit Cobbler/Buckle

When we were headed to Minnesota to say goodbye to my mother, some dear friends offered to make us dinner before we drove so that we didn't have to worry about cooking and cleaning. Luckily, these friends are well-versed in Shana's food idiosyncrasies; they are one of the few places she will go without knowing what's being served in advance. Plus, one of them went to culinary school, so he is an amazing cook!

For dessert, we ate something our friends called a cobbler. Actually, we ate two. There was a non-vegan black raspberry cobbler (perhaps Shana's favorite fruit ever) and a vegan black cherry cobbler. I can't vouch for the non-vegan version (though Shana gobbled it up), but the vegan version was freaking amazing. He gave me the recipe, so I had to make it at home.

When I get a new recipe, I generally do a bit of "creative googling" to see what else is out there in the vegan and non-vegan interwebs. In my investigation before writing up this post, I learned that there's a lot of variation in dishes labeled "cobbler." The wiki (I know, I know) article about cobblers lists a whole variety of dishes with somewhat similar ingredients but often wildly different preparations. The recipe below could be a cobbler (given the variability inherent in what that means), but it could also be a buckle. Whatever you call it, it's delicious!

Fresh from the oven.

Ready for my face!

06 February 2014

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

I've been absent from here for over a month. As I indicated, we visited my family over the holidays and shared in wonderful traditions. When we came back, the semester started up for me, which is always a busy time. Then my mother died. We were there with her when she died, peacefully and painlessly, for which I will be forever grateful.

Needless to say, the rest of my life was put on hold. Our wonderful colleagues covered for our duties at both our schools. Family and friends near and far made/sent meals to keep us going. Meanwhile, we planned a beautiful burial and memorial. Her burial was attended by 19 of her family members and her memorial was attended by 400+ of her family and friends, and streamed online by more than 50 others.

We've been back from Minnesota now for not quite a week; I am playing catch-up as best I can and we are living life as normally as possible. Most of the time it's very possible; some times it's not. One of my normal life events is cooking, so we've cooked every night since we've been back. I've even cooked a couple new things, including this roasted vegetable shepherd's pie.

This is comfort food to the core. It uses the oven, is soft and creamy, and has a subtle blend of savory flavors. It also uses a fun new product (though see Helpful Hints) called Soy Curls. Soy Curls are nothing more than whole soybeans, so they are a great protein source. Speaking of products, there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but nothing is particularly difficult. Finally, as a "casserole" dish, shepherd's pie is not the prettiest of all the foods I make, but the taste more than makes up for the appearance.