recipe testing

All posts tagged recipe testing

Dip, dip, hooRAW! More Terry Hope Testing & Avocado Salsa

Published February 5, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party


I’m pleased to report back to you on the results of two raw dips I tested this weekend. One was my little creation based on the tomato and avocado that needed using in my fridge, and the second, another recipe from Terry’s upcoming book for Mexican Pumpkin Seed Pate (Sikil Pak).

This avocado salsa is kind of like guacamole and pico de gallo had a baby… and then threw in some corn for fun. 🙂 It’s delicious.

Avocado Salsa

1 or 2 ripe haas avocado
2 tbsp. of lime juice
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped finely
2-3 tbsp. of finely chopped white onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 large handful of cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 c. of fresh or frozen corn kernels*, optional
salt & pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper or 1/2 a jalapeño, chopped finely, optional


1. Scoop out avocado into a bowl. Add lime juice. Add all other ingredients, and mash to desired consistency. Eat fresh or chill in the fridge to let flavors combine further.

*If using frozen corn kernals, just run them under some warm water in a fine mesh sieve before adding.




Terry Hope Romero’s Mexican Pumpkin Seed Pate (Sikil Pak)

I was attracted to it since it was a raw recipe, and we do love a tasty dip for snacking or entertaining guests. The reviews that were already in were sort of a mixed bag, but it sounded like something we would like, so I decided to give it a go.

I started out with half of the suggested amount of water and got a chunkier dip, but then further thinned with the full suggested amount just to see if it smoothed out. It still retained the grainy texture, at least in my food processer, but if you want it creamy I’m sure a high powered blender would do the trick. She tells you to process to a chunky hummus texture.

Recipe called for soaking the seeds. I left mine soaking for about 5 hours.

A potent blend of pumpkin seeds, garlic, onion, cilantro, etc.


Results:  This was pretty powerful stuff. The raw onion and garlic give it a heck of a bite, and it ended up tasting kind of like guacamole. We ate some fresh out of the food processor, and then wrapped it up in the fridge for later. We served it as a late snack for friends, and they loved it. An omni’s response: It’s fantastic. You could serve this to people, and they’d never know it was vegan. ; ) Hah, so there you go! I would definitely make this again.

And now here is a picture of Boris, for good measure. I caught him sleeping on the kitchen table and he was a little to sleepy too jump off immediately, so I snapped up his groggy, guilty little face. 😉


Terry Hope Testing: White Bean Farro Soup & Tofu

Published February 2, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So I’m very pleased to report that I made good on my promise, and finally got to testing some recipes from Terry Hope Romero’s upcoming book. I chose the white bean farro soup, because the ingredients seemed like they’d be tasty together and easy to find (many others that have caught my eye had hard to find ingredients), and then I decided to try out her basic tofu recipe [which was already closed due to enough feedback] to serve on the side.

When it came to finding the farro at WF, I was totally blind. Because the first isle I went to to look for it (the rice & grains isle) was actually the last place I found it. I don’t know why, but I kept missing it. I also read pretty much every bin they had, three times to make sure it wasn’t there. But low and behold, it was there the whole time, staring me in the face. I’m so glad I did  find it though, because this soup came out AWESOME.

Oh, hi!

rinsed and resting to dry while i prep the veggies

After mincing the garlic by hand I got lazy and threw the rest of the veggies into the fp to make it easy.

Making chickpea parm for topping the soup.

chickpea parm dough ball

chickpea parm, spread to cool.

Tofu came out almost burned and a bit overcooked. Still tasted good, just needs the baking time cut down a bit. Pan is still soaking!

Chickpea parm, not as finely textured as I was supposed to, but really tasty.

All together now.


I LOVED the soup! The farro had a lovely chewy texture, and the flavors were really lively and fresh, especially with the addition of the bright chickpea parm. I added in the optional spinach, but it also called for parsley, so it was nice to have lots of green in my cooked soup. The tofu tasted great, it was just a little tough, but baking for my customary 30 minutes would take care of that, and it was well seasoned and had a surprising amount of heat [for a basic recipe] which I appreciated.

So off to a good start! I have two other recipes of hers that I want to make, one is a raw dip (yay, raw!) and the other is pending my finding an ingredient. I thought I’d take a chance since other people seemed to be able to find gyoza wrappers, but I didn’t yet.

Stay tuned!

Vegan Fire & Spice’s Tempeh Cacciatore & my Baked Penne

Published September 25, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Here I prepared another awesome dish from Vegan Fire & Spice and served it with some of my very own Baked Penne for an awesome vegan Italian feast! James was over, and he & Thomas were getting their costumes ready for Thomas’ Superhero birthday party, which was last night. James is a meat and potatoes type of person and didn’t like the tempeh, but had a GIANT second helping of my baked penne, so that was a pretty good compliment. Especially since the penne is loaded full of things he would hate to know he ingested like TVP, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese. : ) I used brown rice penne here too, just to check it out. It smelled sweet when it was cooking, but was fairly indiscernible in the dish. I used some shallots in the penne sauce for extra flavor.

The Tempeh Cacciatore was outstanding and Thomas & I were only sad that we served it to James without having him try a piece first so there would have been more for us! 🙂 A sauce full of tomato and carrot that just felt like Italian home cooking, and gave the tempeh wonderful flavor. I’m definitely hooked on this book and will be making lots more from it in the future.

brown rice penne

fresh out of the oven!

cacciatore sauce

A really great pairing!

and in our costumes! James (Deadpool), Thomas (Symbiote Spiderman), Me (Black Cat) and our friend Eric (Wolverine)!

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