Bad recipes - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-03-2017, 03:54 PM
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Post Bad recipes

Though I know we all want to share when we've had good experiences, I'm curious to know what cautionary tales you have about seemingly good food gone wrong.

Tonight I tried a new recipe for vegan fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms. It was a good texture, and easy to make, but egads if that wasn't bland. It tasted of nothing. Just creamy feeling...and nothing. I put as much salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash-type seasoning as I dared and only managed to swallow half a portion, then made a bag of microwave popcorn.

I suspect I could make a better version of that in the future, if I am brave enough to try--even substituting fresh garlic and onions for the onion and garlic powders might help--but maybe I won't. And what really frustrates me is the sheer quantity of food I'll probably end up throwing out.

Stuff like this is really discouraging to a new vegan. But I'll rally if I can.
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#2 Old 01-03-2017, 04:51 PM
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I hate to waste food too. If my experiment goes horribly wrong, I eat it anyway- but file and annotate the recipe so I don't attempt something like that again.

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#3 Old 01-03-2017, 06:22 PM
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Oh boy, alfredo! I've done some really bad ones!
I have learned to always use lemon juice, preferably fresh. A good dollop of Just Mayo. Either dry mustard or some dijon, and carmalized onions.

Indian food is another I've done pretty badly. I have the gamut of spices but since I can't follow a recipe at all, I struggle to get the flavors balanced. I have found a nice curry powder I like a lot, and found kaffir lime leaves and tamarind do the trick without too much else

I'm still having trouble with cashew creams. I soak enough and blend enough but only in a food processor. Doesn't come out smooth enough

I recently got an insta pot and made a minestrone. Didn't think you overcook soup so much it lost all flavor, but it did! It was mush! I'm learning

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#4 Old 01-03-2017, 06:24 PM
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Know what really gets me? When I hate my food and others like it. Like brownies. I've never been happy with any vegan brownie, but other people like them. Not fair!
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#5 Old 01-03-2017, 07:10 PM
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One time I tried to make mushroom sloppy Joe's they were nasty, it probably didn't help that I burnt them.
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#6 Old 01-03-2017, 11:14 PM
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The biggest fail-recipe I've made was some kind of creamy pasta sauce, really soon after I went vegan. It wasn't alfredo, though I have had an alfredo-fail. Horrible! So bland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
Know what really gets me? When I hate my food and others like it. Like brownies. I've never been happy with any vegan brownie, but other people like them. Not fair!
Speaking of brownies, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25112/zucchini-brownies/ is my all time favourite accidentally-vegan brownie recipe. The frosting is easily veganized (I would recommend making it - so good!). They are zucchini brownies, but don't let that put you off of them - it's definitely not a "health food" recipe. You can't really see the zucchini after they are done baking. They are to die for. I have been begged to bring them to all big family dinners, and I always leave with an empty pan. I throw in a handful of chocolate chips instead of walnuts. The batter will seem incredibly dry - just keep stirring. One thing to note is that if you really overmix, you'll get chocolate cake, not brownies. Mix until the point where it looks...glossy...for a lack of better words. The consistency is not pourable - you should press it into the corners of the pan.
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#7 Old 01-03-2017, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by silva View Post

I'm still having trouble with cashew creams. I soak enough and blend enough but only in a food processor. Doesn't come out smooth enough
I had the same problem with my food processor, so I bought myself a blender. It was the cheapest one I could find (£9.99 from Argos for those in the UK) but still had a 500w motor same as ones three times the price so I thought I'd give it a go. It was worth it. I have now successfully made cashew cream in it and yesterday made a creamy layered root vegetable gratin that was really good. I've since put a whole bunch of cashews in my online grocery basket..
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#8 Old 01-03-2017, 11:41 PM
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I've had bad experiences with substituting eggs. Flax goop is fine for thickening and making things creamier (smoothies, milk or tofu puddings), but useless for binding. Too slimy. I made vegan crab cakes using courgettes with flax eggs instead of eggs, and it was slimy goop. Disgusting. I followed the recipe and the pictures looked great on the outside all crispy and golden, but were slithery moosh on the inside. Yuck.
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#9 Old 01-04-2017, 01:23 AM
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I often fail at lasagna and other oven based dishes, I don't know if it's my oven or the recipes but half of them turn out undercooked (hard lasagna sheets yuk) or very watery.

If I create the dish just by my own hand that never happens, so I tend to blame faulty recipes.

Another one that is harder than it seems is vegan baking, I second what the poster above me said. It's easier to mess up, the cake often turns out really dry or too mushy. It's all trial and error I guess. Going vegan requires a whole new approach to cooking.
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#10 Old 01-04-2017, 07:17 AM
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Oh, yeah, this was definitely the recipe and not user error, because it would be nearly impossible to mess the recipe up unless you don't know how to boil noodles.

What I will say in its favor, however, is that the basic concept of using silken tofu and plant milk to make a thick, creamy sauce isn't bad, so long as you're not claiming it's a cheese sauce and flavoring it almost completely with nutritional yeast. I think I would do much better making it up as I went along, because aside from the nutritional yeast I'm familiar with the taste of all the ingredients on their own and they need help.
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#11 Old 01-04-2017, 07:18 AM
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Worst mistake I've made was when I used brewer's yeast in a recipe for vegan mac and cheese. I didn't realize it was different from nutritional yeast, which is what the recipe called for. Nasty and bitter and NOT cheesy. It made me sick.

When I started vegan I think I had some sort of weird notion that I had to invent recipes, and that resulted in a lot of misguided attempts at cooking and wasted food. I just stick to recipes from books, and things that seem to get good reviews on the internet. I'll adjust recipes to fit my aesthetic, but I make no attempts at inventing things.

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#12 Old 01-04-2017, 09:08 AM
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Ah, but I'd be so sad if I had to give up inventing my own recipes! I always loved doing that.

This one, by the way, is from But I Could Never Go Vegan. It's sort of depressing how the recipe reinforced the title...anyway. I know there are plenty of things I can cook that are vegan that I like, so I should focus on that, and trying new recipes as I have interest and time. But it's also unfortunate when something I was excited enough to try--and had to go out and buy the ingredients for--was so unpleasant to eat.
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#13 Old 01-04-2017, 01:11 PM
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Ah, but I'd be so sad if I had to give up inventing my own recipes! I always loved doing that.

This one, by the way, is from But I Could Never Go Vegan. It's sort of depressing how the recipe reinforced the title...anyway. I know there are plenty of things I can cook that are vegan that I like, so I should focus on that, and trying new recipes as I have interest and time. But it's also unfortunate when something I was excited enough to try--and had to go out and buy the ingredients for--was so unpleasant to eat.
That's intriguing!! I love that recipe, I've made it several times (even go out of my way to get silken tofu as they don't carry it at my supermarket) and it's always flavourful and delicious, even my picky husband loves it... did you by any chance omit the wine? It really adds a depth of flavour that would definitely make the sauce quite bland if it was missing.
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#14 Old 01-04-2017, 02:00 PM
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That's intriguing!! I love that recipe, I've made it several times (even go out of my way to get silken tofu as they don't carry it at my supermarket) and it's always flavourful and delicious, even my picky husband loves it... did you by any chance omit the wine? It really adds a depth of flavour that would definitely make the sauce quite bland if it was missing.
I put wine in. Maybe I had a bad wine? But I did use Ripple for the plant milk, which is pretty bland, too.
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#15 Old 01-04-2017, 04:02 PM
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I have a hard time following recipes, but so many vegan recipes have really disappointed me, things like alfredo and soooooo many cheeze things!
The ones that use things like potatoes, esp sweet potatoes, and/or carrots! Yuck
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#16 Old 01-05-2017, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
I have a hard time following recipes, but so many vegan recipes have really disappointed me, things like alfredo and soooooo many cheeze things!
The ones that use things like potatoes, esp sweet potatoes, and/or carrots! Yuck
I avoid everything that contains some novel grain like quinoa combined with carrots or sweet potatoes. I know exactly what you mean

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#17 Old 01-05-2017, 09:02 AM
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I once went to great lengths to make some sort of vegetable pot pie from scratch, and I used the wrong form of thyme - I used powdered instead of dry flakes, and so it tasted so disgustingly of thyme I could barely choke down part of it and am still afraid to use thyme in anything.

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#18 Old 01-05-2017, 09:51 AM
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I once went to great lengths to make some sort of vegetable pot pie from scratch, and I used the wrong form of thyme - I used powdered instead of dry flakes, and so it tasted so disgustingly of thyme I could barely choke down part of it and am still afraid to use thyme in anything.
oh i hear ya - i over-thymed a soup awhile back and I'm still grossed out by thyme now; haven't used it since :P
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#19 Old 01-05-2017, 12:26 PM
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Exclamation Cakes

Sometimes I added too much baking soda, and they tasted salty! I covered some of them with brown sugar after baking, but they still weren't very nice. I like the flavour of buckwheat cakes, but they tend to go very dense when cold. Still alright, sort of. If reheated they dry out and need a sauce.
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