Friday, April 27, 2007
I got a new lunch box and containers only because I could not resist the cute.
Inside is a PBJ, carrots and pretzels and 2 lil carmalized biscuits.
PS- Guac and pretzels are the wave of the future!
What you need:
1 tub of silken tofu (firm is ok too)
1/4 C flour
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pre-sautéed veggies of your choice
Lightly oiled large skillet/frying pan
1. Press the tofu.
2. BLEND tofu flour, baking powder, oil, soy sauce, turmeric, and garlic until creamy.
4.Mix! You may need to add more flour, just enough so it’s thicker and kind of sticks to itself.
*POINT* Turmeric and soy sauce are the key points in making delicious egg replicas.
Pour in a lightly oiled frying pan on low heat. Smooth out as much as possible.
Soon, the edges will start to look suspiciously like egg. It will turn more yellow, and the top will dry out. When it is firm to the touch, and doesn’t jiggle when you give the pan a shake, its done!
**While this is cooking, start the hash browns below, and sauté the veggies you want to use as well.**
Slide it out of the pan and add the veggies. Fold over.
As seen above:
Campfire Hash browns.
I’ve been using the “campfire” foil pouch technique a lot lately. Simply chop yr taters, drizzle with the slightest of oil, and a pinch of salt. Wrap those babies up in foil and throw in the toaster oven. Put it on the highest heat (hey, it’s replicating a campfire!) for about 15 minutes.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Pesto is usually wrought with cheese, and chopping up your own basil can get expensive (depending where you live I guess). So the jar of pureed basil from Peru was a little investment, but well worth the money.
Sautee minced garlic (or a small spoonful of garlic paste/puree)
Add a spoonful of basil
(I also added a spoonful of left over cheez sauce)-opt
Add cooked pasta (drained and rinsed in cold water- to stop cooking)
Mix until coated and warm, add fresh spinach and toss.
You got yourself a quick delicious meal buddy!
Ok I swear this was more green than brown like the picture. At any rate, superb!
(I saved the tricolor pasta from my lunch the next day ^_^)
Monday, April 16, 2007
Advisory Warning: This post uses filthy language. I'll give you a hint, it starts with M and rhymes with mcdonalds (not worthy of capitalization).
Like most veggies, I was not raised vegan. Thus, sometimes guilty cravings creep in every now and then. Sometimes, I want a mcdonalds breakfast sandwich biscuit. THANKFULLY, I have a healthy alternative that quenches those cravings!
1st make polenta. This will be your 'egg'.
1 part polenta (corn meal/grits) & a few shakes of salt: 3 parts water
slowly add polenta to boiling water, constantly stirring until thick. Stir a minute or two more or until polenta pulls away from the pan sides. Pour into a container and let cool until firm. While cooling...
2nd, make biscuits (American type)! You can make them super easy with Bisquik, or there's plenty of biscuit recipes all over the web (basic uses: flour, baking powder, salt, oil, and 'milk').
3rd cut biscuits in half. slice polenta and place on each biscuit half. Add a slice of cheez, and maybe a little soy-sage if you're feeling a bit saucy. Place in toaster oven on a low-med heat for about 2-3 minutes.
4th Enjoy them open-faced or put the sides back together for a monster craving smasher.
I ended up eating them open face because they were too tall! The fella on the left has some fake shredded pork on it (I like them better plain).
Polenta really can make wonder-foods!
It's indulgent, succulent, full of fat and calories and all that bad stuff that makes it tastes so good.
Japanese curry is very different from Indian curry*. It's smooth, savory, thick and mild (if you want).
You will need
-Veggies. Staples are onion and carrot chunks. Broccoli is nice too. No more than 3 veg, it'll clog up the soup.
From your local Asian market:
-Box of curry. Comes in mild to hot. Not all are veg, but Golden Curry is (has MSG in it though).
-Bag of udon. This is PREMADE udon. Big thick noodles, either refrigerated or frozen. No dry noodles, those are blasphemous.
Sautee half an onion and a carrot for about 3 minutes.
Add about 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 10 minutes. (Add broccoli at the 5 minute mark).
Take off heat.
In your curry box, there will be two sections. each of those can break into 4 chunks. Break off one chunk, and stir in until dissolved.
Return to heat for about 5 minutes.
You want it to be soupy, so if it gets a little thick, just add some more water.
Frozen udon boils in a few minutes, and refrigerated udon noodles only take a minute.
Add to your curry, and then a big soup bowl!
As I transfered it to my bowl I added sliced age tofu- flavorless fried poofy tofu. Cuz yknow, I didn't feel there were enough calories in this.
For curry rice, do not use as much water, so it is like a very thick gravy to ladle over your rice. Add potatoes to the cooking process, as well as any other veggies. I love this a lot too! It is a treat for me, I don't eat this bad all the time =p
* ok food snobs, I'm just using the term "curry" for the generic main stream meaning. I know Indian food can have many different types of curry.
Friday, April 06, 2007
I made a smoothie this morning that reminded me it was spring. Must be the wonderful pastel colors, along with the flowers my parents sent me.
I froze some strawberries and put them in the blender, added some frozen blueberries and covered them in soymilk. Blend!
Tip: Make sure you cut off the strawberry leaves before freezing! Makes things a lot easier!
First, I know it is a sad fact not everyone knows what pierogi are. Thankfully, Wiki has a good entry on it (and different ways to make it).
I halved her dough recipe, giving me about 20 pierogi. I boiled 2 big potatoes* (only needed one though) with half of a minced onion. I mashed them up with salt, garlic powder, and a pinch of thyme.
I do not have a rolling pin nor a cookie cutter. So using small portions of dough, I treated it like a pizza crust dough and then rolled it out with a coffee mug, and used the mug’s mouth to cut out circle and stretch them out a little more. Scoop a little potato mixture up and squeeze it into a ball and place on the dough. Wet the lip of the dough and pinch shut all the way around.
TIP: Before sealing the dough completely, give it a few pats to make sure all the air it out of it first. You can thank Alton Brown for that tip.
Fresh boiled pierogi takes only about 1 minute or so to cook (when it floats, it’s done. Overcooked piergoi will be slimy and chewy.) If you freeze your pierogi, it still only takes about 3 minutes to cook (same rules apply).
I am part Polish, so I learned to eat them the Polish way. After they are boiled, have a heated skillet with some oil ready. Place pierogi and chopped onions in at the same time. Keep on a low/med heat and allow the onions to caramelize and piergoi to turn golden (turning occasionally).
Serve hot! You can eat as it, or add some vegan sour cream, or some people even add salsa (I don’t think I could handle that.)
*Because there’s only one thing worse than instant potatoes, and that’s olives. Next in the line of grossness after instant potatoes are reheated mashed potatoes. And it’s mashed, not smashed. IMO =)
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Cut up some firm tofu. I'm usually too busy/lazy to wrap it in a towel, so I just throw it straight into the frying pan. On low, let it sizzle. When it is a bit golden (with holes) on the other side, flip and add a splash of soy sauce for it to absorb. Sizzle some more.
Garlic, Onion, Peppers, Bok Choy stalks (and frozen broccoli)
Fry until soft. Add mushrooms (and fresh broccoli).
Right before you serve, stir in the bok choy leafs until slightly wilted.
Serve over rice and add a favorite sauce if you like!
You can't see it but I used brown rice cooked with a little saffron.
Carrot, bamboo, fried tofu, green things. And I think the pink thing is made out of fish, I don't know why it was there. I didn't eat it.
Green konyakku, dandelion, shredded daikon, sticky potato strips, shiso leaf, spicy purple sprouts and wasabi.
Spring rolls with sweet chili sauce and pink seaweed.
Fried tofu and eggplant
Cold green (tea?) soba with nori.
For dessert we had rice and pickled veggies with miso soup and fresh fruit.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Trifle is true DIY do-what-you-want layered dessert. Every recipe I looked at was remarkably different. The skeleton of the recipe seems to be: Layer ladyfingers (sponge fingers), fresh/canned fruit, custard, and whipped cream. Do what you will from there. Some use regular sponge cake as the base, and some add jam in between those cakes. In the past 20 years, Jell-o (jelly) has been added in with the fruit! So many options! Hey that's great, but lemme get a handle on things before going experiementing. So I emailed his sister to ask what they ate at home.
Starting with the bottom layer:
Sponge Cake (click for recipe)
This is FREAKIN delicious and I added a bit of lemon juice with the water. Wonderful.
Cool cake, slice and make your bottom layer
I lined the sides with strawberries at this point
Pour canned fruit and jello over cake.
I actually soaked fresh strawberry slices in canned tropical fruit syrup while I was making the cake so it would have the sugary goodness. I poured the fruit over first to let it soak up a bit before the jello (because that seems weird to me). (I used the tropical fruit in another cake).
I used Apple-White grape juice instead of water (still added just a small amount of sugar though). I reduced the recipe by a third, but it still needed a bit more agar. I only used a small portion, maybe a cup- enough to not go over the cake before absorbing.
Pour over cake with fruit while still hot. Let it set in fridge
***If you are pouring this into a glass container, cup, etc, make sure it was HEAT TEMPERED, otherwise it will shatter at this stage***
I wish it were a little bit thicker- next time add more cornstarch. I added a pinch of cinnamon and it was overwhelming. Delicious, but maybe skip it. (First I made a custard on the back of an Australian no-egg powder box. Don’t, it’s gross.)
Let custard cool, stirring once in a while to avoid a skin. Add on top of fruit, let set.
I thought if I did this by hand it would be fluffier. Wrong. While the blender still keeps it runny, not as runny if you do it by hand. Still great tasting though.
Top your trifle off with it right before you serve it.
The result? Sure it wasn’t the trifle he was used to (and I had nothing to gage it against) but he loved it! I thought it tasted like a giant over indulgent strawberry shortcake- yum! He raved about the real sponge cake bottom. Me too, that sponge cake is magical, I'm tellin' ya!