Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holy MoFo! It's 10-11-12!

What a crock. Cheese? Crock cheese? Crock peas? CHICK PEA "CHEESE", MOFOS! Peggy calls it SPICY PUB CHEESE! (It's inspired by the Ultimate Uncheese cook book btw) Here's whatcha do:
-2.5 cup cooked garbanzos
-3 heaping noochy scoops
-2 tbsp tahini
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tbsp malt vinegar
-2 tbsp mellow miso
-2 tbsp EVOO
-.5 tsp garlic powdah
-.25 tsp crushed chili
-1.5  tbsp horseradish
-.5 tsp mustard powdah
-1 tsp bragg's ("no need to bragg about it")

Blend it crazy! In a food thing!

(Special guest blog-a-ganousher today)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pizza and beans! With Chef Bab!

That's right! We made cajun-spiced (read: SPICED. Just spice it up. Do whatever you want.) blackened string beans (recipe --> here) with a side of Vegenaise. Such a great dipper. Then...

Pizza! P I Z Z A! Used the "naan" recipe to make the dough, topped with cashew cream sauce

(add 1 c. raw cashews, 2 cloves garlic to a measuring cup, fill up with warm water to 1 1/2 c mark, soak for an hr, add 1 Tb of olive oil and pinch o' salt. Yarggh. Blend till smooth.)

Then put some dang veggies on top! Bake on preheated pizza stone at 450F until the crust looks done.

(So nice.)

Vegan Mofo- day... whatever: cooking catchup

So, I really did sign up for Vegan MoFo with the best of intentions... but then again, there is probably a reason that I don't blog all that frequently. That reason being, life is freaking busy! So, although I have not been posting every day, I sure have been cooking.

Above is a pic of our CSA farmshare I picked up last week: lots of kale, raspberries, yellow beans and radishes. The only thing that I haven't used any of yet is the radishes... there are just so many and I'm not a huge radish fan, so I'm a bit overwhelmed with them. I'll figure something out though, I kept thinking I'll try roasting them.

Here's another loaf of breadmachine bread, yep, we eat lots of bread and love it. This is a fluffy white loaf, if anyone is interesting in recipe, just let me know :)

Here's a big bowl of salt and vinegar kale chips. Kale chips are the best! I chopped up a bunch of kale, tossed with 1 Tb olive oil, 1 Tb malt vinegar and cooked at 350, for 20 min, turning once. Then I tossed with sea salt. So yummy!

Here's some more of that gooey cheez (leftover from the Tempeh Tuna Melts), I added some diced red onion and chili paste in it.

I made some "naan" bread (not authentic... probably more of a roti). Rolled out little rounds of it.
Then put some of that spicy cheez on the middle of one dough round, topped with another round , sealed edges with a bit of water.

Then fried up in my castiron skillet. Again... I'll post recipe if anyone wants it.

Wowza! Delicious!!! I also made some naan bread without the spicy cheez (the flat bigger ones in the pic). This was brought as a contribution to dinner at the hubby's dad's house. It all got gobbled up along some killer chickpea-cauliflower curry (yay! for non-vegan family cooking awesome vegan food).

Oh, and I contributed dessert for that dinner too :) Raspberry cobbler! Damn damn damn. This was good stuff. I used the berry cobbler recipe out of The Joy of Vegan Baking (super awesome cookbook!!!).

Friday, October 5, 2012

Vegan MoFo day 4- kale time!

Sorry we missed yesterday... but we're back!!!

Tonight's dinner was quite yummy and nutritious. I picked up our CSA farm share yesterday and it was full of kale (4 bunches), radishes (4 bunches---what the heck am i going to do with all these radishes? do i LOOK like a Fraggle?), 2 big bags of yellow beans and 4 little tubs of raspberries!

So... I knew dinner was going to include kale, I also had sweet potatoes. So I tried my old technique of typing "kale sweet potato" into Google and seeing what inspiration found me.

I found this recipe, and (since I had pretty much all the ingredients on hand) I got to work. Came out great :) I served it over basmati rice.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vegan MoFo day 3- tempeh tuna melt sandwiches

Here's tonight's dinner... well Chef Bab didn't really help all that much (he's more of an inspirational chef than functional one).

I, Peggy, made tempeh "tuna" melts. The bread is from the other day, the cheez is from Ultimate Uncheese cookbook, recipe --> Gooey Grilled Cheez. This is a great, quick noochy cheez sauce/spread. I also whipped up some tempeh tuna salad. I greased the bread up with some EB, layered on the yummy cheez and the tempeh salad, then grilled in a castiron skillet. I served this with some yummy steamed yellow and green beans.

Tempeh Tuna Salad:
1 block tempeh- steamed and smashed with a fork
splash malt vinegar
1/4 med red onion- diced
1/2 stalk celery- diced
1 Tb sweet pickle relish
1/2 Tb kelp flakes
1 clove garlic- crushed
dash onion powder
salt and pepper
1/4 c (more or less) vegan mayo (I used a combo Trader Joes reduced fat mayo and Vegenaise)

-After steaming the tempeh, I splashed on some malt vinegar and then allowed to cool in fridge before I mixed in all the other ingredients.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vegan MoFo day 2- Chef Bab makes Oat-Wheat bread

Chef Bab helped me make some bread. We made one of our favorites "Oat-Wheat" bread in the breadmachine. This is a great loaf, it comes out soft and flavorful, and its 2/3 whole grain.

Oat-Wheat Breadmachine Bread
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 Tb earth balance or olive oil
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. demerara sugar or brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp breadmachine yeast

-Cook on white bread setting, makes 2 lb loaf

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegan MoFo day 1

This time around, we'll have a special guest host: Chef Bab A. Ganoosh. He's been staying with us for a while and is really trying to make it into show biz. We figured it couldn't hurt. Now if only he'd start paying rent...

It's really not hard to eat vegan. Just some pitas, falafel in the cast iron for 15 minutes or so over low flame, with some tabbouli salad, awesome tahini sauce, and a sprinkle of hot sauce. Assemble. Enjoy. Bye!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Deep Dish Buffalo "Chicken" Mega Pizza

We had pizza night. I used this basic recipe --> here to make some deep dish pizza!
I had been craving it for a lil while now :)

Cooked up some Gardein Chicken cutlets, cut into little chunks and tossed with hot sauce.

Made some cashew-cheezy sauce (soaked cashews, olive oil, dill weed and water- all blended up), some sliced sweet onion and got out the Mozzerella Daiya

Sliced up some gorgeous tomatoes

I made the dough up using that recipe linked at the beginning of the post, just substituted Earth Balance for the butter. I did use all the dough for one pizza, and it was alot of crust. Maybe next time I'd use a bigger pan or 2/3 of the dough, the crust was very buttery and delicious, so alot of crust really wasn't a huge problem.

I also mixed up a "blue cheese" dressing to layer into the pizza. recipe --> here (I posted this with a 'regular' buffalo chicken pizza). I didn't use quite as much Vegenaise this time around, so it was a thick blue cheese.

Baked the dough for about 15 minutes, then took out of oven, let cool for a couple minutes.
Started layering: blue cheese dressing, buffalo chicken pieces...

..then sliced tomato and onion...

..then cashew cheezy sauce, and sprinkled Daiya over the top..

Then into the oven!!!!!

We let this sit for about 15 minutes before slicing and enjoying :)


Saturday, September 8, 2012

random recent cooking..

"cheddar"-beer bread (homemade with breadmachine, using FYH cheddar and Saranac Rye IPA) this might be the tastiest bread i make with the breadmachine, yum!!

recent dinner sandwich spread: homemade breadmachine wheat bread, spicy peanut sauce, Trader Joe's savory baked tofu, fresh heirloom tomatoes and tangy pepper/cabbage slaw

i didn't get a great pic of the constructed sandwich, but it was sure healthy and super delicious

"paella" made with arborio rice, homemade seitan sausages, Trader Joe's soy chorizo, and fresh veggies from CSA farmshare (corn cut from cob, roasted kohlrabi, heirloom tomatoes, bell pepper and onion)
we've been getting TONS of hot peppers from CSA farmshare, decided to dry some in the oven (took about 6 hours on 200 degrees)

all dried out!! i already made some chili powder from these, really spicy and wonderful tasting

recent lunch: tomato and baked tofu salad, sauteed noochy kale

recent dinner: "fried fish"(Sophie's kitchen brand) sandwich, cheezy stuffed-baked potato and corn on cob

hummus made with 'black chickpeas'

really yummy walnut cake (like really really yummy!) -this was made with the maple-macadamia blondies recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance

another recent lunch: cheezy steamed cabbage (with Daiya), and BBQ sauce mixed beans (chickpeas, black chickpeas, black eyes peas and red beans-- all leftover from different dishes)

just some yumminess i thought i would share with y'all :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

BBQ seitan "ribs"

I've been looking back at my recent posts and I guess I have only been posting total vegan junk-food. I have to say that these posts are certainly not a realistic picture of how we eat in our house. We also eat lots of brown rice, whole grains, beans and vegetables, but you already know that they are vegan (and yummy).

I stayed home from work yesterday (feeling really junky), and when my appetite finally arrived it was while I was watching an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares" about a Soul Food restaurant. It was a rare episode in the fact that the food wasn't disgusting or the kitchen unsanitary. Crazy. Needless to say I started craving some serious Soul Food. I did a bit of research online and find a recipe for vegan BBQ ribs. (Yum!) There are TONS of different recipes online. About a year ago I attempted a recipe I found on The "ribs" were okay, but it took a lot of work for what were ultimately bread sticks tossed in bbq sauce. I found this recipe with a different technique and lots of positive reviews  and was intrigued. I had almost all the ingredients and it was something new and fun to try. In some of the reviews it appears to be based on a recipe from the New Farm Cookbook. I didn't follow recipe to the letter, but here's what I did.

-2 c. wheat gluten flour
-1/3 c. nooch
-2 Tb smoked paprika
-1/2 Tb sea salt
-2 1/4 c. water
-1/2 c crunchy natural peanut butter
-1 large vidalia onion- minced
-1/4 c. olive oil
-1/2 jar BBQ sauce (or as much as you want)

1) Combine gluten, nooch, paprika and salt in a big bowl.

2) Add in water all at once, stir with a wooden spoon quickly until all are combined (might need a little more water). You should have a firm gluten ball. Coat the ball with peanut butter.

3) Heat oil in skillet, add onion and cook until golden brown. Pour all the oil and onion on top of gluten ball. Poke with other end of wooden spoon to force some of the onion and peanut butter into the gluten. Allow to cool.

4) When mixture is cool enough to handle, use hands to mix all together. Try to mix the onion, oil and peanut butter in as much as you can.

5) Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease 2 big glass baking dishes.

6) Pull off big hunks of the mixture with your hands (don't cut with knife), then pull, stretch and twist the gluten into little logs 4 to 5 inches long. (note: I made 8 and thought the smaller ones were the best, so maybe try to make 10). Place into the baking dishes, they will expand some while cooking so make sure to leave some room between.

7) Bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake 15 more. Coat the "ribs" with BBQ sauce and bake 10 more minutes. (40 min total)

These were freakin' AWESOME. Super chewy and "meaty". I served them with corn on the cob and mac and cheese (<-- really yummy vegan mac). The hubby and I both enjoyed our Soul Food dinner, and will definitely be making this again soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cape Cod-induced seafood cravings solved…. Fabulous Beer-Battered Tempeh “Fish” with vegan Tartar sauce

The hubby and myself recently returned from a beautiful long weekend on Cape Cod. We shared a rental house with a whole bunch of family. We did a lot of pre-planning with food for the weekend, did a big grocery shop at home and brought a lot of easy meals to keep us full and happy. The rest of our family's food plan was to pretty much eat out every meal. Well… we’re broke so that’s definitely not an option, and looking online, the vegan options out on the Cape are a bit minimal. When we got onto the Cape, we saw lobster shack after seafood stop after clam shanty, etc.. and really not much else. We ate very well with the food we brought and didn’t go hungry at all. (We made lots of Tabouli and hummus sandwiches for the beach!)

I had done a bunch of online searches before we left, and the only interesting vegan eating-out options I found were in Provincetown, so we did head out there one day to shop and go out to eat for a romantic date. We checked out this restaurant Karoo Kafe in Ptown, it's website boasted it as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. By the time we were done looking around in funky shops and enjoying the positive energy of all people in Provincetown, we found the Kafe and were super hungry. Well, the menu is really big and has lots of options, something I am definitely not the used to as a vegan. I went for the "Cape Town Stew" with tofu and the hubby got a Falafel wrap, we shared some deep-fried Pakora's for an appetizer. The service was friendly, food came out of the kitchen really fast and was quite delicious. The atmosphere was upscale fast-food, order at the counter, not really drawn out-romantic-dinner-type of place. We even tried some Cape Cod-brewed beer there. Yum! We are going to remember the name of that restaurant and try to get out there again.

My hubby had some serious seafood cravings while we were on the Cape. It is really the one non-vegan food that “still sounds good.” He didn’t cave to his cravings (his tummy thanked him for good judgment), and on upon our return home, I dug out a recipe we tried about a year ago that I knew would make him happy and satisfy those cravings.

Veg News had a recipe for Beer-Battered Tempeh “Fish” and tartar sauce in the April 2011 issue. I don’t do any sort of frying/deep-frying very often, but this recipe looked so good that I had to try it when I saw it in the issue. When I made it last year, I remember it came out good, but the batter didn’t quite stay on the tempeh and I had made big tempeh chunks... Looking at the recipe again, I hadn't cut the tempeh nearly as small as called for.

The day after we got home from the Cape, my hubby had to go back to work, but I had an extra buffer day off. He was super bummed to be back at work, so... I decided to extend the vacation to dinner that night and made a Fried “Fish”/Cape Cod feast.

I followed the recipe much more closely this time... making two whole packages of tempeh worth of beer battered/fried deliciousness (for only the two of us lol), I also made some tartar sauce, some coleslaw, picked up some Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar potato chips, little soft potato rolls the perfect size for one “fish” tempeh stick and even found some Massachusetts’s brewed beer at the beer distributor (I couldn’t find any brewed on the Cape, boo!). One change I made to the recipe was steaming the tempeh about 2 hours before dinner and letting it marinate in the fridge until it was fry time.  Veg News marinated only briefly before frying. The frying didn’t even make that big of mess! Yay!

When my hubby got home and saw the spread on the table, he was so happy and appreciative. And I was too when I started eating, this recipe came out even better than last time, the beer-batter was right on, the tempeh had a great tangy, flakey, fish-y texture, the tartar sauce was yum yum yum, the rolls were good, and of course  the chips and beer were awesome!!! I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have to show these off... they were too yummy to resist and I enjoyed eating them instead of documenting them. To create this dinner was definitely a bit of work, but I had lots of fun doing it on my last day off.

Disclaimer: I am completely aware this is the essence of a “sometimes food.”

Here are the recipes mostly as printed in Veg News:

for the beer-battered tempeh "fish":
2 packages tempeh, in 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup malt vinegar
2 Tb agave 
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

2 c AP flour
1 Tb baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp cayenne powder, divided (I used Indian chili powder)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 bottle organic pale ale (I used 20 oz of Rolling Rock)

3 cups oil, for frying (I used peanut)
1/2 cornstarch  

1) Steam tempeh for 7 minutes. Remove into bowl.
2) Combine malt vinegar, agave and Old Bay seasoning. Pour over tempeh, and stir gently to coat. Allow to marinade in fridge for an hour or two. (my marinade got completely soaked up by the tempeh)
3) Prepare batter: whisk together the flour and seasonings until smooth. Using whisk, slowly stir in beer until a smooth batter forms. Put in fridge for 10 minutes while you prepare frying stuff.
4) Heat up oil (med-high heat) in a large skillet (mine is cast-iron). Set up frying station: marinated tempeh, a bowl with cornstarch, the batter, and something to put the hot/cooked food in (w/ lots of paper towels).
5) Dredge individual tempeh sticks into cornstarch, shake off extra. Then dip into batter, and allow the big globs to drop off. Then into the hot oil!! Only cook a few at a time to keep the oil nice and hot and, prevent splashes and burning yourself, etc... Cook until you see the batter puff up and get a lil browned,  turn over with tongs, 2 minutes or so a side.
6) Drain on paper towels, then eat while they are hot!

for the tar-tar sauce:
1 1/2 c Vegenaise
5 slices of sweet pickle-minced or 2 Tb relish
5 stuff green olives- minced
2 tsp dried onion powder
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
dash of salt
pinch of chili powder

1) Combine together.
2) Slather all over tempeh "fish."

*Bonus/Exciting News*

So this recipe makes a ton (a TON!) of “fish”, definitely at least enough for 6 or more people. I was a bit puzzled with what to do with leftovers. I did some Google searches for “how to store fried food” “can you freeze fried food”, etc… Basically everything I saw online said that batter fried foods can’t be stored, eat them right away or they are gross. I was NOT going to waste all this yummy “fish”!! So I took the cooled “fish” put it in plastic freezer bags and hoped for the best.

Well, we were hungry for an easy dinner the other night and I took out some of the frozen “fish” and attempted to reheat in an cast-iron skillet, it worked awesome, the batter got crispy, the “fish” was hot and maybe even tastier than the first time. I used my well-seasoned cast-iron, (added no oil, this stuff is fatty enough!) heated it up on medium heat, then simply put the frozen pieces right in, I turned them and cooked on all four sides, until hot and a little browned.  (Take that Google, you don’t know everything!)

re-heated, previously frozen "fish" guys :) sooo yum

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

vegan foodie experiment: jackfruit

I have a dream of one day having my own food truck.. driving around and making yummy food for people, and having people love the food, then after eating it and loving it, realizing its vegan! Delicious food is delicious, regardless of what label you can smack on it. I've spent time researching vegan food trucks online and noticed that on the west coast, quite a few serve up jackfruit. Apparently its this magical tropical fruit, that when cooked up gets all shreddy and soaks in flavors, making it a convincing “pulled pork” substitute. Looking through vegan blogs.. most people who have attempted jackfruit have been really pleased with it. I’m always up for new cooking adventures, so I’ve been meaning to try making jackfruit “pulled pork” for a while now.

Well… guess what? The grocery store doesn’t stock jackfruit.. SHOCKING!

Every once in a while I wander around the local Asian grocery store finding cheapo spices, soy sauce and chili sauces. One of the problems I encounter is when looking for some random vegan items at the Asian market… the people that work there never have any clue what I am talking about, there is a serious language barrier. The word “jackfruit” has been on my radar for several years and I’ve spent time looking through all the shelves at the Asian market for it and have never found it before. (I have found canned “braised gluten balls” though… yum?) When I asked a store clerk one day, he showed me a fresh jackfruit in the produce section and it was super frightening looking, huge, spikey and intimidating..  I decided to hold out until I could find the stuff in the can.

Last week, I finally located canned jackfruit (on the bottom shelf, across from refrigerated tofu and below the condensed milk, duh Peggy!) for only $1.39 a can! The recipes I had found online made a point of saying don’t get the jackfruit in syrup, get either “in brine” or “in water.” I bought the “in brine.” I have to say I was super pumped to find it so cheap. I’ve done my share of trying recipes online and having to go buy the products to try the recipe and then having to cough over some serious dough (virgin coconut oil, oh my!).

I found a bunch of different recipes online for what to do with jackfruit.. Most that I found were either for taco filling or pulled pork sandwiches. I did notice a common theme of long cooking times, or cooking it one day then eating the next..

I mostly followed this recipe --> here

I decided to cook up 2 cans of the jackfruit, because I was really hoping it would be yummy and I love leftovers. The jackfruit is definitely a bit funky smelling out of the can.. probably the vinegary smell from the brine. I rinsed it well, and then tossed with the spice rub. Quite a few of the recipes I saw online differed on whether or not to trim the core of the jackfruit. I chose not to, as the “core” sections were quite large… and I didn’t want to waste so much of the fruit.

Spice rub:

2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Mustard powder
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp indian chile powder
dash onion powder
dash garlic powder
dash Cajun seasoning mix

In a pan, I cooked some sliced red onion (the recipe called for minced onion, but I thought the long strings of red onion would be sweet and the texture would assist with the whole pulled-idea), and added in a couple cloves of smashed garlic. I then added in the jackfruit (which I rinsed the heck out of, then tossed in the spice rub).

Sauce mixture:

2 Tb concentrated tomato paste
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp tamarind
2 Tb maple syrup
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup water

I added in the sauce mixture, then simmered this on the stove for about 15 minutes. At this point, I took two forks and shredded up the jackfruit, I was really surprised how stringy and meaty it was.  Even the cores of the fruit shredded, or atleast broke apart, so I don’t think the core was a problem. I transferred the mixture to a cookie sheet and baked it in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes.  This was supposedly going to firm up the jackfruit and make it meatier… I tasted before and after the baking process and didn’t see a noticable difference at all, other than most of the sauce drying up.

extra sauce:

2 Tb BBQ sauce
1 Tb steak sauce
¼ cup water

I then transferred the whole mixture into the crockpot, and added in some more sauce for extra moisture and let it cook on low all afternoon (6 hrs probably). Our original intent was to eat sandwiches for dinner with the jackfruit, but we ended eating dinner at the hubby’s dad house.. so when we finally got home, our house smelled amazing, but we were too stuffed, and put the jackfruit in the fridge.

So, last night we pulled the cooked jackfruit out of the fridge and decided to make a taco feast, with the jackfruit as “taco meat.” Although the jackfruit is “meaty” in texture… it’s still a fruit and not a great source of protein. So, I also made up some refried beans to add some protein to dinner (black beans, mixed with a lil oregano, onion powder and cumin.. then smashed) We also picked up some guacamole at the store to top our tacos (our neighborhood grocery store didn’t have any ripe avocados, boo! So pre-made guac was our only option).

damn damn damn

These were completely awesome! So satisfying, spicy and yummy. I had the leftovers for lunch today and the filling only got yummier. I will definitely be picking up jackfruit again soon and cooking with it. I think this is something you could contribute to a potluck with some rolls, or bring to a family party and omnivores would dig in.

Next time, I don’t think I’ll go quite as overboard with the long cooking process… I bet the only cooking necessary would be in crockpot, or only on the stove, then eating the next day. 

Have you attempted jackfruit? :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

still cooking... still eating

Here's a recent yummy dinner. Cheezy cabbage (steamed cabbage mixed with cheezy sauce from Uncheese cookbook), BBQ sauce tempeh (steamed tempeh, marinaded with braggs + hotsauce, then topped with BBQ sauce and baked) AND curly fries!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

just talking 'brout bread..

shorty is trying to sneak out the backdoor!

awww!! hi georgie-marfleberg
So... I'm feeling alive again, and focusing on being less stressed, and being happy. There are many things that make me happy and I live with these cute lil furry ones that make me SO happy.  I thought I'd share their adorable faces with you.. I have another kitty too, she was hiding behind a curtain, and utterly unphotogenic when I was in the mood to take pet-pictures.

I'm trying to post more.. and thought I'd share more recent food.. :)
serious salad and spicy peanut spirals
This here is a nutritious dinner with a salad made by me, and spicy peanuty spiral noodles made by the hubby. He used my standard peanut sauce recipe and combined that with some whole wheat rotini noodles.

I made little side salads with shredded cabbage, avocado, shredded carrot, cucumber slices, red pepper with homemade scallion balsamic-vinaigrette dressing.

I'm always happy with tasty peanut noodles, and felt full of goodness from all the raw veggies.
 The other day I made some tempeh cakes.. I was going for a "crab cake" type creation. They kind of fell apart while cooking, but tasted really good. Steamed, crumbled tempeh combined with red pepper, celery, scallions, breadcrumbs, vegenaise and Old Bay seasoning. Formed patties, then fried. Ugly, but yum.
tempeh crabby cakes (the only photogenic ones of the batch) and coleslaw

yum healthy bread! whole wheat-spelt

With all that yummy food in my life, the thing that made me the most excited was this loaf of Spelt-Whole Wheat bread. I found the recipe on one of those forums I posted the other day. The recipe called for oatmeal flakes, but I didn't have any... I did, however, have recently acquired Spelt flakes that I've been wanting to use, so I substituted those.  This bread took the same amount of work any other bread in the breadmachine takes... MINIMAL! but the outcome was really satisfying.

The bread is nutty tasting, soft in texture, super high in protein and fiber,  and still firm enough for slicing and sandwich making. This is definitely keeper of a recipe.

Monday, April 2, 2012

i made some food and used my BREADMACHINE!

I basically spent the past week and half sicker than I've ever been. It was a super rough time and I am so so glad to feel like myself again. It's weird to be stuck on the couch and not have the energy or willpower to do any of the things that usually are done in a day.

Now that I am back to feeling like myself, I was super glad to get back in the kitchen. I spent some time organizing the fridge, hitting the health food, grocery stores and restocking my fridge. This is the type of household chore/task that my hubby just isn't his best at... and he's been the one trying to hold our lil house together while I've been sick.

Onto my cooking catch-up,

I bought some Tamarind pulp a while back and I was tempted to make an Indian-style Tamarind sauce, like the kind that comes pretty standard at Indian restaurants with Samosas? Well.. My attempt didn't taste anything like that, but did have a BBQ saucey vibe. I had started with some Tamarind pulp, some toasted cumin seeds, some molasses and some water, then simmered this on the stove until syrupy. I let this concoction bubble away for like 30 minutes, it got thick and saucey... but I really didn't love the direction it was headed on its own.

I decided to use this sauce as a flavor component in a BBQ sauce. I started out the base of the sauce with peppers, onions, garlic, and celery. I sauteed this for a while, then added canned tomatoes, brown sugar, spices, vinegar, etc. I added in my Tamarind mixture and let this all cook together for over an hour. Then I blended it smooth with a stick blender. Came out TANGY TANGY TANGY. Had a lil with a pan-cooked Gardein chicken cutlet, tasty BBQ-y to me.

I made enough to fill three jars!  No exact recipe... but slightly structured by ideas in cookbook BBQ sauce recipes.

I also decided to put together some "Crock Cheez" from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. I used the basic recipe (Tofu, nooch, spices, Miso, etc..) I substituted Malt Vinegar for the lemon juice, and I think it gave it a bit of a "Beer-y" vibe. Like most recipes I've tried in this cookbook, it came together really easy, with ingredients I usually have on hand, and tastes like something not home-made. I referred to it as "Beer Cheez" when I packed some in my hubby's lunch.

I really enjoy this recipe, I noticed that overnight it has became really thick and really reminds me of Crock cheese I remember my parents getting in gift baskets when I was a kid.  As you can see, the recipe made quite a bit, I was able to fill up two containers. Although, I'm sure this stuff won't last long once my husband tastes it.

Whole Wheat-Sunflower Bread

The last "cooking" I did before I completely exhausted myself was baking a loaf of bread. I have to admit I've been baking quite a few loaves of bread lately. I've been slightly-obsessed with using my "new-to-me" breadmachine.  5 minutes worth of work, a little patience, and then, Ta-Da- Hot Bread!

I inherited a Breadman Ultimate from my Mother-in-Law who no longer wanted hers. I got offered it months before I actually remembered to bring it home with me from her house. I did not know what I was missing! Ever since it has arrived home, it has been getting a lot of use. I've really been quite impressed with the product that it makes, especially in regards to the amount of effort I've put in to making the loaves.

(Before I got sick) I've been making at least 2-3 loaves a week, and we've stopped buying commercially made bread.  This has definitely been saving me cash! (Flour=way cheaper than $4 loaves of artisan bread) I've really indulgently enjoyed the loaves I've made with all-purpose unbleached white flour, but I've also been searching for great tasting-healthier bread. The "French" cycle makes really wonderful, chewy "European" bread, it's hard not to eat the whole loaf.

The loaf I made last night was Whole Wheat-Sunflower, this was an all-whole wheat flour loaf. I have enjoyed the ALL whole wheat loaves, but they are definitely denser and don't offer the same chew factor as the white flour loaves. I am still looking for the perfect recipe that balances the yum-factor with the health-factor.

I have been trying out recipes I've found online, and utilizing the recipes that come with the breadmachine, I think I am going to be working on finding perfect, vegan recipes and posting them in the near future. I've definitely had to search for recipes, as many I've found contain milk powder, eggs, and other non-vegan ingredients. I find this a bit frustrating as the best tasting bread I can find at the grocery store contains the shortest list of ingredients.

I promise I will keep you posted on breadmachine adventures.

Here are some of the resources I've found online, please share with me if you have any good (and healthy) recipes!

"Fat-Free Vegan" forums- Breadmachine Recipes
"Go Dairy Free" forums- Honey 1/2 Whole Wheat Bread Recipe * Delicious
"Veg Source" forums- Bryanna's Breadmachine Recipes w/Starter