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