Friday, June 30, 2006

Fautess Friday, Tofu, & Broccoli Gratin

He's back! And he's been asking, "Are they saying anything more about me on your blog mom?" I've been telling him that you all want to take him home to cook for them too! With today's post I'm sure we'll have him rented out for the rest of the summer.

To draw you all in today the "theif" presents... FAUSTESS CAKES from Vegan with a Vengeance! Do you hear the music in the background, it's rather dramatic ... dun dun dun dun! (By the way that's still my cookbook, it appears for pictures and then disappears when I want to take it back. However, he is pardoned after this task! He can keep the book!).
Enough cakes here for all of our visitors. :).

This was a real task though, he was in the kitchen for two hours. Lesson today: Read the whole recipe through before you begin to make sure you have all the ingredienst (and you know where they are). He doubles the recipe, but note this in your book. Double only the cupcake recipe, not the fillings, frostings or drizzle because one recipe of those definitely has leftovers enough for both batches of cupcakes.

Of course I present desert first, but we used these to complete the Pomegranite tofu with Coconut rice from the same book. We made the rice in the rice maker, just add a 1/2 C more water or soymilk since it will steam out while cooking to compensate.

Where did he get that great looking steamed broccoli sitting on the side of this tastey yum?

The family Garden of course!

Pup is checking it out for us to make sure all is well.... it is.
We removed the last of the broccoli and cauliflower last night. I took in a large harvest of kale, three plants of red potatoes and my mom found a couple of zucchini.

Here's a great broccoli sauce from Bryanna's free recipe archives, I like to use the white sauce version (scroll down to August 18th sauces for summer veggies):


makes 2 and 1/2c. (wheat-free; can be soy-free)

This sauce is delicious on steamed vegetables or macaroni, and the thicker version can also be spread on toast and broiled for an open-faced “grilled cheese” sandwich, or used to top a casserole and broiled or baked to brown the top a little. This is a variation on a recipe that is in several of my cookbooks.

3/4-1 c. water (use 3/4 c. for “cheese”; use 1 c. for a sauce)

1 medium potato (about 4 oz.), peeled and chunked

(Allergy note: if you are allergic to potato, use 3/4 c. cooked white rice or millet instead of the cooked potato)

1/2 medium carrot, scrubbed and chunked

1/2 a medium onion, peeled and chunked

1/2-3/4 c. medium-firm tofu or extra-firm SILKEN tofu

OR about 1/3 c. raw cashew pieces

2 T. sesame tahini

1/4-1/2 c. nutritional yeast flakes (depending on how “cheesey” you want the flavor)

1 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt OR 1 T. light soy or chickpea miso plus1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. garlic granules

Simmer the potato, carrot and onion in a small saucepan with the water, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the carrot and potato are tender. Add to the blender container with the remaining ingredients. Blend until VERY smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered for up to a week. (Reheat over gentle heat.) If you make the thicker “cheese” version, and want to use the leftovers for a sauce, you can thin it with a little hot water.

WHITE “CHEESEY” SAUCE: Make the Golden Sauce, but omit the carrot and use only 1/4 c. of nutritional yeast. Use the salt only, not the miso.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Broccoli and Grilled Tofu

Thanks for the potluck dinner suggestions yesterday.

Here's a post of a different sort. This one is about grilled tofu and all that broccoli I have harvested from my garden. Fortunately it is coming to an end, but I have enough to get me through the winter months to. Whenever I look at my work I start seeing $ figures saying, 1 lb frozen organic broccoli $3.29.... 15 packages. Well, the point is I always feel I am getting paid well for my work.

Grilled Tofu... I slice a 1 lb block of x-firm regular tofu into 5 slabs. Marinate in Bryanna "Brest of Tofu" marinade recipe. ... this recipe comes from her free recipe archives, check her page out it's linked on my side bar.

This takes the place of chicken breast in sandwiches, stir-fries, salads, and many other dishes. Prepare marinade by combining in a 2 quart bowl:
1 ½ C water
1/4 C soy sauce
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp crumbled sage leaves
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp onion powder
Cut into ½ - inch thick slices:
2 lb’s firm or medium firm regular tofu
Marinate the tofu slices for as little as a few hours or as long as a few days in the refrigerator. Turn the slices or spoon the marinade from time to time, or store in a tightly lidded container and shake.

Slice or dice and chop on any wonderful fresh veggie salad. Notice the broccoli. :)
Salad one I topped with a ginger garlic hoison dressing from Dreena's book. Salad two I used a sweet cider vinegar dressing, the pasta is organic brown rice shells. Then I mixed the cider vinegar dressing with Bryanna's veggienaise (recipe in free archives mixed) and made my leftover pasta broccoli salad into a good lunch.
And while we are on the topic of broccoli, a stirfry to present. This one was called Sichuan "b**f" and broccoli from Bryanna's Authentic Chinese Cuisine Cookbook. Sichuan is my favorite! I love the chili garlic paste-yness. I served this with brown rice and two peices of candies ginger on the side to finish.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6.28.06 Midweek Munchies and canning


This saying comes from an ad by Simply Organic spices, I liked it and now it comes from me. :)

I'm curious to know whether anyone was surprised by what they found out about their communities and the toxics emitted around them. Our comunity ranked within the top 30 of the cleanest with two problems about 15 miles from us. If you want a link to check go to SCORECARD.ORG. I noticed the ADM corn industry with four places in Iowa are big toxin problems.

And now - no more "problem" discussion, now on to solution discussion...back to more good ole' vegan down home food (or as "down home" as Iowa can get). Oh and the kitten, possible names: biscuit(thanks to Vicki's suggestion - Matthew likes it), frisky (Melissa suggestion), and mellow.... Dave says mellow, then maybe he can live up to his name.

This week's food purchases:
* Newman's Own MANGO medium salsa (not spicy at all, sweet!)
* Free sample from coop order p/u: Envirokidz Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal, looks like little balls of kix cereal.
* Jerusalem 100% organic whole wheat pita's... great list of ingredients, see it pictured to the left. I have stuffed some of Dreena's red pepper spread and roasted cauliflour into a pita.
* More Zesty Italian sausage from Yves, Dave really likes these on the grill.

Kale (probably the last of it)
Cauliflour and Broccoli
sweet peas in the pod for shelling
Brussel Sprouts (my second favorite)
Using the last of the frozen ROMA tomatoes
I've been up until 2-3 in the morning blanching and freezing broccoli cauliflower and kale. I really enjoy
It is good for small batch canning. I adore the pickled cauliflour, which is what is shown in the picture. I have canned 4 quarts of these. I use a steam canner, which I find so much easier to use than a water bath. I am going to enter one jar of the cauliflower into the canning section at the county fair in July.


I took out the last of the frozen roma tomatoes form last year (just froze them and stored in gallon freezer bags). I used 3 and 1/2 gallons to make a wonderful thick and chunky spaghetti sauce. I cook down the peel and all, let it reduce and blend with my kitchenaid hand held blender. I like it with mushrooms, but Matthew doesn't so I'll grill the mushrooms separately to add to my dish. I used a recipe from Bryanna's Nonna Italian cookbook, there are a variety of sauce recipes there.... the one I used is wine free and she says it was her husbands favorite. My husband agrees. Matthew made garlic toasted crostini to go with the spaghetti last night.

This is a picture of BROWN TVP strips that I buy from Country life natural foods. I like to use them as a beef sub in stirfries, which I have been doing this week as I deal with the fresh broocoli harvest. Well, stirfries and fresh broccoli salad. Other ways I like broccoli are with potatoes in a cheesy flavored soup, but it's to hot for soup right now.

Here's how I cook brown TVP strips, this recipe came from a side bar in one of Bryanna's cookbooks. Combine all together and cook 30 minutes or to desired tenderness. Cool and store in 2 cups containers, drain before using.
6 cups chunks
12 C water
3/4 C (6 oz) tomato paste
1/4 C nutritional yeast
3/4 Cups soy sauce
I then freeze them in batches that I can quick take out and thaw to use for stirfries, soup, and sometimes even BBQ sandwiches. The ingredient in this product is soy flour and natural caramel color. Check out the side bar link to Country Life Natural Foods for more info. I think they are very reasonably priced.

MEAL PLAN: I haven't got this far yet. I do know that I have a holiday weekend coming up and that we will be out and and about. Saturday we will be going to a small town fourth of July celebration. I used to sell granola at this celebration, although I enjoyed it and did well I'm glad this year that I will get to wander and enjoy the events. Tuesday I need to figure out what to take to a potluck.


For more information about Midweek Munchies contact Harmonia.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Part 2: Add/ Autism? and Chronic Illness

Now for the rest of the story.....

The Medical Director of Pathway: Medical Advocates, John Hicks is the person who has had a special interest in the chronic medical issues, esp frontal lobe disorders. All medical powers agree that add, adhd, autism spectrum disorders, schitzophrenia, depression, bi-polar disorder, etc etc etc, are due to a dysfunction taking place in the frontal lobe of the brain. A neurotransmitter is an electrical charge that carries information from the senses to the proper part of the brain so it can be "read" or understood and responded to appropriately. The problem is that the information frm the neurontransmotter is not being received completely, is distorted, or lost along on the trip.

For depression the neurotransmitter is serotonin, but depending on the problem the nuerotransmitter could be dopamine, selenium, a number of others. A traditional medical approach looks at the fact that the serotonin is not received and this is "diagnosed" by the self reports of a person's feelings and by the doctor asking questions and seeing how much they meet diagnistic criteria on a scale. The goal is to give them medicene (prozac - serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to help produce more of the neurotransmitter OR the receivers which are to catch them.

In order to understand the neurtotransmitter / receiver process the doctor gave an illustration of an olive with a pimiento to describe the relationship. The pimiento (nuerotransmitter) occurs in the body as a response to an outside vibration (a sound, chemical, food, etc) in order to be understood it must be attach to an olive (receiver) to be identified. A problem occurs when the pimento does not reach the olive. The traditional "outside - in" approach says lets create more olives in the body so that all the pimientos are useable, thus a medicene is given and the prozac "false high" begins. The inside- out approach says what's stopping the pimientos from reaching their olives?

This is the part the really made me emotional. Whenever I hear of commercial practices that are performed to benefit the manufacturer and not the consumer I get mad.

The doctor stated that in all of the cases he has treated only 10% are a true biological dysfunction in which genetic cases may be the issue. In autism, the true gluten casein disorder occurs when the intestine cannot absorb the protein molecules. What happens to the unabsorbed molecules? They float through the system and are an exact match to a neurotransmitter "olive", so they take the spot that a pimiento needs to be in. The real gluten casein effect of this biological symptom has the same effect of opium.... the person hallucinates when they eat glutin or caseiin. Casein can stay in the system taking up the olives needed for everyday functioning for as long as six months, gluten for 3-4 weeks. Recommendation... have a IEP made so that the child has an aide sitting with them at lunch to keep them from eating wheat products or dairy.

Now there's more....
What else takes up the "olives" so that the right "pimientos" cannot get in? Chemicals in our environment, proteins from foods, electromagnetic fields (from poorly ground electricity in houses or schools) near a spot that the person spends much time, etc. The doctor gave a story about a child who was severely disabled and could not even sit in a seat at school, he flopped on the floor on a carpet most of the time. He could not focus and would not respond to verbal orders. When he was hungry he squawked or threw a fit and was eight years old. When the chemical testing was done many numbers were out of range both ways. The boy (although diagnosed with severe autism) did not have gluten/ casein dysfunction which is common in genetic based autism. After much investigation it was discovered that the boy would only eat chicken. The chicken was commercially produced. The doctor knew that commercially bred chickens have a small amount of arsenic put in their food to keep their beaks soft so that they do not peck each other or theirself. When tested for arsenic levels in the blood.... he got it! The boy was slowly being poisoned and once the diet was changed (first with organic free range chicken) the problems self corrected within a short few months. As the poisons were released via several treatments the boy improved, today the medical records appear that the boy was "cured" of autism, but the truth is that the problem was not not autism in the first place.

EGGS: Many people are reacting to these substances. Vaccination bacteria are grown on eggs so the body deals with the bacteria being immunized against as well as the egg protein at the same time.

DAIRY: Commercial cows are pumped full of steriods and hormones to get them bigger and keep them pumping milk... more, bigger, better gives someone big bucks.

CORN: The leading corn manufacturer has developed "pesticide" ready corn to keep the crop from having pest damage. Efficient for them, but for us, our corn has been molecularly changed in the last few years and often the body cannot digest this strange molecular composition. NON-GMO is important, if your product doesn't specify you are eating pesticide molecules spliced into the corn your food was prepared with.

Corn as well as PEANUTS are harvested all at once so farmers "dump" the harvest into large piles which stay there for a couple of months until they are sold or storage is available. While this harvest sits for a couple of months it molds..... BLACK MOLD! The doctor assured us that although many chemical processes happen to keep away the bad effects of the mold away no company goes thorugh each peanut or corn kernel to ensure that the every kernel and strand of mold is washed. This is why alternative nut butters are recommended, no other nut is harvested in mega large quantities like peanut (which is a legume).

Commercial peanut butter = moldy peanuts + transfat + high fructose corn syrup

All fructose today comes from corn, it used to come from fruit but corn is to cheap of source.

Dr Hicks has conducted blood tests on individuals with serious cases of ADD, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders (as well as others). He wants to see the levels of the serotonin, dopamine, selenium, etc that the child's body has. After looking at the chemical tests, a complete blood chemical test including IGG blood food and environmental chemical allergy test along with a complete physical exam, this gives him the information to mapping the person's neurotransmitter or cell energy activity (remember einsteins theory). Mapping the person's cell energy allows him to see what is wrong with the cell activity and then he begins to understand what is stopping the bodies natural (BIO) process from healing (MEDICAL) the way it needs to.

This is a hard concept, but is it describes the reason for the delivery method chosen for treatment. The doctor was fuzzy in the way he described "mapping" cell activity, but I'll try to give an example. A body with low levels of serotonin emits a vibrational energy wave that can be recorded. Note that our body is 80% water, neurotramsmitters are electrical charges, and water conducts electricity (try the hair blower in the shower thing if you don't believe this). In treating the deficit the best way to begin to deal with these balances are giving the "opposite" of the deficit cell energy wave via water conductor for the body to receive it in it's natural BIO way.

Although every ones "numbers" vary, it startes the process of understanding and identifying what neurotransmitters are low or are not being received. This approach differs greatly from the acute care or traditional approach. One example: A child with ZERO serotonin, when normal range is 87-105. The child's traditonal acute care physician did not see this as a problem because the acute symptom was that the child was combative and was in an antisocial way. According to one physician the child needed a calming drug (anti-psychotic) not "energy" drops that balance the energies flowing from the child's body nor diet therapy or removing environmental toxins. I guess as consumers we get to choose... personally I want both sides of the story and then I want to make the informed decision about which treatment choice to use.

Baby shots have a mercury base and can cause mercury poisoning which will give autistic like symptoms. This doctor did not say don't vaccinate your children, just NEVER allow more than one shot to be given at a time and NEVER give them when the child has any sign of an immune system not fully functioning (cold, etc).

If you want to find out the chemicals that you are probably exposed to on a daily basis check out this link and type in your zipcode. SCORECARD.ORG (click the link)

Monday, June 26, 2006

ADD/ AUSTISM/ Chronic Illness

Hey food blogger friends. I've debated on what today's entry in my blog will be about and whether I should discuss the "nitty gritty" of a conference I attended this weekend. Despite being a little overwhelmed and emotional I decided to give a brief overview of what I learned there. I know that this entry will not be another fabulous vegan recipe from the thief or myself, but I think you foodies and vegan lifestylers will enjoy the informative nature of it. What you see here is my understanding of a complex topic that took several hours of two days worth of listening... if you need more info make sure you go to the source, website listed at the bottom of the page.

Health: A Systems Approach from a Bio-Medical Perspective
I have meandered around the nutrition and natural health field for awhile, however I'll complete my masters in FCS with a secondary teaching certification (Ed) from the college of Human Sciences at ISU in December. I am not one to hear something and immediately fall prey to the persuasive speech of a sales pitch and am very skilled at saying NO. The conference I went to was not a sales pitch, but there were people there who would like my business. As I listened to the speakers I looked for the basic underlying beliefs of the concept(s) presented, which was on dietary and alternative therapies for treating chrinic illnesses, my reason for attending was to know more about ADD, ADHD, and Autism.

A bit more about me: My family chooses a traditional acute care physician as well as a "Naturopathic Doctor" who completed eight years of accredited ed schooling, but also received "doctorate" level training in naturalopathy. I say it like this because many people out there calling themself "Doctor", like the well known author of the MAKER'S DIET, Jordan Rubin, who did not complete a doctorate degree in which a liscence to practice in any given state is required. Yes, he has something important to say (some of the things) and I agree with the naturopathic philospohy, but not a deception about the qualifications of a person I trust with my very health. Fortunately, after an expensive lawsuit for which he was fined, he can no longer use the letters "M.D" behind his name.

The speaker at the conference also agreed with the naturalopathic philosophy common to any practioner of this nature (treat the whole person), but I found the following additional thoughts in which the presenting doctor (MD - Wisconsin state liscensed medical doctor and naturalopathic certifcation) bases his practice upon. I think it is important to share this first so that I don't sound like my feet were removed from planet earth when I describe his theory of disease process and some of the methods of treatment he uses:

  • Systems Approach: We are a three part being: Mind, Body, and Spirit (or another way this has been said we are a spirit, we live in a body, and we have a mind/will/choice). You cannot treat one aspect without considering the others in balance. If your body doesn't work right, your mind or spirit may have issues and all combinations of this are also true... balance is key. I'm a teacher at heart, so I must resist further explanation of what the terms and application of Mind, Body, and Spirit means.
  • Bio-Medical: Every cell in our body is capable of renewal and is designed to heal itself, within a short number of years every cell in your body will be replaced and renewed. With chronic illness, the goal is to find out what is stopping this natural biological process and getting rid of it (the medical is to works to support the body in it's own natural process). The idea here is that healing takes place from the inside out , NOT the outside in like traditional, acute care medicene does. Note here that acute care medicene is important, if we break a leg we want it set and pain meds until we heal! However, when the problem is ongoing and reoccuring (chronic), acute care does not work. Acute care also deals with immediate symptoms of a disease (diabetes/ insulin, etc) but does not work towards a cure. Bio-medical practictioners desire work with the person to correct the underlying issues, not the acute/ immediate symptoms.
  • Einstein' Theory that energy and matter are dual expressions of the same substance tells us that every cell in our body is energy based. Scientists have recorded energy vibrations... they are real. A tree emits energy vibrations (yes, slow ones) as well as an MRI body scan machine which emits very fast ones. These energy vibrations can be recorded and have been recorded. Every cell in our body emits these vibrations, they are similar to the feeling you may get when you read my blog and feel the love and foodie vibrations coming from it. It may make you may want to run to the kitchen overcome by the passion and power of my cells emitting this vibe to make food of your own. Okay, my example is a bit far fetched but you get the point. Another, better example... if you are around a person who has a very postive attitude and outlook on life, it can affect you and you may have a more positive attitude for the day which goes along with the expression, "Hang around with the people you want to be like." OF IMPORTANT NOTE: A sick or diseased cell also emits and energy vibration. The nuerotransmitters in our brain emits energy vibrations, just like the nuero transmitters in our "gut" .... did you know that there are more nuerotransmitters in our gut than in our brain.... thus the need to "go with your gut reaction!"

Pathways Medical Advocates

Dr Hick's of the above linked office was the key speaker at the conference I went to.
(Although I learned alot form the presenter, the presenters wife (diet counselor) was not veg friendly, but she had reasons for this.... I suppose, we all have reasons for believing things. They just aren't very good ones sometimes! So, NOTE with me here as we all say in unison: "Protein is important! Not all protein comes from a 1/2 a cow purchased in a year, even if it is organic." And besides that fact, it is not good for my body and my son tests highly allergic to it!)

Oh NO! I have to get onto some other business today... I will keep writing about the really good things I learned and publish more to my blog tommorrow. I do have more interesting things to share!

Friday, June 23, 2006

VwaV Biscuits and Gravy

I'll be gone until Monday, I get to sit in a conference about the latest add/autism research and am actually looking forward to it. Nutritional relationships and alternative therapy studies will be discussed. The "men" will be home with some great leftovers to chow on. I'll leave you with another great "guy recipe" review.

Matt rated this meal far above the pancakes and said this meal is a keeper. He learned how to "cut" the earth balance margarine into the flour with a pastry cutter. Although the VwaV recipe said 12-14 biscuits Matt's made 7. He used a common kitchen drinking glass to cut them with. The big biscuits were nice and held lots of gravy. YUM! He even decided it was good enough for lunch too.

What we did....
The recipe in the book used tempeh sausage. I did not have any, but have made TVP s'sage many times... a recipe I knew the family would enjoy.
We also use it for tofu scrambles, breakfast burritos and potstickers. It is a basic country style flavoring, not a spicy chorizo or other type with a kick, but could turn into that is the seasonings were varied.
"Ground" TVP s'sage:
Combine the following ingredients and add the spices. Allow TVP to soak up the liquid (about 5 minutes).
1 C boiling water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 C dry textured vegetable protein (TVP) granules
2 tsp crumbles sage
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 red pepper flakes (more or less to suit heat preferences... Matt added a little pinch)
1/2 tsp l iquid smoke
OPT. up to 1/2 tsp sea salt.... the amount depends on whether you use canned white beans which are pretty salty. Matt's sausage gravy was a little to salty for my preference because he added it to the TVP s'sage, the white bean mix and used canned beans.

PIX 2: The happy cook and his meal... the red is a sliced yellow apple topped with rose syrup from the indian store.... it's yummy! The tiger lily from our side yard and that cool flower vase, from that $6 auction box I keep bragging about. The flowers were my idea. Matt kept moving them saying he doesn't want his food to look like a girl made it ... I said they are guy flowers ---- TIG-GRRRR lilies. He bought it.

I don;t want to spoil the dividends for the punk cook, so I searched and found the recipe below. It is not the one listed in the book (close), but it is a free one from the site in case you need to have something to tide you over until you get your own book.

White Bean Gravy with Soy Sausage
prep time: 15 minutes (?) | cooking time: 4 hours (unless you use canned beans) | makes 6 cups
A couple of years ago, I worked in a vegan/organic restaurant in Asheville, NC. I used to work the brunch shift which featured a vegan Southern breakfast plate: biscuits, white gravy (w/ flour), seitan sausage, and collard greens. The plate was delicious, but there was too much wheat flour (3 out of 4 items), so I was determined to find a healthier alternative to the flour-based white gravy. That's when I came up with this's excellent for drowning biscuits or for eating in a bowl with biscuits on the side.
1- large pot for soaking/cooking beans
2- hand blender (the ones to puree soups)
3- large (10-12") cast-iron pan

2-3 Cups white navy beans or white kidney (cannellini) beans This makes 5 -6 cups of cooked beans, that would be the = 4 15 oz cans of white beans, drained. We used white canneneli beans.
2 Tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine [EarthBalance]
1 package of sausage-flavored GIMME LEAN *** we did not use this! we used the TVP sausage above.
10-12 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped or 2 tsp dried
black pepper
sea salt* see my note about the salt in the TVP recipe above
vegetable broth (optional)

- Soak the beans in cold filtered water for 12 hours. change the water and cook the beans over low heat until beans are soft.
- Use the hand blender to puree the beans. Add water or broth if necessary...if it is too watery, you can eventually cook off the water.
- In the cast-iron pan, melt the EarthBalance. Crumble the GIMME LEAN and add it to the pan. continuously mix the crumbled sausage until most of it is golden brown.
- Add the "sausage" to the bean gravy (with the fat too) and season with sea salt, black pepper, and sage.
- Cook everything together for 10 minutes or until the desired consistency is achieved.

Happy Vegan Eating.

P.S. Future casting....Matt will be preparing another VwaV meal next week. I'll guess it will be making dessert because Vicki's (Veg Family blog) entry about coconut frosting cupcakes from father's day really got our attention over here! But then Leslie at eat peace sure did an impressive looking hemp bar today....I'm going tolook up that recipe.

The kitten (no name yet) really enjoyed thebiscuits and gravy recipe too. So much that he didn't get very far from the bowl before needing to take a nap. He liked this recipe better than the homemade catfood I made with chickpeas.

Oh and for the bisuits... couldn't find a good recipe online to share, but Bryanna's Vegan Feast Newsletter has an excellent low fat one. Matt used coconut oil (solid at room temp) as a vegan "lard" in Isa'a biscuit recipe. There is a fat free plain "drop scone" in the free archives if you are in need of something that will for sure work in a hurry. Go to Bryanna's page and click "Search this site"...type in "biscuits", it will comp as a choice in the recipe archives. The awesome southern style biscuits are referenced also, but it only mentions that it is in a newsletter.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

VwaV Coconut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce

I don't have the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance anymore, it was taken. Food is now appearing in my kitchen that I did not place there.

This is not a complaint.

I would like to re-introduce you to my son, all 6'3", size 14 shoe of him - Matt, the theif. He made this recipe all by himself. The breakfast plate pictured includes the cookbook recipe, cantaloupe slice and raisins. You see plate one.... I saw it empty and plate two appear.

Chef comment(s): I like the flavor of the coconut, but not the stringiness. If I do this again I want to use the ground coconut that you buy for macaroons.

Although this coconut pancake recipe doesn't appear on the PPK site, here is one that does:
Submitted by Katherine Lubar
a German friend of mine came up with the idea of using carbonated water to make pancakes fluffy - it works amazingly!
Equipment: frying pan
1 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup soya milk
1/3 cup carbonated water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
maple syrup for topping

The pinapple sauce is also in the cookbook, it's not hard. He used a can of crushed pineapple (juice and all) with stevia to sweeten and cornstarch in stead of arrowroot. I used the leftovers for smoothies later in the day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

6.21.06 Midweek Munchies and homemade veg pet food

I found a cute new snackie from Florida's Natural's (LINK to their page). They call them au'some fruit juice nuggets. They are packaged in a cute little juice style carton with a plastic lid that screws off so you can "pour" out the juice nuggest. They contain a day's worth of vitamin C, are gelatin free, and kosher (sugar is in the ingredient list). They pack a powerful juicy taste, almost overwhelming to my tastebuds but my teens loved them. 2/ $1, worth the fun. I bought the four flavor's available: blueberry, orange, strawberry, and apple.

Broccoli, tart cherries (just starting to ripen), kale, edible pod pea and the kind that needs shelled, yellow raspberries (picked the first five yesterday), CAULIFLOWER is starting to harvest and turnips. Thanks for sending rain!

I got a huge box of stuff for $6. Here's a couple of pictures of my favorite things. The mixing bowl is ceramic and has a lid. I used the juicer/slicer gadget to squeeze the key limes and to zest it also


Since I paid for my college class expenses on the credit card, I got a lot of reward points. I purchased an amazon gift certificate with my points. I have been rewarded for my college classes with the following cookbooks. Dreena: Everyday Vegan and Vive Le Vegan. I like these books. Personally I am a die-hard Bryanna fan, but I think that these books will be the perfect ones for my daughter to learn to cook with. I loved reading Dreena's testimony and experiences. A good cookbook is is better to me than the lastest popular fiction novel, I read them like such. I also purchased Isa's, Vegan with a Vengeance. My son will be posting the results of his panckes and pineapple sauce from this book very soon. I have read this book from front to back cover..... REALLY. I enjoy Isa's lively (punk) attitude and the cost saving, easy prep recipes. This one is definitely for my son to learn to cook from. He has already picked out the biscuit with s'sage gravy recipe to make for his supper cooking turn this week.

I am blanching and freezing alot of broccoli this week. I will be making cauliflour/carrot pickles (my daughter and i love these) and waterbath canning them this week. We often eat leftovers for lunches. Breakfast often consists of BAKEHOUSE granola, muffins, or toast and nut butter. Desserts or snack usually are frozen fruit smoothies (lately they've had green added) with a protein boost: This week it is MANITOBA HARVEST hemp protein powder. My jar costed $10 / lb, but it's a nice rotation on protein for a green smoothie (link to recipe)... this powder is green also.

* Broccoli with Bryanna's ched'da style block cheese melted on it and the corn muffins with roasted red pepper that I didn't get made last week
* Dreena's herbed tomato soup with grilled Bryanna cheez sandwich
* Pasta with three color pepper stirfry and a dressing heavy in the hoison sauce (Dreena recipe)
* TVP chucks (b'fy flavored) with a broccoli stirfry over rice
* My Son's Cooking Goal(s): VwaV Biscuits and Gracy with TVP sausage (instead of tempeh) AND the VwaV coconut pancakes with pineapple syrup.
* Homemade Cat Food using chickpeas and TVP (see my comment box under the garden grows and grows) for explanation and recipe

Bakehouse orders: 6 loaves Flax seed and soy bread, 12 raw bars, 15# cinnamon raisin granola, 15# banana nut granola. I'll make the bread and raw bars, (link to recipe) my sister will make the granola for me.

I'm going to be checking into this soon!

For more information about Midweek Munchies contact Harmonia.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Asparagus Quiche and Vegan Baklava

This is a meal that I prepared last week when I was using up the last of my asparagus harvest. Now we are on to broccoli which you'll be seeing several recipes using this veggie soon as I will also be blanching and preparing it for the freezer. More on this later!

For now I have an Asparagus Quiche to share with you. In areas north of me, you may still be able to get some fresh asparagus for quiche, but broccoli would also make a good sub. For this meal I was re-inspired when I saw Melody's (melomeals blog) tofu quiche and got a good giggle out of Kleopatra's comment ("REAL WOMEN EAT TOFU QUICHE."). I found this quiche recipe in Bryanna's Vegan Feast archives (link to her recipe below) and decided to give it a try. I made several changes, like vegan bacon bits instead of the veg canadian bacon option and I used a homemade parmesan made from english walnuts which I also sprinkled on the top of my quiche. Overall I would rank it okay, I like a firmer texture quiche like a pound of regular firm tofu would provide. This one definetely has a creamy smooth texture, good flavor, and will impress. My husband liked it, son wouldn't consider it, daughter said, "It's alright, will you leave me alone so I can eat now!"

NOTE: I have made a form of quiche several times over the years in a variety of ways. My first quiche came from the book called TOFU and SOYFOODS COOKERY by Peter Golbitz. I think of all the quiches I have made I like the one from Peter's book the best which takes firm regular tofu, but I am the only one in my family who does so I guess it's really a personal preference. An interesting note here is that Peter uses many of Bryanna's recipes and I think the quiche from that book is a variation that also came from her.

I served this meal with some fresh edible pod peas (sugar snap variety) and hummous dip (green persian style is my fav with the peas) because I had alot of them. To finish the meal I made Bryanna's ROSEWATER vegan BAKLAVA (link to the blog page this recipe is posted). Mine turned out dark because I used organic sucanat sugar, but it was tastey. We all enjoyed the baklava immensely, but then I usually sarcastically say to the family whenever they rave about fatty, sugary foods, "Yeah, yeah, yeah.... anything full of fat and sugar you love. But it doesn't love you back, so go easy on the dessert!"

(click to link to her recipe in the Vegan Feast Archives)
The quiche needs to be cooled at least to room temperature to be firm.
9" unbaked pie shell
1/2 lb. thin young asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1” pieces on the diagonal, steamed tender or broiled
2 Tbsp vegan bakon bits
1/4 c. dairy-free Parmesan substitute
1/2 c. firm silken tofu (it might form up is med firm regular tofu is used)
1 "chicken-style" vegetarian bouillon cube (or enough for 1 c. liquid), crumbled
1 and 1/2 T. cornstarch plus a pinch of Spanish saffron
1/2 tsp. agar powder (or 1 T. flakes)
a pinch of pepper and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (or 400 degrees F for individual quiches).
Pre-bake the crust (prick all over with a fork) for 5 minutes.
Place the steamed aspargus in the crust. Sprinkle with bakon bits. Blend the remaining ingredients well in the blender and pour over veggies in the crust. Bake 10 minutes, then cover edges of pastry with strips of foil and bake 20 minutes more (or bake individual quiches at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes). The quiche needs to be cooled at least to room temperature to be firm, and keeps well, refrigerated, for a few days. You could also make mini-quiche-tarts with this mixture.

(Link to the recipe in Bryanna's Vegan Feast Recipe Archives, scroll down under PUMPKIN RECIPES, to get to a pastry crust link, double crust recipe also listed there)
This recipe makes a light and tender crust with half wholewheat flour, half the fat of ordinary pastry, and utilizes oil rather than hydrogenated fats or butter. Pure (rather than extra-virgin) olive oil makes an excellent baking fat.

1/2 c. minus 1 T. white cake or pastry flour plus 1/2 c. wholewheat flour


1/2 c. minus 1 T. wholewheat pastry flour plus 1/2 c. unbleached white flour

3/8 tsp. each baking powder, sugar and salt
3 T. soy or nut milk
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the non-dairy milk-lemon juice mixture with the oil. Quickly stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and mix briefly, forming the pastry into a ball. If it's too dry, add cold water just a few drops at a time until it holds together. Don't over-mix or the pastry will be tough.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Brat, Key Lime C/cake, and Asian Salad

Here's the Papa's Day Lunch. We ate under a tree after church before a two hour drive. The Zesty Brats were pretty good. The guys ate their brats on a bun, the girls ate theirs on the side of the pasta salad..... WHY? I dunno, but that's the way it worked. I was amazed at how they grilled, not at all like a rubbery litelife smartdog which bubbles and blisters, but hardly browns.

This was my first experience with limes. I am embarrassed to share this, but I have never "squeezed" a fruit before. This time I did, WHY? A new gadget that makes it easier. After going to a household auction this week, I got an excellent box of goods for $6 (expensive kitchen scissors, awesome jucier/slicer/ dicer, my 4th clay cooker, 2 quality pie pans, a stainless steel pitcher perfect size for a batch of soymilk, sorry I can't go on with further bragging... my concious is beggining to get to me). This dish was not a one day stand. Both of these recipes were adapted from Bryanna's Vegan Feast (link to the recipe in the archives)
Asparagus Time (scroll down for the recipe)
Key Lime Pie (scroll down to August 12, 2003)

Key Lime Cheesecake
(My son LOVED this!)
or pie, depends what kind of dish you put it in. This one is no bake, so it might be good for Leslie in the dessert heat. The key lime flavor is intense.
Crumb Crust:
1 c. graham cracker or vegan vanilla cookie crumbs OR finely-crushed crispy cereal
(I used Ryvita rye crackers)
2 T. melted vegan margarine (Earth Balance is a really good one)
(I used olive oil)
1 T. maple syrup or other syrup
Mix the ingredients well and press into a 9" pie pan, evenly (won't go up the sides all the way-- if you like more crust, make 1 and 1/2 times the crust recipe). Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes, OR microwave at 50 percent power (I have a 900 watt oven) for 2 minutes. Cool thoroughly before filling. (I didn't cook the crust!)
1/2 c. plus 2 T. raw cashews
12.3 oz. box extra-firm silken tofu
2 T. lemon juice
grated zest 2 little limes
pinch salt
3/8 tsp agar powder (OR 2 and 1/4 tsp. flakes)
1/4 c. cold water
Optional: a tiny pinch tumeric (this is for color only)
3/4 c. light unbleached sugar or white beet sugar (I used 3/4 tsp KAL stevia)
1/2 c. key lime juice (I squeezed 4 to get this)
Grind the cashews as finely as possible in a dry food processor. Add the tofu, 2 T. lemon juice, zest and salt. Process for several minutes (be patient!), until it is quite smooth.
Now, soak the agar in the cold water for a few minutes, in a small pot or a microwave-proof bowl. Then cook it, stirring, over medium heat til dissolved, or microwave it in 2 /30 second intervals (stir after first one). Add the sugar to the hot mixture and stir til the sugar dissolves. (NOTE: I added agar to hot boiling water, added the agar and sugar, then let it rest while I prepared the blender ingredients.) Scrape this carefully into the mixture in the processor (try to get it all with a rubber spatula), and add the key lime, or lime and lemon, juice. Process until well-blended. Pour this immediately into the crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Now the Asian Style Noodle Salad...
I enjoyed this very much. The pasta was a multi grain variety penne, a 12 oz box.
I used the last bit of my asparagus in this recipe (gone until next year), but broccoli can also be used and/or even green edible pod peas. Lightly steam veggies while pasta is cooking. (I have a pan that will do this at the same time, but not from the auction I mentioned above). There was about 1 lb of veggies.

To the noodle and veggies mixture add:
1/4 C toasted sesame seeds
3/4 C sliced red pepper (for color)
1/2 C red onion, sliced very thin (opt)

7 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
3 and 1/2 T. dark unbleached sugar
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3 T. water
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili garlic paste
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain well. Mix the Dressing ingredients together well and pour over the noodles. Toss well. Add the green onions, sesame seeds, vegetables, and any Optionals. Toss well. Store in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Garden Grows...

Brussel sprouts, they are small but there.

White kinnebec potatoes, I picked some of these with some red ones for my spanish kale and potato soup.

Kale, lovely.

Zucchini, I have three big lovely plants.

Two sugar snap, edible pea. We have been eating alot of these this week. I libe them dipped in hummous. We made two varieties. The sweet pea with the slightly tart hummous makes a tasty pair.

The Garden Grows and Grows

Roma Tomatoes, Sugar Baby Watermelon, and some of those peas on a plate with two varieties of hummous.

Hey! How did he get in there?

Send rain.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I went to make the spanikopita recipe that I had originally posted in April to use up some of the kale I picked from the garden this week. I discovered that I did not have 2 lbs regular firm tofu (I use white wave organic tofu) to complete it, but only 1 lb. This is my one and only greens time of year and I really wanted spanikopita, so the search for another recipe began. The recipe I used instead was much easier and came from Bryanna of Vegan Feast cookbook called 20 Minutes to Dinner (on p. 103). This recipe took 5 minutes to assemble and 15 minutes for baking at 450 degrees - really!

I did pick the last of my spinach today since it was beginning to go to seed, it gets bitter and tough beyond this stage. Since I had 1/2 a package of phyllo sheets already thawed from the freezer I decided to make mine with the phyllo in an 8x8" dish instead of a pizza crust style and actually only used 1/2 the package I did open (the other 1/2 roll is saved for baklava). To make the filling Bryanna says to use frozen, thawed spinach... I used fresh picked and dipped in boiling water to cook spinach (squeezed dry) AND I also had the opportunity to use fresh dill from my first ever herb box (love it!).

THE RECIPE for the filling I used
12 oz medium firm tofu (not silken)
2 Tbsp light miso
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 lb kale or spinach greens (boiled or steamed soft and squeezed dry), chopped
2/3 C chopped onions (I used dried flakes about 3 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp dry dillweed or 1/4 C chopped fresh
1/2 tsp salt
opt. red pepper slices to decorate the top
Mash all ingredients together (do not blend because the tofu should be slightly chunky

Dori Note: spinach takes a quick dip in boiling water and maybe 1 minute of cooking, tougher greens such a kale take a bit longer, about 3 minutes cook time to get soft. Greens can be frozen after cookinig (I only do this with tougher greens like kale and turnips). I put them in little snack size baggies and then in a freezer bag. Then I just thaw, chop and add to whatever dish I am making.

To assemble the pretty dish you see above I used three phyllo sheets and sprayed each with olive oil before lining the dish (each sheet sprayed and placed in dish individually, since my dish was 8x8 I had to fold the phyllo sheet so the phyllo actually ended up two layers of 6 sheets). I then placed 1/2 the filling and repeated. For the top I took two pastry sheets and cut them up, oil sprayed them, and scrunched before placing them around the edges of my dish to make it look like a thick puffy crust. I layed red pepper slices for looks on the top for looks and they roasted as I cooked the dish so were still yummy to eat.

My daughter made herbed oven fries for the first time and they turned out wonderful too (see pix). They were actually baking at the same time as my spanikopita. She is starting her own blog too and made pineapple sherbert popsicles this week... awesome. I'll post a link to her when she gets her pictures uploaded (SEE MY SIDE BAR THE LINK IS THERE TO HER BLOG!). These popsicles were tofu creamy and and wonderfully tropical with the pineapple.

from the Vegan Feast Free Recipe Archives (August 2004)

My final plate had some spanikopita, potatoes and Persian style green hummous (see recipe link on MwM recipe) on the side. I had a pix of my plate uploaded, but then accidentally deleted it - darn it and now cannot get it back. I wish blogger offered an UNDO button as I have done this many times before.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Big Breakfast Cookies

Here's a little variety on oatmeal. My daughter can't stand oatmeal cooked mushy, but she'll eat it baked into bars, granola, or cookies. This recipe is my own, of which I have many many flavor variations. This flavor happens to be the one I made today.

Speaking of my daughter.... check out her new blog (now linked on my sidebar).

Big Carob Breakfast Cookies with Carob Chips
- but you can use a good cocoa powder and vegan chocolate chips if you like
Recipe makes 14 (about 1/3 cup scoopfuls)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Combine the wet ingredients in a med mixing bowl:
**2/3 cup okara (from one batch of soymilk)
1 1/2 tsp stevia
2 1/4 C water
1/4 flax meal

Combine the dry separately:
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 C carob powder
2/3 C whole wheat flour (or barley if you like)
1/4 t sea salt
1 tsp each baking soda and powder
1/4 C carob chips

Add dry to wet and mix well. Drop by big 1/3 cupfuls onto a lighly oiled baking sheet. Makes 14. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate or freeze what you cannot eat within a day. I love to grab one from the freezer and stick in the toaster oven. I also like to make a spread of cranberry with a vegan creamy spread(like cream cheese) to top... yummy!

These freeze well and I advise make plenty... they are to easy to grab for a fast grab breakfast or even to tuck into a lunchbox.

Breakfast Cookie Variations:
Chai with vegan white chocolate
Almond Apricot
Apple with cinnamon chips (with apple sauce instead of carob)
Lemon with Pistachios
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds (pumpkin mush instead of okara)
Maple Nut (english walnut or pecan)
**NOTE: You can use a little leftover tofu (blended smooth) for the okara or even well mashed leftover cooked legumes, white beans would work well. Make sure the beans are unflavored unless you want a weird variation of carob chip and chili flavored brakfast cookies... a bit to unique for my pallet pleasure.

I made two batches (12 cups worth) of soymilk today and used the okara from both batches in the breakfast cookies ... just make sure the wet ingredients equal to about 3 cups. You can vary the flours (carob, buckwheat, sorghum, spelt, etc), in the maple nut I used buckwheat flour in place of the carob powder, plus 1 tsp maple favoring and 1/3 cup chopped english walnuts. I have made these big cakey cookies many times in the past several years and it is a fun change of pace.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

6.14.06 Midweek Munchies - meal planning

More Indian Food...
Another trip to the Indian Store. I love the idea of this cuisine and have a desire to "master" it someday, so I stopped by for a stock up since I won't have the opportunity to go back for awhile.

The Goods:
8 lb brown basmati rice, 2 lb besan (chickpea) flour, turmeric, asafoetida, garam masala, cardamom ground and green pods, mild curry, black onion seeds, black mustard, black sesame seeds,golden raisins, and apricots. The family LOVED the onion nan, but the store was out of that (darn). Cost: $29.32 I also purchased a clearanced book from Hastings, The Indian Cookbook by Shehzad Husain.

GARDEN HARVEST: Packman Broccoli and Sugar Snap Peas (the sweet edible pod kind). The HR Manager at DH's work came out Tuesday to pick the first ripe tomato and taste it. DH won the earliest tomato contest. (YEAH DH!) Cost: Sweat Equity

The food plan this week (including some recipe links):
MONDAY - Broccoli, Mushroom & TVP Pizza with leftovers including mini pizza crusts and calzones (to keep in the freezer). Pizza served with Sweet and Sour Spinach Salad to which I added some of the chickpeas I have in the frig. I also made Persian Green Hummous (click on link to recipe) as well as tried a recipe of roasted red pepper hummous. The green hummous color is striking on a slice of fresh carrot. The red pepper hummous recipe we tried wasn't impressive to us, I think because we have been used to some that we have purchased commercially. Ours had a very lemony tang that subtracted from the roasted red pepper flavor. For lunch I made up a small pot of a Spicy Split Red Lentil Soup (click on link to recipe)

TUESDAY - carob oatmeal breakfast cookies (see next post), waffles from the freezer and leftover spinach salad, broccoli salad with organic whole wheat pasta salad and grilled tofu

WEDNESDAY -breakfast: chocolate oatmeal with a blackberry smoothie, snack: maple/english walnut breakfast cookie ( next post) LUNCH: more broccoli salad/ shell pasta/ grilled tofu with a lemonade icee, and for supper tonight a chef's style salad using grilled tofu

* Asparagus-Noodle Salad with Sesame (Deborah Madison)
* Vegan Asparagus Quiche (Bryanna) WITH
Red Pepper Corn Muffins (will veganize another recipe for this)
* Seitan shaped like a chik'n brest... DH likes these and they make nice picnic goods
* Spanikopita, make with Kale
* Kale and potato soup (Bryanna)

I am hoping to have leftovers to freeze ahead for fast easy meals later, my freezer stock vanished the past month.

SUNDAY (The Big Day)... After church we will be driving 2 hours to take DD to camp where she will be a junior camp counselor for two weeks. We'll have a cooler to eat lunch on the way. DH wants to stop at the woodsmith store to pick up his FD present on the way home. Supper will be out at new organic restaurant that supports the "buy fresh/ buy local campaign" with DH's brother and wife.

Total purchased cost for food this week: $56.79

For more information about Midweek Munchies contact Harmonia.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Meety Pizza... it must be father's week

Nothing says loving to my DH like a pizza coming out of the oven. It is his absolute favorite!
This week cooking is in honor of him.

Meety Broccoli Mushroom Pizza
This is a remake of a former pizzeria favorite, back in his work two jobs days, one of which was a pizza delivery guy. I was pregnant at the time and fell in love with broccoli, a veggie I did not eat growing up. I craved mushroom broccoli pizza's and DH would order one for me and drop it by on his breaks. He liked burger on his, but learned to like the mushroom broccoli too.

Today, I made a typical whole white (golden 86) wheat bread dough for the crust , but since I used my Bosch Univeral to make 3 loaves worth of bread I had enough to do calzones and mini pizza crusts ahead for freezing.

The secret to great pizza crusts is to allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator, roll the cold dough out for topping and then pop it into a hot oven. It will give that big bubbly kind of pizzeria crust that way. Make sure you find a pizza crust dough recipe you like though, I don't like heavy crusts - It's worth the experimenting. Bryanna offers a nice one in her high fiber cookbook.

Although I have a good homemade sauce, I used a canned varity that we enjoy in this one. Since DH loves a meety pizza I used B**fy Flavored TVP. This is easy to do, my seasonings were based off of a Bryanna veggie burger recipe. Here's my recipe:
Add the following to micro safe container:
1 3/4 C water
1/4 C soy sauce water
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp marmite (the secret to the wonderful flavor)
1 tsp kitchen bouquet
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powderto a boil
Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes until boiling. Add 2 Cups TVP, stir and allow to rehydrate for 5 minutes. That's all, it's ready to use for the pizza or calzones. This may cause some bean type reactions (gasiness) . A cup of hot fennel tea following the meal healps for me, for DH Beano works wonders.

I also added steamed broccoli (from our garden) and some fresh sliced mushrooms. On this BIG pizza (this pan is 16 onches wide) I made a WHOLE batch of Bryanna's Gruyere cheese, froze it and shredded it over the top. It melted and browned very well, see the top picture for proof. I actually stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes, it browned just a tad bit more than I wanted, but was still scrumptious.

A big batch of dough also makes several mini pizza doughs or calzones that can be decorated in any way one wants. Even with vegan cheese available I often like my pizza's without. The one pictured is my mini 4" pizza with sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, red pepper, purple onion, garlic granules and vegan parmesan sprinkles. I like to dip it in extra sauce, warmed. Sometimes I add crumbled marinated and grilled tofu if I have leftovers.

All pizza's freeze well (cooked with toppings and all), but it is best to reheat them in the oven to get it good and crispy again.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Fresh Spinach Salad and the Garden

Saturday we took a nice trip to the science center in Des Moines for the Titanic exhibit and Imax theatre movie, was a neat experience. If it ever comes to a science center near you, I'd recommend it. We were given boarding passes before entering the exhibit and actually viewed ship parts and personal pieces that were recovered from the ocean floor. We learned about the construction of the ship, different passengers, and the grandness of the boat (first class passengers paid the = of $43,000 for a ticket). We even touched an iceburg. At the end we learned whether the person named on our boarding pass lived or died. I was a female in 3rd class who boarded with my husband and two male friends. I was not allowed to room with my husband because third class rooms were separated by sex regardless of marital status. I lived, my husband and two male friends (business associates) died. The science center did an outstanding job of helping us understand the experience. They wouldn't allow cameras.

With all the spinach I've been taking I thought I'd share a few recipe ideas. (pix: sink full of my garden spinach)

Sweet and Sour Spinach Salad
1 lb spinach leaves
1 - 8 oz can of water chesnuts
1/2 C sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C pineapple chucks
1/2 C garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 C thinly sliced purple onion
1 Tbsp sesame or sunflower seeds

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp sea salt

Vegetarian Sukiyaki
1 large white onion sliced
1/2 lb seitan (or grilled marinated tofu or bean of choice)
1/2 lb pkg sliced mushrooms
12 oz fresh spinach, sliced to 1" thick peices (this looks liek alot, but it will cook down considerably)
8 oz can water chesnuts or bamboo shoots
4 oz buckwheat, mung bean or wheat noodle of choice, COOKED
Have all ingredients chopped and ready when you begin, inclusing the sauce.
Make the sauce by combining:
1/4 C tamari or soy sauce
1/4 sugar or a scant 1/4 tsp KAL stevia
1/2 C water
2 T sherry
Now, in a large lightly oiled HOT non stick skillet or wok add the onion, mushrooms, water chesnuts, and spinach. This is not a stir fry, so pour the sauce over it all and when the sauce is bubbling stir lightly. Allow it to cook a few minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked and everything is hot. Add the noodles, stir lightly and pour onto a plate. Serve immediately.

And the garden...
Dave just sent the following pictures to Human Resources Dept at his work as an entry to an employee contest for the earliest ripening tomato. He also snapped a picture of the garden with his winning early tomato. The corn is doing well.

(pictures taken 6-11-06)