Wednesday, May 31, 2006

5.31.06 Midweek Munchies

Last Thursday when I was shopping I was driving along my normal shopping stop path when I looked to my left and found a new store NAMESTE INDIAN FOODS, it is a small grocer with kitchen, but the kitchen was not open yet. I was so happy to have been able to find rosewater, finally! I can now make the Rosewater Baklava on Bryanna's blog... well I will when this class is over. I also found black salt, dried mint leaves, ground cardamom at a good price as well as whole cardamom (i love this spice), indian naan bread, rose sirup, and twp prepared heat and eat box mixes: alu muttar and channa masala. I hope these have authentic flavors even though boxed mix won't come close to real fresh prepared food.

Here is a great link on Indian Food, that includes restaurant etiquette. I thought it was neat, so I am posting a link. FOOD INDIA LINK

ALSO, I had to eat out once last week. The Indian Palace (the place I wanted to go) was closed for the day, the sign on the door said "family emergency", so I went around the block to a little greek restaurant. I got a huge pita with falafel and hummous and veggies/ pineapple choices were available in a salad bar. It was a one person kitchen and only open for 2 1/2 hours at lunch and supper time only. I spent less than five dollars for a self dressed pita and a peice of baklava. There were four wonderful variations of the baklava, I got one that used maple syrup and mgarine, it was coated with shredded wheat and had carmelized like nuts in the center. As I was waiting in line to order, the person behind me said that the owner/server/prep cook made the pitas and baklava herself, she can only make so many so once they are gone - that's it! I felt priviledged. The inside eating area was small, so I went outside and ate at the little tables on the sidewalk in front.

I also made a b**f style seitan roast on Monday (no class this day). I freeze portions so one roast lasts awhile. I like these for a fast meals and will be using some for AU JUS style sandwiches this coming weekend. This is DH's favorite meal. I can't say I crave meat when I make this, but I sure do like them for their ease of preparation as well as versatility in cooking. I also like that I can make a whole 5 lb roast for less than $2 and that is including the most expensive of flavor variations. Making it myself helps me stretch dollars and get a good variation of protein. My next post will be about seitan roast.

I miss having the time to read and respond to my favorite food blogs to my hearts content, try new foods, be at home... next week is my last week away for this class. However, I have been able to partcipate in a spectacular multicultural education program at an inner city elementary school, the teacher of this after school program won teacher of the year award last year... I was priveledged to see why. I have gained much understanding about the global world our children will be/ are living in.

For more information about Midweek Munchies contact Harmonia.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Quinoa/ Barley/ Oat Muffin and Cookie Recipes

I thought some rotational diet people might like these vegan muffin and cookies. Last year I make 10 dozen of each for a college "gift basket" order, they have a growing vegan student body there and as a local vegan baker I had the privledge. They liked them. The pictures posted here are from an order I did at the beginning of May.

MUFFINS: To the right you will see peach nutmeg muffins, cinnamon crumble top, and a chocolate chocolate chip cooling on racks. I am including a muffin recipe that uses quinoa and barley flour at the bottem of this post.

The cookie dough pictured on the left is a basic sugar cookie. A little lower you will see the basket of finished cookies. there were 120 packs of three cookies made, that is 36 dozen. I got called the trio vanilla, carob, and twist (vanilla with carob chips). I am including an allergy rotation (barley and oat flour) comfort cookie recipe at the bottem of this post. I used this combination of flour for a previous order, you really can't tell a difference between the wheat flour and the flour combination I used below for this recipe. I used to sell these cookies at the coffee house and still could if my sis would learn how to make them for me. Make sure that the flax whip is whipped well.

Also, not only are these rotational diet friendly, they are yummy and good for general variety in your diet. (Note: These are not gluten free.) Also... a interesting use of quinoa in the muffins.

Quinoa Oat Blender Muffins (link to recipe)
You can even do all sorts of good or nasty (sweet and fattening) things to make them as rich or as diet friendly as you like. I like this because it is easy to throw all the ingredients into the blender at once, mix, and pour into muffin cups to bake. I prefer using brown earth friendly muffin cups for low fat muffins because they are non-stick, otherwise low fat muffins stick horribly. These muffins have a slightly dense texture with a nutty flavor common in quinoa dishes.
Mix in blender about three minutes on high, until smooth:
1 C whole quinoa grain
2 C water
2 Tbsp flax meal
3 Tbsp safflower oil
1/2 C sucanat sugar or unrefined
1/2 tsp KAL stevia extract powder (OR use 1 C sugar total sugar and no stevia)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Then add to blender bowl and mix with a long wooden spoon:
1 Cups quick oats
1 Cup currants
Pour into lightly oiled muffin cups, fill full. Makes 12 - Reynolds 3 1/2 " (med) foil cups. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. COok on a rack. Store in a sealed bag in the freezer if not eaten within a day. Allow to thaw naturally before eating OR microwave 25 seconds straight from freezer.

Vegan Barley/ Oat KoKo Bit Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make flax whip in a blender or a cup with a handheld mixer.
Flax Whip, blend until thick and gloppy: 1/4 C water, 1 Tbsp Ener-g egg replacer, and 1 Tbsp brown flax seed. Then mix the following in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy: 1/2 C soy margarine or earth balance, 1 c turbinado unrefined sugar or sucanat, 1 tsp vanilla, and the flax whip. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl: 1 C barley flour, 1/2 C oat flour or quick oats ground in a dry blender, 1/4 C carob powder OR cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking power, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients by hand and stir in 1/4 C chips of choice (peanut butter, nuts, currants, or koko bits). Drop into 1 1/2 Tbsp dough onto insulated cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, allow to cool on the cookies sheet 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fiesta Friday!

This is the big celebration weekend in which we are celebrating DS with a taco buffet. We hosted a family potluck in which other dishes were added to what I prepared. I provided what you see in the picture: taco'd lentils (see MwM entry), spicy refried beans, shredded romaine lettuce (lg bowl), corn cut into peices, grape tomatoes, green peppers, onions, black olives, sweet mustard dressing (yellow container), homemade taco sauce (red container), and corn chips. A salad I made from memory (and improvised) turned out so well I'm going to share it. My sister-in-law asked for the recipe and said that she really enjoyed it.

Here it is:
Cut kernels off one 7-8 inch ear of corn into a bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients.
1 1/2 C black beans
1 C garbanzo beans
1 C diced sweet red peppers
1 C diced sweet green pepper
1/2 finely minced onion
To 3/4 C of my sweet mayo dressing add 2 Tbsp taco flavoring powder (like the kind you would add to 1 lb of meat). Mix well and stir into veggie bean mix. Allow to sit for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

I added this salad to the top of my shredded romaine lettuce and placed guiltless gourmet chips, black olives, and a slice of corn on the side. I enjoyed sweet mustard dressing (check on the sweet mayo dressing link above for recipe) on the side. DS also got to pick the sweet treat on the Friday meal. He chose white and chocolate cupcakes with big frosting. We stuck grad hats in them. I used a Bryanna (see side bar) recipe to make these and tubed on the frosting. I also didn't get much sleep Thursday night.

It was worth it. We had a nice time visiting with DH's family. Now we will do it again tommorrow after church with my family and friends in our town. DS is getting lots of attention and presents.

One other item of note. Our cat has not returned, but I am almost postive his son was brought to us today (it has the same exact 'M' on the forehead that our cat had). A neighbor came over with the kitten and let us know that they are pretty sure our cat had been visiting their cat frequently. They also think that he may have been hit by a car. Well, here is our dog's new pal... baby Tiger.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend blogger friends!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

5.24.06 Midweek Munchies and Taco Party

Want to know more about , check out Harmonia's Hut.

The yellow translucent tupperware bowl does not give this pretty salad the justice I feel it deserves. This is one of my favorite spring salads using fresh broccoli. I like to cut my veggies and fruits in to small peices (a little less than 1/2"), however this picture makes it look like they might be smaller than that. This salad has broccoli, red apple chopped, a little bit if thinly sliced purple onion, currants and sunflower seeds. The dressing is my sweet mayo dressing (scroll down until you see this recipe).

SHOPPING: This Friday I will be hosting a Taco Buffet party on my DH's side and then once again on Sunday for my side of the family. The party is to honor my son who was accepted to a computor networking and technology program. He is now at the end of his homeschooled years and will be semi-independant, staying with his grandparents Monday night through Thursday night and coming home on weekends and days there is no school. This picture is the one we used on his party announcement exclaming, WOW I got accepted!

I will be shopping tommorrow evening on my way home to pick up the goods for both parties. One thing that I think might be shareworthy is my TACO LENTILS recipe. It originally came from a Light and Tastey Magazine several years ago. I tried it and the family really enjoys this. I have made soy taco meet before with TVP, but the family prefers the lentils better.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Away from home meal plan...

Foods that I ended up bringing with me for the three nights away from home. I broiled tofu that was sprayed with soy sauce and sprinkled with Nature's seasoning until it was browned and chewy. I have been using this on sandwiches made with my flax and soy bread, I ate my last sandwich tonight. I took a picture of the broiled tofu, but it is on my home computor and I am at the college library... you might notice my MwM was predated, I wrote it this past weekend.

B: Monday I had a banana oatmeal with maple syrup and pecan breakfast... yummy and it kept me good until lunch. Tuesday and Wednesday, I had/ will have banana slices on my homemade flax and soy bread drizzled with homemade maple syrup (it's actually leftover syrup from making the granola that I sell at the coffee house.... my sister has been making the Bakehouse granola for me the past year. Thursday morning.... I'll stop at Brugger's bagels, there is one down the street and buy a coffee.

L: Tofu sandwiches on my flax and soy bread with either broccoli or shredded carrot salad and a vegan dark chocolate. Wednesday I will have a chipotle black bean burrito - awhile back I made a bunch and froze them so that I could take them out and nuke them (or thaw and heat) as I needed. I only had one left in the freezer, but wish I would have had more. Thursday I am going to Cafe' Diem Coffee House for a grilled black bean patty (vegan) on a whole grain bun (YEAH! - I just discovered they had these) for lunch and I'll probably stop at a farmer's market in Des Moines on my way home and see what kind of good food I can find.

S: I brought leftover barley mushroom soup and had it with a sandwich and salad last night and tonight. Wednesday for supper I will have to go out to eat. I'm going to brave it on my own .... I've been asking around to find out where the best indian food is.

There is an African restaurant in town. I have never attempted this one before....I am going to stop in tomorrow to get a menu so that I can go in "semi- intelligent".

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What's up ?!

Trip to Harvey Floral for garden goods: Chives, cilantros, basil, and fern leaf dill along with two packages of seed (kale and sugar snap peas), brussell sprouts, butter crunch lettuce, packman broccoli, and snow ball cauliflower with two nanking cherry bushes

Here are my heritage raspberry plants. We like this kind because they are easy - just mow them over at the end of the year and they come back up the next. To the right my rhubarb plants. I am collecting a large file of recipes for which to use this buckwheat relative vegetable in.

5-20-06 Today I spent most of last night and today in the garden. Things are coming up nicely.

Pix 1: Onions, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflour, brussel sprous, lettuce. Green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, and sugar baby watermelon was planted today.

Pix 2 sweet peas coming up. The fencing was added this week. The little row is sweet breakfast radish in front of the peas.

Picture 3: Spinach, turnips, broccoli and cauliflower (again) and the pea fencing towards the back.

We put out some tomatoes and peppers. The red tile protect them as well as offer the plant some extra support. We will cage these. I put grass clippings around my plants so that the ground will retain moisture during dryer spells, the grass does not touch the actual plant or root though... it could cause problems if it did.

I also have an order of RAW BARS to fill again. I came home to discover the message. This is an order of two dozen, since it is such a small order I accepted it and will have one of my kids deliver on Monday.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ecclectic Friday

This is going to be an ecclectic post of a variety of vegan and garden food happenings. I got home yesterday afternoon and discovered Dave had found a bunch more morrel mushrooms. There weren't as many this time, but they were big. I am making mushroom barley stew with these, there was a little over a pound this time. The stew also has carrots, celery, and black eyed peas. It comes from Bryanna's Fiber For Life Cookbook. I've made it before and DH likes it too, but DS hates mushrooms and wants nothing to do with "that poison". I plan on serving it with the remainder of that Earthworks (locally made in Ames) Kalamata Olive Roasted Red Pepper sourdough bread that I bought at Wheatsfield Grocery. This stuff is divine! I made kalamata olive sourdough bread like this once, but it was duirng a time that I had time to "babysit" a starter and remember to refresh it. It's not hard work, but does take some thought and effort. I'd like to get a starter going again, but this is unlikely until after January.

I was so happy to see that I have some baby spinach ready to pick from my garden so my plan is to have this for lunch tommorrow. I am really looking forward to one of my favorite spring soups, Spanish Kale and Potato. I think this soup is very pretty using red baby potatoes which can be harvested at the same time as the kale, but I have to wait a few more weeks for this though. What got me to thinking about this is that I have to thin my turnip greens tommorrow. I am thinking of using them in another soup in Bryanna's 20 minutes to Dinner Cookbook called Beans and Greens. She says it is a Tuscan-style Italian dish that may become a staple before long. I think I will make the pasta separate and spoon the soup over it so that the leftovers won't have pasta that soaks up all the liquid. I'll probably freeze some of these soups in serving size portions for later eating.

I'm not sure what I will be taking with me for my Monday - Thursday stay yet. I'm getting tired of muffins... the ones I thought would be easy enough to take again next week. Perhaps I'll try a breakfast burrito or a breakfsat cookie... in a previous Bryanna newsletter she did a breakfast biscotti, it looked delish. I'll let you know what I chose for the next MwM entry.

On a another note, I made 7 jars of GRAINY APRICOT MUSTARD tonight (after allowing ingredients to set out for a couple of weeks before pureeing, this takes the hot off of them). I haven't made this recipe before, but I really want to have some of this with something. Maybe a turkey style seitan would be the best with it and then I could make a sandwich or two to take with me. Perhaps this week I'll take the george grill instead of the crockpot then I can grill a fast slab of tofu or this seitan. I love grilled onions on the george!

I added the following link and a few pictures to my MwM entry prior to this one.
DRIED POTATO SOUPS (instant and family style link to recipes)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

5.17.06 Midweek Munchies and Instant Potato Soup

Want to know more about , check out Harmonia's Hut.

I am in the middle of my stay away from home and will be living like this fpr the next three weeks, but will be home to have supper on Thursday. I have access to a refrigerator and the ability to take my lunch and snacks with me... microwave access at lunchtime also, money and dietary preference PLUS.

Here's my food travel log:
I baked a batch of bran muffins and will have two of these for breakfast each morning along a fresh fruit (apple, pear, or orange), coffee, and soymilk. Snack will be a mocha flavored Genisoy bar each day with an herbal tea or a stop at the coffee house to read school work and sip.

Monday and Tuesday lunch and supper was the same exact foods.
Lunch: brown lentil stew, a homemade baked oatmeal bar (minus the fruit/topped with stevia sweet stewed rhubarb) bottle of water and an orange
Supper: Bread crumb coated baked tofu sticks (cooked and refrigerated before I left home), pizza sauce to dip in, quinoa macaroni curried pasta salad, and cooked greenbean/ caluiflour mix seasones with shallot pepper.

I brought my crockpot. Wednesday's plan is a package of my bakehouse Dried Mushroom Potato Soup (link to recipe) mixture in the crockpot so that I can have it for both lunch (with a peice of fruit and carrots/celery), supper (maybe I'll stop at a little organic store in town (wheatsfield grocery) and get a couple of organic fig cookies, they have these in a jar at the checkout for 27 cents each). I'll probably finish it off for lunch on Thurday before heading home. Since it is a packaged dry mix it is an excellent traveling food and can be made in individual portions to be able to take with you... add boiling water, cover and come back to eat in 15 minutes. It's really tastey too!

For that European dinner I made something I've never even heard of before. Rae at Bunnyfoot blog posted a haggis recipe. I Saw, I prepared, and I enjoyed! It allowed me to use up the last of the morrell mushrooms DH found last week. The family was happy that I liked it and then filled their plates with other foods. I placed Tbsp's of the leftovers into a small pasta wrap (empanada style) and baked crispy. The family loved this! Note to self: Anything in a pasta wrap baked crispy is good, serve with homemade BBQ sauce. (picture of haggis empanadas to be posted Friday)

Since I will be doing this for the next three weeks I will need to plan what I will cook this weekend for next weeks meals. I plan to make a "ham" seitan roast on Friday, so I know I will have some leftovers of that to bring with me. Potatoes sound good, maybe even a spring potato salad. A broccoli salad also sounds divine, maybe with some chopped up apple. I like having the muffins for breakfast, so I'll probably do this again.

There are several Indian restaurants in town. I have have never experienced this kind of place. Any suggestions for what I may find there or might like to try eating.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Split Red Lentils

Happy Mother's Day. My family fixed me a great breakfast this morning. Tofu scramble with mushrooms and red pepper, orange segments, and whole grain toast with organic bilberry jam. I hope all my mom friends were treated extra special today also. Monday morning I will be out of town for a class I need to take, but will be back home on Thursday. I am registered to take 15 credit hours at ISU to complete between now and September when I student teach. I will still eat and still have a family to cook for, but you'll see more planning ahead. Here's some food that has been on my thoughts to share with you. Enjoy!

I got the idea from Catherine of Albion Cooks and then found that Isil from Turkey was on the same wave that week. I added cauliflower, carots, green peas and *1/4 C currants (* it just seemed like the right thing to do for someone like me of a european decent), plus 3 Tbsp dried cilantros, and salted it (but my veggie broth is not salty).... either way I liked the seasonings. The family tasted but decided it was not good for more than 1/2 cup serving and that was just trying it to please me. They are not familiar with the seasonings used (yet) but I liked it. I liked best that it was fast(20 minutes) and made enough for about 4 servings which is not overwhelming if I am the only one eating it. Despite the family vote I liked this and will make it again even if just for me (maybe they just need more exposure to the cumin flavor ouside of chili).

Since I'd like to learn to use them more...
"These need only about 20 minutes to cook into a thick soup or curry. . . They also taste wonderful cooked Indian-style with caramelised onions and garlic, peppery mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin." I'd like to find out if I think this is true. Reference

Red Split Lentils have a low "digestible carb" content, contain several vitamins and minerals and are a good source of dietary fiber which helps protect against digestive disorders and disease. According to at least one clinical diet study, an eating-plan rich in beans can help patients with either type 2 or type 1 diabetes to reduce their daily insulin intake. Due to their high soluble fiber content (inc. gums, beta glucans, pectin), legumes are digested very slowly, are thus low on theglycemic index, and help maintain stable blood glucose levels and healthier glucose metabolism. Reference

Here are more recipes to some links that I am looking forward to trying soon. If anyone else tries them before me I'd love to know what you think of them!
Sweet and Sour Red Lentils by Madhur Jaffrey, from Flavours of India
Red Lentil Balls from the Vegan Society
Red Lentil and Spinach Stew from the Vegan Society
Kate's Vegan Cookery Site , nice place to visit

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

5.10.06 Midweek Munchies and Raw Bars

<--- The Bakehouse tour is up on my side bar!
I am preparing my next buying club order due today, but it won't be delivered for two weeks as it goes on a four week cycle. I've been busy filling that bakehouse order I mentioned last week so I haven't had much time to think ahead for family meal planning yet. And of important meal planning note this Saturday we are having guests who have traveled to Europe over to help my homeschoolers gain an understanding of Europe. We will be having a traditional European meal (with a little renaissance flair for history purposes). I am planning on savory "meat" pies (vegan of course), root vegetable & cabbage soup, some sort of oatmeal scone with a rhubarb sauce.... I'll blog it, but it may take me a few days. Here's a list of how food was used in our family recently...
  • Last week fast meals centered around a seitan roast in which I cut off portions for a variety of fast meals. I cooked the seitan roast in the crockpot as I have done previously, but this time I left the remaining cooking broth in the slow cooker, added a little water (just enough so that the cooking loquid is still flavorful) and cooked potatoes cut into long 1/8 slivers, extra onions and baby carrots to have with the seitan for supper. I'll post more this week about the variety of meals I made with the roast (I have pictures).
  • I discovered the joy of red split lentils and a wonderful soup I made from it (more on this later also), I also checked out Isil's from Turkey's site and found a "real" middle eastern red split lentil recipe using traditional cultural ingredients.
  • Since I still have a few packages of green beans from last year in the freezer these were good for a couple fast stir fries. One I especially liked included cooked chickpeas, mushrooms, red and yellow peppers with a sprinkle of ozark seasoning from Penzey's and soy sauce.
  • I made a batch (6 loaves) of dense and nutritious whole grain flax and soy bread for the family to munch on for the week in my BOSCH Universal and grain mill. There are times I like a good dense loaf and times I like a lighter one, I make bread both ways depending on the occassion. This bread happened to include soy flour and okara (leftover from making soymilk).
PREVIEW of what I'm doing this week.....
This is a large 1 1/2 gallon Tupperware Thats-A-Bowl full of what I call a really raw bar (aka: better than fudge). This is for that order I talked about last week. There is enough here for 134 / 2-2.5 oz portions (we get 14 of them to eat) here, but I mixed it up in double recipe batches otherwise it would be impossibleto deal with. I have a digital scale and measure them to be exactly 2 oz for the coffee house I sell in, but for this order I decided to mash them into a 1/4 measuring cup which is about perfect in weight also. This recipe was originally made in 2002 for one of my customers who ate a raw only diet to take with him while biking. He shared them with his friends and they loved them. Organic Raw Bars have been rather popular for my bakehouse work ever since.

Here's my recipe (it does include honey, but you can change this to whatever liquid sweetener you prefer). My honey comes from a small local harvester and fellow organic veggie and fruit grower. This recipe makes 16 - 2 oz portions with a little leftover for immediate eating.

2 Cups Organic Rolled Oats
1 C shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 C ground flax seed (brown or gold)
1/2 C dried currants
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
1/2 C carob powder
1/3 C natural nut butter
1 C really raw honey preferably raised by a local organic farmer
Mix all together really well. Portion into small servings. 2 oz is to much for me at one time, but seems to make my son and DH happy, it is also a good size to sell at the coffee house.

Want to know more about , check out Harmonia's Hut.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Spring Rhubarb and Strawberrries

Since I have completed my Fall 2006 classes (8 credit hours), my kitchen and me get a chance to have quality time together. Here's a journal entry of what we did together...

I have a good amount of rhubarb this spring and then will have more again in this fall. Rhubarb is a tart veggie and one that many will say they don't like. I am one who always told my children that if they try something they are not allowed to say, "I don't like a (food like rhubarb) that," but they can say, "I don't care for it prepared this way." This allowed me great freedom in preparing foods in many different ways without hearing that they don't like one ingredient.... I don't like baking soda either (it's nasty), but when prepared correctly in various dishes - it's wonderful.

RHUBARB (link for great information about this tart veggie)

* 9" prepared pie crust or graham cracker crust of choice
(I use crunched up Ryvita crackers to form my own ryw crust, a moist dish likes this makes the cracker crumbs moist so that they stay together and is the filling is sweet the crumb crust will not stand apart to change that flavor.) Save some craker crumbs for the top if desire. I also use an 8x8 square baking dish.
Filling: 4 C rhubarb, diced, 1 1/2 tsp KAL stevia, 1/2 tsp orange extract ot orange zest, 1/4 C unbleached organic wheat flour (or other starch flour of choice)... Combine this with 1 C commerically prepared soy sour cream or your own homemade silken tofu style sour cream. Place filling onto crust, sprinkle with topping if desired. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven for 30 - 45 minutes (until filing is set in the center).

I preserved this using home canning. This recipe made 6 half pint jar fulls with about 1/2 left for sampling and putting in the frig for immediate use.
3 cups finely dices rhubarb
2 C rice vinegar
2 C chopped sweet onion
2 tsp KAL stveia extract powder
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 C dried currants
1 tsp allspice
Bring to a boil, simmer 30 minutes. Water bath process 10 minutes to preserve.

Strawberries in my area come in at the end of May in small quantities at first, so a good way to stretch the few berries (not enough for a full dish) is to combine them with rhubarb since that is the time the final large pickings of rhubarb will be taken as it's growth will slow down with the warmer temperatures. I plowed over my strawberry bed last year in order to start fresh again this year (which means a small supply of berries, but they will be back again next year). Fortunately I have a good supply source of organic fresh strawberries and this week I got a bargain on them.

Here's an excellent low fat crust using olive oil and soured soymilk from the Vegan Feast Recipe Archives. I used agar to "gel" my pie and it worked wonderfully once the pie cooled in the refrigerator. My pie was also made using stevia, the no calorie herbal calorie free sweetener. First, preheat oven to 400 degrees and dice rhubard finely, slice strawberries thinly to get about 6-7 cups of fruit (a little more strawberries than rhubarb), add 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 tsp stevia extract powder(to taste), and 1 1/2 tsp agar powder. Mix well, pour into 9" prepared pie crust, bake approx. 45 minutes (with a pan underneath to be safe... mine didn't spill over). Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator. NOTE: It will be very runny untilrefrigerated the agar melts while baking and then sets the pie while refrigerating.

Here's a variation of Bryanna's Rustic Rhubarb Cake (p. 174) from the Fiber for Life Cookbook. I spread half the wet mixture on the bottom of the pan, spread on a stevia sweetened strawberry rhubarb mixture (same stuff I used for the pie without the agar), and dalloped the remaining wet mixture over the top. On the individual serving we drizzled a sweetened soy yogurt over it. Also, I make the cake mixture almost sugar free by using onlt 2 Tbsp sugar and subbing stevia for the remainder. I do this out of habit with most sweet things that I make for our family because I have a hypoglycemic family member.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Quinoa Burgers

I have had this recipe for quite awhile in my basket, but since I have never been into quinoa much before now so it just sat there . Today, it's time in the public eye has come. This recipe originated from a booklet that I downloaded from the internet several years ago called "Soymilk and Okara Recipes" (c) by Vickilynn Haycraft 2003. For this recipe I used okara which is left over from making soymilk in my soyajoy soymilk maker, but I believe that any well mashed cooked legume could work just as well. The burger turned out nice and firm, a nice quality that I haven't seen in bean burgers I have tried previous. Plus it also uses quinoa, which I happened to have an abundance of right now. I have been turned off by quinoa a little in the past because I had to pay $4-5 /lb for it, but I got a five pound bag of organic for $9.76 from my buying club.

In the picture I tried to show the wet mixture in the bowl as well as the cooked burger in the pan. DH has never expressed much liking for any bean based burger I have made before, but he gave a thumbs up to this one. It smells good while it's cooking. Here's my version of the recipe (I veganized it and played with the seasonings of the original recipe): 1 C cooked quinoa, 1 C okara (or mashed beans), 1/3 C flaxmeal and energ egg replacer whipped (or 2 egg whites), 1/4 cup tomato based sauce, 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 1/2 tsp garlic granulated, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 2 Tbsp horseradish, 1 C bread crumbs, 3 Tbsp, 1/4 C green chiles (I used chopped leeks), 3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten (opt), salt and pepper to taste. Shape into 4 1/2" patties and pan cook until browned and firm... thay will firm more when left set to cool for about 5 minutes. I ate mine in a lettuce leaf with homemade ketchup and homemade mustard with an onion and pickle slice. DH ate his in between two slices of wheat bread.

The next day I ate this burger on whole grain bread with a sauteed seasoned mushroom and onion topping and shredded vegan gruyere (see my previous post for the seasoned mushrooms recipe "mushroom heaven").

Friday, May 05, 2006

Breakfast Snacking Cake & Mushrooms

What an unlikely combination, but I didn't eat the two together.
I got the idea for this breakfast cake from the gingerbread baked oatmeal posted by Fiber at 28 Cooks. I used what I had on hand and basically totally remade it keeping only the use of oatmeal and cracked 7-grain cereal mix the same. Mine is sugar/ molasses free and tropical in anticipation of warmer weather.

Here's my take on it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry in a medium mixing bowl:
1 1/2 C rolled oats, 1 1/2 C cracked grain cereal mix, 1 Tbsp baking power, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp or more cinnamon. Combine in blender 1 1/2 C soymilk & 1/4 C flax seed and 1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer until thickened. Add and blend again 1/2 C unsweet applesauce, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 3/4 tsp KAL brand stevia extract powder (or to taste) or 3/4 to 1 C sweetener of choice. Add 1 cup crushed tropical fruit (or pineapple), stir until combined. Pour into an 8x8 pan. Bake 45 minutes. It is a moist bar, but does an okay job of staying together.

I won't call this dish a dessert for a sweety tooth family, but it sure made a nice breakfast / snack for me today. Perhaps I should use this blog entry as a food confession diary - I ate the whole pan of this today mostly by myself, except for three peices. However, this pan of goodies and various veggies is all I ate today for meals and quick grab snacks while I was mowing our yard and the fields. I need to do something "real" for meals tommorrow.

Also, about those morrell mushrooms - this was sure yummy. I placed sliced morrell mushrooms into the slowcooker, (about 1 1/2 - 2 lb worth, 8 Cups worth), 2 large onions sliced thinly into 2" strips, 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 1/4 C soy sauce, and 1/4 C red wine, 4 tsp Bills Best b**fy flavor powder, and 1 C water. I cooked them several hours and then left the lid off and allowed it to continue cooking until some of the liquid cooked off. I served some on top of a boca burger with shredded vegan gruyere on whole grain bread.... ummm, WOW! I wish I had a picture but I just couldn't hold back.

I've also added the mushrooms sauteed in various tofu scrambles. DH likes them sauteed in butter with a bready crust. I will always make a pan like I did above and even purchase regular fresh storebrand mushrooms just to have more again, but for awhile we'll have little frozen baggies from this load of morrell. I think I'll go with DH next time, a walk in the woods sounds fun even if we don't find anything.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

5.3.2006 Midweek Munchies and Vegan Nutrition

This is my version of a "hungry planet" personalized picture. I took a picture of my Thursday buying club and shopping trip. This week I will not be purchasing much after spending around $275 on food related shopping last Thursday. Cooking and methods of preservation: 2 Refrigerators, electric stovetop convection oven, 3 freezers, toaster oven, crock pot, rice cooker, soymilk maker, gas BBQ grill, automatic bread machine, home cannning equipment and jars, etc....

Here you see:
1 bag * millet puffs cereal
1 lb * lima beans
2 lb * pinto beans
5 lb each *red split lentils, white quinoa, and currants
12 bags * guiltless gourmet corn chips
2 loaves sliced * whole grain wheat bread
5* locally grown sweet potatoes
5 * russet baking potatoes
10 quarts Wildwood plain soy yogurt
6 # White Wave r/f firm tofu
1 pkg smart life veggie dogs
3 large leeks
3 lb * sweet onions
8 lb * strawberries
6 heads * romaine lettuce
3 lb * baby carrots
fresh * Locally grown sage (mariposa farms)
12 rolls enviro friendly toilet paper and a 48 oz mouthwash
6 boxes brown muffin papers
96 oz box ECOVER environment friendly laundry detergent (37 loads)

BRAGGINGS!! DH went mushroom hunting Tuesday (left work a bit early) and brought us home a bounty-close to 10 lb's of morrell.

Still working on this.... it will include something with morrell mushrooms and strawberries for sure though. Things I have seen on other blogs and been "hankering" include: spicy split red lentil soup (for strength), curried red lentils with cauliflower, falafels, and still looking for something that inspires me to use up some adzuki beans.

* I'll be cleaning and opening up the Bakehouse this coming week because I have my first spring time order of the year to deliver on May 11th for 12 dozen Raw Bars, 12 dozen vegan whole grain organic muffins, and 36 dozen vegan whole grain organic comfort cookies. This order is a part of a finals week "survival pack" for college students.

Want to know more about , check out Harmonia's Hut.

A Vegan Feaster, Linda, on Bryanna's private talk board for newsletter subscribers (shhhh... the private talk board is a bonus of subscribing, but she can't advertise it) posted a link to a net radio show about vegan nutrition. I had to download this in MP3 format and listen with my real one player... I couldn't open it any other way.

I learned alot from this after listening twice and taking notes the second time.

Monday, May 01, 2006

California Quinoa (sushi) Rolls

Last Thursday I picked up my buying club order and brought home a 5 lb bag of white organic quinoa and also a 5 lb bag of organic red split lentils. They were on a special sale because they were packaged differently and considered a new product. I have had small quantities of these two products in my kitchen before, but I've never done anything seriously with them . After seeing Vicki's (Vegetarian Family Blog) Quinoa Salad I decided to give it a try. I made my quinoa in the rice maker. It took 20 minutes using a 1 part grain 2 part water ratio and salt. I am SO very impressed. This is a non allergen for my son and high in protein and has so many other benefits I don't know why I haven't used this grain sooner. I really like this stuff and these ecclectic sushi rolls I made with it.

2/3 C quinoa grain, 3 Tbsp red split lentils (opt), 1/4 C seasoned rice vinegar (it's sweet), 3/4 tsp salt, about 1 cup diced veggies (4 shredded baby carrots, chopped canned mushrooms, and shallots sliced thin), and 1 1/3 C water. Click on and wait about 20 minutes, use when freshly done (while the grains are still somewhat wet and clumpy a little, after a bit they will separate to be more like a pilaf grain). Oh, don't use a cheap (non high temp) "rubber" spatula to get the grains out of the rice maker pot. I'm not telling why or posting pictures.

I was so happy to FINALLY pull out the bamboo mat that I got for Christmas last year (along with a book titled sushi for dummies). I scooped about 1/3 C quinoa grain onto my 1/2 sheet seaweed. Laid 2 thin sliced carrot, celery, and mushroom onto it and rolled. After making 4 rolls, slice into 1/4 - 1/2"pieces with a very sharp jagged knife. Here they are served with a side of my homemade pickled ginger (thanks for a food network pointer from amy's comfort kitchen) and Newman's Lite Sesame Ginger dressing. I really didn't think I liked this dressing until I dipped one of these into it and then decided to make a salad from the leftover quinoa. I added about 2 cups more chopped, shredded, or diced veggies to it and 1/4 cup of the newman's dressing. I will do this again. Good stuff, just don't expect to frig them and eat them later, they seem to dry out.

Homemade Pickled Ginger
2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar (or sub 1/2 tsp KAL brand stevia extract powder)
1 small red beet, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves 1/2 tablespoon white peppercorns
2 cups ginger slices, peeled (1/8-inch thick)
Combine everything but ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add ginger and turn heat down to a simmer for 1/2 an hour. Pull off heat and let stand until cool, about 1 hour. Place in jar and refrigerate overnight. Will keep for 1 month.

Weird maybe, but I've been throwing some slices of this into my salad, topping with some lemon juice, sweetener, salt and pepper. I'm not raving about it, but it was pleasingly different. Maybe a little coconut will take this salad to the thai extreme.