Sunday, January 06, 2008

Yaki Soba & Wonton "Muffins"

I got my EAT TO LIVE book by Dr. Furhman in via UPS yesterday. I have finished reading up through Chapter two. He does alot of explaining about fiber, photochemical, and the importance of nutrient dense food. Everything he says agrees with my personal nutritional interests and background. His explanation about slow metabolism's and low calorie diets is interesting and new information to me. His food pyramid would definitely have fruit and veggie's portion to the widest with grains following behind, as I age and see myself getting a little less active (although I still exercise purposefully three - four times a week) this all makes sense to me.

I started my healthy foods eating experience with a book sale book titled The Save Your Life High Fiber Diet by Dr. David Reuben (c) 1976. I was interested in this book because I just started experiencing some health problems in my early 20's.... alot of hormonal issues. Shortly after reading this book a trip to the library lead me to Dr. John Mc Dougal's very first book .... one written before he had a bunch of cookbooks and prepared prepackaged foods for sale. Then an Internet search lead me to Bryanna Clark- Grogan's very first cookbook, The Almost No Fat Cookbook which I loved before I even understood the word vegan. I bought a coffee cup at this same time to commemorate my decision, it has the very same picture by Mary Engelbreit that I show below. I've been a vegan foodie ever since then. Then larger changes occurred: giving up my social work career and becoming a home schooling SAHM, selling our home and purchasing an acreage, buying another building an opening up our bakery, then the list goes on and on ...... life has changed so much from that decision. I haven't looked back and have the same mind set again after selling our business while I go to full-time teaching (family consumer science / health). Perhaps while reading this eat to live book I will have another paradigm, but so far nothing is new to me that I have read - I will continue.

Meanwhile..... In the Kitchen

While in to the greens mode, Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites. This is an old, but goody post that I decided to bring up from the April 2006 archives. Enjoy!

YAKI SOBA (buckwheat pasta)
I have made buckwheat noodles before using my hand crank pasta maker, but didn't have time to do this for this meal. I found a yaki soba recipe that I wanted to try and I needed it quick because we would be out for most of the day and be very hungry by the time we arrive home. I was happy to find 100% buckwheat flour noodles at an oriental market last week, $2.79 (not organic) for 10 servings and each serving is bunched with a paper holder so that it is easy to boil up just as much as is needed. Eden has an organic 100% buckwheat soba, but I couldn't get this ordered in time and I think it costs $3.79 for a 12 oz serving. Buckwheat is a grain that my son is not allergic to at all and can eat without problem, but I know his system is sensitive and a problem could develop if we overdo. Plus for non allergy conscious eaters, buckwheat soba is a good way to incorporate variety in the diet (a good thing to do).

I made my seasoned cabbage and carrot/ onion and chik'n chunks ahead of time in the microwave the night before I planned on having this for supper. It turns out that I was the only one eating this supper because everyone else had something going on (of course the leftovers will be served another night - usually the weekend). This is a basic dish easily eaten with chop sticks.

My favorite part of this meal is the wonton "muffins". I baked them in my toaster oven in a mini muffin pan. The filling is unique and made from brussel sprouts (original idea from a Vegan Feast newsletter in which artichoke hearts were used).


The idea for these "muffins" came from browsing some online recipe archives, not vegan but great food ideas that could be make to my preference. I will be making my wontons in this way in the future, possibly buying another mini muffin pan.

In addition to the wonton wrappers I used this same filling for stuffed mushrooms at my Easter meal. Yumm! The mushrooms were baked at 375 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes. I enjoyed these best 15 minutes or more after coming out of the oven. I am impatient and like to grab things straight out of the oven... Burned mouths are not fun! FOR NON-BAKERS... I think these mushrooms could be cooked in a covered pan and turn out well also. Cook until the mushroom is at an enjoyable quality and the filling warm.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sugar Withdrawal

I ordered the book Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman. I have been re-reading posts from last year and decided it is time that I take a serious look at healthy food and living. Of course when it comes to holiday time again (once a month or bi-monthly) I will do something that makes life a treat, but I am really wanting to make a change and lose a little flour. Geish! I can't believe I said that, I was a whole grain organic baker for a living for 5 years before going into teaching (health and life skills/ occupational family and consumer science) and a cooking mom before that.... freshly milled whole grain flour IS HEALTHY right! Yes, I cannot deny, but I think I need a little break from wheat and easy going more with the whole grain. Now I will not give up all that I enjoy, just not make it daily or even every week habits.

I don't have my book in yet, Thursday is the big day according to amazon. I will also get my circular knitting needle on this day so I can knit two socks at the same time. I am looking forward to this, but I know it will be a slow process!

Here's a food report:

I have been taking meal ideas from both Bryanna Clark-Grogan and Dreena Burton cookbooks for meals. I know there are some new cookbooks out, but I just need to stick in my personal comfort zone for awhile.

BRYANNA's Sharp Chedda' Cheez

Bryanna has some nice cheez recipes in the previous Vegan Feast newsletters. I was impressed with their goodness when the original recipes calling for Emes vegan gelatin came out, then we went through the fall of the company and the wonderful cheez recipe needed a new ingredient that would give it the perfect texture. IRISH MOSS powder was one suggestion and it is what I have available, as stinky as it is. I had to order a pound of the green powder and was asked by other coop members how I intended to use it. When I told them it was for vegan cheez making, I think they thought I was losing my mind and when I first made the cheez using it I wondered whether it was a mistake also. As you can see in the picture below it is green inside the glass measure..... it also smells pretty fishy. But once all is added and cooked the way the recipe says, the green goes away and it doesn't smell or taste the way the Irish moss powder does.

Here is the cheez topping the Mexican Lasagna in Dreena Burton's latest book Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. You can see the chedda and the frozen block of cheez in the background. It even browns beautifully, however Dreena's recipe says to cover for the main baking process and then uncover for the last few minutes, I left the casseroles uncovered the entire baking time. Here's "close-up", it appears to me that the peice I ate is a little blurry. It was delish though and I, for the first time in my entire life, ate avocado.
Next up is the enchilada casserole that I tried from Dreena's Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan Cookbook. I had it for supper and then again for lunch and the last of it will be for lunch today. I like it and again a new avacado experience. The bad thing about avacado is the $1.84 price for one.

Lasy quick picture is of a lunch salad and homemade croutons using the innards of the red pepper sage bread that I made for the muffaletta awhile back. Hope your lunches are healthy and nutritious.