Monday, August 25, 2008

Seitan Stir Fry

We bought some seitan to try out of curiosity. It's most familiar to Americans as mock duck in chinese restaurants and as a versatile soy-free meat substitute. We're intending to make a vegan version of the beef stroganoff recipe we used to make but haven't been inspired lately. So, watching the seitan sit unused in the fridge, I decided to throw it in a stir fry. As long as you are well prepared with everything chopped and ready to go, I like how easy and quick a stir fry comes together, and it's great to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. The seitan had a spongy texture and took on the flavor of the sauce. I'd use it again, but am just as happy without it. It would be interesting to try as a substitute for something that's more dependent on the meat as part of a dish.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vegetable Biriyani

I've been making this for years now, just have made some adjustments over time. Brown basmati rice goes better with all of the earthy spices like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, turmeric, and kashmiri chili powder. The rice is fried in a little coconut oil (as opposed to butter), spices added, and then placed in a casserole in the oven with a some chopped raw cashews to cook. Mixed vegetables, onion, green pepper, and a dozen thai chilies are sauteed and then stirred into the rice, and it's topped with yogurt on each plate. Yum. We've tried both "So Delicious" coconut milk yogurt and a brand of soy yogurt that I can't remember right now. They both were a little sweet in my opinion, but fit the bill. The picture with the yogurt didn't turn out as pretty, so this is what it looked like in the dish.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mac and Trees

Inspired by a homemade version of the boxed Mac and Chreez by Road's End I found here I made an adapted version with about double the spices and sans salt and the few ingredients we didn't have on hand- i.e. miso, smoked paprika, and tahini. We bought some kids shaped brown rice pasta for the occasion. As I always did with real mac and cheese, I added a bunch of steamed little broccoli florets and peeled stems. For the first time using nutritional yeast, I was pleased with the flavor. Hopefully it will be duplicable because it was fun and turned out well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another mass update ...

Well, time passes more quickly than I can keep up with and so this is somewhat of a lumped post. A week ago, I decided to try my skills at mixing up an herbal formula (using mostly organic herbs, some wildcrafted) at a massive savings over the premixed type. I must say, after taking the capsules for a week this stuff is pretty potent. Dr. Christopher's Herbal Eyebright, which I am using to improve my eyesight. I hope to make tincture soon (alcohol extract) and at the cost of the herbs plus the ease over stuffing them in capsules, I'll probably take more of it then, in addition to using it for eyewash.

The tube amplifier is happily singing again after a mishap with some vintage tubes I was dying to try. I may throw a few meters on it when I try them again, to make sure the bias doesn't drift and cause trouble. One of the tubes may be going gassy (losing vacuum), which is a shame since they sell for $$$$$.

On the food front, we had a nice breakfast yesterday morning - Amy's "Sausage" which was delicious. All the flavor, without the meat! Add a side of unpeeled red potato hash browns with onions and that rounds out the plate. Top with some cayenne and it just can't get any better.

Today, we hit the kitchen hard for the first time in a while - gourmet inspiration and future preparation. We're starting to get back into the swing of things, inventing and trying new recipes. First was Lemon/Garlic Tahini sauce, followed by Falafel, Mixed Vegetable Pakoras, and Poori. The Tahini is used on our falafel wraps (in sprouted grain tortillas). This is topped with a mixture of cucumber, tomato, and red onion. This is then finished off by a large helping of alfalfa sprouts. Crunchy, creamy, fresh, and earthy. There is literally a few cups of the tahini sauce, about 40 falafal, countless pakora, and a few poori (fried, Indian whole wheat bread). Enough for a buffet or a huge party, but some will be frozen for later enjoyment - it beats the flavor and junk in store bought food. The Indian grocery is frustrating since most of the breads aren't whole
grain and we aren't really supposed to have much bread unless sprouted. Though every now and then a piece is good with a flavorful Indian meal. Until next time, enjoy the pictures and remember that healthy food CAN taste good!