FOOD fit for a Rockstar

Deena Kamm's recipe book and always evolving food philosophy
Browsing Main Dish

Cauliflower “Rissoto”… a healthy Italian makeover: Day 75 of my 90 Day Food Journey

March20

Well, It’s been a loooong journey… but it’s still going. To say that I am busy right now is an understatement. I WISH WISH WISH I had more time to post everyday. Mostly because it helps stay me focused on what I’m eating and how my body and mind are changing for the better, but life happens while you’re making other plans, right? I have so many things I want to talk about, and about 10 draft posts waiting to be written, but I’m going to put up a quick post about a fantastically healthy dish my husband made the other night… Because at the end of the day – I hope to remember, inspire, and share our healthy food choices. So here it is…

Cauliflower “Risotto”

deliciously created by ForkandBeans.com

This dish is vegan, grain and gluten-free.  Good start.  Zeke made it pretty close to the original recipe and I loved it.  BUT I have made a few changes to this recipe as I think I would have loved it even MORE if it had these tweaks.  My changes are in bold in case you want to omit them and try it the Forks and Beans OG way.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 medium head of Lightly Steamed cauliflower, chopped in a food processor (or your VITAMIX!)
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained, divided (I prefer Great Northern Beans) we used Garbanzo/Chick Peas
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb sundried tomatoes (we used Oven Roasted Tomatoes now on sale by the jar at Costco – thank you Costco – I will always love you)
  • 1 Tb capers (I love capers like they are candy – I added about 1/4 cup to my plate  – I may have an olive problem)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • toasted pinenuts, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, heat 1 Tb olive oil on medium heat until warmed. Place the shallots, garlic, and thyme inside and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.
  2. Place 1/2 the can of beans and vegetable broth into the pot and simmer for 5 minutes!
  3. With an immersion blender (or if you do not have one, use a regular blender or your Vitamix!), gently blend all of the contents together in the pot until creamy and smooth.
  4. Add grated cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes, remainder beans, and spinach. Cover with a lid and allow to heat through for a good 5 to 15 minutes. Waiting to throw the spinach in until 5 min before you’re ready to serve.
  5. Add the capers before you serve and garnish with toasted pine-nuts.

The main thing I want to stress about this dish is that if the cauliflower is raw it really doesn’t feel like Risotto.  It’s still GREAT, but I don’t think it should be called Risotto because then your brain in disappointed.  If the cauliflower was lightly steamed before chopping and THEN steamed longer at the end I am confident that it would be truly a perfect Faux Risotto.

 

This dish is very similar in flavors and texture to an amazing NON-vegan dish I have made many times in the past By Giada De Laurentiis: Veronica’s Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce.
Giada’s has cheese – a LOT of cheese, and also takes a long time to make. It’s very prep heavy. I have made it for many people many times and everyone loves it, but I don’t make it that often anymore, because there’s no time for all that prep AND I am no longer eating cheese. Details, details. Honestly, I have missed this dish, but NO LONGER!! Because the Cauliflower Risotto gives me the exact same Italian fix and comfort food feelings that I need and crave!! I am so excited about this. Thanks to my husband for continuing on the hunt with me for great new healthy, vegan food we can easily make at home.
Try this!! You will be amazed. I promise. I was.

The journey is NOT over yet…. Stay with me!

D-

Husband Rating 4 stars:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “It’s a pretty good replacement for Risotto”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces: “Thumbs up Papa! this is so yummy! Mommy, can I have a banana? ”

The Vitamix has arrived! Day 56 of my Food Journey.

March1

Well… Everyday my intentions are good in that I will put up a quick Food Journey Post – and everyday seems to be crazier and crazier. Sadly, this blog is the very last thing to get done, as you can see by my 2 week absence. Actually – my nails are the very last thing to get done, but it’s been so long since that’s happened it’s not even on the list anymore.  But here’s the latest up-to-date goings on regarding the clean, vegan, organic, sugar-free food in The Kamm Fam household.

If you know my husband Zeke, then you already know that he can get intense about things.  More intense than me, which is pretty darn extreme. He recently decided that we need, let me stress NEED, a Vitamix Blender.  Well, right this moment money is tight, and those babies are not cheap – and we already have a blender, food processor, mixer, and juicer, so do we really NEED another appliance?  Turns out we do. As my husband puts it: “we are losing money by NOT having a Vitamix.”  A bit overboard, but he’s very persistent when he has his mind set on something.  Well, turns out my always thoughtful and generous In-Laws, Mark and Angela, have been waiting for the perfect thing to give us as a housewarming gift, and after finding out that Zeke was on a mission, they decided to save me from one more argument about needing to wait.  I love them for many reasons.  This is just another one.

So last Tuesday, while Zeke and I were eating our way through Portland on a  business trip, our brand spanking new (refurbished) Vitamix arrived on our doorstep! Needless to say, we celebrated by eating yet another fantastic meal in one of Portland’s countless vegan restaurants.  I love living 3 hours from the only city in the world to have animal-free fine dinning everywhere you turn.  Pure coincidence? I think maybe the universe is just looking out for us. I love Bend, but most of the food in our town is meat and potatoesque.  Paleo athletes everywhere you turn and beer drinking bar-food everywhere else.  Happy and fun, but not our idea of clean eating.  Sorry Bend, it’s the only thing you are lacking.

What started out as a 90 day Food journey has just been combined with a 30 day Vitamix Journey to finish it smoothly.  Literally – super smooth style.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

Me with the newest member of our Kitchen.

We have already used our new gadget 7 times in the last three days.  Have we saved money yet? Probably not, but it’s been really fun trying out all the features and options and learning how to make new things that simply weren’t possible before.  It really isn’t just a blender.  It’s a Food Transformer!  We already have made smoothies, milkshakes, soup, and sauces.  Last night I made a cheese sauce for the Vitamix Macaroni and Cheese that was SO good, I felt like I was back at Dodger stadium pumping guilt-free Velveeta Cheese sauce all over my nachos.  You won’t believe the recipe.  It’s so easy and so good… it’s totally worth the half a grand my wonderful In-laws dropped on this machine.  Here it is – straight off the Vitamix website:

Not-So-Cheese-Sauce

notsocheesesaucemainjpg

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned pimentos, drained
  • 2/3 cup (70 g) whole raw almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 3 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.

Okay – so that’s it.  3 Minutes.  4 if you count the time it takes to squeeze the lemon and put everything in the container. Can you believe it?  I made TJ’s Brown Rice Penne Pasta, Steamed Broccoli and Blanched Kale to go under this sauce. We also added some Field Roast Frankfurters cut up for fun (and extra protein.) Half way through the meal I decided I wanted extra sauce for the steamed broccoli.  How indulgent!  Extra cheese sauce to smother my veggies with?  Teaching my son to cover up his greens?!?  Well did you see that list of ingredients?  Next to actual fresh broccoli and kale, there really isn’t a list of healthier foods around.  How amazing.  I am totally sold on this thing and, once again, my husband was right.  I am going to make this sauce tomorrow night for my annual Oscar party with my Mom. I’ll be bringing tortilla chips and nacho (or “not-so”) cheese sauce to try out on her, as she is one of the best cooks I know, and is always happy to try new things.

If you have any great vegan Vitamix recipes that you want to share… PLEASE let me know .  I am all over this appliance.

Until I can pull it together again for another post… Happy Clean Eating!
D-

Husband Rating 3.5-4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star stars : “It’s like a cheese milkshake. I love this Vitamix!”
Kid Rating 2 smiley faces: “Pretty good – but too lemony”

Savory Beer Batter Crepes… Newport Market Foddie Contest Entry!

June17

Well – I did it… I entered a Foodie Contest.  I’m not sure why or what I expect to get from this, but it was fun and I think overall it came out pretty good (the video that is.  The recipe came out amazing!  Seriously.) So here is the 5 minute video and the recipe that I made up to enter with.  This is one of the best dishes I have ever concocted.  So give it a try!!  (and while the contest is running you can vote for my entry once a day – see link above.)

This is a multi step meal.  You can replace or skip almost any of these steps and I think it will still be pretty good.  But it might not be a fantastical work of art.  Here is the recipe step by step:

  1. Beer Batter Crepes
  2. Mushroom Paste/Sauce/Gravyish thing
  3. Beer Soaked Tofu
  4. Sauteed Veggies
  5. Garnish

Step 1- Beer Batter Crepes:

1 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Soymilk
1/2 Cup Beer (I used Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale brewed right here in my hometown, Bend Oregon! Don’t drink the rest just yet – you will need more later.)
1/4 Cup Melted Earth Balance
1 Tsp Coconut Palm sugar
2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Tsp Salt

Mix all Ingredients together on med-high in a mixer or mix it GOOOOOD by hand with a whisk. Refrigerate for at least an hour, while prepping the filling. If it stays in there for more than a few hours you will most likely need to think it out with some soymilk.

Step 2 – Beer Soaked Tofu:
1 package of Firm or Extra Firm Sprouted Tofu (Regular Tofu will work, but it’s not very good for you and they taste the same. Choose Sprouted… always!)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil (I didn’t measure so this is a guess. Do what looks good to you)
1 Tsp Garlic Powder (again – I never measure so you be the judge on what smells good to you.)
1 Tsp Onion Powder (guessing still)
1 Tsp Salt (you see where I’m going with this?)
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 Cup leftover Beer from bottle used for Crepe batter

Cut tofu into 1/4 inch (or so) fillets. Drain them by putting a kitchen towel on a cookie sheet, place all tofu slices on towel. Put another towel on top of the tofu and then another cookie sheet on top of that. Then put something very heavy on top of the cookie sheet-tofu sandwich and let it absorb the moister for about 15-20 minutes. Longer if you are still prepping other things.
Dice tofu into 1/2 inch pieces (the size is not critical – don’t stress about this.) Whisk all ingredients except beer in a bowl. Add tofu and pour beer on top of tofu then gently mix to coat tofu as evenly as possible. Set aside until ready to cook… about 15 minutes or more.

Step 3 – Mushroom Sauce:

1/2 8oz container of Crimini Mushrooms – sliced
1 Medium Yellow Onion – Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic – chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme removed from stem
3 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter
Salt to taste

Saute mushrooms and onion in a skillet on Medium until translucent (and the kitchen smells awesome.  that’s usually when I know it’s ready.) Add garlic and thyme cooking about another 5 minutes. Blend in a food processor adding about 1/2 of Soymilk to thin. If it still seems to thick continue to add hot water until the mixture is smooth or at a texture that looks like a thin paste or thick gravy. Set aside.

Sautee tofu and all its marinade in the skillet until the tofu is browned and slightly crispy – about 10-15 minutes. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

Step 4 – Sauteed Veggies:
1 Zucchini – chopped
1 Large Shallot – sliced thin
Remaining 4 oz of mushrooms cut into quarters
4-5 Cups (one tub or package is fine) Spinach – reserving small leaves for garnish.
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute mushrooms and shallots in skillet on med heat for about 5 minutes then add zucchini. When zucchini skin is soft add spinach leaves and cover with lid if you have one. Let spinach wilt slightly and remove from heat. Gently mix all veggies together until spinach is completely wilted. Remove from skillet. Set aside.

Step 5 – Cook , fill and garnish Crepes:
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Spray cooking spray to coat bottom of pan and then ladle approx 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl to coat entire pan with batter. Cook until top appears dry – about 3-4 minuets. Gently flip with a large spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it looks slightly browned.
Put Crepe on a plate and using a tablespoon spread one large spoonful of mushroom sauce evenly around the middle of the crepe. Add veggie mixture and tofu mixture careful not to overfill. Roll Crepe on plate until the seam side is down. Garnish with fresh thyme removed from stem and reserved baby spinach leaves.  Serve!

Healthy Side Note:
This entire dish is Vegan and if I never told you that you would never know notice the difference.  Unless, of course you couldn’t understand how it could be the best savory crepe you ever had. There IS a beautiful culinary world out there that does not require animals, and I think this dish falls into that category.  Don’t you?

Enjoy!
D-

Husband Rating 4.5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star“Infinitely better than pancakes and beer separately.”
Kid Rating: NO smiley faces –  “I do NOT like this at all and I’m not going to eat it.” (Pretty sure he just wasn’t actually hungry – but that meant more for us!)

The Quickest, Easiest, and Healthiest BURGER you can make from The Quickest, Easiest, and Healthiest LEFTOVERS!

June8

If you saw and subsequently tried my previous post about a basic Macro Meal… you inevitably made too much. Don’t feel bad – this is a common problem with such a basic meal.  You think there’ s NO WAY in Bend that food is going to fill you up so quickly and for so long… so you overdid it.  You threw in 3 carrots instead of one.  The entire bunch of Kale instead of a few leaves and then you excitedly made 2 cups of rice because it’s so cheap – what’s the difference? Right?  Face it – you got overzealous and were feeling really good about the prospect of feeling really good.  I know how it goes…  I am always SO gung ho because we love that meal so much, and it makes us feel SO happy and healthy and wise…. then the next day… the day after that… and the dreaded day after that… I can’t bear the idea of opening the fridge to see what’s in there to eat, let alone eating leftovers AGAIN!!!! So before you let that “kids are starving all over the world” guilt kick in and then hover shamefully over the sink shoving perfectly good food down the garbage disposal, try this one out!

Deena’s “Macro Burger” in 10 easy steps.

1.)  Get out your Food Processor.
2.)  Throw everything in there – beans, rice, veggies, tofu, temphe… all of it.
3.)  Pulse.
4.)  Add olive oil if the mixture is too dry or bread crumbs if it’s too wet (you’re looking for burger consistency somewhere in the middle)
5.)  Mold it into small patties that will fit perfectly onto your whole grain organic bun (preferably one without added sugars) or toast.
6.)  Fry in a skillet with a little Safflower or Sunflower oil – An Iron skillet works great for these and there’s no worry about how long to cook them – just cook until it looks good to you and you think it’s burger worthy.  Everything is already fully cooked so you really can’t screw this part up!

  
7.)  Add whatever you would normally have with burgers ie: sauteed mushrooms and onions, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, condiments, sauces, WHATEVER!
8.)  Don’t tell you’re family it’s leftovers.
9.)  Enjoy
10.)  (This is my favorite and most ironic part)  FREEZE the leftovers!!! The leftover burger leftovers reheat great anytime you need a quick meal!!  I often put them in my sons lunch the next day – he thinks it’s fun times.

London would not sit still for this picture. But this WAS his second burger and he was all hopped up on health.

 

Now you are the star of the kitchen and your family just ate the healthiest burger you can possibly ever have. Win win win win win! It’s like being in Vegas without the cigarette smoke.  Right?
As always I can’t stress enough – don’t be afraid… I figured this out by just throwing stuff in and giving it a literal whirl. They are slightly different burgers every time because you’ll never have the exact same ingredients twice, but they always work and they are always good.

Try it out and tell me how it goes!
D-

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star“Can I pour my Agave BBQ Sauce all over it?  Then yes, 5 stars.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces  “Mommy – can you make them look like Chicken Nuggets?”  He has no idea what that actually means.

The Quickest, Easiest and Healthiest meal you can make from scratch!

May18

The meal in this picture is the standby – go to – get centered and back on track meal in our house, that we try to eat at least once a week if not more. It’s basically a standard plate from a Macrobiotic diet. If you don’t know about Macrobiotics, don’t worry… You wont turn into the six million dollar man, or the terminator, or R2D2 if you eat this. It’s not a fancy as it sounds. It’s actually the exact opposite. Thanks to our very good friends James, Allison and Lydia Taylor, we were turned on to and subsequently adopted a Macrobiotic approach to life when I became pregnant with my son in 2008.  Over the last 4-5 years I have learned A LOT about the fundamentals and principals of Macrobiotics – both the food and the lifestyle, and it has served our family incredibly well.  But you don’t need to know any of that to eat this easy simple HEALTHY meal. So don’t worry about it too much. Just eat!! If you love it and it speaks to you every time you eat it, then you can look for more information on your own or email me and I’ll help you with what I know.  Here is all you need to know right now:  Macro=BIG   Biotics=LIFE.  This meal is about eating food that is full of “Big Life.”  Why? Because there is nothing in it except whole foods that are steamed or simmered. Clean clean clean.  Give your body a rest from the barrage of oils, salts, seasonings, sauces, etc. that you find even in healthy, organic, vegan food.  This is the highest octane food your body can eat and it will LOVE you for it.  Trust me – we prove it to ourselves every time we eat this meal…

Here are the basic elements of a simple, balanced plate of macrobiotic food:

  • Organic BROWN Rice (Brown short or long grain is the most basic and common.  But Sweet brown or Brown Basmati are also good)
  • Organic dried Beans that have been soaked and slow cooked (IE: NOT canned or microwaved!!) I used lentils here because I didn’t have time to soak anything and they cook pretty fast – around 30 minutes, but you want to try to soak dried beans overnight  if you can plan it out.  Try Adzuki Bean, Mung Beans, Chickpeas, Black Soybeans… There are so many great beans!  Just try some out – who cares!  It’s one time.
  • A Variety of Steamed Veggies – I have super basic veggies on this plate (for fear of scaring you away)  Broccoli, Carrots, Purple Cabbage, Kale, Onions (always throw an onion in – they are SO GOOD FOR YOU!!!).  But here are some other great choices that will expand your palate and up the health (make you feel good!!) Diakon Radish, Lotus root, Parsnips, Bok Choy, ANY AND ALL leafy greens, Winter Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Turnips.  Basically – if they don’t sell it in Safeway, Vons or Costco, try it.  It’s most likely something your body desperately needs. And try to stay away from night shades for this meal: spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, or anything in the nightshade family.  Why?  Eh – It’s complicated.  If you REALLY want to know Google it.  You’ll get tons of info!!!
  • Organic Fermented Veggies like sauerkraut, or Kim-Chi. ( I buy these.  I know you can make them pretty easily, but they take many days to ferment.  I have only ventured into this world once and it was an inedible disaster.  One day I will try again, but for now I buy it.)
  • Additional Organic Protein optional like Sprouted Tofu or Temphe cut into bite size chunks or pieces.
  • Bonus Items if you think you can’t handle it THAT plain can be lemon, Nato Miso, Tekka (miso condiment), Apple Cider Vinegar or Umoboshi Plum Vinegar, Olive Oil lightly drizzled.  I usually stick to Lemon and Tekka on everything, but I love the other items I listed too.  My 3 year old will eat a plate full of leafy greens if they have lemon juice squeezed on it, so you can too!!

There are many many many incredible foods that fall into a macrobiotic diet, but this is not that site (although I think sometimes it should be) I posted this meal for two reasons only:

  1. It’s the quickest, easiest meal I make all week.
  2. It’s the cheapest, cleanest, most balanced and nutritious combo of foods I know of and it always makes us FEEL good.

Don’t worry about how you cut or prepare any of it.  It’s very hard to screw up steamed veggies.  I usually start with the things that take longest to cook and throw the rest in one by one as I clean and cut them.  (ie: carrots, then the onions, then brocolli, then cabbage, lastly the greens, tofu doesn’t need to be cooked so I just heat it real quick after I turn off the stove)  As long as you don’t overcook everything they are perfect.  Same with the rice and beans.  Just double the water to the dried amount, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes (45 for rice.)  Always wash your grains and beans before you cook them.  If you have time to soak the rice too, go for it – it makes it extremely easy for your body to pull out nutrients and digest it efficiently, making it great fuel for your body.

Another nice thing to try is switching up the grain.  Instead of brown rice, which after a while gets too repetitive, try quinoa, millet, or barley.  And a great trick I learned early on is that you don’t have to refrigerate grains for a least 24 hours after they have been cooked.  So I cook them whenever it’s convenient and leave them covered in the pot on the stove until I am ready to serve it.  They are usually very good at room temperature and I love that I don’t have to clean another dish or put it BACK in the pot to reheat it.  It’s a time saver.  I do the same with beans as well.

Side note for emphasis: NEVER use a microwave to cook your food and ALWAYS buy organic.  Please.

Try it!!  You will be amazed at how easy it is and how happy you feel afterward.
Happy Clean Eating!
D-

Husband Rating 4 star:gold-stargold-stargold-star gold-star“You’ll love how good I feel after you eat this dinner.”
Kid Rating 4 smiley faces a magical combination of food that makes him clean his plate every time.

GUEST POST!!!! Kei’s Temphe Burgers!

February8

Kei Ogawa is a good friend of mine from California. She eats like we do (only better) and we used to compare notes all the time before we moved to Oregon. I recently saw this info on her husband Donny’s facebook status and asked her to give me the recipe for my blog. So here it is… Thanks Kei!!!!

Hi mamas. Here is the recipe for you! It is super easy to make.

Tempeh Burger (one person)

Tempeh – 1
Bun -1
Veggie Mayo
Lettuce
Avocado
Sprouts
Mustard

(Sauce)
Warter-1/2cup
Veggie concentrate powder -1tsp
Tomato puree or ketchup -2tbsp
Beet sugar -1/2tbsp
Vinegar -2tsp
Tamari-1/2tbsp
Garlic(grounded)-1/2tsp

Panfry tempeh (I cut a TJ tempeh in a half thickness so that it absorbs the sauce easy) with olive oil until the both sides get brown. Heat up all sauce ingredients and once it’s boiled, add tempeh and turn the stove to low. Keep boiling until it gets less watery. I have made it without garlic and it still tastes good! Sorry that this is not a good recipe for Pitta people like Don though!

I personally have not tried it yet – but judging by the recipe and what I know about Temphe and how much I cook Temphe, it looks good.  I will be making it for my Temphe-Crazed husband, Zeke just as soon as he gets back from his trip to China (where they eat battered and deep fried cuckoo bird!!  WTF?????) So for now our husband rating is being taken right off Donny’s post as testimonial of this delicious meat alternative!!

Enjoy! (Should be easy to do when there are no beaks, eyes, flesh, etc… ugh.)
Deena

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “ My wife just made the most kick a$$ tempeh burgers! Seriously and you’re not vegetarian why again? You think you’re going to miss out, but you’re really missing out right now.”

 

Thanks for the contribution, Kei and Donny!  Give that baby a kiss for me.

Healthy lesson #30 – Soy Sauce is evil, but Ginger Teriyaki Temphe is a superhero!

October1

Back in 2008 when my husband and I quit eating things like meat, sugar, soy sauce, and chemicals we lost one of our favorite and unhealthy dishes… Chinese Teriyaki Chicken.  Boo Hoo.  My husband has been complaining about that one dish ever since saying he misses it more than anything else (only because we still occasionally eat pizza)

Tonight I got somewhat of a wild hair up the old proverbial butt and decided to make a vegan, healthy-ish, version of it for him.  To my surprise it was super easy and delicious.  I have no idea why I waited almost 4 years to make it this way??  But then – many things about food and pre-programming don’t make sense.  I just assumed I couldn’t do it so that was that.  Well… them days are gone.  here’s how it went down.

Here is a great article about the differences between Soy Sauce, Tamari, and Shoyu.  But in a nut shell, Soy Sauce is like the Velveeta of cheese, where as Tamari and Shoyu are like artisan $40/lb cheese.  Well, something like that.

1 package of Temphe
marinade in teriyaki sauce as follows:
1 cup Shoyu or Tamari (please don’t use soy sauce!! Gross!  Disgusting!  Bad for YOU!!!  Yuk.)
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup of coconut Sugar (my new favorite thing to put in everything)
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon Garlic powder

Cut up Temphe into bite size chunks. Mix all marinade ingredients together adding more of whatever you like to taste (and smell) let sit in bowl marinading while you prep everything else for your meal (whatever that is) stirring occasionally to keep everything well coated. about 10 minutes before you are ready to plate and serve dinner, throw all the Temphe and marinade into either an iron skillet or saute pan. It’s going to get sticky and make a mess, so iron skillet is my first healthy choice. (We never non stick – that’s another post. They are super dangerous. Throw yours out!!) Using tongs, try to make sure all the Temphe is spread evenly throughout the pan and nothing is piled up. Cook over Medium-high heat for about 4 minutes then stir around to brown and caramelize more sides. You won’t be able to get all the sides cooked evenly – it’s just too much work and you won’t have the time, so relax and do the best you can. Cook until they look sticky, caramelized and brown. Then serve and wait for the praising to be sung! 

Lordy Lordy – these are delicious bites of what taste like VERY naughty food, yet they are reasonably good for you. No large amount of Teriyaki sauce is going to be GOOD for you, but in moderation this alternative IS a much healthier version and works well with the Temphe making it EXTREMELY healthier for you thanks to the lack of animal proteins and the added fermentation from the Temphe. (Happy stomachs = happy brains = happy you.)

Enjoy!

D-

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “I could eat this dish every night of the week for the rest of my life and never get sick of it… and I will!”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Yum! I love temphe!” (for the record: he doesn’t “love” temphe)

My Mom’s (Cooking) Vegan(?) Eggplant Salad!

September20

My beautiful Mom is the wizard of all wizards in the kitchen!!  She has been whipping up amazing meals from scratch just about every night of the week since I was a kid.  I don’t ever remember a time when my mom had any trouble in the kitchen… with anything.  She’s a Culinary Savant.  She’s confident, fearless, and intuitive, and you can taste it in everything she makes.  She also taught me everything I know… that is until I went vegan and was forced to leave her in the meat & dairy farm dust with all that animal protein floating around everywhere.  Achoo.  Sorry Mom.

But LATELY Mom (AKA Diane) has taken to cooking with considerably less meat and animal products throughout the week.  Which is funny and strange because for the first time in my natural born life my mom is calling ME for quick answers and tips on how to prep and combine things instead of the usual other way around.  I know this won’t last long because she is now sending me her vegan recipes that worked out well so that I can try them.  Lucky you – here is one of her latest from the Diane Fonteboa No-Meat Test Kitchen straight out of the San Fernando Valley, California… totally vegan, totally satisfying, totally original and delicious!
Roasted Eggplant with Brown Rice and White Beans
1 large eggplant-peeled & cut into squares
2 cups cooked /chilled brown rice
1-Sm. roasted red pepper, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 can Cannelini Beans-washed & drained
Red onion, diced- you decide how much I used about 2 tbs
2 tbsp dice Italian parsley
Place eggplant on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper.
Cook at 400 for about 20 min. or until golden brown.
While that is roasting, in a large bowl add all other ingredients and mix together with your favorite vinaigrette.  Toss the eggplant in just before serving.  It is so good when crispy.
Serve with my fabulous wheat bread…..oh wait I haven’t given you that recipe yet!!!
Enjoy!!!
I would only like to add that my mom grows her own (mostly organic!) veggies including Eggplant so hers will be better by default. Unless you are harvesting your private crops too, and I hope you are.  Organic organic organic!!  Makes everything a little bit better.

Mom and my Niece Scarlett... NOT cooking.

Thanks Mom – and I’ll be needing that bread recipe next.  I had it last time we were in California and I know it’s a five star rating all over the place with both boys and me.  Do I see a regular guest blogger in the future??  I hope so!!
D-

Two-Timing me with a Kabocha Squash.

September4

My husband is having some kind of crazy love affair with Kabocha Squash.  Every time we see it in Whole Foods he acts like it’s his long lost lover from college who performed private strip tease dances for him in his dorm and then did his laundry.  He practically cradles it romantically when he sees it – he gives it so much love from the bin to the cart to the bag to the house to the cutting board to the stove/oven to the plate, it’s embarrassing.  He LOVES Kabocha.  If I was the jealous type I would NEVER let that bitch back in my house.  But actually, I think she’s pretty nice myself.  So when she’s in season, we buy her any chance we can get.

We started eating Kabocha when we were eating a macrobiotic diet a few years back.  Our good friends and food mentors, J & A Taylor, had us over for dinner one night and the rest is history…  I have found that not only do most people not have a clue what Kabocha Squash is, but they are afraid to try it when they learn about it.  Silly.

Here are a few pictures I took of the Kabocha I used today – (I always forget to take pictures until after I have half eaten something or already chopped it up a bit – sorry.  Google Images is great for things like this if you need more detail)

So, Kabocha is a squash, or a pumpkin, or a potato… okay – it’s definitely not a potato I just like to type in threes.  Either way it is SO easy to make and SO good for you!!  You can cut it in quarters and roast it in the oven just like you would an acorn squash or spaghetti squash.  You can cut it into chunks and steam it.  That’s always a super healthy and easy way to eat just about any Veggie.  I sometimes pressure cook it and then mash it up with Earth Balance “Butter” (This is Zeke’s favorite way to eat it – he refers to this as “Squash Squash.”  He’s clever, and corny) Or you can cut it up and roast it with other delightful goodness like I did tonight.  As usual, I took a crappy picture AFTER we ate.  Blogging in my kitchen is usually an after-thought.  I’m working on this.  Here’s what I did – it was SERIOUSLY delicioso:

Let’s call this: Roasted Kabocha with Fresh Fig

-1/2 of a Kabocha Squash, gut the seeds and peel the green stuff off.  You CAN eat the green stuff but I don’t like it – my husband thinks Kabocha can do no wrong and he emphatically claims to like the green stuff.  But he is still in the honeymoon phase.  Trust me – peel it.
-1 produce basket of fresh RIPE figs (about 10-15??)
-2 to 3 yellow onions – cut in large chunks
-2 to 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
-1 to 2 tablespoons of dried Oregano (I never measure – but don’t overdo it – just add some flavor to enhance the Fig)
-1 tablespoons of dried rosemary ground up in your hands as much as possible (I think fresh rosemary would also be great, but I still wouldn’t use too much)
-Salt to taste
-3 to 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a roasting dish or pan and bake in a preheated oven at 400° for about 45 min to an hour. Check after 30 minutes and stir everything up to coat it evenly.
I added chopped up tofu in the last 15 minutes and it was a hit with the boys. You might be able to add Tempeh into it in the beginning for an alternate healthy, high protein version. I will try that next time… Zeke is also having an unreasonable love affair with Tempeh these days, but that’s another post.

Side note: I recently learned from a local farmer that Kabocha and most hard shelled squash (butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc…) need at least a month to properly cure once cut off the vine.  That means you can, and should, buy and store squash for two to three months from the time it was picked to get the best flavor and the most nutrients out of it.  If you know when it was cut then you can wait a few months to use it.  If you don’t know when it was cut then you can still let it sit (room temp) for at least a month before you have to worry.  We didn’t do that this time because I couldn’t bear to listen to Zeke romance the squash for another second.  But I did buy two small Red Curry Squash and I don’t plan on eating them anytime soon!!

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “I missed my Kabocha so much. Next time we go to WF’s let’s buy every one they have.”  and   “I actually thought the figs were great in this. I love this dish so much!!”
Kid Rating 3 smiley faces “I don’t like that fig.  But I love these onions and squash squash!”

Easy Easy Quinoa Burgers!!

August1

This was the second time I made these and they were a big hit with my boys!!  London thought they looked like the “Nuggets” he sees his friend Janey eating at school, and so he was double excited when I cut the patty up into bite size “nuggets” for him.  He ate two burgers by himself and asked me to put them in his lunch this week.  This made me swell with burger pride, as you can imagine.  Getting a 2.5 year old to eat quinoa is tricky, and by tricky I mean I have to trick him.  So for him to request this is slightly monumental.  The only thing he ever requests for school is Pizza or Pancakes.  Neither of which he has ever had in his Tiger Lunch Bag.  Back to the burgers…

First of all – I made these because I had way too much leftover Quinoa and couldn’t bear to eat it plain again.  I remembered I had a burger recipe somewhere in my notebook, and I am glad I found it.  The recipe was for Greek style burgers but I made a more Italian version because we just had Greek Souvlaki two nights ago – too much Greek!!  Here is what I did:

put all of the following ingredients into a food processor:

two small raw carrots – cut up

1 cup of cooked quinoa

1 can of rinsed and drained Great Northern White Beans

1/4 cup dried breads crumbs (Italian are great if you can find organic!!)

Egg Replacer (the equivalent of one egg – lightly beaten)

1 teaspoon Bragg 24 Sprinkle (or Italian Spices of your choice)

salt to taste (I almost never cook with pepper, but go crazy if you like it)

The original recipe calls for pulsing your food processor until combined but still chunky – I blend it until it is really smooth and almost paste-like.  Make the mixture into patties with your hands, if it’s too sticky cool it off in the fridge first.  I used leftover Quinoa so it was already cold.  That helps. In a large skillet or frying pan heat up about two tablespoons of olive oil and cook burgers on medium heat until browned and cooked through on both sides, about 10 minutes per side.

I served these without buns or bread because they are already pretty high in Carbohydrates, but my husband went for some toast slices anyway and he was very happy.  I made guacamole and grilled some onions, green peppers, red chili pepper, and garlic to serve on top.  I also used my leftover Souvlaki Cilantro dressing on it (cilantro, soy yogurt, lemon, olive oil) which I thought was a great flavor profile for the rest of the dish.  But really – it’s a fried patty – you can eat it alone and it would be good.  Wrap lettuce around it, or put BBQ sauce on it, or cut it up and throw it in a salad.  It’s versatile.  Go crazy.  And remember to always choose organic products – it’s always worth it!!  Enjoy!

Husband Rating 5 star:gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star “I could eat these everyday for a month.”
Kid Rating 5 smiley faces “Can I please have more burger? Can I please have another burger? I want more food.”

« Older Entries