January 21st, 2008

Birthday food.

I'm turning 20 tomorrow. (yay)
What are some good "last day of teenage-hood" foods and "first day of non-teenagehood/birthday" foods?

I'm not talking party food, just some good food that isn't steamed veggies and rice. Something to make the day special.

EDIT: This is my birthday drink. Childish and adult at once.
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(and milk is a big part of birthdays for me. Since my 11yr-older brother was little, mum gave us all milk for our birthdays cos we were poor and it was special (particularly flavoured). Thanks to soymilk, I can continue on my tradition. YAY!

Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans

Another yummy recipe from Fat Free Vegan.com.
I had it without the cilantro, but can see how it would enhance the flavors:)


Curried Cauliflower with Black Beans

Recipe By : adapted from Weight Watchers Versatile Vegetarian
Serving Size : 4

1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 small cauliflower -- cored and separated in florets
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
14 ounces crushed tomatoes
1 can canned black beans -- rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons cilantro -- minced

Heat a large, non-stick skillet. Add the curry, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring, until just fragrant, 10-15 seconds.

Add cauliflower, pepper flakes and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring as needed until the cauliflower is well coated and nearly all the liquid is evaporated, 3-4 minutes

Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, stirring as needed until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Gently stir in the beans. Cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Per serving: 128 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 462mg Sodium; 8 g Dietary Fiber
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help me save my brats

I made some fake brats tonight that were absolutely terrible and I feel really bad wasting them, so maybe you can give me some ideas to save them... They are pre-made soy brats (yves I think?) I got at the store. Keeping with tradition, I boiled them with some onions in a beer bath, then fried one up in a pan and served it on a bun with ketchup and mustard. Well, not only does it have a mushy consistency (probably because I boiled it first, bad idea....) but it also is completely flavorless. I could maybe cut it up and mix it in with something casserole style, but how do I save them from being soggy flavorless soy hunks? Blegh....

Tempeh Piccata

This is a Weight Watchers recipe that just happpens to be vegan. So nice when I don't have to figure out points on my own recipes. It was oh so yummy, and pretty too.

1 Tbsp olive oil 
8 oz tempeh, cut into 8 triangles (I used 3 grain) 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, squeezed from 2 lemons 
1 Tbsp lemon zest 
1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water 
1 Tbsp capers, small 
1/4 tsp table salt 
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground 
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder 
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped  

Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the tempeh. Remove it from the heat and put the tempeh in a 200 degree oven while you make the sauce.

Add lemon juice, zest, broth, capers, salt and pepper to the same skillet. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Pull out 2 tbs of liquid and mix it with the arrowroot powder untill lumps dissapear then add the mixture back to the skillet. (I needed to add more water several times in this process). Stir and cook until sauce thickens. Add tempeh back to the pan and stir together. Serve with 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta and kale sauteed with garlic, onions and lemon juice. Yum.

seitan fiasco?

okay, so i heart seitan like nobody's business. i make my own because i live with two boys who have big appetites, and because i love seitan. so i make it in big batches.

so every once in awhile a batch comes out craptastic... it doesnt quite set right, so it's more like soggy bread than firm perfect seitan. sometimes the outside is a lil soggy/wet, and i can deal with that, but when it's like that all the way through, it's just irritating as hell.

i've tried pan frying slices of it when it's like this, and eventually the outside dries out and crisps up, but the inside stays soggy and yuck.

has this ever happened to you? is there anything i can do to fix it? is there any hope for it? or do i call it a loss and make a new batch? thanks.

yogourt (yoghurt? yogurt?)

me'n'my mostly vegan roommates have been muddling lately about varying our mostly processed soy-based diet a little.  now that we've varied our protein sources (and gotten off the tofutti.. sigh) we feel a lot healthier for the variety and unprocessed-ness of our newfound diets.

current snag:  i've just made a batch of stellar granola, but granola is downright depressing without something thick and creamy and smooth to dollop overtop. i'm in the midst of the following soygurt-replacing experiment:

we've mixed 2/3 cup whole almonds and 1/3 cup whole pitted dates, soaked them in 1/2 cup water for the evening and blended it all in the food processor.  the result is something rich and creamy (if a little bit mealy because of those silly stubborn almonds).

so now what?

i'm hoping that the result will be smoother, a little less heavy (y'know how yogourt is kind of inexplicably fluffy?) and homogenized.
should i cook it with some agar and mix it in the blender again? should i add some coconut milk or banana and just whip the crap out of it?

your suggestions and brainstormings are ever so much appreciated.  I'd be the hoppiest bunny in the world if i could mow some perfect soy-free (or less soy-saturated at least) yogourt'n'granola tomorrow morning.
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