May 11th, 2009

Bugs in my food!

ARGH.

So when I moved, all my nuts, grains ect that were in bags and such were infested with bugs and I had to throw out a ton of food I couldn't afford to toss.

Now I open up some of my boxed rices and stuff and BOOM! Bugs. Somehow they even got into my huge canister of brown rice. I am going to cry.
I tossed the rice in the canister because there were MAGGOTS in it and I about vomited. The boxed rice is all dead bugs, nothing alive (so I managed to bring them to my new home because I didn't check the boxes, assuming since they were "sealed" they were ok. I was so very wrong)

A couple of questions:
1. How do I get rid of these stupid bugs for once and all? It appears they are only in one cupboard and my nuts and such are now in recycled jars so I am hoping they are ok...however since the Brown rice was infected and it was in a jar like canister I am worried.
2. How else can I store things??? I can't afford to buy stuff, hence the recycled jars.
3. And the bags of nuts. the ones you get in the baking section of the store, would those be ok since they are ziplock and pretty hearty bags? The bags infected at my previous house were the kind you get in the bulk section. The nuts in the plastic containers were not contaminated as far as I noticed. Also all my nuts are now in a separate cupboard and nothing up there seems to be messed up.
4. Would you RINSE the rice and look through it and eat it? The box mixes? Point being I am super poor. A lot of this came from food pantries and I used my limit this month already when I got produce and canned goods. I can't replace the food. And it's all I have!
5. Is it safe to assume that I should now store any box mixes in jars? (like take the rice out of the box and jar it, keeping the seasoning packet separate?
6. Do you think my dry pasta could be infected? I don't have the energy or time to check it now as I'm headed to work.

I have been using box mixes of rice (usually Near East brand) for YEARS and have even had some for years before as I am a food hoarder. Because I have cycles of bad luck like the one I am in where I have no money to buy food, so ideally I would be ok. Except this couldn't have happened at a worse time. I am literally unable to buy food at all for the remainder of the summer and even then worry because I don't yet have a teaching position lined up next year. I may end up back subbing and then I will continue this cycle. I am so beyond frustrated and stressed and this kinda just tipped the scales.

Menu planning

This week
Lentil loaf, baked potato and this season's last farmers' market broccoli (probably tonight)
Homemade BBQ Seitan Ribz with grilled asparagus and baked potatoes
Tabbouleh Dinner Salad, pitas and hummus (parsley and mint from the garden)
Burgers and oven fries with steamed asparagus
Fettucini "Alfredo" with asparagus ribbons
Red lentil-veggie curry (going to try making this in my solar oven)
Maple baked lentil casserole (sucessfully made in the solar oven, so I'm going to do it again) and steamed chard from the garden

What's on the menu at your house this week?

Veganaise recipe suggestion?

Okay, so I really hate mayonnaise. I think it is one of the most disgusting flavors every. But somehow I purchased a thing of Veganiase to make a tofu nugget recipe (which was really good, and no mayonnaise taste!) and still have most of a jar leftover. Does anyone have any recipe ideas for using up the rest of the jar, something where you wouldn't taste it at all? I looked through the tags but most everything was recommending a 'salad' (i.e. mock chicken salad, etc) which won't work as bleck! Every time I open the fridge the jar is sitting there staring at me and I am afraid it will just go bad. Thanks for all your help!
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Three Decadences - Donut Trifle with Rich Chocolate Pudding



This is an odd, fun recipe.  It is highly customizable.  You can make these in individual dishes, one larger dish, martini glasses, plates, whatever you have. Improvise!  You have vegan grape jelly donuts? Make a peanut butter pudding and dress it with grapes.  Plain donuts could make a great banana pudding trifle, layered with fudge, and chopped, toasted walnuts, blah blah blah.

Anyway... Onto the recipe.

3 Strawberry Jelly Filled Donuts
3 Devil's Foodcake Donuts

I left them in the dehydrator overnight, at about 110 degrees or so. You don't have to do this but for me I love the crunchiness and flavor concentration it creates. When they are good and dry, break up the chocolate donuts into fair sized chunks (about eight to twelve pieces per donut). Cut the jelly donuts into quarters, set aside a couple of pieces of the jellies for top-decorations.

Now that that is done, onto the...

Chocolate Pudding (!!!)
14 oz can coconut milk
1/2 c water
3 T sugar
4.5 oz good dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Valhrona and Callebeut)
3 T dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Sharffen-Berger)
1/4 C Arrowroot starch
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 t curry powder or spices of choice (I used a bit of freshly ground ginger, vietnamese cinnamon, madras curry powder, chili powder, anise, and nutmeg).

Mix the coconut milk and water together, set aside 1/2 c of this mix. Put the rest of the coconut milk in a sauce pan. Add the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot starch, spice blend, and cocoa powder until smooth (I used a blender for this). When the milk-mix has started simmering, take about 1/4 cup to the starch-milk mix and add slowly, stirring all the while until consistent.
Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, and slowly whisk in the starch mix into the simmering liquid. Now whisk the mixture vigorously until the pudding returns to a simmer and thickens up a bit. Remove the saucepan from the heat, keep whisking for another minute. Add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

At this point you can either use the hot, thick mixture to arrange the trifles, or you can put it in a dish and let it cool then arrange your trifles. It comes down to how you want to do it. Given I made my dessert in a dish for people to serve their selves out of, I chose to pour it on hot, rather than letting it set.

The object in the photo is adorned with vegan whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and a marashino cherry. Fresh strawberries would also be a fantastic adornment.
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