Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Ethiopian at Home

I made this last week while Jon was out of town.  I read a lot about people not wanting to cook for "just themselves" or why make such a fuss when its "just me".  Just you?!?!  That always blows my mind.  Did you have some sort of early childhood toungue injury so that the vicarious pleasure you get from others enjoying your food actually better than eating the food itself?  I like eating!  And I'm worth all sorts of crazy effort in the kitchen!  And so are you!  However, while you're working through your self-confidence issues, here's an easy recipe you can make:

Easy Ethiopian:
1 package Uptons Seitan Traditional Flavor, Chopped
1 package fresh green beans (about 2 1/2 cups) chopped
3 medium red skinned potatos, scrubbed, quartered, & sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup berbere spice mix (already contained salt) (more berbere to taste as needed)
1/4 cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp oil

I sauteed the onion in the oil in the electric pressure cooker on the brown setting for about 10 mins, adding the garlic and berbere at the end and sauteeing for about 2 mins  Then I added the water, green beans,  potatoes, and seitan and set the pressure cooker to 2 minutes.  It was incredibly easy, and quite tasty.

Monday, August 13, 2012

When culinary judgment fails: franks n' waffles

There are times when the intersection of hunger and a lack of time lead to culinary malfeasance. This is the story of such a time. I'm working at home today, don't have time to go out for lunch, and supplies are critically low here. But we do have Field Roast frankfurters (which I love and rarely have), which got me craving a proper veggie dog. Sadly, we don't have buns, or bread, or even crackers. What we do have is frozen waffles. Frozen blueberry waffles.

But I'm that hungry, and so I press on. I'm not proud of this: it isn't a creative culinary breakthrough, nor a whimsical nod to carnival fare. This is what happens when you want something, realize you can't have it, come up with an awful solution, overrule that solution, then get curious.

Frankfurter on blueberry waffles

In the end, it wasn't actually that bad. The flavor of the frankfurters - assisted by the tomatoes from my garden, sriracha, and celery seed - pretty much dominated the flavor of the waffles. "Operation: not be hungry" can be considered a success.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blueberry Salad

I had some blueberries that lasted longer than expected (that means I didn't wolf them down within 2 hours of purchase), so I decided to make a salad dressing with them, and some ground cashews. It was a mighty purty salad if I do say so myself. I ground up about 2-3 TBS of cashews, threw in 1/4 cup of blueberries, 2 TBS balsalmic vinegar, 1 TBS rice vinegar, and 1 TBS oil, and blended up with an immersion blender. It was a thick dressing that solidified in the fridge, so I loosened it up with some hot water to get a pourable consistency. This is over baby arugula, which wasn't as peppery as the adult arugula I'm accustomed to.


Another green snack I've been into lately is Trader Joe's organic brocolli heads dipped into Trader Joe's Goddess dressing. Its a tahini-garlic dressing I could probably easily make myself but am too lazy. It's so savory-licious. Its a very strong, very addictive flavor. I like that kind of funky raw broccoli taste. Tragically, I just googled the calcium absorption from raw vs. cooked brocolli, and it nearly doubles when cooked. Bummer! I thought I was onto something, calcium-wise. Well, tahini is still my friend, at 128 mg per 2 TBS. Why the sudden obsession with calcium? Well, I have to take a medicine to control stomach acid*, which interferes with calcium absorption. I'm not sure if that only counts for calcium carbonate, which you need stomach acid to break down, and you can still absorb calcium citrate, or if by some mysterious means it prevents absorption of both types.

Some people have the misconception that all vegans eat is salad.  Or, almost more annoyingly, that everything we eat is healthy.  Seriously, I can bring in a stir fry dish loaded with oil, sugar and salt, and people will comment on how "healthy" my lunch is because it has vegetables and no meat in it.  If you suffer from this reputation despite your best efforts to explain that 1/4 cup of oil in a dish is not healthy, you can eat salad in secret and pretend like you never eat salad when people ask.

*note to all people who will be thinking "you don't need medicine from 'the man', have my shaman exile the evil stomach spirit for you", I've tried the aloe juice, and the marshmallow, and enzymatic supplements and pro-biotic supplements, etc., etc.