Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vegetable Stew over Brown Rice Noodles (No Added Fat)

I wanted to use up a number of fresh ingredients that I had in the refrigerator and thought that I'd make a kind of stew and serve it atop brown rice noodles.


Ingredients
  • 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups of mixed fresh vegetables (I used mushrooms, okra, kale, and cabbage)
  • 1t chopped basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t lemon pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
Process
  1. I added all of the ingredients except the onion into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 2m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the onion and served atop brown rice noodles with some sauteed tempeh (cooked on a cast iron pan with no added oil)
Results

Dinner was surprisingly good, which I credit to the great flavor that my pressure cooker imparts to my dishes. It was particularly good with a bit of hot sauce added at the table.

Ideas for the future

I should more often do a refrigerator cleanup in this way!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Edamame with Steamed Carrot, Flame-Roasted Corn-off-the-Cob (No Added Fat)

I made a quick and easy dinner by cooking frozen edamame pods, uncovered, in boiling water for 6 minutes. I put sticks of carrot maybe 4" x 1/2" atop the pods to gently cook the carrot.

I also flame-roasted cobs of corn over my gas range, stripped the kernels, and mixed in lemon juice and salt. Some cucumber completed the meal. I served the edamame with carrot; at the table, we could remove the edamame beans by putting each pod in our mouths and pulling, eating the beans and composting the shells.
Results
Dinner was good and healthful but not particularly sophisticated.

Ideas for the future

I should cook edamame pods more often - they're quite tasty.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sweet Potato with Roma Tomato (No Added Fat) (1st experiment with "smart" bluetooth cooking)

I have two Instant Pot pressure cookers and only recently got a smart phone to use the Smart Instant Pot with bluetooth wireless connectivity. Both pots are essentially the same, but the smart one allows control from and feedback to a smart phone. I decided to give it a try with tonight's dinner.

I found some good looking organic roma tomatoes in the store today, and thought that I'd make a sweet potato - tomato main course with sauteed tempeh on the side. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 4 sweet potatoes cut into about 2" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes cut into approximately 1/2" cubes (2 cups)
  • 1T capers
  • 1T Dijon style mustard
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 3/8" cubes
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper (I instead used lemon pepper)
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary needles
Process
  1. I put the steamer basket into my Instant Pot pressure cooker, added the water, and the sweet potato, then set the garlic cloves on top
  2. I set the cooker on pressure steaming for 17m (I used my phone instead of the controls on the Instant Pot)
  3. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then cut the sweet potatoes into 1" cubes.
  4. I had put the garlic in, expecting it to end up like roasted garlic and that I would be able to squeeze gel-like the garlic out of the skin - and that's exactly what happened. I squeezed the garlic cloves atop the sweet potato.
  5. I mixed in the remaining ingredients and served.
Results

We all liked dinner. The combination turned out to please us all. The sweet potato was quite creamy. Oh - the bluetooth control was fun; I enjoyed watching the details of temperature, pressure, time left, etc. on my phone.

Ideas for the future

The sweet potato was quite soft and could have cooked for less time. I've noted a 10-19m pressure steam time, but that's for an intact sweet potato. I'll bet l could have cooked for just 10m. I should try more dishes with sweet potato and raw vegetables or fruits.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 22, 2016

Seitan - Arugula/Baby Spinach with Blueberry Vinaigrette (No Added Fat)

My daughter and I were shopping at Whole Foods Market today and saw a prepared main course of arugula and corn, which inspired me to make something even heartier with seitan. As I was starting to make the dish, I decided to stick with just onion, seitan, and arugula (and baby spinach, as I only found arugula packaged with it) to let the dish focus on these flavors.

I wondered what a raspberry vinaigrette might be like with it; I didn't have raspberries, but did have some tasty organic blueberries. I found a nice recipe for a blueberry vinaigrette, and was delighted that it included yogurt as an ingredient; I've been wanting to cook with the yogurt that I am regularly making now. Here is the simple dinner that I crafted.


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup onion cut into 1/4" or 3/8" cubes
  • 8 ounces of seitan, roughly cut into approximately 1/2" or smaller pieces
  • 4 ounces of arugula (in fact, I only found packaged washed arugula with baby spinach, so used that, instead)
  • Vinaigrette ingredients
    • 1/4 cup blueberries
    • 2t balsamic (or red wine) vinegar
    • 1T vegan yogurt
    • 1t chopped onion
    • 1t maple syrup
    • 1/8 t salt
    • 1/8 t black pepper
Process
  1. I put the onion and then the seitan into my large Saladmaster stock pot and cooked waterlessly for about 15m (i.e., had the heat on medium high and covered the pot; when the vapor release valve started clicking, I reduced the heat to low till the clicking mostly stopped and continued to cook, covered for 15m).
  2. I turned the heat off and stirred in the arugula-spinach mixture, then covered the pot again and turned the heat on to medium for a minute to let the waterless cooking go a bit more then turned the heat off and let the pan sit, covered, for 2m or so to let the greens wilt.
  3. In the meantime, I blended the vinaigrette ingredients till homogenized, just 10-15 seconds or so.
Results

Dinner was great! We were all pleased with the combination in the main course.

Ideas for the future

I should have used the entire 5 ounces of my arugula/spinach as I think a bit more greens could have been good. Cooked arugula is a good idea and I should explore this more.

Oh, that vinaigrette was excellent! I should make vinaigrettes and sauces more often.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chayote Squash with French Lentils (No Added Fat)

I purchased a chayote squash for the first time. I had read that it tastes good raw or pressure cooked for 2 minutes after being cubed. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1 small cabbage (I used purple, but green is fine) cut into shreds of about 3/8" x 1" (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Medium chayote squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes (I had read that the soft seed should be composted, but I only found a thin seed that was tasty; I ate it raw)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t black sesame seeds
  • 1t fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" (maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 2t lemon juice
Process
  1. I put the lentils, water, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker. Lentils should take about 7 minutes (like when I made a French lentil dish back in May 2014) and I wanted to cook the squash for 2 minutes, so I cooked the lentils for 5 minutes.
  2. After the cooking was done, I could have waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, but I did the first step well before I needed to continue so was able to just open the top since the pressure was reduced. The lentils tasted quite done and good after just the 5-minute cook time!
  3. I added the squash after tasting it raw. It was good raw and reminded me a lot of jicama. I decided to cook under low pressure for the remaining 2 minutes. I did that, after also adding the garlic, turmeric, sesame seeds, and fennel seeds.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and added onion, salt, and lemon juice. I served with Madagascar Pink rice.
Results

Dinner was good - and I forgot to add the onions in! My daughter doesn't normally like squash, but this chayote squash doesn't at all taste like other squashes that we've had. For a change, I liked my meal more than my wife did; we both liked it, but I thought that the combination was particularly good. She wanted a bit more treatment of the squash.

Speaking of onions, my wife did prefer onion, which I added at the table to her plate. I was fine with no onion.

Ideas for the future

I'm delighted with the 1: 2.5 ratio over 5 minutes of pressure for the French lentils - and wonder if 4 minutes would be enough as the lentils were a bit soft. I love how they come out and form a thick base for additional ingredients. I should cook with French lentils more often.

I should buy chayote squash again and serve it raw, thinly sliced. I should also experiment with more cooked dishes, perhaps coating the squash with bread crumbs or just preparing it with more ingredients, such as carrots and sweet potato.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Black Beluga Lentils with Kale and Yellow Beets served with Layered Paratha and Yogurt

I wanted to make a black beluga lentil dish and used the results from when I last cooked with these lentils in May to use a 1:2 ratio of lentils to water (actually, broth - I included a vegan bouillon cube) cooked for 25m. Here is what I came up with.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup black beluga lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium yellow (or red) beet, peeled, top and bottom removed, then cut into approximately 3/8" cubes
  • 2 leaves of kale, stems excepted and hand torn into approximately 3/4" squares (about a compressed cup)
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/8 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 2t lemon juice
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
Process
  1. I put the lentils, beet, kale, bouillon cube, and water into a small stock pot and brought the contents to a boil, then simmered for 25m.
  2. I added the onion, lemon juice, and salt, and served.
I bought some prepared layered parathas (Indian flatbread); each bread had 9.5g of fat, so I won't classify this meal as a no added fat one. I added a dollop of my homemade yogurt.
Results

I loved the beets with lentils. The beets cooked nicely!

Ideas for the future

For some reason, red beets sometimes bother my digestion, but yellow ones don't. I should make more beet dishes, and include the beet greens.

My family has been very happy yogurt and my wife claims it is the best yogurt
with my homemade

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Seitan and Artichoke Vegetable Soup, Guacamole, Smoked Salt and Pepper Hemp Tempeh (No Added Fat)

My daughter is having some pain in her gums (and some good vegan ice cream is in order for tonight after dinner!) and wanted to have soup. My Instant Pot makes delicious soup. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 5 cups of water
  • 8 ounces of seitan chopped into approximately 1/4" x 1" strips
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 6 kale leaves, stems excepted, and then roughly torn intro approximately 3/4" squares
  • 2 cups of carrots cut into about 3/8" slices (about 5 small carrots)
  • 2 scallions (all I had) cut into 3/8" slices (green and white parts both)
  • 2t finely chopped basil (I used frozen cubes)
  • 1t oregano leaves
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1T lemon juice
Process
  1. I put all of the ingredients except the lemon juice into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and pressed the "Soup" button, meaning a 30m pressure cook time.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the lemon juice and served.
I also made some simple guacamole and served it over lettuce greens. We love Smiling Hara brand tempeh; I remarked over dinner to my wife that the dry-rubbed smoked salt and pepper hemp tempeh is probably my favorite tempeh, and she agreed. I had sauteed it with no oil on a cast iron pan after cutting the tempeh first in half, width-wise.

Results

We all enjoyed dinner. I had concluded that tofu, but not tempeh or seitan, benefits from pressure cooking, but a long 30m pressure cook time was nice for the seitan in the soup, softening it. We all liked how the artichoke heart tasted in the soup.

Ideas for the future

I should experiment with cooking seitan under pressure over, say, 15 or 20m or more. The pressure cooker makes such great soups - I should make soup more often.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Pinto Beans and Greens, Corn-off-the-Cob (No Added Fat)

We had a friend of my daughter's over today who is gluten-free. Luckily, most of my cooking is gluten-free. I decided to make some sort of rice and beans dish using pinto beans, but then instead decided to use corn - our coop, Weaver Street Market, has been getting organic corn! Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pinto beans, rinsed, soaked overnight, then rinsed again (or, as I did, soaked in boiling water for 3 hours or so)
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 6 leaves kale, stems excepted, and roughly 
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 4 scallions cut into 1/4" pieces (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1t lemon juice
  • 1T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 10 leaves fresh oregano, minced (app. 1/8")
Process
  1. I put the beans, water, garlic, kale, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 30m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the scallions, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, oregano, and salt.
Results

Dinner was good; my daughter's friend had two servings of beans. I've not often used pinto beans in my cooking, but loved how soft and tasty they were today.

Ideas for the future

I should use pinto beans more often.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 01, 2016

Japanese Sweet Potato with Kale and Corn, Smoked Salt and Pepper Hemp Tempeh (No Added Fat)

Ingredients
  • 3 sweet potatoes (I used my favorite, Japanese variety) cut into approximately thirds
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 3 kale leaves, stems excepted, roughly hand torn into approximately 1/2" squares
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels tarragon salt
Process
  1. I put the cup of water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker, then put the sweet potatoes on top of the steamer rack so that the potato wasn't touching the sides. I had meant to do a 16 minute pressure steam, but did a simple 16 minute pressure cook.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure. The sweet potatoes were perfectly done; my goal was to undercook them and complete their cooking with other vegetables.
  3. I put the onion into my large Saladmaster stock pan and cooked on low, stirring occasionally, for 2 or 3 minutes till the onion was getting clear.
  4. I then added the sweet potato, kale and corn and covered, letting it cook waterlessly for 10 minutes.
  5. I served along with sauteed (with no oil) smoked salt and pepper dry rubbed hemp tempeh and salad.
Results

Dinner was great! I loved the Japanese sweet potato and actually was reluctant to continue cooking it. I kept the skins on for more nutrition, which also added to the appearance.

Ideas for the future

I need to serve these wonderful sweet potatoes as their own side dish sometime soon. I love the hemp tempeh; if it weren't expensive, I'd buy it more regularly.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Japanese Sweet Potato with Kale and Corn, Hemp Tempeh (No Added Fat)

Ingredients
  • 3 sweet potatoes (I used my favorite, Japanese variety) cut into approximately thirds
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 3 kale leaves, stems excepted, roughly hand torn into approximately 1/2" squares
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels tarragon salt
Process
  1. I put the cup of water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker, then put the sweet potatoes on top of the steamer rack so that the potato wasn't touching the sides. I had meant to do a 16 minute pressure steam, but did a simple 16 minute pressure cook.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure. The sweet potatoes were perfectly done; my goal was to undercook them and complete their cooking with other vegetables.
  3. I put the onion into my large Saladmaster stock pan and cooked on low, stirring occasionally, for 2 or 3 minutes till the onion was getting clear.
  4. I then added the sweet potato, kale and corn and covered, letting it cook waterlessly for 10 minutes.
  5. I served along with sauteed (with no oil) hemp tempeh and salad.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cannellini Beans with Sea Beans, Bhutanese Red Rice, Massaged Kale Salad (No Added Fat)

I was happy to find sea beans in the store a few days ago; I've not had them in a long time. A sign there suggested blanching them to reduce their salt content, and I thought that they would pair nicely with a white bean (so the green of the beans would show nicely), so decided to soak cannellini beans and use them. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked for 5 hours or more, then rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1 cup onion cut into 1/4" cubes (maybe 1/2 of a medium onion)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • (optional) 2T nutritional yeast
  • 1t dried oregano
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sea beans
  • At least 2 or 2 1/2 cups ice water
Process
  1. I put the beans with enough water to just cover them and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 30m.
  2. While the beans were cooking, I prepared the sea beans
    1. I boiled the sea beans for 1 1/2 minutes till they turned bright green
    2. I then suddenly drained and plunged them into the ice water
    3. I left them sitting in the water till I was ready for them
  3. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then ....
  4. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and added the onion, tomato, nutritional yeast, oregano, and lemon juice.
I also made Bhutanese Red rice by simmering it in a ratio of 1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water, a little salt, and a vegan bouillon cube. I served the main course with the rice and a simple massaged kale salad.

Results

Dinner was good! We all enjoyed it. The blanching did remove a little bit of the saltiness of the sea beans. I was happy with the nutrition, taste, texture, and appearance of the meal.

Ideas for the future

A little garlic would have been nice, and I could have used more lemon. My wife and I added hot sauce at the table.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Green Lentils with Purple Potato Stew, Brown Rice Noodles (No Added Fat)

I purchased a chayote squash yesterday and did a little research today about it and how to cook it. I found a nice looking chayote squash and lentils recipe and thought that I'd make something similar. We were going to be out for a few hours, so in the mid-afternoon I got lentils ready (easy - just rinse then put in the pressure cooker with 1 1/2 to 2 times as much water; I also added big chunks of potato) and set the timer to cook. Normally, lentils cook in 15-20 minutes. I thought that I would come home to just finished lentils, add the cubed squash plus big pieces of bell pepper, and cook another 2 or so minutes.

However, when I came home, the lentils and potato tasted great. It was nice and thick, which I wanted. So I decided to skip the squash and work on the dish as it was, except for adding seasoning and lemon juice. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups purple (or Yukon Gold) potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • (optional) 1/2 t amchoor (mango powder)
  • 3 scallions, finely (1/8") chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t salt
Process
  1. I put the lentils, water, potato, turmeric, and amchoor powder into my Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Lentils take 15-20m; I used 15m as I was going to add squash and cook for a few more minutes.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure. I loved the lentils and decided that the dish was basically done.
  3. I added the scallions, lemon juice, and salt, then served.
Results

I liked the nice and thick texture of the main course. It was tasty.

Ideas for the future

I wouldn't add any less than this 1 to 1 1/2 ratio of water.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 27, 2016

Kale, Green Tomato, and Vegan Sausage

Ingredients
  • 5 leaves kale, roughly hand torn into approximately 1" squares, stems excepted (about 4 cups, compressed)
  • Medium green tomato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Field Roast brand sausage, cut into 1/4" lengths and halved (10g)
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup green onion (other kinds of onions would be fine) chopped into 1/2" lengths
Process
  1.  I put all the ingredients except the onion into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 2 minutes.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the green onion.
I served with a dollop of salsa (for my wife and me), as well as with some corn-off-the-cob -- my wife found our local coop had organic ears of corn.

Results

Dinner was good!

Ideas for the future

Additional greens could be used.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Black Beans with Mango Puree over Brown Rice, Guacamole and Sungold Tomatoes (Almost No Added Fat)

I wanted to get dinner going and decided on a cold bean salad with avocado (then later decided to just make it guacamole, which we all love). My wife brought home some fresh corn on the cob, so that could be a nice side.

However, I wanted to get dinner going and hadn't soaked any beans. I wanted to use cannelini beans or maybe baby navy beans, but didn't have them. I decided to use black beans, instead. A friend has a "zero minute" pressure cooking technique that I thought I'd try out for when beans aren't soaked. Here is what I did. (I served a non-trivial amount of guacamole, so list this meal as almost no added fat.)


Ingredients
  • 1 cup black beans
  • Clove of garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Ample water to cook beans with
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • Few tablespoonfuls of mango puree
Process
  1. I rinsed the beans then put them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for "zero" minutes, as described above.
  2. I let the pressure come down (so the beans were still cooking) then carefully released remaining pressure to open the pot. I rinsed the beans again.
  3. I added the garlic, bouillon cube, and enough water to cover the black beans plus another 1/4", then cooked for 30 minutes.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I gently released remaining pressure, and mixed the salt in to the beans.
  5. I served atop brown rice. My wife had made some mango puree, which I used to top the beans with. I also served homemade guacamole and (yay, now in season!) sungold tomatoes.
Results

Dinner was good. My wife didn't favor the mango with bean combination, but liked it well enough to enjoy.

Ideas for the future

I should experiment with making savory fruit toppings to beans, maybe by mixing in some jerk seasoning or chunks of squash, perhaps.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Edamame with Fire-Roasted Tomato, Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

I made a simple dinner of edamame with fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, and ginger, served with Madagascar Pink rice.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Organic Black Bean Spaghetti with Artichoke Marinara (No Added Fat)

It was my wife's birthday and she wanted home cooking, our norm. I love to cook, so it was no problem!

I love bean pastas, particularly the organic edamame and mung bean fettuccine that I used with dinner a few weeks ago. Today, I made another organic pasta from the same company today, black bean spaghetti, that has simply black beans as the one ingredient.

I cooked waterlessly a bit of garlic, onion cut into half moons, and frozen artichoke hearts (i.e., I used a small Saladmaster pan, put the ingredients in, and cooked, covered, on medium till the vapor lock rattled, then reduced heat to low till the rattling stopped). After maybe 15m, I added canned roasted tomatoes, nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon pepper, and returned to a low simmer, covered. When the black bean pasta was done, I served with the pasta with the artichoke marinara atop.

Results

Dinner was excellent! I love the texture of these bean pastas. My wife was quite pleased with her birthday dinner. (I went on to make some blueberry muffins with my daughter for my wife's birthday - yummy!)

Ideas for the future

I should buy all the varieties of this bean pasta and explore innovative ways of serving them, such as perhaps inside winter squash or with a lemon-miso dressing.

Labels: , , , , , ,