Friday, July 03, 2015

Baked Tempeh over Maifun Noodles (No Added Fat)

I made a simple dinner. I cut a full 8 ounce package of tempeh into thin sheets, maybe 1/4" x 1" x 1 1/2" and cut up about a quarter cup of onion into approximately 1/4" x 1" strips and sauteed in a cast iron pan for about 6 or 7 minutes with no oil till the tempeh showed light browning. I then put the onion and tempeh into a shallow plate, sprinkled 2 or 3 T of coconut aminos (or soy sauce) on top, and baked in a toaster oven at 350 degF for about 15m. I also prepared some maifun brown rice noodles by boiling just for a minute or two. I served the baked tempeh atop the noodles for a simple but filling meal.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Asparagus and Smoky Tempeh with Peas and Carrots cooked Waterlessly (No Added Fat)

We were a bit low in groceries so I made a simple dinner. I cut up four carrots into 3/8" slices, cut a quarter onion into approximately 1" x 1/4" half moons, and used about a cup of frozen peas. I put them all into a small Saladmaster stock pan, covered, and cooked on medium a few minutes till the vapor release started rattling. I then cooked on low heat, so that the rattling stopped, for about 20-30 minutes.

I also cooked, without adding oil, strips of smoky tempeh on a cast iron griddle, as well as asparagus spears. I served a bagel half with some oil-free pesto and tomato slice along with the vegetables and tempeh.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anasazi Beans with Vegetables, Short-Grained Brown Rice, Green Cauliflower (No Added Fat)

As I described this past April, Anasazi beans are tasty and seem to cook in under a half hour. I decided to make an Anasazi bean dish with vegetables, but didn't get a chance to soak the beans overnight. They did have about five hours of soaking with, initially, boiling water. I don't know if I've ever cooked short grain brown rice, but bought some a few days ago, and decided to try it. I cooked tonight not just for my family, but also took over a good size serving for a friend and her family. Here is what I did:


Ingredients
  • Approx. 2 1/2 cups Anasazi beans soaked overnight (but see comment above)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • 3 cups carrots cut into 1/4" slices
  • 2 compressed cups kale cut into approx. 3/4" pieces (about half of a bunch of kale)
  • Kernels from two ears of fire-roasted corn (approximately a cup)
  • Additional 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t salt (or to taste at the table)
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • (Optional) 2t chopped basil
  • 1 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • (Optional) Up to a cup of tomato, cut into 3/8" cubes, or up to 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2T lime (or lemon) juice
Process

  1. I put the beans, bouillon cube, and enough water to just cover the beans into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  2. After a few minutes, I slowly let out remaining pressure and added the carrot, kale, corn, additional 1/4 cup water, turmeric, oregano, salt, lemon pepper, and basil.
  3. I cooked on high pressure for another 2 minutes.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I slowly let out remaining pressure, added the onion and lime juice, and served. I had thought of also mixing in some fresh tomato or marinara, but the dish seemed full of flavor and not lacking, so I decided to skip tomato or tomato sauce.
I used the brown rice setting on my rice cooker to make rice; I put in twice as much water as rice, plus a vegan bouillon cube. This short grain brown rice could also be cooked stovetop for 50m. I served some raw green cauliflower.


Results

The beans were very good! My wife and I added some hot sauce at the table to them. I liked the rice - predictably, it was sticky. I have grown up preferring long-grained rice, but think I'll occasionally make short-grained, as well.

Ideas for the future

Were I not also cooking for a spice averse child, I'd add some hot sauce or chili powder, as well as some ginger.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cauliflower and Lentil Stew with Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

It was a cool and rainy day, and the idea of a hot lentil dish sounded appealing. I made a nice brown lentil dhal with kale, corn, and preserved lemon this past July in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I thought I'd make something similar without the lemon, marinara sauce (my Dad doesn't eat garlic), jalapeno (my daughter doesn't eat spicy food), or corn

Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (I used a yellow cauliflower and needed almost half of the head)
  • 1 1/2 cups fingerling (or Yukon gold) cut into 3/8" lengths
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4" slices (about a cup)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t salt (or to taste at the table)
  • (Optional) 1T fennel root cut into 3/8" cubes
  • (Optional) Up to 10T citrus pulp and juice (I used about 4T fresh squeezed Pixie tangerine and the pulp from squeezing 6 tangerines); if omitted, add 2t lemon or lime juice just before serving
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
Process

  1. I put all of the ingredients except the onion into a large stock pot
  2. I cooked, uncovered, for 25m
  3. I mixed in the onion and served
I also served some Madagascar Pink rice (ratio of 1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water, cooked for 20m)


Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whole Wheat French Couscous with Black Eyed Peas, Kale, and Roasted Corn (No Added Fat)

I made a simple French Couscous dish (using whole wheat couscous) that all three of us enjoyed. It's easy to cook with couscous - let 1 part sit in 1 1/2 parts boiling water for a minute, then let it sit, off heat and covered, for 5 minutes. A little fluff and it's done! I cooked it with a vegan bouillon cube, black eyed peas, kale, and roasted corn, along with a little bit of dried oregano and lime juice. I made a large batch, saving most for a client who doesn't eat onions. Separately, I added a little salt, onion, and, to my wife and my servings, hot chili powder. It was good!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Burmese Tofu and Squash (No Added Fat)

My daughter and I love tofu but it seems to bother my wife's digestion. I was happy to find a few days ago Burmese tofu, soy- and gluten- free, made from split peas and chickpea flour, and not related to Chinese or Japanese soy- based tofu. Apparently, Pacific Foods has a new line of shelf-stable boxed seitan and tofu; I purchased the seitan and Italian Herb tofu.

A few days ago, I opened the box of seitan. I was very hopeful - we all love seitan and it would be good to have another option of buying pre-made seitan that would travel easily, not having to be refrigerated. However, my daughter and I both were disappointed; she disliked the seitan and I found it tolerable but not tasty. It looks congealed in the cube it comes as and has a watery, subdued, and not very appealing flavor.

Today, I decided to make a waterless squash dish with pesto (while making dinner, I made another batch of pesto, as I described recently). Why not add some tofu to it? I broke open the tofu box and used half of the 9.2 ounces, sampling a little piece of it raw. It wasn't bad but wasn't so good, at least raw. Here is what I did for the main course:

Ingredients
  • 10 ounce frozen butternut squash cubes (approx. 3/4" cubes); fresh squash could be used after cooking, perhaps not completely but till still somewhat firm
  • About a quarter of a medium onion cut into 1/4" half moons (between 1/4 and 1/3 cup)
  • About 4 1/2 ounces (I used half of the 9.2 ounce Burmese tofu described above) tofu cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 3 or 4 T pesto sauce
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • (Optional) Hot sauce to taste

Process
  1. I put the squash, onion, and tofu in a small Saladmaster stock pan, covered it, and heated on medium heat until the vapor release started rattling
  2. I then reduced the heat to low to allow waterless cooking for about 20 minutes
  3. When I was ready to serve, I removed the top of the pan, and mixed in the pesto, salt, and lemon pepper; we also added hot sauce at the table
I also served a bagel half with fresh tomato, as well as a carrot.

Results

Dinner was nutritious but not as tasty as we're accustomed to. My wife wasn't crazy about the tofu; I thought it was not bad, but also not particularly tasty. She suggested using some Indian spices to make the dish more peppy. The main dish was somewhat soggy and bland.

Ideas for the future

The squash should have been cooked for less time to maintain more texture. As my wife suggested, some cumin, turmeric, and ginger could have helped. I don't know if I'll try cooking with Burmese tofu again, but would love to add a non-soy tofu to at least occasionally prepare.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Green Split Pea with Kale and Sweet Potato with a Touch of Orange (No Added Fat)

Yesterday, I delivered meals to a client and included what turned out to be an excellent dish, green split pea dhal with Japanese sweet potato and a touch of Pixie tangerine. Split peas are so easy and tasty to cook with; basically, after being rinsed, they take a 1 part split pea to 3 part water ratio and are cooked for 8-10m. I decided to make this dish for my family, but also to use some greens. I was out of the so-tasty Pixie tangerines (I had used a bit of their juice and their pulp), but used fresh-squeezed Valencia orange juice, instead. Here is what I did:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup split peas (I had green split peas and used them, but yellow would be fine)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup orange or tangerine juice
  • 1 1/2 compressed cups kale, stems excepted (I used 3 leaves), and roughly hand-torn to approximately 1/2" squares
  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into approx. 1/2" cubes (I used my favorite, the white-fleshed Japanese sweet potato)
  • 1 T finely (1/8") diced ginger
  • Approx. 3/4 t coarse ground salt (or to taste)

Process
  1. I had meant to start by rinsing the split peas several times, but forgot
  2. I put all the ingredients except the salt into the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 9 minutes under high pressure.
  3. When the pressure cooker was done, I let it sit for a few minutes, slowly let out the remaining pressure, and carefully opened the pot.
  4. I sprinkled here and there the salt in the plates and served (I wanted coarse salt non-uniformly distributed to get nice salty morsels in most but not necessarily all mouthfuls)
We had also picked up some fresh bagels, which I served.

Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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