Saturday, May 24, 2014

Artichokes with Broccoli (waterless cooking), Tempeh with Spinach, Mixed Brown-Wild Rice (No Added Fat, Waterless Cooking)

Tonight, I had the idea of cooking artichokes, an interesting vegetable that we all love. I enjoy cooking whole baby artichokes (steaming, boiling, or sauteeing), steaming regular artichokes is fun but time consuming (to prepare and to eat), and I love prepared grilled ArtiHearts, but we only get them once in a while.

But I've never cooked them in a waterless way, putting them in a high quality pan like my Saladmaster stock pans with no added fats or liquids, closing the lid, and heating on medium till warm enough to cause a vapor seal to vibrate, then reducing the heat to low to keep the seal from vibrating and thus cooking the vegetables in their own juices at low temperature. Here is what I did.


  Ingredients
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts (in water, not marinated in oil)
  • App. 1/2 t rosemary leaves, halved
  • Pinches of salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 or 3 ounces of tempeh, chopped to 1/4" cubes
  • Medium shallot cut into small spears approx. 1/4" x 3/4"
  • App. 3 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed
  • App. 2T coconut aminos (or low sodium soy or tamari sauce)
  • App. a teaspoon of lemon sage leaves

Process
  1. I put the artichokes, broccoli, and onion into a 1 quart Saladmaster stock pan, covered, and put the pot on medium. Within about 4 or 5 minutes, the pan's vapor seal began clicking, indicating that the vegetables were up to temperature. I then reduced the heat to low till the clicking stopped.
  2. I cooked for about 10 minutes at low, then turned the heat off.
  3. The artichoke hearts were softened; I mixed in the rosemary, salt, and pepper, and served.
While the artichokes were cooking, I prepared the tempeh in parallel, as well as the mixed wild and brown rice blend (1 part rice to 2 parts water [plus vegan bouillon cube, but I was out of the cubes, so omitted] cooked for 45m - I used my Zojirushi rice cooker). For the tempeh, I used a well seasoned cast iron pan with no added oil and did the following. 
  1. I heated the cast iron skillet on medium heat for half a minute or so, then added the tempeh, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  2. I added the shallot and cooked, stirring, another 2 or 3 minutes or so. The tempeh was starting to show a bit of browning, and the onion was clarifying.
  3. I added the spinach and stirred occasionally, cooking for another 4 minutes or so, until the spinach cooked down.
  4. The tempeh was now surprisingly browned with no added oil! This is something I've struggled a bit with, but maybe the secret is just this - using cast iron instead of stainless steel. True, the little bit of oil that I use to season the pan probably gets very slightly introduced to the food, but it's got to be a trivial amount. Almost magically, nothing stuck until the spinach was appropriately cooked down, then a little sticking began, but I turned the heat off to stop the sticking and cooking.
  5. I transferred the tempeh and spinach dish to a bowl, mixed in the coconut aminos, and kept warm in a toaster oven at low heat until ready to serve.
  6. I mixed in the lemon sage and served.

Results

Wow, we all loved dinner. I was amazed at how good the artichoke hearts were. I don't usually like the taste of canned artichoke hearts so much, but this cooking technique teased a lot of flavor out of the hearts. The spinach is a natural combination with the tempeh, and the rice went well with everything.


Ideas for the future

I would love to experiment with other ingredients cooked waterlessly with canned artichoke hearts, such as maybe beet or carrot. Some separately prepared corn mixed in to artichoke prepared this way may be interesting.

My Instant Pot can prepare rice under pressure in much less time than other ways of making rice, but right now I am thinking that I'd like to keep my Zojirushi for brown rices that take more than 20-25m to cook. I want to soon make brown rice in the Instant Pot and see how it compares.

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2 Comments:

At Sat Jun 21, 03:42:00 AM EDT, Blogger sanam arzoo said...

I really love reading and following your post as I find them extremely informative and interesting. This post is equally informative as well as interesting . Thank you for information you been putting on making your site such an interesting. Waterless Cooking

 
At Sun Jun 22, 01:02:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dilip said...

Thanks for your kind words, Sanam! --Dilip

 

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