Friday, September 22, 2017

Tofu with Vegetables, Brown Rice Capellini with Marinara (No Added Fat)

My wife is traveling so for a few days I get to use tofu, which my wife can't eat due to problems with digesting it. I cooked on a cast iron pan some tofu, fingerling potatoes, broccoli, mushroom, onion, and garlic. I mixed in some bok choy in the final minutes of cooking and served with coconut aminos (like soy sauce) and dried chives. I also made brown rice pasta.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Mixed Waxed Beans with Seitan, Shredded Cabbage Salad (No Added Fat)

I found nice purple and yellow waxed beans in the store and thought I'd cook them with seitan. Initially, I was going to cook the beans on a cast iron pan, but then I decided to make a waterless dish.

I put, in this order, a chopped shallot, maybe 25-30 beans (half yellow and half purple), and most (6 ounces?) of a package of seitan chunks into a large Saladmaster stock pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 15 minutes, then opened the top and mixed in a little salt, garam masala, freshly ground black pepper, and salt.

I also made a salad with shredded cabbage, kalamata olives, freshly ground black pepper, salt, a generous amount of lime juice, a little balsamic vinegar, and maybe 15 small freshly picked oregano leaves. I serve with quinoa.
Results

Dinner was better than I had expected! It seems quite consistent that my waterlessly prepared meals are always good. The main dish was tasty and the salad was excellent!

Ideas for the future

I should try maybe chopping waxed beans into 1-1 1/2 inch lengths and pressure cooking with other vegetables for "zero minutes" (i.e., just bring to pressure then turn off) of low pressure. I should, of course, try more waterless waxed bean dishes, too. I like to prepare green beans simply like I saw in Italy - sauteed on cast iron then served just with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I should make waxed beans this way, too.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grilled Vidalia Onion and Belgian Endive with Butternut Squash and Black-Eyed Peas (No Added Fat)

I was shopping at Whole Foods Market today and picked up some belgian endive. I didn't think that my daughter would like it, but was pretty sure that my wife and I would enjoy it grilled. I was tempted in the salad bar area with some thick grilled slices of onion; we've had Vidalia onions on sale, and I thought I'd grill some of them.

What I ended up doing is grilling thick slices of onion on a cast iron pan (with no oil); a few minutes into the cooking, I added slices of the endives. I also waterlessly cooked some black-eyed peas, butternut squash, kale, and a bit of garam masala; I mixed in a little lime juice, salt, and pepper, and served my daughter. For my wife and me, I then also mixed in the grilled vegetables. Some quinoa and thick slices of heirloom tomato on multi-grain English muffin completed the meal.


Results

My wife was in a rush to eat so I served rather quickly and didn't taste and fine tune the seasonings before serving. She enjoyed the meal, as did I - though I think it could easily be improved. I couldn't easily tease out the endives from the onion, so served the same meal to all three of us; my daughter, predictably, didn't like the endive, though she ate her meal.

Ideas for the future

Grilled onions - well, these sweet Vidalia onions - are great! I should cook with grilled onions periodically. I'm surprised that I hadn't thought of doing this before except maybe once or twice. I'd add some jalapeno or hot sauce and maybe a miso dressing in the future to a similar dish.

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Monday, September 04, 2017

Waterless Seitan and Peach with Mixed Vegetables (No Added Fat)

We have been getting good organic peaches from the store and yesterday I tempted my family with the idea of grilling some peaches, something I've not done in a while. As I prepared to work on dinner, I decided instead to try waterless cooking. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into approx. 1/4" x 3/4" strips
  • 8 ounces of seitan (I used pre-cut strips but any size cut would be fine)
  • 2 cups mixed frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1T finely (1/8") minced ginger
  • 1 medium peach cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (about a cup)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
Process
  1. I put into a large Saladmaster stock pan these ingredients, in this order: onion, seitan, vegetables, ginger, and, finally, peach.
  2. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. I then mixed in the salt and garlic powder, and served, along with brown rice and a slice of heirloom tomato topped with kala namak (pink salt).
Results

Wow, all three of us loved the meal. I had wanted to use a not-yet-ripe peach but all of our peaches were just ready to eat. It turned out fine - the peach was nice and juicy. The flavors all complemented each other; a benefit of waterless cooking is that the peach could be cooked as small distributed cubes, instead of large grilled slices.

Ideas for the future

Thankfully, my daughter cleaned her plate in spite of their being ginger in the main course. However, were I cooking for a spice-happy audience, I'd also add some chunks of a mild jalapeno. I should do more waterless cooking with fruit!

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