Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Edamame with Kale and Shiitake Mushroom (No Added Fat)

For dinner tonight, I got a waterless dish going by putting, in this order, a chopped clove of garlic, 1/8 cup onion cut into approximately 1/4" thick half moon slices, a half dozen kale leaves roughly hand torn from the stem into approximately 1" squares, and 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame into a small Saladmaster stock pan. 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 12 minutes, then opened the pan, mixed in 1/4 cup crushed tomato, a bit of salt and kala namak (pink salt), freshly ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, and cumin. I covered and continued to cook on low, and a little lemon juice.

In parallel, I had sauteed on a cast iron pan with no oil 4 large shiitake mushrooms and half moon slices of onion. I mixed this into the main course before serving.

I also made corn -on-the-cob (for the family) and -off-the-cob for me, including jerk seasoning, salt, and lemon juice. Brown rice completed the meal.
Results

The main course was surprisingly good. The lemon and tomato really brought the edamame alive.

Ideas for the future

I should use edamame more often in my dishes. I wonder what air fried edamame might be like.

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Monday, May 20, 2019

Thai Mango Vegetables with Seitan (No Added Fat)

My daughter ate a simple Udon noodle dish by design, as her stomach had been a little upset, so I made a spicier main dish for my wife and I . Last week, I had purchased Thai Mango simmer sauce with no fat; I thought I'd use it with a noodle dish.

I sauteed some potato, bell pepper, onion, and garlic on a cast iron pan with no oil. After the potato had a little bit of browning, I put it in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes till just cooked.

I mixed in the vegetables with cooked Udon noodles, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a few chopped leaves of fresh basil and fresh mint, and the sauce. I simmered for a few minutes, then served with slices of tomato.

Results

Dinner was good! I like the sauce and am so happy it adds significant flavor without fat.

Ideas for the future

I'm generally not good with using sauces but especially when I can get quality fat-free sauces pre-made, I should take more advantage. I'd like to try cooking some savory dishes with chunks of mango, as well.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Tempeh Burger with Peanut, Waterless Broccoli/Spinach/Squash (Almost No Added Fat)

My wife and I like tempeh, but my daughter doesn't and tonight she wasn't eating with us, so I took advantage and made a tempeh dish. In addition, she's not crazy about squash, so I integrated squash into a side dish.

We were getting ready to go to the season finale for Flash Chorus, so I thought I'd make a quick and easy dish. I sauteed thin sheets of tempeh, along with onion and roasted red bell pepper, on a cast iron pan with no oil except for a little bit I rubbed on and then off. I served it on sourdough bread with less than 1/2 t of peanut butter smeared atop (peanut butter is 8g of fat per tablespoon, so this was about 8/6 = 1 1/3 g of fat, which is quite low) and a nice quality Dijon mustard with chablis, plus greens.

I made a waterless side of broccoli, spinach, squash, and jerk seasoning. Tomato slices completed the meal.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Roasted Cauliflower with Black Beluga Lentils (No Added Fat)

I have enjoyed making roasted cauliflower as I first described this past January. I thought I'd make a cauliflower and lentil dish. I roasted half a head of cauliflower florets, tossed with 4 cloves of garlic and coconut aminos (soy sauce would have been fine, too) for 15 minutes with convection bake in my air fryer at 400°F. I removed the cauliflower and, after letting it cool for a few minutes, coarsely chopped the garlic into maybe 1/4" pieces.

While the cauliflower was cooking, I simmered black beluga lentils in a combination of vegetable broth and water for 20m. When the lentils were done, I mixed in the cauliflower and garlic.
Results

Dinner was good! We all enjoyed the combination for the main course.

Ideas for the future

Cauliflower is good raw, but is especially good roasted. I should make roasted cauliflower more often - it's so easy!

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Air Fried, Waterless Green Beans and Seitan

I put, in this order, a little onion and garlic, frozen green beans, and seitan 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 10 minutes.

Then, I mixed in bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, and lemon pepper. I put it in my Cuisinart air fryer and "fried" (with no oil) at 350°F for 5 minutes.

In my Instant Pot cooker, I also cooked acorn squash and Japanese sweet potato (13 minutes under pressure). I served the main course, along with the squash and sweet potato, plus some tomato slices.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Waterless Cabbage and Black-Eyed Peas (No Added Fat)

I made a waterless dish tonight. I put, in this order, onion, garlic, black-eyed peas, chopped (1/4" cubes) Japanese sweet potato, and cabbage 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 20 minutes. I mixed in lemon juice, salt, lemon pepper, cumin, and turmeric.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Waterless Seitan, Brussels Sprout, and Cauliflower with Mixed Wild and Brown Rices and Avocado Salad

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Anasazi Beans with Roasted Cauliflower, Bhutanese Red Rice (No Added Fat)

I enjoy roasting cauliflower and decided to try it with a bean main dish. One day I'll try a bean-roasted cauliflower soup. Here is what I did today.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups Anasazi beans, soaked overnight in ample water
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 leaves kale, roughly hand-torn into approx. 3/4" pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1/2 t ginger, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1/2 t jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/2 head (I actually used frozen and estimate it was about equivalent to a half head) cauliflower florets
  • 1T coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
  • 3 scallions cut into 3/8" lengths
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t lemon pepper
  • 1 t oregano
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 2T Meyer (or other lemon) lemon juice
Process
  1. I drained and then rinsed the beans and put them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker with twice as much water, and cooked for 15m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the kale, 1/2 the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and cooked for another 2 minutes
  3. While the beans were cooking, I got my cauliflower roasting. I mixed the frozen cauliflower with the coconut aminos and the other 1/2 of the garlic, then oven roasted at 400°F for 15m.
  4. When the beans and cauliflower were both done, I mixed them together, along with the scallion, spices, and lemon juice
I also made Bhutanese red rice by briefly cooking, stirring, in a pan with a little onion and ginger, but no oil or anything else. I then added twice as much water and a few pinches of salt, then brought to a boil. I reduced the heat and simmered for 40m, covered.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Thursday, February 07, 2019

Roasted Cauliflower with Green Lentil Penne, Bagel Half with Miyoko's Roadhouse Cheddar and Marinara (Almost No Added Fat)

I was very pleased with the roasted cauliflower soup that I made about a month ago, and have been thinking of roasting cauliflower and doing something with it. Yesterday, I found cauliflower heads at a great price in sale (under $2) at Weaver Street Market, so took advantage and bought a head.

As I did when I made the soup, I was going to roast the florets at 400°F via convection baking for 15m, after first mixing in coconut aminos garlic sauce. I'm not sure why, but the cauliflower was nicely roasted after 12m, so I stopped at that point.

As with much of my cooking, I often improvise as I'm cooking. My original thought was to make a roasted cauliflower side dish or maybe puree roasted cauliflower and make a sauce (I'll do that sometime!). But when thinking of a protein to serve it with, I didn't have time to make beans but remembered that I had some lentil pasta (Tolerant Foods brand green lentil penne). It's a great product that has one ingredient - organic green lentil flour.

Each 3.5 ounce serving of the pasta has 25g of protein, 11g of fiber, and 2g of fat. 11g of fiber! In Food for Life classes, we recommend that adults eat 40g of fiber a day - one serving of this pasta, even with no vegetables or anything else, gets you a quarter of the way there!

I served the pasta, then put the cauliflower on top. I roasted some sesame seeds in a cast iron pan and sprinkled those on. I also served a bagel half with a smear of Miyoko's vegan "cheese" (9g of fat per ounce, but I used at most 1/4 or 1/5 ounce per serving) plus marinara. It was delicious!

Results

Dinner was good. My daughter didn't like the penne as much as my wife and I did, and the pasta was rather sticky.

Ideas for the future

I love the nutrition of the pasta. I should make this pasta in dishes where it could shine, with an appropriate sauce or maybe as part of a caponata dish. I'd like to experiment with more roasted cauliflower dishes. Kalamata olives would go well with roasted cauliflower.

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Monday, February 04, 2019

Shredded Cabbage and Seitan (No Added Fat)

I had some finely shredded cabbage left from this weekend's Food for Life class and decided to make a waterless dish. I  put garlic, ginger, broccoli stalk cubes, onion, seitan, the cabbage, Roma tomato cubes, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper 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 20 minutes.

I served with some freshly chopped cilantro. I also served Madagascar Pink rice, as well as heirloom tomato slices.

Results

Wow, we all enjoyed dinner. Frankly, I was a little concerned when the dish was underway as the batch of seitan that I had purchased wasn't as tasty as I had hoped. But the flavor combination was excellent and it didn't need any additional spices.

Ideas for the future

I love the results of waterless cooking and should more regularly cook this way. I don't cook with cabbage that often and should also do more of that.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Collard - Vegetable Rollups (No Added Fat)

I came home and got to work almost immediately making dinner. I had purchased collard greens several days earlier and wanted to use them; I thought of the idea of collard rollups and found a recipe that suggested blanching the collard leaves and then filling; I may try this interesting recipe with coconut curry sometime.

I didn't have time to cook beans so used a 13.4 ounce box of kidney beans and a bit of canellini beans that I had on hand. 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 for about 20 minutes) the beans along with a clove of chopped garlic, along with other chopped vegetables (a green onion, broccoli including stem, and about a half dozen olives), plus 1/4 t salt, 2T nutritional yeast, and 1/4 cup marinara.

I blanched the intact collard leaves one at a time by putting each leaf in a pan with about an inch of boiling water for 15 seconds a side, then setting aside. Once cool, I removed the thickest part of the spine, added the bean-vegetable filling, and rolled.

Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Creamy "Cheese" Cauliflower Soup (Almost No Added Fat)

Recently we stopped by Living Kitchen, a very nice vegan and (subject to ingredient availability) organic restaurant, and had a tasty thick cauliflower soup. I picked up a head of cauliflower today and decided to try making a similar soup. I had made a cauliflower soup back in February 2011 that was good but I wanted to better it.

I found a roasted cauliflower soup recipe from a very nice site by a woman named Jessica and it looked great. The key ideas were to roast cauliflower, coated in a little olive oil and along with garlic cloves, at  450°F for 15m, then blend with sauteed onion.

I made a few changes; I used the convection ("air bake") function on my air fryer toaster oven which cooks faster and went with 400°F for 15m, instead of using oil, I mixed in Coconut Secret brand coconut aminos garlic sauce (soy sauce or their normal coconut aminos would have been fine), and I used oregano instead of thyme.  I didn't have any bouillon cubes on hand or broth, so I used filtered water and just a few (maybe 5) raw cashews for creaminess and thickness. I had sauteed the onion in a cast iron pan and then mixed all the ingredients in my Vitamix blender - including some nutritional yeast. As Jessica suggested, I saved a few pieces of roasted cauliflower and added atop the soup.

Here is a copy of the original recipe from Jessica's site.





INGREDIENTS
Roasted Cauliflower Soup - Vegan, Incredibly Easy
  • 1 large head cauliflower, de-stemmed and florets broken up
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed with skins still on
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme, stems removed
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Roasted Cauliflower Soup - Vegan, Incredibly Easy
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  • Add the cauliflower to the baking sheet and 1 tablespoon olive oil, about ½ teaspoon salt and grind some pepper over it all. Using your hands, mixing it all in, massaging the ingredients into the cauliflower. Add the smashed garlic (skins still on) on the baking sheet. The skins help to prevent it burning; you'll remove thee afterwards. Roast for 15 minutes. I like to reserve a few pieces after roasting to top the soup with.
  • Meanwhile, in a large high sided pot over medium high heat, sauté the onions in the ½ tablespoon olive oil until fragrant and browning, about 8 minutes, stirring infrequently.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower, the garlic (skins remove), 2 sprigs of thyme and vegetable broth. Mix together with spatula.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir once more. If using an immersion blender, blend the soup together. If using a high powered blender, let cool slightly and add slowly to blender. Press the "soup" setting or blend on high until soup is thoroughly mixed and incorporated, at least 1 minute. Be careful that your soup is not too hot to crack your blender. Taste and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour into bowls and top optionally with extra cauliflower, crushed red peppers, extra thyme and a drizzle of coconut milk. Enjoy!


I'm glad that I found this recipe and this site! I also made some quinoa cooked with chopped broccoli stalk and with tofu (the tofu wasn't for my wife).

Results

The soup was excellent! I loved the flavor and consistency. It's a winner!

Ideas for the future

I share Jessica's enthusiasm about roasted cauliflower. My toaster oven is fast and I think I could have baked for maybe 10m instead of 15m. I should also try other cauliflower soups maybe with kale or broccoli.

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Monday, January 07, 2019

Air "Fried" Eggplant with Homemade Tomato Sauce, Grits with Edamame (No Added Fat)

I made an air fried eggplant dish with grits on the side. I used Ener-G Egg Replacer to have a sticky "egg" that I dipped eggplant slices (about 3/8" thick) into, followed by dredging them in a mixture of panko bread crumbs, along with a little nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, salt, and black pepper. I air fried with no oil for 5 minutes at 400°F. I also made a fresh tomato sauce by gently simmering cubes of tomato with onion, dried oregano, a little hot red pepper, and salt, and serving it atop the eggplant.

I prepared grits by getting 3 cups salted water boiling then adding maybe 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame. I cooked for a few minutes till the edamame was defrosted, then added 1 cup grits and a few tablespoonfuls of nutritional yeast. I stirred occasionally and cooked for 5-7 minutes until thick.


Results

Dinner was very good! My daughter particularly liked the meal and ate leftovers again later in the evening. The eggplant was nicely crispy and the sesame flavor was quite nice. The grits were very good!

Ideas for the future

I should use egg replacer and sesame more often in making air fried dishes. I was originally going to air fry other vegetables along with the eggplant and should soon make a melange of air fried mixed vegetables maybe served with a tomato or creamy sauce.

I was not initially planning on using edamame but it turned out to be convenient. It wasn't an ideal flavor combination, but wasn't bad. I should experiment with other grit combinations.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Vegan Ricotta and Baked Bean Manicotti

My daughter loves manicotti and I decided to make a batch tonight. She readily agreed to help. It ended up being too late for my wife, who enjoyed leftovers; she will eat this tomorrow and I may cook a tofu dish for my daughter and me.

I used Jovial brand manicotti shells made from brown rice. I used the recipe that they had on the box as a rough starting point.

In one pan, I made a sauce with a 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, along with peas (my daughter's request; I would have used artichoke hearts), spinach, butternut squash, nutritional yeast, oregano, salt, pepper, and red chili powder. As it simmered, I prepared the filling.

I had purchased on sale Kite Hill brand "ricotta cheese" made from almonds. The box's recipe called for 16 ounces of ricotta, but my tub was half that size, so we needed to improvise to get additional bulk for the stuffing (the recipe even had additional items - 4 ounces of Parmesan cheese, a beaten egg, and 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese). I was thinking of blending some cannellini beans but my daughter loves baked beans and, when she spied that I had a can of them, insisted that we use them. That's what I did, and I blended them with the ricotta and, to cut the baked bean sweetness a bit, a bit of onion, as well.

We preheated the oven to 375°F and put half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9"x13" glass baking dish. We boiled the manicotti shells for 4 minutes then stuffed each with the filling and put in the dish. Once all the manicotti shells were filled and placed, we covered with the remaining sauce and cooked, covered, for 40m. If we had put "cheese" on top, we would have cooked another 5 minutes, uncovered; in fact, I had a few shells that were shy of filling, so I added a few sprinkles of Daiya brand shreds on those for my daughter and did cook for the extra 5 minutes.


Results

My daughter loved the manicotti! I thought it was good but missed artichokes and wish that the filling were less heavy.

Ideas for the future

The ricotta I used had 7g of fat per serving, with 8 servings in the tub. We each went through about 1/5 of the yield, so the cheese contributed about 56g/5 or 11g of fat, which isn't low. While I wish that the fat content were lower, I still want to experiment with more ricotta dishes, such as:

  • I remember years ago enjoying Seva, an Ann Arbor vegetarian restaurant. They made an excellent Mexican dish with cream cheese and butternut squash, or something similar. I bet this ricotta mixed with the squash and pureed would be good as a manicotti.
  • My Mom used to make a ricotta Indian dessert, ras malai or burfi. I generally find Indian sweets too sweet, but it might be worth trying to bring back a food that my Mom used to enjoy making.
  • I could make a manicotti with this ricotta and spinach with some olives or other punctuation of flavor.
  • It would be fun to try pizza with dollops of the ricotta.

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Friday, December 07, 2018

Pressure-Cooked Risotto with Peas and Carrots, Air "Fried" Tempeh (or Tofu) (No Added Fat)

I decided to make risotto like I described last May with a 1 to 2 ratio of arborio rice to water pressure cooked for 5m, along with cubes of potato and carrot, plus peas, onion, and garlic. I also prepared tempeh (tofu for my daughter; I had some tofu, too) in the air fryer at 350°F for 4m.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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