Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jimmy Nardellos Peppers with Tempeh and Mushroom, Guacamole with Greens atop Thin German Bread (No Added Fat)

I picked up some nice looking Jimmy Nardellos peppers at the farmers' market today. I hadn't seen these before but read that they saute well. Here is what I made.


Ingredients
  • 8 ounces tempeh cut into thin (app. 1/4" thick) 3/4" squares
  • About 10 Jimmy Nardellos peppers, rinsed but with stems intact
  • 1 t onion, chopped into 1/4" cubes
  • 3 ounces mushroom cut into 1/4" or so slices (I used frozen but either fresh or frozen would be fine)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") chopped
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t lemon or lime juice
Process
  1. I sauteed the tempeh in a cast iron pan that I had put a few drops of oil onto then wiped clean first to leave a small oil residue. I sauteed for maybe 10 minutes on medium - medium-high heat, turning occasionally, till brown, adding the onion and mushroom about halfway through.
  2. In another cast iron pan similarly prepared, I sauteed the peppers on medium heat, stirring occasionally, till all peppers had a bit of blackening, about 10 minutes, adding the garlic about halfway through.
  3. I mixed the contents of the two pans together, along with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
My daughter came up with a good recipe from Ruby Roth's Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids that called for making guacamole (I just mix avocado, lime juice, onion, garlic, and, when I have it, rosemary - I used oregano instead today), then mixing in greens including kale. We did that, along with purple cabbage, and served atop heated thin German bread.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pinto Bean with Spinach and Potato, served with Supergrain Garden Pagoda Pasta (No Added Fat)

I wanted to make a pinto bean dish today. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup pinto beans, rinsed, soaked for at least 5 hours, and rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1/2" cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1t finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen but fresh would be fine)
  • 1 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups (large bell pepper) bell pepper cut into 3/8" cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt

Process
  1. I had my wife put the beans, water, potato, garlic, ginger, and turmeric into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and set it to cook for 30m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the spinach, onion, bell pepper, lime juice, and salt, and served, topped with a bit of salsa (no salsa for my daughter's portion).
I also made some "supergrain garden pagoda pasta" which has as all organic ingredients of corn flour, quinoa flour, dried spinach, and dried beet and/or dried red bell pepper. I served that on the side with a bit of nutritional yeast (marinara for my daughter).
Results

Dinner was good! We all enjoyed it. The potatoes added a nice soft but relatively neutral tasting texture.

Ideas for the future

I could have added more vegetables, such as possibly broccoli or corn, but the dish was good as I made it. My wife had forgotten to include a vegan bouillon cube when she cooked the beans; it would have added a bit more flavor. Were I not cooking for my daughter, some jalapeno would have gone well with the main course.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Pinto Bean and Red Lentil Stew (No Added Fat)


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups beans rinsed, soaked overnight, and rinsed again
  • 1/3 cup red lentil
  • Just enough water to cover lentils and beans
  • 1 1/2 cup Yukon Gold potato (medium potato) cut into 3/8" cubes - 23m
  • 2 cups eggplant (about 1/2 eggplant) cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot (medium carrot) cut into 3/8" width and halved
  • 1/3 cup fennel cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 10-12 oregano leaves
  • 2t lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1 t garam masala (or 1/2 t turmeric)
  • (optional) 1/4 t fenugreek seed
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
Process
  1. I cooked the beans, lentils, water, potato, eggplant, carrot, and fennel for 23 minutes (20-25 would have been fine; I wanted a thick result, so went with 23m).
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, oregano, and spices.
I served with a tomato salad (heirloom tomato and some grape tomatoes that our neighbor brought over while I was cooking, Kalamata olives, fresh basil, ume plum vinegar, salt, and black pepper), as well as a kale rollup from Fruitive from our Washington, DC trip that we returned from last night (that isn't gluten-free, but I am labeling this entry as such because of the main course).
Results

The main course was tasty! I love what pressure cooked eggplant does - it doesn't seem to add appreciable flavor (even my brother-in-law who doesn't like eggplant didn't notice when I served him an eggplant dish recently) but thickens a dish.

Ideas for the future

I should more carefully explore how lentils and beans cook well together. I just experimented with a third of a cup of lentil - I wanted to add more, but that's all of the red lentils that I had.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Baby Lima Beans with Roasted Pepper (No Added Fat)

I wasn't sure what to make tonight, but thought I'd try a waterless bean dish. My brother-in-law seems to be enjoying our meals, but was away tonight visiting a family friend.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 cup fennel root cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/4 cup celery cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen black eyed peas (alas, I was out - so I used frozen baby lima beans)
  • 2 small bell peppers, flame roasted, then cut into 1/2" squares (about a cup)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, fennel, celery, lima beans, and bell 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.
  2. I mixed in salt and pepper and served, along with crusty seeded bread topped with heirloom tomato, and peas in a pod.
Results

The main course was a little disappointing - we all ate it and nobody complained, but it could have had more flavor. Black eyed peas would have been good with this dish.

Ideas for the future

I should try this again with black eyed peas, as well as a sauce or just more vegetables.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Split Pea Dhal with Plantain and Fennel (No Added Fat)

My wife's brother is visiting from India - it's the first time he's been to the U.S.! I thought that his first meal should be an Indian one. His wife is from Goa, so I thought I'd use a plantain, which grows there. I decided to make a split pea dish with mixed vegetables and plantain. Here is what I did.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups split peas (green or yellow - I used green)
  • 6 cups water
  • Medium plantain cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (almost 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2T fennel stalk chopped into 1/4" pieces (about a 6" length of a thin stalk)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely (1/8") minced
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (they come cut in small 1/4" or so cubes)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1t kala namak (black salt)
  • 1/2 t salt (or just 1 1/2 t salt with no black salt)
Process
  1. I put the split peas, water, plantain, fennel, garlic, and mixed vegetables into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 10m (split peas cook in a 1:3 ratio for 8-10m and I wanted a thick stew, so went with 10m).
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lemon juice, and salt.
I also made brown basmati rice by soaking 2 cups of the rice for a while (maybe 45m but longer would have been better), rinsing, and simmering, covered, for 45m in fresh 4 cups of water, along with 6 cardamom pods and a pinch of salt.

Results

The dhal was good. Surprisingly, I didn't taste any fennel. The plantain flavor was subtle. Most importantly, my brother-in-law said that he liked the whole meal!

Ideas for the future

I should use plantain more often - but use it so the taste is more pronounced, such as via waterless cooking or cooking under pressure for less time and cut into larger pieces.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Riced Cauliflower with Tempeh and Brown Rice (No Added Fat)

I have never riced cauliflower and should try it sometime to use in making a delicate dish. However, I found frozen riced cauliflower at Whole Foods Market - what could be easier?! I decided to make a simple cauliflower rice dish.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 cups riced cauliflower
  • 8 ounces tempeh cut into cubes approx. 3/8" in size
  • 1t ginger, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into approx. 3/8" cubes
Process
  1. I prepared brown rice the normal way by simmering, covered, for 50m the rice and twice as much water, along with the bouillon cube and water.
  2. I quickly opened the rice pot when it was done, mixed in the cauliflower, and covered and let stand another 10 minutes till the cauliflower was defrosted and slightly cooked.
  3. While the rice was cooking, I prepared the tempeh. I heated on medium high a cast iron pan with a very little bit of oil (maybe 1/4 t), then rubbed the oil off, leaving a light glaze.
  4. I added the tempeh, onion, and ginger, and cooked, stirring occasionally, till the tempeh was lightly browned (about 8 minutes).
Results

Dinner came out well! The riced cauliflower had a subtle flavor and the small pieces of tempeh worked out well.

Ideas for the future

I should make a more complex cauliflower rice sometime, like this promising-sounding recipe describes.

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Friday, July 07, 2017

Chickpeas and Split Peas with Beet and Kale (No Added Fat)

We're excited to be seeing one of our favorite dance troupes, Paul Taylor Dance Company, tonight (and twice tomorrow!) at American Dance Festival. We're friends with one of the dancers and she was interested in one of my home cooked meals, so I made extra tonight and packed food for our friend!

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, rinsed, soaked overnight, and rinsed again
  • Just enough water to cover chickpeas - about a cup
  • 1/2 cup split peas (I used green but yellow split peas would be fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups more water (so a total of about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cup beet (I used one medium yellow beet), peeled with ends cut off and then chopped into approx. 1/4" cubes
  • 2 cups crimini or button mushrooms (I used 14 crimini) cut into thirds so that each slice is about 3/8" thick (thicker mushrooms can be cut into quarters)
  • 2 cups kale leaves, stems excepted, roughly hand torn into approx. 1 1/4" squares (I used 12 lacinato kale leaves)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup dried figs (any kind) cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (I used 10 figs)
  • 3/4 cup onion cut into approx. 3/8" cubes (a bit less than 1/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1T chopped (approx. 1/4") ginger
  • 12 fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped into approx. 1/4" pieces
  • 2t lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t turmeric
Process
  1. Iput the chickpeas, split peas, water, beet, mushroom, kale, garlic, bouillon cube, and figs into my Instant Pot pressure cooker. Soaked chickpeas cook in 20-25m, split peas cook in 8-10m, and everything else would cook fine in just a few minutes; I went with a 23 minute cook time.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the onion, ginger, oregano, lime juice, salt, black pepper, cumin, and turmeric.
I served (for us, and packed for our friend) the main course along with some mixed wild and brown rice.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Eggplant - Potato - Brown Lentil Stew with Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

I've enjoy cooking lentil stews and dhals, as I described, for example, in December 2014. I thought that I'd make a double serving so that we could send half to our neighbors who just had a baby.

Lentils cook in a 1 part to 1.5-2 part water ratio for 15-20m. I wanted something thick, so initially chose 1.5x water for 20m, but I put a lot of ingredients in, so added another half cup of water (with 2 cups lentils, it ended up being a 1:2 ratio).

By the way, I recently got a third Instant Pot, the Duo Plus 60 and donated my original Duo 60. I've used the Duo Plus 60 in making yogurt but tonight was the first time I've used it for dinner. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 2 cups brown (which I used) or green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • Approx. 4 cups potato in 3/8" cubes (I used 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes and ended up with approx. 4 1/3 cups chopped potato)
  • Medium eggplant cut into 3/8" cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium carrots halved and then cut into 3/8" slices (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") chopped
  • 1t ginger, finely (1/8") chopped (I ended up skipping as, alas, we were out of ginger)
  • 3/4 t fenugreek seeds (added in this small quantity to not add much flavor but to enhance lactation for our neighbors)
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • Medium bell pepper 
  • 2 cups onion cut into approx. 3/8" cubes ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 4t lemon or lime juice
Process
  1. I put all of the ingredients except the bell pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and lime juice into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m.
  2. While the pressure cooking was underway, I roasted the bell pepper by putting it directly on the gas range flame, turning occasionally till charred throughout (about 5 minutes), then I put in a brown bag that I closed.
  3. After the cooking was done, I prepared the roasted pepper by running it under cold water and rubbing the char off, cutting it to let the water inside drain in the sink, removing the membranes, and then chopping into approx. 3/4" squares (about 1 cup).
  4. I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, salt, black pepper, and lime juice, as well as roasted bell pepper.
I served with some Madagascar Pink rice (1 part rice to 1 3/4-2 parts water, a vegan bouillon cube, and a dash of salt, simmered for 20m). Yesterday, for the vegetarian society 4th of July potluck party, I made watermelon gazpacho soup and had some leftovers, which I served as a kind of salad to complete the meal.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Monday, July 03, 2017

Waterless Seitan and Okra (No Added Fat)

We're so lucky - we have new neighbors a few houses down. We enjoyed starting to get to know them a few weeks ago when they were quite pregnant - and they had their baby a few days ago! I wanted to bring a meal over so made a larger quantity of tonight's dinner, knowing we'd be sharing. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1" (app. 1/2 or a bit less of my medium Vidalia onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 1 cup thin okra (I found beautiful about 3/4" length thin red locally grown okra and cut a few pieces that were bigger into halves; if using thicker okra, try 3/8" slices)
  • 15-20 small crimini or button mushrooms sliced into thirds (about 1 cup)
  • 16 ounces seitan as thin strips or cubes up to 3/4" thick
  • 1 medium green (unripened) tomato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup bell pepper slices (approx. 1/4" x 3/4") (I might have used 1 1/2 cups but pepper can cause gas, and I wanted to be careful for the new mother)
  • 1 cup (compressed) kale leaf pieces (I hand separated kale into approx. 3/4" squares from the stems; I used 6 lacinato kale leaves)
  • (optional) 1/2 t fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1t fresh lemon or lime juice
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, okra, mushroom, seitan, tomato, bell pepper, kale and fenugreek 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.
  2. I then mixed in the salt, black pepper, and lime juice, and served (or packed for the neighbors) along with brown rice and tomatoes.
Results

Pending

Ideas for the future

Pending

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Brussels Sprouts with Seitan, Kale Chips (not shown) (No Added Fat)

We had a visitor from Mexico City coming tonight to spend two nights with us. He's not vegetarian, so I thought I'd make something with seitan to let him try a food he likely hadn't had before. I made a waterless Brussels Sprouts dish. Here is what I did:


Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion cut into approx. 1/4" x 3/4" half moons (I used about half of a medium Vidalia onion)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 2 cups (12 small-medium) Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups button or crimini mushrooms cut into quarters (I used 8 crimini)
  • Kernels stripped from one cob of corn (maybe 3/4 cup?)
  • 3 leaves bok choy, each leaf halved and then cut into 3/8" pieces
  • 8 ounces seitan, slices or cubes
  • 10 leaves fresh oregano, roughly chopped into approximately quarters
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, Brussels Sprouts, mushrooms, corn, bok choy, 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 20 minutes.
  2. I then mixed in the remaining ingredients and served.
I also served brown rice (which our friend loved), watermelon radish, and heirloom tomato. My daughter made kale chips, which I served separately just before serving the rest of the meal.

I recently gave my daughter an excellent book by Ruby Roth, The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth. It's colorful with easy and healthful recipes. She loved making kale chips a few weeks ago and did that again. It's really easy - kale is roughly hand torn into 1 1/2" or so squares, patted dry, then hand mixed with some nutritional yeast and salt in a preheated 400 degF oven for 20m (I found that 15-17 minutes was enough tonight).

Results

Dinner was great - our guest seemed to enjoy it all. I was quite pleased with the main course; it came out even better than I had hoped.

Ideas for the future

I am always happy when I cook waterlessly. I should do it more regularly! A few days ago, I took my daughter to Remedy Diner in Raleigh, NC; they had an interesting special Brussels Sprouts sandwich. I want to try a sandwich with Brussels Sprouts sometime soon.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jumbo Artichoke with Fig Balsamic Dip, Black Beans with Corn (No Added Fat)

I couldn't believe that Weaver Street Market, a local coop, had so many great prices and items on sale a few days ago. They had, for example, jumbo artichokes for 99 cents apiece! I wonder how they could make money at this price!

Even more exciting, they had this hybrid melon called a melonade. Folks at the coop said that it tastes like lemonade and offered my daughter and me samples - wow, they're right!

I could only find two references to melonades online; one describes this as "sweet with bright notes of citrus, the Melonade Melon is a new variety melon. This crisp, juicy melon is one of the most refreshing we’ve ever tasted" and the other, apparently from May 2015, characterizes the melon as being of "Round shape, Tart-sweet, Tones of citrus". Surprisingly, its PLU code of 4325 searches in the International Federation of Produce Standards website as a "French Breakfast" melon.

Anyway, we're loving this melon and quickly finished 1 1/2 of them. I made "ice cream" out of the melon tonight for dessert! More on that soon, but first let me describe dinner.

It's been a while since I've served steamed artichoke hearts; I can find notes from 2012 and then, before that, 2009. I used to make a simple sauce out of melted Earth Balance margarine, either rosemary or oregano, salt, small bits of onion, and maybe garlic powder, plus lemon or lime juice. I did just that for my daughter so that her first experience with eating a freshly cooked whole artichoke would be more traditional, albeit with a bit of fat.

I had a bottle of no fat fig balsamic vinaigrette on hand. We rarely use salad dressings, but I wanted to try this for its flavor in a dish. Today was a good opportunity!



Ingredients
  • 3 jumbo artichoke hearts (raw)
  • Small piece of cut lime or lemon
  • 1 cup of water
  • Per serving (I had two - one for my wife and one for me):
    • Approximately 1/8 cup no fat balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (I used the fig one referenced above)
    • 5 leaves fresh oregano, finely minced (less than 1/4")
    • 1/2 t onion chopped into approx. 1/4" cubes
    • Pinch (or to taste) of salt
    • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
    • Pinch of garlic powder
Process
  1. The cooking process was trivially simple - in the case of eating fresh artichokes, the eating process is what is complex! I started by rinsing the artichokes, being careful to direct water into the artichoke.
  2. I removed the stems, a handful of discolored and smaller outer leaves, and about 1/3 of the tops.
  3. I put 3/4 or 1 cup of water in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, put in my steamer trivet, and made sure that the water level was below that of the trivet.
  4. I put the artichokes atop the trivet and pressure cooked for 25m. I had considered pressure steaming, but food shouldn't touch the pot when pressure steaming; I was fortunate that all three artichokes fit, and was originally thinking that I'd need to use two of my three Instant Pots.
  5. While the artichokes were cooking, I mixed the dipping sauce.
  6. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then served.
I also had made some black beans (soaked for about 5 hours initially with boiling water and then cooked with enough water to cover plus about 1/4" for 25m). After the beans were done, I transferred them to a pot and mixed in a little corn, bell pepper, onion, garlic, garlic powder, ground cumin, and salt, then heated gently till ready to serve.

For those who haven't eaten artichoke prepared from scratch, the initial goal is to dip the heart (deep) end of each leaf into the dip and enjoy, scraping off the little bit of white flesh in the mouth, then tossing the leaf onto a pile destined to be composted. Outer leaves often have little flesh and can just be composted.

When one gets near the heart, the sharp immature leaves need to be removed and, with the help of a spoon, the "hair" beneath also removed. What's left is the yummy heart, which is dipped and enjoyed. My wife actually took her time and found more than the deep ends of the leaves to be enjoyably edible.

I served "ice cream" for dessert, as I had mentioned. I froze some of the Melonade after cutting it into maybe 1 1/2" chunks. I put the chunks into my Vitamix blender, along with a little bit of Califa Farms brand creamer. Using the blender's "pusher", I pushed the fruit and creamer into the spinning blades on high; within seconds, I had "ice cream". (N.B.: This is an application where a standard blender would not work. Most blenders could not blend large chunks of frozen fruit, so this "ice cream" should only be made in this manner with a high-powered blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec.)

Results

We all loved dinner! I was surprised by what my daughter said at bedtime. I always ask her to recap her day and describe her favorite activity - she had a lot of fun today but claimed that dinner was the hilight!!

Oh - the ice cream was divine! We all loved it, served with an organic strawberry atop. My daughter said that this is the best ice cream that I've ever made!

Ideas for the future

It's a fun and tasty process eating artichokes cooked from scratch. I should explore other no fat dips, such as perhaps miso-based. I might want to try a low fat dip, such as a nut-based "cheese" sauce.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Great Northern and Black Beans with Kale (No Added Fat)

I wanted to make a bean main course and was about to put on some whole grain rice when my wife asked me to use white rice. I'm not a fan of white rice as whole grain rice not only is far healthier, but also tastes a lot better. However, my wife had bought some white rice and prepared it I think for somebody who wasn't used to whole grain rice, and had some leftover.


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans
  • 3/4 cup (i.e., half as much as the Great Northern) black beans
  • Water
  • 1 t chopped (1/8" or so) ginger
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 3/8" cubes
  • 3/4 cup (packed) kale leaves (stems excepted), cut into strips approx. 1/2" wide
  • 1/2 c bell pepper chopped into approx. 3/8" x 3/4" strips
  • (optional) 2 t dried chives
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste) (I used about half salt and half kala namak, pink-colored "black salt")
  • 3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1t ground cumin
  • 2t fresh lime or lemon juice
Process
  1. I mixed the beans, rinsed them, and let them soak. I didn't start this till maybe 5 hours before cooking, so started off with boiling water; if I had soaked overnight, room temperature water would have been fine.
  2. I rinsed the beans again and put them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, along with enough water to just cover the beans plus 1/4" more of height. I added the ginger and vegan bouillon cube, then cooked for 25m.
  3. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the rest of the ingredients.
Results

We all enjoyed the meal, though I missed brown or other better rice. The salt and lime really made the beans shine!

Ideas for the future

I should try more dishes that combine two different kinds of beans. Today, the beans were softer than they needed to be; I could make a similar dish next time in maybe 22 minutes.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chickpeas with Napa Cabbage and Corn (No Added Fat)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained [I much prefer to pressure cook chickpeas, but a week or two back, my wife picked up four chickpea cans for situations like today where I had little time to put dinner together and welcomed "done" beans]
  • 3 cups Napa cabbage cut into approx. 1 1/2" x 1/4" strips (about 1/4 of a head of cabbage)
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • Half dozen cloves
  • Juice of quarter lime (or small lemon)
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, chickpea, cabbage, and corn into a large Saladmaster stock pan.
  2. I cooked semi-waterlessly. Because everything was cooked except the frozen corn and cabbage, I didn't have to do true waterless cooking, but I first gently stirred all the ingredients and heated it on medium high, stirring, for a minute or so, then I reduced the heat to low, covered, and cooked for about 5 minutes.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I mixed in the lime juice and salt first.
I also served a thin slice of whole rye bread with a light smear of hummus (surprisingly, it's only about 1 1/2 g of fat per T, and I used about 1/2 T, so I will still call the meal no added fat), tomato, and pickle. Madagascar Pink rice completed the meal.
Results

Corn went well with the main course, which all of us liked. I thought that the main course could have used a bit more crunch and maybe a tad more flavor; maybe some raw onion mixed in at the end would have been nice.

Ideas for the future

I only bought a half head of Napa cabbage; I should use it more frequently.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Home-Grown Oyster Mushrooms with Chorizo Seitan (No Added Fat)

We've been growing oyster mushrooms at home. It's fun when they suddenly start sprouting - they sprout quickly and grow quite large over 2-3 days.

I've loved recently using Chorizo Seitan by Uptons Naturals. It is not spicy hot enough to bother my daughter, though she doesn't enjoy this seitan as much as my wife and I do. I made a simple saute of the mushrooms with the seitan. Yum!

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Waterless Seitan and Artichoke with Corn and Quinoa (No Added Fat)

A particularly nice cousin of my wife's is visiting for a few days and arrived this morning. I was even more excited than usual about cooking!

I thought that I'd make a waterless seitan and vegetable dish. I made some corn off the cob and quinoa; I normally have a salad, so wondered what the main course might be like with fresh tomato. Here is what I did.


Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (app. 1/8") chopped
  • 2 cups (most of a 12 ounce bag) frozen artichoke heart quarters (canned artichoke hearts could be used; if so, they should be drained and rinsed and added at the end of the cooking, mixed in, and allowed to sit for 2 or more minutes)
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed mushroom cut into 1/2" thick slices (I used frozen pieces which were cut a bit finer)
  • 1/2 cup, compressed, kale leaves, hand torn (stems excepted) into approximately 1" squares (I used freshly picked kale from our garden; the stems were tender, so I didn't remove the stems)
  • 8 ounces seitan, cut as you wish (thin slices would be more delicate tasting and thicker chunks would be heartier; I used a package of sliced seitan where each piece was maybe 1" x 3/8" x 1/2")
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups carrot cut into 1/4" slices (larger diameter slices can be halved; I used 2 medium carrots)
  • Medium or large bell pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into 1/2" cubes (about a cup and a quarter)
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
Process
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, artichoke, mushroom, kale, seitan, and carrot 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.
  2. While the dish was cooking, I roasted a bell pepper by putting it directly on flame (from my gas range) and turning it occasionally till it was mostly charred. I then put the pepper into a brown paper bag and crumpled the bag closed.
  3. After about 15 minutes (the longer the better, up to about 45 minutes), I removed the bell pepper from the bag, ran it under cold running water, rubbing the burnt skin off, then cut it in half and removed the membranes and seeds. I then cut the pepper into approximately 1" x 3/8" strips, coming up with about a cupful.
  4. When the waterless cooking was done, I mixed in the bell pepper, tomato, salt, and pepper.
I also served some corn off the cob with lime juice and salt, as well as quinoa with onion and garlic.

Results

I loved dinner and, more importantly, my wife, daughter (except for the quinoa, which she doesn't like), and cousin seemed to really enjoy it.

Ideas for the future

The main course was excellent primarily because, I think, of the combination of seitan and artichoke. The tomato was a very nice addition but the dish didn't rely on it. I should experiment with more cooked dishes with raw tomato or maybe Napa cabbage or other ingredient added at the end.

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