Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Another Savory Oatmeal

I used to be a huge lover of macaroni and cheese.  Once I became both vegan and gluten free I thought I would never find a substitute for mac 'n cheese that I found as satisfying as the boxed stuff I ate as a kid.  I've been on a binge for savory steel cut oats and it occurs to me that the reason may be that it has become my new mac 'n cheese.  It certainly tastes as good to  my mature taste-buds as that powdery stuff did to my childhood taste-buds so you may see quite a few more versions of the steel cut oats, nut milk, vegetable broth and nutritional yeast combination.  And really, what could be better than something you dump in the crock pot, turn on high and come back three or four hours later to enjoy?

Into my crock pot I put:

1 cup organic steel cut oats
1 cup 5X protein unsweetened almond milk
2 cups veg broth (I used organic mushroom broth)
1 cup nutritional yeast
6 organic carrots, sliced into coins
1 garlic scape, chopped
3 small yellow beets, peeled, halved and sliced
cilantro (You may cringe, but the cilantro was kind of dried up, having been stored in a cloth bag in a drawer in the fridge, but I came across it and tossed it in anyway.  Tasted fine to me.)
3 organic celeriac stalks/leaves, sliced (I'm sure a stalk of celery would work just fine, however it would be a slightly less strong flavor.)
salt to taste

I set the crock pot on high, went out to an appointment, returned three hours later to a perfectly cooked batch of oatmeal.  Yum!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Savory Oatmeal and Veggies

You've probably noticed by now that I am a fan of nutritional yeast and tend to favor carrots, onions and kale when I cook veggies.  I woke up today with a mad desire for savory oatmeal that just wouldn't subside until I set this up in the crock pot, let it cook, then dug in.
I forgot to take my vitamins the past two days so I'm guessing the desire for nutritional yeast came from my body seeking B-12.  The yen for steel cut oats came from, I think, the hope of being able to dump something in the crock pot that was easy to assemble but would be tasty and delicious.  Also, I have some business travel coming up and needed some leftovers to freeze in snack-size bags to take along for meals away from home.  Most of the things I cook are quite liquidy and as we all know that doesn't cut it when you're going through airport security.  I shouldn't have any problem with little bags of oatmeal and veggies.  This turned out so yummy I had it for both lunch and dinner.  It fed one sleever, plus two 'normal' eaters with enough for leftovers.

To my crockpot I added:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill organic steel cut oats
1 cup 5X protein unsweetened almond milk
2 cups Pacific organic mushroom broth
1 cup Bob's Red Mill large flake nutritional yeast
1 bunch beautiful organic CSA lacinato kale, chopped
8 medium organic CSA carrots, sliced into coins
1 organic CSA sweet onion, sliced
salt and garlic powder, to taste

I stirred it all together, cooked it three hours on high, then stirred it again before serving.

Have a savory oatmeal recipe you like?  I'd love it if you shared it here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tasty Thursday: End of Summer Watermelon Salad

We've been blessed with a gorgeous yellow watermelon from our CSA share several times now.  First one went to my Dad's birthday celebration where it got rave reviews from all ages and provided some adorable photo ops with a baby who was having a ball feeding it to himself.  Last week's melon was left for my daughter to share with some company she had while we were out of town for the weekend, however she ended up not using it.  So when I picked up my share this week I knew I still had the one in my fridge and with there being little space for another one I chose the smallest one I could find and set out to make something with the older melon ASAP when I arrived home.  This is what came of it:

Into your nice, large salad bowl place the following ingredients then toss to mix:

Half a lovely organic yellow watermelon, cubed (reserve rind for pickling if desired)
Two cups organic home-sprouted mung beans
Two organic carrots, shredded
One small organic onion, chopped
A handful of organic cilantro, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste (optional)

I added balsamic to this, however one of the folks in my house doesn't have  a taste for vinegar lately so we dressed the salad individually once plated.  I served it over a bed of organic spring mix greens.

What are you waiting for?  Go cut that watermelon you have sitting in your fridge from this week's CSA share and enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Baby Eggplant with Sprouted Red Lentils

This eggplant and lentil dish is what resulted from me not being able to resist a pint of gorgeous little organic baby eggplants and a failed experiment with sprouting red lentils.

You see, I sprout green lentils every week.  We use them in everything from salads to hummus.  I decided this week to see what would happen if I used red instead.  What I learned is that although they will sprout, the beans are so delicate that when you rinse them, as I do every two hours while I am awake, the sprouts come off. So with the lentils not suitable for further sprouting and the sweet little baby eggplants needing to be used ASAP, I set out to make something yummy and while it might not be attractive in the photo we sure did enjoy eating it.


Half a Vidalia onion, chopped
Pint of adorable organic baby eggplant, cubed with stems removed
Four cloves of gorgeous CSA garlic, chopped
One cup of red lentils, soaked overnight, then rinsed every two (waking) hours for a day and a half
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/3 tsp turmeric

In your largest cast iron pan brown the onion.  When the kitchen smells heavenly and the onion is done, deglaze the pan with some water.  Lower flame, add eggplant and garlic, cover for five minutes to soften.  Make sure you've got enough water that it steams and doesn't burn.  Next, add lentils, salt, pepper, turmeric and more water if the pan has gone dry.  Give a good stir then cover and cook for a few minutes to allow lentils to come to the same temperature as the vegetables.  Enjoy!

Serve over bed of rice, if desired.  My spouse had it with thick slices of toasted sourdough bread topped with soy-free Earth Balance, I had it with some nutritional yeast on top.  It got two thumbs up from everyone who ate it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Vegan Mommy Chef's Sweet Potato Kale Frittata

I have to say that this recipe is a WINNER!  Not only did I find it delicious but my omnivore spouse finished up about half of the frittata, going back for seconds and thirds while delivering lots of compliments.  When an omni gorges on something that is made with a substitute for eggs when they are the major ingredient in a recipe it sure is a good feeling.

You can find Vegan Mommy Chef's recipe here and my version below.

Now I will mention that I do not own a food processor so this was a little more work to make than I like to put into a recipe but it was worth every bit of the effort.  I plan to make it again this week.


'Egg' base:
1 1/2 cups Burmese tofu (I'll share this recipe tomorrow)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup Trader Joe's ground almond
1/4 cup tapoica starch
2 TB coconut oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pink sea salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 TB whole grain mustard
1 TB chia seeds
water as needed for blending (I ended up using 1/2 cup)

Vegetable filling:
1 tsp coconut oil
1 red torpedo onion from our CSA share, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, skin removed then cut into small cubes
6 leaves lacinato kale from our CSA shrare, stems removed and leaves cut into 1" bits
2 TB worcestershire sauce substitute (I'll share this one tomorrow too)
1 tsp local honey

First, I melted the coconut oil in a cast iron pan, then added the cubed sweet potato, stirred for a minute or two then added the onion.  I allowed it to cook for a few minutes, then turned it off because I had to answer a telephone call and was afraid I'd get distracted and let it burn.  It sat covered for about five minutes.  When I came back I added the kale, sauce sub and honey to the pan.  It cooked for about eight minutes, then I removed the lid, stirred it and let it sit covered with the burner off for a few minutes while I finished blending the egg sub items and greased my ceramic quiche dish with coconut oil.

While I was cooking the veggies I  ran the egg sub ingredients through the chopper attachment of my stick blender to break them down as far as I could, then transferred to the regular blender to liquefy.  This was a pain in the butt, however in the end it was all worth it.  I really should purchase a food processor.  Do you have a food processor you like?  If you do, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.  But I digress. 

Once the egg sub is blended, add it to the veggies in the pan.  Mix well, then scrape into quiche dish, distributing evenly.  Bake 35 minutes (or as long as needed) in a 350F oven then enjoy this delicious frittata!

Tasty Thursday: Sauerkraut!

I love, love, love fermented food and am expanding my horizons and beginning to make it myself.  This is my second batch of sauerkraut, curing in a gallon canning jar on the counter.  I wish I'd researched sooner because now that I have discovered how insanely easy it is to make I'll never purchase it again. 

The ingredients are 2lbs. cabbage to one tablespoon sea salt.  That's it!  You can of course adjust to whatever quantity of cabbage you have to work with.   I used beautiful heirloom conical heads from our organic farm share and decided to add a little dehydrated organic dill to this batch.  We are all crazy for dill in this house so I think we'll like it.  Next batch I'm going to experiment with adding some finely shredded carrot.

Remove the tough outer leaves and reserve, then simply slice the cabbage into thin strips, place it in a large bowl and add the salt.  Knead and massage the cabbage with your hands, working the salt into it.  The mixture will become very wet and the cabbage will begin to shrink as it releases its fluids.  Once it is nice and mixed, transfer to a jar or crock by the handful, tamping it down with your fist every now and then.  Push it down enough so that the fluid rises to cover the shredded cabbage.  When you have added all of the cabbage to the vessel and tamped it down firmly cover with the leaves.  This is important because the leaves will help keep the shredded cabbage fully submerged and prevent mold growth.  In order to keep the mixture firmly held down place a water-filled jar or zipper bag on top of the hard outer leaves.

Tamp down daily.  I began tasting the first batch at five days out.  My family began eating it at seven days out so I placed it in the fridge at that time.  I can't say how long it lasts because around here it was consumed in a week.

Have you ever made sauerkraut?  Did you add anything besides salt and cabbage to it?  I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Purslane Frittata

Yes, that's a knife in it.  I was so excited to try it I was already cutting myself a slice when I realized I needed to take a photo to post here.  Oops.

Inspired by Eco Lesbo Vego's recipe, I created a delicious frittata.  On the gastric-sleeve side what I am learning from my experiments with chickpea flour is that it is a slider food and does not fill me up.  I'm finding that fact a little frustrating since it is good for me protein-wise.  This frittata was quite tasty and very easy to make.

First, use your choice of item to grease a favorite pie plate.  I used a ceramic pie plate and coconut oil. Next add the veggies, then the egg substitute and bake.

Fill your pie plate with the veggies of your choice.  I used a bunch of chopped purslane and two scallions, sliced thin.  I sprinkled a bit of Trader Joe's almond meal on the top of the veggies for a little more protein before pouring the liquid mixture over them.

Vegan egg substitute:
3TB nutritional yeast
1tsp Herbamare
1 cup chickpea flour
1.5 cups water
1 tsp granulated garlic
Mix ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, then pour over veggies in pie plate.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until done to your liking.  I found the center a little moist but it resolved after I let it sit for a few minutes.

Really tasty.  I plan to try this with lots of other veggies.