Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OH! It's snowing again...



Im craving salad. This is very weird for me. I rarely eat salad. I never crave salad. I think I ate way too many wimpy sad salads made of the somewhat nutrient deficient iceburg lettuce.

Dont get me wrong I love a bowl filled to the brim with yummy fresh veggies drizzled with a fresh vin, but it's not something I crave.

I think the prevalence of snow is causing a longing for the days of summmer...hence the salad craving. I would try the whole "eat local" thing, but I feel like I have SAD and the summery country imports in the grocery store are just what I need to make me feel better.

A fruit smoothie is just what the doctor ordered. Of course the doctor in this case doesnt have an MD, but thats how i like it.


Strawberry Spoon Smoothie
So thick you'll need a spoon for it!!


1 frozen banana, sliced
5 frozen strawberries
1 t cinamon
1 c almond milk
5 dates
2 T flax meal

Blend til smooth top with flax meal and grab a spoon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TOFU!


Mmm..Tofu.

Admittedly the first few times I had tofu I said "eww..tofu" But then I had it prepared just right for my taste at the time and I havent looked back since.

My first impression of tofu was as it looks above: a white block of flavorless "stuff". But then I came to realize that it is really a blank slate of endless food possiblities


Fried tofu, General tso's tofu, shake and bake tofu, tofu scramble. These were my first encounters with tofu after i started liking it. Three of these ways i prepared myself.

Look what tofu can turn into:

veganyumyum.com

tofufortwo.net




When i started eating a more plant based diet tofu was $3 and I was broke. I knew I had to get the cooking right or I would have to eat something that was inedible rather than waste $3. Witht he advent of diet acceptance the market value of tofu has changed and you can find a tub of tofu for $1.50 at you local Trader Joe's (I love you Joe! Call me! Let's make lunch!).

So go buy a few tubs and experiment. I suggest you bake one, fry one and scramble one. This will give you an idea of the textual variations.

For beginners firm tofu is a great place to start. It has a great chewy texture.
Tofu is a blank slate flavor wise, so choose a spice or seasong you like and go wild. You can also soak the tofu in marinade (over night or for a few hours or just a few minutes) and then prepare it as you wish.

Italian Scrambled Tofu


1 can diced Tomato drained (but save the juice in a jar for soup)
1/2 to 1 cup frozen or fresh Spinach
1 medium onion sliced thinly
2 cloves of fresh Garlic (2 t powder)
1 Block of Firm Tofu
Extra add ins: 1/4 c mushrooms, 2 T nutritional yeast, dash of cayenne powder)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oile then throw in the tofu. Break it up with a spoon and spread it our evenly in the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes so the bottom begins to brown then stir it so all sides get browned. When its done scoop it into a bowl.

Heat 1 T olive oil then add onion. When lightly browned add in garlic and saute then add spinach and tomato.

Add tofu back in and let sit over low heat a few minutes to heat the tofu back up to temperature and let the flavors meld with the tofu.

Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

fried tofu


Drain tofu and slice into thin rectangles. Pat with paper towels.

Optional step: Sprinkle with seasoning of choice or soak in marinade of choice.

Heat up 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add in the tofu when it is hot.

Brown both sides of tofu and then put on paper towel to dry and cool.

While it is hot sprinkle with seasoning of choice (if you are already familiar with nutritional yeast try a blend of nutritional yeast and sea salt with a small sprinkle of garlic powder).

How to eat this: Right off the plate, as the "meat" of a sandwich, as the "meat" in a stir fry, or as a side dish for an extra boost of protein in your meal.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cheap Lunch

What do you do when you've got $4.00, a hungering for lunch, and a few minutes to get to work? Go to Trader Joe's of course! There are lots of excellent option for a fast and cheap (not to mention tasty) lunch at Trader Joe's. If you are going home for lunch the options of what you can purchase for under $4 are nearly limitless, but I'll have to save that for another post.



So, on to the good stuff. This is what I got for a little under $4.

1) Seaweed Snacks $0.99






Look at this beautiful green rectangle of salty crunchy love. Nom nom nom!



And yes that is what you think it is hiding behind the Seaweed snacks bag in the above photo.

2) One Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar $1.29 and One Cashew Cookie Larabar $1.29






Doesn't this picture just scream "bite me"?? But in a good kind of way of course.



Someone was kind enough to buy me a black tea while I was out in field service (Thank you R!).



And I brought two clementines this morning just in case I couldnt get lunch, but they ended up rounding out a quick lunch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Food review: Hummus and Chips? No! Hummus Chips!



What could possibly be better than sitting down with a smudge of freshly made hummus and sesame seed encrusted pita chips? Possibly, sitting down with a bag of Hummus Chips and not even pretending to share or stop at one serving. Throw some fresh veggies on the side and a glass of ice water and you've got what I call a balanced, if not incredible lazy) snack.

Enter the Humbles Baked Hummus Chips. Remember how I told you I bought lots of goodies at Soergels Natural Store? Well this was one of them. For authenticity's sake I tried the Sesame Garlic flavor and was completely blown away by how tasty they are.

They have a wonderful burst of flavor in each chip and are deliciously crisp.

A visit to their website provided quite the education for moi. CHeckout how these babies are made:

Preparation Method: Vacuum Baking

This process utilizes very small dough pellets (called micropellets) which are placed into a device that looks similar to a miniature waffle iron. As this device is heated, the top of the iron is pulled away from the bottom, forming a vacuum. The combination of the vacuum and heat causes the micro-pellets to expand and combine with one another, which forms a chip. Each chip is composed of dozens of micro-pellets.



They have another product Avocado oil Potato Chips that I really want to try, but since im on the other side of broke at the moment it will have to stay on the list until after my missionary trip to the Dominican Republic. No non-essential food item purchases (aka healthy junk food) until then.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Love Letter to a yummy coworker...

I can no longer hide my feelings for you. They are too strong and deep to deny anymore. My adoration is becoming quite obvious to my friends. I talk about you all the time and its not hard to ascertain that you are the reason I smile so much.

You are a bit rough around the edges. But inside you are so smooth and sweet. Some would say you arent much to look at, but I could stare at you all day and night. You are so sweet! I can't imagine my life without you.

We've been working together for quite a few years now, but only recently did I realize how deep my feelings are for you and how wonderful you make me feel.

Some would say your personality is one dimensional, but you have so many sides. You seemed only one way when I met you but i have seen so many sides of you.

You beautiful bowl of oatmeal! You boost my iron and brighten my morning. You warm me up and help me face the cold winter morning. But there is so much more to you than just a breakfast cereal. You make a delicious cookie, pancake and muffin. A warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and a cup of tea is all i need when things get tough.



Look at you! All smothered in walnuts and agave. With a hint of flax meal and a drizzle of agave. So delicious and so good for me too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Field Trip: Soergel's Orchard



There is something about this cold weather we are having that makes me want to visit a farm stand. In that spirit I am revisiting a trip taken when the summer weather was still here and in full swing. September 5th to be precise.

We visited Soergels specifically for their annual corn roast. Hence the beautiful first picture of this post.

Pictured below is the unique corn roasting machine that looks rustic and innovative at the same time. It appeared to have been constructed from other machinery to form this hybrid machine just perfect for roasting corn. I wonder if its good for roasting anything else.



An added perk to going to the agricultural wonderland known as Soergels is their store "Naturally Soergel's". As if it wasn't enough to have a beautiful farmhouse market stocked to the brim with an exquisite variety of vegetables and fruits Soergel's also has a mini-shop that features loads of allergen free food including gluten free and dairy free.

They sell my favorite Edward and Sons Mushroom gravy mix that i discovered in Hawaii, which is probably part of the reason i developed such an affinity, but i digress.

On this particular visit I discovered these lovely little things called "hummus chips" boy were they yummy, but you can read more about them when I review them. I also purchased some rediculously reasonably priced sundried tomatoes and of course gravy mix.



You should visit and when you do don't miss the Market, Garden Center, Gift Barn, and especially Naturally Soergel's.

Soergel Orchards
2573 Brandt School Road
Wexford, PA 15090


If traveling south on I-79:
Take Wexford exit
Turn left onto 910 (Orange Belt)
From far right lane, take first right (Brandt School Rd.)
Soergel's is one-tenth mile on the right

If traveling north on I-79:
Take Wexford exit
Turn right into far right lane
Take first right (Brandt School Rd.)
Soergel's is one-tenth mile on the right