Friday, April 29, 2011

I'll tofu you! That's not a threat! It's a promise!


Yes my post titles are getting more delirious, but no matter the recipes are still delicious.

What are you going to do with that block of tofu in the fridge?

Fry it?

Well you could, but let's not.

And don't you hate it when you find a recipe but have no idea where to buy the ingredients? This is so not a post like that. All the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe's. Im going to get around to writing Joe a love letter one of these days.

Here's what you're going to do to that tofu:

Drain and slice it into cubes.

In a sealable bag toss in 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1 T oregano 1 T basil 1T parsley 1T dried onion 1-2 t dried garlic

drop in pieces of tofu coating them

put slices on an oiled baking sheet or on a lightly oiled piece of oil (second option better for quick clean up!)

This is what it looks like all done:


For the dipping stuff mix equal parts agave and Trader Joe's soyaki.

Serve this on the side:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Agave for Breakfast



No I did not just eat Agave for breaksfast mom...lol

A delicious breakfast, lunch or snack is Wasa crispbread topped with a few things. Being that they are whole grain and don't have any scary additives they are a very happy coworker.

I love taking a pack of Wasa to Cleveland for our annual convention. I take them rather than buying them there because they are only $1.50 at Big Lots in my area.

I've eaten Wasa in a variety of ways as they make a great bread replacement. They are deceptively small as they are very filling, but not in a carby bread coma way.

Not to mention the impressively short ingredient list:

Wheat flour
Sesame seeds
Water
Yeast
Canola and palm oil
Sugar
Salt


NUTRITION FACTS:
Serving Size: 1 Slice (14g)
Servings Per Container: about 14

Amount Per Serving (%Daily Value)

Calories 60
Calories from Fat 15

Total Fat 1.5g (2%)
Saturated Fat 0g (0%)
Trans fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg (0%)
Sodium 85mg (3%)

Total Carbohydrate 9g (3%)
Dietary Fiber <1g (3%)
Sugars 0g

Protein 2g


Wasa Toppings:


Greek: Wasa topped with hummus, tomato slices, cucumber slices and fresh olives.

Texmex: Topped with Guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheddar. (good hot or cold)

The Kings Sister: Smear of pb topped with smashed banana and a drizzle of agave.

Kiddie: Peanut butter and sliced fruit or jam

Manly bella: Grilled portabello, lettuce, tomato

Burger what: Veggie burger and all the fixins

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Sjaak's Chocolate

Before you scoff at me: Yes I freely admit that I am really late in posting about this contest I won in December. It's been a very busy 4 months, thank you very much!

Lindsay, author of the blog Cook.Vegan.Lover, was having many giveaways and I entered every day.

I would win the chocolate in the middle of a healthful eating binge. At least it was dark, dairy free and had peanut butter.

Want to see my winning entry?



Lame. I know. Since then I have seen the need to be clever and throw a catchy turn of phrase in when I'm entering a contest.

I wonder what's in the box!


Oh! It's a box of tiny chocolate mummies all wrapped up and ready for go in the sarcophagi! Cute!


Uh oh! One of them is emerging!


These little snow guys were delicious! The fat content of the chocolate was just right so that the chocolate slowly melted in my mouth. The crunchy Pb center was just what it promised to be.

Two snowmen made a lovely naughty day treat!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Champagne Mango? Ill take a glass!



Whole Foods Market is having a great sale on these beauties. My suggestion: buy the case, eat as many as you can fresh and chop&freeze the rest.

My brother was very happy to cut them and I was very happy to sample them.I'm so happy i helped to get him hooked on healthy coworkers like fruit.
Yum!

The taste of this mango is very sweet. It taste like a mango in its under note, but there is a strong flavor of something else. Dare I say champagne?



In other news:

Breakfast:
Plain Soy Yogurt Topped with sliced almonds dates and a drizzle of agave.

Apple pie Larabar

Lunch:

Dinner: (sorry no pic)
Tofu Salad (tofu grilled and cubed, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh garlic, fresh basil)
Cajun Yams (yams, cayenne, red bell pepper, clove, Cinnamon, etc.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes



It looks so naked. Delicious, but naked! I know how to fix that being a great seamstress and all...



There you go pretty little cuppycake! A lovely dress of peanut butter (yes i have problem). Nom nom nom!




These lovelies are cholesterol free, relatively low in fat (even lower if you don't use the peanut butter), and only 120 calories or 180 with the peanut butter(lower if you sub apple sauce for the oil).

The recipe makes 12, but you can freeze and microwave them as you like.

Or do what I do: make them and share with friends. They will love you for it.

And here is a secret I only share with my closest frenemies: They are boxed.

Don't tell anyone. Just go find your own. Cherrybrook Kitchen (http://www.cherrybrookkitchen.com/products/chocolatecake.php) makes some wonderful boxed mixes that are made for people with allergies, but devoured by those without with equal veracity.

Ive made these several times and didnt mention they were vegan and everyone enjoyed them heartily. The wonderful thing about these mixes is that they dont need "doctoring" like most boxed mixes do.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Secret Weapon #7 (I know its been a while)

Secret weapon #7= Seasoning mixes and prep techniques!

If food is properly seasoned it suddenly goes from "diet food" to "gourmet decadence".

And altering your food prep can take a food you eat everyday from "ho-hum" to "wow!"

Seasoning

Lettuce, for instance, is mostly water, so if you eat a lettuce heavy salad you will be unsatisfied and definitely unfulfilled meal-wise.

So here's what you do: Start with a nutrient rich base of romaine lettuce and spinach. Add 1/4 cup each of the following as you like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, roasted almonds, chickpeas (or dollops of hummus or baked hummus for protein!), red bell pepper, avocado, red onion. 1 T nutritional yeast (nutty cheesy flavor with loads of vitamins including b-complex) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on black pepper and sea salt.

Some more Examples:
Cream cheese= blah bagel topping
Cream cheese + seasoning = cheesecake

baguette= yawn crusty bread
(okay maybe not totally, but just go with me here)

baguette + olive oil + sea salt = *sigh* I'm in love!
baguette + olive oil + cinnamon + agave + soy milk = bread pudding delight!

pasta= ho hum
pasta+ olive oil+ oregano+ basil+ sun dried tomatoes = i need a moment alone with this

Food Preparation

Carrots, for instance, are okay, but lets kick it up a notch. Instead of just chopping them why not shave them into ribbons?

You get the idea? Go crazy with it!

Experiment and turn bland foods into delicious treats without all the calories from added oils, frying, butter and other foods and techniques that don't work with your body.

These principles also apply to trying new foods. If the food seems strange or you've had it before, but didn't really like it, try preparing the food in a way you really enjoy. For instance:

Think tofu is icky? Scramble it like eggs and add in your favorite add ins (scrambled tofu with mushrooms onions and cheese sub).

Don't like wheat bread? Try a "white" whole wheat bread. Or make it into french toast. Probably not a good idea to only eat french toast for breakfast, but it will help you get used to the taste. Use it for grilled cheese, pb and jelly sandwiches or any other recipe that infuses the bread with a flavor you are familiar with and enjoy regularly.

Tired of fruit? Try a smoothie. Or a fruit crisp (who said fruit crisp had to be made with apples only?).

Wary of eggplant? Try Eggplant Parmesan. Its prepared the same way except with breaded eggplant instead of chicken.
SO
You don't have to "love" every food, but with a few tricks and techniques you might learn that the food you "hated" isn't that bad. And the food you thought was "boring" is quite fun.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Taste for Italy



Ive been craving "Italian" food. I feel so strange saying Italian food. The concept of food having a nationality is so bizarre. Especially considering the diaspora of people and plants over the years. But I digress...

Id rather say... Ive been craving the flavors of Italy.

Specifically, cannelini (white kidney beans), tomatoes, sesame, artichokes and mushrooms. Oh yum!

I was watching a travel show and apparently there is an artichoke festival in Italy. Who would like to go with me? Any takers? It will have to be next year. Sadly the festival is in April. Well not really sadly because that is the cheapest time to fly there. It's off season. So "yay!" to that, but "boo" to waiting a year, but "yay" to going a second time to Italy.

This is technically a soup and as you know soup taste better the second day because the flavors have had a chance to permeate all the ingredients. Cooking soup slow and low works too.

BUT..who has time for that. So, we are going to up the seasonings for this so it has the second day flavor. We're also going to cook it in the oven instead of stove top because... well because i said so. Okay, not really. It's because it helps with the whole permeating thing.

Here's what you need:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannelini beans
1 cup fresh baby portabellos
1 T olive oil
3 T Italian seasoning blend (garlic, black pepper, oregano, basil)
1 T sesame seeds
1/4 c water (the fresh mushrooms will release water while cooking so yuo dont need much extra)

Put mushrooms in oven safe bowl.
Drizzle olive oil and then sprinkle with seasoning
Pour the rest of the ingredients over the mushrooms
Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

You can take this (Apple) and (Bake) it!


I always like to think im above the hype.

Like that old "an apple a day.." rant that teachers figuratively (if you went to public school) pounded into students about how they would magically avoid all forms of illness if they ate the apple that came with their lunch instead of chucking it across the lunchroom**.

BUT....I feel a bit healthier for eating an apple.

Not being one to enjoy following the crowd I try to eat my apples in a very naughty way. This makes me feel better about feeling better for eating an apple.

BUT....Being that I strive to only eat things that work with my body, you know I had to take a naughty recipe and make it Healthy Coworker.

With the recipe as-is you can eat it for breakfast, be fueled til lunch, and not feel bad about it.

**I was more of an apple chucker and not because I didnt like fruit. The apples they served us were obviously Genetically Modified to perfectly fit our hands and to be mass produced (there were so many apples!!!!). And even though I didnt know what a GMO was at that tender age I knew to avoid those sketchy thangs like the plague. Plus, they tasted like sandy paper more often than not.

Apple Crisp
makes 6 servings

6 apple (3 tart 3 sweet is best)
8 graham crackers
3/4 cup packed date sugar or sucanat(use 1/4c if using all sweet apples)
1/2 c whole wheat flour (or 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs)
1/2c quick oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 c olive oil

1 peel core and slice apples and put them in an oven safe dish
2 coursely chop graham crackers then add all dry ingredients
3 add oil to dry ingredients
(if you use agave or maple syrup as your sweetner add it at this point)
4 sprinkle evenly over apples
5 loosely cover with foil and bake 45 min n oven preheated to 350 degrees 6 remove foil and bake another 5 to 10 minutes (til apples tender)

Variations:

- 1/4 cup yellow raisins and 1/4 cup walnuts
- use 1/2 c agave or maple syrup for an even friendlier dish

Monday, April 4, 2011

Farm to Table Conference


Last weekend (Saturday March 26,2011 to be precise) I went to the Farm to Table Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

For $10 admission you get to wander around the ballroom and check out the exhibitors as well as special presentations and cooking demonstrations.




At one booth I learned all about the many uses of Hemp. Did you know there is a concrete application for hemp? Crazy!




Hanging at the Bar(re)

Did I ever tell you I wanted to be a ballerina when i was a wee lass?

Well, I did. The seeming glamour of the dance world and the beautiful impossibility of dancing en pointe really spoke to me. SO entranced was I by that aspect of it, I taught myself to stand en pointe. I do not suggest anyone try this since I could have broken something attempting it, but now I have a neat trick to show people at parties.

Weird talents are ALWAYS a great conversation starter!

Alas I never pursued that dream. Well, outside of Pilates and Barre work outs.

I know you are asking yourself what this has to do with Farming Tables, but just stick with me it does.

One of the exhibitors at the Farm to Table was a local ballet dancer who along with a fellow dancer came up with this tasty and cleverly called "Barre".




And yes I bought two and pretended I was a dancer while nibbling on them later in the week. They were delicious!

And they have a beautiful ingredient list: Dates, Walnuts, Pecans, Agave Syrup, Hemp Seed, Rolled Oats, Hemp Powder, Ground Flax, Brown Rice Protein, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Salt



And what do you eat after a conference on being more connected to the farmers that supply our food? Chipotle!!!

Why chipotle?

Because they aim to "serve with integrity", which means they try to serve "the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value...support and sustain family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care...whenever possible...use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones."

At least thats what the interweb says and I (rarely) believe what the interweb says. :-)

Beauty was its name:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hericot Vert and Tofu..Say what??



What do you do when your in the middle of a morning of service and all you had for breakfast was a banana smeared with peanutbutter and its snowing like crazy?

Eat your sister's stash of trail mix. It was goooood! And to my credit I shared it with one of my 'brothers'. Roasted almond, cashews and dried cranberries. Oh yeah!

Soldier on!



My 'sister' was mentioning she had some tofu she was going to fry later and that of course prompted my sister to mention how much she loves the scrambled tofu i make. That of course prompted my stomach to immediately beg me for tofu.

My mum injured her back and asked me to cook some produce that was looking wilty. So I made a run to Trader Joes for some sliced baby bellas and a tub of tofu. Oh and some Rice and Bean chips, but that is another story.

So I scrambled the tofu. Yum!

I sauteed some green beans and mushrooms in canola with sea salt and powdered garlic, oregano, parsley, basil.

I love the way the vert steam while they're cooking.
They were fresh ones mum froze at the end of summer harvest.


Then I sauteed some bok choy on its own. It was really getting past its prime. Mum bought it a few weeks ago when we were Asian store hopping in the Strip District. I pitched the icky bits, but there was still plenty left for noshing.

Bok choy, vert beans, and scrambled tofu.
Seriously yummy dinner chock full of fiber, calcium, vitamins galore!

And yes I do have to interrupt moments of deliciousness with healthy eating PSA's. But you know you love me anyway.