I apologize for the lag in blogging. It has been a very hectic week and a half or so. Our air conditioner went out and put our house at a balmy 80 degrees inside. Our wonderful neighbor loaned us about ninety fans so that we could survive. I went a whole six days without cooking anything because of the heat. We did grill one afternoon, and that went well, minus the rain. After we got the air fixed, things got a little better. Of course, in the midst of all that, school started and I had to go back to work. What was supposed to be four-hour days somehow turned into ten-hour days, and I was pooped. Things have leveled out to a manageable degree now, and I am planning on making this more routine. I will be making Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my blog posting days. If I get inspired on any of the non posting days or see something worth linking, I will certainly do that in addition to the regular posts.
I’m going to post some recipes that I did get to make during the period of silence after the air got fixed. You’ll enjoy them.
Strawberry Balsamic Pie (made for my Mom’s birthday)
2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (not regular whole wheat flour)
½ cup of Earth Balance vegan butter (cold!)
Half teaspoon of salt
Use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the salt and flour. You may need to add butter or flour to get the consistency right. It should look kind of like course breadcrumbs when entirely incorporated. Then use your hands to form it into two balls of dough. One can be slightly bigger than the other. Put this in the fridge overnight. It needs to stay cold to be lighter and flakier!
About a pint and a half of strawberries, sliced
¾ cup of sugar (I like to use evaporated cane juice or raw sugar)
½ cup of flour
A teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar (more if you want more)
After you have lined your pie pan with the bottom crust begin to mix all the filling ingredients. Move quickly because you do not want the strawberries to become macerated, as this will make them runny. Put the filling in and use the second crust as a cover. Be sure to put holes in the top crust. I got some convoluted tips on how to bake it. What I ended up doing is baking it around 425 for about 40 minutes or so. I kept checking it to see if it was flaky and browned. If you do dairy, you could use an egg wash to get the pretty crust color. It was a hefty crust, almost like a cobbler warm, but it was absolutely delicious the next day as a cold pie. Mmmm.
Jennifer’s Clean Out the Fridge Friday Curry
A whole mess of leftover veggies. I used cauliflower, peas, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, squash, chickpeas, and onions
Some non-dairy sour cream
A few tablespoons of curry powder
Some olive oil
Some veggie broth
I steamed the veggies in the broth in one pot while making the sauce in the other.
I sautéed the onions in the olive oil first, then I added a little veggie broth and the curry. The sauce wasn’t quite the consistency I wanted, so I added sour cream until it was nice and creamy dreamy. I drained the veggies and mixed them with the sauce. I served the whole thing over brown rice. In homage to Yo Gabba Gabba, “There’s a party in my tummy! (so yummy, so yummy!)”
Korean BBQ skewers
Some pre-made Korean BBQ sauce (with no high fructose corn syrup!)
I cut the veggies, tempeh, and pineapple into chunks. I marinated the tempeh in the sauce for a half hour or so, then I arranged them on the skewers in alternating order. My wonderful hubby, Matt, brushed them with olive oil and cooked them on the grill until they had little black stripes on them (about four minutes per side, maybe, give or take).
SOOO freaking good.
I made some quinoa to go with them. I sautéed some peppers and onion in a little olive oil and threw it in with the quinoa. Oh, and I always cook my quinoa in veggie stock instead of water. More flavor that way.
I have zero pictures of them because we were way hungry, and we ate them before I thought about it. Rest assured, they were pretty!
We had a little bit of leftover marinated tempeh that we didn’t cook, so for lunch the next day, Matt sautéed some spinach, mushrooms, peppers and onion in a little soy sauce and then added in the marinated tempeh. He put it on Ezekiel bread toast. Mmmmmmmmmmm. SO very good!
I am married to the best man ever. I’m just saying.
Finally, I share with you my fantastic faux chicken salad. You will love this. Seriously.
Jennifer’s Fauxbulous Chicken Salad
2 blocks extra firm tofu
1 Granny Smith apple
A cup of red grapes, sliced in half
An onion, minced
As much vegan mayo as you want
(maybe a tiny bit of sugar and vinegar, if you like a tangier sauce, I will do this next time)
Ok, so the trick to a convincing salad is baking the tofu to give it a nice “chew.” I sliced the blocks into ¼ inch slices and basted them with a brushing of a soy and liquid smoke mixture (not too heavy on the LS, or it will taste weird). I baked them at 400 for around 18-20 minutes. Keep checking on it! Halfway through, you will need to flip them. They should be brown and chewy. You could almost eat them like a jerky. I ate my way through at least two of the thinner slices. I will probably make some jerky like this at some point in the future just for kicks.
Tear the tofu into pieces, and maybe pulse them a little in a food processor to get them into small enough chunks. Throw in cubed apple and the onion and grapes. Add in the mayo (maybe mixed with a little vinegar and sugar if you want to go tangy with it) to get it to your desired consistency. This was the best. My parents even liked it! So good!
1 block of firm tofu, pressed and drained
Whatever veggies you want
Ok, first I crumbled the tofu and browned it with some olive oil and soy sauce. I set it aside. Then I Sauteed some veggies. One of the ones I used was sweet potato greens. I didn’t even know you could eat those! They are super yummy. They’re a little sweeter than spinach and have a nice mouthfeel. Very delicate. I liked them. A lot. After the veggies were done, I dumped the tofu in and finished warming it all together.
I am doing so well with this new eating plan. I have now lost ten pounds in just under a month. I don’t feel like I’m trying, either. I am just eating all I want and enjoying it. I am going to post soon about how my relationship with food has changed and how healthy I feel mentally as well as physically. I feel strong. I feel like I’m doing something good, and I know of several people who have told me that I’ve influenced their decisions lately. This is in just a month! I’m telling you, if even one person starts making better choices because of this, I’ve achieved something wonderful. That’s how you change the world, you know, at least according to Ghandi. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Well, I’m working on it. I’m glad some of you are as well!