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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I DISAPPEARED FOR AWHILE, I KNOW.

Hey, folks-- two very enthusiastic thumbs up to Isa Chandra's MUSHROOM HOTPOT, which i made for Thanksgiving, and it was to DIE for. I tweaked it a bit, with more mushrooms (of various sorts), more ginger and more garlic...and probably more heat, BUT, the upshot is, it's FAB!
You must try it.
http://www.theppk.com/2011/10/mushroom-hot-pot/

RE my own current creations, well...let's just say i've been throwing all sorts of stuff in a base of vegetable broth, and seeing what happens. Many good and tasty things...but alas, none i've written down!
For those of you who have not given up on me entirely, i promise to post some new goodies VERY VERY SOON, as the semester is over (friggin' YAY) after this Friday, and my time (outside of the day job) is my own entirely til the whole higher learning thing picks up again on Jan 11. So....keep an eye out!

Cheers,
Z

Friday, August 26, 2011

FUN FACTS ON TOFU


Tofu, raw
(Note: "--" indicates data is unavailable)
amount4.00 oz-wt
total weight113.40 g
Basic Components
nutrientamount%DV
calories86.184.79
calories from fat48.78
calories from saturated fat7.05
protein9.16 g18.32
carbohydrates2.13 g0.71
dietary fiber0.34 g1.36
soluble fiber0.20 g
insoluble fiber0.14 g
sugar - total0.45 g
monosaccharides0.00 g
disaccharides0.00 g
other carbs1.34 g
fat - total5.42 g8.34
saturated fat0.78 g3.90
mono fat1.20 g5.00
poly fat3.06 g12.75
trans fatty acids-- g
cholesterol0.00 mg0.00
water95.88 g
ash0.82 g
Vitamins
nutrientamount%DV
vitamin A IU96.39 IU1.93
vitamin A RE10.21 RE
A - carotenoid-- RE--
A - retinol-- RE
A - beta carotene-- mcg
thiamin - B10.09 mg6.00
riboflavin - B20.06 mg3.53
niacin - B30.22 mg1.10
niacin equiv2.60 mg
vitamin B60.05 mg2.50
vitamin B120.00 mcg0.00
biotin-- mcg--
vitamin C0.11 mg0.18
vitamin D IU-- IU--
vitamin D mcg-- mcg
vitamin E alpha equiv0.01 mg0.05
vitamin E IU0.02 IU
vitamin E mg0.01 mg
folate17.01 mcg4.25
vitamin K-- mcg--
pantothenic acid0.08 mg0.80
Minerals
nutrientamount%DV
boron-- mcg
calcium100.00 mg10.00
chloride-- mg
chromium-- mcg--
copper0.22 mg11.00
fluoride-- mg--
iodine-- mcg--
iron6.08 mg33.78
magnesium34.02 mg8.51
manganese0.69 mg34.50
molybdenum-- mcg--
phosphorus110.00 mg11.00
potassium137.21 mg3.92
selenium10.09 mcg14.41
sodium7.94 mg0.33
zinc0.91 mg6.07
Saturated Fats
nutrientamount%DV
4:0 butyric0.00 g
6:0 caproic0.00 g
8:0 caprylic0.00 g
10:0 capric0.00 g
12:0 lauric0.00 g
14:0 myristic0.00 g
15:0 pentadecanoic0.00 g
16:0 palmitic0.00 g
17:0 margaric0.00 g
18:0 stearic0.00 g
20:0 arachidic0.00 g
22:0 behenate0.00 g
24:0 lignoceric0.00 g
Mono Fats
nutrientamount%DV
14:1 myristol0.00 g
15:1 pentadecenoic0.00 g
16:1 palmitol0.01 g
17:1 heptadecenoic0.00 g
18:1 oleic1.17 g
20:1 eicosen0.01 g
22:1 erucic0.00 g
24:1 nervonic0.00 g
Poly Fats
nutrientamount%DV
18:2 linoleic2.70 g
18:3 linolenic0.36 g
18:4 stearidon0.00 g
20:3 eicosatrienoic0.00 g
20:4 arachidon0.00 g
20:5 EPA0.00 g
22:5 DPA0.00 g
22:6 DHA0.00 g
Other Fats
nutrientamount%DV
omega 3 fatty acids0.36 g15.00
omega 6 fatty acids2.70 g
Amino Acids
nutrientamount%DV
alanine0.38 g
arginine0.61 g
aspartate1.01 g
cystine0.13 g31.71
glutamate1.58 g
glycine0.36 g
histidine0.27 g20.93
isoleucine0.45 g39.13
leucine0.70 g27.67
lysine0.60 g25.53
methionine0.12 g16.22
phenylalanine0.45 g37.82
proline0.49 g
serine0.43 g
threonine0.37 g29.84
tryptophan0.14 g43.75
tyrosine0.31 g31.96
valine0.46 g31.29
Other
nutrientamount%DV
alcohol0.00 g
caffeine0.00 mg
artif sweetener total-- mg
aspartame-- mg
saccharin-- mg
sugar alcohol-- g
glycerol-- g
inositol-- g
mannitol-- g
sorbitol-- g
xylitol-- g
organic acids-- mg
acetic acid-- mg
citric acid-- mg
lactic acid-- mg
malic acid-- mg
choline-- mg--
taurine-- mg
Note: This information is courtesy of whfoods.com (World's Healthiest Foods). The nutrient profiles provided in this post are derived from Food Processor for Windows, Version 7.60, by ESHA Research in Salem, Oregon, USA. Of the 21,629 food records contained in the ESHA foods database, most of them - including those of the World's Healthiest Foods - lacked information for specific nutrients. The designation "--" was chosen to represent those nutrients for which there was no measurement included in the ESHA foods database.

It's been a while, folks...but here are...TOFU TREATS!

...And what is new and delightful in my kitchen?
Well...yet another version of tofu nuggets, this time, called TOFU TREATS!

IT'S FAST! IT'S EASY! And it even TASTES GOOD!

Yes, what with working full time and going to school half time, fast, easy and tasty is what it's all about.

Here's what you do.

GET A BLOCK OF FIRM TOFU.

SQUISH IT, using the previously mentioned tofu-squishing method. (Look it up, if you've forgotten, or have never read it.)

Once the tofu has squished out its excess liquid for about half an hour,

CUT TOFU INTO LITTLE BITES, but not too thin, unless you wanna make tofu jerky, which--hey--isn't bad, either.

IN EITHER A ZIPLOCK BAG OR A PLASTIC CONTAINER WITH A TIGHT-FITTING LID,
PUT TOFU IN.

GRAB your FAVORITE SALAD DRESSING. Me, i used Newman's Own Italian Dressing for one batch, and Annie's Natural Shiitake Mushroom Dressing for another batch.

DOUSE TOFU liberally with dressing.

ZIP UP BAG, or PUT LID ON CONTAINER, and flip and flop it around til the dressing gets everywhere.

MARINATE about an hour. At the very least, half an hour. But more is better.

TRANSFER TOFU TO A BAKING SHEET LINED WITH TIN FOIL, and SPRAYED WITH COOKING SPRAY.

BROIL on HIGH about 7 minutes, and check. If the top looks good, aka golden brown and delicious (aka GB and D),  flip over a few pieces and decide if you like the look of the bottom. If not, spray the up-sides of the tofu with some spray oil, then  FLIP OVER ALL THE PIECES, and BROIL about 3 MINUTES MORE, checking color at that point.

DO NOT OVERCOOK! A good thing to do is to have an egg timer or some such on hand, so you don't forget all about your tofu treats while flipping through channels looking for THE BIGGEST LOSER. If you forget about your tofu treats, the biggest loser will be YOU.

VARIATION: if you feel like getting all jiggy with it, you can put the dressing on the tofu, then sprinke on additional herbs and spices, the kind that go with the general flavors of the dressing. For example, with the Shiitake dressing, i add some garlic powder, turmeric, ginger, and a bit of mustard powder. If i'm in a heat mood, i'll also sprinkle on some crushed red peppers.

These treats are good hot, or cold and crumbled on salad. They'd probably be good in a sandwich, too, but mine never make it to the bread. They're very snack-y.

BE CREATIVE!

PS, my dogs love tofu, and my guess is yours would too--which is fine, so long as your marinade does not contain onions. Or chocolate. Both are bad for dogs, whereas, a touch of garlic is not. If you're gonna feed some of your food to your dogs, a good idea would be to google the things dogs shouldn't eat, cuz there may be weird ones you don't know about.

HAPPY TREATING!


Friday, August 5, 2011

MARK ANTONY'S LENTIL BURGERS....

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury ground beef, not to praise it.
The evil that factory-farmed beef does lives after it;
The good is oft interred with the poor cow's bones;
So let it be with ground beef. The noble PETA
hath told you factory farmers were ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously we hope factory farmers will answer it. Here, under leave of PETA and the rest -For PETA is an honourable group; So are they all, all honourable vegans - Come I to speak in hope of factory farming's funeral. Ground beef was my friend, faithful and seemingly just to me: But PETA says it was full of all sorts of antibiotics and hormones and cruelty to innocent animals; And PETA is an honourable group. O judgment! thou art fled from brutish humans, And carnivores have lost their reason. Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with the cows, And I must pause till it come back to me.
Or something. IN ANY CASE!

MARK ANTONY BECAME A VEGAN, and here are his LENTIL BURGERS:

1 CUP COOKED LENTILS (follow the package instructions, it's a no-brainer)

1/4 TSP SEA SALT

1/4 TSP CHILI POWDER

1/4 TSP SPIKE salt-free SEASONING

1 TSP CURRY POWDER

1 TBL diced JALEPENO

1 TBL DIJON MUSTARD

1/4 CUP ONION, DICED

1/4 TSP CAYENNE PEPPER

3/4 TBL MINCED GARLIC

1/4 CUP TIGHTLY PACKED FRESH CILANTRO

1/4 CUP BREAD CRUMBS

1 TBL LEMON JUICE

1/4 CUP VEG BROTH

1/2 CUP WHEAT GLUTEN

2 TBL CANOLA OIL

Mix together everything except the canola oil. Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan, and form the mix into patties. You'll get about 6. Cook about 3 at a time, not crowding the pan, til golden, about 5-8 min. Flip, cook 5-8 min more. These are truly something not to be buried, but to be PRAISED. 

Serve along side a Caesar Salad, natch'.  :) Seriously speaking, will this lentil burger go will with a Caesar salad? I don't know. I haven't tried the two together, yet, but hey, i WILL, cuz you just can't have Mark Antony without a little Caesar.

(And yes, of COURSE, i will be posting my "ROCKIN' ROMAN" CAESAR SALAD recipe. Soon. Like, this weekend.)

"LET CHARLIE LIVE" UN-TUNA SALAD!

...And NO, that's not a reference to Charlie Sheen's character in "Two and a Half Men", though indeed i would prefer it, personally, if they DID let Charlie live, and not kill off his character, as the rumor mill reports. Mostly cuz killing off his character is just too easy. It's a cop-out. It doesn't require any real creativity.
But i digress.

THERE'S SOMETHING UN-FISHY GOING ON, HERE!
 You can make this right in front of your Betta fish, and he won't be offended. Whew! (My Betta's name is Alpha. Get it? Get it? Alpha Betta?...Nevermind.)

2  15oz CANS CHICKPEAS (aka Garbanzo Beans, aka "Gonzos", in my house), drained and rinsed

3/4 CUP VEGAN MAYO such as Veganaise, Nayonaise, or your own home-made; word on the street is, Veganaise is the BOMB, out of the those options. It's pricey, but OH so worth it.

1/3 CUP MINCED DILL PICKLE or PICKLE RELISH

2/3 CUP MINCED CELERY

1/4 CUP NUTRITIONAL YEAST FLAKES

2 SCALLIONS, CHOPPED SMALL

1 TBL LIGHT MISO (available at any Asian grocery, or any good healthy-type store)

2 TSP SOY SAUCE, or BRAGG'S LIQUID AMINOS

1.5 TSP KELP POWDER (and if you have flakes, like i do--and i'm not just talking about some of my friends--you can grind 'em up in a spice grinder, or use 'em all flaky-like...up to you.)

1/2 TSP GARLIC POWDER

1/2 TSP LEMON JUICE

1/2 TSP LEMON PEPPER

FRESH GROUND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE

(NOTE: I didn't add any additional salt, here, cuz between the miso, soy or bragg's, and the kelp powder, you may not need more. Taste at the end, and if you want more salt, go crazy.)

MASH UP YOUR GONZOS, and mix everything else in! Serve in a SALAD, on a ROLL (whole wheat or whole grain--don't go to all this effort to be healthy and then pollute your body with refined white bread! Although i suppose a good rye or pumpernickel would also be deeeeelish), or on some fancy-ass CRACKERS, for a dinner party. Your dog would love this, too, but don't give him/her any, cuz onions are poisonous to dogs. Alas for poor Sparky or Princess.

HINT: This tastes even more tuna-y the more you "rest" it, like, overnight in your frig.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!  To make it look all perty, you can sprinkle with some PAPRIKA. Just for show. And for an UN-TUNA MELT, go to the grocery and grab some VEGAN GOURMENT CHEESE of your flavor choice, OR, stand by for my EASY-CHEESY recipe, soon to come!

Btw, needless to say, but i'll say it anyway: dress up your UN-TUNA SAMMY with lettuce and a REAL, RIPE tomato. Not that red-colored orb in the grocery, which is really just a green tomato disguised as a red tomato. The only thing those are good for is making FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, which i'll also get around to posting here, eventually.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FISH DON'T FEEL PAIN LIKE MAMMALS DO, RIGHT?

Wrong! Guess what. Fish experience pain and fear just like other animals, bird or mammal. Dr. Donald Broom, animal welfare advisor to the British government, states that anatomically, biologically and physiologically, fish's pain system is virtually the same as birds' and mammals'. So, while you're enjoying the thrill of victory, hauling that fish up from the bottom of the river or lake, the fish is in fear and agony.

And guess what else, you "gentle" catch-and-release people:  Researchers at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation found that as many as 43 percent of fish released after being caught died within six days.

Did i just squash your thrill? Awwww. And, in commercial fishing, when fish are dragged up from the depths, they undergo rapid decompression, which does gross and painful stuff like popping out their eyes, rupturing their swim bladders, and pushing their stomachs through their mouths.

You don't care? Why, cuz that being has fins and scales and you and your friend Fluffy or Fido don't?

And, when commercial fish are tossed onto ships, many suffocate slowly or are crushed to death. Others are alive when they're sliced open. Eww, hah? And PAINFUL. And horrifying. Imagine when the Space Aliens land, that they consider us a tasty morsel, and "beneath them", so they slit open our bellies or cut our throats while we watch, helplessly. EWWWW... And PAINFUL.

What about the fish raised in fish farms? They use tanks on land or cages in the ocean. The fish are packed so tightly together, that it's worse than a ride on the NYC subway at rush hour. The slamming around each other and the walls of the cages causes sores and damage to their fins. And the enormous quantity of feces in the cages leads to rampant outbreaks of parasites and disease. What's the answer? Why, large quantities of ANTIBIOTICS and other chemicals in their water! Guess who that trickles down to, my fish-is-oh-so-healthy-to-eat consumer. And finally, when the fish are fully grown for your dinner table, their bellies are sliced open, or they die of suffocation when the water is simply drained out of their tank. Nice, huh?

The above info is thanks to PETA's "Vegetarian Starter Kit." I paraphrased, and embellished with my own commentary. The "kit" suggests you visit FishingHurts.com.

Now, go make some UN-FISH, which is made with either tofu or seitan, and fishy-flavored using KELP, which is a sea plant. You can buy kelp flakes or powder. Recipe on that, up soon. MMMMM!!!!!

UN-TUNA! Un-tuna-salad sandwich, un-tuna salad salad, un-tuna macaroni salad....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

UN-HAM--PERFECT FOR HAWAIIAN CHILI, OR VEGAN HAWAIIAN PIZZA

Okay. First of all VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN is a flour. You can often buy it in bulk at any halfway decent healthy grocery. Worst case, even lame groceries carry it on some isle along with the "hippie foods" like Bob's Red Mill bags o' stuff. Bob has wheat gluten. Can you buy pre-packaged cooked wheat gluten? SURE! If you're really into spending 4-6 bucks out of sheer laziness, and want to be unable to control the outcome.

The way you start any UN-MEAT, aka "wheat meat", aka SEITAN--pronounced "Satan"--only, sometimes, if you're being really snooty, with the accent on the last syllable-- is with a seasoning broth. The one for UN-HAM goes like this:

2 CUPS WATER, COLD, IN MEDIUM SAUCE POT.

1 VEGGIE BOUILLON CUBE

1/2 CHOPPED ONION

1 TSP CANOLA OIL

1/3 CUP NUTRITIONAL YEAST

1/2 TSP FRESH GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1 TSP FINE-MINCED OR CRUSHED GARLIC

1.5 TSP SEA SALT

1/4 TSP MARJORAM

3/4 TSP SAGE

1/4 to 1/2 TSP  CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES depending on how spicy you want your un-ham

Combine all and bring to boil, then reduce and simmer 5 minutes.

MEANWHILE, PUT

2 CUPS VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN, DRY, into a bowl. Add about 1 CUP WATER.

Mix this around with your hands til all the gluten is wet and dough-like. ADD MORE WATER as necessary. Knead around a bit. Then, rinse the blob under cold running water, in the bowl. Lift the blob up out of the water, squeeze out excess liquid  into the bowl, and drain the rinse water out of the bowl.

Rinse and squeeze your blob a few times til the rinse water goes from milky-white to almost totally clear. You don't have to go all psycho trying to get the water PERFECTLY clear. Unless that just floats your boat.

If you want to involve the kids in this, tell 'em you're making "Satan's Brains", and squeezing out "brain juice." Just make sure they're doing this with clean hands. Ultimately, your "brains" should have a good doughy consistency, and be squeezed out of most of the excess liquid.

THEN! Rip off small pieces of Seitan, about golf-ball sized or a bit smaller, and throw in the broth, and SIMMER 30 MINUTES. Stir or flip bits occasionally, so everybody has equal time in the pool.

THEN! Take the seitan out of the broth, slice into thin slices, and fry in a pan with a little oil til golden on each side. PLEASE only use olive oil over low heat, or canola oil, over medium heat.

This is your UN-HAM!!! WooHAH!!!! 

BTW, if you leave the simmered un-meat to marinate in the cooking liquid overnight, refrigerated, all the better. It absorbs even more flavor. But if you can't wait, by all means, cook it up right away.