Archive for July, 2012

“Untitled” recipe

I do not even want to write what this actually is. It sounds altogether too unappealing. I know that some people will even click on this to see what it is, some will read the recipe out of curiosity; most will click right on out again. (Cue creaking door, tumbleweed etc) So I am just filling out the lines for a bit until the title no longer appears in my Facebook newsfeed “snapshot”. It’s all about teasing. Or is it that I don’t want to be teased? Alright,  I think I am good to go now. Okay. ready? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you….the Tofu scramble!

“Untitled”

There. Is anyone still with me?

Tofu is one of those foods that I buy from time to time to see if I still dislike it. And it goes like this….”Yep. still dislike it. Why do I buy this stuff? ” the rest of the block that I have cut into 8 pieces goes into the freezer, and is used up slowly. Very sloooowly. You see, for me, it’s not the flavour. It has a mild flavour that I neither deeply dislike nor especially like. It’s a texture thing. It’s so….spongy. Just that word seems wrong to apply to a food.In fact, most people that like it, like it because it soaks up any flavour marinade very easily (think “sponge”. No, don’t actually)

But I want to like it!  Not because I think I need to eat it to be healthy, but I keep happening upon recipes that I think sound good.  “Oooh, that sounds good.I think I could like that. I’ll buy some more.” And then….”Yep. still don’t really like this stuff”. And so on.

To counteract the texture thing I go for recipes that work round that. Like recipes that blitz it (Vegan quiche: I made one here. I liked that. So did Isaac. Didn’t get it past anyone else!) Or, today, another trick is to scramble it up. Because you see, I had 2 small pieces of tofu in the freezer (1/4 block) and I wanted it out!  So I decided to do one of those tofu scrambles all the vegans are whipping up all over the web.

One Google search and a few minutes later I had my scramble. As you can see it looks kinda-somewhat like scrambled eggs. Let me assure you it does not taste of scrambled eggs. But it’s not half bad. The first mouthful I thought “mmmm…well, it’s okay I guess.” (I’m not selling this very well am I?) but each mouthful after that grew on me increasingly. It definitely has some potential.

Mine was made like this:

  • 1/2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1T water
  • a small chunk of chopped red onion
  • 1/4 t salt

Saute up the above until soft. Crumble in

  • 1/4 block of tofu frozen and thawed
  • 1/2 t garlic granules
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4t turmeric (I had run out. It makes it yellower)
  • 1T nutritional yeast (NOT optional in my opinion)

Mash with a fork and finally wilt in some babyleaf spinach.

 

Next time (yes, I will be repeating) I would tweak it. Here are some suggestions.

  • Mine was nice, but a bit under seasoned. Other suggested seasonings are soy sauce/tamari, curry powder, a pinch of veg bouillon of your choice, a squeeze of tomato puree  (Here is a recipe that looks good by the way)
  • Mine was a little dry. More water would help, but this won’t help flavour. I suggest sauteeing up more veggies, like red pepper, mushrooms, tomato etc
  • Mine needed a bit of fatty mouth-feel in my opinion. Here are some possible ways to add fat. Cashew cream, 1-2T vegan cream cheese, 1-2T organic cream cheese, 1 egg. Did I just say cheese and egg?! Indeed, you may not be making this because you are vegan, you may simply wish to transition over to more vegetable protein. I do not eat loads of eggs but I do enjoy them very much on occasion. Choose extremely well-sourced eggs. Hint- a local farm where you can see the hens roaming.
  • Topped with chives would be delicious.

 

And so it goes that I will be buying some tofu later. And this time, it won’t take me a year to eat it.

I might even title the post next time.

“Eat Well. Feel uplifted”

Beautiful summer days, my three lovely children on summer hols and potty training are keeping me happy, happy and busy, and tearing my hair out, respectively.

Hence the lack of posts. Just checking in with a slogan that is now printed on the Alpro Soya Yogurts.

“Eat Well. Feel uplifted”

 

If you are a regular reader, (howdy!) you will know I touch on this quite frequently.

If you have experienced it, you will understand. If you think it is utter balderdash, I guess it is because you haven’t experienced it yet, and I invite you to do so!*

 

*I am not saying Alpro Soya yogurts necessarily fall into the category of foods that “uplift”….but I love the slogan. I think it’s true.

 

PS  Today I got some almond pulp out of the freezer and made this wonderful wonderful dip. It has been many a long month since I have enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it so much, I shall be making a batch of almond milk tomorrow morning purely for the enjoyment of some more of the dip another day soon. I seriously reduced the amount of  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it was still very moist and tasty.

“Bargain” cacao butter

I have just stumbled upon a seller on Ebay who is selling organic cacao butter on Ebay (UK only) at discounted prices as it is only a few months off it’s best before. That means you would have to eat tons of home-made chocolate before September, which would be a shame……..especially as this freezing “summer” is crying out for comfort food, but I would rather have comfort food that doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable after. I have actually recently bought some more cacao butter, annoyingly for rather a higher price. I felt, however I could justify it, as it was money I had already laid aside in a purse, with a system that I describe in this post.

At the time of purchase, it seemed utterly ridiculous to spend £14 on that, as there were many other more practical purchases that were begging to be made. But honestly- I had forgotten this purse was there, and when I found it (Happy Birthday to me…!) I figured, why not? I had squirrelled it away for that purpose over 6 months ago, and so purchase I did.

So back to our seller- if you wish to treat yourself to 500grams of cold-pressed organic cacao butter for under £10 (P&P included) then follow this link. This is obviously time sensitive, I don’t know how long he will continue to source it. As a reminder, I make my basic chocolate with

 

30grams of unsweetened cocoa powder

40grams cacao butter

50grams quality honey (pref unpasteurised, but, hey- whatever you can do)

 

 

Flavour as desired. It is heavenly with almond extract in, and then coat whole almonds with it. Orange extract is also a great addition. And of course, the good old Internet is full of recipes which can generally be found by Google searching “Raw chocolate recipes”. Be warned, some contain ingredients you will have never heard of  and which supposedly give you immortality. 🙂 I generally just use the recipes to get ratios, and then adapt them to our budget and tastes.

Food of the Gods, they named it…..

 

Surprise sprouts, green sheep, and WOW, look at this flower!

I found 3 teeny tiny chia seeds sprouting on the top of the scourer. This is not the kind of thing you want to admit publicly even via a blog. I just re-read that phrase a few times wondering what people might visualise.  Although it sounds like it may be akin to a scourer “growing legs”, it’s not quite. The 3 previously soaked chia has somehow got caught in the scourer after washing the glass that had chia gel in. The next morning I found them with a tiny tail each. You cute little things!! I could just squeeze ’em! I changed the scourer by the way- not because sprouts are dirty though……

Chia first became “famous” in the US because it was marketed as CHIA pets

You watered your pet, and the chia seeds inside, quickly sprouted and you ended up with a green sheep. The healthiest and most compassionate way to eat a sheep! These “micro-greens” of chia are highly nutritious though it’s only recently become more well-known.

Anyway my slightly random point was, as I contemplated my ickle sprouting chia seeds, I once again, had “a moment”. I have them once in a while, and normally when I contemplete sprouting seeds or plants growing in the garden (especially edible ones) Seeds look so cold, hard and lifeless. You could grind chia seeds to a grey powder and never know what they could become given the right conditions. And all it needed was some water and light. That is all. And while those seeds, once soaked, and “awake” are very good for you (a complete protein, as well)- it is when they sprout and grow and get their own leaves to soak up sunlight to make their “own” food, that they go off the chart nutritious. Amazing. And then, left even longer, they produce these amazing flowers:

Just stunning. Who would have thought that the tiny black grey seed  under the right conditions, could become that??!! And so the flower produces seeds of itself and so the cycle continues. Perfection.

I have not sprouted anything for quite a long time; just wanted to share that moment.

Loving leaves, seeds and everything green. And of a consequence, I guess I must also love the rain. Sigh…..   🙂

Fresh turmeric roots!

Cannot believe I found these gorgeous little things in a high street supermarket (Morrisons) for crying out loud! My husband has taken the camera so this is a photo from a blog called Abigail’s Herbs (click here to visit blog) They are so weeny that you can buy a little handful for about 30p. Of course I had to eat one, and discovered, it tastes of turmeric. Who would have thought it…..They seemed really crisp and fresh, as a root should be. The colour really was that wonderful golden orange. I am pondering what to do with my tiny roots.

I use turmeric powder to colour our paellas yellow, because saffron is expensive, and I don’t fancy using the pot of bright orange E-number powder that most Spaniards use.It stains terribly. Oh yes, and because it’s a bright orange chemical that happens to be banned in this country. (I knew there was another reason)

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and like so many other plant foods, retards the growth of cancerous cells in lab tests. To be sure, we do not usually use it in quantities large enough to enjoy it’s healing powers on a grand scale.Luckily, all of it’s other plant brothers and sisters are so ridiculously well endowed with goodness and healing powers. I simply do not know the names of all these powerful phytochemicals, or even a fraction of what they do. I do know that they are there, and that they are powerful. They are our friends. Our secret weapon. Sometimes, to some people, too secret  🙂

You may not consume much turmeric in one sitting, but cherries are also a powerful anti-inflammatory. So are all berries. Apples too. Red onion.Broccoli. Papaya.Sweet potatoes. Omega 3 (so, oily fish, and more pertinent to this website- golden linseeds and chia seeds, rich in Omega 3 also)  These foods are so wonderful and nourish on every level. They look gorgeous. They make us feel happy looking at their colours. They represent the circle of life and remind of us our absolute dependence on sunlight and water.In short, they feed every part of us. (I have never hugged a tree, but metaphorically, I hug them daily, and think you should too!)

Try to do everything you can to base your diet mainly around these plant-friends: fruits, leaves, roots and tubers,  and leaves,  beans, pulses, and unrefined grains. If you’re off track, try again.  Your body, mind, and soul will truly be nourished. I can attest to that fact.

With love, signing off   ……

Poor ickle blog

Poor neglected wee corner of cyberspace….. I have too many things in the real world right now, but that’s fine…just by way of checking in, some cheeky bullet points. Just three mind you.

  • Made a purple drink as per the two previous posts…well it was some purple ice cream actually. I used half the amount of blueberries in the recipe because I didnt want to be selfish with the Family Frozen Blueberry Stash, lest my daughter have to resoirt to eating drips (as mentioned here) I was a little disappointed with the lack of vibrance, compared to the photo’s, but it’s all in the name of austerity (very relatively..!) Still, the eyes can provide as much as a feast sometimes, enjoy this post!
  • Our (somewhat-abandoned)green smoothie this morning was melon+apple+water+spinach. Sweetheavenabove!!!  I forgot how good melon green smoothies are! A £1 melon + 1-2 apples and a bit of water makes a huge blender goblet. Don’t forget the greens!!
  • I am reading a dissertation for someone (for money,not love) and it’s all about small businesses that dry fruits and vegetables in Tanzania. Only I am saying it more simply than the author says it. It reminded me how much my children LOVE dried mangoes and I took a moment to ponder on the source of our food. Real people tending their mangoes, suffering substantial losses sometimes. Local entrepreneurs (most of which are “need-driven” as the author calls them) travelling to visit their farmers, training them in organic farming, struggling with old equipment in the early days, sourcing out a reliable buyer…..UK supermarkets are some of the most reliable buyers for this market (wonder what prices they pay?!) and one of the firms the author visits supplies a major UK company that sells organic dried mangoes. I had a moment of perspective. How easy it is to feel hard done-by, and how lucky we are, so prosperous in material terms, in the West.

That makes three bullet points, which means it’s bath time.

Here I am, free-loading other peoples recipes again…

….though as a general rule, bloggers don’t mind that, when credit is given. And it’s continuing on the purple theme from the other day. I will be brief, because I am busy with other projects of a pressing nature (no, really!)

Here’s a little eye-candy for ya…..

Source: http://www.choosingraw.com (Click photo to be taken to recipe)

Digging that colour again, leaf-loving friends!  I still have not done a purple concoction this week, I shall, by jove, I shall!

This ice-cream recipe is made WITHOUT  an ice-cream maker, and the creaminess comes from (you’ve guessed it-)frozen bananas! It has a “secret ingredient” which I am still not sure I will add- Gena (the blog writer) has some rather unnusual ingredient combinations on occasion which apparently work (though I have to say, I have not tried any of them…)  Follow this link for the recipe for an almost-fat-free, nutrient dense purple ice cream!

Gogettit! It’s the 4th of July tomorrow. Go grab yourself a blue ice-cream!

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