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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A is for Apple B is for Blog

The first day of Lent and my adventure to eat my way through the alphabet has started strong, but ended weak because I became sick. But I have been holding strong and trying my best to eat my way through the alphabet.

Wednesday is A:

Amaranth and Apples Porage:
1 Apple, chopped
1/2 cup Apple juice
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
Sprinkle of Agar agar (I meant to go for the arrowroot, but this worked)
3/4 cup cooked Amaranth
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (I should have used Agave)

cooked the apple, allspice, and maple syrup in the apple juice for a few minutes. Add the cooked amaranth and sprinkle agar on top, then mix together and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until it reaches a porage consistency.

This has reminded me I am not a fan of amaranth. It's a tiny grain without much substance and too many bites with dirt.

Snacks: Almonds

Dinner: Rice with almond milk and home potatoes (I was sick and the husband was willing to cook!)

Thursday is B:
Breakfast: Smoothie - Blueberries, bananas, and almond milk

Snack: Brazil Nuts

Dinner: B Soup

B Soup:
(vegan) Butter
Butternut squash
Black eyed peas
Basil and Bay leaf
Broth (veggie)

Saute the onions and bay leaf until caramelized. Deglaze with the broth and add the basil. Add the chopped butternut squash and the remaining broth. Add the cooked barley and black eyed peas.

Simple soup, probably not the best flavor combination, but good. The basil and black eyed peas could have been excluded for a better soup.

Day two of this experiment is interesting and it's allowing me to try new foods, as it was designed to do. And since I have been breaking the rules a bit, I am okay with it because I am still achieving my goal.

Tomorrow is C, for chocolate!
Two weeks ago Jess and I reviewed a bunch of chocolates for our Stumptown Vegans Podcast. I still have a few left over which I will be enjoying tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eating Through the Alphabet

When I was 8 I started participating in Lent - I vowed to turn off the lights every time I left the room. Each year from then on I gave something up every year to better my life. This was odd since I grew up Protestant in a Mormon community, where I picked up this Catholic tradition of giving up something every Lent, I do not know.
16 years ago I gave up meat and never went back.
11 years ago I went vegan and never went back.
The last two years I went without spending any money, but it didn't stick, just good for 40 days.
Two years before this I gave up sugar, one of my main addictions, but I went back.

This year I will be venturing on a different culinary adventure - I will eat my way through the alphabet, one day at a time during Lent. What does this mean? The first day of Lent I will only eat foods that starts with A, the second day, B, and so on.

While only eating these foods may be impossible I feel I do need to maintain health, sanity, and a bit of wiggle room.
The Rules:
1. Drink all the water I want.
2. Eat rice as needed.
3. Dishes with combined ingredients must include 2/3 ingredients that start with the letter. For example: It is not good enough to eat a dish called, "Pasta." The dish must include at least 2/3 ingredients that start with P, "pasta, peas, peppers, olive oil, and paprika."
4. As a food reviewer for Stumptown Vegans I will allow myself at least one meal a week eating out which breaks this adventure in eating.

This will definitely be a challenge and require planning which will be difficult with my busy schedule.
If you are interested in participating, inviting me over for dinner, or even posting a recipe that meets the requirements.
This study is interesting and we'll see how far I can get into it. A-Z-M. As I reach the end of the alphabet I may need to combine multiple letters as there are few foods which with X, Y, and Z.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Pumpkin pancakes can often be too sticky and not cook through throughly. These pancakes are thick, but fluffy, and perfect for rainy mornings.

Pumpkin Pancakes:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup graham cracker flour (3 rectangle crackers)2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon oil

Sift the dry ingredients: flour, graham flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.
Then add the soymilk and pumpkin puree.
Mix well. Add nuts, if desired, and stir well.
Cook over a medium, oiled skillet until the edges are start to dry and bubbles have formed in the middle of the pancake.
Flip and cook about 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Add oil to the skillet before each pancake.
Serve with your favorite vegan butter and maple syrup.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BattleStar Galactica Pizza

I've been a fan of Battlestar Galactica for awhile. The one element of the show that I always laugh at is the minimization of right angles! Every time I see the books or papers in the show that have corners cut at angles I am thrown out of the show and reminded, "this world is like yours, but different!" Apparently, I am not the only one.

While I was making a pizza-like item the other night (flat bread, pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings) I thought I'd entertain myself and cut off the corners. I burned the first few and my camera lost power for the second set that came out of the oven, but you get the idea.

So Say We All

Monday, January 18, 2010

Orange Julies

Growing up, my mom use to make homemade Orange Julius drinks for my sister and I. It was simple: orange juice, ice, and powdered soy milk. Or so I remember.

When the husband joked about ordering an Orange Julius at the mall, I boastfully said I could make a better one! He took me up on the offer, doubting you could remake one. Over the last two days I made 4 different versions tweeking them to his liking. So while this is named after my mother, Julie, it's really made to Brian's liking.
This sweet orange drink is great for summer days. We're also going to try it using a protein powder for a meal replacer.

Vegan Orange Julies:
1/4 Cup Orange Juice Concentrate
2 Tablespoons Agave Syrup (don't sub for maple syrup, try simple syrup)
1 Cup Soy/Rice/Almond... Milk
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk Powder
1 Cup Ice

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serving: 1

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Squashy Quinoa

Naming dishes is hard, so let's just call this Squashy Quinoa. This is a pretty labor intensive dish, but worth it in the end. Save this for a big holiday celebration.

Squashy Quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups veggie broth
1 onion, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
olive oil

3 large delicatta, or other favorite squash
Seeds from 3 delicattas
2 medium apples
1/4 cup pinenuts
olive oil

Chili powder
Maple syrup

1. Peel the squash. Cut off the end and scoop out the seeds and guts. Set the seeds aside in salt water. Cut the squash into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds.
2. Place the squash on a baking sheet, single layer. Mist with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake covered at 350 F while preparing the quinoa.
3. Saute the onion in olive oil until slightly browned.
4. Peel and chop the carrot and turnip, or other root vegetables while the onion is is cooking.
5. When the onion is browning, throw in the other veggies and1/2 teaspoon thyme. Saute for 3 more minutes.
6. Add 2 cups vegetable broth and salt to the sauting root vegetables and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and a bit of olive oil. Reduce heat and cook the quinoa and vegetables until just cooked about 20 minutes.
7. Check the baking squash. Remove from the oven when it's become soft.
8. Peel the apples and slice into 1/8 inch pieces. Coat with lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
9. When the quinoa is cooked spread out into a large baking dish, 9x13. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Lay down one layer of squash rounds. Nuzzle the apples into and around the squash, sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme leaves. Layer the rest of the squash over it. Sprinkle with oil olive, salt, and more fresh thyme.
10. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Bake uncovered until read to serve.
11. Prepare the seeds by draining them from the salt water. Coat with 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Bake on the top shelf of the oven while the dish is cooking until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Watch and stir the seeds as needed.
12. When the seeds are starting to brown and have puffed up, remove from the oven. Place in a hot, heavy bottomed skillet. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil. Saute for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Stir constantly for about 1-2 minutes until the maple syrup is reduced. Place on parchment paper until cooled.
13. Before serving, sprinkle with the caramelized seeds.


Happy New Year!