Showing posts from April, 2013

Crunchy Matchstick Potatoes

So in my ongoing quest to utilize the common russet potato in new ways I've stumbled across an interesitng phenomena. I decided for no reason other than whimsy to cut my potatoes into the matchstick (also known as jullienne) shape. I would be cooking them on the stovetop so a small cut was required. Normally I do a very small dice. And that works out well. It's easy to get them tender without burning them. I was feeling kinda lazy, so matchsticks were several less cuts. I assumed they would still have the same quick cooking properties as their slightly more petit cousins. Turns out they do, but with an interesting twist. If you slightly undercook them they come out crispy and crunchy even after refrigeration. And yet they taste and feel like fully cooked, yet crunchy potatoes. I hadn't originally intended to undercook any, but as I'm not a knife samurai, not all sticks were exactly the same size. Some were thoroughly cooked while others were still slightly under.

Vegan Pudding

Today I made vegan pudding with almond milk. I used a pre-made pudding mix and of course almond milk. It's important to use the kind you have to cook. The instant kind doesn't work with almond milk. Believe I know. I've tried. You wind up with consistency right in the middle between pudding and sauce. It tastes quite good, but never fully thickens. The cook top kind of pudding mix works find with vegan milks. Just follow the directions and you'll have a respectable and very delicious pudding in no time at all. I think vegan pudding is better than the standard kind. Almond milk is already sweeter than regular. And it's a clean sweetness. Those little boxes don't make much pudding though. They claim four servings, but c'mon. 2, 2 1/2 at the most. I usually consume less than or equal to the recommended serving size on packages. Hummus, salad, dressing, peanut butter, potatos chips. I never eat a full serving. Bread, cheese, cereal, I eat just about a se

Cold Combos

Here's an interesting little sandwich I had today. I had a lot of black bean salad lying around. I also had rye bread and macaroni and cheese with peas in it. So I did what any sane person would do in that situation. I put them altogether on the bread and topped with raw onion and pickle slices. I figured the mac and cheese would kinda act like the cheese in a normal sandwich. It pretty much worked out that way. There were some nice contrasts happening. All in all a pretty awesome sandwich. Another fun thing I did with my food was hard cooked egg and cheese and broccoli rice. Those quick cook flavored rice packets are super tempting. They have good flavor and are so convenient. When they put them on sale for a dollar it's impossible to resist. Great taste. Cheap. Easy. What more can you ask for from supermarket food. I always like to augment them though. They are mostly rice and they are small. Bulking them up with vegetables makes them go farther and much more healthful.

Rapid Price Drop on Quaker Cereal

Just recently I made a shocking discovery at the supermarket. I love Quaker Oatmeal Square cold cereal. Especially the cinnamon flavored variety. But it has always been a rare treat because the regular price of one small box was $4.99. And there are only 7 servings of cereal in that five dollar box. That has been the situation for a long time now. I would only buy it when it occasionally went on sale for $2.99. Even at that low sale prices it still felt like a big indulgence. Decadent even. It's just cold cereal afterall. You've still got add milk. But a couple weeks ago I noticed a major change. The regular non-sale price for the cereal drastically dropped down to $2.99 without any sale. Shocking to say the least. Such a dramatic reduction is unheard of. But the next week at the store the price remained at $2.99. No sale tag. No bluster. Just a modest this is what it costs now price tag. So are oats much cheaper now for some reason? Or was Quaker just raping us on the

Manipulating the Numbers

One thing I always found curious about veganism is how subjective it can be. Even when I myself was one, I struggled with the ambiguity of it. If you go by PETA's definitions and suggestions you have a whole different diet than if you strictly adhere to concept. The discrepancies lies in pre-made foods like bread, cereal and the like. Cereal especially gave me pause. Vitamin D3 is not vegan on a technicality. D3 is derived from animal sources. D3 is in 90% of cold cereals. Cheerios, Wheat Chex, Total and more. The ingredients lists will be devoid of milk or milky elments. On the surface they will seem okay. PETA will even endorse them. But the fact is, vitamin D3 isn't truly vegan. But because it's pretty much impossible to actually be vegan in today's world, accepted standard for veganism is avoiding all animal product within reason. So it's quite open to interpretation. What's within reason for one person is out of bounds for another. It's kinda like the h

Hunger Games

I love food. It's one of my many weaknesses. I love how it tastes. How it feels. The sensation of swallowing. That evasive feeling of fullness. Perhaps if I could find wholeness elsewhere it would not hold such appeal. Hot sauce makes me warm like a tneder love might. Sweet pudding balms my wounds as a tender hand. I've always loved food. I was born that way. As a child I saw ice cream and cake as a way to cope with a harsh world. We are born fat. If not literally. WIth the burdenn still. For years I managed to keep my weight in check. It was never easy. But lately it has been more of a struggle. Portion control is the real issue. I love food. How it tastes. How it feels. The satisfying sensation of swallowing nourishment. It's a primal desire that's hard wired into our brains. There are skinny people and there are fat ones. And we don't get to choose wich we are. Not in that underlying sense. And it's hard to be of the latter and make do on less than we

Garlic Grilling Season

Fire up the grill. Summer has been slow in its approach, but nevertheless it's almost here. There have been a few grill worthy days so far. Not many, but we take what we can get until the weather decides to be stable. At the supermarket the other day there was asparagus on sale for $1.98 a pound. That I could not pass up. When a nice hot, sunny day struck I quickly fired up the grill. Knowing there was no time to waste. I roasted whole potatoes at the bottom while grilled chunks up above. The asparagus cooked quickly atop the potatoes. Just 5 minutes on the hot grill was all it took to create perfectly crispy cooked spears. I dressed them with some olive oil, marjoram and lemon pepper. Grilling also creates a great opportunity to roast garlic cloves. Whenever I cook anything on high heat for more than 15 minutes I try to add some garlic to the mix. It's always great to have around. I just peel the garlic and add all the cloves to a lightly greased foil packet. Whateve

Hot Sweet Salad

Here's a fun take on a classic salad that's packed with way more nutrients. We'll replace ordinary lettuce with some crispy cabbage. When it's in season it is quite cheap. Ah, but the real magic of this recipe is in the salad dressing. You've never had a dressing quite like this one. Sweet, spicy and rich, it turns a random batch of veggies into something desirable. Salad Ingredients 1/4 cup shredded white cabbage 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage 1 meidum red onion diced 1/2 cup sliced carrots 1 red bell pepper matchsticked 1 cucumber thinly sliced 1/2 can sliced black olives 1/3 cup roasted almonds 3 cloves roasted garlic minced Combine all ingredients and combine in a large bowl. Lightly toss to combine. Set aside in the fridge. Dressing Ingredients 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing 2 tbls roasted garlic hummus 2 tbls hot sauce zest and juice form one lemon Whisk together all ingredients. Let sit at least 1 hour in the fridge. Pour over salad mix. Tos

Potato Dead End

I'm desperately trying to come up with something else I can do with fresh potatoes. I thought for a while that maybe I'd overlooked some possibility. But a thorough internet search affirmed that I had not. There are only so many ways to cook potatoes. One can certainly sauce or season them differently, but the overall potato remains the same. I've made roasted potato salad with vinaigrette and garlic. I've made curry with tiny diced potatoes. I've even made black bean sandwiches with hummus and potatoes. All were tasty and worth eating against. The potato is an awesome food. Versatile and satisfying and decadent if  you know how to treat it. I've been flirting with idea of roasting just the skins. That might turn out nicely. But what to do with the flesh. They might work in a veggie burger. Roasted potato flesh and beans and some other addittions. It could turn out quite nice. I'll let you know.

Chinese Take Out Sandwich (Vegan)

Here's another awesome vegan sandwich that will make your meat eating friends envious. Fried tofu, black beans and roasted garlic on rye bread. I like the store brand rye bread. Name brand is very expensive. Our local store band is equally delicious and half the price. For texture I prefer to toast the bread. Then slather it with roasted garlic hummus on both slices. Sprinkle with some black beans. Lightly. Don't fill up the bread. Garnish with slices of roasted garlic and stir fried tofu, carrots, bamboo shoots and water chestnut. The trick to this sandwich is to utilize leftover chinese stir fry take out. That elminates most of the work. I get the tofu and veg from there. The roasted garlic I make when roasting a big batch of my roasted potatoes . I just throw the cloves on top for the final 15 minutes of cooking the taters. Another great trick is you can do this with almost any veg. Works great for roasting red peppers and broccoli among others. Works with fresh and