Monday, January 18, 2010

Food Goals

I don't believe in new years resolutions. Why only make a positive change at the start of the year? Why not aspire to continually change and improve upon things throughout the year instead?

With that said, this is not a list of resolutions.
It is simply put, a list of food things I'd like to take a swing at sometime in the near future.

-Go raw for at least a week.
I've been admiring the raw style of eating for a while now. But I love to bake and eat cooked foods too much to live a completely raw lifestyle. I'd like to try to be 100% raw just one week. See if I can make it. See how I feel. This will be sometime in the summer when fruits and veg are fresh, plentiful, and cheap!

-Make risotto.
The last time I made risotto I was still in high school. Why do I not make it more often? It's delicious and not that hard!

-Try making bagels, again.
I tried (and semi-failed) at making bagels this summer. The the texture was off, but not too horrible in the taste department. I'd like to try it again and see how I can improve.

-Pick fresh fruits. 
I live in B.C., which grows a bevy of delicious fruits in the summer months. Since I have a car, and I'm just a short road trip from the interior, this year I am determined to take a drive and pick plenty of peaches! I also want to do some berry picking locally. It's something I used to do when I lived in Edmonton, and I would love to go this year around Vancouver.

-Join a CSA.
CSA or, "Community Supported Agriculture" is something i've admired over the years. Since I live off mostly vegetables (and pasta....just saying...) joining  a CSA makes a lot of sense. Fresh local vegetables every week? Im in! Hopefully I can secure a spot this year!

-Make seitan.
It's not something I eat often, but when I do I really enjoy "wheat meat". I'm looking forward to the challenge of making some on my own!

That's all I've got for now. I'm sure i'll think up more once I get these done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's a miracle!

toast and a scramble

When i'm in school, I need a pretty good motivation to get myself out of bed. Knowing I have a day full of feeling stupid just isn't enough sometimes. Scrambled tofu usually is.
This morning as I embarked on my tofu scramble, I realized that my vegetable supply is pretty low. My usual scramble standards (mushrooms, zucchini) were not to be seen, and only a little sliver of green pepper (another standard) remained in my crisper. The prospect of a scramble with just green pepper made me sad, so I decided to get daring and throw in a vegetable I had never thought of scrambling before. Broccoli. (Carrot and cauliflower seemed a little too crazy this morning. Maybe next time...)
The resulting scramble was delicious, and i'm happy to report that broccoli may just become a regular in my scrambles from now on. I usually have it on hand and it adds a really nice texture.

If you still aren't convincced why you should scramble up some broccoli, read all about why it's a miracle.

If you need a scramble recipe, here is my preferred method.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

This salad is often referred to as a mock tuna salad, or mock chicken salad. Since i've never eaten tuna salad or  chicken salad (I always hated tuna and didn't find chicken salad all that appetizing...) I can't really say if that's true. I can say, that this salad is delicious. It's easy to make, and pretty healthy too. It's one of my favorite staples. This salad can be enjoyed on it's own, served in a pita, or on some large romaine lettuce leaves like here. It's so easy, delicious, filling and healthy.  I just love it.

Chickpea Salad
(makes enough for 4 large lettuce wraps)
Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

1 small can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well!
2 tbsp miracle whip (or mayo, or veganease if you wanna be vegan)
2 tsp dijion mustard
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp dried dill
1/4 cucumber, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
2 sprigs of green onion, chopped.
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp mrs.dash
1 tsp paprika, red chili flakes (optional)

Combine the mayo, mustard, and vinegar in a bowl. Wash the chickpeas andd pat to dry. You can chop them up a bit, or leave them whole. I like to give them a course chop so you get more variety with every bite. Chop the rest of ingredients and combine them all together.  Add spices and seasonings.
Serve on a big leaf of lettuce or in a pita. Or just in a bowl.

Other add-ins:
red onion instead of green
diced pickles
grated carrot
finely chopped radish

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I can't believe it's tofu!

chocolate tofu dessert

I just discovered how to make the easiest and most delicious dessert ever. How easy? To ingredients easy. How delicious? Rich, luscious, cool, chocolatey deliciousness, delicious.'s healthy!
Afterall, it's made of tofu! (And tofu is healthy, ergo, this is a healthy dessert. That's my logic and i'm sticking to it.)

I had first seen this idea on an episode of Chef at Home years ago. It sounded good, but this was back when I was new to tofu and still learning how to love it. I kept in the back of my brain though, because the recipe sounded too good (hello it involves chocolate) and easy (two ingridents!) to ignore.

Flash forward to last week, when I mistakingly bought silken tofu instead of the regular ol'extra firm I usually buy. Cut to me trying to make a tofu scramble the next morning and realizing this would not at all work. Apparently my mind doesn't register the giant scripted word spelling out "SILKEN" on a box of tofu until i've already opened it, and started at the slinky white brick before me for a couple mins, only to then dig the package out of the garbage and yell "Ah, shark farts! It's silken!" (I just stared college, ok? My brain is a little spent. Yes, it's only been one week. I fear of what is to come..)
So off it went to sit in my fridge for a few days, until I decided I should figure out a way to use it up. (As I mentioned, I am a student again which means NO MONEY. I'm not wasting $3 worth of tofu!) That was when I remembered that episode of chef at home from years back, and set to work.

All you do is melt chocolate, blend some tofu, combine, let chill, and there it is: dessert! And it's healthy since tofu is healthy, and dark chocolate has antioxidants and is also good for you! (At least that's what i'm telling myself.)

This came out pretty thick, so thick it would make a lovely pie filling. Maybe using a less firm silken tofu would yield more of a pudding like dessert next time? Or just keep the firm silken tofu and throw it in a pie shell with some fresh strawberries/raspberries/banana on top. That's what i'm doing next time!
(In my defense, the ambiguity of this desserts' potential is also the reason i've given it such a creative name.)

Chocolate Tofu Dessert
Serves two. 
chocolate tofu dessert

1 cup chocolate chips (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate)
1 cup firm silken tofu
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp sweetener- honey, agave, sugar, etc.(optional)

 Blend the tofu and set aside. Add sweetener if desired.
 Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. When the chocolate is completely melted, mix with the tofu and vanilla. Measure mixture into cups, bowls, or even a pie shell. 
Chill for a few hours or overnight. Serve cold.

This recipe can easily be doubled, quadrupled, or halved. Just make sure the chocolate and tofu are equal parts.