Food updates for the last few days;
TWO DAYS AGO’S LUNCH
On the menu include; chef’s special hand-broken celery(because can’t be bothered taking out the chopping board and cleaning), nearly two weeks old Farmer’s market-bought slightly oily marinated artichoke heart, lightly boiled mung beans hidden beneath a mass of green forest, a Fry’s vegetarian sausage with good old tomato sauce and ‘American style’ mustard splattered atop. Next to it lay a lone, un-container sealed single piece of possibly low quality ‘budget brand’ whole meal bread(Left over from vegan sausage sizzle http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/vegan-bake-sale-and-sausage-sizzle-part-2-with-pictures/)
And how dare they call their bread wholemeal, when it contains only 6% of wheat bran that lies amongst a sea of refined wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt and etc? Wholemeal my buttocks. I can easily make wholemeal bread with about 99.99999% of whole grains or other whole foods with only about a speck of white flour. Actually, I’ve never tried to do so. I’ve only managed a bread loaf that was half oats/oat meal/other grains and half plain flour, which(refined flour allowed better leavening) as a result didn’t sink in and end up as a blob of intensely filling and stomach-ship-anchoring whole grain bread. That’s what I don’t like about wholemeal bread, they are filling in a good way(because of the fibre) but also(unlike veggies or fruits) high in calorie; roughly at the same amounts as their refined counterparts. White bread slices may not feel as filling upon consumption but that’s only because their simple carbohydrates are easily digested(high gi, bad for blood glucose levels, which is obviously even worse for you).
Nevertheless, I do have links to bread recipes where 99.999999% or even 100% of the ingredients used are whole grains/foods. Try them out and see how you like them(I’ve never tried them out because I don’t like grains): http://purelytwins.com/2013/03/05/single-serving-vegan-english-muffin-recipe-glutenfree-protein-rich/ This one has only got protein powder and arrow-root starch as the ‘flour’, and this one http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/ also look pretty interesting, apparently it’s “life changing”. A lady I know who makes it said it’s absolutely delicious, keep egging me to make it but can’t be bothered, plus don’t like the excessive amount of grain.
THREE DAYS AGO’S DINNER
Cold cubes of soft, silken tofu, to compliment the hotly prepared scramble of stir-fried veggies(Chinese white cabbage, my own garden rutabaga, spring onions and duck egg). Topped with two organic(Saturday farmers’ market bought) cherry tomatoes and finished off with a dash of cayenne, curry powder and sesame seeds for flavouring because I didn’t use salt in this dish(or shall I say, pot). Also, would like to mention that curry powder or other Indian spices shouldn’t simply be used in Indian dishes or curries, they can be simply used in place of salt or condiments, as they can surprisingly add flavour to your dish without making it taste ‘Indian'(if you aren’t in the mood). Possibly due to not combining them with i.e. coconut milk or butter, as I myself perceived.
Thing with soft or firm tofu that I use in my dishes is, I just take them straight out of the fridge and use them as they are. As in I like to compliment my hot dishes with cold. Doing so, to me, provide a very interesting flavour and dining experience. I don’t know if the contrasts of cold and hot on your taste buds alters food flavours perceptions in any way, but for me, eating cold tofu after a morsel of hot food really enhances the flavour of the mouthful that you had initially. It’s delicious but possibly hasn’t been scientifically proven(?). More on the delicious qualities of tofu further below in the post. Sometimes I do the same with cold leftover rice(The only rice or a form of grain I don’t detest), Korean whole grain rice mix.
This rice mix is pretty hard out. It’s got black beans and soy beans and what not in it as well.
Supposed to have 15 different grains in it as well(impressive). Can you count? I only like this rice because it contains more protein than your usual, say, brown rice, because of the amount of whole grains and legumes. It also contains lower caloric grains like barley.
More info here: http://www.beyondkimchee.com/multi-grain-rice/ Images also from this website, so please nobody sue me!
Sometimes when my dishes get a bit dry, I add a few cherry tomatoes to go alongside. I basically use cherry tomatoes as ‘juicing’ agents, by squashing them and releasing their watery, sweet, slightly sour juices atop my dish. A great low-calorie substitute for other ‘wetting’ ingredients i.e. oil, or water which makes your food taste blander. I’ve even squeezed the tomatoes on my food like lemons, but have always failed because keep forgetting their skin is super soft and not hard like lemons, therefore result in minor vegetable explosions that end in a mess which calls for unnecessary waste of tissues. As a result, I’ve resorted to squashing them open in my plate or pot with good old chopsticks.
(Cherry tomatoes; Great 100% natural sauce/paste alternative)
An image of my scrambled duck egg(bought from Saturday market) mixed with the water released from the vegetables to create a ‘Foo young’ perfection with no added oil!(As the veggie water prevent the scrambled egg from sticking to the pan)
(Foo young is simply Chinese omelette. Nothing special, just felt like referring to the Chinese name(?) Recipe for Foo young here for those interested in Chinese-ing up their omelette: http://rasamalaysia.com/egg-foo-young/2/ This Malaysian woman’s blog is so successful, right now feeling pathetically jealous)
On duck egg; heard they are more nutritious than chicken eggs. two times most of the nutrients. Duck eggs are more widely used in Chinese dishes i.e. in a hundred year old preserved egg or salted egg. However, duck eggs also contain more calories, saturated fat and cholesterol per serve(Mostly because they’re bigger?), but in all seriousness, on an ounce for ounce basis, they actually contain about 40+ more calories. That’s not too bad(even I, a self-confessing fat-phobic am not complaining) because they also contain a bit more protein(self-confessing protein obsessor like) i.e. one large egg 9 grams to 8 grams. But they’re probably a bit hard to seek out for anyhow. Just some interesting info for anyone interested.
TWO DAYS AGO’S DINNER
On the menu; Once again rutabaga(on a mission to obliterate this because no one else in family likes the texture and taste. FYI mission has been accomplished), own garden’s broccolini(deliciously organic and sustainable! My hard work has been worthwhile) cooked in my mother’s vegetable soup juice(This is how I manage cooking without using any oil. I sometimes use water or in combination with other natural pastes i.e. soybean to prevent food stickage). An added extra from the vegetable soup was a slightly nutrient-sucked shiitake mushroom(through prolonged period of boiling and overnight accommodation in the pot), can still taste the shiitake flavour a bit though.
Will post mum’s vegetable soup recipe up soon. It’s both super healthy(if not left to boil for too long) and also very easy to make with very little seasoning ingredients, or procedure for a vegetable soup, or soups for that matter(A little ingredient soup? How can that be?)
(Shiitake; a nutrients powerhouse I recommend. Above picture shows their dried forms. Can be easily found in Asian/Chinese supermarkets. I wonder if they added an ‘i’ to shiitake to prevent the creation of an unappetizing sounding name?)
Source of protein for this meal was a chopped up Fry’s vegetarian sausage, providing 11 grams of protein per sausage(Goodie!). And next to it, a source of fat makes a surprising and exciting appearance, this was a small, bruised slice of avocado(cannot resist its delicious green and creamy temptations, but also because was leftover in fridge from cake making; chocolate avocado cake, recipe here http://joythebaker.com/2009/07/vegan-chocolate-avocado-cake/)
And now, on to the amazing abilities of tofu to taste good(or is it just my weird taste perceptions?)
Soft tofu sandwich! Finally have the photos for evidence! Have mentioned this exciting food discovery, comparable to Christopher Columbus’ of America, in this post; http://obsessivenutritioncompulsive.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/deadly-pineapple-enzymes-and-their-effect-on-dried-lips/ I had to recreate it for breakfast. Previously, I’d spread the piece of bread with Vegemite(yeast extract spread, I recommend), but this time no spread so less flavoursome.
YUM. Look at the creamy, cream-cheese like texture. It’s like a very cream cheesy, soft and lighter version of veggie patties. And so dang easy to make! Grab a soft, silken tofu and slap it between some bread(but must be sure the tofu is pat dry or you will get an abominable sogginess).
I’m sure most of you will be familiar with soft, silken tofu(At least those health-conscious connoisseurs who’d most likely be the readers of my blog?). They’re easy to find and relatively cheap in Asian supermarkets. Please try this everyone! It’s a life changing(following in the bread lady’s literary expression footsteps) sandwich! I’ve also experimented with harder tofu, as I’d promised in the linked post above. Will be in next post!
An Indian meal? Half lentils – half veggies. The lentils were my protein source(also assisted by the half eaten slice of wholemeal bread from breakfast, compulsion to spread out carbs intake crept in, which contains about 2.6 grams of protein per slice, therefore half of a slice is pretty minute, but better than nothing). The veggies included white cabbage which needed to be obliterated(i.e. before they shrivel up in the fridge and go to waste) and rutabaga. The first class meal was finished off with a topping of Thai vegetarian shrimp paste(contains soy sauce, soy protein, chili, etc. taste on a sweet/salty edge), ground ginger and sesame seeds. Don’t be afraid to use a seasoning like ginger in place of salt, can provide a pretty interesting albeit slightly strong flavour. The celery stalk provided additional veggies and fibre to keep one feeling full.
My very last remaining rutabaga with white cabbage, broccoli, spring onions. a bit of lentils, cooked in the juices of three squashed up cherry tomatoes(Therefore no oil were dispensed of). The dish was seasoned with powdered ginger. Would like to mention spring onions as awesome ‘vegetable seasoning’ i.e. they contain strong flavours that can heighten the taste of the dish, should be hailed alongside equally awesome pals; onions, shallots, garlic and fresh ginger roots.
Next post: The easiest, and delicious vegetarian Indian recipes you will encounter in your entire life time, I dare say.