The Talk The Food Industry Couldn’t Bear To Hear

I haven’t posted in forever, but this is worth me coming out of hibernation for a bit…

The Talk The Food Industry Couldn’t Bear To Hear.

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Black and Blueberry Crisp

I mentioned in my last post that our local market was selling blueberries by the bin. Originally I was going to make blueberry pie, buy my laziness and lack of ingredients persuaded me to make a berry crisp inspired by my 1979 Betty Crocker’s cookbook instead. It’s funny to think they used to specialize in recipes when now they’re known for their convenience products. However, I’m not suprized that the same cookbook lauds Peach Cobbler for its two healthy basics: fruit and bread.

Blueberry Crisp

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 1 lb blackberries
  • 2 T white wine
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cooking Directions

Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash berries and arrange in an ungreased 8x8x2 baking dish. Sprinkle with white wine (or lemon juice, but we didn’t have any lemons). Next, in a small-sized bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and salt. Next add oil to bowl and mix until even. Sprinkle over arranged berries and bake at 375 degrees for about 3o minutes. You’ll know it’s done if the topping has browned. Serve with ice cream (we used soy).

Recipe by harrisarnoldcollaboration

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Sweet-Enough Vegan Spinach and Quinoa Salad

Our local market, Milk Pail, is where we get all of our fresh produceAs you may have noticed, all of our recipes generate enough food to feed a crowd. Maybe not a super hungry one, but a crowd nonetheless. This is because as graduate students we only have time to cook on weekends. So, Chris and I both make enough to last us the week and then I spend a good hour or two transforming the aftermath back into a kitchen. Sure it can get fairly boring by Thursday or Friday, but until we get grown-up jobs, its the best way for us to eat healthier and save money as we avoid fast food and/or sit-down restaurants.

This weekend I also became interested in “tasting the rainbow,” (fruits & veggies, not Skittles). Rainbow eating ensures you get in a variety of fruits and veggies and thus a wide array of plant-nutrients. The result is thought to reduce one’s risk of chronic diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, some even some cancers. Here’s how my week breaks down:

    • Red: Tomatoes in the sauce from this week’s dinner, Whole wheat spaghetti and Wheatballs.
    • Orange: Fresh carrot juice since we both Like to Juice It, Juice It.
    • Yellow: I’m not sure bananas count since it’s the inside color that counts, but bananas are in my fiber cereal this week
    • Green: Spinach came to mind and salads make great lunches. Thus, this recipe was born. (I needed my spinach salad to be animal-free, and not loaded with sugars)
    • Blue: Fresh blueberries are now in season and in my plain yogurt!
    • Purple: Purple onions? We used them in our Spaghetti recipe…

Sweet-Enough Vegan Spinach and Quinoa Salad

"Softening" the spinach(Serves 5 or 10)

For Salad:

  • 1 cup raw quinoa
  • 4 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

For dressing:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 T unsweetened applesauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I used ~½ tsp of each)

Salad

Cook quinoa as per directions. The final amount of cooked quinoa should be 4 cups. If bought in bulk, you can follow these instructions. While quinoa is cooking, wash roughly chop baby spinach and place in large bowl. When quinoa is done (and still warm), fluff well and add to bowl containing chopped spinach and dried cranberries (be sure to declump first). Toss all until mixed well, which WILL talk longer than expected. Ideally, you want each forkful to contain all ingredients. Cover bowl while you make the dressing. This will start the “softening” of the baby spinach.

Dressing

Combine olive oil, vinegar, applesauce and spices in a small bowl and mix until emulsified. Once mixed well, add to salad and toss again to coat. When mixed, all should be shiny: there should be no dry spinach leaves.

Enjoy!

This salad serves ~10 as a side dish or 5 as a main course. This is my lunch for the week, so I divided it into 5 parts to be served with whole wheat bread.

Recipe by HarrisArnoldCollaboration

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Vegan Enchiladas with Green Sauce

Personally I think Chris outdid himself this time. For dinner this week we’re eating vegan enchiladas (covered in green sauce) with Mexican Style Hot Pickled Carrots. These vegan enchiladas are the perfect combination of smoothness and kick. I’m not sure that makes any sense so you’ll just have to make them yourself.

Vegan Enchiladas

(Makes between 12 and 14 enchiladas)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb raw spinach
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 8 roasted poblano peppers
  • 8 cloves roasted garlic (see below*)
  • 3 T oregano
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas

*Roasted garlic cloves: Peel garlic cloves, wrap in foil and place in oven at 375 degrees F until they turn slightly brown (~30 to 45 minutes)

The Filling

Spritz frying pan with oil spray. Saute spinach until wilted (~3 minutes)  and set aside. Re-oil the same pan, and saute onions until translucent.

Add bell peppers and continue to saute until peppers are brightened. Next add the roasted poblanos, roasted garlic, and spinach. Cook another 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Enchilada Assembly

Roll filling into whole wheat tortillas. Spread with green sauce and bake @ 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

(As you can see in the pic, Chris also added soy cheese to his).

Lastly, serve & savor! Here the vegan enchiladas are shown with Mexican Style Hot Pickled Carrots, vegetarian refried beans, chips and topped with soy cheese (read soy cheese labels carefully as they sometimes still contain milk products).

Want more vegan Mexican food? Try this site.

Recipe by HarrisArnoldCollaboration

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Green Sauce

We can’t take credit for this recipe, but the original website is now gone. It’s really good so I’m glad we’ve rescued it from extinction.

Green Sauce for Vegan Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 6 poblano peppers, roasted and peeled
  • 1.5 lbs tomatillos (about 8), peeled & chopped
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 serano chilis, seeded
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

Directions:

Place peppers, tomatillos, onion, and seranos into food processor and blend until smooth. Place in pot and simmer on medium heat for 25 to 30 min.

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Orange Juice Pancakes

This past weekend, Oranges for juicingChris asked me to make his favorite orange juice pancakes for his breakfast this week.

So when he further suggested we use fresh oranges and our juicer this time, I set him up peeling oranges and taught him how to use the juicer.

Oranges are good food and not just because of their high vitamin C content. They are also great sources of flavonoids, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.

Orange Juice Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup orange juice, or ~3.5 oranges, juiced
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs before mixing in the rest of the wet ingredients. Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until the ingredients are just mixed (batter will be lumpy). Lastly, let batter “rest” for 10 minutes before spooning 1/3 cup portions onto griddle for cooking. Pancakes are ready to be flipped when the edges are dry and no longer shiny.

Serve pancakes with REAL maple syrup and fruit.

Recipe by HarrisArnoldCollaboration

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Tofu Vindaloo

In our hands, Indian food always takes so long to make but we have never been disappointed in the outcome. Though it took SIX whole hours to make, the palak tofu, tofu vindaloo, bhindi ki subji and basmati rice were amazing. Below is the recipe for Tofu Vindaloo. The palak tofu and bhindi ki subji recipes we followed are written elsewhere, and is our side of basmati rice.

This tofu vindaloo recipe was modified from a chicken vindaloo recipe which I had made for Chris in the past after learning what substitutes for punjabi and tamarind paste. But as I would be eating the vindaloo too this week, we decided to try it with tofu.

Tofu Vindaloo

(Makes 6 to 8 servings as a main dish or up to 16 as a side dish.)

Ingredients for marinade: to be made at least 4 hours before, but the day before is best.

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp citric acid (or 2 crushed vitamin C tablets)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (1 full garlic bulb)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 Serrano peppers, chopped
  • 2.5 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder (or celery powder)
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 3/4 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 lbs of Extra Firm Tofu

The Marinade:

Place all marinade ingredients into a gallon-sized resealable bag. Mix well (we use a whisk). Slice Tofu into slabs and stab with a fork to allow marinade to seep in. Place tofu into bag and chill until ready to use, mixing as needed.

Ingredients for vindaloo:

  • Marinade from above (you will use it)
  • Tofu from above (stripped of as much marinade as possible and cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 3 white onions
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Protocol: (I’m a scientist)

Finely grind up the onions. A food processor works well for this. In fact, I went out and bought a food processor before making Indian food for the first time. There was no way I was going to finely chop all those veggies by hand! Spritz a large frying pan with cooking oil and heat on medium high. Add cubed tofu and fry until all sides are brown. Remove tofu cubes from pan, place aside and add processed onions to same pan. Fry, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until almost brown. While browning the onions, open all the nearby windows and/or doors. When ready, add saved marinade to onions and run away from the pan. Concentrated spices = stinging in eyes! Come back and stir the mixture until shiny, or reduced slightly. Stir in water and cook mixture into a paste. Add the cooked tofu back to the pan and bring everything back to a boil for two minutes. Remove from heat, let sit ~15 minutes and add the brown sugar to cut the sourness.

Here is the final product served with Trader Joe’s Naan. Yummy!

Bhindi Ki Suji (top), Palak Tofu (right), Tofu Vindaloo (left), and Basmati Rice (bottom)

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Sweet and Spicy Vegan Pizza

Chris first made this recipe because he was concerned that he wouldn’t be satisfied with just wheatballs and spaghetti for dinner this past week. While that turned out not to be the case, it gave us the opportunity to build upon another recipe and make our own version of Vegan Pepper Pizza. Veggies first, of course!

Sweet and Spicy Vegan Pizza

(makes 10 to 12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • Pizza sauce
  • Pizza dough (We used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 sliced garlic cloves
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
  • olive oil (or oil cooking spray)
  • salt, pepper, oregano flakes

Roasting peppers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out bell peppers, onion, garlic and peppers on lined cookie sheet. Drizzle (lightly) with olive oil and place in oven for 15 minutes -stirring occasionally. Turn oven to broil, remove and place on fresh parchment paper to cool and soak away excess oil.

Assemble & cook the pizza

This step is easy: roll out pizza dough and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Spread with a thin layer of tomato sauce, add roasted veggies, and place in oven for 12 -16 minutes according to the directions for the pizza dough.

Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!

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Vegan Apple Pie

After incorporating juicing into our lifestyle, I quickly learned that I’m allergic to raw apple juice. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised as my mouth always swells a little when I eat raw apples, but the realization came with the problem of figuring out what to do with those extra 14 apples.

So I decided to make apple pie, which meant finding a great apple pie recipe. So two hours later I chose to make a vegan rendition of Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie. I mean, who was I to argue with a five-star average rating out of over 1400 reviews?

Vegan Apple Pie

(Makes two 9-inch apple pies. Why two? -To share one with a friend, of course!)

Ingredients:

  • Pie crusts for (2) 9-inch double crust pie

    • (I used Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust which is NOT vegan, but vegan pie crust recipes can be found here and here.)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 T flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 14 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

    • I used red delicious which is why this recipe has less sugar than the original.

Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees celcius. In medium bowl, mix oil, flour to a paste. Whisk in water and add in sugars. Transfer the mixture to a small sauce and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Boil for about a minute before reducing heat to a simmer (continue to stir) for another five minutes or so. Set aside to cool.

Pie assembly

Arrange lower pie crust in pie pan and arrange apple slices, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice of crust like shown here. Pour pie filling slowly through lattice and bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!

Helpful tips: Place pies on lowest rack of oven, as close to heating coils as possible. To check if the pies are done, check if the pie filling in the middle is boiling.

Review

We really enjoyed it. Especially paired with soy ice cream! Our favorite part was that it wasn’t overly sweet. I mean, it actually still tasted like apples –a plus in our book.

 

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Wheatballs (Vegan Meatballs)

Eating Vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up all the flavors you love. It simply means you choose a smarter way to eat those flavors. My personal journey to veganism began with food allergies and continued to develop with my aging GI tract. Regardless, eating a plant-based diet has done wonders for my body. Since about 2004, I haven’t been able to tolerate ground beef, so a few years back Chris made Meatless-meatballs for me. Recently however, my tolerance for eggs and dairy have waned so he created savory wheatballs.

Wheatballs (Vegan Meatballs)

(Makes around 30 wheatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb country style bread
  • 1.5 cups soy milk
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, crumbed

    • For a vegetarian option, grated parmesan may be used
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • Cooking oil spray

    • 1 to 2 T vegetable oil may substitute

Egg substitute (Ground flaxseed binding agent)

In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseeds and water. Using a fork or whisk, mix well. Let stand a few minutes and mix again. With time, the mixture will thicken. Continue to mix until mixture obtains the consistency of raw egg whites. Set aside.

The "dough"

Cut bread into thick slices and place in large bowl. Add soy milk and let sit until bread is thoroughly soaked. Squeeze dry bread slices and place in food processor along with tofu, parsley, basil and garlic. Process until the "dough" becomes thick and starts sticking together. The excess soy milk may be discarded.

Depending on the size of your food processor, this may need to be done in batches. If so, split ingredients equally so that the makeup of the dough is fairly consistent.

Return the dough to the large bowl, add the egg substitute, salt and pepper and mix. (Chris’ tools of choice for this step and the next are his hands).

Wheatball assembly and cooking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Form dough into round balls approximately 2-inches in diameter and place on rack to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat  oiled pan and fry wheatballs until brown on all sides. Place browned wheat balls in oven to continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. When cooked, the center of the wheatballs will be moist but not soggy.

Enjoy!

We serve our wheat balls over grilled veggies and/or whole grain spaghetti noodles and topped with homemade tomato sauce. Yum!

Wheatballs over grilled veggies and spaghetti

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