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Sunday, January 18, 2009

I tried TVP for the first time

On 2-10-08 I wrote a post about what TVP is. Here is the link to that post:

I decided I wanted to try it so I did some research on the net to find the simplest recipe I could to make this. Here is the link to the recipe I used. I did not do the recipe exactly as it stated because I used seasonings I had available. But I cooked it the way the recipe said to. I really just wanted to get a taste of TVP and the consistency so I could apply it to my own recipes. I also decreased the amount of ingredients just enough for me. I found TVP in a container in an organic grocery store. It was on an open shelf, not refrigerated.

I took pictures as I was cooking in different stages and then the final product which you will see below.

The first picture is when the TVP was first in the pan being reconstituted with water.

This is when I added the peppers and onions plus seasonings.

Now It is ready to put in my tortilla.

And here is the finished product.

All in all I enjoyed my dinner. At first, maybe it is just my sense of smell, the TVP had a chicken odor when it was being reconstituted. I have started to develop an aversion to certain smells since I have been vegan so maybe that is why I was sensitive. But that quickly dissipated when I added my seasonings. I could see how this could be used for things like sloppy joes and this taco. It has a thick type consistency needed for those recipes. This is kind of like tofu to me where you may have to acquire a taste for it or play around with it to get the consistency and taste you like. I did like it but it is different so I would need to make some more recipes. But I would use this again and had a nice filling dinner. I had that same full feeling I got when I started eating tofu for the first time. I always find it enjoyable to try new things and then creating new recipes with that ingredient.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quick and Easy Soup

I love to cook and create new recipes. But there are those days when I come home and I do not even want to chop an onion. Well, yesterday was one of those days. So, I wanted to make something quick with what I had available. Recently I had bought frozen soups in a bag that you cook similar to the rice in a bag which I had never seen before. It was on sale so I read the ingredients and once I saw it was vegan I thought why not try it. I had bought the split pea soup and there were two packs to a box. I like a bit more seasoning so when I had it the first time I added some vegan parmesan cheese and some adobo seasoning. I wanted to make a fuller soup yesterday without much more effort. So, in a soup pot I boiled the water per the soup instructions and then put the soup pack in the pot. Total cooking time of this soup was 15 minutes. After 5 minutes I added a bag of the boil in a bag brown rice for it’s cooking time of ten minutes. After the 15 minutes was up I simply drained the pot and emptied both bags into the pot. I added some sliced tofurkey sausage to it and I wanted a bit more broth so I simply added some veggie broth. Then I sprinkled on some parmesan and I had my quick soup for dinner. No fuss and hardly any cleanup. There are other quick versions of soup you can do but this I guess you could say is my bag in a pot soup combo. :) You could use any soup you want and if you do not like brown rice you can use white. It has been chilly outside so soup was just what I needed. Today it is windy and I do feel a chill so luckily I have some left over soup in the fridge which I can heat up for lunch. I have it stored in these microwave soup mugs which are ideal. Another way to store your soup and to quickly heat it up without any fuss especially when you are on the go. I love soups and make them often in the fall and winter season. I hope everyone stays warm and that a nice bowl of soup can be enjoyed on a cold winters day however you make it.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

My Monday chit chat

Before I started my day of errands which was to begin with doing the laundry I had a cup of coffee and cereal. I use soy milk as my dairy for the cereal and coffee. I alternate between granulated sugar or agave nectar for my coffee or tea. The granulated sugar I usually use is by Florida crystals. By the time I got back home from my morning of doing laundry I was hungry again. I wanted a BLT and usually I use the frying pan. But this time I used my George Foreman grill to make the bacon. I use a vegan bacon by light life called smart bacon. I have always liked my bacon crisp and wanted to see if the grill worked and it did. I had my bread in the freezer so first I turned on the grill and put two slices of whole wheat toast in the warming section of the grill. I took two slices of the Bacon not thawed and placed them right on the grill and closed the lid.. I cooked them until my desired crispiness. I layered the bacon on the bread with sliced tomatoes, onions, broccoli slaw and ketchup. You could just make it with lettuce and tomato and put vegan mayo if you like the way you would normally find it when you were non vegan. Why not serve it with a pickle if you have one. I did not have any pickles so I steamed some shelled edamame in the microwave.. Edamame are soybeans and per the bag it says that ½ cup is 12 grams of protein. I have stated before and would like to state again I am not a nutritionist so this is not nutritional information I am giving in place of you seeing your primary care provider or dietician. I just thought it was a good tid bit to share. I have a mini microwave steamer that I love and use almost daily. It really helps to have the quick serving of veggies and I sometimes even make them when I want a snack. I always keep frozen veggie’s in the freezer so I always have them. I put the amount I want in the steamer part with the grates, put that in the bowl part, fill with water till it reaches the slats, cover and microwave usually 5 minutes but with the edamame about 8 minutes. Microwave times do vary. Then you just drain the water and serve the way you like. Today I sprinkled some Mrs. Dash on the soybeans and then a small bit of Earth Balance Butter. As a snack during the day I had some almonds. Daily chores continue and it is always nice to have a smile in the midst of it all. I knew that when it came time to make my bed my cat butchy would not be far. Now what is that lump in the bed momma bear said?

Why it is Butchy...

My precious kitty :)

When it came time for dinner I wanted to make something quick and easy. I felt like a "stir fry" combo. So in a pot I cooked Lo Mein noodles together with non-thawed stir fry veggies. When they were done I drained the water from the pot, put the combo back in the pot and added some sauce. You could add any stir fry sauce you like either store bought or home made. You could cook rice separate if you prefer instead of noodles. Back in November of 2007 I wrote about making a stir fry with rice. If you want to view it go to the side bar on the left and click on o7 posts. As you scroll down that post was on November 13th and you will see other posts on my tofu crisp strips and my peanut sauce written on 12/23/07. Later on in the evening as I was watching Friends I was a bit hungry so I munched on the broccoli slaw which eased any hunger. And now I head to bed until the sun rises upon the darkened sky with the newness of dawn beckoning the call of new light.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New year to all. I hope your new year celebrations were wonderful. Mine was a nice evening spent with friends. I made my hummus dip and made a nice veggie platter. My friends had some other munchies, good music, some vino, and Dick Clarks rocking eve on TV. A nice way to bring in the year with good friends. I find it a bit nippy today so soon I will make some tea. Had some oatmeal for breakfast and just finished a nice broccoli slaw, chickpea, tomato and onion salad. I Started to like Mrs. Dash spices so I used some of that, a bit salt, rasberry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil as my flavorings. I love broccoli slaw. It is so versatile for example using it in salads and sandwich rollups. You find it in the produce aisle and usually the mix has some shredded carrots and red cabbage in it. If you can not find it then if you are using broccoli just cut the stems into shreds like cabbage slaw and there you have it... Add some carrots and cabbage if you want and you have homemade broccoli slaw. Not sure what I will eat tonight. I usually like to have pasta on sunday's . But I ate alot of pasta yesterday and had the tiny bit that was left over earlier so I will make something else. I love pasta and could eat it everyday. But of course the diet should not just be pasta and variety in my daily eating is something I love. Well, off to make that tea now. Keep warm and I hope the new year brings love, peace and happiness to all.

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