Nourishing the mind, body, and soul along the vegan highway.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Orange Tofu and Grandbaby ultrasound pictures

My girlfriend at work had left over Orange Chicken and it smelled so good. Well, not the chicken, but all I could smell was the orange sauce. She emailed me the link to her recipe and I was sold. Of course I made Orange Tofu and not chicken. It is so good. I did tweak the recipe a bit and I am sold!

Here is the tofu after it was lightly fried.

I began the making the orange sauce. While it was cooking I thawed some frozen firm tofu, pressed it, and put it in a shallow dish with about a cup of the cooled orange sauce/marinade. I was short on time so I only marinated it for about 20 minutes. I think it could have soaked longer, but time was not on my side. Once the marinating was done I cut the tofu into cubes, patted it with a paper towel and dusted it with a light coating of corn starch. I used a nonstick skillet to lightly fry the tofu. I sprayed my pan with some cooking spray added about a teaspoon of olive oil and began frying the tofu. Once it had a nice golden brown color I removed the tofu to a paper towel. I added the sauce ingredients to the pan and began stirring in the cornstarch and water mixture until it had thickened and turned nearly transparent. Back in the tofu went. Just lightly stirring so not to break up the crispy tofu. Served over brown rice with some delicious broccoli and dinner was served. The tofu has a perfect texture with just enough crisp. This recipe really is delicious! I hope you all give it a try! I tweaked this recipe into a yummy vegan dish. You can find my recipe below. :o)

Sheree's version of Orange Tofu
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Extra cornstarch to coat your tofu and about 1 tsp of olive oil for frying.

Add to a medium saucepan 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir as it comes to a light simmer. Add in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chopped onion. Bring this mixture to a boil making sure your brown sugar has completely melted. Remove from heat, and let cool. Place your pressed tofu into a shallow dish and pour 1 cup of sauce over the tofu. Lightly stir the tofu making sure all of it is soaking. Reserve remaining sauce. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or longer. Once you are done marinating pat your tofu, cut into cubes, and lightly coat with corn starch.

Spray your skillet, add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil (sesame oil might be nice too) and heat over medium heat. Place the tofu in the skillet, and fry until golden brown. Once it is brown take it out of your skillet and place on a paper towel.

Wipe out the skillet, and add the remaining sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together 3 tablespoons of cornstarch along with 2 tablespoons water, and stir this mixture into the sauce. Reduce heat and stir until it begins thicken and turn transparent. Add your tofu, cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve of brown rice.

Now really good news! If everyone wants to see my grandbaby, just hop over to Brandie's blog. She has new ultrasound pictures!! I can't wait to hold my new grandbaby! He or she is already too cute for words.

Hugs and love to all!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

News and good food!

Hi everyone! Thank you again for your kind words and thoughts while we were going through the loss of my brother-in-law. I have good news! First Brandie has started her own blog. All of you who wondered what her wedding dress looked like can pop over and see the little picture she has of her and Micah. The photographer is working on making the photo's right that is why you haven't seen any posted here. I hope you all go and visit. She would love visitors. She has a baby counter too! Second, we have a new addition to the family and no it isn't the grandbaby yet.

Here is our new baby! After the loss of Tilly my chiropractor and friend kept asking me if we wanted another kitty. We kept waiting giving ourselves time to grieve and just be happy with the memories of Tilly. A week ago we were asked again. Our friends, sister-in-law does animal rescue and she had this cut sweetie whom had been rescued from a home of 80, yes I typed the right number, cats. They think she is about 6 months old. Well, who couldn't fall in love with a face like this. She is wonderful. Everyone seems to be getting along. We have named her, Abby. We have already taught "Abby" to play fetch. I know most people can't believe that, but thanks to Brandie's kitty Thalia, we found out it is possible.

Isn't she the cutest little fur baby you have ever seen! She loves playing in paper sacks. Now onto the kitchen!

Bread making success! The dark loaf is called Hearty Brown Bread. This recipe was on the back of the box of my vital wheat gluten. I played with the recipe a bit so my bread machine could do the kneading and my oven the baking. The recipe calls for millet flour, which gave me the fun job of grinding some millet in my MAGIC BULLET!.
DH is so excited about that. Thank you again honey for the wonderful Christmas present. The light one is adapted from Dori's recipe over at the Bakehouse. They both turned out so good. Enjoy!
Hearty Brown Bread from my Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten box
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 T. yeast
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 t. sea salt
Place in your breadmaker machine according to your instruction manual. Use dough cycle for 2 lb loaf. When cycle is complete take out the dough, roll or form it into the loaf or loaves and place in oiled pans. Cover with towel and let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. I made mine in one large pan and it took the full 45 min.
9 Grain Bread
1 ¼ cup of water 2 t. sea salt
2 T. Olive oil 3 T. Natural sugar (use Succant)
2 cups white whole wheat flour 1 ½ t. flax seed
1 cup whole wheat bread flour 1 ½ t. sunflower seed
1/3 cup uncooked 9 grain cereal
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 ½ t. millet
1 T. yeast

When cycle is complete take out the dough, roll or form it into the loaf or loaves and place in oiled pans. Cover with towel and let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. I made mine in one large pan and it took the full 45 min.

My omniman wanted salmon the other night so I made myself tofu fish sticks. Since DH's was in the oven cooking I lightly fried mine in some olive oil. I took some frozen tofu defrosted it, pressed it, then marinated it in a mixture of tamari, water, garlic, and organic dulse granules for about 15 min or so. Once the marinating is done coat in cornmeal and either bake or lightly fry in some olive oil. I have to tell you, these were so good. DH even tried them and said, "Hey this crunchy crust is so good!" Duh! They were fried and not baked. :o) Along with this meal I made up some homemade tarter sauce with my new Magic Bullet, cooked up some brown rice and frozen baby peas! Delish!

Obsessed! I am obsessed with this salad. Simple as it may be, my taste buds have been craving it daily. Chocked full of good fats, vitamin rich greens, crisp cucumber, and plump grape tomatoes how could anyone not enjoy this! I just mix what ever greens I have on hand, toss in some cucumber, halved grape tomatoes, handful of walnuts and ripe avocado. The dressing is Asian Sesame dressing. Now that you have seen my wonderful salad I need to confess that I love this dressing, but it has corn syrup in it, which I hate. I have tried to create the dressing on my own by reading the ingredients, but have failed miserably. I might have to have a contest and see what all of you can come up with. Does that sound like fun?

Last year, my that sounds so long ago, DH and I had pizza from our local pizza house. DH, my omni man, was struck with horrible food poisoning and he vowed never to eat pizza again homemade or not. Well, the next best thing is a calzone, which in my book is just a pizza folded in half. (shh don't let DH in on that secret) lol... So I made calzones. These tasty ones are stuffed with Julie's sausage recipe, Susan's lasagna filling, and my sauce. These were a joint effort of perfection. DH was totally happy with his and I still have one left over for my lunch. I also cooked up some spaghetti for the leftover sauce. The only thing missing from this meal was the checkered table cloth, candles, and violin music. :o)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Spicy Vegan Italian Sausage and Whole Wheat Bread

First let me tell everyone thank you for your kind thoughts during our past couple of weeks with the loss of Eddie. I was told that the best place to be during sadness is in the kitchen so here you have what I have been cooking.
Spicey Vegan Italian Sausage! Yes, folks you heard it right. Julie did it. She made a wonderful Vegan Italian Sausage and shared the recipe with all of us. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of a "chicken seasoning". Julie uses Bills Best Chik'Nish seasoning and advises that if you use another one be careful about the amount of salt you add. I used Bryanna's homemade "Chicken seasoning" and wasn't sure so I cut the salt way back in my recipe. Next time I will keep the amount of salt in the recipe the same. I guess Bryanna's is not too salty. Anyway the amount of spice is fantastic. I did use the optional fennel seed and red pepper flakes. AWESOME taste and texture. My uncle has a Summer Sausage recipe that is out of this world. I am hoping to use his seasonings with this recipe and make a vegan version. I think this recipe has limitless possibilities. I hope everyone out there give it a try. No kneading, boiling, or baking. These are steamed!
Here you see them after cooking and cooling.
Sliced browned up in a non-stick skillet and ready for eating. My dear omni hubby loves them. He ate them right out of the foil. Brandie came over and decided baby kidlet (she's pregnant) needed them too. lolDH has asked to have them in spaghetti and a dish I used to make with
Kielbasa and sauerkraut. I told him add them to the weekly menu. :o)
Vivacious Vegan makes a very light and completely whole wheat bread. Very simple recipe that she adapted from another blogger. You use whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, salt, olive oil, molasses, water, and yeast. Try going to a store and seeing those few ingredients in a loaf of bread. After my 2lb loaf was done cooking DH couldn't believe it when he picked it up. Light as a feather. We were both amazed. I usually make a hearty, heavier bread, but thought
I would give this a try. Fantastic!

Look how light and fluffy this bread is. Yum!

Enjoy everyone! See you in the kitchen. :o)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A sad couple of weeks for our family and more.

Hi everyone,

The past couple of weeks have been rough on our family. We lost 2 dear friends. Our dear friend, Lila, from church pasted away and my brother in law, Eddie. I have been helping my sister out this week so very little cooking has been going on. Lila's service was last Saturday and dear Eddie's is tomorrow. We are very sad for everyone's loss and will be happier when all of this is over. From there we move on. Like I told my sister when she asked, "What am I going to do?" You are going to get up every morning and be a mother to your children and a grammie to your grandchildren. We all have to move on because that is what dear Eddie would want. Here is what Brandie is greatful for: Her last dance with her Uncle Eddie at her wedding. We we always love and miss our dear Eddie.

So as not to leave everyone with sadness, Cowboys Wife is having a contest: Join in the fun.

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

The Prize:
The winner will receive a brand new Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow!!

About the mixer:
From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

I am sure I am like everyone when I ask myself, Where did 2007 go? It has been quite the ride and I am looking forward to where the highway takes me next. Santa did not bring me a copy of Veganomicon, but luckily you can get a few freebie recipes from the PPK. I am in love with lentils and one of her recipes is "Snobby Joes". They are fantastic! Some who have tried them have cut the amount of chili powder in half, not here. The spices are perfect. It is a twist between your traditional sloppy Joe and BBQ sauce. I will keep these on the family menu forever. Here we have them over a baked potato with broccoli and spinach.

Diann's Pumpkin, Millet, and Chocolate Chip (Rockin’) Muffins are the best. I have posted about them before, but this time I used my new Christmas present, "The Magic Bullet" (thanks DH) and ground my carob chips into tiny flakes. Now instead of a few bites with a carob chip you get little flakes of goodness with every bite. If you haven't made her muffins you should. Hint: you have to toast the millet to get the fun little crunch bites.

Yes, tradition! I don't know where or how the black eyed peas tradition began, but it has stuck with me my whole life. My version is very simple. Saute some onion and garlic add a cup of dry peas, cover with water, sprinkle with your desired herbs, and cook until done. We served ours up with another great recipe from Susan's, "Corn Cakes". I added some frozen corn to the batter too. One hint of advice, don't double the red pepper flakes like I did, we like spice. You will burn your mouth off. Oh so good! :o)

I leave you with this wish to all, may everyone have a healthy, happy, and safe New Year!

Enjoy your highway too!