Thursday, July 29, 2010
The process is basically rinse and repeat until sprouts start to develop. To start off you want to find a glass jar and a mesh lid. It can be as elaborate or inexpensive as you want. To make mine I got a bell jar and the tradition lid. The lid typically is a metal disk and a ring that screws on. I cut a piece out of some crappy nylons and then secured it to the jar with the ring, ditching the metal disk part. This allows you to be able to drain off water without having all your seeds/sprouts escape.
Once you have your jar set and your seeds picked out, fill the bottom of the jar with seeds; I use about 2 spoonfuls for the fenugreek seeds. Cover the seeds with water and let soak overnight.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Occasionally, like today, a storm rolls through and the 90 degree weather takes a nose dive. That day I happened to bust out quite a few meals and my bf felt bad, so he baked me some "Cowboy" cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. These ended up huge and delicious. Nothing beats getting delicious homemade cookies without having to bake them yourself.
If you want to give them a whirl yourself, here's the recipe. The cookbook is awesome; I'd definitely recommend you get a copy. The Rocky Road cookies are also very, very good.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The food I made the other night might take the cake though. It's what I would imagine liver pate to look like...
Monday, July 19, 2010
For example, it usually only takes about 45 minutes to get there and back on a normal day. There's never much traffic, but the distance is far. Last night however, I failed to take into consideration that they do all the roadwork construction at night. Luckily for me, I missed it going in to work, but I was significantly slowed down coming home, despite the late hour. I'm impressed by those construction workers laying pavement at 1 am.
Additionally, the on ramp to the highway up at my office was closed, which meant I had to drive on a frontage road for a bit before I could get back on. Driving on a frontage road is scary because you never know what sort of creature is going to pop out and scare the crap out of you. I saw a couple of little dark creatures (like the size of a gerbil) dart across the road and a raccoon who shrank back when my lights blared it in the eyes. It definitely had me freaked about a potential deer encounter.
Once I got to the office, I found that the normal entrance I drive through was padlocked closed. I was a little concerned, but I'm still good on time, so I try the second gate. This one is closed too. Now I'm starting to freak out, because if I can't get in I'm basically going to have to turn around and go home, waste a night, and have no way to easily let my counterpart in India know what happened until an hour after I miss the start of the meeting.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Today was a kitchen experiment disaster. They don't happen too frequently, but when they do, it's a doozy. I hate throwing out food, especially when I know I like some of the ingredients by themselves, but sometimes the concoction is so repulsive you just have to dump it.
Recently I was gifted with a Vitamix, and I love it. It can make smoothies in about a minute, which is awesome. I've been drinking a smoothie of some sort almost every morning. We were at the farmer's market last weekend and I picked up this lovely bunch of organic rainbow chard. It was so pretty. During the past week, I've been dumping some into my smoothie with the rest of the more fruity ingredients with much success. It's an easy way to get more leafy greens in my diet without having to chow down on salad all the time.
At my regular grocery they had some of the greens on sale, so I wanted to pick up some more. I've never had mustard greens before, so I grabbed a bunch. Figuring they'd be like kale, spinach, chard, etc., this morning I put a bunch of leaves into my smoothie. Big mistake.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The temp is at 95F right now and it's hot. I've had to run later in the morning the past couple of days due to early morning meetings with people in India, and this morning was a struggle. Even my podcast talking about Voodoo wasn't enough to distract me from my dying in the heat (did you know that the slave uprising in Haiti in the 1791 was the only successful slave revolt?!). I was so hot while running that I was panting like crazy, not all that different than my pup running with me. :)
Unfortunately the temperature isn't going to let up any time soon, 89 tomorrow, 90 on Thursday...blech. Maybe I'll be able to hit the pool after work one of these days. Until then I'll have to enjoy my green smoothie and carry my little blue fan around with me in the house.
It's days like this where I don't want to be turning on the oven or spending a bunch of time over a hot stove. Quick, healthy and tasty meals are what I want, but I don't want to be eating a salad every night. A pot of noodles, some pesto and veggies and a tasty meal is made. This is made really quick if you have some leftover pesto in the fridge/freezer, if not, it adds a couple of steps. My favorite vegan pesto recipe is from Vegan Planet.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Over the months I end up with a glut of basic ingredients. Too many cans of beans, coconut milk and tomatoes, lots of various grains, dry noodles, frozen fruit and veggies, etc. Items leftover from one too many meals that never made it on to the table (I'm not very good about checking what I currently have in stock before shopping). These past two weeks I decided to step away from the cookbooks and just wing it based on the ingredients I had on hand.
I discovered two things: 1) I remembered that veggies can be just as tasty steamed as being combined in a more elaborate meal (like enchiladas). 2) I'm more likely to be lazy and want to eat out. I think this is because I first have to figure out what ingredients I have, what I want to make, and then make it. With my typical approach, I just have to look through the recipes I marked (if I can't just remember them) and pick one that sounds good. I know I have all the ingredients because I just purchased them.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I've stopped purchasing regular cereals from the grocery. Vegan cereals that are healthy tend to be rather expensive, so I've been trying to develop different foods to eat that involve whole foods/ingredients. I'm always looking for new meals to try at breakfast, something quick but delicious. My go to meals are either oatmeal (with mix-ins!) or granola. Granola is relatively easy to make, however you have to think ahead to make sure you have it on hand. I like to bake mine on low heat for a couple of hours, which means yet another heat source during the summer. Yuck. On top of that, I also like my granola somewhat soft, so I heat it up in almond milk when I eat it for breakfast, but in the summer, the heat is a bit ugh.
I've come across a couple of new ideas. The one above is basically a lazy person's cinnamon rolls. Get the smell and taste without the hours waiting for dough to rise. I got this idea from Vegetarian Sandwiches.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
What is that? It's a jug of water kefir slowly brewing. What is water kefir? It's a probiotic drink made with water. There are also milk kefirs made with dairy products, which make (presumably) creamy, tangy yogurt-like drinks. I wouldn't personally know, as I don't consume dairy these days.
Water kefir is interesting because in addition to getting more probiotics in your diet, you also can make your own at-home sodas, since the cultures in the kefir give off CO2. It's a cheaper, easier, and healthier way to make your own fizzy drinks at home. It is also possible, for those vegans like me out there, to make a creamy drink with coconut milk out of water kefir grains. However, personally, I have not yet tried it out. I'll let you know when I do!
I decided to give water kefir a try after I saw it mentioned on the Green and Crunchy blog. You can easily get kefir grains (water or milk) from the Kefir Lady, where I got mine. It costs 20 dollars to have a little baggie of water kefir grains to be shipped to you. To get started all you need is some filtered water, a large jar or jug (larger than a quart), and some sugar.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
After reading Green and Crunchy as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I was inspired to rectify this atrocity. For as much time I spend in the kitchen, it should be organized and neat, not a jumble of bags. I popped out and bought some bell jars and some of those plastic lids and went to town.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Have you heard that song on the radio lately called "I want to be a billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars? Its lyrics go:
I wanna be a billionaire so fricking bad
buy all of the things I never had
I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
smiling next to Oprah and the Queen
Makes me wonder what I would do if I was a billionaire. I'd probably stop working at my current job (which is probably telling) and travel more. Maybe take my sister and I on a trip to New Zealand. Donate a huge chunk of it to animal shelters. Buy some shares of Tesla Motors. :)
Instead I spend my days enjoying my wee, inexpensive kitchen projects. My recent projects have largely been inspired by Shari at Green and Crunchy. I'm in love with her blog. I want to buy a house so I can start buying bulk, organic goods and growing a large veggie garden. The harvest from my pots on the stoop isn't cutting it for my vegan self.
I was intrigued by her interesting desserts she makes, and even more challenged when I discovered that she infrequently puts down recipes. She may mention the ingredients, but she doesn't typically list out the corresponding quantities. I decided the treats looked good enough to wing it. Plus I just got my new Vitamix, so I wanted to try it out.
First up, raw banana chocolate cheesecake. So good and so easy!