Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Comment on Oat Cakes

The oat cakes for, oh, four posts ago - they work even better if you substitute the cornflour with brown rice flour. They even rise, muffin style!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Unusual Root Vegetable Dish

Here's what we had last night with the mashed potatoes. It's really tasty, and what's funny - it all turns pink, because of the beets, which makes it funny, too. Also - for the Jewish mothers in the crowd - full of minerals, and warming, in Chinese Medicine terminology.

2 large beets
2 large turnips
3 carrots
1 big broccoli stem
4 onion cloves
olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 large handful each: dill, parsley, cilantro

Prep: chop beets, turnips, carrots and broccoli into 1-inch cubes. Heat up a wok with some olive oil in it. Chop up garlic cloves and add to the oil. Fry up until a nice smell fills the kitchen.
Then, add the vegetable cubes, fennel seeds, and handfuls of herbs. Shift them around in the work until they all absorb the heat and spices. Then, add broth, cover the wok, and cook for about half an hour, occasionally mixing.

Serve on top of mashed potatoes, or in a bowl as a sort of stew. Makes a nice addition to veggie burgers.

Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Have you had any of those horrible nights, when, say, you break up with your partner, or someone does something horrible to you, or you have the flu and feel miserable? Some folks lose their appetite when confronted with such miseries; that has never been the case with me. When I'm upset, I really like to eat - and preferrably something nice and creamy and comforting. My top choice, in my twentysomethings, for situations like this - mashed potatoes.

In these days of crazy carb counting, folks tend to look down on the humble potato, and see it as a blob of carbs out there to get us and live in our thighs. Well, potatoes themselves are not extremely calorie-rich, and while they do consist of starch, there's also good quality fiber in them. However, we do need to think of the relatively recent (and sound) nutritional recommendation to eat foods whose glycemic index is low; that is, foods that become sugars in a slower process and thus do not make our blood sugar level rise and crash like crazy. Potatoes happen to have quite a high glycemic index. My solution? Mix them up with sweet potatoes, and have a beautiful and tasty light-orange colored mash.

6 large potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
3-4 spoons of olive oil, or butter
onions, fried (optional)

Wash and scrub potatoes and sweet potatoes (do not peel! mash with peels is good stuff), put in a large pot, and cover with water. Add vegetable broth. Cook for about forty minutes, or until all roots are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork. Transfer to a bowl, and then mash them with a masher, or with any other handy tool. As you mash, add in the oil or butter (if you're using butter - I prefer goat butter). Also, gradually pour in up to one cup of the cooking liquid, which tastes "brothey" and nice. The additional liquids work just as well as heavy cream or milk, and will make the mash fluffy and complex-tasting. When done, add black pepper to taste, and if you like fried onions, you can decorate the mash with some of these on top.

No pic, today, I'm afraid - that's the problem with mash: it gets eaten before anyone has a chance at whipping out a camera!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Vegetarian Franks 'n Beans

Sometimes, only comfort food will do.
Remember franks 'n beans, that old bonfire favorite? It has a nice, vegetarian, easy-to-make version - provided that you have the right ingredients in hand.

This is something you may want to serve with some whole wheat bread, for dipping, or simply as a nice stew, with a spoon. It's lots of fun to eat! True, textured "meat" stuff isn't exactly the best thing for you, but it's better than the original, and if you miss this homey favorite, this is probably the best way to go. Enriched with some vegetables, it can really be a nice family dinner.

10 tofu dogs (in the US , Smart dogs work best; in Israel, use Tivall)
1 can of white beans in tomato sauce (organic varieties contain as little additives as possible)
2 ripe tomatoes
2-3 red bell peppers
1-2 large white onions
olive oil
chili, black pepper

Chop up onions and fry them in olive oil in a large pot, until golden brown. Then, chop dogs into little rings and add them. After they get brown and a bit puffy, add chopped up tomatoes and peppers; sautee for about three minutes, then add contents of bean can, and spices. Sautee for another five minutes or so, or until it looks like what you remember from happy childhood days.

Oat Bran Cakes

Hi, all -

I know I've been very neglectful of the blog; I hope some freshly cooked/baked entries will improve the situation!
One thing we don't like talking about is constipation, and how important "being regular" is to our wellbeing throughout the day. Here's a nice treat that's excellent with your breakfast tea, and can be a daytime snack, as well.

Heat up the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

1 1/2 cups oat bran
3/4 cup corn flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, chopped into tiny pieces
1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped up
1/2 cup raisins, or cranberries, or both

Mix up in a bowl. (bowl #1)

2 egg whites
3 tbsp oil (I use canola)
4 tbsp honey
1/2 a cup apple juice concentrate, or apple sauce/puree
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix up in another bowl. (bowl #2)

Gradually add contents of bowl #2 to bowl #1, while mixing.

Pour mixture into muffin pan, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden and a fork stuck into the cakes comes out clean. Enjoy!