Thursday, October 30, 2008

World's Healthiest Foods

Okay I just HAD to post this link. lol

Eat your sea veggies...

Have a good day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vegan One Pot Meal


Last week we had a "one pot" meal making class. I show up to class and there are grains, veggies, spices everywhere. Instead of sticking to a recipe our instructor simply said "here's what you have to work with- experiment with something you've never tried before"
It was a virtual free for all and I have to admit I felt a little like Iron Chef. Boy was it overwhelming for a second; mostly because it's not your kitchen and you have 9 other people cooking and moving things and trying to get THEIR ingredients.

We all made it through with some great dishes. That night I particularly exhausted and I just knew that I did not want a strong, heavily spiced dish. I needed something relaxing yet filling.

I made a brown rice with leeks, miriam wine, marjoram and so forth. My new ingredient was freeze dried tofu. All I could think when I was taste testing it was "man this is a SPONGE", but not in a good way at all.

Have you ever used freeze dried tofu before? What did you do with it?

Teddy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Baked Mochi


I've found the easiest dessert ever! If you haven't tried baking sweet mochi you should. I made this last night. All you need to do is cut the block of mochi into 1 inch squares, flavor and bake at 450 for no more than 10 minutes.



They pack well so they're good for my lunches at work. I used the cinnamon raisin flavor but suggest adding a little sweetener and spices to create a stronger flavor- for instance some agave and extra cinnamon.



The state capitol, I trek about 6 blocks to sit here most days. I read under those trees or simply people watch the whole time- I love to people watch!

Lunch time is a mini escape for me, a time to relax. Do you have anything special you do on your lunches?

Teddy

Monday, October 27, 2008

A weekend with David Briscoe


You may have noticed me talking about a lot of weekend classes so I decided to take pictures this weekend. I mean did spend 90% of my day doing this :)



David Briscoe is a macrobiotics guru per se. At the age of 17 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and through a macrobiotic diet, he has been off of his medication and healthy for years. You can see why I wanted to attend right- interesting subject matter for sure.

He has a book about it called A Personal Peace. It's out of print right now and it's a little pricey.
Amongst lecturing and teaching, David cooked a meal for us. I'll share what we had with you.



Aduzki bean soup
David preparing the soup


Pressed salad (I actually helped make that one!), buckwheat and couscous, sweet n sour yams (with an organic homemade dried cherry on top from David's wife) and baked brussel sprouts and rutabaga with thyme and oregano.

It was a great meal and an interesting lecture series. I recommend reading anything of his you can find. He has great theories on food and it's effect on the body.

Hope your weekend was a great one!

Teddy

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vegan Ginger and Carrot Soup


I find myself eating more soups now that the days are getting shorter but as I've mentioned, I'm growing tired of my signature creamy squash soup. This carrot, miso, ginger soup is sweet and doesn't necessarily need to be pureed (I like it that way though).

The ingredients are pretty simple:
Carrots, onions, celery, water, miso and ginger juice

For two weekends I've been busy in different lecture/cooking series at school from 8am to around 6pm. I'm happy to day that next weekend I will have NO SCHOOL or WORK. You have no idea how excited I am for a weekend off. SLEEP. GLORIOUS SLEEP.
Last night I was able to go to see Ben Folds (fantastic!)- I won FREE tickets and it was a great time but it kept me out later than I anticipated.

Even though it's barely 9:30 here I am heading to bed to get some much needed shut eye. I need to be perky for the 2nd week at my amazing new job!

Teddy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vegan Ceviche


Vegan ceviche is a dish I was extremely excited to learn in class. While I ever much enjoyed it, I have to admit there are things I would change and things that I LOVED about this dish.
LOVED- 1) Hemp oil- I've always been curious what this oil taste like and since we used it in class, I got a taste. Oh my! I have a new favorite oil to dress things with- it's so nutty and yet light. I guess I can see why it's expensive now.
Things I would change:
less raw onion, it is such a strong flavor that it will end up overpowering everything after 2 bites if there's too much.
Anywho, here's a rough recipe that I like (not exactly what we used):

1 block extra firm tofu frozen then thawed (don't like tofu? try coconut meat instead- in small diced chunks)
1/2 c. lime juice
1 bunch cilantro
1 cucumber pealed, seeded, diced
1/2 red onion finely diced
various mushrooms (button, oyster...) cut into thin slices
Agave nectar
Shoyu
Umeboshi vinegar
Hemp Oil
Nori Flakes (optional but gives extra sea flavor)

Mix onion, cucumber and cilantro with 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice and a splash of ume vinegar and let sit for at least an hour
In a different bowl, mix tofu (or coconut), mushrooms, 1-2 tablespoons shoyu, agave (to taste) and lime juice and let stand for an hour or two as well
Once marinated combine contents of two bowls and sprinkle with nori flakes and hemp oil (YUM).

Now just general food porn from class:



Ridiculous amount of hummus we made this weekend. Don't worry, we don't let anything go to waste. We eat what we make and take some home for friends/family to try!



A sea of grain burgers being fried up- we used cornmeal to coat them and they turned out crisp and held together very well.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I took a look at my calendar and I don't have a day off from both school and work from Oct18th- November 1st. That means not one day of sleeping in past 6:30 am (not even weekends people!). Boy I'm going to be tired! No worries though, I'd rather be tired from doing something I'm passionate about and love than something that makes me miserable. This will be the best kind of tired I've ever felt....... :)

Teddy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poached Pear


I've only made poached pears one other time and I used a white wine. I decided to use a little fruit juice this time and make the dessert have a fall feeling by adding a cinnamon stick to the broth. If you're in need of an incredibly simple yet seemingly "fancy" dish, this is the one.

Peal a pair, cut it in half and scoop out the "guts"
Place in liquid and spices of choice to boil for about 20-30 mins

POOF... you're pretty much done. I decided to kick it up a notch (am I allowed to say that without pay some sort of royality? haha) and make a sauce out of the juice by adding a thickening agent (kuzu, arrowroot, agar agar).

If you try it, let me know how it turns out or your variation of it!

Teddy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vegan Pressed Salad


I have a new job and it's going great!
Unfortunately it means I'll have to start posting at night now because there's simply no time in the mornings. So all you night owls, heeeerrrrreee's Teddy. :)

Now that it's officially fall now and I'm craving pressed salads. I mean, went through a pumpkin and fall flavors phase, but I'm craving change. Last week I made a few pressed salads to satisfy my desire for freshness. Above is THE BEST pressed salad ever... well, I thought so.

Cabbage
Carrot greens
Gala Apple
Green onion
Walnuts
Vegan creamy poppy seed dressing

Teddy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Help Austin Vegan Bakers!

If you live in Austin and are vegan you're probably aware that Dhaba Joy (Austin's vegan bakery/cafe) recently closed it's delicious vegan bakery doors with virtually NO warning leaving both it's out-of-work bakers and die-hard fans deeply distressed.

While I can't open a new bakery, I'd like to do my own part in helping these bakers during their tough times. So vegans of Austin, and the world, do not fret! Andrea and Kathryn are now taking online orders Via their myspace:
ATX Vegan Bakers

Not a fan of myspace?
Call: 512.351.6502 OR 517.614.7903

Talking on the phone annoys you?
e-mail: atxveganbakers@gmail.com

Need proof that these two girls are the best vegan bakers around??




What's that? You live FAR from Austin and don't think you can order?? NO WORRIES. Andrea has hand drawn, glued, cut and pasted her first cookbook and it can be purchased here:
Andrea's Esty's Page

As Andrea says "Its more than a cookbook...its a work of art"

Now, no excuses people. Show a little vegan love LOL. I mean, I know if I were stranded suddenly without a job I'd love any help I could get so I need to do my part here.

Teddy

PS- also for any friends back home my birthday is a month away and counting.... perhaps this post will give you bday gift ideas?! haha

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Updated "Blogs I Read"

Happy weekend everyone!

I'll be at a cooking workshop from 9am-3pm all weekend so I'm not sure I'll have time to post but I wanted to let you know that I've gone through and updated my links. Please let me know if I've missed anyone, it's entirely possible since it's been SO long since last time I updated them.

Have a great weekend!

Teddy

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegan rubs, pastes and sauces for tofu

All this late night cooking and working all day is starting to make me a little exhausted here. I’m still loving every minute of class though. Then I’m inspired to go home and cook more. The only downside I’ve come across are 1) lack of time to make friends 2) a slight lack of sleep 3) the lack of friends means I have to eat ALL those sweets I’ve been making haha

Great news, I’ve started taking pictures during some of my classes. Enjoy my photos from class.



Indian paste for our tofu. Everyone loved how neon yellow this turned out to be. It was quite spicy and flavorful. I’ll be trying this one at home for sure.


Thai red curry paste- this is the one I worked on. Haha you know I had to volunteer to cook the one THAI dish. Although I must admit it was a little nerve racking because they handed us the recipe and said “this is what you’re making tonight- have at it”. We all pulled it off though. Cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen, where you know where nothing is, takes some getting used to.




All the dishes were served with a big pot of white rice.

My finished baked thai tofu. One of our goals was to focus on making out dish look beautiful before we ate it as well. This particular instructor is a firm believer in "you feast with your eyes before you feast with your mouth"- a philosophy I fully support and agree with. :)

The neon indian curry tofu retained it great color during cooking. I liked the look of this one best but my favorite flavored dish is the next one.


Herb crusted tofu. The mild and subtle flavor of lemon in this dish won me over.



After we all spend a couple hours cooking and preparing our meals, we all sit down and "taste test" them. We also discuss any changes we have made or would make to recipes. It's basically just a lot of food talk :)

I'll be posting class pictures more frequently. They all have this same general format as well. But there has been times where we do "round robin cooking". Where we start with one dish and finish with another so we get to have a hand in everything made.

Hope you enjoy hearing about my classes! If you have any questions comment and I can email you back.

Teddy

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thai Soba Noodles


Not so long ago I started cooking with soba noodles and while these are a Japanese tradition I just had to make a Thai version to soothe some of my intense cravings.
The noodles actually lend themselves to any flavor combination you can imagine. My Thai themed sauce was peanut based with a splash of coconut milk.


Again, no measuring really occurred so below are my estimates:

1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut milk
¼ cup water
½ a small onion
tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon graded Galangal root (fresh ginger can be substituted)
1 pinch of sea salt
(optional- one clove garlic graded and red pepper flakes/chopped chilies to taste)

makes enough to coat one batch of noodles for 1-2 people

Directions: in a small skillet or saucepan saut√© the onions with salt until they become soft and clear (if you’re choosing to add garlic or red pepper flakes or chili peppers do so now. This will mellow the garlic flavor and better incorporate your spicy ingredients). Add the peanut butter, coconut milk and water and combine with the onions. The mixture should be about the thickness of Alfredo sauce. If it’s thinner that is fine; we’re just trying to avoid a paste-like sauce. Remove pan from heat and place in serving bowl. Take the graded galangal (or ginger) in your palm and squeeze out it’s juice directly into the sauce- you may throw away the pulp. Stir in the finely chopped cilantro. Pour over your noodles and enjoy!

My peas look so beautiful I needed to picture them on their own.

Hope this recipe turns out well for you. Keep in mind, I’m new to explaining all of this and I’m just now trying to incorporate measurements :) . If anything seems off, just ask me – I’d LOVE feedback.


Teddy

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hearty Pumpkin Soup


One whole can of organic pumpkin puree is A LOT for one person and I had never realized this until this week. I made cookies earlier this week. Well, I definitely still had ¾ of the can left over. Therefore soup is going to be on this pumpkin-week menu as well. Normally when I make any hard squash soup I like it curry flavored and creamy. Now that I’m getting further into school with the Natural Epicurean, I want to push myself to redesign what my “normal” is so this is an attempt at a completely new soup for me.
I’ve yet to get the hang of this whole measuring thing so I can only give you estimates of what I used. Depending on whether you want a thick/thin soup add water and soy milk accordingly. Also, since the pumpkin is already pureed this recipe is quick and painless:

¾-1 cup organic pureed pumpkin
½ cup water
½-1 cup soy milk
½ an onion (finely diced)
1 small carrot (finely diced)
Salt
Pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon to taste

To top it off
Pan roasted pumpkin and sesame seeds (note- must be roasted separately)

On medium-high heat sauté the carrot and onion in some olive oil until the onion becomes translucent. Add the pumpkin puree mix with the onion and carrot. Stir in the water then soy milk until it becomes absorbed and the dish begins to look soup-like. Add more or less soy milk until your reach your desired consistency. Reduce heat to medium-low and begin to add your spices to taste. Bring the soup to a light simmer and remove from heat to enjoy.

Feel free to get creative with the spices!

I like the texture and bite that the carrot and seeds give this dish. I ended up eating this thick soup with brown rice stirred in- a very heavy filling meal but now that it’s winter and rainy here I loved it. Yep this recipe needs a bit of work- mostly me remembering to measure things ;)

And I still have a little bit more pumkin left so I'm going to finish/fine tune the pumkpin chocolate chip cookies sometime over the next few days.

Teddy

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NadaMoo


In going along with experiencing Austin I’ve been trying new Austin products and I’ve already discovered a favorite.

NadaMoo.

Over the summer I went on a little bit of an vegan ice cream making kick (although I didn’t post on here). My trials with vegan ice cream brands have been very hit-or-miss and about 1% of the time I actually love the brand. Thus, my thinking this summer “I could do this and make it better!”
My brilliant idea: use coconut milk for creaminess and natural sweeteners. Well, NadaMoo does this already! They’ve beaten me to it (although I will say my peanut butter chocolate version of ice cream was pretty darn tasty). NadaMoo also one upped this idea by making everything organic. Right now this great vegan treat is pretty much only available here in Austin but if you go to their site (
http://www.nadamoo.com), you can request a store near you to get it. If you can try it, DO! I forgot to take any pictures of the actual ice cream but I'm sure I'll be talking about this again- to show off haha! I decided to try the chocolate version first but I already know that next week I'm trying the coconut flavor.
I'm excited to have this delish company so close by. Hope some of you can give it a taste too!

Teddy
* note- no one at NadaMoo even knows I’m writing about them so this isn’t a shameless promo for them. I actually love this product ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Fall is here and I’ve officially started baking and perfecting recipes.
Last year I made these cookies but I decided to make my recipes ‘healthier’ by using natural sweetener, non-white flower and natural oils instead of vegan margarines.

They are very fluffy and soft cookies but they may have needed some extra moisture. I’m making another run of these this week and hopefully, I’ll have finished my first official cookie recipe. YAY!

Other than baking my weekend was full of unpacking, a trip to ikea and just hanging out with friends eating the cookies I made.

Hope everyone’s week is starting off well!

Teddy

Friday, October 10, 2008

Post Sans Picture- Complete Meals Class

I usually prefer to post with a picture because I'm the first to admit that pictures are my favorite part of blogs but I need to mention last night's class and I forgot to bring a camera. :(

No worries, I'm definitely bringing one next week.

Last night was my first official HANDS ON cooking class. It was by far my favorite class so far. I was so inspired by all the cooking, socializing and brainstorming that I went home after school and cooked more (I know I'm a cooking FREAK right?).

In class we prepared about 6-8 recipes and had a complete meal, including dessert. My group was responsible for the fried tofu and onions as well as a pressed salad. My favorite tip of the night was:
Boil your tofu or tempeh for about 20 mins before cooking with it. Doing this makes it easier to digest and for tempeh it really changes the texture. I've never been a big tempeh eater but after trying it boiled and then cooked I liked it.

Overall last night's class felt like cooking with a bunch of friends- lots of socializing and taste-testing :) I can't wait for next weeks class. I think I'll try to sneak to the desserts table (if there is one).

Teddy

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Recipe Demo: Enchiladas Potosinas


One of the requirements to graduate school is to do a 1/2 an hour demo of your own macrobiotic recipe. These demos are open to the public and everyone in the audience is part of the grading process. The best part is that once the recipe has been demonstrated, there is a tasting portion as well.



These enchilada potosinas turned out so colorful, vibrant and flavorful. Did I mention that everyone who attends gets to keep the recipe too?! You can have a go at making what these soon-to-be macrobiotic chefs are inventing. It's all very exciting to me and I feel fortunate to be able to attend.

Unpacking is taking longer than I hoped because of school events and the need to buy supplies. I realized last night I don't have a can opener! Of course, I only noticed after I started to prepare a meal that required on canned item. Well that was certainly annoying. Although I'm not a big fan of lists I think they help when you have tons to do.
Therefore, Teddy's to-do list tonight:
School
GET CAN OPENER haha
unpack at least 2 boxes
make new dinner recipe


That should be enough to keep me busy. See you guys soon!

Teddy

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Meals in a new apt


Hi there!

Thank you for all the well wishing. I still don't have stable internet and all of my stuff is thrown about in and out of boxes here. I wanted to assure you I'm still eating :)

Last night I made a quick bean and brown rice burrito with cilantro and avocados. Since there is little time and much to do, I've had this meal a couple of times now.

What are some quick "just moved" foods that you make?

Teddy

Friday, October 03, 2008

Soba Buckwheat Noodles

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday! I’m in the process of moving so my internet may be down for a week or so- however long it takes for me to get everything all set up, I’m calling today so wish me luck on a speedy hookup haha
I bought many new, fun and quick ingredients while at MT market last weekend and Buckwheat Soba Noodles was amongst them. The Natural Epicurean had a potluck a few weeks back and someone served them there. Since then, I’ve been itching to make them.





I love how they’re packaged in individual serving sizes! Is it possible for a noodle to be adorable? Because I think the tiny red gingham papers are adorable.


My instructor let me know the best way to cook these is to add them to the pit while the water was still cold with just enough water to cover them. Once the water comes to a roaring the boil, add cool water to stop the boiling process. Let them come to a boil again and they should be done. Drain the noodles and run cold water through them to stop the cooking process.




I simply dressed this as a salad with some shoyu, sugar peas, scallion and fried tofu to top it off. Shoyu is a newer ingredient to me and I love it- I find it much more flavorful than regular soy sauce.

Does anyone else use it?

Teddy

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Daikon & Squash Soup

Ok, short post today. Life’s a little hectic. I’m hoping to move this weekend but don’t actually have a place yet and JUST got an offer letter from a job this morning. At lunch I’m going to apply for a place because I have school all night.

EK

Moving on... :)




Last night I decided to use the rest of my squash and some daikon radish in a hearty stew. Daikon is new to me so I honestly wasn’t sure how to use it. There were about a million and 3 ingredients in here and I just boiled them until they became soft. I wanted to thicken up the stew to give it a heavier feel without adding a bunch of fat so I took some of the veggies out and pureed them in the blender using some broth and a splash of coconut milk as liquid. To add a crispy texture I added fried tofu on top (kind of like croutons but a million times better). Scallions were only supposed to help the picture look better but it really added another dimension of flavor to the dish.

For my first attempt at daikon radish wasn’t horrid but I can’t say that it’s something I’ll be rushing into the kitchen to make again. Not bad but not great. It looks like I should research this veggie some to get new ideas.

How do you use daikon radish in your kitchen?

Teddy