Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Food for thought
There are so many delicious vegetables that people miss out on because they just don't know what to do with them. I feel very fortunate that I was raised eating a lot of veggies and healthy, vegetarian food. One of my favorite foods as a child was artichokes. My mom would just steam them and we'd eat them with melted butter. As an calorie counting person and vegan, butter is not an option, so I made a yummy dip low calorie dip to enjoy with mine.
Artichokes are very good for you. 1 medium choke contains 60 calories, 0 g fat, 7 g fiber and 4 g protein as well as 9% iron, 25% vitamin C and 6% calcium.
Many people go through a lot of fuss in order to enjoy an artichoke, but I find that unnecessary. I soak mine in a bowl of water to clean it and then just steam it for 20-30 minutes. That's it. No trimming with scissors, no peeling the leaves.
They are done when the stem feels tender and their color has darkened.
To eat, just pull off a leaf and dip it in your sauce of choice. Let your teeth scrape the end of the leaf and get some of the "meat" off. The closer you get to the heart, the more "meat" is on the artichoke. You will encounter the choke which is not edible, so just remove it with a spoon and the heart and stem will be there for the taking. I made a salad dressing/dip out of 1 T Vegenaise, juice of 1 lemon, dijon mustard, garlic, salt/pepper, 1 t extra virgin olive oil and a tiny bit of stevia. I used around 2 T per artichoke. They are a perfect snack because they take a while to eat.... so the next time you want a snack, reach for an artichoke with some healthy sauce instead of chips and dip!
This was such a disappointing meal. I'm sad to say that I am probably one of the only people alive who can't stand the Chickpea Cutlets from VCON. The first time I made them, I didn't follow the recipe exactly and ended up throwing away the whole batch. This time, I forced myself to measure everything and follow it exactly. The ONLY thing I did differently after making the test cutlet with 1/4 of the dough/batter was to make much smaller ones for portion control. I ended up with 9 smaller cutlets and 1 normal sized one. I thought they were bland, dry and the texture was just not to my liking. I ended up throwing away the entire batch again.
Oh well, no recipe can please everyone.... and I have to face the fact that I really don't enjoy seitan in almost any form.
After the failed recipe,I still wanted to do something along those lines, plus I had chickpeas leftover from making hummus the other day. I am working on developing a chicken like, wheat free burger/patty for some people that uses everyday ingredients. No nutritional yeast or other things that the "average meat eater" would not have on hand. I looked around my kitchen and threw these together. I loosely measured everything and will tweak it a bit and measure everything so I can give this recipe to those who requested it.
Cooking in the pan. This was also a fat free recipe and cooked with just spray of cooking spray. Each patty is very thin and only contains 90 calories.
All dressed up with BBQ sauce and leftover artichoke sauce.
I wanted to talk a little bit about the bread you see here. I know that white bread is not good for you, but this is not your average white bread. It is a light italian loaf, vegan and only has 40 calories per slice. It also contains 3 g fiber per slice and 3 g protein.
Yummy salad. I have to have a BIG salad everyday or I feel like crap. This is 4 cups of veggies along with 3 T of the dressing I mentioned above. I ate this for a snack yesterday.
Here's some delicious soup I named Happy Chicken Soup. Made with calories in mind, I modified my normal tofu noodle soup into this. It is definitely better the next day, but is still delicious straight out of the pan. I used a pressure cooker.
Happy Chicken Soup
yield: 6 cups
1 onion (1 cup)
2/3 c carrots
2/3 c celery
1 c mushrooms
5 cloves garlic
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
1 bay leaf
1 t coriander
7 oz Firm LITE tofu
6 c water
1 veg bouillon cube
2 oz whole wheat angel hair broken into pieces
1 t toasted sesame oil
3 T nutritional yeast
1 t umeboshi vinegar
lots of black pepper/salt to taste
1 T fresh parsley (or 1 t dried)
1 T fresh dill (or 1 t dried)
Soy sauce to taste
Pressure cooker method:
Mist the pressure cooker with cooking spray and add the veggies, dried spices, pinch salt and several ground of black pepper. Sauté for several minutes over medium heat. Add the water and bouillon cube and seal the pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure for 2 minutes then allow the pressure to release naturally. Now, add the noodles and bring the soup back to a boil UNCOVERED. Simmer the noodles for 3 minutes, stir in the toasted sesame oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar, pepper and fresh herbs.
Season with salt and pepper
Spray a heavy bottomed soup pan with cooking spray and add the veggies dried spices, pinch salt and some pepper. Sauté over medium heat for several minutes, then add the water, tofu and bouillon cube. Bring soup to a boil, the turn heat down to simmer and cover. Cook until veggies are tender, around 20 minutes. Now, add the angel hard and bring back to a boil, uncovered. Cook for 3 minutes, turn off heat and stir in the sesame oil, nutritional yeast, vinegar and fresh herbs. Add salt/pepper to taste.
This soup tastes MUCH better when made in the pressure cooker. It will still be good off the stove, but better the next day.
Nutritional Information Per 2 Cup Serving:
3 g fat
28 g carbs
4 g fiber
10 g protein