Monday, May 20, 2013
People assume that all vegans eat is salad. For me, that is the exception and not the rule. However, sometimes, I actually want a salad. This salad is so delightful and filling, it is truly a complete dinner.
Crunchy Chick’n & Peas with Lime Citrus Vinaigrette:
Gardein Chipotle Lime Crispy Chick’n Fingers
Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
Multi-colored peppers, sliced thinly
Frozen peas, defrosted
Red onion, diced
Pine nuts , toasted (or toasted almonds or peanuts)
1 fresh lime, squeezed
1-2 T. olive or canola oil
2 minced cloves
4 t. sugar or agave (add more to taste)
1/4 t. black pepper
Make dressing ahead of time. Mix all ingredients in a container and chill in fridge.
Bake Crispy Chick’n Fingers at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
Fill plate with chopped Romaine lettuce.
Add other veggies, nuts, and dried cranberries.
Drizzle with Lime Vinaigrette.
Posted by MrsJ at 6:11 PM
Sunday, May 5, 2013
I got a wild hair and decided that I wanted to make homemade yogurt. I watched Miyoko Schinner's YouTube video on homemade yogurt-making, and the result was brilliant! She really knows how to cook! Anyway, you don't even need a yogurt maker though I happened to buy one at Kohls when I had a 30% off coupon. It does make it easy!
To make this yogurt, you need only requires three ingredients: 4 cups soy milk, 1/2 cup raw cashews, and a "starter". The starter I used was "Whole Soy Company" plain yogurt, about 2 tablespoons of it. From now on, Miyoko says you can use the fresh yogurt you made as a starter. One less thing to buy!
The creaminess of this yogurt is outstanding. Also, you cannot taste the cashews at all. They are just used to increase the richness.
Watch her video. It is such a simple process! I have six cups of fresh yogurt for this week!
Posted by MrsJ at 5:38 AM
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Don't be freaked out by the length of this recipe. It is really VERY easy. I used my big cookie sheet with sides and sprayed it with oil spray to keep the brittle from sticking. It worked GREAT.
Vegan Peanut Brittle
1 cup corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups peanuts
1 1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 T Earth Balance® Natural Buttery Spread
Cooking oil spray
Large Cookie Sheet with Sides (12x17 or so)
Spray a large cookie sheet with sides well with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
Pour corn syrup and water into the pan over medium-high heat. After it warms up, but before it begins to boil, stir in the sugar. Bring to full boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Insert candy thermometer after a few minutes. When the temperature reaches 250 degrees F, add the peanuts and salt and stir. Bring the mixture back to a full boil.
Now, in this phase, the correct amount of stirring is of critical importance. Constant stirring can prevent the browning that is required both for flavor and appearance. Under-stirring will cause peanuts on the bottom of the pan to burn, and may cause the syrup to burn at the sides of the pan. Without browning, your peanut brittle will be pale in color and lacking in toasty flavor.
When the temperature reaches 290 degrees remove the pan from the heat immediately. Do not let it go above 300 degrees, or you may develop a weak, spongy structure.
Immediately after removing the pan from the heat, add the Earth Balance® Buttery Spread and vanilla extract, and stir until all is melted. Sprinkle the baking soda over the surface of the mixture and stir. The mixture will begin to foam up and double in volume.
Immediately after stirring in the baking soda, pour the hot mixture onto the oiled cookie sheet. With a butter-coated, silicone spatula, spread the brittle by pressing it out flatter on the cookie sheet. Let it cool. Take a metal spatula and lift the brittle up off the pan, breaking into pieces as you go.
Posted by MrsJ at 3:22 PM
Friday, April 26, 2013
Another amazing recipe.
Quick Noodles with Kale and Tofu in a Spicy Peanut-Lime Sauce
1 package udon noodles
1 t. canola oil
1 package Trader Joe's Baked Teriyaki Tofu, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
4 tablespoons turbinado
1/4 – 1/3 cup lime juice (I used 1/4 because I like it less sour)
1/4 soy sauce
pinch (or more!) red pepper flakes
While the water is boiling, trim the kale, cut or tear it into bite-sized pieces, and give it a good wash. Set aside.
Prepare the sauce by combining the peanut butter, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste, and set aside.
Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Dice up the tofu, and toss it into the pan. Sauté it until the pieces are golden and crispy. Set aside.
By now your water should be boiling. Add the kale into the boiling water. You will cook the kale for a total of 6 minutes, so you want to add your noodles at a point where they will both finish at the same time. My noodles took 4 minutes, so I put them into the boiling water with the kale after the kale had cooked for 2 minutes. Make sure the noodles are cooked through.
Drain the kale and noodles in a strainer, and return them to the pot. Let some of the excess water steam off for about a minute. Add your sauce, and toss to coat the kale and noodles. Add the tofu, and gently toss to distribute it. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any left-overs.
Posted by MrsJ at 8:43 PM
Sunday, April 14, 2013
While I have been cooking and baking this weekend for company I am having over tonight, I have also been doing some tests. Since I got my last blood test results (the first day of Spring Break), I have gone back to eating more plant-based, whole foods, low fat. Remember, I am no longer on diabetes medicine, so my glucose readings are organic. My morning (fasting blood sugar the day of my blood test was 225. While not where it needs to be, only five weeks later, my fasting blood sugar AVERAGE is 176. It is almost 50 points less! I need to be between 110-80, so I am making more changes to see if that will get me where I need to be. If the fasting blood sugar is in check, generally the day goes better.
Another issue I am seeing is that I have blood sugar spikes after eating. I am starting to log what I eat and what my blood sugar registers after eating it. This will take some time to evaluate, but I know it's important. It is normal for blood sugars to rise after eating. When they rise over 200 mg/dL, that means you are diabetic. I was having blood sugar readings after eating as high as in the 300s. I am not seeing that since I made these changes, thankfully. I have been eating plant-based, whole foods, low fat and the results prove why this is the way to go.
Last of all, I am testing how exercise (even a short walk) affects my blood sugar. This weekend, I took several 25-30 minute walks. I had a blood sugar spike last night after dinner (registering 241 mg/dL), took a walk, returned and checked my blood sugar. It was 166! In only 30 minutes, it dropped 75 points! Similarly, today I checked by blood sugar before I walked and it was 179 (I had just eaten a snack). After walking for 30 minutes, it was 147. It dropped 32 points. My understanding is that the insulin needs to send a message to the glucose to enter into the muscle cells. If there are fat droplets in the muscle cells (called intramyocellular lipids), that signal is ignored and the glucose sits in the blood (not doing it job). Thus, the reason the blood sugar rises. When you exercise, this reduces that insulin resistance and helps the glucose get into the muscle cells--thus the improvement in my reading.
What does this mean? It means that as much as I hate exercise, it is a major component to improving my health. I want to avoid medicine if at all possible--so much that I will "walk" toward success.
Posted by MrsJ at 12:35 PM