Asian, Vegan, Oil-Free

Recently I had a craving for good Chinese Lo Mien. I found a restaurant that does not use MSG. I tried it. It seemed very oily to me. Disappointed. I decided to give them a second try after discussing the oil quantity with the restaurant. They explained how they prepared the lo me in and that much of what I thought was oil was a combination of a small amount of oil and Hoisin sauce.

I am now on a quest to adapt good Asian recipes to our dietary requirements. I am beginning with Thai and Chinese. The resulting dish must be vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free. I welcome all your authenic tried and true suggestions or recipes.

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Finally Oil-free Waffles

The struggle continues to find substitutes for oil that works in my food. I finally succeeded with my waffles. I have tried pureed applesauce with no success. Tried a blend of pureed applesauce and avocado. That was better but not quite right. Saturday I decided to try just pureed avocado. Success! I added this to my vegan, gluten-free mixture and found success.

Gluten-free vegan oil-free waffles

Now I will try this with my cornbread. Southern upbringing requires good cornbread. Anyone out there with a good cornbread recipe? Biscuits? Not sure I’m ready for green biscuits.

All In The Head

It’s been a little over a year since we began this raw vegan/vegan lifestyle change. I have learned how to prepare meals which is a real accomplishment; I never liked to cook. I am still learning because my husband’s cardiologist wants as much gluten-free, oil-free, clean food as possible. This is no easy task. Eating out is hard and cooking requires learning how to make good food with these substitutes. The journey has begun again.

I discovered one other thing, your mind is still the main battlefield. Occasionally my mind still test me when I am tired. Catfish and fried chicken, Chinese and authentic Mexican screams at me. The struggling vegan pops up and shouts substitute. That is my present objective; substitutes and the changing of my mind, again.

“…..but Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” Romans 12:2

This is the key to all lifestyle changes. It all begins with how you think. When you determine to make the change and settle it in your mind the rest is easy.

Use It All

Anyone that has purchased organic and non-GMO produce knows it is expensive by comparison to conventionally farmed produce. So why do I do it and how can I make it more economically beneficial? For me, I figured I could pay at the grocery store or I could pay at the doctor’s office. The toxins in the pesticides that are used in conventional farming build up in our systems and eventually affect our kidneys and liver, killing us slowly. So those vegetables you were eating to become healthier might possibly be the cause of your illness. Unfortunately you can’t wash away the pesticide that has been absorbed into the meat of the vegetables or the fruit.

So I had to get my money’s worth. I was lying in bed thinking about the root system in plants. (That’s another post). It occurred to me that the stems of greens that we throw away contain nutrients. Rather than throw them away I put them in a pot along with other almost expired veggies. Add to that some seasonings and you have the making of your own vegetable broth.

Then I thought what to do with veggies after the broth was strained. I poured the cooked veggies into the food processor and chopped them all together. It looked interesting.

I wondered if it would add creaminess to a homemade salad dressing blend. Or maybe, it could be used as flavor additive and binder to my veggie burger recipes. It remains to be seen, but the goal is to USE IT ALL.

Leave a comment if you have suggestions.

Eating Raw 2

This post was originally written in April at the beginning of my cooking raw journey. Each successive post will bring you closer to my present August experience.

I decided to go all in to this raw eating thing so I bought an inexpensive dehydrator and a raw food cookbook or should I say recipe book. As my very smart husband pointed out, others had tried and tested techniques and flavor combinations, why not take advantage of that. So I did. I was glad to know there were choices beyond salads.

In the following raw eating post I will share my experiences preparing the recipes in Rawmazing authored by Susan Powers. I will note any changes to her recipes to accommodate our taste just in case you decide to buy her book. Her directions are easy to follow and the pictures are vibrant. For the raw purest you will need to find substitutions for the oil. I used tahini and cashew butter(cream). Also, I used Dr. Montgomery’s book The Food Prescription Nutrition Guide

I had not used a dehydrator before and I didn’t know what to expect so I went for something simple. The first thing I tried were Ms. Post’s Kale Chips. It seemed simple enough. She has 3 versions. I chose version 2. The ingredients are garlic, thyme and oil. For the oil I substituted tahini. Mix those ingredients and set it aside. Cut the thick stems from the kale and tear the leaves into chip size pieces. Make sure all excess water is removed from the kale. Then dress the kale with the garlic mix . Put the pieces on the dehydrator trays. Don’t overlap. The suggested time dehydration time was 4-6 hours at 115 degrees. Because of the Houston humidity, it took 8 hours to crisp. My taste tester, hubby, was quite pleased. He wanted to eat them like potato chips.

If you don’t have a dehydrator pop them into your oven on a low heat, 120 degrees if possible. If you put it on a temperature higher than 170 degrees and some say 200 degrees, you will destroy all of the health benefits from eating raw; you will kill the enzymes.

I am so sorry that I don’t have a picture. I lost it somehow.

Kale Chips – Rawmazing p. 41

Dressing

3 Tbls olive oil (I substituted tahini.)

1 cloves garlic

1 tsp of dry thyme

Turn on the food processor or high powered blender. Drop the garlic, thyme and oil into it.

Place on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate 4-6 hours. More longer if you are in a humid area.

Homemade Turkey Andouille Sausage

To those who know I am not eating meat, I wrote this some time back and never published it. Hope my meateating friends will enjoy it.

I love New Orleans inspired gumbo but I don’t eat pork and I am allergic to shrimp. I decided to make a seafood gumbo but I really wanted the sausage flavor. I thought what better to do than to try my hand at making andouille sausage with ground turkey.

I added these spices, compliments of allrecipes.com and the foodnetwork.com:Emerill Lagasse, to the ground turkey.

Finding the seasonings to begin was simple process but turkey is not as fat as pork. What to do about that? My first thought was to add olive oil or coconut oil. Then a light bulb flickered. Bake some turkey thighs and use the dripping from that. The added bonus is meat prepared for another meal.

Continued Search for Gluten free Sandwich bread

I like a good sandwich but good organic gluten free bread is expensive. The one’s I have bought are quite dense. I found this recipe  online while researching  rice flour. Two of the ingredients, white rice flour and cornstarch, are not my favorite but I didn’t want to change the recipe until I had tried it. The results are a tasty bread; soft inside with a toasty crust. I let it cool before I sliced it. It held together; no crumbling. I am interested to see how Brown rice flour and arrowroot starch or psyllium husks will work.

Into the pan after mixing
Right out of the oven
Beautiful loaf
Hmm good 

RECIPE by Christy E. Allrecipes.com

1 Tbl active dry yeast

3 Tbls white sugar (I used raw organic sugar)

1 1/4 c warm water

2/3 c sorghum flour

1 1/3 c white rice flour

1/2 c potato starch

1/2 c cornstarch

1/3 c vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

3 eggs

1 Tbl xanthum gum

1 1/2 top salt (I used Himalayan  sea salt)

Homemade Mustard Trials Revisited

A few months ago I tried a Dijon mustard recipe from The Homemade Vegan Pantry. I thought I had used a white wine that was too dry. The mustard had a very bitter taste. I tried it again with a less dry white wine. I allowed it to sit longer hoping it would be mellower. Today I tested it and it was just as bitter as the first. I gave up on that recipe. I decided to try a different recipe. It was taken from the Homemade Condiment cookbook: the Spicy Brown Mustard.  The ingredients: powdered yellow mustard, kosher salt, tumeric, paprika, water, white wine vinegar, and brown sugar to taste. I used a few drops of agave. I didn’t have white wine vinegar so I used white cooking wine. 20160827_133353

The result is a smooth, spicy mustard paste. It is usable now but I think I will let it mellow a bit. It has a little bitter tinge but nothing like the other recipe. I wonder what would happen if I used white wine vinegar?20160827_133433

Well, I am getting back in the lab. Happy cooking.

 

Necessity Brings Joy

So now what is that crazy woman talking about? Necessity brings joy. Sometimes when you have a need, the satisfying of that need brings greater joy than you expected.

Here’s the deal, Saturday, I ran out of almond milk. I had no cash. I didn’t want to u20160716_132308 (2)se a credit card for a gallon of milk. I looked around the pantry and saw that I had some cashews. I had been meaning to try making cashew milk. This seemed like the perfect time. It is simple. Put the cashews and water in a blender and let it rip. In minutes, there was milk.

I looked in  my vegan cookbook to get an idea of the ratio of cashews to water for a reasonable milk consistency. It was 2/3 cup of whole cashews to 4 cups of milk. That seemed like a lot of water for so few cashews so I increased it to a full cup of cashews. To my surprise I stumbled upon cashew cream. I did some research on the uses for cashew cream and discovered I had solved another dilemma I was facing. This cashew cream provides the creaminess and consistency I needed for both these projects.I wanted to make vegan ice cream without making a sugary syrup for a sorbet. This will be my substitute. I also needed a sour cream impostor to try in a new cornbread recipe I found. I will try adding vinegar to the cream to sour it. I’ll let you know the outcome.

Back to the milk. I used the ratio suggested by the experienced vegan and was rewarded with a good tasting cashew milk. There are no preservatives, no sweetener, no added anything. Two and two/thirds cup of cashews will make a gallon of milk.  What makes this most appealing is no added cost for  cream.

For you who like a little coffee in your cream, this is a healthy, tasteful preferred choice to the coffee creamers you buy in the store. I don’t usually add cream to my coffee but I tried a little. It was very good and flavorful.

So the necessity for almond milk provided the joy of cashew milk and cream. It was a good day.

 

Sorghum – What Is It?

When i was a little girl, I loved to visit my great-grandparents in the country. That is what city folks called the very rural areas. I especially loved Sunday morning breakfast. My great-grandmother, Momma Lula, served “from scratch” biscuits, homemade butter, eggs from her hen house and some kind of meat. Now, the meat was either bacon or sausage that my great-grandfather’s friends had smoked and seasoned from their slaughter season or chicken from Momma Lula’s yard. Yeah, the raised them for meat and eggs. But the days that were the best was when Daddy Bush went to get the sorghum syrup from another farmer.  He had to walk a mile both ways to get the syrup. That was good eating with those hot biscuits. I never knew sorghum could also come in the form of flour.

I ran across a recipe for waffles using gluten free flour and I decided to substitute sorghum flour for the one listed. I also changed the milk to almond milk and the vegetable oil to coconut oil. The outcome was quite pleasing and they weren’t green.

Recipe

2 eggs    1 3/4 c almond milk     1/4 c coconut oil     2/3 c sorghum flour

2 Tbs Agave Nectar         4 tsps baking powder          1/3 c potato starch

1 3/4 tsp xanthum gum      1 tsp salt20160716_103545

Mix it all up and put in the waffle maker. In the picture you will see so
me waffles are darker than others. That’s because the darker ones were cooked at a higher setting. They were crisper. So set your waffle maker to the crispness you desire.

About Sorghum

It was probably used as flour before syrup. This ancient grain as it is being described was widely used in Africa and Australia. It has many health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. It is high in fiber, B-vitamins and protein. According to the World Grain Council it is the 5th most important flour in the world and the 3rd in the USA. So for what was it used in the USA? Animal feed and fuel. Once again we treat our animals better than ourselves. It seems only those with wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities were aware of this flour and its nutritional benefits. I also like the fact that it is non-GMO. Being gluten-free is another plus. Diabetics, cancer patients and cardiac patients may benefit from the eating of sorghum flour. Caution, like any other grain, don’t over indulge. Even with all of its nutritional benefits some people cannot tolerate it.

It is suggested that it be used in combination with other gluten free flours, such as potato or in recipes where a small amount of flour is used because it does not have a good rising ability. Flatbreads here I come.

I am going to try some other recipes I have found that use sorghum flour. I am not quite ready to give up bread completely, so healthier alternatives are definitely on my radar. If you have any other suggestions, please share.