Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Hope you all are having a happy Memorial Day weekend. The rain, for a little while, has finally ended in the Tampa area. No need for us to think about building arks, just yet, anyway. However, I really should not complain since we really do need the rain. The drought has caused very draconian watering policies to be enacted, and they are not going away any time soon. However, hurricane season starts in one week and if we can get some tropical storms through that are rain events, that would help.

I didn’t do a lot of cooking this week, due to still recovering and also starting back at work. This was dinner on Monday. I had gotten some quinoa pasta as an experiment, due to a suspicion that the TeddyBear has some gluten intolerance issues. He didn’t like it, but I thought it wasn’t that bad. Here I am having it with some kale and diced tomatoes that I made over the weekend. I was just looking for something quick and easy to make that would also be nutritious. It was a nice filling dinner after a long day at work.

The Fronch Toast was my breakfast on Saturday. The topping is a Cinnamon Spiked Blueberry Sauce (along with some maple syrup) that I found over at FoodTV from Robin Miller. She uses it on frozen yogurt, but I like it on the Fronch Toast (VwaV) and it would be good on pancakes or waffles as well. An easy way to eat some fruit at your breakfast or brunch, and if you don’t like blueberries then the cinnamon is a nice touch.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rice Milk Recipe and Some News

Rice Milk Recipe and Some News

I had high hopes for this week. Unfortunately, they got waylaid due to me catching either a really bad cold or possibly the flu (don’t know which one) from a recruiter when I went on an interview late last week. So, except for a few smoothies and odds and ends, I really have not eaten much at all. I didn’t even have coffee for most of the week. However, I am better now.

I did manage to get the rice milk recipe perfected before I got ill. Good thing, since I have been using so much of it that the mix is just about half gone already. And I just made it on Monday. The revised recipe is below.

Rice Milk Base

3 3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup rice flour white
1/2 cup heaping, almond flour
1/2 cup light agave nectar
2 Tbsp coconut oil

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan.

Add the vanilla and rice flour to 3/4 cup water, stirring thoroughly.

Once the water boils, stir in the rice flour mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Turn heat to medium-low and boil at least five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and no longer gritty.

Depending on equipment available:

No high powered blender:

Put almond flour, agave nectar and coconut oil into blender and blend till smooth (a Magic Bullet is fine). Add to rice flour mixture and mix with stick blender or regular blender until smooth.

High powered blender (VitaMix, etc.):

Let rice flour mixture cool. Add rice flour mixture, almond flour, agave nectar and coconut oil to blender and blend till smooth.

Once mixture is smooth and cool, pour into covered container and place in refrigerator.

Yield: 5-6 cups, probably closer to 5 ½ on average

To make rice milk:

8 oz
1/4 cup base and 3/4 cup water: mix till combined

16 oz
1/2 cup base and 1 1/2 cup water: mix till combined

It will separate in the refrigerator, but will remix quickly upon shaking.

This recipe mixes up quite smooth once blended and the almond flour is now emulsified enough that it blends easier into the rice flour mixture. The “milk” is rich enough that I drank it plain (no chocolate) and was quite satisfied. I have also used it in some cooking this week, for pancakes and some of Bryanna Grogan’s soy free mayonnaise, and it worked as well as commercial rice milk.

I had planned on doing my entry for the Tried & Tasted event, being hosted by Vaishali at Holy Cow!, featuring recipes from SusanV at the Fat Free Vegan blog. However, it is a month long event, so next week will have to do. At least what I had planned on making works for both my schedule this week and also my schedule for next week. If you would like to join in, check out the details over at Vaishali’s blog. This is the first time for me to join in one of these blog events, but to help show all the good things that Susan makes, and that she makes dishes that are either soy free or can be made soy free easily was a no brainer for me.

Now that I have kept you in suspense; the news is that as of Monday, I have a long term temporary assignment. It is at the same place where the TeddyBear works, but not in the same department. The pay is decent and due to this department being behind, I have to do a minimum of 8 hours of overtime a week, which will greatly help the paycheck. But it will greatly affect my cooking. Expect to see more quick and easy dishes. I have a feeling that the Chick-fu will become a more regular part of my diet, since it will be easy to make a meal around that in the evenings. I might also start to feature my lunches as well.

And in case you are curious what a bunny does to celebrate a new job. Why she goes grocery shopping and buys her new favorite ice cream, Coconut Bliss Hazelnut Fudge. It is quite nutty, chocolaty and satisfying.

See you all next week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

100th Post

Well I made it, 100. Does that mean I am now a serious blogger?

Sorry I haven’t posted this week, but I had to clear out the refrigerator first. There was no room for any new food. So I am giving you a bonus today, both lunch and dinner.

Lunch was very simple, a peanut butter sandwich and some of the Brooklyn Deli Macaroni Salad from VCON. The peanut butter is from Smart Balance and if you haven’t tried this yet, it is really good. The macaroni salad was a bit of disappointment. It tastes fine, but my mayo set up a bit too hard once the dressing was mixed into the pasta and vegetables. I am going to have to try this again with Bryanna Grogan’s soy-free mayo and see if that makes a difference.

Dinner was my latest attempt at the fish. I had hoped to announce that it was perfected, but again the base mix is to thin, even after mixing in 1 cup oats ground to flour. However, it did thicken up significantly when I mixed a portion of it with some breadcrumbs. The taste is just fine; it just needs to be stiffer. I have some other things that I want to work on, so this is going on the back burner for a bit. But don’t worry; I will come back to it.

All of you that are gluten free, maybe you can give me some help. Will gluten free bread crumbs act as a thickener like regular bread crumbs can? If they can, then I would be more prepared to say that this is mostly perfected. If not, then back to the drawing board.

Before I go, I would like to let everyone know that I am going from a 5 day post week to maybe once or twice a week. I don’t know yet if it will be done on set days, or just when I cook something new. Right now I am leaning to just putting up a post on Fridays, covering what I ate during the week. I am changing the schedule, since I think that at this point, I have shown that one doesn’t need to eat either tofu or tempeh as a vegan. Also since I do eat so many leftovers you will be saved from all of my leftover makeovers.

Have a good weekend.