Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Red, White and Blue Smoothies

No green smoothies this morning. We're on vacation, but the blueberries and strawberries have been flooding the market and we had some soy yogurt for making our whole wheat naan bread.

blueberries, strawberries, one orange, a couple of frozen bananas, about 3 dates

three dollops of soy yogurt, soy milk

Happy Birthday, Mr. President :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Green Smoothies

I think I have so many breakfast posts because breakfast is fail proof. We do the whole oatmeal one day and smoothie another day routine - every week day, for weeks on end, amen.

Does it matter what goes into the smoothie? Nope. Foolproof formula - 2-3 large handfuls of greens (whatever you have - kale, spinach, mixed greens, cucumber. . .); one frozen banana chopped, a couple of dates, other fruits, about 1 1/2 cups of non dairy milk, about 5 ice cubes if my fruits are not frozen. Grind then slurp. 

I used leftover fruit salad so it had papaya, strawberries, grapes, tangerine juice, fresh coconut, melons. I added a tsp of flax seed for omega 3.

Sometimes the smoothies come out more brownish than green - it depends what you put in it, but it still tastes good. The dates tend to make it darker. There's enough for two servings in large travel mugs.

Some people freeze extras, but I make only enough to drink that day because I don't like when it starts separating or foaming on the top if it sits too long. Have an apple or celery or carrot sticks on the side because it's good to chew something when you're "eating." I forget why, but I read that somewhere.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Healthy Blueberry Waffles

Big Spazz is the romantic one, I'm the practical one. One year our anniversary/Valentine found us chaperoning 96 8th graders on Moloka'i so Big Spazz packed his silicone baking pan and made us lava cake for dessert while some of the 8th graders serenaded us.

Cute. Totally not my style, but the man likes to try and one up himself, so while practical me makes Valentine's breakfast on Saturday, my Tuesday morning breakfast consisted of a dipped dark chocolate strawberry made the night before and vegan blueberry waffles with fresh blueberry and strawberry compote. This may turn into our traditional Christmas morning waffle, it was that good.

Blueberry Bursting Waffles
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp corn starch (potato starch if you have it)
3/4 tsp salt
1 T cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh berries
2 T of your favorite liquid "sugar" - agave, date paste, honey, maple syrup

Mix but don't over beat or your blueberries won't rise. Pour in a heated waffle iron and enjoy.

Syrup - fresh blueberries and strawberries, cut up and simmered to release the natural juice of the fruits. Sprinkle some course chopped nuts and you'll never miss the whip cream and butter. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Breakfast

Tomorrow, Valentine's, is our 24th anniversary, but after 24 years, Valentine's comes when it's convenient. Saturday felt like a great day for Valentine's breakfast so why not?

Something sweet and savory - perfect for a long relationship to tide you over in the good times and bad.

Hapa Blueberry Cake
adapted from Everyday Happy Herbivore's Blueberry Breakfast Cake
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cake flour 
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c date sugar, raw sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup soymilk
1 cup frozen blueberries

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda). I love that look of the mix right before it's sifted together.

Add the applesauce, sugar, vanilla and milk in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Try not to over beat it or the cake won't rise. Gently fold in the frozen blueberries. Pour it into a greased square pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Kaiulani Curry Spiced Tofu Scramble

Cut up and water saute vegetables. While you're doing that, press the tofu.

I used garlic, onions, red and orange peppers and spinach. Set aside.
Place the block of tofu in a nonstick skillet and break apart into large chunks with a spatula. Cook over medium high heat until the tofu releases its water, about 3-4 minutes.

Add 3 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 T. Kaiulani curry mix (I found this at the Kapiolani Community College farmer's market)
soymilk or water as needed

Break up any large chunks until it looks like scrambled eggs.

I add a little bit of soymilk to make it creamy. Mix in veggies and continue to cook until everything is warmed up and the water has evaporated.

Happy Valentine's Day and happy anniversary to Big Spazz. The food has always held us together, so here's to 24 more years of healthy eating.

Monday, February 6, 2012

De-Clutter Monday: Fishing for Earrings

My house should be totally organized, decluttered, clean. Funny thing - the declutter calendar does not make accommodations for the other people living in the house. If it did, every other day would be to clean up after other people day.

Here's a simple thing I came up with myself so that I could do something in 5 minutes and make it look like I was productive.

I love earrings until about 4:00 pm when no matter where I am, I need to get them off because I feel like my earlobes are growing into Buddha ears. The problem is that I have earrings all over the place.

Simple solution: hang the long ones on a pen/pencil cup and put the smaller ones in a mini fishing tackle box (the ones with the two layers and compartments). Also, have a tray to catch the stray earrings until you have time to put them away.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Noritos" or Lazy Girl's Sushi

Mama Duck, via Juliana Hever, the Plant Based Dietician, blogged about noritos, or burritos wrapped in nori. There are mediterranean noritos with hummus, sundried tomatoes; Mexican noritos with guacamole, jicama and salsa, and the Asian norito.

The problem? Lookie at this face
we are Oriental - certain things cannot be done, including putting hummus and guacamole in a piece of nori. Aiyaaa?! Sacrilege.

The good part? I have been absolved from making sushi with the ingredients exactly centered in the middle of a perfectly round roll. These oriental noritos make the perfect grab and go lunch to take on long road trips, or for a snack while watching sports.
 Besides the rice with sushi vinegar, we like to use this nori tsukudani (in the non-refrigerated Asian section). It's nori paste - a VERY little goes a long way.

Softened dried shiitake mushrooms (put it in a pan with water, bring it to boil and boil for a few minutes), drain and quick stir fry with a little vegan oyster sauce or mushroom sauce.

Seaweed salad - I'm not sure if this is widely available outside of Hawaii, but this is called "Ocean salad" and is basically made up of seaweed, sesame seed and flavoring

Slivered cucumbers for crunch

Pickled carrot and daikon mix (Big Spazz will give the recipe as soon as he remembers to figure out what he actually does) - we use this for our Vietnamese ban mi sandwiches

The process: lay down the rice (we used hapa - part white, part brown because that's what we had). Use a little bit of nori tsukudani (Juliana uses miso instead)

Build, wrap flat - like other sushi, if you fill it more, use a little water on the edge to hold it together.

After the initial norito, my fam wanted modification. Boy Boy didn't want shiitake and BS wanted kimchee added (below)

Since we were personalizing, a chopped up some pickled ginger

This one's going in our Evernote keeper folder.

The must have staple for these: shiitake sauteed in mushroom sauce, cucumber and a little bit of nori tsukudani. Next time - daikon sprouts, takuan, shiso leaves. . .can't wait!!

Boy Boy wants a spicy ahi norito - but one day at a time.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Palusami Failure

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -- Winston Churchill
Mama Duck from So Duck Soup raved about her slow cooker palusami  and taro leaves were on sale at Safeway, so why not.  It didn't come out, but as Churchill suggests, I will go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Dust off and try again.

I had some leftover mushrooms from my mushroom barley soup so I added that, a zucchini left from camping and some garlic as well as onions.
 I put my coconut milk.

But my leaves were huge, which means that it made bambucha-sized foil bundles, so large that I could fit one on the bottom of my slow cooker. Plan B - I put ti leaf on the bottom of the slow cooker, put half the taro leaves , then all the stuff and coconut milk. Cover with the rest of the leaves and more ti leaf on top. Then I had to stuff it down so the cover would fit. 

Big Spazz had to be called in to stuff it down.

All day in the slow cooker and this is what it looked like.

It was good, BUT, not the promised yumminess.

What maybe went wrong:
Mama Duck calls for 1-2 cans of coconut milk, but looking at the picture, it's more like 3-4 cans of coconut milk, so maybe more coconut milk.

I needed a little inamona or something? Chili pepper water? Shoyu? It tasted bland. Did the zucchini and mushroom which are high in liquid throw off the taste?

Plan C:
Add more coconut milk

Plan D:
Just onions plus more coconut milk

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vegetarian Jap Chae

The key to jap chae, a Korean noodle dish, is the sweet potato or glass noodles. I tried to make it with the summer rolls noodles that we have in Hilo, but according to my sister, Palama Market in Honolulu is the place to get the right noodles.
Ingredients: (besides the noodles, any kinds of veggies will work)
1 bundle of glass noodles
cabbage, shredded
carrot, shredded
onion, chopped
red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
shiitake mushrooms, sliced
straw mushrooms
green onion, sliced

While prepping the veggies, soak the noodles in cold water for about 10 minutes and get water boiling in a pot. I put the dried shiitake in the water while it started boiling.

Boil the noodles for about 3-4 minutes, then drain and rinse. Noodles should be soft, but not mushy.
Saute the veggies with water, some garlic, and if you want, some mushroom sauce (vegan oyster sauce). You can combine veggies that take about the same amount of time to saute.

Put all the veggies in the bowl with the noodles. As for seasoning, I had to use a few teaspoons of sesame oil to massage into the noodles, and then I used low sodium shoyu and sesame seeds to taste.

Palate-Pleasing Pear Oatmeal

My group of 8th graders are working on an alliteration lesson and will create a book with the 4th graders on Moloka'i, so I have alliteration on my brain.

Anyway, this morning's oatmeal was extra yummy so just wanted to share the simplicity and yummy goodness of palate pleasing pears

I cut up

  • one pear 
  • a couple of dates 
  • a frozen banana

Meanwhile, I was bringing to a boil

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk (plain soy is our milk of choice because you can buy a case at Costco)
When the liquids start to boil, add

  • cut up fruits
  • 2/3 cup of Coach's Oats
Toasted a few walnuts on the side, lowered heat to let the cereal simmer for 5 minutes. When it was done I added

  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg