Monday, May 31, 2010

Lambsquarter and sunflower greens: Farmer's Market discoveries

I love farmer's markets almost as much as I love Whole foods (and for those of you who know me that's saying a lot). Something about all the fresh vegetables, fruits and beautiful flowers makes me happy. Plus I like meeting some of the farmers and workers who had a hand in producing my future nourishment.

I have been on the lookout for another super vegetable that tastes good enough so I could lessen my kale addiction. This Saturday I found it :)
Introducing Lamb's quarter (wild spinach).

"Lambsquarters is a close cousin to spinach, but far, far more nutritious. It ranks right up there with Dandelion, Watercress and Nettles as one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses. It has a mild, green flavor like our domestic greens. In fact it is a relative of Swiss chard, beets and a few exotic garden greens like orach, all in the Chenopodium family." 281% of your daily Vitamin A requirement, 111% Vitamin C, 1112% Vitamin K, 46% Calcium and 47% Manganese the list goes on.

The taste is similar to spinach, really close to "mchicha" a wild spinach I used to eat in Tanzania. I sauteed the lamb's quarter with some garlic and olive oil -> mmm. I highly recommend you try it. I will be revisiting Union Square's Farmer's Market to restock on some (plus their Kale is $0.50 cheaper ;)

Unfortunately, another purchase of mine caused some major buyer's remorse.... Dear, Sunflower greens: You taste mediocre and cost $6 for a 1/4 lb. I overlooked your high price because you are 25% protein. Just 3.5 ounces of your sprouted seeds contain 22.78 grams of protein. However, I had to force myself to eat a handful even after adding salad dressing.

Jokingly my fiance adds "When I eat them I can sense big sunflowers standing behind me and weeping because I am eating their children."

If you don't care about the price, it's still worth a try though. Because if you like the taste they still are an amazing source of plant based protein.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Raw food continued = beware the max

I took my fiancee to Raw Soul for his first raw vegan food experience. And we both realized there is a line between when you first start eating raw food and it's delicious then you crossover to feeling maxed out and the food no longer tastes good and in his case you feel slightly sick. It probably has something to do with our stomachs not being used to prepared raw foods and the huge amounts of walnuts used to make the "cheese" etc. So my advice is try raw vegan food in small amounts.

Raw vegan Lasagna

Raw vegan salmon pate wrap

Raw vegan pizza

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daiya's Vegan Cheese

Thank you Daiya for releasing your marvelous cheese to the general public :)

I remember the first time I had a slice of pizza with Daiya cheese at Peacefood Cafe. I was so excited at how good it tasted I asked the chef and owner what cheese they used. He replied "Daiya, but it's not available via retail. Only restaurants etc can purchase it.". I remember the sadness that followed.

Eating a grilled cheese sandwich this morning, relishing the melty goodness, made me realize how much I had missed cheese since becoming a vegan. The other cheese options were sub-par, but Daiya is a winner. I feel like I need to make a mini pizza or baked ziti to celebrate.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

General Tao's Tofu

Another recipe I found in VegNews. It was absolutely delicious and absolutely labor/time intensive. Alas, we need a bigger pan for frying the tofu and other cooking tools. But if you're willing to put in the preparation time for this you will be rewarded with a nice spicy sweet protein filled meal.

General Tao's Tofu

1 box of firm tofu

egg substitute for 1 egg

3/4 cup cornstarch

vegetable oil for frying

3 chopped green onions

1 Tablespoon minced ginger

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

2/3 cup vegetable stock

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

4 Tablespoons sugar

red pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

steamed broccoli

Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks. Mix the egg replacer as specified on the box and add an additional 3 tablespoons water. Dip tofu in egg replacer/water mixture and coat completely. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cornstarch over tofu and coat completely. Watch out that the cornstarch doesn't clump up at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden. Drain oil.

Heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add fried tofu and coat evenly.

Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

(vegan) Strawberry Pie

I have a serious sweet tooth problem. Something that I like to believe is balanced by my love of working out/running and eating vegan. So it was of no surprise when I started making vegan Strawberry Pie at 10 PM on Monday after working 12 hours. The result brought lots of joy though. And when I ate a slice at work the next day all my co-workers wanted some and were impressed by the joys of vegan lifestyle.

The recipe can be found here. Disclaimer: I did not make my own crust. I used a spelt crust from Whole Foods (another way I can pretend I'm eating healthy). I also sliced the strawberries instead of leaving whole pieces, looks less pretty but easier to bite into.

This was also my first experience of vegan cream cheese. I liked it. Toffuti's Better Than Cream Cheese has a smooth texture and tastes great with jam. I couldn't taste the tofu but my fiancee swears he can. I give it * * * * stars.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zag (vegan) icecream

If you like peanut butter and chocolate go get this now. Seriously, just go buy it. This stuff is so good even though it was recommended in VegNews we still couldn't believe it was vegan and had to re-read the ingredients list twice. It's vegan alright. My fiance's words were "orgasmic".

The chucks and bits of peanut butter and chocolate go so well together. Although it's semi-fattening at 12g a serving compared to Haagen-Dazs' version with 24 grams of fat, this is decadence on a diet :)

It was the perfect end to today's 80*F weather. mmmmm.