Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Non-animal diet’ Category

Kale ‘n Stuff recipe

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A cutting board on which are two bunches of thick scallions, 7 large crimini mushrooms, a lemon, 7 garlic scapes, 1 bunch green kale, a metal cup holding ginger slices and fresh rosemary leaves, 3 pieces of homemade tempeh, 2 jalapeños, 1 poblano 1/2 red bell pepper, 8 peeled garlic cloves, 8 asparagus stalks.
Included in recipe but not shown: 1 San Marzano tomato

I thought I’d cook up the kale I had. I used my 4-qt sauté pan, into which I put:

• about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

I took the metal cup from my spice & herb grinder and put into it:

• leaves from three sprigs of rosemary
• thin slices from a 1″ knob of ginger root
• 8 garlic cloves

The metal cup is shown in the photo with the rosemary leaves and the thinly sliced fresh ginger root. I add the garlic cloves shown in the photo and ground them all together, which made a kind of paste. I let that sit (so the garlic could rest) while I prepped the remaining vegetables (and fungi), which I added to the sauté pan as I chopped them.

Update: The inclusion of rosemary, which I’ve not been routinely using, turns out to be a very good thing. I’ll now use rosemary much more often — and I do like grinding the leaves, either by themselves or, as here, with other things.

Three pieces of tempeh are shown in the photo, and I noticed that two of them — edge pieces — look like sausage (but they’re not).

soybean-rye tempeh, slabs halved to make thinner slabs and then diced
• 2 jalapeños, chopped
• 1 poblano, chopped
• 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
• 7 garlic scapes, chopped small (they’re wrapped around the lemon)
• 7 largish crimini mushrooms, halved then sliced thick
• 2 bunches thick scallions, chopped
• 1 lemon, diced
• 1 San Marzano tomato, chopped

At this point, added the paste from the grinder cup — garlic, ginger, rosemary — to the pan and turned the induction burner to “3.” I added:

• a splash of red-wine vinegar
• several good dashes fish sauce

As the pan heated, I finished the prep, occasionally using a spatula to stir and mix the veggies in the pan.

• 1 bunch kale, chopped fairly small (especially stems)
• 7 or so stalks of asparagus, tough end removed and then cut into 1″ sections.

A whole-food plant-based diet provides a good amount of fiber, and the fiber from asparagus and alliums is particularly beneficial.

A pan full of vegetable stew, most green but with bits of yellow (lemon), red (bell pepper), and white (tempeh). Pieces of mushrooms and asparagus and chopped kale leaves are visible

I had to add the kale a little at a time, carefully using the spatula to lift and mix it in with what was starting to cook. Halfway through adding the kale, I covered the pan and let the veggies cook for a few minutes so they would wilt down.

Finally I got in all the kale and then added the asparagus and a splash of water. I covered the pan again and turned the heat to 225ºF for 15 minutes. I did stir a couple of times before the timer sounded.

It looked good, so I stirred again, covered the pan, and let it cook at 225ºF for 15 more minutes. The little photo shows the finished result.

I have some cooked Kamut® (organically cultivated Khorasan wheat) in the fridge — intact whole-grain — and I think I’ll serve this over some of that. Obviously I have enough for a few meals.

In terms of the recipe checklist:

Beans (3) — tempeh (soybeans)
Whole Grain (3) — tempeh (rye), Kamut
Fruit Other Than Berries (3) — lemon, plus included in breakfast
Greens (2) — kale
Other Vegetables (2) — scallions, jalapeños, poblano, red bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, garlic scapes, tomato, asparagus
Cruciferous Vegetable (1) — kale
Berries (1) — breakfast
Flaxseed (1) — breakfast
Nuts & Seeds (1) — breakfast, though I’d eat this with some pumpkin seed if I had any
Herbs & Spices (1) — rosemary, ginger
Other — vinegar, fish sauce

Update and afterthought: It’s very tasty, with a light, fresh taste — the lemon helps. I might have added pitted Kalamata olives — I have them but didn’t think about it. I cut them in half, then add.

Second bowl — I found some redskin peanuts and included a few of those in the second bowl. This batch is really exceptionally tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

6 June 2023 at 3:29 pm

A recipe using what I have

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I got to thinking about the foods I have on hand and decided to sketch out a recipe. I just got a new 3-L tin of extra-virgin olive oil, and I’ll use this recipe to give it a try. (It turned out to be very good.)

• 2 Tbsp EVOO
• 2 green garlic, bulbs minced, stems and leaves chopped
• 1/2 large red onion
• 8 oz soybean-rye tempeh
• 16 oz locally grown asparagus, chopped
• 10 crimini mushrooms, halved and sliced thick
• 1 large jalapeño pepper, chopped
• ends of Nantes carrots (left over from carrot-stick ferment), chopped
• 300g frozen spinach
• about 2-3″ ginger, minced
• 3 turmeric roots, minced
• 2 Tbsp dried marjoram
• 1 Tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning*
• about 1.5 Tbsp black pepper
• splash of vinegar

* All-Purpose Seasoning includes: Basil, Bay Leaves, Bell Pepper (Red), Black Pepper, Carrot, Cayenne Ground, Celery Seed, Citric Acid, Coriander, Cumin, Garlic, Lemon Peel, Marjoram, Mustard, Onion, Orange Peel, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Thyme, Tomato

I compared the plan to my Daily Dozen recipe checklist, and it looks good:

Beans (3) — tempeh
Whole Grain (3) — tempeh
Fruit Other Than Berries (3) — [breakfast]
Greens (2) — spinach
Other Vegetables (2) — green garlic, red onion, asparagus, mushrooms, jalapeño, carrot
Cruciferous Vegetable (1) — none, but see below
Berries (1) — [breakfast]
Flaxseed (1) — [breakfast]
Nuts & Seeds (1) — [breakfast]
Herbs & Spices (1) — [include turmeric] – turmeric root, ginger root, dried marjoram, All-Purpose Seasoning ; (later additions: dried rosemary, MSG — see below)

I’ll have to get the cruciferous vegetable at another meal. If I had some horseradish (from the refrigerated section of the supermarket), I could add a couple of tablespoons of that — 1 Tbsp horseradish = 1 serving of cruciferous vegetable.

But then I remembered broccoli sprouts, an amazing source of sulforaphane — 800 times the level in broccoli itself. I decided I’d serve the stir-fry/stew on broccoli sprouts, and that will complete the checklist.


A cutting board with various vegetables on it along with a little jar of All-Purpose Seasoning and one of Dried Marjoram. Vegetables include a bunch of asparagus bound with a blue rubber band, two long stems of green garlic with small bulbs, four sections of Nantes carrots, a ginger root, three turneric roots a small handful of peeled garlic cloves a bunch of dill, a block of tempeh, 10 good sized crimiini mushrooms, a box of frozen chopped spinach, a red onion, and a large jalapeño pepper.
The starting point. Most of the garlic cloves are hidden by the dill.

The piece of carrot at the left in the photo above was not used because I had plenty of carrot without it. I used only half of the bunch of dill. I wanted 8 oz of tempeh and I cut off the block shown — 8.08 oz. Close enough. I cut the slab of tempeh in half to make two thinner slabs, then stacked those and diced the tempeh.

I did use the whole length of the green garlic stems, sliced thinly. The bunch of asparagus weighed 19 ounces, but the amount I trimmed from the bottom of the spears — the tough part — was about 3 ounces, so I did use about a pound of asparagus. (Besides tasting good, asparagus provides a beneficial kind of dietary fiber.)

I decided to add dried rosemary, which I pulverized with the spice & herb grinder. For liquid, I added a dash of rice vinegar, a splash of water, and some Shaoxing wine. And I added 1 teaspoon MSG (it’s okay).

Everything, once chopped or sliced or minced, went into my 6-qt pot along with a splash of vinegar, a little water, and a good splash of Shaoxing wine. I cooked it for 25 minutes at 225ºF before I added the asparagus, which I cut into 1″ sections. I then cooked it for 10 minutes longer.

Cooked veggies in pot: asparagus, red onion, spinach, mushrooms visible.

The cooked stew is shown at the right. It’s very tasty, and the tempeh has a good mouthfeel: chewy, like small bites of meat. 

I made a sauce for the serving I had, whisking together some tahini (the main thing), Sriracha, vinegar, and mustard. I’ve been eating tahini regularly (mostly in sauces) since I learned that it is relatively high in calcium. 

I didn’t have broccoli sprouts on hand, but I’ll buy some tomorrow and use them as I have the rest of the stir-fry/stew. As you can see, I made enough for multiple meals.

Written by Leisureguy

27 May 2023 at 4:57 pm

Carrot-stick ferment underway

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Two 1-liter canning jars packed with carrot sticks. Afew pieces of sliced ginger are visit among the carrotss. One jar has a lid, the other a plastic bag over the top with a rubber band.

I have started my carrot-stick format using the recipe I blogged earlier. A few of the lessons learned:

  1. She advises cutting the carrot to reach the shoulder of the jar. It needs to be a bit shorter, since the fermentation weight will sit on top. In the jar at the right, the weight was so high I could not put on the lid. Instead, I used a plastic bag secured with a rubber band. I learned that lesson right away and trimmed back the length for the second jar (on the left). 
  2. I did not reread the recipe before I started and forgot the ginger slices. I was able to squeeze some into the first jar and more in the second. 
  3. The larger garlic cloves are too wide. Next time I will halve them lengthways so they will fit better.
  4. I don’t think I used enough dill. Next time I’ll cut off the amount of dill I want before I start and make sure to use it all.
  5. Two Nantes carrots fill one jar. The end pieces (cut off to make the carrot sticks the right length) I’ll use in cooking.

This will ferment for 21 days — until Friday, June 16. Once again I am not using a starter culture, though I think I will add a tablespoon of the liquid from the previous ferment

Written by Leisureguy

26 May 2023 at 1:06 pm

Are ancient grains healthier?

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Kamut® is, as explained at the link, the registered trademark for organically raised khorosan wheat. It’s one of my favorite grains, and I eat it frequently — as intact whole grains, not squashed (Kamut flakes) or pulverized (Kamut flour). Reason? Because intact whole grains are better for you. (I cook a batch of grain, then either use it, along with a legume, to make tempeh or store it in the fridge and take servings from it.) Note that the bran of grain is not merely fiber but includes important vitamins and minerals.

After viewing this short video, though, I am going to get some einkorn, both for tempeh and to eat as part of a meal. And perhaps a bottle of Ancient Grains whisky.

Written by Leisureguy

26 May 2023 at 9:44 am

New ferment complete — and it tastes great

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A tall cylindrical transparent glass jar filled with a mix of chopped vegetables in a clear liquid.  The colors are muted rather than bright.
The ferment after 20 days.

One score days ago I started this ferment, somewhat trepidacious because I used no starter culture. I know that many — perhaps most — people do not bother with a starter culture, the training wheels of fermentation, but this was my first effort without that assistance.

As is so often the case, my worries were a waste of energy. The ferment turned out fine, and in fact tastes very good. This is a cabbage+kale ferment, using Tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale, dino kale, black kale). Details are at the link above.

Two unusual ingredients in this ferment are asparagus and red-skin potatoes. Because the potatoes are uncooked, they have zero net carbs: all the starch in them is resistant starch, which acts as dietary fiber. Once fermented, they have good crunch and a good taste.

Two usual ingredients missing from this ferment are garlic and jalapeños (or other hot chile). I’m sharing this batch with The Wife and she requested that I not use those. (Ginger, another common ingredient, is fine and included.)

I highly recommend fermenting vegetables for yourself. Not only is it much less expensive than buying live ferments from the store, you also can create combinations you cannot find commercially available, even from companies, like Wildbrine, that venture a bit off the beaten track. 

Written by Leisureguy

24 May 2023 at 9:32 am

The Negative Effects and Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

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Written by Leisureguy

23 May 2023 at 10:03 am

Cheater Szechuan dry-fried green beans

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Roasted green beans in a bowl, glistening with sauce and sprinkled with white sesame seeds.

I got this recipe from a post on Mastodon that is no longer there.

Rinse and dry green beans. Spray with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt, then roast in air fryer for 11-12 minutes or so at 400ºF.

Toss with a sauce made of

• Huy Fong Chili Garlic Paste,
• lots of grated ginger,
• a splash of maple syrup, 
• a dash of Wright’s liquid smoke (my addition).

Toss cooked beans with sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2023 at 12:57 pm

Fermented carrots

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I am definitely going to make these. I’m stopping my current ferment this coming Thursday, which will make it a three-week fermentation, and then I’ll start the carrots. I’ll use Nantes carrots and I plan to make two 1-liter jars. Printed recipe here.

Update: The Eldest suggested adding a few whole cloves to the ferment (for flavor) and that made me think of adding whole star anise — if not to the carrots, to the next ferment I make using cabbage.

The ferment is underway.

Written by Leisureguy

20 May 2023 at 1:07 pm

Air fryer in action: Anaheim peppers, Brussels sprouts

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Having harvested the tempeh earlier (see previous) and having shopped yesterday, I did a little cooking:

Anaheim peppers

Halved lengthwise, cored, and seeded, the peppers went into the air-fryer basket cut side down. I Evo-sprayed them with a touch of EVOO, sprinkled with a little salt, and roasted them for 13 minutes at 400ºF. (I didn’t preheat the fryer, nor did I shake the basket midway.) Then I dumped them into a bowl, covered the bowl, and let them cool. Still no luck in peeling off the skins, but I don’t mind eating the skins. I chopped them, added some chopped sweet onion, a chopped San Marzano tomato, and a splash of vinegar and ate that as a salad.

Brussels sprouts

When I cooked these last time, I had hoped that quartering them would cook them tender, but it didn’t. So after reading some on the internet, I learned the trick of halving them, soaking them in salt water for 20-30 minutes, draining them, and then roasting. I figured then idea is that the residual water becomes steam and cooks the sprouts to tenderness.

So I did that. After draining them, I placed them cut side down in the basket, added 1/2 sweet onion cut into large chunks, Evo-sprayed them with EVOO, sprinkled with a little sea salt, and roasted for 13-14 minutes. Again I didn’t bother to preheat the air fryer or to shake the basket.

They were tender and delicious.

Written by Leisureguy

18 May 2023 at 2:15 pm

Soybean & rye tempeh harvested

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It’s been 72 hours since I started this batch, and I figured I might as well harvest it. To reprise: this is 1.5 cups intact whole (skin-on) soybeans and 1.5 cups intact whole-grain rye (with a little Kamut®, since I didn’t have quite enough rye), measured before cooking and cooked separately. 

I followed my usual method, which uses a Ziploc Fresh produce bat, and if you look closely at the block above you can see the tiny dots that mark the placement of perforations in the bag.

The tempeh, cut into sections, is now in storage jars in the refrigerator and I’ll be using it in cooking various things in the coming days. The idea of combining beans and grain my tempeh recipe is from the Daily Dozen idea of having beans and grain at each meal: a serving of my tempeh takes care of that.

Written by Leisureguy

18 May 2023 at 12:41 pm

Broccolini-Carrot-Chayote Delight

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A pot of vegetable stew, in which one can see diced carrot, a fair amount of intact whole grain, small cubes of tofu, slices of red Fresno pepper, chopped broccolini, and dice white cubes of chayote squash.

Dinner tonight was made from what was on hand.

First, processed together in my little manual food processor:

• about 2″ thick fresh ginger, sliced thin and then chopped
• about 2″ fresh turmeric root, sliced thin
• 8-10 peeled cloves garlic, whole
• about 1.5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

I processed that until it was minced, then set it aside for the garlic to rest.

Then I put the following into my 4-qt sauté pan:

• about 1.5 tablespoons EVOO, drizzled over the pan
• 1 chayote squash, diced
• 1 Nante carrot, diced
• 1 bunch broccolini, chopped
• 2 bunches thick scallions, chopped
• 3 red Fresno peppers, chopped
• 1 18-oz can Aylmer’s Petit-Cut Tomatoes, Garlic & Olive Oil
• about 1.25 cups cooked Kamut® (organic whole-grain Khorasan wheat)
• about 1/3 block firm tofu, diced small
• about 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
• good dash of fish sauce
• good dash of soy sauce
• splash of mirin
• splash of rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon MSG (it’s okay — links to 2 new articles there)
• a splash of water

I brought that up to cooking temperature, stirred in the processed aromatics, and covered the pan. I set the burner to 225ºF and the timer to 20 minutes. 

I just had a bowl with a whisk-together sauce — tahini, rice vinegar, maple syrup, Frank’s RedHot, and a little Shaoxing wine.

Update: How it hits the checklist

I forgot to compare this to the checklist, so here it is:

Beans (3) — tofu
Whole Grain (3) — Kamut® 
Fruit Other Than Berries (3) — with breakfast
Greens (2) — missed that; could have added a block of frozen spinach
Other Vegetables (2) — broccolini, carrots, chayote, scallions, garlic, Fresno peppers, tomatoes
Cruciferous Vegetable (1) — broccolini
Berries (1) — with breakfast
Flaxseed (1) — with breakfast
Nuts & Seeds (1) — with breakfast
Herbs & Spices (1) — ginger, turmeric, black pepper, marjoram
Other — vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin, MSG, tahini (in sauce)

Written by Leisureguy

13 May 2023 at 5:23 pm

The Search for My Kimchi

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Alvin Chang tells a wonderful story about searching for the kimchi of his boyhood.

Written by Leisureguy

12 May 2023 at 12:56 pm

Brussels sprouts my way

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A black air-fryer basket with quarter roasted brussels sprouts, bright green with outer leaves browned from heat.
Photo before spraying with balsamic vinegar and adding nutritional yeast
A wine label that reads as follows:
Petit Rouge
Aging: 5 months in stainless steel, concrete, and neutral oak barrels.
Blend: Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc
Tons per acre: Average of 32
Grown in: South Okanagan
Production: 400 cases
13.4% alc./vol. —  375 ml

Quarter 8-10 large Brussels sprouts lengthwise. Put into a bowl and Evo-spray with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and with 2 chipotle peppers ground in my spice & herb grinder. Spray with balsamic vinegar.

Cook in air fryer at 380ºF for 12 minutes, shaking basket halfway through.

When done, spray with a little more balsamic vinegar and toss with some nutritional yeast.

Very tasty. Might even go 14 minutes next time. The chipotle adds flavor but not much heat.

The wine is sort of local — inland BC — and is not bad at all.

Update: The sprouts were a bit crunchy, and in reading recipes, I learned that soaking the sprouts in water for 10 minutes before cooking makes the centers a bit softer. I imagine that’s because the roasting heat steams them a little. I’ll try that next time.

New method works better

I just now (5/18/2023) had another batch of Brussels sprouts. This time I cut the sprouts in halves (not quarters) and I soaked them in salted water for about 20-30 minutes. I drained them well, put them cut-side down in the air-fryer basket, added half a sweet onion cut into large chunks, sprayed that with olive oil, sprinkled on a little salt, and air-fried (roasted) for around 12-14 minutes at 380ºF. 

This time they were tender — just right, in fact. Good way to cook them.

Written by Leisureguy

10 May 2023 at 5:20 pm

Roasted peppers

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Here’s what I’m making now, though I’m using my air fryer. One batch of Anaheim peppers, one batch of red bell peppers.

While I was writing the above, the time went off, and at right is a photo of the result. I did not do preheating (because I wanted to arrange the peppers carefully and didn’t want the basket to be hot while I was working in it). I split the peppers in half, removed the core, arranged them in the basket, Evo-sprayed with a little olive oil, sprinkled them with a little salt, and roasted (“air-fried”) them for 10 minutes at 400ºF. (Next time I’ll go with 15 minutes — they were difficult to peel.)

They are now in a covered bowl, cooling, so I can peel them.

Written by Leisureguy

10 May 2023 at 11:08 am

Homemade veggie bouillon powder

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If you look at the ingredients list of store-bought bouillon powder or paste or concentrate, you see quite a few things I would rather not eat. The Eldest suggested that I investigate homemade, and I found this recipe (to which I’ve made one addition):

Homemade Veggie Bouillon Powder

1 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning [see below]
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning [see below]
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

— things I will add to that recipe —
1/4 teaspoon MSG — it’s okay and it adds umami
2 teaspoons ground ginger — both healthful and tassty
2 or 3 star anise, ground to powder — I love the taste in soup
2 or 3 dried chipotles, ground to powder — for a little warmth

You can shake or whisk to mix, in which case use 1 tablespoon per cup of water; or you can blend or process to mix, which produces a more concentrated powder, and you use 1 teaspoon per cup of water. In either case, store it in an airtight jar, and if you blend/process, I would store it in the refrigerator. Obviously, you can use more or less per cup of water to suit your taste.

If not chipotles, I might add a little smoked paprika.

Now, Italian seasoning — so long as we’re looking at homemade, what about that? I found this recipe:

Homemade Italian Seasoning

1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried oregano [Mexican oregano – LG]
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional

They use the shake/whisk to mix, and I think I’d stick with that — once reduced to a powder (via blend/process), it will not last so long. Thus, if I do blend/process the bouillon, I’ll keep it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

And what about homemade poultry seasoning? A search found this recipe:

Homemade Poultry Seasoning

3 tablespoons ground sage
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Written by Leisureguy

7 May 2023 at 4:40 pm

Collards today

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Greens continue to be a major component of my diet, and cruciferous greens double the benefit — greens such as cabbage (preferably red), kale (ditto), Brussels sprouts, or collards. Mustard greens are good too, but I never see them up here. 

So today it’s collards, and I cooked a batch of Kamut® (organic Khorasan wheat) — intact whole grain, of course — and I have a failed first try at making Burmese tofu to go with it. [When I actually made the dish, I decided to use up the remainder of a block of regular (soybean) tofu I had. I’ll use the Burmese tofu for other things.]

The Burmese tofu failure is that the tofu did not set firmly enough, and I’m sure that’s because I did not continue cooking long enough after it started to thicken. The next batch will be better, and this one, though too soft to be used in a tofu-ish way, is still good enough to eat and in fact tasty. (I added some All-Purpose Seasoning to the mix.)

I’m thinking I’ll cook the collards with my usual combo: olive oil, chopped scallions, chopped garlic, minced ginger, chopped collards, mushrooms, and a diced lemon, along with a splash of vinegar and a dash of soy sauce and mirin.

The actual recipe

A chopping board on which are chopped collards (leaves and minced stems), 2 dried chipotles, finely chopped garlic, finely chopped ginger, 8 crimin mushrooms, a small block of tofu, 1 lemon, a small handful of asparagus, and two bunches of scallions
Ignore sriracha. Not shown: cooked intact whole-grain Kamut®, yellow bell pepper

The ingredients:

• about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 bunch collards, leaves chopped, stems minced
• 2 dried chipotles (ground in my spice & herb grinder)
• a handful of garlic cloves, chopped small
• about 2″ fresh ginger root chopped small
• 8 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced
• 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, diced
• 1 lemon, diced
• 1 small handful asparagus, cut into 1″ sections
• 2 bunches scallions, chopped
• 3/4 cup cooked intact whole-grain Kamut® from the fridge
• 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (afterthought: saw it when I got Kamut)
• 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
• 1 pinch salt
• splash of rice vinegar
• splash of soy sauce
• splash of mirin 

I used my 4-qt sauté pan and began with the olive oil, onions, mushrooms, tofu, salt, and marjoram and cooked that over medium-high heat, stirring often. When it was cooking well, I added the remaining ingredients and cooked for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

I then covered the pan and and turned the heat to 225ºF for 20 minutes.

I thought of making Simnett’s Garlic-Ginger Sauce/Dressing from the video earlier today and using that on the finished dish:

• 1/2 cup water
• 4 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari
• 2 cloves garlic, grated
• 1-2″ ginger, grated
• 1 scallion sliced thin
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper — OR grind 1 chipotle

But it struck me that there was a lot of overlap of sauce with dish, so I decided to skip the sauce. And the finished dish tastes extremely good even without a sauce — very fresh and almost light (the lemon helps with that), plus it has a good mouthfeel with a variety of textures.

A pot containing of cooked vegetables, including yellow bell pepper, collards, asparagus, scallions, and also tofu, mushrooms, and grain

It also doesn’t do so bad on the checklist:

Beans (3) — tofu
Whole Grain (3) — Kamut
Fruit Other Than Berries (3) — lemon; also, breakfast
Greens (2) — collards
Other Vegetables (2) — scallions, asparagus, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms (not a veg, but…)
Cruciferous Vegetable (1) — collards
Berries (1) — breakfast
Flaxseed (1) — breakfast
Nuts & Seeds (1) — breakfast 
Herbs & Spices (1) — garlic, ginger, chipotle
Other — vinegar, soy sauce, mirin

Written by Leisureguy

6 May 2023 at 5:26 pm

3 Fat Free Sauces Perfect For Any Meal! (Vegan & Gluten Free)

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Derek Simnett has come up with some new sauces and some new meals. I notice more whole foods coming in — for example, in the first sauce grated garlic instead of garlic powder, chopped green onions instead of onion powder, and grated ginger instead of ground ginger. 

In the chickpea stir-fry, I would definitely include 1/3-1/2 cup cooked intact whole grain. I always have that on hand in the refrigerator — rye, spelt, Kamut® (organic khorasan wheat), hulled barley, etc. Right now I have a storage container of Kamut. I like to have beans and (intact whole) grain at each meal.

Also, in the third sauce, I would use lemon pulp instead of lemon juice (since he’s using a blender): cut the peel off the lemon (see this post), and then blend the peeled lemon: more nutrition and more body.

Written by Leisureguy

6 May 2023 at 12:16 pm

New vegetable ferment now started

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On a cutting board: 1 Nantes carrot, 1 head green cabbage, 1 bunch lacinato kale, 2 redskin potatoes, 2 red apples, a 2-3" piece of large ginger root, 1 red onion, and a small handful asparagus spears.

I’ve started a new ferment following my usual method, and since I’m sharing this one with The Wife, I’m omitting garlic and jalapeños. If it were just for myself, both would be included. The ingredients, displayed above, are listed here along with what happened to them

• 1 Nantes carrot — grated coarsely
• 1 small head organic green cabbage — 2 leaves saved, then cored and shredded
• 1 bunch organic lacinato kale — central rib removed, then shredded
• a handful of asparagus spears — cut into 1″ lengths
• 2 medium redskin potatoes — diced small
• 2 red apples — cored, then grated (with peel)
• 2-3″ thick ginger root — sliced thinly, then cut into small matchsticks

I keep being told a starter is not necessary, so I’m not using one with this batch but will depend on whatever is in and on the vegetables. (I did use a vegetable brush to scrub well the carrot, potatoes, apples, and ginger.)

Here are the vegetables after chopping and then, after massaging with salt, in the jars:

On the left are the chopped vegetables after mixing. The total weight was 3260g. The bowl weighs 1135g, so vegetables alone are 2125g (≈ 4.7 lbs). I use a 2.5% salt ratio, so I added 54g sea salt to the bowl of vegetables and massaged well — squeezing and turning to mix the salt well throughout the vegetables. 

I packed my two 1.5-L Weck jars, poured over a 2.5% brine solution to cover, topped off the veg in each jar with a reserved cabbage leaf, added the fermentation weight, and put on the lid for the photo.

The jars will now be moved to a rimmed baking sheet, and a 19 oz can of beans will be placed on each lid to weigh it down. 

On May 25, I’ll have a new batch of fermented vegetables.

Ferment finished

A tall cylindrical transparent glass jar filled with a mix of chopped vegetables in a clear liquid.  The colors are muted rather than bright.
The finished ferment, after 20 days.

I decided to end the ferment after 20 days rather than waiting one more day because I couldn’t wait to try it. I am relieved to say that the fermentation went fine without my using a starter culture. This is not really surprising — many if not most don’t use a starter culture — but this was my first try at skipping the culture, the training wheels of fermentation, and I was relieved that the end result is good and quite tasty.

As you see in the photo, the colors are the end are more muted than the vibrancy they had at the start, but what they lack in color, they make up in richness of taste. (I had a bowl of it after taking the photo.)

The potatoes add good crunch, and they have zero net carbs: uncooked, all the starch in the potatoes is resistant starch, which acts as dietary fiber. I added potatoes for potassium as well as crunch and taste.

Highly successful batch, and much less costly than buy a commercial ferment (such as the Wildbrine products).

Written by Leisureguy

4 May 2023 at 3:23 pm

Cabbage sprouts

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A shelf of sprouts tied in bunches. They have long stems and leaves and buds. Some are green, others reddish. Sign reads "Red/Green Cabbage Sprouts $4.99"

I’m always excited to find a food I’ve not had before. I am getting the red sprouts because in general darker plants are more nutritious than lighter plants and that is in fact the case with red v. green cabbage. I’ll sauté them with red onion, some garlic, some diced tofu, some cooked whole grain — I’m thinking black quinoa because I can cook it quickly. 

Cooking the sprouts

On a ccutting board: the bunch of sprouts, a package of extra-firm tofu, a large jalapeño, chopped garlic (cloves from a head of garlic), a large red onion, a section of ginger root, a good-sized turmeric root.
Not shown: 1 yellow bell pepper, 4 good size white mushrooms, marjoram

Couldn’t wait to cook the sprouts. I used my 4-qt sauté pan. In it I put:

• about 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over the pan
• chopped cloves from one head of Spanish garlic after they rested
• 1 large red onion, chopped
• 2″ ginger root, minced
• 1 large turmeric root, minced
• 1 large jalapeño, halved then chopped
• 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, diced

Not in photo but included (afterthoughts and refrigerator discoveries):

• 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped 
• 4 large white mushrooms, halved then sliced thick 
• about 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
• about 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (for the turmeric)
• several dashes of fish sauce
• good splash of Kikkoman soy sauce
• good splash of Eden Foods Mirin
• good splash of Marukan rice vinegar 

I turned the heat on to 4, and while the food heated and began cooking, I chopped the sprouts.

• 1 bunch red-cabbage sprouts, chopped

I chopped the stems fairly small so they would cook well.

I added the sprouts, mixed them into the other veg, covered the pan, and turned the heat to 225ªF for 13 minutes. When the timer went off, I stirred it and then covered it again and cooked at 225ºF for 17 minutes (because the sprout stems seemed a little tough — normally I’d go for a total of 25 minutes instead of 30 minutes).

I’ll make a sauce:

• Soom tahini
• juice of a lemon 
• dash of Tabasco
• a dab of water (because tahini + lemon is too thick)

Whisk that together, and Bob’s your mother’s brother.

A pan of cooked vegetables in which are visible yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, tofu, sprouts, flecks of herbs, red onion, pieces of jalapeño.
Sprouts cooked to perfection

They are extremely tasty. It’s a good combination and the sauce adds a lot. I did serve it over black quinoa and poured some sauce on top.

After dinner

After having a couple of bowls of the sprouts dish over black quinoa, I mixed all the rest of the quinoa in with the leftover sprouts in the pan and put that into a storage container and the container into the refrigerator. I had cooked 1 cup black quinoa in 2 cups water, covered and simmered at 225ºF for about 15 minutes — until all the water was absorbed.  The quinoa-to-sprout ratio seemed okay.

In terms of the checklist:

Beans (3) — tofu
Whole Grain (3) — black quinoa (not really a grain, but close enough)
Fruit Other Than Berries (3) — had for breakfast; lemon juice with dinner
Greens (2) — I’m counting the cabbage sprouts as greens
Other Vegetables (2) — garlic, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, mushroom (veg-adjacent)
Cruciferous Vegetable (1) — cabbage sprouts
Berries (1) — had for breakfast
Flaxseed (1) — had for breakfast
Nuts & Seeds (1) — had for breakfast; tahini with dinner
Herbs & Spices (1) — ginger, dried marjoram, black pepper, turmeric root
Other — pepper sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin

Written by Leisureguy

30 April 2023 at 2:59 pm

Best sources of calcium in a plant-based diet

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Written by Leisureguy

29 April 2023 at 9:50 am

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