Later On

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

Archive for the ‘Recipes & Cooking’ Category

More than 800m Amazon trees felled in six years to meet beef demand

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Why is the Amazon rainforest being cut down? Profit. Why are more and more fossil fuels being extracted with new fields developed? Profit. Why is the earth becoming uninhabitable? That’s an unfortunate side effect, but look at how much profit was made.

Andrew Wasley, Elisângela Mendonça, Youssr Youssef, and Robert Soutar report in the Guardian:

More than 800m trees have been cut down in the Amazon rainforest in just six years to feed the world’s appetite for Brazilian beef, according to a new investigation, despite dire warnings about the forest’s importance in fighting the climate crisis.

A data-driven investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), the Guardian, Repórter Brasil and Forbidden Stories shows systematic and vast forest loss linked to cattle farming.

The beef industry in Brazil has consistently pledged to avoid farms linked to deforestation. However, the data suggests that 1.7m hectares (4.2m acres) of the Amazon was destroyed near meat plants exporting beef around the world.

The investigation is part of Forbidden Stories’ Bruno and Dom project. It continues the work of Bruno Pereira, an Indigenous peoples expert, and Dom Phillips, a journalist who was a longtime contributor to the Guardian​​. The two men were killed in the Amazon last year.

Deforestation across Brazil soared between 2019 and 2022 under the then president, Jair Bolsonaro, with cattle ranching being the number one cause. The new administration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has promised to curb the destruction.

Researchers at the AidEnvironment consultancy used satellite imagery, livestock movement records and other data to calculate estimated forest loss over six years, between 2017 and 2022 on thousands of ranches near more than 20 slaughterhouses. All the meat plants were owned by Brazil’s big three beef operators and exporters – JBS, Marfrig and Minerv​a.

To find the farms that were most likely to have supplied each slaughterhouse, the researchers looked at . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

2 June 2023 at 8:40 pm

101 Simple Salads for the Season, from the NY Times

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An archived page from the NY Times has a great collection of salad recipe ideas. It begins:

1. Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness.

2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.

3. A nice cucumber salad: Slice cucumbers thin (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), toss with red onions and salt, then let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard; no oil necessary.

4. Shave raw asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler. Discard the tough first pass of the peeler — i.e., the peel — but do use the tips, whole. Dress with lemon vinaigrette and coarse salt. (Chopped hard-boiled eggs optional but good.)

5. Grate or very thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes; mix with pitted and chopped oil-cured olives, olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of coarsely ground cumin. Unusual and wonderful.

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)

7. Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft.

8. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.

9. Chop or slice jicama (or radishes or kohlrabi) and mango and mix with coconut milk, lime juice, curry powder and cilantro or mint.

10. Cook whole grape tomatoes in olive oil over high heat until they brown lightly, sprinkling with curry powder. Cool a bit, then toss with chopped arugula, loads of chopped mint and lime juice.

11. . . .

Read the whole thing.

Written by Leisureguy

2 June 2023 at 11:17 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes & Cooking

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Stew-fry Seafood Medley

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On a cutting board: red kale, red onion, Yellow bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, garlic scapes, fresh rosemary, fresh dill, two Sa Marzanao tomatoes, a cup of cooked einkorn, a pile of asparagus not yet trimmed, a knob of ginger, a bunch of brccolini. In back is a supermarket package labeled "Seafood Medley" with a label that says it contains Squid. Cooked Mussels. Cooked Clam and Shrimp.
Not shown: Steelhead Trout, Lemon, MSG (it’s okay)

I celebrate the first of each month, but modestly, as is appropriate for 1/12th of a New Year. I’ve described elsewhere the ritual of The Reading of the Letter from the Past and of The Writing of the Letter to the Future, always a pleasure. And in the food line, I depart from a purely plant-based diet (though I stick with whole-food: refined foods and manufactured foods from highly processed ingredients are no longer appealing). 

Generally, the departure means some sort of fish, and I spotted the package shown in the background of the above image: Seafood Medley with “Squid. Cooked Mussels. Cooked Clam, and Shrimp.” That sounded good. (Clams are extraordinarily high in B12.) 

I had already purchased the red kale, broccolini, garlic scapes, and asparagus, and I immediately thought of a stew-fry. But given all the vegetables — and I definitely wanted to include cooked einkorn after watching a video on ancient grains — I thought I needed more fish, so I bought a 14 oz piece of steelhead trout, popular around here. And I do like asparagus, both because it has a good taste and mouthfeel and because it provides a very good variety of dietary fiber.

Seafood Medley Stew-Fry

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Red kale, chopped
• Broccolini, chopped
• Asparagus, tough bottom removed, cut into 1″ sections
• Ginger, minced
• 1/2 large red onion, chopped
• 5 garlic scapes, chopped
• 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 1 poblano pepper, chopped
• 1 large jalapeño pepper, chopped
• 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves ground
• 1/2 bunch of dill chopped
• 2 San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
• 1 lemon, diced
• 1 cup cooked einkorn from fridge (cooled to make starch resistant)
• 1 package “seafood medley”
• 14 oz steelhead fillet, cut into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears
• splash of rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon MSG
• splash of water

I used my 4-qt sauté pan, which turned out to be somewhat of a tight fit, but doable. I started by putting the olive oil into the skillet.

An orange bowl that contains green particles, like a coarse green sand.
Ground rosemary

I ground the rosemary leaves in my spice & her grinder, and it did a bang-up job (see photo at right). I dumped the ground rosemary into the sauté pan and then chopped/sliced and added everything else except the einkorn, the asparagus, and the seafood.

I turned on the induction burner to “3” until things started to cook, stirring to mix them. Then I set the temperature to 225ºF and the time for 10 minutes and covered the pan.

When the timer bell sounded, I returned, mixed the veggies, and added the einkorn, asparagus, and seafood (including the pieces of steelhead). I cover the pa again, set temperature at 225ºF and timer at 12 minutes, and let it continue cooking, stirring once halfway through.

A pot showing a mixed stew of bright colors: red onion, dark green leaves, yellow bell pepper, pieces of pink fish,small brown grains, and asparagus.

I’ve now had a bowl, and it’s very good indeed. Good mix of flavors and mouthfeel and somehow light in taste though certainly filling.

I enjoyed this with a glass of white wine, which suited the dish. There is, as you see, plenty for a few more meals. 

I’ll revert to plant-based in addition to whole-food once this dish is done, though the first of July may see another departure. My interest in the whole-food plant-based diet is health, and a minor departure like today’s meal offers little risk.


Written by Leisureguy

1 June 2023 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

Onion experiment

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Written by Leisureguy

28 May 2023 at 10:06 am

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

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

Locally made vermouth the world’s best

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A row of vermouths and aperitifs with colorful labels, all featuring the name Esquimalt.

It’s always pleasant when some local food or drink is truly excellent, and Esquimalt Vermouth & Aperitifs is one such vendor (just over the bridge from Victoria). Ryan Hook reports in Tasting Victoria:

Behind a warehouse on Devonshire Road in an industrial park in Esquimalt—inside an even smaller warehouse—Quinn and Michela Palmer, co-owners of Esquimalt Vermouth & Aperitifs, work day in and day out to make the world’s best vermouth. Literally.

Earlier this month, the small-scale craft producer won World’s Best Dry Vermouth and World’s Best Semi-Sweet Vermouth at the 2023 World Vermouth Awards in London, UK.

The designation of World’s Best comes with gold medals for their Rosso (semi-sweet) and Dry vermouths, and a close silver medal for their Bianco Vermouth (also in the semi-sweet category).

“We are over the moon with this recognition and are so excited to put Vancouver Island on the map as the home of the world’s best vermouth,” Quinn said.

They are the first non-European vermouth producers to win World’s Best in the history of the competition.

But it’s not the first time Esquimalt Vermouth & Aperitifs has taken home an armful of awards. In 2021, the husband-wife duo won double-gold medals for their Rosso Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, and Kina-Rouge Quinquina at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2023 at 10:12 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Drinks

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

Liquid smoke: good stuff

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I’ve been a fan of Wright’s Liquid Smoke for a long time and not so much a fan of Colgin’s liquid smokes, which include other ingredients. Take the Hickory version:

Wright’s: Water, Natural Hickory Smoke Concentrate.
Colgin’s: Water, natural hickory smoke flavor, vinegar, molasses, caramel color, and salt.

Here’s Adam Ragusea explaining:


Written by Leisureguy

18 May 2023 at 11:37 am

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

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