"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

Archive for the ‘Protein’ Category

Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Naturally, I’m a big fan of juicing and smoothies but sometimes the food addict in me just wants to eat something- as opposed to drink. Confession time – yes, I’m one of those people who treat liquids as “not counting”.  Liquid calories, however, do add up and FAST! Luckily, I’m not a soda, sports drink or juice user. That’s right.. user! As you probably heard by now, the same receptor sites light up in the body when sugar hits it as does cocaine. I have even heard that sugar is 8x more addicting. I avoid sugar the best I can but right now I’m talking about eating.. some vegan protein powder actually.. as opposed to drinking it. This idea and recipe that I stumbled on is not to replace my super healthy vegan shakes but rather as an occasional option to basically “switch it up”.

I came across these little “protein balls” at a Holistic Health Bazaar not too long along. I set out to do the recipe but then didn’t particularly care for a few ingredients nor the use of a microwave. I began to look further for another recipe- something a bit more simple and closer to raw. The idea here was to be able to make a “protein” bar as opposed to a shake. I came across a recipe on one of my favorite sites: ohsheglows.com This sounded more like what I was looking for- except, if only I can learn the swirl factor. How she swirled the chocolate on top so beautifully. Oh She Glows- that’s right! 

I made the bars and thoroughly enjoyed them for a few days. These were perfect for me- a vegan on the go! Of equal importance, the addict in me was satisfied and I found a way to break up the daily smoothies and still get my vegan protein addition in.

The best part of this experience though was the “Grama’s cooking” recipes and memories that came up. If I dropped the protein powder and oats, I would have the vegan version of my Grama’s famous chocolate peanut butter squares. These would arrive in my college care packages back in the day which brought friends from all the dorms over for some good ol’ fashion homemade treats. Go Grama! This time though, I’ll hold on the sugar and extra weight and raise ya on the protein! A perfect example of Reinventing Indulgence!

Recipe
1.25 cups gluten-free oats
.5 cup vegan protein powder (I may have used a pinch more)
.5 cup peanut butter- almond butter is good too!  (I may have used a pinch more here too)
.5 crushed amaranth flakes cereal (original recipe uses rice crisp cereal)
.5 cup  organic maple syrup
1 teas. vanilla extract
4 tbs. vegan dark chocolate chips

sea salt to taste
coconut oil to grease container

For the recipe from Oh She Glows:
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/08/29/quick-n-easy-no-bake-protein-bars/#ixzz3AmqKJz6f

I first put the oats in my magic bullet to grind them down quite a bit. In a large mixing bowl, I mixed the oats, protein powder, crunched up amaranth flakes and sea salt. Then I added the maple syrup and peanut butter – both of these healthier brands and not junk varieties. I greased a square pan and pressed the mixture in. Afterwards, I put this pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meantime, I melted down the delicious vegan chocolate chips. I tried to drizzle it on like the original photo from Oh She Glows but that didn’t go over well. I ended up covering the whole tray in chocolate – not a horrible thing for a vegan chocolate lover. Back into the freezer they went to set and then I kept them in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Reference

Oh She Glows. Glow From The Inside Out. Retrieved from http://ohsheglows.com/2013/08/29/quick-n-easy-no-bake-protein-bars/

A healthier PB bar!

A healthier PB bar!

Tofu House Bayside

Tofu house.. what? Where’s the tofu?
I should have went with my basic gut instinct because as I was entering, it had that McDonalds’ like feel – like I thought I saw a children’s play area inside. I was thinking.. wow.. It looks like a Tofu McDonalds. I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. The positive minded person that I am, found it good so I proceeded in. Actually, all in all the food was good. My complaints are worth mentioning anyway because the experience itself was odd. I’m wondering if this was a Korean restaurant but I’m really not sure. Some of the dishes seemed Korean like the BI BIM BAP. I’m highly spoiled when it comes to Korean food since two of my favorite restaurants happen to be both Korean and VEGAN (Franchia & Hangawi).

We ordered vegetarian style orders and next thing I know food was flying in front of us – raw eggs and dead fried fish with the eye balls itself looking at me.  ME????? I panicked. Lol. She thought we ordered soup and so I guess that accompanied it. Ok… not a big problem.  It was gone before I could scream Instagram.  They sent out a complimentary array of appetizer type dishes. This was not just for us but it seemed customary for all. I enjoyed this part since most were vegan and healthy.Image

Then the main dishes came sizzling out in cast iron pots. There was no broth though. I didn’t remember BI BIM BAP being without some liquid. Small bowls were given on the side with some form of water like liquid. My friend threw hers in. I flashbacked in my  head to a Japanese restaurant where people were slurping their noodle soups and that was actually the way to eat it. Sometimes I think things are odd but the are the norm – so I followed suit and threw it in. As I was stirring this food that looked delicious, I was wondering if that water was to wash your hands with. My friend says other people were dunking food into it. The manager happened to luckily walk by so we asked him and he said “meat water” with an accent. MEAT WATER! Ok I’m a high maintenance vegan but my friend was vegetarian so it wasn’t just me who jumped. We anxiously explained to him that we specifically ordered vegetarian so why would she give us that. He kindly apologized and soon after they came out again with round 2 of the deliciously looking BI BIM BAP.Image

Honestly, the food was amazing! I could do without the experience though so no more make believe Tofu Houses for me. The entrees all seemed to revolve around meat – there really was no emphasis at all on the tofu except that they did apparently carry it. “Tofu House”..   a real Tofu House.. a girl can dream.. right?

Seitan, Spinach and Sorrel

I have been experimenting with many herbs over the past few months- some as teas, infusions, decoctions and tinctures… and others in cooking. I am excited to be immersed in an Herbal Studies program at American College of Healthcare Science, ACHS. I first learned of sorrel, Rumux acetosa, in a raw foods class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I have been wanting to experiment with this herb and finally gathered up the courage to do so in conjunction with my ACHS assignments. If I think of it like a tea or medicinal herb, then I would be hesitant to toss the dried version of this into my food. On the other hand, when I think of it as a culinary herb like basil, rosemary or garlic, then I feel comfortable adding this into a meal, in the dried format.  As far as the fresh sorrel goes, it has spinach-like properties with respect to color, appearance and culinary uses.

sorrel1Sorrel, Rumux acetosa, has bright green leaves. It is a green leafy plant whose firm leaves can be used directly into salads, soups and sauces. Sorrel can also be found pureed, frozen, canned and dried. It’s not the easiest plant to find, however, it apparently is one that can be grown without difficultly from seed. Once picked, it stays fresh for about 3 days, 6 months when dried.

IMG_8363Sorrel, Rumux acetosa is a good source of vitamin A, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B9, C, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Now enters another hot nutrition debate: shall we eat foods that are know to be high in oxalic acid or not? I’m still out with the jury on the soy debate so I’ll just highlight a few things here since sorrel is one of the plants associated with high levels of oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound found in plants, animals and humans. One of the nutritional arguments often heard is that: oxalic acid binds with some nutrients, which then means that they are not assimilated by the body. Many people eat spinach, for example, for it’s high nutritional value. The the arguments you might hear would revolve around the calcium not being available for assimilation. I have also come across two other confusing, yet important and contradicting points. Oxalic acid in large quantities could cause death from poisoning. There is a government link below with more information about this- the only food source listed for this specifically is rhubarb leaves. On the other hand, oxalic acid has been sited to be helpful for killing cancer cells. The research continues!

“Foods that contain significant amounts of oxalic acid are ( in order from highest to lowest): buckwheat, star fruit, black pepper, parsley, poppy seed, rhubarb stalks, amaranth, spinach, chard, beets, cocoa, chocolate, most nuts, most berries, and beans. If you had to really avoid oxalic acid that would be difficult.” (Herrington)

Conditions which should be cautioned for consumption of oxalic acids include:

  • Kidney stones
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Kidney disorder

*Another consideration or controversy is whether or not foods with high amounts of oxalic acid would be better or worse cooked. I have read it both ways so far. Take some time to research and read through the articles. I am a believer in the raw and whole food eating; and everything in moderation, but of course.

Today’s dish:

Seitan, Spinach and Sorrel
Ingredients:
Onion, garlic, black pepper, sea salt, sorrel, jalapeño, tomato, seitan and steamed spinach — olive oil and a drop of vegan butter!

IMG_8357

I sautéed the olive oil, onion, garlic, jalapeño and tomato first. Then I used the seitan (from package). Next I added the sorrel, salt and pepper, I was a bit afraid at first but I noticed the flavor picked up immediately after adding a good amount of dried sorrel. It has a slightly lemon spice punch to it. The fresh leaves are known to add a citrus and sour flavor. I finished this sauté off with a drop or two of vegan Earth Balance Buttery Spread. I steamed the spinach on the side and added it to the dish.  It was flavorful, different and delicious!

IMG_8360Two other recipes I noticed while doing some sorrel research both revolve around a spiced Caribbean rum drink. I included two recipe links here:

Jamaican sorrel rum punch:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/drink/views/Jamaican-Sorrel-Rum-Punch-200629

Sorrel drink (Trinidad):
http://www.food.com/recipe/sorrel-drink-trinidad-197234

References
Herrington, Diana. Retrieved from http://realfoodforlife.com/oxalic-acid-controversy/

Informational links and resources
http://juicing-for-health.com/oxalic-acid.html
http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/are-oxalic-acids-in-food-bad-for-teeth
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002479.htm
http://www.coljoe.com/diet_procedure.htm

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

Forbidden Black Rice with Asparagus

Forbidden? Yes.. and impossible to find! Well.. not really once you learn what it is. I usually find that when I come across a new food that I didn’t even know exist, that I soon after begin to see it everywhere. This was so the case with black rice. I heard about it though a friend on Facebook. It looked intriguingly delicious to me and of course I wanted to try it immediately. Soon after, I ran right into it at the health food store. I actually can’t believe I haven’t blogged this before. I am certain that I have created a few recipes with black rice, experimented and even took pictures. Not a problem- here I am again cooking with black rice and also amazed that I am beginning to see it in restaurants which I will highlight later – “Beyond Sushi”!

Where do they get “forbidden” from? Once you read that on the label- you automatically want it! It comes from Chinese tradition where only royalty were given this type of rice to eat, hence it was forbidden. So what is black rice? It’s actually a strand of rice with a very dark purple quality. It gets this color from anthocyanins, which are flavonoid pigments found in red/ purple/ dark blue/ black fruits and vegetables. Do you remember when someone told you to eat the colors of the rainbow in your fruits and vegetables? This is part of that wonderful concept and truth.

Some of the current benefits of anthocyanins include: “protection against liver injuries; significant reduction of blood pressure; improvement of eyesight; strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities; inhibition of mutations caused by mutagens from cooked food; and suppression of proliferation of human cancer cells.”  (Konczak/ Wei)

Black rice is therefore high in antioxidants from these anthocyanins! In addition, black rice is also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Many believe inflammation to be at the core of many health conditions, disorders and diseases.

White rice is refined and milled therefore stripped of it’s many nutrients. Brown rice and black rice are very similar with respect to nutrients, calories and fiber. The added bonus here, is that black rice has extra antioxidants. Personally, you might want to make your own decision when choosing. I mostly eat brown rice, however, when black rice is available to me- I will always say yes. I enjoy the texture and taste- and I feel that it is a bit healthier. Try it and see what you think and feel!

IMG_8019

I made my black rice as I would brown; cooking it in a 2:1 ratio of water to rice with a drizzle of olive oil and touch of sea salt. I sautéed asparagus on the side, some sliced apple sausage (soy) and some leftover brown rice and mushroom from the night before. Yes I mix and match! This dish was incredible!

I have to mention that I am beginning to see black rice as an option in some sushi restaurants in New York CIty. This is very exciting especially this new sushi spot that I stumbled upon. It’s called BEYOND SUSHI– located on 14th Street, Manhattan between 3rd and 2nd Avenues. Honestly, this is the best sushi I have ever had. My taste buds are slowly changing and for the better. It takes time when eliminating certain foods and dependencies on salt and sugar. I have had this sushi twice so far- the best is having it in-house but GOOD LUCK as it is mostly a to-go place. Oh.. and did I mention- it’s VEGAN! Bonus!

Reference

Konczak, I., Wei, Z. 2004. Anthocyanins- More Than Nature’s Colours. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082903/

Protein Powerhouse Chocolate Peanut butter MEGA bomb

Nothing like a contest to get my creative juices flowing! This time it’s to win a Vitamix! The contest is at ThisIsStory.com. Lately, I have been in a straight up peanut butter mood. I would normally say almond butter, but I was out this time. I felt like having a hearty AND deliciously rich smoothie shake!

I call this the Protein Powerhouse, not that I am consumed by the “P” word at all- but others are so why not!

The official title is: Protein Powerhouse Chocolate Peanut butter MEGA bomb with Sun Warrior RAW protein, hemp seeds, vanilla hemp milk, cacao powder, peanut butter, dates, banana and blueberries. This is a rich superfood smoothie- all thrown together in my vitamix!

Recipe

banana-1
blueberries- 1 cup
dates- 2
protein powder- 1-2 scoops
hemp seeds- 2 tablespoons
cacao powder- 1 1/2 tablespoons
peanut butter- 1 1/2 tablespoons
hemp milk- about 2 cups

Here is a link to the cacao I like to use so you can see what it looks like. The hemp seeds I like are Nutivia or Navitas.

Hemp is rich is essential fatty acids, protein and fiber! It’s an especially excellent source for vegetarians and vegans. Some of the many benefits of hemp include:

  • Improved heart health 
  • Improved memory and brain related functions
  • Healthier skin
  • Weight loss
  • Better digestion
  • Stronger immune system

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

Vegan day 332: Tempeh surprise

Not having expectations can often lead to pleasant surprises. 

I was closing my summer place for the winter. I knew that the kitchen and refrigerator were pretty well stocked with grains and legumes so I didn’t load up on groceries when I headed over. I made once stop and it was for greens– specifically SPINACH! 

Just greens.. one item and it brought all the other whole foods to life. It was like a miracle dish. I didn’t think I had anything and it ended up being a beautifully balanced meal. This too would have been a good entree for the MYPLATE contest that I was thrilled to win first place in. My entree was a macro meal but this looks good too. It would have looked even better had I left the beans in for a shorter time. As I was preparing the tempeh surprise sauté, I must have mushed the beans a tad bit. 

On a taste level, everything was on point!

  • Brown rice cooked at a 1:2 rice to water ratio
  • Tempeh that was in my refrigerator- sliced and sautéed 
  • Can of organic black beans on hand in case of a lazy cooking emergency
  • Sun-dried tomatoes also from the refrigerator
  • Spice city!
  • The salad was prepped with spinach, cucumber, tomato… and artichokes from a can of organic artichokes that I had in the cabinet. 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Tuesday, November 27th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 330: Soy nuggets

I’m still in search for some semi-healthy soy chicken to use for a dish that I am going to prepare for our annual holiday staff party! The next experiment was with soy nuggets. I simply sautéed the frozen nuggets in a pan with a little extra-virgin coconut oil. I covered it and flipped the nuggets until golden brown. 

Honestly, to my recollection, they taste the same as McDonalds Chicken McNuggets… but without half of the over-the-top disgusting ingredients. I’m not going to get into the chicken McNugget but if I used these soy nuggets and sautéed them lightly in chicken broth NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!

Craziness– lol Have you seen the Jamie Oliver youTube on Chicken McNuggets?

FROM THE McDONALD’s website:

“Chicken McNuggets® (4 piece) White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch. 

CONTAINS: WHEAT.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”

 
SOY NUGGETS:

GLUTEN FREE
WEIGHT 0.65 LBS

INGREDIENTS
· Soybean Fiber · Soybean Protein · Soybean Oil · Salt · Vegetarian Seasonings · White Pepper · Black Pepper · Chinese Five Spice

What’s the verdict?
The soy ones seem better for sure but I don’t know if I would call them healthy. In any case… it’s still not what I will use for the party! Back to the drawing board AGAIN!
Oh the taste?? lol They were really good of course!
 
Reference:
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Sunday, November 25th 2012 blog]
 

Vegan day 329: Soy chicken with sprouted chick peas

Funny how I am pretty much a city girl at heart, yet I hear about NYC vegan things from far away and unexpected sources. This time it was my Dad’s wife who lives in Westchester, NY. Ok.. it’s not that far but I’m surprised that I don’t know these things. She sent me an article about MAY WAH market in Chinatown and how they sell all kinds of frozen vegan imitation foods. Interestingly enough, I often wondered where NYC restaurants bought their soy.. in bulk. Now I know at least one place! So off I go to experiment now. I recently wrote an in-depth blog post about the pros and cons of soy. This kind of soy is one I try to limit– the good thing here is that it is GMO FREE. 
Instagram/ Vitamingee
Before I get into my recipe, I will say that I am grateful to be an OUT, LOUD and PROUD vegan lol. Sometimes I think I am too much.. ok don’t agree too quickly now! The best part though is that THAT IS HOW I LEARN THINGS! People think of me when they hear of something new and vegan. THEY share it with me and that’s how I become more informed. SO THANKS BONNIE… and all those who think of me and forward me information on my Facebook page and other outlets. I really appreciate it!
 
OK back to the soy. I have an upcoming holiday party at work so I want to make a few different dishes. One will be straight up vegan- no imitations. For the other one though, I want to make something that can compete head on with a traditional meat dish. I am gearing up to make a vegan arroz con pollo or a vegan bobo de camarao. Both of these are holiday party dishes that I have made in the past. I went to MAY WAH to buy all different types of soy to see what would compete the best. Why do I keep saying compete? lol This is a holiday party.. not a competition.. but of course, I get carried away!
 
This was just a test run experimenting with two soy chickens: Gong Bao and Ginger Chicken. I felt guilty that I was playing with soy so I added a healthy twist. I soaked some chick peas the night before and then sprouted them. They were raw and crunchy.. and very healthy! Here is the recipe:
Soy chicken with sprouted chick peas and brown rice
 
First soak the hard version chick peas overnight in water. These will expand so leave extra water in the sprouting jar. The next day drain and rinse the chick peas and leave them at room temperature to sprout. They sprout beautifully and are a perfect food right there in their raw state! 
 
I made perfect brown rice using a 1:2 ratio rice to water. I added a little olive oil and sea salt and then let the rice cook on a low flame and covered. 
 
Next I opened my soy packets Gong Bao and Ginger Chicken.wanted to taste them both. I sautéed these chickens in some extra virgin coconut oil and onions with a tiny bot of tamari.. oh and chili sauce. Great flavor right here! I added the chick peas for a one minute or so sauté as too not ruin the nutrients in the chick peas. 
 
I mixed in the rice and seasoned further with cumin and black pepper! I brought this to work and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was delicious yet not what I will use for my competition lol. Back to the drawing board!
 
Soy chicken
Chick peas
Extra-virgin coconut oil
Tamari
Chili sauce or plain chilis
Red onion
Brown rice
Cumin
Black pepper
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Saturday, November 24th 2012 blog]
 

Vegan day 324: Tangerine Tofu

It’s time to prepare for holiday meals!Now that I am learning how to cook, I figured it’s best to bring a few recipes instead of putting pressure on my Mom to do everything! My family doesn’t really eat vegan but they do love food and are open to trying anything once. I prepared the next few blogs for Thanksgiving. The idea was to make something different, creative, festive and healthy! The first part was to experiment with a new protein dish using tofu. I could have done a soy turkey or tofurky but I decided to go a little less processed. Here is the first of a few recipes:

Tangerine Tofu from VEGANOMICON

Ingredients
Tofu- 1lb extra firm

Marinade
Tangerine zest 1 teaspoon
Tangerine juice 1/3 cup from 3 tangerines
Lime juice 3 tablespoons
Tamari 2 tablespoons
Maple syrup- pure and organic 1 tablespoon
Peanut oil 1 tablespoon
Cumin 1/4 teaspoon
Pepper to taste
Dark rum 2 tablespoons

Process
Slice and dry the tofu. I can’t stress this enough. It’s more flavorful and hearty when it’s more dry to begin, then the tofu can absorb the flavors.
Bake the tofu in a baking dish with the marinade mixed ahead of time with all of the above ingredients. Approximately 45 minutes flipping them a few times. 

I have to say, this was AMAZING! The flavor is one of the best yet that I have experimented with!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Monday, November 19th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 319: TOFU: fresh & homemade

“The Art and Technique of Homemade Tofu”
This class at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health has been up high up on my list of cooking classes that I wanted to try out. Peter Berley is the Chef and Instructor here. I have taken a class with Peter on fermentation when I learned how to make sauerkraut, kimchee and sourdough bread– AMAZING! 

I am personally a fan of tofu and fermented soy products. I have to admit though that my opinion went back and forth a few times as I wrote and edited this blog. There really is an abundance of research on soy and in the end, it will come down to bio-individuality! Read through the issues here and then do your own research if you feel you are in an affected category. Otherwise, like my Mom always says… enjoy… in moderation!

TOFU:

  • Tofu adapts nicely to any meal. It’s been called the “FOOD OF 10,000 flavors”!
  • Tofu is low in overall fat and specifically saturated fat
  • Tofu is low in cholesterol, sodium and calories
  • It has zero sugar
  • Tofu is HIGH IN PROTEIN 
  • Tofu is a good source for calcium, iron, maganese, magnesium, phosphorus and omega 3
  • There are cardiovascular benefits from soy overall: “Research on soy protein in recent years has shown that regular intake of soy protein can help to lower total cholesterol levels by as much as 30%, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by as much as 35-40%, lower triglyceride levels, reduce the tendency of platelets to form blood clots, and possibly even raise levels of HDL (good cholesterol).” The World’s Healthiest Foods
  • Soybean production in general is a better solution (than the animal based farming industries) for world issues such as starvation, hunger, addressing nutritional deficiencies, reducing animal cruelty; saving the land, eco-systems, our earth and bio-diversity. “Raising soybeans can provide 20 times the protein per acre that raising beef can.” (Haas 2006)

The soy debate may possibly go on forever so it’s best to see what works for your own individuality. I like to eat soy products but I try to keep it close to healthy fermented choices and not overly processed and packaged foods. That brings us to the PROCESSING question in general. THE SOYBEAN: you can’t just eat them hard. I remembering experimenting with sprouting and I ate soybean sprouts that I had soaked and left out myself. This is how I learn- trial and error. Be careful to fully read up on sprouting if that’s your thing. There is the possibility of toxicity depending on what you venture into. I personally, didn’t feel well after eating some soybean sprouts I had prepared. I may have used the wrong type of soybean. SOYBEANS and products derived from them should ALWAYS BE ORGANIC to avoid genetically modified beans. The soy market is over 95% GMO.

Some of the negatives or controversies associated with soy have to do with phytic acid, phytoestrogens and activities involving the thyroid.

PHYTIC ACID

“Phytic acid, in large amounts, can block the uptake of essential minerals, like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc in the intestinal tract. Soy also inhibits the uptake of one of the most important minerals needed for growth and metabolism, iodine, which is used by the thyroid gland in the production of thyroid hormones.” (Skae 2008)

Phytates and phytic acid are found in whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. One helpful way to lessen these effects is to soak them, and then throw away the soak water instead of cooking with it. 

Other suggestions include baking, sprouting, dehydrating and fermenting as per this wonderful article: “How to Reduce Phytic Acid in Food”
 
Soybeans may be the exception to the phytic acid rule so that’s where and why FERMENTATION may be a better option. Phytic acid itself is controversial as is the whole soy issue. Some people believe phytates to be good for certain ailments and diseases such as cancer, mostly due to how they behave as antioxidants in the body. (Another good link). Again, it comes down to bio-individuality.
 
*I found this great article with specifics on soybean phytic acids: Phytic acid: Simple kitchen techniques to reduce it in food (videos included here too- very informative!)



PHYTOESTROGENS include herbs or foods that act like estrogen attaching themselves to estrogen receptor sites. This may be good for some people such as those approaching or in menopause and then not good for others due to the activities of endocrine disruptors.

“Phytoestrogens are plant derived compounds found in a wide variety of foods, most notably soy. A litany of health benefits including a lowered risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, and menopausal symptoms, are frequently attributed to phytoestrogens but many are also considered endocrine disruptors, indicating that they have the potential to cause adverse health effects as well.” (Patisaul/ Jefferson 2012)

THYROID CONCERNS
“Soy falls into a category of foods known as goitrogens — vegetables, grains and foods that promote formation of goiter — an enlarged thyroid. Some goitrogens also have a definite antithyroid effect, and appear to be able to slow thyroid function, and in some cases, trigger thyroid disease.” (Shomon 2012) 

It may not be just the goitrogen food itself; it may be possible that there has to be an iodine deficiency as well, issues with hormone synthesis or the presence of other goitrogens. (This was mentioned in the Shomon article). It could also be true that Americans in particular are simply consuming TOO MUCH soy since it’s not just in vegan meats and tofu- it’s in processed soy foods and then goes un-suspectedly in MANY NORMAL PROCESSED AND PACKAGED FOODS. Many people believe they don’t even eat soy but they do because as mentioned it’s in packaged products and then also in animal feed. The fact that it’s GMO- just puts everything over the top and adds variations to an already confusing debate. 

It’s possible that the soy benefits would be worth the decision. For me, this is the case. Personally, I will eat tofu as one of my protein choices but not too much and certainly not everyday. Tofu seems to be in between on the scale of the overly processed soy products (not healthy in abundance- like soy milk, soy cheese, soy fake meats etc.) and the more healthy fermented products mentioned below. I’m not even mentioning the everyday refined, processed and packaged junk foods which sneak soy into it’s ingredient lists.


FERMENTED soy products 
are more digestible and nutritious. 
These include:

  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Pickled tofu
  • Shoyu
(After much research today, I’m sad to say that I may have classified tofu as a fermented product a few times prior but it really isn’t. Anyway, when you make this from scratch as I did, you will feel so proud that you too will believe in it’s health benefits over it’s contraindications. It’s good though to stay educated on the hot topic – it’s pros and cons.)

So how does one make tofu? 

step 4

How do you get from a very hard and undigestible soybean to a soft and nutritious bean curd? Tofu is also a good source of calcium and iron. (Approximately 20% and 10 % respectively of RDA levels.)

I will take you through it step by step: 

(1) SOAK 2 cups of ORGANIC YELLOW SOYBEANS in cold water for 10 hours
(2) Drain and rinse
(3) Mix soybeans and 4 cups of cold water in a vitamix or blender. Do half at a time if it’s doesn’t fit. 

step 5


(4) Take puree into a large pot with 7 1/2 cups of water on a medium stove top flame. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. You will know when it’s ready as it will bulge up. 

(5) Pour mixture into another large pot with a colander on top lined with cheesecloth or possibly a nut milk type bag. 

(6) Extract soy milk

(7) Take the pot of extracted soy milk back to the stove, cover and heat again to increase digestive quality of the soy milk. Bring to a boil, then uncover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 

step 6

(8) Remove the pot from the heat

(9) Dissolve 2 teaspoons of NIGARI or epsom salt INTO 1 CUP OF WATER. (1/2 cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup of vinegar can also be used.) Use 1/3 of this solidifier mixture at a time.

(10) Use 1/3 of the solidifier and add it to the hot soy milk. Cover and allow to stand for 3 minutes- stir it in for a moment and then do not stir.
(11) Use the next 1/3 gently stir it in using a figure 8 motion; replace cover and wait 3 more minutes.  

Step 12

(12) Use the final 1/3 – same way. The soy milk should begin to turn into curds. 

(13) Using a steel mesh ladle that allows water to flow through it- ladle the bean curd into a wooden steamer basket lined with cheesecloth. Leave as is for softer tofu or press down for 20 minutes for firm tofu. 

Ingredients

step 13

2 cups of organic yellow soybeans
12 1/2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of Nigari or Epsom salt; you can also use 1/2 cup lemon juice or 1/2 cup of vinegar 

Equipment
Colander
Cheesecloth or nut milk bag
Small rectangular bamboo basket (about the size of a tofu package or slightly higher)
Stainless steel bowls and pots
Wooden spoon




References:
Berley, P. (2012) Homemade Tofu. The Art and Technique of Homemade Tofu. Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health.

Haas, E. (2006) Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Celestial Arts: Berkeley, CA. 

Patisaul, H., Jefferson, W. 2012. The Pros and Cons of Phytoestrogens. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/

Reichert, R. How to Reduce Phytic Acid in Food. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_5163244_reduce-phytic-acid-food.html

Shomon, M. 2012. Soy and the Thyroid. The Controversy Over Soy and Thyroid Health. Retrieved from http://thyroid.about.com/cs/soyinfo/a/soy.htm

Skae. T. (2008) The Truth about Soy and It’s Harmful Effects. Retrieved from Natural News

**Skipped vegan days 310-318
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Wednesday, November 14th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 310: Sesame tofu spinach salad

REPETITION IS KEY!
Remember, I’m still learning how to cook.. and un-cook for that matter! Even now, as I want to make vegan meals that I have already blogged, I must go back and check.. read through and practice. Practice and repetition are important so as one day I can just cook off the fly. For example, I’m craving an eggless omelette that I made early on with my blog– but I haven’t had enough practice yet to recall it from memory. 
However… TOFU is a different story! I feel I am becoming one with tofu.. lol. It’s one of my main protein sources, not that I need too much protein since I am an advid juicer and fairly well-balanced with nuts and beans. REMEMBER ALWAYS ORGANIC when it comes to TOFU. I can’t wait for a class I am taking next week: The Art of Making Tofu.. I think from scratch- how exciting! 

I made a beautiful tofu dish months ago-
http://eatingfromscratch.blogspot.com/2012/03/vegan-day-61-my-own-macro-meal-from.html 
I followed directions for a sesame tofu perfectly. Tonight I wanted that same tofu but I didn’t feel like researching anything. Impressively, I remembered!

I was simply in the mood for a healthy spinach salad with some lightly sautéed tofu with a sesame crust. 

Steps in TOFU PREP:
I followed a recipe that I used months ago- it’s worth mentioning again!
http://macrobiotic.about.com/od/veganentrees/ss/SesameCrustTofu_9.htm

  • I cut the tofu depth wise and blotted it dry. 
  • Then I cut them into triangles and continued to dry them a bit with a paper towel. 
  • Next I put some white and black sesame seeds in a bowl. I dipped the tofu into the seeds on both sides. 
  • In a frying pan, I added a little coconut oil and lightly sautéed the tofu. 
  • The spinach salad dressing I used today was part extra-virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon), shoyu (few drops), sesame oil (few drops) and brown rice vinegar (1 tablespoon)

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Monday, November 5th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 279: Fake it til you make it VEGAN

When I was a kid, it was all about shake and bake chicken. There is always a fad.. a shortcut.. and something processed. All the big supplier companies have to do is make it about convenience and competitive pricing… and it’s a wrap! It’s also fun! They made it fun- shake and bake was/ is fun and now this fake stuff that I am tempted to try- oh.. it’s fun too. It’s fun, easy and delicious and then we wonder why we get addicted and why years later we are filled with carcinogens. 

It started when a vegetarian friend of mine brought in a pasta with fake sausage one night. I didn’t of course want to eat the pasta so I tasted of few sausages bites. That is just not right. Sausage used to be one of my favorite meats. Now I cry when people around me eat pork. I have chosen pigs and their meat as the first type of meat to give up. Of course I am assuming that most humane people don’t eat veal.. right? Often I hear people giving up red meat.. why? Because of the saturated fats I guess.. not generally because of an incredibly stressed farming system. Anyway pigs have intense sensitivity and intelligence. It shouldn’t matter which animal feels more than another- they all FEEL. It’s animal abuse on every level. 

Anyway, sidetracked. I am talking about FAKE MEATS. I’m in favor of people eating fake meats of course to save the animals. Is it healthier? It’s healthier than processed animal products but I wouldn’t go so far to call it healthy. Here are a few ideas if anyone is interested in skipping a meat meal… perhaps a MEATLESS MONDAY. This is good for those transitioning to vegetarian or vegan.  Better choices in the long run would include beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, sprouts, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Now that I uploaded the pictures of the dishes I made over the last few days, I feel a little guilty. They actually look really good, tasted amazing and are very convenient. I guess it’s a question again of the lesser of the evils. Evils here being the animal farming industry vs. the processed foods industry. It’s almost like voting in an election. Don’t get me started there- but know this from a food perspective, if you live in CALIFORNIA- PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROP 37! LABELING FOR GMOS!

(1)  Soy apple sausage with shitaki mushrooms and seaweed. I used mirin and olive oil for a light sauté and then finished it with hot sesame oil and shoyu.

(2)  Soy apple sausage with a mixed brown sprouted rice with tofu, corn and peas. I could and should make my own brown rice mix but for the record, they sell it in the macro/ vegan section in most health food stores- delicious and nutritious! I just sautéed the sausage in some olive oil and warmed the brown rice mix right into it. 

(3) Soy chicken strips also sautéed with olive oil and warmed with the same brown rice mix from above. 

Skipped writing days 270-278 sorry!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Friday, October 5th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 230: Triple veggie protein stew

Well.. I’m not sure if it’s a stew, a grain mix or a saute! In any case, it was delicious and full of vegetarian… I mean VEGAN lol.. protein! What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan..? lol
THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAIRY INDUSTRY– farce, manipulation and torture.. that’s all! Unfortunately for the fish.. I would sooner be a non-dairy eating pescetarian. Actually, I was torn for many years so I won’t even go there. Anything anyone can do to eat better for themselves, the environment and the animals is the place to begin.. and strive for.
My friends like to torture me on facebook from time to time with their anti-vegan not-so funny jokes. It seems they keep gravitating to two in particular. The “where do you get your protein” debate… yawn yawn – and the “vegetarians are killing plants” joke.. again.. tiring, as plants do not have a central nervous system. My very short answer to both since I have probably addressed both issues in this blog or on my facebook page: (1) protein is over emphasized, the “requirements” are over exaggerated and the sources continuously overlook vegetarian and vegan choices. (2) when wildcrafting, one should never take the entire plant… just part of it. The next problem comes down to industry. Obviously big industry can ruin anything.. 
 
Today is about protein though.. not on purpose but I accidentally stumbled upon this creation since it was what I had in my refrigerator and my friends were in the mood for a warming nutritious meal.
 
  • Quinoa – check one of my previous blogs for links on how to make the perfect quinoa. It’s been so long since I made it that I even had to check!
  • Organic black soy beans– looks like red kidney beans right? Any beans will do!
  • Firm ORGANIC tofu- (pet peeve lol: it’s one thing to not have an option for organic in a local deli or small market but to go to a farm stand or place that sells many organic foods and NOT have that option is unacceptable lol) ONLY BUY ORGANIC TOFU (for reasons of GMO)
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Some water to create a small broth base
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Friday August 17th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 223: Flax power veggie protein wrap

Flax power veggie protein wrap
Raw? Mostly.. except the flax wrap itself. The funny thing here is that I didn’t even buy these flax wraps for myself yet I ended up eating them all over a weeks time span. It’s most certainly easier for a vegan to live with and dine with other vegans or vegetarians… or more so those interested in a raw diet.. or those wishing to eat super healthy. I’m not against this flax wrap- it’s 12 grams of protein but it’s a processed food. These wraps have regular flour supplemented in which does affect the body as most white carbs do. It can make you tired and lethargic. Sometimes however, people want fun and convenience. This wrap made with the following ingredients did make it a super healthy meal in the end. It was loaded with fresh live foods! Next time, perhaps I will learn to make my own flax wraps from scratch!


Flax wrap
Kale
Sprouted lentils
Avocado
Tomato
Sun-dried tomato
Kelp granules
Flax seed oil
Aged balsamic






Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Friday August 10th 2012 blog]
 

Vegan day 163: Mung bean pasta

This package has been sitting in my cabinet for a bit- I won’t lie! First off, if anything can stay that long in a cabinet- it’s certainly not fresh! I think someone bought this for me but I feared eating it because it had the word pasta in it. After some recent blogs about miracle noodles, shirataki, konjac, zucchini pasta and so on.. my fear went away. 


Mind you after I ate it.. lol.. and then read the calories.. the FEAR IS BACK! This time I will let it stay- I don’t need to get back on a noodle bandwagon!


Was this good?

OF COURSE IT WAS! IT WAS INSANELY DELICIOUS AND FULFILLING! I can’t really complain too much here because this was hearty, nutritious and full of powerhouse ingredients: 
tofu
zucchini
chick peas
tomato
onion
garlic
chili flakes
mung bean pasta
avocado

This was a quick sauté! I put some olive oil in a pan and added the garlic and onions. I added the tomato, chick peas, slightly patted dry tofu and spices. The mung bean pasta went in next followed by the zucchini. The whole sauté only lasted 10 minutes. I topped this with sliced avocado!


Now that I write out the ingredients- did I need the mung bean pasta? No! Do you see the calories? Calories need to bring some nutrition with it! There isn’t any fiber or protein here but at least it provides for 10% of the RDA for IRON. For the record though, it made for a superb and complete meal!







Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Monday June 11th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 142: Sprouted tofu, tomato, hummus wrap

It seems people are always on the go, myself included– no doubt about it! Sometimes I just want to grab or make something quick and easy. I actually believe it’s healthier too- to just keep it simple. Today I wanted a wrap with some tofu when I got home from the gym. There was no need to be fancy and cook it. I used sprouted tofu chopped into small rectangular pieces. I put spicy hummus on a whole wheat wrap with some fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper!


I love to over hear what body builders at the gym say about food- they put the idea in my head that you can eat anything after a work out. “It’s the best time to eat carbs because your body can burn it right away”.. and that you have to “replenish your body with protein within 45 minutes.” I don’t know- don’t tell me I can eat anything because then I will! That’s why I  generally grab a Justin’s vegan peanut butter cup from the vegetable market right next to the gym. However my workouts are far from extreme so perhaps I should just skip those snacks or keep them occasional. But the protein part… that stayed in my mind and I do believe it’s good to get protein meals in, although of course, as stated many times before, I believe the quantity is over-rated a bit. This wrap was just what I was craving and actually pretty high in protein between the tofu and the hummus. Sprouted tofu is a little different then regular tofu. They come packaged the same, they are both cholesterol free, low in sodium and high in protein- but the sprouted tofu is made from sprouted soybeans as opposed to whole soybeans. This makes the tofu more nutritious and easier to digest. There is even a slightly higher iron content at about 10% of the RDA. Tofu is becoming more and more accepted- I would absolutely love for this to be an option everywhere that meat is offered. I would think that the fancier the restaurant, the more creative the tofu dish would be. While I am dreaming, let me go so far as to hope that one day, this tofu that is offered everywhere … would also be organic so that this vegan doesn’t have to worry about consuming GMOs DAILY! Speaking of large scale tofu distribution… where does one buy this in bulk? Not as in the quantity of packages that I could buy but the size. I am going away next weekend and want to cook for everyone. I guess I can just get it by the case. Better yet, it’s time to sign up for a TOFU CLASS— I want to make it from scratch!  

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Monday May 21st 2012 blog]
 

Vegan day 138: Pumpkin chickpea adventure

Honestly, it was an adventure but at least this time it was a group effort! My friend Dot is an amazing cook- generous and thoughtful too, cooking for many different occasions. I really enjoy it at work that so many people have taken an interest in eating healthier. Recipes are passed hand to hand.. word to mouth.. there is room for improvements.. and room for error- especially while trying to VEGANIZE a recipe! This was fun!


She had “pumpkin meatballs” (meatless) somewhere along the line recently and so tried to make them herself. Mind you- she is the cook… “me”… I’m the “eater”! lol


Well, in an unusual take- she made the beginnings of these pumpkin balls but then couldn’t get them to the right consistency or taste so passed the puree off to me. I love a challenge– and a challenge it was. What started off with the intention of becoming a pumpkin ball turned into pumpkin pastries or bread rolls… and then into latkas or even knishes. Whatever people wanted to identify it as- that’s fine with me as long as it was edible. That’s what I got.. “edible”! lol


Actually, after we visualized what condiments they could be complemented with, then, they actually tasted pretty good! Next time we will shoot for more texture and baking instead of frying. 
The PUREE
Pumpkin (squash)
Chick peas (canned)
Ginger
Garlic


This was handed to me in a soupy smooth puree consistency! Now, I wasn’t sure what to do- so I did everything! We had to prepare this with no butter, milk, cheese or eggs you know! I think the batter could have used eggs so I looked up egg replacements. Although to my surprise there were many, these are options that I took:

  • Flaxseed meal
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Potato flour
  • Baking powder
If there is a vegan in your life who you love- or you simply want to eat more consciously and save the animals- these links are a MUST PRINT!
The Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet
PCRM Ingredient Substitution Chart


To get this mixture somewhere, I ended up using all of these things.. and a lot of them. This is where we passed right by healthy. To make things worse, I cooked them in oil- at least it was coconut oil which added flavor in the end!
 
You do know we will be on a mission now to make these “right”. After eating them up at 4am in the morning after work, we all decided that they needed:
  • Texture- for example not pureeing the pumpkin and chickpeas so finely. Leaving some bulk to the mix.
  • Baking would be healthier!
  • Vegan sour cream, applesauce and mustard on hand in case it didn’t work again!
Back to the drawing board!



Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Thursday May 17th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 130: TOMATO- CHICKPEA Curry in Eggplant Shells

I do like to flip through vegan cookbooks, mostly, as we have established already… for the pictures! This one made the cover of The New Vegan Cookbook, by Lorna Sass: 
TOMATO – CHICKPEA Curry in Eggplant Shells
 
I guess this idea of stuffing vegetables can go along way- you see… this can look impressive and taste great- with no animal products! I would never have thought I could make these recipes like today and the stuffed peppers from 2 days ago. BUT I CAN DO IT! lol I did have the help of one of my cooking friends– thanks Vanessa!

Eggplants- 2 medium
Olive oil
Mustard seeds– 2T
Curry powder– 1 1/2T
Onions- 2
Tomatoes– 1 can diced or 3-4 medium fresh
Chick peas– 1 can drained 
Coconut– grated and unsweetened
Cayenne
Cilantro
Salt & pepper
 
 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Slightly oil the baking dishes 
Cut the eggplants in lengthwise halves leaving the stem in tact
Cut a zig zag pattern into the eggplant from the inside
Lightly oil and season it with salt and pepper
Turn these upside down into the baking dishes
Brush the outer skin now lightly with oil and bake for about 20 minutes
Let cool and then gently scrape out the insides into a mixing bowl
Hold in a warm place
 
Next to prepare the filling for the shells:
Start with the mixing bowl of the inside of the eggplant
Add the chick peas and tomatoes
Hold here while sautéing the oil and mustard seeds in a large sauce pan
Keep this covered until the seeds turn gray and you hearing a popping sound
Carefully add the onions and stir until golden brown- then add the curry
Next add the mixing bowl with the insides of the eggplant, chick peas and 
tomatoes
The shredded coconut is optional- add it here with the other spices
 
Stuff the eggplant shells with the new mixture from the sauce pan and garnish with fresh cilantro
 
 
The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Wednesday May 9th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 124: Sprouted red lentils

What takes 60 seconds to prepare and can increase your health intake over night?
 
Sprouting! Last week was about fermentation and now we are on sprouting! When people try to jab at me to be funny – they bring sprouts into it – “you and your sprouts” lol! Like is that the best you can do? hehe 
I love sprouting and I’m not even a pro at it! I love it- I love it- I love it! The best part is- it’s so easy! I first read about sprouting in Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”.
 
This book has changed my thinking forever. I am a firm believer in positive affirmations, positive thinking and believing! Self-esteem and self-love are also virtues  I hold dear– these are part of the very backbone of this book and philosophy. Louise Hay is a beautiful person through and through and at the top of my list of spiritual leaders or role models. So… where does the sprouting come in? If you read the foreword or introduction of her book, she goes into detail about the cancer she had and the methods she went about in curing herself. One big part of it though- was eating sprouts. 
 
Sprouting is an art in and of itself. 
The most popular information on the topic will generally or eventually bring you to the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute.
 
The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore
Basically, sprouts are a live food. They will actually grow right in front of you and they contain nutrients – vitamins, minerals and enzymes readily available and easily assimilated into the body.  Another great site for sprouting information and accessories: http://sproutpeople.org/
I sprouted some organic red lentils. I said 60 seconds right.
I grabbed a mason jar- put the red lentils in 1/3 of the way and then filled the jar just over 2/3 with filtered water. That’s actually only 20 seconds. If you want and you probably should- rinse the lentils or whatever seeds or beans you use.
I let mine soak overnight. If you are interested, the links and the book mentioned above have more exact soaking times. Health food stores will carry the mesh screens needed to cover the wide mouth mason jar or you can just use cheesecloth.
After soaking the lentils over night- I rinsed them and then turned the jar upside down and on a slant to drain the water. You can rinse them a couple of times a day if you like and drain each time. Two days later after the initial soaking, my sprouts were growing nicely. Follow the chart links below to see how long you should rinse and drain. Then, refrigerate. 
 
You can eat sprouts alone or use them in soups, salads and sandwiches!
 
 
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Thursday May 3rd 2012 blog]
 

Vegan day 116: Seitan nuggets and Seitan bolognese

It’s 2-4-1 today! Two delicious spontaneous recipes by me! Yes, the simple thrown together last minute recipes- those are mine hehe. Once I started to think about it- I came up with a few different things to make with seitan! I guess you can say I am having a high power protein week!


I decided to make fake chicken McNuggets. Wait.. what am I saying? lol- they are already fake and loaded with pink slime- yuk! Let’s call what I made Seitan nuggets! Thank goodness I was having a coconut moment because these came out better than expected!


Seitan Nuggets

Seitan
Extra virgin coconut oil
Coconut milk
Whole wheat bread crumbs
Salt & pepper


I had to do something fun with all this seitan that I had made yesterday. Something came over me to make nuggets and luckily I had everything I needed. 


I began with a bowl of coconut milk and a bowl of breadcrumbs for the dipping. I heated a frying pan and dropped in my favorite extra virgin coconut oil. I dipped the seitan into the coconut milk and then into the breadcrumbs. I had so many that I had to make two batches. These were a big hit at work as I told them they were fake McNuggets. I guess they knew I really wouldn’t show up or ever pay for that stuff. I still wanted something different. My MIRACLE NOODLES came in the mail today so I made my own VEGAN SEITAN BOLOGNESE. I only named it after I was eating it- it seemed appropriate as no planning was involved here. 


SEITAN BOLOGNESE

These “throw together” meals come natural when you lived most of your life with good family cooks around. I’m not one of them but my brother, Mom, Grandmother and Grandpa are/were for sure! I was hungry so I put together exactly what I wanted to taste:
Olive oil
Garlic
Tomatoes
Noodles
Seitan
Hot red pepper flakes


The crunchy semi burnt flakes from the seitan pushed this right into the bolognese feeling. It was surprising and insanely delicious. I gave all the nuggets away so I guess I have to begin all over the next time I’m craving a super protein week with fun and exciting surprises. 

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Wednesday April 25th 2012 blog]