Friday, June 30, 2006

Cooking up a storm

First of all, thank you so much for all of your kind comments and support yesterday regarding my grandmother's death. They all meant so much to me. It's amazing how much comfort words can bring someone.

Big Salad for breakfast

That was my breakfast and it was sure good. Baby greens, yellow pepper, cucumber, carrot, radish, bacon bits, and pecans tossed lightly with a vinaigrette made from Bragg's apple cider vinegar, a tiny bit of olive oil, dijon, lots of pepper and garlic. I toasted a piece of my whole wheat bread and topped it with 1/4 of an avocado, crushed red pepper flakes and sprinkled it all with nutritional yeast.

I barely needed to eat lunch and I'm still not very hungry. (This is a good thing, I need to lose weight) I cooked a lot today. It's supposed to get hot over the next several days, and I hate to turn on the stove or oven when it's hot and we're trying not to use A/C. (they are still in the basement)
First, I made a bunch of seitan. I have read in several cookbooks and on Bryanna's website that she mixes the gluten with chickpea flour. I used about half chickpea flour and half vital wheat gluten just to see what it would be like with that much chickpea flour, plus I wanted to use it up because I milled it a while a go. I added a bunch of dried sage, thyme and rosemary to it, along with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke and some paprika. I cooked it in water with sea salt, bay leaves, fresh sage leaves, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. It was good.. I won't use as much flour next time.. maybe I'll actually follow a recipe. The texture was very dry and kind of grainy.. but I liked it. I'll report more about it when I do the grilling in a couple of days of the Jerk Seitan.
While the seitan was cooking, I made a Jerk Marinade out of green onion, garlic, fresh jalapenos, lots of various spices, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and some of my habanero sauce. When the seitan was done and cooled a bit, I cut about 1/3 of it into long strips and they are marinating in the fridge. Then I made a quick cumin-lime-garlic-soy marinade and cut the next 1/3rd into strips and cooked them, covered until the seitan soaked up the flavor. That's in the fridge as well for the next couple of days. I'll grill the strips right before serving the fajitas. I took the last 1/3rd and ground it with some leftover tvp marinara and mixed it with flax eggs and oatmeal for "meatballs" and veggie burgers. I parked those in the fridge to firm up.

While the burgers were firming up, I grilled the rest of my yellow, red, green and poblano peppers up and sauted my mushrooms with garlc and red pepper flaked. At this point, I stopped and made myself a little lunch out of a corn tortilla, peppers, baked seitan and a tiny bit of avocado. I had planned on eating two tacos, but one was enough. Now the burger mixture was firm enough to make into 12 burgers, which I cooked in my cast iron pan and 12 meatballs , which I baked in my toaster oven. I also made 4 sausage size patties for breakfast.

I always use my seitan cooking water, so today I cut up a bunch of celery, carrots and onion and brought it all to a boil, then I added some fennel seeds.When the veggies were kind of cooked, I broke about 6 oz of linguini into the broth. When the noodles were cooked, I added some white beans then turned the heat off so I could add miso and nutritional yeast, lemon juice and lots of pepper. Finally, I drained the noodles, veggies and beans and put them in a storage container (I'll find ways to use them up) and put the broth into mason jars. I have two quarts of broth. One for the freezer and one for the fridge.

I quickly boiled up a pound of lentils to have on hand. I'm sure later in the week I'll turn them into burgers, but I KNOW I am going to make the Lentil Sage Soup on 28 Cooks blog. I looked around and wondered what more I should do.. (I do this again because I don't want to cook for several days and I need to use things up).. I had about 16 cups of cut up watermelon and it's juice, so I decided to make a Watermelon Lime Sorbet.. I just added lime juice and a tiny bit of stevia to it.. and the Vita Mix did its magic. I put the sorbet in the ice cream maker, then poured the rest of the liquid into popsicle molds.. but not after giving everyone a taste. Delicous! Absolutely amazing.

By now, the boys and their friends needed lunch, so I quickly warmed up some black bean/tvp taco mixture and stuffed it into the packaged taco shells.. (total junk, I know, but I'm feeding kids who are afraid of my cooking, so I try to meet them half way) and warmed them up and served them with all the fixins.. I wanted to quit, but I knew I still had a couple things left to do. Potato Salad and Baked Sweet Potato Wedges.. I prepped the 5lbs of red potatoes and 3 large sweet potatoes.. and put the salad potatoes onto boil and tossed the sweet potatoes in a tiny bit of olive oil and chile powder. While they were cooking, I made the dressing for the potato salad out of 1 package of silken tofu, dill pickles, pickle juice, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, celery seed, lots of dijon, yellow mustard and diced up some celery and red onion. Tossed it in with the drained, hot potatoes and sat down and ate several wedges of the sweet potatoes topped with my Strawberry-Habanero sauce.. oh.. my.. god.. so good.

I cleaned my kitchen many times during the day and it's almost clean again. My husband and kids are at the movies and I'm sitting here drinking a huge mason jar of iced mint tea. I'm not in the mood for dinner and I'm sure my kids and husband will fill up on junk at the movie.


  1. Just reading your post made me tired. I don't think I could have done that much in one day. I'm now looking forward to your photos and posts when you start using up all the yummy things you made.

  2. Salad for breakfast? You are a true blue veggie lover. The closest breakfast salad I could do is fruit with my oats. I love days when I can cook up a kitchen full and live on the leftovers.

    Bryanna adds tofu to the newest seitan recipes and puts it through a long kneading time. I have taken Bryannas "ham" seitan roast sliced to church potlucks and have had omni's say "mmmm, if I could eat like that I could be a veg." I cook mine in the slowcooker (unless I want a special presentation then I put it in the clay cooker)...I cook it overnight and then in the morning take a few bites (smells so good). Then, stick it in the frig to cool (the texture hardens some). At supper heat and eat or keep it cold. It also slices thin for luncheon meats! Awesome good stuff.

  3. WOW what a long day!
    You were certainly busy today. Hope you're feeling better too : )


    PS Don't forget to stop by my blog while I'm on vacation. Richard's still posting for me ;)

  4. Wow! I've read on some other blogs of people cooking over the weekend to have food during the week, but never real knew how they did it without it being gross leftovers. Thanks for the overview!

    Someone should write a book about that (wink wink).

  5. wow - you really kept yourself busy. Sometimes cooking is the best therapy. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother.

  6. we are kindred spirits--yesterday, I had a veggie burger for breakfast. I knew it was odd, but that's what I wanted and I enjoyed it so much.

    this salad looks so incredibly fresh and delish. I admire your energy.

  7. Whoa, you are truly amazing! I would love to attend one of your cooking classes and just partake of some of these culinary energy.

    Hope your day is better today.

  8. Wonderful food day, if nothing else! As Megan said, sometimes cooking is indeed the best theraphy. Now I want to learn how you made everything.

    Hugs from me!

  9. I've never considered salad for breakfast. I have a pretty bad sweet tooth first thing in the morning. ;-)

    Holy tofu, that's a lotta cooking! Sounds like lots of fun, though -- well, except for all that cleanup! I know I've had a whopper of a cooking day when I have to do dishes three or four times!