Sunday, February 8, 2009

Yo momma, Yo Daddy, Yo Sista's a Vegan

So it actually warmed up this weekend, and it was oh so very exciting! You can really smell the spring coming, even if it was for just a couple of days. On Friday I was at a big party and someone had the nerve to steal my jacket! (I would like to take a moment of silence for one of my few & favorite jackets, I will never forget you.) The funny thing is, when you live in Detroit it's hard to trust anyone, even people you know or think you know. Just when you want to trust all others around you and believe that all people are inherently good, something always reminds you that some people just can't respect anyone or anything, and when you let your guard down it's easy to get burned. Well I got burned again, but all I can say is karma always comes back to those who steal, and whoever has my jacket will surely get what is coming to them.

Enjoy my jacket, jackass.

So enough about my boring existence, lets get to the damn food!

Shake it baby, shake it!

I always try to make at least one smoothie a day. The other day I made an amazing raspberry smoothie- it contained;

1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup of blueberries
1 banana
3 cups organic soy milk
1/4 cup coconut milk
4 table spoons flax seed powder
2 table spoons agave nectar

this smoothie will hold you over til lunch, no doubt.

Now I made this a couple of days ago, but I've been so excited to share it with all of you

"amaranth breakfast pudding"

I LOVE rice pudding. The other day my manz and I went out to our favorite Mediterranean spot, and we were waited on by our favorite cute server who always hooks us up phat. She gave us some rice pudding, and I didn't have the heart to tell her we don't eat products with milk ( well to be honest very very rarely I have been known to eat some real cheese, but it is NEVER as satisfying as I want it to be. Needless to say I smiled and thanked her kindly, and fed it to my dogs. Watching them gobble the creamy goodness sparked my inspiration for some vegan rice-like pudding.

Our kitchen is always stocked, and we had a butt-load of amaranth just sitting around waiting to be consumed. The next morning I made the pudding and it was a knockout!

you will need;

1 cup amaranth
2 cups soy/rice/almond milk
1/4 cup of coconut milk
4 table spoons agave nectar
2 table spoons maple syrup
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons flax seed powder
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
vanilla extract or the inside of 1 dried vanilla bean
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1. First I took a soup pot and put some olive oil in it. I then lightly toasted the amaranth until it lightly popped.

2. I then washed the amaranth off in some cold water, and cooked it down with 2 1/2 cups of water for 25 min.

3. After the amaranth was fully cooked, I then added the soy milk and all the other ingredients except the arrowroot powder.

4. I then cooked together the remaining ingredients for another 20 min.

5. lastly I added the arrowroot to thicken it even further.

this dish is delish, and I have eaten it cold and warm- it is awesome both ways!

what the funk is amaranth & why do you eat it?

Amaranth (Amaranthus) has a colorful history, is highly nutritious, and the plant itself is extremely attractive and useful. Amaranth was a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs, who believed it had supernatural powers and incorporated it into their religious ceremonies. Before the Spanish conquest in 1519, amaranth was associated with human sacrifice and the Aztec women made a mixture of ground amaranth seed, honey or human blood then shaped this mixture into idols that were eaten ceremoniously. This practice appalled the conquistadors who reasoned that eliminating the amaranth would also eliminate the sacrifices. The grain was forbidden by the Spanish, and consequently fell into obscurity for hundreds of years. If not for the fact that the cultivation of amaranth continued in a few remote areas of the Andes and Mexico, it may have become extinct and completely lost to us.

Amaranth has a "sticky" texture that contrasts with the fluffier texture of most grains and care should be taken not to overcook it as it can become "gummy." Amaranth flavor is mild, sweet, nutty, and malt like, with a variance in flavor according to the variety being used.

Amaranth seed is high in protein (15-18%) and contains respectable amounts of lysine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are not frequently found in grains. It is high in fiber and contains calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.

The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat and its iron content, five times more than wheat. It contains two times more calcium than milk. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein as high in food value as fish, red meat or poultry.

Amaranth also contains tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period. Amaranth consists of 6-10% oil, which is found mostly within the germ. The oil is predominantly unsaturated and is high in linoleic acid, which is important in human nutrition.

taken from
Complete Whole Grain Cookbook, by Aveline Kushi

For dinner a couple days ago I made a fantastic Indian spread, all it needed was some naan to top it off. BEHOLD MY CREATION

Spiced curried tofu with upma, finished with a curry coconut cilantro sauce

This was way easier to make than it looks. First I cooked the tofu. I made a mixture of raw curry powder, gram masala, mustard powder, ginger, garlic, turmeric & salt. I lightly coated the pieces of tofu with a canola oil spray, and then caked on the mixture goodness. I then pan fried them bad boys. At the end I added coconut oil to make them extra tasty.

Upma is a traditional Indian dish served as either a breakfast dish, or savory side to any meal. The upma I made is derived of semolina. It has green chile peppers and coriander leaves in it. I added cooked peas and carrots at the end. Upma cooks up really fast, and tastes great. It can also be made of rice.

The coconut curry sauce is 1/2 cup of coconut milk, a tablespoon of my curry mixture I made earlier, a little touch of agave nector and than at the end I added fresh cilantro and some arrowroot to thicken.

Why in the Funk do you love Coconut oil?

I use this brand, and stand by it

Well let me count thy ways.... Not only does it taste amazing (if your into that sort of thing) but it is also great for you! The KEY is that you must buy organic Extra virgin unrefined oil. It comes in jars and is usually solid. It melts quickly once it touches heat. You can also use it on your skin as a moisturizer, and is great in hair too!

an excerpt from an article "Health Living"

"Coconut oil is one of the smartest oils you can use in the kitchen today...It is the only oil that can withstand heat without oxidative damage, because of it's medium-chain triglicerides also called MCT's (lauric, caprillic, and capric acids)... These MCT's offer a myriad of health benefits. Lauric acid is the same acid compound found in mother's milk and contains very strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. MCT's are funneled directly to the liver and converted to energy (YAY) much like carbohydrates. THEY ARE NOT STORED AS FAT. Because MCT's are smaller, they permeate cell membranes more easily and METABOLISM INCREASES (YES!) helping you to LOSE weight. Better yet, multiple studies show that populations who consume high levels of coconut oil generally have lower levels of blood cholesterol and heart disease when compared to other cultures."

an informational video. A bit bland but you get the gist

and last but never least

Tamari roasted almond pesto bowties & asparagus spears. Finished with a white bean, white asparagus garlic sauce

mmmmm....this was really good. I had purchased a HUGE bag of basil at the eastern market and thought up this creation in my head.

To make the pesto;

In a food processor I added three huge handfuls of fresh basil, 1/2 cup of tamari roasted almonds, 3 table spoons nutritional yeast, 2 table spoons fresh garlic, and 1/8th cup of olive oil. And of course a pinch of salt to taste.

To make the white bean white asparagus garlic sauce;

I cooked down navy beans and white asparagus. After it cooled I drained the liquid and added it to a food processor. I blended it, added some water and veggie "beef" bouillon. Then added the fresh garlic and a bit of nutritional yeast. This sauce is really creamy and satisfying.

The asparagus spears are lightly cooked in fresh lemon juice and a touch of sea salt. Having seen the vast asparagus farms in Peru first hand, I can't help but buy the Peruvian asparagus while at Eastern Market (the Detroit open air market) and smile to myself.


Mo Diva said...

This entry Kicks ass!

Jen said...

i'm sorry about your jacket. karma will remedy this indeedly-oh. this entry was really awesome. i like the learnin' lessons about the fud.

xo jewy

Muneeba said...

I learnt something new today - found out what amaranth is, and what deeeelish things you can do with it! Plus you totally killed that Indian meal ... looks AWESOME!

Jen Treehugger said...

Pesto has to be my most favourite thing EVER! It's a good job Basil will only grow for me in the warmer months because I'd be a freaking walking Pesto monster on legs by now otherwise.
The Pasta ROCKS and I actually dribbled down my chin looking at that Spiced curried tofu meal.
Soooooooo good.

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