Thursday, May 31, 2012

Make Homemade Seitan (wheat meat)

 I am in the vegetarian spirit! This happens to coincide with a super fun work project in which I will showcase the many types of meatless protein sources by developing recipes for each. Here is my awesome seitan; I though I would get a head start on my project this evening (as if 8 hours of the RD review course was not enough today). By the way, this stuff is so versatile! It is nice in soups, sautes, sandwiches and even tacos. It grills nicely if you cut it into larger pieces.

A little info on this meatless protein source:
Seitan or meat analogs are made from vital wheat gluten or gluten flour. Great for those with soy allergies, but those with celiac disease should take caution and read labels as it may be included as an ingredient. It is also super high in protein yay! An estimated 31 grams in a 4 ounce serving! Woo hoo!

1 cup gluten flour, 1 tsp. smoky sea salt, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. garlic, 2 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 Tbsp. tamari, 3/4 water and 1 Tbsp. oil

Combine dry ingredients; stir in wet ingredients. Knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.

Once kneaded, divide in two pieces. Simmer in 6 cups broth for about 45 minutes, turning every so often.
Remove from heat, cool and slice into strips or cut into chunks.

Saute slices or chunks in your favorite sauce, with veggies or whatever's in your fridge (we call them must-go items).
Here it is with a bit of organic teriyaki sauce, peanuts, red onion and basil.

Here it is sauteed with homemade BBQ sauce (I suppose you can use store bought if you wish) and cilantro.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Enchanted Garden

I just placed tomato cages over my super non-red variety tomato plants. The little guy in the corner in epazote! or Mexican tea plant.
Those are my meyer lemon and lime trees! I know I will have fruit this year! It is the third year afterall.
The swiss chard garden
Potted plants on the ledge: Romaine lettuce, basil, cilantro, leaf lettuce and rosemary
The mint garden!
Squash and laurel bay leaves!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad

I had a craving tonight!! Yes, for a fresh Caesar salad with homemade dressing and garden picked Romaine lettuce. So I made just that! Luckily, I have a stash of anchovies for this type of emergency situation.
Oh so good and pretty darn clean!
First, the dressing. Place 2 cloves of garlic, 5 anchovy fillets, 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. light mayo and 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and stir in 1-2 Tbsp of water to thin out a bit.
Next, pick some garden fresh lettuce from your garden. If you dont have a garden, a grocery store will surely carry some Romaine lettuce. Dont forget to chop, wash and use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture (hate soggy lettuce!)
Add cooked chicken, Parmesan cheese (the good fancy kind!), favorite veggies, and light wasa crackers (or croutons)! Enjoy, either in front of your computer so you can multitask or in front of the TV(like a real American!).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Edges Mill Bed and Breakfast

We enjoyed a fabulous weekend at a bed and breakfast.Happy 3 year Anniversary to us! Thanks to my hubby for planning such a pleasant and relaxing weekend. Can't wait for the next getaway!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Recipe Testing Fridays

I love my job! I spend the week developing and editing recipes for the marketing department; print ads, the website, newsletters, product packaging, dietitian food demos, and even cooking classes require tested, descriptive and user friendly recipes. Sometimes we are given tough to meet deadlines and are crunched for time (yes it is a real job folks!)
We also provide nutrition facts for these recipes so accurate measuring during testing on Fridays is crucial! Weighing foods before and after cooking, measuring amounts of marinades being absorbed, accounting for water and ash losses; that is science right there! All my years of chemistry, bio chemistry, organic chemistry are put into use (sort of lol). We still have a lot of fun!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

National Clean Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

At only 80 calories, 4.37 grams of protein, and 4 grams of sugar each, us clean and semi-clean eaters can enjoy a little treat too!        

                      Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

2 eggs
¼ cup agave nectar
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
½ cup oats
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
 ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together eggs with agave and peanut butter. Stir in remaining ingredients. Scoop with teaspoon. Bake for about 8 minutes until golden browned.
Makes 22 small cookies

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mocktail Monday

Sometimes we just need a fun beverage on a Monday! To keep it clean, I made a mocktail! Trust me, I do enjoy Real Piňa Coladas, but I am still recovering from the ones I had on Cinco de Mayo! Although, I had a request to recreate those particular beverages. My friend Tracey's new German beau Joachim (whose name I still cannot pronounce so I call him by the Spanish version Joaquin!), seemed to enjoy this beverage greatly on Cinde de Mayo. In fact, he said it was the best he has ever tasted (he was also slightly intoxicated lol) !!

Piňa Colada Mocktail
1 cup Coconut milk beverage, such as SoDelicious or Silk Pure Coconut
2/3 cup frozen pineapple chunks
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut manna, optional
1 packet Stevia
2-3 ice cubes
1.5 oz spiced rum, optional (for Non-Mondays or German guys who drink daily)
Mint for garnish
Makes 1 Monday mocktail

Blend indredients together until frothy. Note: VitaMix not required, but strongly recommended!

Pour in a sexy glass, garnish with a skewered pineapple chunk and a mint sprig (chocolate mint shown here)! Enjoy Monday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Turkey Burgers with Sage and Cherries

These little turkey burgers have become a family favorite! Chris and I call the "turgers" for short. The original idea for these came from the Harris Grill menu (I admit). I worked there for about 2 years during undergrad (not too long ago ha ha) as a prep chef. I of course, use a lean, all white meat ground turkey (as opposed to stuff that came in a frozen tube). They use sweetened dried cranberries, white panko bread crumbs and dried ground sage in their version; I use dried cherries, oatmeal and fresh sage!

I started to use a food processor to finely chop these ingredients because my hubby Chris did not love the chunks of oatmeal and onion. Step 1 : add 1/2 quartered onion, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2-3 garlic cloves, about 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves and salt& pepper to processor. Pulse until finely chopped. The fresh sage is from my neighbor Tracey's garden, where it grows abundantly. I do have my own garden...I really do.

Here it is all finely chopped!

Step 2: Combine about 1 lb. of extra lean ground turkey, with 1/3 cup dried cherries (or cranberries), 1 egg and oatmeal-sage mixture. Mix well!
Step 3: Shape into 6-8 patties.
Step 4: Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. Don't forget to check the internal temp. It should be 165F.

I also make a rosemary spread for these little turgers. I just mix finely chopped fresh rosemary with a little light mayo, some Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and a drop or two of light soy sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lemon Balm Iced Tea

Start with lots of lemon balm! This stuff grows wild in my neighbor Tracey's garden, so I help her out by swiping some now and then.

Remove leaves from stems, one at a time, by holding root end with one hand and then using your other hand to pull down along the stems. Soak leaves in cold water and remove from water, leaving behind any dirt (and bugs!), and placing leaves in colancer. Repeat several times until soaking water is clean. 

I like to boil water in a large pot with an insert. Place clean lemon balm into water; steep for 5-7 minutes.

The insert allows you to drain leaves easily! It is a multi-purpose pot; pasta, tamales and tea!
Voila! Huge amounts of Lemon Balm tea! Cool slightly before transffering.
Use a cheese cloth over a colander for straining extra clean and clear tea, if desired. No matter how clean you think your lemon balm is, there are always a couple bits of things that escape, especially when it grows wild in the garden.

Lastly, serve over ice or chill in refrigerator. I like stevia for sweetening, but use what you want. Garnish with more lemon balm leaves and lemon wedges if you feel like it.