Sunday, November 13, 2011

This makes everything OK

I’m not a girl with many vices left. I don’t really perform too many acts or entertain thoughts that cause me much guilt. I feel my mental, moral, and physical health is more intact than at any point in my past. That being said, I must confess that I do have one addiction left that I’ve long been unable to deny: Cookies. I fiend for them. My palms sweat and my eyes glaze over thinking about them. They infiltrate my dreams and cloud my reasoning.

But there’s good news: My depravity does know some bounds. I made a compromise with cookies that came out entirely in my favor. I invented a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’d define as pretty damn healthy and really damn delicious. So, I don’t have to resign to a life of debauchery and decadence, but I still get to eat cookies every day. I mean, not that I’m saying I eat them every day, but... OK, I eat them every day.

Throw all this crap in a large bowl:
⅔ cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
½ cup stevia (or spenda, or sugar)
Spoonful of baking soda
Spoonful of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Splash of vanilla soy milk
Dump of apple sauce
2 spoonfuls of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 spoonfuls water
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (verify that the ingredients aren’t nasty or dairy)

Mix everything together and scoop out blobs of cookie shapes on an oiled sheet pan (around 8 or 10).
Bake at 350 until they look like cookies, maybe 10-15 minutes.

They’re a little lighter and fluffier than normal cookies, but that’s to be expected since we swapped saturated fat and refined carbohydrates with dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. And seriously, they’re good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meatless Meat Sauce/Cheeseless Ricotta Lasagna

Get this:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup semolina flour
Olive oil
Water
Salt, pepper
Basil flakes
Oregano
Garlic cloves
A few Roma tomatoes
An onion
A pound of extra firm tofu
½ cup of raw cashews (blended to oblivion with a little water to make a cream)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
A cup of textured vegetable protein (TVP)

The noodles
Mix a cup each of the following: whole wheat flour, semolina flour and water, along with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Knead it into dough and roll it flat. Cut it into lasagna noodles. Drop each noodle into a pot of boiling water for around 10 seconds, and lay them out on a towel.

Ricofu (Tofu ricotta)
Mash the tofu in a bowl to the consistency of ricotta. Stir in the cashew cream, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup nutritional yeast.

Meatless Meat Sauce
Peel and crush the tomatoes. To peel, slice X’s on the bottom of each and boil them for 10 second, then soak them in ice water. The skins should come off easily. To crush, squeeze them to bits with your hand.

Chop and saute the onion and some garlic in a little olive oil in a largish pot. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and a few cups of water.

Simmer for a long time. Like, an hour or two. Stir in TVP and cook a couple more minutes.

Build it and Bake it
Layer sauce, then noodles, then ricofu in a casserole dish, and repeat until it’s all in there. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fettuccini Alfredo (of the low-fat, high-protein, mouth-watering vegan variety)

So, it turns out making your own pasta with no pasta-making machine is kind of a pain in the ass, but kind of worth it. It takes time, but if I have time to write a blog no one reads, then I have no excuse not to hand-make noodles. Plus, it’s fun. And through some experimentation, I’ve developed this vegan alfredo recipe, which is really damn good, and incredibly easy. I guess not as easy as unscrewing a jar, but far more rewarding. Besides, does vegan alfredo even come in jars?

Here’s what you get:
Whole wheat flour (half-ish cup)
Semolina flour (same as wheat flour)
Water (same as semolina flour)
Olive oil (spoonful)
Broccoli
Tofu (half a pack)
Soy milk, unsweetened and unflavored (a cup or two)
Nutritional yeast (like a quarter cup)
Garlic cloves (lots is always best)
Basil, oregano, salt, pepper

Here’s what you do:
-Knead together equal parts (about ½ cup for 2 people) whole wheat flour, semolina flour, and water, along with a spoonful of olive oil. Roll it flat as it gets and cut it into wide noodles, in the fashion of fettuccini. Lay them out on a towel and let them dry for a while.
-Cut broccoli into small pieces and steam it.
-Blend tofu, soy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and herbs and spices into a creamy liquid. Heat it in a sauce pan on medium heat.
-Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for just under 5 minutes. Drain it.
-Stir pasta, sauce and broccoli together in a bowl.