Friday, May 28, 2010

New streamer.. pics and a few lifestyle musings.....

Oooo new and shiny toys!
Having to cook for every meal is so much more fun with new kitchen toys!

So I took the go- veg pledge for 30 days on the 24th. Not “as hard as I had though it would be. I am a dairy freak.. I admit this and yes, I had a problem.... hence my large and in charge size and shape ( well that and carbs but one thing at a time right?).

Side bar; As you know I live in a house with those that eat meat, I even have to still cook it for those who choose not to live as I do.. I can deal with this if I hold my breath until is begins cooking. BUT the part that is throwing me for a loop, I can't even go near the meat section of the grocery store. Just too see if it was just a bad day for me or if something had spoiled for them and that is what I smelled, I did it twice. Who knows I could be acting psychosomatic about the smell thing right?
Um.. wrong. Yep.. both times I went in to grab something for the guys.. it smells like the dead raccoon someone hit with a car.. up the road in the ditch! I wasn't even 100% dietary Vegan yet!

Knowing I tend to be a “bit” melodramatic.. I called my Mom. The only person alive who can call me on my BS and one whom I would listen too. Who basically said yes this can happen. Also that I may eventually be able to smell the difference between a meat eater and a vegetarian. NO WAY!!! I thought but I knew that the meat department thing first hand so now I want to see!

Okay enough of that and on to my new kitchen toys!

I had originally wanted to make these...

They just looked so good! But of course I was out of EVERYTHING... So I had to improvise!! *** okay these are NOTHING like the above*** And to be honest I wanted to steam with my new steamer not fry. Besides I was out of wonton wrappers.

Of course I did this backwards since I tend to generally do that kind of thing... but this is probably how normal people should put things in order.

Moving on....
To the dough, which is super easy and basically Jeannette proof.
2 ¼ tsp Yeast
1tbs sugar
3cup flour
1 ¼ cup Luke warm water ( what exactly is that anyway!?)
in ¼ cup of LW water dissolve the yeast and sugar. Let it st till it is nice a foamy (about 10 min)
then add the flour and add the remaining water a bit at a time to make a big blobby blob. Kneed till smooth and place in a greased bowl and cover.
While this is rising, I would make the filling.

I made mine with purl barley which would have been just fine if I didn't have to go do the Mom thing.. and I had to let them sit and they became starchy. But it was “okay”. I began with wheat berries..( it pays to know about grains and the whole grain process as you will see) They are not what I though they where and I would still be waiting to eat if I didn't switch to Barely! The recipe called for Bulgar wheat.. not wheat berries. ( smacks self on head)

I didn't have any carrots so a grated apple and tossed in a handful of raisins that was a yummy treat. And I could have used more napa cabbage in it then the 1 ½ cups. This whole recipe was just another excuse to use my very fancy chef knife and practice my chopping without adding a finger of two. Anyway the stuff was good.So since I was SO far from the original recipe I just winged it the rest of the way. 
So here is the stuff.
1cup purl barley
1/2 cup chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic ( I leave this “open” since I tend to be a garlic freak)
a bit of oil
1 ½ cups water ( more or less)
Teriyaki sauce

½ apple
handful of raisins
OR you can use shredded carrots
several green onions
about 2 ½ cups of napa cabbage
Some mushrooms would also be good if you had them.. but the wheat really does give it a good meaty texture.

In your pan pour a bit of oil and add the garlic and onions and get them to soften a bit then add the Wheat and stirring a bit for a few minutes to coat with oil.

 Add the water, and bring back to a boil, cover and turn down the heat to gently boil, let cook till almost done.
You can get the filling started by getting all of the remaining ingredient's FINELY chopped. And put into a large bowl then set aside.
Check your wheat. It should be looking puffed and swollen and most of the water absorbed. If so add your sauce and replace the lid for a few more minutes.

Once your dough has tippled in size, punch down and make into a log. Get the water for steaming ready and line the streamer with doubled cheese cloth.
With knife cut into 16 equal pieces and roll in to a ball.

Then each of these balls you will flatten out by hand in your palm. Yes I'm sure more pictures are needed.. but my hands where covered in flour and all of the boys had ran off! Really just flatten the balls into a round circle about 3" and then place a bit of the filling into the center.

Then gather up the edges and give it a little twist like this.... laughing it was my first time! Word of advice.... yes, you really do only want a few in the streamer at a time. They will swell and you will get this....
oh yeah.. those came out.. NOT they all stuck together!
Anyway give them at least an inch and plan on doing more then one batch. Also take them off of the cheese cloth asap. Other wise  they stick to the cloth and the bottoms come off.  I know of what I speak.. sadly ;)

Okay for the sauce to dip in....
Teriyaki sauce
Agave nectar
Fine chopped green onions 
Mix to taste and dip away!

later..... yummy "Pleeze more Cheeze" sauce for veggies!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

first post and yum!!

First post!! Okay a bit about me..
I have been a Vegetarian for about three months.. well a full Lacto-vegetarian. I have been toying around with becoming Vegan. Mostly for a couple of reasons.
1.I have this thing for milk and cheese and found a site that reflected what really happens in factory farming.
2.I grew up in a small farming community.. yes where one knew their meat by name. Seeing # 1 and the fact that most if not all local farms are gone, I am having no other choice but to rely on Factory farmed dairy. Not to happy about that

I grew up where a person would run to the Dairy for milk and butter, stop by the chicken farmers to get a dozen eggs and a chicken.. I grew up where the butcher would come out in the fall and butcher right at the farm. Different times.... now not so much.

Commercial farming around where I lived was not what it is today.. nothing. So this is why I have been really trying to move towards being a vegan. I know that not everyone has the same experience as I did and I know everyone has there own path and one that they can only walk. I will not impose mine and will not allow you to impose yours unto me. I am a vegetarian trying to move towards becoming a Dietary Vegan.. your patients is appreciated.

Okay with that said on to some YUM I make yesterday!!

I came across this site while watching some you tube ….
Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausage
( I just love that site)
I am always looking for something that is filling and satisfies the occasional craving for “meat.” BUT It has to taste good or at least be bearable. Okay.. onward!

I have as of late been playing with vital wheat gluten... yup Seitan.

You know the stuff left over from wheat flour.... the protein.
So far in my limited experience I had only boiled the stuff.. and while I found it to be a bit rubbery, I did find it tasted good blended well with sauces.
But boiling all the time is well.... BORING!
This recipe is fun just remember to use COLD water while mixing so you don't activate the gluten. Other wise well.. just try it and see LOL …..(joking)
okay here are some pics...

okay no it is not a piece of poo!!!!
 This is  about 1/4 cup and you kind of make it look  like this!

This is going to be steamed so you can either put it in  some muslin or the like or use foil as I did :)

Wrap it up and then tuck the ends in like this....

now you can make them little like I did ... I got twelve sausages...  but you can make them as 1/2 cups and get about 8 links.

yep it is my homemade "steamer" and I did them in batches of six. You steam them for about 30 min. and then ....

you get these!!!!!!
I tried them right out of the steamer..... kind of soft for my taste.. but the flavor was killer!!!
I popped them in the fridge and today they have the texture more of a "meat"!!!

Was I able to sneak it past my meat eaters?!?!
Nope.. not plain anyway.. I may slip it in something or just save them all for me!

Want to try them your self?