I was going to write about the saffron-cashew rice I made as a side dish. I was. I really was. I swear.But, then a light bulb went off, or I just simply decided I would rather just sing the praise of my favorite thing in my kitchen.The Wok.
Now, now, please wait a moment. A pot about a wok, or THE WOK, does not have to be boring.Does it? Is it? Between preparing TVP chunks, to cooking tofu, to stir-fries, I find this wonderful piece of metal beyond useful.
You can even make that previously mentioned saffron-cashew fried rice in the wok, just so you know.
I do not know a lot of about the history of the wok, other than they are Asian, and probably very old.Did Marco Polo see them when he visited the region? No idea. I think he may have missed them, or kept it to himself if he did see one.No real surprise there. Can you imagine you being the only person around with a wok?You would have everyone over bothering you to borrow it and use it. No thanks.I will keep my wok to myself, thank you very much.
I feel kind of wrong even posting that photo up there of my wok, with all these strangers looking at my wok. Kind of creepy.
I just have to say, I love my wok. You should love your wok, everyone should love their woks. Wok on, etc, etc.
I should really quit with the horrible puns, but I just can’t seem to wok away from them.
Saffron Cashew Fried Rice Ingredients.
- 3 cups of cooked rice.I used basmati.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- 2 good pinches of saffron.
- 3/4 cup of cashews.Roughly chopped.Non-roasted, and soaked in water for an hour.
- 1 cup of frozen peas.
The following list of spices should be ground,and combined.
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
- 1/2 a teaspoon of allspice.
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.
- 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn.
- 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves.
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- 1 teaspoon of cloves.
Combine the spices, grind them, and toast in a pan over medium /high heat for 60 seconds, and then put aside.
Pour the oil into your wok, and heat over medium/high heat.Once it is heated up, add the cooked rice, cashews, and peas. Cook, and stir for several minutes.Now add in the saffron, stirring it in, and cooking for another few minutes. Mix in a tablespoon of the previously mentioned spice combination. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
Now, you probably would like to know about the tofu that is topping the rice.Well, maybe you are not, but I am going to talk about it anyways.Take that, society!
I like to freeze my tofu, then let it thaw out. Press the tofu for a couple hours, then freeze it. So, then the next day, let it thaw.We will start from there.
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- 2 tablespoons of Braggs Liquid Aminos.
- Teaspoon of kosher salt.
- teaspoon of pepper.
- 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning.
- 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- 1 teaspoon of cilantro.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.Yes, a bowl.I like bowls. You like bowls. We all like bowls.Put this bowl aside.
Heat your wok or pan , only over low heat.No oil, please.Cut your tofu up in whatever shape you want.Now, as you will have limited room, unless you have a mega-wok, you will have to cook a few at a time.Place several pieces of the tofu in the wok, and cook, pressing down occasionally with a spatula.You will see some water come out of the tofu when you do this.That is good.
Once you see a golden tone to the tofu, flip them, and repeat the same. Remember, this is over low heat, and will take more then a few minutes on each side.Dry-frying tofu allowed for a better marinade, duh!
Okay, you have cooked them all?
Place them in the marinade, making sure they are all covered.Let this sit for an hour.
Now, you may use some oil. I would say a couple tablespoons, heated in your wok over medium/high heat.Cook the tofu for a few minutes on each side, they will cook up fairly fast.
There, you have made some stuff in a wok, other than just a stir-fry.I have faith you will not fuck it up.Maybe I am being kind.But anyways, you just made some tasty food.Now, you must be feeling special? No? Yes?
You may be special, I do not know. I have found that parents have often lied to their children about being special.Well, I think you are special, if that matters. I do.
I may be lying.
Risotto is pretty good, but I always tend to never make it.I seem to forget about it – I do not know why.I will try and remind myself to make it more often, but maybe I will even forget the reminder.Who knows?!
Whenever I make risotto, I think of a couple things.One of those things is the amount of stirring it takes to make a good risotto, and the other is a bit more abstract.Or stupid.You know that horrible Styx song?
Maybe the song would be better if it was called ‘Mr Risotto’ ? I doubt it.
Anyways, one of the big crops I have been harvesting out of my vegetable garden of late has been zucchini.I have a lot of zucchini.I mean, really, a lot.I did not even know what to do with all this zucchini, so I asked some of my lovely followers on twitter what they would do.I received some good answers, some not so good answers, and plenty of snark.That is my own doing, as I tend to only answer a question seriously maybe one out of every 5 to 6 questions.
No one gave me the idea for the risotto, I gave myself the answer.Asking that question was beyond a waste of time.My followers can go fuck themselves.But not really, I am just kidding. X’s and o’s and all that crap.
This zucchini risotto, like any risotto demands a lot of stirring, thus you need a strong arm and wrist or you will get tired.I have no such worries, thanks to years of masturbating.I could be joking, I may not be joking.Did I just make a masturbation joke in a risotto recipe? Yes, yes I did.
- 1 yellow onion, diced.
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons of minced garlic.
- 1 zucchini, diced.
- 6 cups of vegetable stock.
- 2 cups of arborio rice.
- 4 teaspoons of basil.
- 2 teaspoons of oregano.
- A couple dashes of salt.
- A couple dashed of pepper.
First thing you should do, and this is important : You need to get yourself into the kitchen.That is an essential part of cooking, as usual.Heat up the vegetable stock, over medium heat, and let it sit and simmer.In another pan, saute the onion in the olive oil.
Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, over medium heat and then add in the garlic and the zucchini and cook for another few minutes.Stir in the rice, and cook all that for a couple minutes.
Now for the fun part.Pour one cup of the vegetable stock into the onions, zucchini and rice mix.Stir constantly till all that liquid is absorbed, gone.Repeat!
After stirring and added a cup of stock three times, not two times, not four times, but three times, stir in the basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Pour and stir in the remaining cups of stock, one cup at a time, as before.
You can top with some parsley, or perhaps some vegan cheese topping.I did, and I know you want to be just like me.So, go for it, skipper.
I happen to have cable, Comcast cable.They are quite the evil monopoly, and calling them for anything is about as easy as performing brain surgery.I have the super duper big package. (Yes, I said I have a big package.) It includes every channel one could imagine, and some I do not even know I have until some late night I slip by it while switching channels, randomly.
That is how I discovered the show “Food Jammers.” It is a Canadian based show, that airs ,for me, on the Halogen Network.Yeah, no idea what is basic premise of that channel, but the show is great.They are not even remotely vegan, but they are very industrious, and entertaining.I highly suggest watching it, sometime.Anyways, they aired a show about dumplings, and yes, I watched it.I came away wanting to try to make dumplings.So, I made dumplings.This here chronicles some of what I did, today.
How exciting, I know.First, I will show you how to make the filling I used, which could just be made on its own as a nice side dish, or used as a filling for the dumplings.
Mushroom and Rice filling.
- Brown rice,A cup and a fourth a cup.
- Two cups of vegetable stock.
- One onion, chopped, diced, what have you.
- 2 cloves of garlic, or cheat and used minced garlic.(I did)
- 2 stalks of celery.
- A little over a cup, maybe a cup and a half if you want, of chopped mushrooms.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- 1 Tbsp of Thyme.
- 1 Tbsp of Sage.
- 1 Tbsp of Marjoram.
- Almond slivers, crushed.I used about half a cup.
- Salt & pepper.
Place the stock and rice in a pan, lid it, bring to a boil and let cook till you have no liquid.This took me about 30 minutes, or so.While that is going on, and you can multi-task, place the oil in a skillet, and saute the onions and garlic, do not burn it, but you know, cook it.This should be between five and eight minutes.Then, add the celery, mushrooms, ground almonds, and the seasonings.Mix, and let cook another five to eight minutes.Add in the cooked rice, and there you have it.
Now, for the dumplings part.
- 1 cup of all purpose flour.
- 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
- 1 Teaspoon of salt.
- A little over a cup of water,you can always add more, but you cannot take water out.
- Gravy, 5 cups worth.
Mix the two flours in a bowl, with the salt, and add the water.Mix this, and kneed for a few minutes till you have a nice, not sticky, soft dough.Let it sit for about an hour, covered.Go watch a Law and Order or House episode, I do not know.You can find something, I am sure.Now, roll the dough out on a floured surface, you want the dough to be 1/8th of an inch thick.I used a glass and it’s edge to cut out circles.I am positive that a cookie cutter, or maybe something else would work, too.
Alright, finished that? Now, place about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the mushroom and rice filling into the center of each.
So, you did that, now you wanna fold them over and seal them up.They do not have to be that pretty, and using a fork will help, maybe.You can google image search them if you wish to find the perfect looking dumpling,so be it.I forgot to take a picture of the next step, so sue me.Jerk.
Anyways, I should have said you will need gravy, so either make your own ( will post a recipe one of these days) or one you purchased pre-made.Your call!.You will need to water it down with water , stock, or just more gravy, as you are going to need about 5 cups of it.
Place the gravy on simmer to boil,in a large enough sauce pan.When it comes to a gentle rolling boil, add the dumplings.Let them cook, covered in the gravy for 25 minutes.Spoon them out, and top with some gravy if you wish.I did, and I generally know what I am talking about, despite what you or my neighbors may think.
I served mine with a curried couscous that I should also post one day, as well as that gravy.Here for the final photo, a nice blur , as usual.I repeat,I am not an award winning photographer.Anyways, enjoy.Or whatever.
I like rice dishes, I do.But, often I think they come out soggy, over cooked, undercooked, and so on.Okay, they used to.I feel most of the time now a days I have some what control over the rice cooking skills ( or should I say skillz?)
I had this idea, a while back, but cooked it in my slow cooker, and it came out like some horrid mush.So,I thought it over more, and decided to do it in the oven.It came out lovely.Or yummy, or wonderful, or flavorful, or all of the above.You doubt me? Well fuck off , then.
No, no, no.I am sorry.That was rude, it really was.
- One large green pepper, diced.
- Kidney beans, red beans, whatever, take your pick;A cup and a half, or so.Cooked and rinsed, and ready to go.
- Two tomatoes, chopped and diced.
- One onion, diced.I used a yellow one.
- Three stalks of celery, chopped!
- Tbsp of hot sauce.
- Tbsp of Red pepper flakes.
- Tbsp of Thyme.
- 2 Bay leaves.
- Tbsp of Oregano.
- Cup of diced Seitan sausage.
- 3/4 a cup of uncooked rice.I used a long grain brown.
This is really fucking easy, really.I think the drones who drool as they watch hours of Glenn Beck would have no issue making this dish.Place all ingredients other then the seitan inside a lidded dish, I used my pyrex, or whatever it is called.Now, just barely cover it with water, do not over do it, or you will have soggy rice!The oven should have been preheated to 350 degrees.Lid the dish and place in oven, and cook till you see barely any liquid, now add the seitan sausage.Mix a bit, and let it cook till there is no longer any liquid.The oven time should come out to around a half hour.
That is about it.Simple, flavorful, a little spicy and again;VERY SIMPLE.
You are welcome, once again.
I have been ill recently.IN fact, I am still ill.Cue the Smith’s song.Chills,cough,sore throat, you name it.So, I have been less then motivated to think, let alone cook.Thus the tragic canyon between the last post and this one.I finally cooked.A soup.I can’t say this is a charming, tasteful, or lovely soup.And, yes making a soup when sick is about as cliche as one can get.Pardon me, please.But, it was tasty enough, and simple enough, to maybe warrant a few words.Maybe.
- 1 cup of Seitan, chicken flavor, chopped up into little chunks.
- 3 medium sized carrots chopped up.
- A cup of sliced celery, that could be a stalk or two, I do not know.
- Cup of Brown Rice.
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- Half a cup of diced onions.
- 3 cups of water.
- 1 cup of Green beans, fresh or frozen.
- 1 Tbsp of Thyme.
- Tbsp of Olive oil.
This is somewhat bland, as that is what I wanted, as I cannot really taste much at the moment, and what I can seems altered.So, feel free to toss in anything else you would like to.Or, not.
I heated up the oil in a large pot, and added the onion, and sauteed for 5 or so minutes on medium heat.I then added the seitan.Cook for another 5 minutes, or so.Add the broth, water,Rice,celery,carrots,thyme,green beans.Okay, just add everything that is on the list.Turn the heat down to about half way through medium and low, lid it and let it cook for about 40 minutes.I think.The cold has made me a bit off, just keep an eye on it.You do not want overcooked , soggy veggies.Or maybe you do.
This is really simple, and possibly bland.That is what I wanted, so sue me.Jerks.
I had this brilliant idea, yesterday.A truly wonderful idea,it was going to be a glorious meal.Combining seitan, beans, and rice.I have already babbled on and on about my love of grains, and I am more then certain I have also stated how I have mastered cooking grains.
They tend to be easy, but no, not this time.No, not even close.The final prize, my lovely dish, came out being this soggy, mushy gruel, straight out of a Dickens novel.
Angler grew from disappointment, followed by many a mumbled curse word, followed by annoyance, followed by a soft hearted acceptance.I suppose that was followed by eating some of this atrocious dish, whose flavors, though tasty, mocked me for being encased in this bowl of damnable mush.
See, I used my crock pot. and more then likely, boldly, no not boldly, stupidly, added far too much liquid.There was no where for this liquid to go, but drown the food and flavors, drowning like a cramped swimmer, it was awful.Truly awful.
That is my only answer, that and perhaps cooking it too long, however the additional liquids were more then likely the cause of that second poor choice.It was a comedy of errors, I suppose, and what I got was this horrid, nasty, horrific, bowl of mush.
Oh, my nightmare.
I began to explain earlier this week, I think it was this week, how much I loved grains.Rice is a lovely thing, and if I was a poet I would write a love poem dedicated to the delightful grain.Alright, that may not be true, but I do really enjoy rice.
Perhaps that is why Sharron Angle tried to sell herself as Asian,when she said she was considered the first Asian to run for senate in Nevada? She just loved rice? Perhaps not.But, this dish does not really ” look a little Asian to me”.
She is gone, for now, but this recipe shouldn’t be.
- Rice, a cup of the grain, you heard me.
- 1 Onion, diced.
- 1 Carrot, diced.
- 1 Celery stock, diced.
- 1 tbsp Minced garlic.
- 2 tbsp thyme.
- 2 Bay leaves.
- 2 cups Vegetable stock.
- 1-2 tbsp Oil, I used Olive oil.
So, you will want to start up that supposed oven of yours, turn the oven on and preheat to 350 degrees.Got that? Good, good.Now, with a pan, skillet, what have you, saute the rice,onion,garlic,celery,carrot, with the olive oil.
You will stir and do this for about ten minutes.Now, put this in a oven save dish,that has a lid, add the thyme, bay leaf, and vegetable stock, cover, and put in oven.Yes, that easy.Cook till all the stock is gone.If you need to add more, as it dried up and the rice is still not soft, then add a tiny amount slowly, or you will be waiting a long while.This should really only take 30 minutes, give or take.Season with salt and pepper, to taste, as they say.
I forgot or was too lazy to snap a photo, so no photo.
This is a rather tasty rice pilaf, and a simple one, so do not fuck it up.
I have an addiction, that addiction is grains.Well, I would more then likely have more addictions, but that would be not the point.I wished to write about grains, so I will just leave it at that.
Grains, pasta, are the nemesis of the vegan in a sense.We often fall into the stereotypical trap of eating far too much of either.It is true, I swear if I was to stop stuffing my face with bread and grains for a month, I would most likely lose forty pounds.
A lot of people have trouble cooking grains.I have no idea why.Okay, I am lying, I used to often over cook rice, or add too much water, and land up with some 18th century rice gruel.Horrible.
But, no more!
This is a simple onion and mushroom risotto.
- Rice, yes, the obvious ingredient, but use a risotto rice, or something along those lines, to soak in the flavor.But, brown rice would work, too.A cup and 3/4′s a cup.
- Garlic, minced, 2 tbsp.
- White onion, half mooned.
- Mushrooms, pick your favorite, and chop up, but not too tiny.
- Vegetable stock, you will be adding more and more, so have a bunch handy.
- Lemon Juice, 2 Tbsp.
- Butter, 3 tbsp, I use Earth Balance.
- Oil, Olive oil works best, 2 tbsp.
Place your oil in pan, with the garlic, and saute for several minutes, on medium heat.Add the onions , and mushrooms.Season with salt and pepper, and saute for about ten minutes,or so.Stir a bit, but you do not have to go nuts stirring.
Okay, now remove the Mushrooms, and onions.Add two tablespoons of the butter and let it melt, making sure it does not burn up, though.Throw in the rice, well place the rice in.Add enough stock to just barely cover the rice, and let it boil and evaporate.Repeat this over and over, it will take a few times, and about a half hour.You want it turning nearly creamy, but the rice should not be sticking together.Add the remaining butter, stir.Now,return the mushrooms and onions, and toss with the lemon juice.Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Easy, and simple, yet yummy.Some risotto purist, or master chef will say how I gave risotto a bad name, and i have one thing to say to them, you are probably right.But, whatever, go suck it, this is yummy.
Yeah, those are fighting words.
I have a recipe to share, along with more of my rambling dribble about some issue.Sort of.What shall we delve into first, perhaps the recipe?
You won me over , alright.
So, I have to be a bit honest, I despise doing that.Really, I do.I have a few recipes that I should be adding.But, if I go and post three in one night, I will look even more like the proverbial blogging loser.So, please let me hold onto some resemblance of esteem.
Sweet and Sour Tempeh
– 1 package tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes.
– 3/4 cup vegetable stock or broth.
– 2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos.
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 can pineapple chunks (and juice)
-1 green &red bell pepper ,seeded, and sliced up.
– 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
– 2 tbsp brown sugar
– 1/4 cup vinegar (cider or white)
– 2-3 tbsp corn starch
I fry up the tempeh in a pan, adding in the onions and peppers, fry for another few minutes , or so.More like five minutes, if you are that detail orientated.You want to see the onion and peppers are begin to soften.
Add the broth and the Bragg liquid aminos.Let that simmer, and while that does simmer, in a bowl mix the remaining ingredients, other then the pineapple chunks, but do use the juice.Make sure the starch is not clumpy.Pour that mix into your pan.Add the chunks of pineapple.
The sauce will begin to thicken, so make sure you have your busy little hands stirring.That is it, easy.
I serve this over brown rice, or even Israeli couscous.
I had another thing to say, some thought, it has completely escaped me.So, just enjoy the sweet and sour tempeh.
There is good oil, then there is bad oil.Well , both can be good or bad.But, I have a point to make, so forget that we need oil for cars, for now.
I have found that many people, from the left, from the right, want blood.They want the blood of B.P., for the catastrophic damage done due to the leak in the gulf.
While boycotting and making B.P. pay for costs and clean up is a wise action, and make us feel better about the situation;we cannot fully understand that even if we made them go broke would they be able to fully clean up the mess, and pay for all the environmental and economical damage the spill has caused.
The damage is done.We are fried.But, there is a possible happy ending , if we can just take this chance.We should really take this chance, and see that such drilling is just a bad idea.The risks seem quite great.Why not take this opportunity to create other fuels, other ideas, something new.
I do not really know the right answer , but I do feel that we should take this opportunity.
New fuels could mean new jobs, cheaper fuels, cleaner fuels, and perhaps less risk of wiping out an entire ecosystem.
Or, we could just build domes, entire cities in domes. We could also use flying cars and jet packs.
Either way, we will have to begin working on either , fairly soon.
Speaking of oil and grease , I wanted fried rice.
So, I made fried rice.
See, that is easy, decide on a plan, and work on making that plan happen.I should also be upfront and honest, and tell you I just did not feel like really doing to much , today.So, this is what I would call an easy or half- assed fried rice.
Half-Assed Fried Rice
- Chick’n Seitan, chopped into 1 inch cubes, recipe here.
- 2-3 cups of veggies ( your pick, peppers, peas,carrots,green beans, just about anything works.)
- 2 tbsp of butter or oil.
- 2-3 cups of already prepared rice ( I prefer brown.)
- Soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Lets start at the beginning, heat a large pan on medium heat, either adding the oil or the butter, if using the butter, let it melt down before adding anything.Add your seitan, frying for about 5 – 10 minutes, you should see it starting to brown.Add your vegetables, and cook further till they become soft.I like to keep stirring so nothing sticks or burns to the pan.Now, add your rice , and add soy sauce,at least a table spoon , or two.Fry and stir for another 5 minutes or so.
As I will openly state, I am no food photographer.But, to spice up this image I put the rice on top of a bed of green leafy vegetation.Sad, but not as sad as this.