Veggie Tofu Scramble

My neighbors moved away. I miss them. During our last get together, they brought over a breakfast ring filled with a veggie tofu scramble. We had it with some coffee. The breakfast ring was so yumm-o! And a fine reminder of the neighbors. Sigh.

Anyway, on with the food.

Any vegetables will do. Just dice them and stir fry them.
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I added carrots, celery, onions(mirepoix!), mushrooms, zucchini, jalapeno, garlic, and frozen corn.

Crumble the tofu over the stir-fried vegetables.

Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and nutritional yeast.
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This would be the filling for the breakfast ring if I got pastry in a can, but the filling alone is delicious.

Broccoli Walnut Stir-Fry

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I’ve been making this for a few weeks now and we still haven’t tired of it. I love the crunchiness of the walnuts and the rich flavor.

  • Broccoli (two or three heads of it)
  • Tempeh
  • Hot sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Walnuts – raw, unroasted
  • cooking oil (optional)

By the way, tempeh is a block of fermented beans and/or grains.
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It’s firm and mostly flavorless so it can take on whatever flavor you put in your dish. I like to cut it up smaller to increase the surface area to suck up the flavor. It will mostly keep its shape because it’s firmer than tofu. Tempeh is optional. The first time I made this, I just had a bunch of broccoli that didn’t fit into the lentil stew I was making. The broccoli was chopped and I didn’t know what to do with it so I stir fried it with walnuts. That’s how I stumbled on this dish. I only started adding tempeh because the next time I was making it, I had a package of tempeh I didn’t know what to do with. This is the unplanned kind of cooking I do. It’s very willy nilly.

Chop up the broccoli and let it cook for a bit first.
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I like to add water to help cook and soften the broccoli because I like my broccoli cooked soft. Oil is optional. Add the hot sauce and soy sauce after the broccoli’s halfway done.

Now add the tempeh to start sucking up the flavor.
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Walnuts need very little cooking time. I add them in, stir it around a bit then turn the heat off to let the residual heat finish it.
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The walnuts really make this dish. They add a rich layer of flavor and crunchy texture. Yum. I like to have this over quinoa or rice or it’s good just by itself too.

Best Shower Cleaner EVAR!!

Here’s how good this stuff is.  I don’t clean my shower for months.  MONTHS!!  Maybe 6 months?  Yeah.  I told you I took a hiatus from cleaning.  You think I’m kidding?  I don’t kid when I’m having important TV time.  Anyway, this stuff made cleaning the shower a breeze.

I learned it from Pinterest.

  • Dawn dish soap (the original blue stuff, but I got Target generic version which seemed to work fine)
  • Cleaning vinegar (Not white eating vinegar; this stuff, while still safe to handle, has higher acidity than eating vinegar. I found it in the cleaning products aisle at Home Depot.)

Two ingredients.  That’s it.  Mix it in a spray bottle.  The Pinterest instructions said to use warm vinegar so I microwaved it for a few seconds first.  I’m not sure if that makes a difference.  Anyway, spray it all over the shower, leave it on for an hour or so.  Come back and scrub. Rinse.  Re-scrub any remaining scum that you missed.  It pretty much comes right off.  I used to exert a lot of energy cleaning the shower. That’s why I dragged my feet about it, because it was so strenuous and tiring.  But this stuff really made the job super duper easy and the shower sparkles like new.  And mostly not too toxic as cleaning products go.

The key to good alfredo is pepper! Lots and lots of pepper!

I found a bunch of recipes for vegan alfredo online and mixed them up for this:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1.5 cups of raw cashews, soaked in water for a few hours
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • lemon juice (1 lemon) – I didn’t have this so I substituted with apple cider vinegar, and it was fine.
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper.  One can never have too much pepper in alfredo sauce.

I don’t remember where I got the idea or learned that alfredo requires mucho pepper.  The first time I had it was from a local Kentuckian chain Italian restaurant and a strong pepper flavor stuck out to me.  I know.  Kentucky, Italian.  This was a memorably good alfredo pasta though.  I think I ate an entire family sized bucket of it in a couple of days.  And it was over a decade ago and I still have fond memories of that bucket of pasta.  Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bucket of pasta?

  1. Stir fry the garlic and onions with a bit of salt and oil. Onions and Garlic
  2. Cut up the cauliflower into big chunks and poach it in maybe an inch of water with some seasoning.  I used a vegetable broth powder, but regular salt and pepper is fine.Cauliflower
  3. In a blender, blend the ingredients together.
  4. Cauliflower Alfredo SauceI added more nutritional yeast at the end to have a richer flavor. I also added about a tablespoon of cracked black pepper. I would have added more but my wrists were tired from the grinding.
  5. Simmer the sauce over low heat for about 30 minutes.  Stir the entire time and cover it with a lid.  Keep the lid over the pot as you move a spoon around in there because this thick sauce tends to spurt bubbles all over the place.

I like to serve it over pasta with green peas. It’s rich and creamy without the after effects of eating rich and creamy. I could eat a bucket of this sauce.

Tomato Rice

Picked up this neat trick on YouTube.

Prepare rice like you normally would (in a rice cooker).
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I like to add red lentils in my rice.
Add one whole tomato in the middle.
Add pepper.
Add a drizzle of oil.
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Once cooked, break up the tomato and stir it in the rice. It’s easy and delicious!
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Nice Cream

I’ve known about using frozen bananas to make (n)ice cream for a long long time, even before I stopped eating dairy. The first time I heard about it was on a TV show where Jerry Seinfeld’s wife said this is how she makes healthy treats for their kids. I filed it away in my brain but never made it because I’m not a big fan of ice cream anyway. And why have frozen bananas when I could just get store bought?

People, this is not your average ice cream. It’s better.

First, I recommend using organic bananas.
Ripe bananas
Let them ripen until they have spots.

Freeze the bananas: Wash and remove the stem and end, leaving the rest of the banana peel on.
Frozen bananas
Cut into quarters, then freeze them.

In a blender, add almond or some other dairy-free milk, the frozen bananas, and an avocado if you want it extra creamy and rich.
Frozen bananas and plant milk

For flavoring, I’ve had good luck with cocoa powder (use a lot! Then add more), cinnamon (a little), and liqueur (optional) and peanut butter.
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The cocoa powder and peanut butter are essential in my opinion.

Blend it up then put it in a bowl and freeze it again.
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Now you have nice cream. It reminds me of Chunky Monkey.

Kimchi Rice Bowl

Since I made kimchi last month, I’ve been having it all the time. I’ve already finished 2 big jars of it – one napa and one cubed radish.

Here’s how I enjoy it sometimes.

I cook beans in the steamer cooker (my rice cooker) and then I cook them again with rice to get:
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Rice and beans.

I add any kind of vegetable side dishes I have.
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This time it was mung bean sprouts.

In goes the kimchi and also a cut up avocado. Mmm-mm! A filling and delicious meal.
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The kimchi and kimchi juice provides all the flavoring.

If I don’t have cooked rice ready to go, I’ll boil noodles which takes no time and make a noodle bowl instead.

Baked Ripe Plaintains

I’m not sure what this is. A snack? A dessert? It’s anything. It’s good. My coworker told me this is how she eats plantains, but she emphasized that they must be ripe. Like spotty black ripe!

I washed the plantains first.

Then sliced them in half lengthwise.
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Then baked at 350 fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
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That’s it!

Is this even a recipe?? It’s like boil a potato. Or boil water. 1 ingredient. Add heat. Enjoy.

Everyday-for-the-rest-of-my-life chili!

It’s really just called white chili. Or maybe it’s white bean chili? There’s no tomato sauce or chili powder so it’s not one big pot of spicy hot redness. But it does have a kick to it.

This is so freakin’ easy to make and addictively tasty that I’ve already made 3 batches in the course of 2 weeks. We served it to guests, packed it for lunch, and are now enjoying it for dinner. It’s so flavorful!

The star guests:

  • Great Northern beans (5 15 oz.-cans or roughly 4 cups of dried beans or a little less than 2 lbs, cooked)
  • Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves
  • 2 large onions diced
  • Cooking oil
  • 2 cans of diced green chili
  • Vegetable broth – one box
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne powder (or more)
  • 2 cups dried TVP (texturized vegetable protein) (or use a package of frozen)
  • 2 chopped Jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 diced tomatoes (optional)

I use cannellini beans because I couldn’t find dry great northern beans. The original recipe calls for great northerns. I used to think they were the same but they are not. Cannelini’s are a little bigger.
IMG_0324-001I soak before cooking beans if I plan ahead. Otherwise I just cook the shit out of it without soaking. This time I did the latter. Stir fry the onions, garlic, and fresh jalapenos until the onions are soft. IMG_0326

Add tomatoes if you want (it won’t turn the chili red). And canned green chilies.
IMG_0336Add the spices. IMG_0345

Add the TVP.
IMG_0348And the beans. IMG_0349

Basically put everything into the pot.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
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The beans make the chili thick and the vegetable broth and canned green chilies are enough to salt the whole dish.

Serve with nutritional yeast, diced avocados, and corn chips if you want.

If you have a slow cooker, this works really well. After browning the onions, just dump everything into the cooker and leave it all day. My slow cooker is too small to fit everything so I just cook it on the stove.

Fall Squash Simmer

I love fall squashes. When the season comes around, I always end up buying 2 or 3 at a time and then woefully regret my greed when I’m hauling them home because they are heavy.

  • 2 Acorn Squash (or any fall squash) – peeled and cubed
  • 2 big onions – diced
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic – chopped/minced/whatevered
  • Salt/Pepper – easy on the salt, generous with the pepper
  • Turmeric – generous
  • Water (2-3 cups)
  • Oil

Stir fry the onions, garlic, and salt in oil for a few minutes.
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Add pepper and turmeric. IMG_9878

Add the squash.
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Add the water

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Simmer until the squash is soft.