Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Low Down on Verrgie Broth in the Hood

One of the insideous features of any packaged foods is that you really need to read the label, for too often too much salt, sugar, or oil sneaks in, not to mention some other nefarious chemicals you may not like. However, if you do get into the habit, you will be rewarded and soon you will find your way to better solutions.

When you read these labels remember, they do the best thing to look for is just the actual quantities "per serving" and check what they call a "serving!" The % of RDA means nothing for the RDA is completely different in plant-based nutrition. You want 10% of calories from fat (no added fat), 10% from protein, and 80% from Complex Carbohydrates.

This time I want to research Vegetable Broth/Stock in our area. I am listing ingredients and prices and a recommendation. I will keep adding to the list. Besides Chiang-Li and Key Food, I will also visit ShopRite on the Bruckner.

Chiang-Li Supermarket

  •  College Inn, 32 Oz 100% Natural Garden Vegetable Broth - $3.39
    • 0 g of Fat (0% of RDA)
    • 0 mg Cholesterol
    • 700 mg Sodium (30% of RDA)
    • 4 g Total Carbohydrates (1% RDA)
      • 3g added sugars
    • 0g protein
    • NB.: This is a light colored broth.
  • College Inn, 32 Oz, 100% Natural Garden Vegetable Broth (40% less sodium) - $3.39
    • 0g Fat
    • 0 mg Cholesterol
    • 420 mg Sodium (sic!)
    • 4 g Carbohydrates
      • 3g added sugar
    • 0g protein
    • NB: This is a light colored broth.
    • Recommended!
  •  Swanson, 32 Oz, Organic Vegetable Broth - $3.79
    • 0g Fat
    • 0 mg Cholesterol
    • 530 mg Sodium
    • 2 g Total Carbohydrates
      • 1 g added sugars
    • 0 g Protein
    • Recommended!
  •  Kitchen Basics, 32 Oz, Unsalted Vegetable Stock.
    • 0 g Fat
    • 0 mg Cholesterol
    • 210 mg Sodium
    • 100 mg Potassium
    • 6g Total Carbohydrates
      • sugars 4g
    • 0 g Protein
    • Recommended!

 Key Foods, Metropolitan

  •  Swanson, 32 Oz. Vegetable Broth,  on sale 2 for $6.
    • 0 g Fat
    • 0 mg Cholesterol
    • 800 mg Sodium
    • 2 g Carbohydrates
      • 2 g sugars
    • 0 g Protein
    • NB: High Sodium
  • Swanson, 32 Oz. Vegetable Cooking Stock, on sale 2 for $6
    • 0.5 g fat
    • 0 g Cholesterol
    • 550 mg Sodium
    • 2 g Total Carbohydrates
      •  2 g Sugars
    • 0 g Protein
    • Recommended!
  • Pacific Foods, 32 Oz. Organic Vegetable Broth - $3.99 (on sale)
    • 0 g Fat
    • 0 g Cholesterol
    • 500 mg Sodium
    • 3 g Carbohydrates
      • 1 g Sugars
      • 1 g Dietary Fiber
    • 1 g Protein
    • Recommended! 
Options galore. I will keep adding to this as I take inventory at Shoprite.


 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Serious Oatmeal

As I have been discussing serious oatmeal with some people, I will share my process here...

First, this was today's version:

Serious Oatmeal

Two day prep

I usually prepare Oatmeal for two days at a time. I take one measuring cup of steelcut oats (I get them from ShopRïte, at $3.29 for 30 Oz of organic oats), and prepare it overnight in my trusted Zojirushi NP-GBC05 rice cooker. It is ready for me at 6:30 AM with the timer.

Then I add:
  • a shredded Granny Smith apple, 
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
     
and I let that sit on "keep warm" for min 5 mins.

The daily plate of Oatmeal

Then I save half for next day and I serve the other half, fixed up as follows (in this case):
  • a ring of berries (stawberries, raspberries, etc.) and other fruit (today it was Raspberries and Starfruit)
  • a sliced banana sometimes even more fruit (I love me some jackfruit).
  • a tbsp of hemp seed (part of my Omega-3 for the day)
  • A drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.
And here is another version:
Serious Oatmeal also, but with Strawberries


A note, you do not want to O/D on Omega-3. Too much is no good, what matters is the proportion between Omega-3 and Omega-6. Personally, I use 2-3 tbsp a day of hemp seeds, milled flax seed, or chia seeds. That seems to be about right for me. Individual mileage may vary, so consult with your plant-based doctor at the time of your physical ;-)

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Another Bengali Meal Prep in September

Bengal cuisine offers such rich possibilities for cooking with spices more than salt.

Today's cooking class was another lesson in a @WFPB version of traditional recipes.

We start with Brown Basmati Rice, which was cooked in advance with a Zojirushi NP-NVX18 Rice cooker on the GABA Brown Rice setting, meaning it is germinated brown rice, that germinated for 2 hours at 105F and then cooked under pressure with an Induction Heat system.









Our new friend from Queens, Katerina from Queens was there once again. Somehow we lost count, because two people could not make it in the last minute, and we ended up inviting other people in the church to share our meal with us, and a good time was had by all. Not to mention many of us ended up taking more home with us.


Ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro
  • green chilis
  • turmeric
  • Panch Puran
  • Bay Leaves
  • Yondu or Bragg's liquid aminos
  • Water

  • Water squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Egg plant
  • Eddo
  • Green Papaya

Instructions:

The first steps are actually the same for both dishes, so we made a large batch of onions, and then split them in two and put on the vegetable medley first, since it needs a longer cooking time.
  • Caramelize the onions 
  • add in the chilis, turmeric, panch puran, minced garlic, cut up peppers and add some water with Yondu or Braggs to continue - we used 1 tsp Yondu for a cup of water.
  • add in the lentils and more water
  • add in the harder veggies first, for they need longer to soften
  • add in the softer veggies later (e.g, tomato), also cilantro.
  • add water as needed.
  • add some bay leaves

Three Greens Medley Dal

No, dal is not an airline. It is the typical sauce made from lentils, and you can consider it a soup or a sauce, depending on the occasion. Any three green leafy veggies will do... according to the season today we picked this:

Ingredients:

  • onions,
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • cilantro
  • turmeric
  • panch puran
  • green chilis
  • Yondu or Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste.
  • lentils
  • poi leaf (aka Malabar spinach)
  • spinach
  • callaloo

Preparation:

For the first step, see above about caramelizing the onions, again we did the onions once for the two dishes and then split them up.

We added water to the caramelized onions

We had young baby spinach, so we did not need to cut it. The callaloo and Poi Leaf we cut in about 1" lengths.

There were grapes for desert. Unfortunately, our friend Khokon unexpectedly could not make it so we will have to do it again and learn to do it even better, but it was a good lesson in a basic dish that you can vary almost endlessly according to the season.

If the group had been bigger, we would have made a salad. The plan was for spaghetti salad from green papaya, carrots, daikon, and zucchini, with a 1/2/3 ddressing (1 measure maple syrup, 2 measures dijon mustard, 3 measures maple syrup) with lemon and lime, dill, parsley, pepper. That 's an invention of Shamim, who is Khokon's cousin and sometime chef.

Practicing plant-based on a budget:

We always donate the overage to St. Helenas, and this week it was almost half of the money we collected. We spent about $8 per person, so our donation to St. Helena's is $7 per person this week. If we had made the vegetable spaghetti salad, our spend per person would have been $10 or so.
On top of that several of us took leftovers home and we actually fed 10 people not the five people who signed up in the class, for some of the other staff and one of the priests joined in. Or rather they were not given the chance to leave without eating for we had more than we could handle.

These numbers can swing from one month to the next, depending on when we buy certain staples, nevertheless, this is always a good lesson in how economical plant-based food can be. Meat is expensive, even while it is heavily subsidized. 





Sunday, August 18, 2019

Our #WFPB Meal Prep for August


This time, I decided to focus on some small snack or appetizer type dishes, specifically a salad (there's always a salad to make sure we get our leafy greens), and Brown Rice Spring Rolls, as well as Black Bean Salsa. We had fun with a small group, and still made more food than we could eat. We had 4
people.

 We started out with a bit of nutritional theory and some knife skills. Cutting an onion the right way... and with a sharp knife, so you almost never cry.
With a dull knife you will crush the onion. With a sharp knife, you'll slide through it like butter.

Credit for the pics goes to Kateřina Justová, who came and visited us from Astoria

 

 

 

 

August salad                             

Salad and Salsa
1 head of green lettuce
1 bunch of watercress
3 peppers green, yellow and red
3 tomatoes
1 red onion
2 cups of cooked quinoa
4-5 mushrooms
4 tbsp hemp seeds
4 tbsp milled flax seeds

1/2/3 dressing: 2 tbps maple syrup, 4 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

We discussed that the point of Omega 3 is (via the flax seeds and the hemp seeds), the proportion relative to the Omega-6. When in doubt the doctor can figure it out at your next physical. In my case I went up from 1-2 tsp of these things (or chia seeds) a day to 2-3 tbsp a day on advice of my doctor. Typically, I take hempseeds on my breakfast and the milled flax seeds and/or chia seeds in my salads.

Black Bean Salsa


Quick Salsa with Black Beans Caldwell Esselstyn - see site for other variations, version here is spicier

Ingredients

2 cans of black beans, drained
Optional one 15 Oz can of Corn
A bunch of fresh Cilantro
Juice of 2-3 limes (depending on how juicy the lime)
16 Oz jar of medium green salsa
Whatever peppers you choose - cut up fine - jalapenos, chilis, serrano, poblano - it all depends on your taste for more hot or aromatic. You can put in a stalk of celery, sliced really thin.

Preparation

Drain and rinse the beans and corn
Wash and chop up the cilantro
Add lime juice, mix in the black beans and the salsa
Mix well.
This is one of these dishes that gets better if it marinates in the fridge.

Serve on rice cakes.

 

 

 

Vegan Spring Rolls

Ingredients

1/2 Cabbage
1 carrot
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 onion
4 mushrooms
100 gm rice vermicelli
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or Yondu
1 cup of water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crumbles you can make from ground up
rice cakes with sesame seeds, or you could use
plain corn flakes, or some puffed grain. You just grind it fine in a blender, and you roll the spring rolls in that, so they won't stick to the baking tray, and get nice and crunchy on the outside.
 

Preparation


Cut up the veggies fine  
cook till soft,  with the water and yondu 
add more water if neccessary, but not too much, add the vermicelli and cook for 3 mins. 
Note: vermicelli will absorb most of the cooking water, so your stuffing should be suitablly 
dry - too wet would ruin your rice paper rolls.  
fill the moist rice papers (dipping them in lukewarm water) and roll them up... 
dip in the crumbles and put on your cookie sheet  (we used silicone sheets to prevent sticking.) 
30 mins at 350F will do you just fine.   

Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Nutritional notes

I adjusted the above somewhat, but not enough for some of the ingredients. As a general rule Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Yondu are a good alternative to soy sauce or Tamari.
The BLA and Yondu come in at ca 300 mg sodium per teaspoon (Tsp), while the typical soy sauce or tamari clock in at 900-1000 mg of sodium per Tsp. However this recipe makes about 30 spring rolls. And it uses 3 Tbsp of BLA or Yondu, or 3 x 3 x 300 mg = 2,700 mg sodium.
To simplify the math, that amounts to almost 100 mg sodium per roll. So if you were to eat three as an appetizer, that might be alright if the rest of the meal does not overuse sodium, but if you make a meal out of this, you are getting a ton of sodium.
One obvious alternative might be to use a low sodium veggie stock in lieu of the glass of water, and then to cut the use of even BLA or Yondu down to ca. 1 Tbsp instead of three, and you can use some other spices, or things like scallions or shallots to create more aroma.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Brown Rice Spring Rolls

It started with a YouTube on making spring rolls:


Then, ChangLi has brown rice vermicelli
The rice paper is still from white rice... you can get it from brown rice, but it's expensive and not around here, so for now this is good enough.

Ingredients

1/2 Cabbage
1 carrot
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 onion
4 mushrooms
100 gm rice vermicelli
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup of water
3 tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or Yondu


dip of crumbled corn flakes or some other ground-up puffed whole grain (without sugar) and sesame seeds. 

Preparation

  • Cut up the veggies fine
  • cook till soft, 
  • then add the water and the vermicelli and cook for 3 mins. Note: vermicelli will absorb most of the cooking water, so you will have your stuffing suitablly dry - too wet would ruin your rice paper rolls.
  • fill the moist rice papers and roll them up... dip in the crumbles and put on your cookie sheet 
  • 30 mins at 350F will do you just fine.

Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Nutritional notes

I adjusted the above somewhat, but not enough for some of the ingredients. As a general rule Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Yondu are a good alternative to soy sauce or Tamari.
The BLA and Yondu come in at ca 300 mg sodium per teaspoon (Tsp), while the typical soy sauce or tamari clock in at 900-1000 mg of sodium per Tsp. However this recipe makes about 30 spring rolls. And it uses 3 Tbsp of BLA or Yondu, or 3 x 3 x 300 mg = 2,700 mg sodium.
To simplify the math, that amounts to almost 100 mg sodium per roll. So if you were to eat three as an appetizer, that might be alright if the rest of the meal does not over use sodium, but if you make a meal out of this, you are getting a ton of sodium.
One obvious alternative might be to use a low sodium veggie stock in lieu of the glass of water, and then to cut the use of even BLA or Yondu down to ca. 1 Tbsp instead of three, and you can use some other spices, or things like scallions or shallots to create more aroma. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Yondu Recipe #3

Yondu was my favorite find at the recent plant-based food show in the Javits.

Compared to soy sauce and tamari, this has 1/3rd the level of sodium per teaspoon (about 300 mg instead of 900-1000mg), and you can use it in ways that are similar to Bragg's Liquid Aminos, but the flavor is more delicate and aromatic.


Here is one way of using it - in this case I used one teaspoon (5 ml) of Yondu in a cup of filtered water in lieu of veggie broth - in this example one cup of my "Yondu broth" was enough to make both my spinach and my stir-fried mushrooms:

Caramelizing cut-up onions:

  • 5 mins dry roast no stirring, on high (ca 425F)
  • add in whatever spices, chopped garlick, chilis, peppers, turmeric, or whatever you are going to use, and do 5 more mins on high (425F), while adding about 1/4 cup of the liquid in splashes while you are stirring, just enough to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You keep it liquid, but you're not making soup.
  • use this as a base for whatever you are doing next.

 Delicious Spinach

  • Use caramelized onions as above
  • Add in washed, chopped spinach
  • Cook for 7 mins on medium (ca 275F).
  • you can play with the spices from mild to hot. I love a spicy spinach, and depending on what dish you are making turmeric can be a beautiful addition.

Stir-fied mushrooms

  • Start with dry-roasted onions as above.
  • when you start stir frying, add in the mushrooms as well as the spices and stirfry on high (425F).
  • The lower the heat to medium (275F) and add another 1/2 cup of your "Yondu broth" and let it cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 10-15 mins).
  • Serve perfect mushrooms.

Otamot

Otamot tomato sauce was another discovery from the food show. This time I made whole wheat spaghetti with this Otamot sauce, which is out of this world, however, while I loved the taste, I am not their customer, for it still has oil in it and on their website they promulgate the nutritional myth that your body needs the added fat to absorb nutrients, which is baloney.

The issue that you DON'T need added fats in your diet has been dealt with squarely by Jeff Nelson of Vegsource recently.

Conclusion

Yondu is a great addition to your condiments. It is very flexible in daily use. I love the aroma! Lots of flavor for little sodium, in line with Bragg's Liquid Aminos.

Otamot is a great tasting and very nutritious tomato-based sauce, but unfortunately has some oil in it, so I do not recommend it on a #WFPB diet.

The bottom line is added oils are a direct attack on your endothelium and you want to avoid them whenever you can. You want to be moderate in your use of fatty fruit like nuts, avocados and coconut. Normal food has all the fat you ever need. If you are following Dr. Esselstyn's Plant Perfect diet, you want to avoid nuts, avocados and coconut as much as possible.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Korean Night with Vivian Lee (and some help from Yondu)

Here are the links and comments from the incomparable Vivian Lee from our Korean Style Cooking class. We used it as an occasion to experiment with Yondu as a condiment.

We are still tweaking this, as we have done in the past, so at some time, we may end up doing another Korean style class.


Spice Rice Cakes (Tteokbokki)

Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp Yondu
  • 10 tubular Korean brown rice cakes 
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

Korean Glass Noodles (Japchae)

Ingredients: 
  • Obviously take out the oil. I still haven't mastered this recipe without a little bit of sesame oil... 

Potato Pancake (Gamja Jeon)

Ingredients: 
Mix
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or green onion
  • 1/4-1/2 cup wheat flour 

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
Note: Use non-stick pan if omitting oil, or perhaps a Stainless Steel pan, which often times works even better than non-stick. There's also a spray of avocado oil, and even