Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scrambled Tofu Rancheros

Although my first encounter with Scrambled Tofu was pretty unsatisfying, I've been tweaking the process for the past year and found something my husband and I both like. The recipe is the same as linked above, except that I don't use bell pepper anymore - just nicely browned onion and garlic in olive oil.

The key, I think, is draining the tofu. That gets rid of the strange flavor.

This morning,

I grilled a corn tortilla,
spread some re-fried beans on the roasted corn goodness,
spooned on some tofu scramble,
and topped with salsa and fresh diced tomatoes.

It's not something I would make every morning, but sometimes during a fast a little extra protein helps.

Since I would eat Mexican food five times a week if my family tolerated it, this meal is a special treat for me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful Beans

At Coffee Hour last Sunday, our priest's wife asked me if I had planted beans. "They are so gratifying" she explained, "they sprout quickly and flower." I agreed with her; they are gratifying. And, I figured, by way of fasting food they are Orthodox. (smile)

I planted two types of beans this year. Pole beans called rattlesnake, which have a horrid name, but make pretty green beans with dark purple splashes that disappear when they cook. Sort of like those hot wheels cars that turn colors in the freezer, but more, um, natural.

Those will slowly produce all summer. I wish I had planted more!

Then, I planted etna beans, which are an Italian Soup bean. Why did I choose etna? Well, they make pretty pink and white pods and pink and white beans - why else! Also, I figured soup beans would be good to have around.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farmers Market Goodies

Our square foot garden is taking off, but we still head to our little town's Farmers Market each Saturday morning.

Zinnias for our Anniversary (11 years!)

Squash and Peaches scattered about the counter

We are so very thankful to have the opportunity to be locavores, and I especially appreciate the opportunity to get to know the growers has we visit them throughout the summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gift from God: Zuchinni Bread

I finally couldn't put it off any longer.

Every time I take a bite of my Pawpaw's recipe, I can see and hear and smell my Nana & Pawpaw's kitchen. The only reason I hesitated is because of doubt that the recipe, copied from a phone call in my mother's hand on yellow and white striped paper, would translate into a fasting treat, but it was time. Time for for Zucchini Bread.

I'm glad I did it, and here's the recipe for any of you who might be starting to get an abundant crop.

The only change is that the original recipe called for 3 eggs instead of rice milk and egg-replacer.

The Ingredients
3/4 cup of rice (or soy) milk, warmed and beat with 1&1/2 TBS of Energy Egg-Replacer
update: taking Marfa's advice, I made it again with 3/4 cup of applesauce and 2 TBS of flax meal instead of the rice milk/egg replacer combo - worked just fine. I did decrease the sugar a little, to compensate for the added sweetness.
1 c oil
2 c grated raw zucchini
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1&1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

The Steps
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease 2 large loaf pans.
3. Beat wet ingredients and sugar.
4. Sift dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
5. Add dry to wet and add 1 TBS of vanilla, and optional chopped nuts or raisins.
6. Bake 50-60 minutes.

One loaf stuck to the pan because we didn't wait until it cooled to take it out. The other loafs came out fine after a couple of hours cooling. It seems a little oily, so I might decrease the oil next time, but let me tell you:

sitting at our round wooden kitchen table here in 2010, I was completely transported to 1986, at the rectangular table in my Pawpaw & Nana's kitchen in the little village in south Louisiana. Thank you, God, and please bless my grandfather Gilliam, and grant rest to the soul of my grandmother June.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gift from God: Working Mother at Home

As a teacher, I am very thankful for my summers at home with my kids.

Though I do feel, a bit... incapable maybe?

This morning at 7am I woke up determined to accomplish one major thing today:

Sweep the tile living room floor.

At precisely 2:08 pm, I finished sweeping. Okay, prayers and breakfast are important. And lunch. But how did it take us so long to clean the living room floor and sweep?

At school, the bell rings every 55 minutes, and grown-ups and students move and function. I guess I need to find my rhythm at home.

Lord, thank you for these precious months.
Lord have mercy on us, and help us find a way to work as a family at home.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Win, Lose or Draw?

Win - Spicy Green and Black Saute'
Last night, a friend brought over some sweet basil, a black bell pepper, a banana pepper, and a long hot pepper. We chopped them up and sauteed them with some garlic and chopped zuchinni. Oh my - a real treat.

Lose - harvesting cucumbers naively, attacked by little pricklies that this novice gardener did not realize guarded cucumbers.

Draw - My Shopping List. Somehow I left a couple of things from the last fast on there (like creamed corn and hominy) that I don't need this month, and I'm having trouble editing them back out. Oh well. By the way, I ended up scratching off over half the list before going, so it's not as huge of a list in practice as it appears.

And... more wins!

Win - Wheat Berry Tabouli
Whisk juice of 1 lemon, twice as much olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 clove of minced garlic. Pour over cooked wheat berries (1 cup), a chopped cucumber, a chopped tomatoe, and some chopped mint. I would have used parsley, but mine is going to seed so I didn't bother. Nice.

Win - Sunny Squash Soup, borrowed from Fat Free Vegan. I added all the optional ingredients except the tumeric, and only used half a jalepeno. Because of the potatoes, this soup was very creamy. Terrific way to use summer squash!

Chickpea Mash for Sandwiches

Since Presv. Maria asked,

Basically, drain the can of chickpeas and then then pretend you're making traditional tuna salad.

Add mayo, mustard, sweet pickle relish and a little salt and pepper. Mash it all up and use with bread or crackers.