Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Upcoming Events...

Saturday January 17, 2009
“Whole Foods for a Healthy Diet”
10:30 a.m. – noon
Hillcrest Church of Christ
Free (pre-registration required)

Learn how to incorporate life-affirming whole foods such as leafy greens, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables into your every day diet with these simple, yet delicious recipes using the best of nature’s harvest.
This free class is part of the 2009 Saturday Academy at the Hillcrest Church of Christ located at 1939 Snapfinger Road in Decatur. Pre-registration is required. For more information call the church at 404-289-4573 or email chunter@hillcresstcoc.net.

Monday January 19, 2009
In Store Cooking Demo
Noon – 2 p.m.
Sevananda Natural Foods Market

Stop by Sevananda during this two hour demonstration to learn more about exciting products available at Sevananda that will help you support your personal wellness plan. In store demonstrations will reflect the wellness theme of Sevananda’s School of Common Health to nourish your body, mind and spirit. For more information call Sevananda at 404-681-2831.

Homemade Falafel

I did take a shortcut: I used canned garbanzo beans (chick peas) instead of cooking dried beans. Just didn't have that kind of time. However, draining and rinsing canned beans gets rid of a lot of that "muddy" flavor as well has decreases the amount of sodium in the beans. I will call this another 1.0 version of a dish since I intend to remake it, this time w/ 1-2 Tbsp less flour. I think I added too much which made the interior texture just a bit gummy. Next time I'll play with the spice profile a little bit too. Other than that, these were quick and easy thanks to two kitchen tools: my Fry Daddy and my food processor!

Homemade Falafel

1 16 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 large onion, large diced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp flour

Combine all ingredients except baking soda and flour in a food processor and blend until well mixed.
Add baking soda and add flour 2 Tbsp at a time until the mixture has the consistency of a coarse cookie dough that just holds together.

Refrigerate mixture to allow the flavors and gluten to develop. This will also keep your falafel from falling apart immediately in the pan.
Meanwhile heat oil in a fryer or deep pan to 375 degrees.
Form the mixture into small balls about the size of a large tablespoon, then flatten in your palm.

Fry at 375 degrees, turning once, until golden brown. In a deep fryer they will float when they are nearly done.

Cinnamon-Orange Glazed Seitan

OK let me reiterate how much I dislike "fake meat." Just wanted to put that out there and then say, I enjoyed this dish. It was a hearty meal in the Meatless January line-up. Seitan is wheat gluten, and it's often transformed in to things like "unchicken" and "unBBQ" and a bunch of other un-meats that leave me shaking my head.

I was the sous chef at a vegan restaurants for about 7 months (at which point I was too pregnant to work the line and not be miserable) and in that time I really learned to love vegan and vegetarian food that featured actual vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, juices and ANYTHING that wasn't fake meat. Those faux-lobster ball things are about as far as I can go.

For the record I don't consider tofu or tempeh to be fake meat. In fact, in a recent class a couple of the attendees mentioned they'd never tried tofu because it was always presented as a meat replacement. I said, "Take tofu for what it is and don't consider it a meat replacement." It's tofu, it can stand on it's own for what it is. And according to my palate, tofu and tempeh come across much less processed than all of that un-meat. I know there are tons of folk who disagree with me, but I'll take falafel made from beans over a manufactured soy-patty any day.

So you see how deeply prejudiced I am against "fake meat." With that out of the way, let me proudly present this seitan dish. In the picture you can see it was served with a saute of mushrooms and purple cabbage and some jasmine rice.

Cinnamon-Orange Glazed Seitan
1 lb. Chicken Style Seitan (seasoned wheat gluten)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp miso tamari, or organic soy sauce
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp corn starch
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Drain seitan. In a pot combine seitan, soy sauce, water and sesame oil. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring to coat seitan and allowing the liquid to evaporate.

Meanwhile combine orange juice, ground ginger, corn starch, honey, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and whisk until blended.

Pour orange juice mixture into over the seitan, stirring occasionally. Sauce will begin to thicken as it cooks, and when it has a glaze-like consistency it's ready to serve.

Mushroom Tempeh Burgers

This was my first attempt at these burgers. They are tasty, but a little delicate. I'll make a MTB 2.0 in the near future and hopefully those will be sturdier. Michael is NOT a tempeh fan (like I'm NOT a Seitan fan) but these were so good he said he'd definitely eat them again. They were really easy to make too, thanks once again to my food processor.

(makes 3 burgers)

Mushroom Tempeh Burgers

1/2 pint (4 oz) baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 whole scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Three Grain Tempeh, diced
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 cup oats

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, jalapenos, scallions, garlic until mushrooms and garlic are tender.
Stir in tempeh, cayenne and smoked paprika.
Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Transfer mixture to a food processor. Add oats and pulse several times. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process until well ground.
Form the mixture into three patties.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a a skillet. Carefully transfer patties into pan.
Brown on one side for 3 minutes or until browned, and then carefully flip over. Brown on the second side.
Serve on whole grain buns with desired fixin's.