Tue, 26 Jan 2016 05:24:03 GMT Tue, 26 Jan 2016 05:24:03 GMT <![CDATA[C├ęcile's UntamedKitchen.ca]]> Plantain

It's been a while since I have been wanting to play with plantains. Checked √

All I needed was my faithful cast-iron pan and coconut oil (which is ideal for healthy frying).

Plantain can't be eaten raw... you've got to cook it somewhat. It's actually referred as the cooking bananas!

So, I peeled one plantain (fitted nicely in the pan) with the help of a knife as it has a tougher skin. I cut it in about 1/2 cm-thick slices before dumping them in their oily bath ;0)

It's interesting to notice that at first, it felt as if the cooking was taking for ever. I turned the slices over and after some more cooking, all of a sudden, it burned... I caught it just in time but I'll know better in the future.
I also didn't add any salt which I will next time.
I'll be looking at spicing them up a bit too!

I am amazed at how it didn't get mushy at all. It's just so different and yet similar to bananas. Fascinating!

Well, I'm glad to have expanded my culinary horizon with this funky "fruit".

I made some turmeric/kale rice and a bok choy/radish/turnip stir-fry to eat with.

It was definitely a nourishing and satisfying addition to the table!

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Sat, 25 May 2013 10:21:49 GMT <![CDATA[Plantain Experiment!]]>
Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are the second most popular legume in Japan after the soybean!
They are really sweet and strong with a nutty flavor. I do have a soft spot for them.

The other day, I cooked a batch (maybe 3 cups worth) from scratch (soaking overnight, draining the next day, cooking until nice and soft with a piece of kombu in lots of water without adding any salt).

After putting some away in the freezer (for a future dip, soup or purée) I decided to keep some handy in my fridge.
It's a good idea to always have some cooked lentils or beans ready to roll ;0)

So, for an improvised lunch, I took my wok and...

Sautéd an onion in olive oil.
Added some firm tofu cut in small cubes.
Mixed in sliced cremini mushrooms, 1 hot chili pepper finely chopped, some lemon juice + zest.
Once it looked cooked, I added the beans just to warm them up.
Finally, I put in tamari, fresh parsley and cilantro and a few drops of toasted sesame oil.

I ate it just like that with some gomasio. Hot it was... I'm not used to chilies!

Would be awesome served with soba noodle. Or on a nice bed of basmati rice.


The left-over can be turned into a hearty salad by adding some fresh tomatoes, peppers, green onions, fresh spinach, a bit of sesame oil and brown rice vinegar!

I've been away (to French People Land that is France!) from my BLOG for a few weeks but I shall make up for it ;0)

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Fri, 10 May 2013 12:29:08 GMT <![CDATA[Loving Adzuki Beans]]>
TSP Sauce

I thought that now that you (maybe) got yourself a bag of TSP (see Blog before the last one!), I could share with you that SUPER QUICK, very KID-FRIENDLY, EASY, CHEAP... idea of a recipe. Textured Soy Protein is usually used to replace ground beef as it kind of looks like it ;0)

For about 2 to 4 people (I love lots of sauce on my plate...):

Sauté 1 small onion + 1 small carrot (how about celery, fennel, leek)
Stir in 1/2 cup of TSP
Add some minced garlic if you want
Let it all toast a bit before adding some tomato sauce
Season to your taste. I like adding good quality Provence Herbs.
The TSP will rehydrate right in the sauce. No need to add extra water or to rehydrate them separately.

That's it!

Today, for lunch, I cooked these awesome KAMUT UDON (a great product!). Their texture is beautiful, much lighter than regular spaghettis.
In the pasta department, I love alternating between different brands and kinds.

 

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Thu, 14 Mar 2013 01:55:00 GMT <![CDATA[TSP in a Simple Meatless Sauce!]]>
No Bake Bars


The traditional version of this recipe uses corn syrup, unnecessary extra sugar and butter. 

I'm replacing the corn syrup by brown rice syrup (nice and gooey!) and I have choosen healthier and organic ingredients for the rest. They turned out real yummy.

In my books, this is a guilt-free treat!

Makes about 24 pieces

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy!) or almond butter (awesome!)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or simply 90 gr, of a nice flavored chocolate bar ;0)

3/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts or a mix of them)
2 cups Rice Puffs from Nature's Path for ex. 

In a saucepan, on low heat, melt together the 1st batch of ingredients.
Remove from heat and stir in the nuts and cereals.
Press into the bottom of an 8” slightly greased pan.
Note: I used a spring form pan. Easy does it!
Put it away in the fridge for a few hours before attempting to cut it up.

I love this recipe. Easy, quick, yummy, healthy... what more to ask?!

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Mon, 11 Mar 2013 03:26:57 GMT <![CDATA[No Bake Chewy Bars]]>
MeatLess Patties


Together with my faithful cast-iron pan, I ventured down the TSP or TVP path!
= Textures - Soy or Vegetable -  Protein.

A soy-based product that I like using once in a while. Very handy, quick, pretty cheap (go a long ways) and can be kept in the cupboard for a long time.

It's made out of defatted soy flour. Make sure you get the Organic & Non-GMO kind.
I only just found a "Made in USA" brand that offers such a thing!

TSP can be used wherever you would ground beef! 

It's basically a vegetable-source protein, a versatile meat substitute and a great source of protein.

Let's make some VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Mini- Burgers!

1 cup Textured Soy Protein (the granules/flakes versus the chunk-style/nuggets)
3/4 cup water mixed with:
* 1/2 veggie cube (or any other veggie powder you like to use)
* 1 tsp de tamari, shoyu or Bragg
* salt & pepper 

1 onion minced
2 or 3 garlic cloves minced
1 carrot grated 
Fresh parsley, basil, coriander or else finely chopped 
2 tbsp flax seeds freshly ground (you can use a coffee grinder)
About 20 almonds chopped finely
1tbsp mustard 
1 egg (if you want to add extra protein and extra binding effect!)

Pour your seasoned liquid over the TSP and let them rehydrate. 
In the meantime, sauté the onion in olive or coconut oil adding the garlic only towards the end (so it doesn’t burn). Add some water to the pan (= deglazing).

Add all the ingredients to the TSP and mix well.
Let the mixture sit for about 15 min.
Make small patties and fry them up in a good pan.

The egg definitely helps the binding but it does work without.
I’m still working on this recipe to find a way to have the egg effect without using any ;0)
Using the flax gel versus the flax seed meal might be the solution.
To be continued...

As far as the flavors, you can use any herbs (fresh or dry), curry paste, ketchup, funky spices, miso, different nuts & seeds... I gave you a good base to play with. Go and have fun!

Oh, I served these little guys over spaghettis adding a nice tomato sauce on top.
The patties did fall apart when I tried to cook them IN the sauce... Can’t always win ;0)
Soooo yummy good though.....

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Tue, 05 Mar 2013 05:34:26 GMT <![CDATA[TSP Mini-Burgers]]>
Egg Salad

 

I told you before... I ain't a real vegan... just because of eggs!
I just love them too much.
When I need to make sandwiches as an easy food on a trip or else, it's the perfect occasion for an egg salad.

My healthier version:
* Hard-boiled eggs
* Healthy mayonnaise (I adore my vegenaise from Earth Island!)
* Gomasio
* Seasoning... choice of salt, pepper, curry, herbs, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast (to die for!) etc.
* and special guest... KALE!!!

Yes, I hid some very finely julienned kale in the mixture which was a great addition.
Or how to take advantage of the wonders of kale!
A great way to enjoy a bit of greens without too much fuss. Cheeky cheeky!

This salad could also be successfully used as a dip. Youpie ! (that's "Yeah" in French ;0)

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Mon, 18 Feb 2013 08:56:20 GMT <![CDATA[Kale & Egg Salad... who would have thought?!]]>
Spaghetti Squash

 

I never got to play with spaghetti squash before. And I love it!
This is one funky "gourd".

Cut in half, discard the seeds, poke the sides with a fork (the steam will have a way out) place in an oven plate face down and bake for about 45 minutes.
Let it cool a bit before scraping the stuff out with a fork.
That easy!
You could simply add a tasty tomato sauce and bake it again with some grated tempeh on top. Yummy!

I was really impressed by how well the "spaghettis" are holding their shape.

Have fun ;0)

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Thu, 07 Feb 2013 10:41:07 GMT <![CDATA[Spaghetti Squash Made Easy!]]>
Baked Tempeh

Last post I hinted that I'll be soon talking about tempeh. Here it is!

I'm such a fan of this amazing soy-based product which, unlike tofu, goes through a fermentation process. It also uses the whole beans versus tofu which is made out of soy milk.

It's high in protein and because it's a fermented food, much easier on your digestion.There's no lack of info on the net for you to check. I'd rather stay pragmatic and tell you what I do with it!

It's got such a unique taste (nutty and kind of mushroomy all at once) that it doesn't need much else.

I do buy it plain (comes already prepared), cut it in cubes, slices, mini-fries... even shred it like cheese.

And then, I mix in some olive oil, lemon juice (try some of the zeste too), tamari. No need to add any extra salt (which I definitely do when I marinate tofu). In a few minutes, the tempeh will take on the flavors you added to it.

Of course you can add all kinds of dried herbs, other spices, sesame seeds etc. If you are a "beginner" with tempeh, I would recommend to start with this basic recipe. You'll get a sense of what it's all about and then, you can go all crazy with it ;0)

Last but not least, you can simply fry your tempeh in a pan with some olive or coconut oil. You can also bake it in the oven at 400F for about 20 min. Keep an eye on it.

Try it on a dish where you would otherwise put cheese on top. You are gonna love!

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Mon, 28 Jan 2013 05:51:57 GMT <![CDATA[Baked Tempeh...]]>
Pot Barley

Pot barley soup... that's as far as some of us go when it comes to using this funky little grain.

I cook it and use it as a side-dish just as I would rice, quinoa, boulgour etc. It's got a great texture and taste. You've got to try it!

Like any other whole grain, enjoy the many good things it has to offer. Barley is high in fibre, selenium, phosphorous, copper and manganese. 

FYI...
Pot barley = unhulled, unrefined, the whole works (more fibers, more nutrients).
Pearl barley = dehulled (the bran and germ is pearled away). Faster to cook.

I have a TIP for you!

Soak the POT barley for a few hours (in the morning, soak it in water so that by lunch time, it's ready to be cooked).
WHY? It cooks faster and I find that it gives it a different texture which is easier to chew on. Plus, it's much easier on your digestive system.
When you are ready to cook it, drain the milky soaking water and cook the grain in enough fresh water over medium heat for about 30 min. You can have it as chewy or cooked as you like! Drain the excess water when it's time. Oh, add sea salt in the cooking water or afterwards if you wish.

Today, we had pot barley, baked tempeh (next post... stayed tuned) and a green sauce (with kale).

This summer, try making a salad with pot barley just the way you would do with rice or pasta!

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Thu, 24 Jan 2013 06:29:26 GMT <![CDATA[Try Pot Barley for a change!]]>
Avocado

 

I always keep avocados handy. I buy them nice and hard so that they can safely ripe at home.

Why are they so good for you? Here's just 1 reason out of too many:

"They provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet."

It's just a phenomenal food. Now, yes... it doesn't grow in Canada... If only... with bananas and a very few other produces, I can't resist the temptation. Anyways, have I mentioned anywhere that I was the little Miss Sunshine of Whole Foods?! Rest reassured, I'm far to be perfect. Yeah ;0)

I love snacking on 1/2 an avocado. I pour some tamari in the hole and sprinkle gomasio (if you follow this BLOG, you know what it is by now!) on top.
I strongly recommend this combination... it's really divine!

 

 

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Mon, 21 Jan 2013 03:12:09 GMT <![CDATA[Snacking on Avocado]]>