Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Want an Easier and Faster Tofu Scramble? Make a Tofu Scramble Mix

I don't know what to call this.  A seasoning blend? Tofu scramble mix? Whatever you want to call it, it will make your mornings go faster if you're a tofu scramble kind of person.  You take my basic ratio and double, triple, get my to whatever will fit your container.  Mix it together so it's well-blended and use however much makes you happy.

My basic ratio is this:

Tofu Scramble Mix

1 tablespoon of  nutritional yeast (aka nooch)
1 teaspoon of kala namak (aka black salt)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

I think I use more turmeric (every Asian I know pronounces it tumeric, no R. Just saying) and black salt than other people.  Turmeric has a lot of health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.  But to really magnify it's benefits, you need to combine it with pepper.  Black salt also has health benefits, primarily aiding in digestion. Random info, black salt isn't really salty tasting. Indian Asian people use it a lot, which is why you're going to get the best price buying it at an Indian Asian store.  It's not a specialty item that you get up-charged on, it's just a regular old spice.

How much do you use?  It's your tofu scramble, use as much as you want!  After I crumble the tofu in a hot, oiled frying pan, I add about 2-3 teaspoons per package of tofu.  Mix it together and cook until you think it's heated through, and voila.  I usually add onions, spinach, tomatoes, cheese...but this is your tofu scramble, so you do you.  You can also rub it on slices of tofu and fry it. Now you have the perfect faux egg for an egg sandwich!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

EVA Accidentally Vegan Birkenstocks Review PLUS How to Stop Them from Making Noise

Did you know Birkenstock now makes some vegan friendly shoes?  I did buy a pair of the Mayari Vegan Birko-Flor sandals, I'll talk about that some other time.  But in addition to those, their EVA collection falls into the accidentally vegan category.

EVA stands for Ethylene vinyl acetate.  As per their site, "EVA is a skin-friendly plastic with exceptional abrasion resistance... EVA is flexible and, of course, water-friendly." I couldn't find them locally at a store so I could try them out, so I ordered the Birkenstock Essentials Gizeh EVA Anthracite sandals. Yes, they look a little odd, but apparently Birkenstocks are now trendy?  When did that happen?

I was a girl of the nineties, with my pointy-toed high heels, running around to bars and clubs, inadvertently destroying my feet in the process.  I need more support than a traditional flip flop can offer.  At about forty dollars a pop, I thought it was a better to own one pair that don't hurt my feet and shins than several pairs that do.

I tried them on, walked around and just loved them.  Great support. Good fit despite my insanely wide feet.  But then there was the noise.  This horrible farting sound every time I walked.  Hmmm...were these worth keeping if they sounded like this?  Nope.  But I wanted to keep them!  So to the internet I went.

Pages of pages of reading and I found someone with a solution. It was a random comment on some random site.  Reddit maybe?  I wish I remembered or could find it again so I could give that person credit.  The very simple solution is Velcro.  Yes, you read that right, Velcro.

Take a piece of Velcro, the soft fuzzy part, obviously not the hard scratchy side.  Cut it to the length of the inner arch.  I recommend rounding the corners so it doesn't lift up and start scratching at your foot. I don't know for sure that it would happen, but err on the side of caution.

Obviously, everyone's feet and adventures are different.  But for me, I've warn these Birkenstock Gizeh EVAs out and about, to the beach, and to the park for the past two months.  They've been holding up really well and I've had no issues with the Velcro staining or pulling off.  For me, the comfort of these outweigh the look and if I do wind up having to replace the Velcro every few months, I'd be okay with that.  Hope this tip helps!  That farting noise is a deal breaker! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Book Review: Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson

If you've been following me on Instagram, then you know I've developed quite the love affair with Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson.  It's only $8.14 on Amazon right now.  Talk about an underrated book!

Yes, it's a vegetarian cookbook, not vegan, but she provides plenty of vegan options.  The rest are things you can easily figure out substitutions yourself.  I do have four suggestions if you do go buy this, or take it out of your local library.

Image result for veggie burger atelier

The first is to ignore all of the panko breadcrumbs listed in the ingredient section.  It tends to be dry and not hold together that well when you use it.  Instead, use vital wheat gluten.  It gives it a much meatier feel and holds the burger together better.

Secondly, do everything by weight.  If you substitute panko for vital wheat gluten cup for cup, it'll be a disastor.  You have to do it by weight.  I feel like these recipes in general work better when you measure everything by weight.

Third, all the ones that say to bake them are too squishy when you eat them.  Add a little extra vital wheat gluten so it holds together better and then pan fry them.  The texture is better this way.  I always use my trusty cast iron pan, but that's up to you.

Lastly, these recipes make gigantic burgers. I cut them in half and make three more normal size burgers.  I think they cook better that way and are simply easier to eat.

Sage, Kale and Butternut Squash Burger.  This is the first burger I made.  Too squishy, but otherwise really good.  I'd definitely use vital wheat gluten next time.

Le Parisien.  So good!  Listen to her topping suggestions.  They sound crazy, but they're great with every burger.   I used Follow Your Heart Gouda in lieu of Gruyere cheese, Just Mayo, homemade peach jam and caramelized onions.  It was the perfect mix of salty, sweet and sour.

'Shroom and Egg Burger.  OMFG.  This was my favorite out of the book.  It would be a great brunch burger.  There are a million ways to make a vegan egg, use what you like.  There are great vegan yolk recipes, but you can just use The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk.  Don't skip it, the yolk makes the burger.

The Lahmacun Burger topped with cashew toum (my daughter is obsessed with this and forgoes cream cheese for toum on her bagel), red onions, lettuce, and a dollop of harissa.

The Berlinger Burger served with homemade curry ketchup and homemade sauerkraut and potato wedges on the side.  I wasn't sure about the kraut, but it all really went together so well.

IS IT VEGAN-FRIENDLY?  Yes, most definitely.  There are some things she didn't provide a vegan option for like halloumi cheese, but can google "vegan...whatever" and I'm sure you can figure something out.  The bulk of the book is easily veganizable if it's not already vegan.

WOULD I BUY IT?  Yes, I did buy it!  I cannot believe the success I've had with Veggie Burger Atelier.  I can't believe how every recipe, including the condiment and side suggestions, have been so amazing!  Granted the panko was a mistake, but whatever.  Make a few tweeks and this book is well worth the money.  I love that I finally have some great options for veggie burgers that aren't the usual black bean or Beyond Burger.  I highly recommend you check out this book.