Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Pictures

Aaron had only morning classes today, so he came home in time for lunch at home. We had grilled Sammiches. {Sammiches, Sammiches! Barely even human!) I had tomato and basil with a ton of nutritional yeast and a twist of fresh black pepper.

Open Face!

I also had some of the last of this season's blueberries on the side, and I think we all have to admit that blueberries are awesome. Those that did not get eaten today were frozen for future smoothies and other food products.
Noms + antioxidants = Blueberries!

Finally, here is a lunch shot I lost in the shuffle, but really wanted to post. It's from about a week ago. Featured in the bottom are home made spring rolls, trail mix, and a coconut water with passionfruit. I think these coconut waters are the only box drink I've found that I really feel good about so far, except Aaron doesn't like them. In the lid we have a pear, soy sauce and peanut sauce, and two inari sushi. The inari are not vegetarian. They contain undetectable fish extract. These things are the sweetened, fried tofu equivalent of a freaking pita, and they have to put fish you can't even taste into them? Seriously, W. T. F. I also tried my hand a carrot stars.
I heart Uwajimaya!

Last but not least, please enjoy this dramatically lit salad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yogurt One

I tried Ricera's strawberry rice yogurt this morning, with mixed results. First concern: there are no guarantees of vegan or even vegetarian ingredients, so I'm uncertain where they got their cultures, but most of the ingredients seem very food like. This tiny 6 oz cup also contains 24 grams of sugar, which seems a bit much. I think they're making up for the zero fat. Here's the label:
Upon opening the container, I was greeted by grayish goo, not very appetizing at all, but then regular yogurt is a off white goo, so no judgement on this feature. When I tasted it, my initial thought was "Yogurt!" followed by the after taste, which while sort of like bile, but not as bad as that sounds. It was bland, and a little too sweet, but very yogurt like for all of that. I've had worse things in my mouth. I put the yogurt in the morning smoothie, along with the other stuff pictured. Strawberry Mango Smoothie! You could taste the yogurt ever so faintly, and it definitely added to the smoothie experience. The smoothie was lovely, and Aaron said it wasn't bad. He only had half of his glass, but Aaron never eats very much without hurting himself, so I think it was a success.
We had home made Pad Thai last night. I finally got to try out the veggie fish sauce. It was... not fish sauce, but still awesome. The recipe we found called for equal parts fish sauce, tamarind paste, and sugar, and it was way too sweet. I think that next time, we will use half the sugar and an extra fifty percent fish sauce. We added bok choy, tofu and mushrooms directly to the dish, and Sam fried some chicken on the side for the omnis. We also set up build it yourself Vietnamese spring rolls, which werer quite good. I made coconut sticky rice for desert, which Aaron found not sweet enough, but I thought was perfect.

His lunch today is mostly leftovers, with the Pad Thai in the two lower containers, one is for the noodles and the other is the veggies with extra tofu on top. (By the way, tamarind paste, veggie fish sauce, and sugar make an awesome tofu marinade.) The two upper containers are green salad and sticky rice. The closed container at the bottom right is salad dressing, the last of that raspberry vinaigrette. I hope we can find that raspberry vinegar again, it was divine. Mango juice and chopsticks cut to size finish off the box. After photography, I added a bag of trail mix and a plum candy.

I cut these chopsticks down at the last minute with a steak knife. Mark said he would, but he forgot. I love jury-rigged last minute projects like this, dunno why.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Food, Glorious Food

So, fish sauce is okay, but not fish sauce. The Pad Thai was okay, but too sweet and not spicy enough. The spring rolls were awesome, though, as was the coconut sticky rice.

In other news, I have taken up prophetic dreaming. Last night I had a dream about going to a smoothie bar with Aaron and having an awesome smoothie. So this morning, I got up and made myself one! Frozen strawberries and blackberries, a ripe banana, orange juice, almond milk, honey and flax seeds made an wonderful purple breakfast for Noelle and Aaron. Mark and Sam declined, as Mark has issues with textures, and Sam can't eat raw honey (it's bad for babies). I am inspired to start making smoothies more often. I haven't had a decent smoothie since I left Hawaii. Aaron took me to Jamba Juice, but their smoothies are disgusting, also, their non-dairy smoothie is a lie! It contains milk powder! I did not realize, but my tummy sure informed me later that night. Looked it up, can't recall where, and sure enough.

Went to PCC today, as well. I have been craving the ice creams, and I was on SO Delicious website yesterday, and their ingredients are not that bad. It is not a healthy food by any stretch of the imagination, but neither is the food I'm replacing. And no worries for the soy, my intake is pretty low. I eat about a brick of tofu a week (shared with family), and limit my processed food intake as much as possible. In addition to ice cream sammiches and chocolate ice cream by So D, I got three non dairy yogurts to try: a vanilla coconut by So D, a blackberry soy by Nancy's, and a strawberry rice by I forget. Reviews with pictures to follow!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vegetarian Fish Sauce!

Caution: Label contains Disney quote. "Fish are friends, not food!" I know this has been (over)done, but damn, it's cute.
I made vegetarian fish sauce today, and I must say, it is damn near as disgusting as real fish sauce. First, you boil seaweed in water for twenty minutes. My sister in law Sam said it smelled, "like a mermaid barn, like where they keep the seahorses." So yeah, it smelled like the ocean mixed with horse poop. After twenty minutes, you add a concoction of soysauce, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, sugar and pepper, then you boil it for another half an hour. Our kitchen has never smelled so bad. It was like children playing at making soup with things they found on the beach. After that, you let it cool, then strain it into a container of your choice. I used an empty soysauce bottle. The recipe made slightly more fish sauce than would fit, but it was close enough for me.

I found the recipe here, you have to scroll down a bit, but here's the whole thing, as I found it. Ms Nadja Dee Witherbee is a fellow Seattlite! Thanks to this awesome lady, we are one step closer to Home Made Thai Night!

HOME MADE VEGETARIAN FISH SAUCE: So, I've noticed that a lot of asian dishes call for fish sauce, and if you're a true vegetarian like me you always feel like that puts the recipe just out of reach. I've come up with my own vegetarian fish sauce and I think it's 99% close the real thing.

I based the main part of it off the Wikipedia Vegetarian Fish Sauce recipe, but I felt the recipe there lacked a few things which put it into the realm of "tastes like the real thing" but it's 100% VEGETARIAN.

2 - cups shredded dried seaweed
4 - cups water
3 - cloves garlic (smashed but not minced)
1 & 1/2 - Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 - cup soy sauce
2 - tsp lime juice (concentrate OK)
2 - tsp lemon juice (concentrate OK)
2 - Tbs vinegar
3 - tsp sugar
1 - tsp ground ginger
1 - tsp ground garlic
1/4 - tsp chili powder

You can find the dried seaweed at just about any asian market. Personally I prefer the type that shredded kinda small versus the large sheets of seaweed. I think that when it's shredded it makes for a richer sauce.

1. In a large bowl, add 2 cups dried seaweed + 4 cups water
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
3. Add garlic cloves + peppercorns + soy sauce + lime juice + lime juice
+ vinegar + sugar + ginger + garlic powder + ginger + chili powder
4. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium and cook for 30 minutes
5. You can adjust the salt level by adding water
6. Allow to cool
7. Strain into a container

Straining it is the key. Once it's strained you can funnel it into a large water bottle, and label it "Veggie Fish Sauce" or as it's called in Vietnam "Nuoc Mam Chay" If you've ever tasted the real fish sauce (in your pre-veggie days) you can sample a tiny bit and see just how close to the real thing it really tastes. But caution...this stuff is stinky and strong! Just like the real fish sauce.

Hope you like it.
Ms Nadja Dee Witherbee
Seattle WA

Results of this science experiment to follow!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Recipes

I just submitted a pair of pictures to This is Why You're Thin with the promise of posting a pair of recipes here.

The first is Sam's flax rolls, which are amazing. (makes 12 rolls, easy to double for big parties or freezing)

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tblsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 t. salt
1 Tblsp. ground flax seed
3 Tblsp. water
2 Tblsp. oil or margarine (we used smart balance)

Big Bowl
Small Bowl
Muffin Tin, oiled/sprayed
Clean Hand Towel
Large Spoon

1) Mix flax and water in small bowl and set aside

2) Dissolve the yeast in the warm water

3) Stir in sugar, half a cup of each flours, and salt into yeast mixture. Beat until smooth

4) Add flax and oil

5) Add the rest of the flour, beat smooth

6) Cover with a cloth and let sit 30 min or until doubled in size

7) Stir raised dough and divide into greased muffin tin

8) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

9) Cover and allow to rise 20 to 30 minutes, until risen to top of pan

10) Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until done

Ta Da! Sam's Awesome flax rolls and some ugly soup!

The next is the homemade raspberry vinaigrette. This one is a lot less exact, sorry for not having any measurements.

Raspberry vinegar
Olive oil
Soy Sauce (tiny amount)
Honey (tiny amount)

1) Mix it all in a watertight lidded container to taste

2) Let it sit and think about what it has done, at least twenty minutes

Awesome yummy salad made even better by fabulous raspberry dressing!

Lies at the Farmers Market

Sam and I go to our local farmer's market (almost) very week for fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers. While there we over heard an exchange that went something like this:
"Do you have and kale? I've been craving it all week."
"Sorry, not until this fall. Kale isn't any good until after the first frost."

Um, no. I lived in Hawaii for most of 2008, on an organic farm. We grew and sold kale all year long. About ten giant coolers full a week, and we had to eat it constantly because the plants produced so much. Our kale was fine. Our kale was beautiful. Our kale was delicious. I think somehow "kale is still good after it frosts" has been perverted in some people's minds to "kale is only good after it frosts." I feel sorry for that poor kale-craver.
Google Image of Kale. It's such a pretty vegetable, don't you think?

In other news, this coming weekend is our last in this wretched town house. I can't wait to start in on gardening at the new place!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All Better (sort of)

So I am no longer sick, mostly. I still have a bit of a cough, and I am doing the sneezing, runny nose thing, but the flu is mostly over. I should be packing and cleaning, but what am I actually doing? I'm looking at lolcats.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I started coughing last night. I'm worried that I may have swine flu. H1N1. The newest, fanciest pandemic. I've started taking my elderberry extract, which has (according to wikipedia) been scientificly proven to help fight the flu virus. I will also be making myself the hardcore alium foods. I'm not to worried about my own health so much as Sam's, her being preggers and all. Drew has a 101 fever with a cough, and refuses to seek medical treatment or even stay home from school. All Digipen needs is for this to go through there.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

PAX (My People!)

Okay, so PAX 09 is now over, and it was pretty amazing. I think the greatest think about it is the shear density of geekiness. I have never been somewhere where I felt that I could probably be friends with every person I met. Until today. That alone was worth it. Nevermind everything else, the celebrities, the free stuff, the panels, all of it was wonderful, but really, it was all about be able to be in a crowd of 80,000 people, knowing that we were all among our own.