Monday, October 22, 2007

Endless Protein Sources

Once again, I can only shake my head and chuckle when someone asks me what I do for protein. I think about what my own husband eats on a daily basis, even though he is cutting out more meat now, and only see how boring a meat-based diet can be! Veganism, on the other hand, has endless options...

For a good example, this is a Spicy Red Lentil Dal, from a recent Vegetarian Times magazine issue. I had the craving for it after the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, where we tasted it from the Ethiopian food vendors. This was just as good, if not better! It was soooo simple to make, so that was an added bonus. Perfectly spicy! Red lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They cook up more quickly than other beans and lentils, which was great for a weeknight meal this week! So creamy and filling. I ate it with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro, as well as brown rice and peas. Quick question for rice cooker connoisseurs: I love my rice cooker but brown rice often comes out underdone. Should I add more liquid? Anyhoo- Rating for the dal: 4 stars (out of 4)! Maybe I'll make some naan or injera next time to eat with it.

For our wedding anniversary, we usually stay at a bed and breakfast (last year, it was the awesome White Pig). This year, as we tried to save some cash, we took a trip back to the Shenandoah National Park, which we visited back in September. We were hoping for a heartbreaking color explosion, but thanks to the drought this summer (and into the fall!), the colors were not as spectacular as they should have been. We did enjoy a hike, though, as well as incredibly yummy faux chicken salad sandwiches with fruit, spiced nuts and chips! The chicken sandwiches were made with tempeh, which was poached and chopped. The texture and flavor was very convincing, at least I thought so. I can't believe it's been almost a decade since I tasted chicken! Weird. At any rate, the recipe is in La Dolce Vegan. This recipe is a must make for anyone who likes sandwiches!
This was a perfect time and place to remember my grandfather, who passed away one year ago. We were at the White Pig when we heard he was doing poorly.

Here is a shot of the White Pig, where we stayed last year. How I wish I were there again!

After that dose of fall, and a hard week at work, I was ready for some easy cooking this weekend. Here is an incredibly easy and deliciously "fall" soup! I got the recipe from a friend at the last Veg Group meeting. Here it is! Heat in a saucepan the following: 1 can plain pumpkin (15 ounces, roughly - when will we join the rest of the world in our units of measure??), 1 can light coconut milk (I used organic, too), 1 can cannelini beans (I mashed these a bit in the pot), and 2 cups of veggie broth (or one can- I used bouillon cubes). So, heat these four cans (ok, empty the cans out and just head the contents!) in the saucepan until hot. Add some pepper and fresh sage (those light green things floating in the middle of the cup are whole sage leaves, but I shredded the ones I added). What could be more simple or more fall? Delish.

For the last picture of this post, I'm leaving you with some Vegan Snickerdoodles, also from Veg Times. I am not usually blown away by this magazine, but this was the second kick-ass recipe from them in one week! These smelled heavenly while baking, were pretty easy to make, and best of all, tasted just like I remembered :)
Poor hubby thought I made them for him, but I am bringing them into work for the fourth week of World Vegetarian Month. I

am also doing a "free cupcake giveaway drawing" from Isa's awesome cupcake book. Winner gets a dozen of their choice! I wonder what I'll be making?....


Scott said...

I also agree on the variety comment. I eat a much wider variety of foods not that I eat vegetarian. Although, I still get caught in ruts unfortunately.

As far as rice. My Zojirushi NHS-10 has markings and instructions for how much water to use. It is more than for white, but not too much. A couple other recommendations for brown, rinse the rice well before using to reduce the starch bubbles. Let soak for an hour before cooking. And last, put a towel under the cover when the cooker clicks off to steam. This will catch the extra water and leave you with less sticky rice.

VeggieGirl said...

Yours posts are always filled with such incredible photographs, stories, and food, that it's hard to pick a favorite to mention (I am a bit partial to those snickerdoodles though, haha)!! and of COURSE I love your posts that specifically put a spotlight on wonderful, versatile, PLENTIFUL vegan protein sources. kudos!! :0)

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

What a beautiful and appetizing blog you have here.

Makes me hungry!

bazu said...

why are people obsessed with protein? don't they know that every food has protein and that most Americans get too much to begin with? Pffft.

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