Sunday, January 13, 2008
New Year's Resolutions Underway!
The new year is already two weeks underway and I'm working hard to address my resolutions! With the cold weather struggling to stay around, I am still craving hot foods. I could never be completely "raw" for that reason (although I once said I could never be completely vegan! - ha, ha!).
One of my resolutions was to try new kinds of cooking, or at least ones I had been too "scared" to try before. Behold my first try at injera! An Ethiopian flatbread, used as a scooping-type utensil, it is made from teff flour, so it is gluten free and very high in protein and nutrients! This picture shows you how you should serve an Ethiopian meal with injera. First, you put one piece flat on the plate. Then you add the meal on top. This helps soak up some of the sauce (although this recipe wasn't very saucy!). Last, you roll up several injera pieces and slice across, serving this on the side of the plate to use in eating the meal. Gotta' love no silverware! This is a meal that children might enjoy! (except for the spiciness, which you could easily cut down). The recipe for the wat was from Veg News (Mar/April 2007, I believe), while the injera was from Fat Free Vegan's site.
Now, I never make pancakes, and when I do, they always split into two, but if I do say so myself, these injera came out darn good! They were intimidating at first, but after the first few, I was flipping them out like a pro! Here is the batter. It's pretty soupy, like crepe batter.
Following the recipe (see above link), I ended up with several changes. One example is shown here, as the recipe states to tilt the pan so that the batter covers the entire bottom. When I did this, the injera ended up too thin and burned. So, I just let it naturally spread. Also, I had to turn the heat down and didn't let it cook NEARLY one minute (more like 30 seconds). I could tell when it was done, by watching for the absence of any light spots on the top.
The last major change I did to the recipe was to not use a paper towel dipped in oil to grease the pan, but rather my lovely olive oil pump sprayer! It is so easy and mists the pan just perfectly! Here are the first few injera, steaming from the pan. They are not overcooked - the flour is already pretty dark.
Here is my half-done, big pile o' injera! I challenge you to try this out!
Part of my resolution to try new foods included raw foods. I tried these "Raw Energy Logs," from a recent Veg News issue, and was thrilled with the results! Well, the taste results, anyhow. They were tender and sweet and just the right size. With only dried fruit and nuts, there was zero guilt. The hint of cardamom made them so perfect. The only problem is, as you see by the photo, that they look rather like.... well, sorry, but giant cat turds, compete with kitty litter. I was grossed out until I tasted one. Soooo... next time I will roll these into balls, and call them Raw Energy Bites! Yum, yum, yum.
Now, as far as my peace resolution, I was thrilled (several months back) to find that presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has been the only one to propose (even if he doesn't make it, he still is urging this) a (get this): National Department of Peace. We have a Department of War (oh, that's right, it's defense) but where the hell has that gotten us? I love this idea. Now, if only he was rich - then he'd make it ALL the debates and get more press time!