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Showing posts from April, 2009

Superfood Sushi

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Because my partner sticks to a pretty high protein diet because of his workouts, I’m always looking for new ways to make high protein meals varied and interesting. Pre-vegan days, that was simple, but it’s a little more challengingnow. It also happens that I used to be sushi obsessed (well, I still am, but it was mostly for the raw sea animals before) and that I promised a quinoa recipe today, so I concocted a way of making high protein sushi! Okay… I didn’t do much, sushi IS high protein. But once you cut out the rice, its even higher, and hey, I get credit for figuring that out.

Yep, despite my Chinese heritage, I have come to find that rice is pretty overrated (blasphemy I know, just don’t tell my family…)! Plus it always makes me feel bloated afterwards, so to make sushi why not use quinoa? Aside from quinoa already being a complete protein, I always use veggies and some other form of protein to feel like I’m having a balanced and complete meal… I’ve done everything from seitan st…

The many faces of Quinoa

With the end of classes coming around and procrastination from papers increasing with the end of the semester, I'm hoping to be posting more frequently from now on (along the lines of twice a week). It seems like people are looking for all sorts of substitutes recently (myself included!) whether it is to make something vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, low-sugar, low calorie, the list goes on… this is why this week’s ode is to quinoa. Quinoa: it’s something of a grain, but it’s gluten free and you can use it for ANYTHING! It can substitute rice, couscous, breakfast oatmeal, you can find quinoa flour, you name it! Like I mentioned in one of my last posts, I always find it fascinating (but mostly scary) how far removed we have become from our food. When we consider that traditional South American diets understood the need for complete proteins, or that traditional Chinese cooking emphasizes the consumption of ‘internal body cleansers’ or 'energy balancers' like ginger or five spi…

"Ginger Three-Ways" Cookies

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So, I recently decided that Liz Lovely’s Ginger Snapdragons cookies are the best thing that ever happened to cookies! In fact, Liz Lovely is the best thing that ever happened to cookies. Because I only have access to them when I got to MOM’s near my parents’ place, I decided to try to make my own version to lessen the craving til I can get out there. I think I did a pretty good job! And they’re extra gingery because that’s the only way to go! I made mine in different sizes to get the small flat crispy ones and the bigger chewy ones. And as always, use organic ingredients!

Ingredients 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 4 teaspoons ground ginger
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
 1/2 cup canola oil
 1/4 cup molasses
 1/4 cup soy milk
 3/4 cup cup sugar
 1 teaspoon vanillafreshly grated ginger (to taste) chopped pieces of crystallized ginger to put on top 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 2. Except the sugar and chopped ginger, sift the dry ingredi…

Tip of the Week: Using Chickpea Flour

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Despite the fact that it's Easter long weekend, this week means papers, papers, papers for me to write so instead of posting a recipe I wanted to give you a quick baking tip that I have found more and more vegans have been adopting recently: using chickpea flour! Lately, I’ve been substituting about ¼ (or more, I've done up to half) of any flour in my cookierecipes with chickpea flour and it always ends up tasting amazing. It gives cookies a much richer, nuttier taster, and a warmer darker color. Because I tend to only use flours like whole wheat, spelt, etc. I find that you can substitute it one for one no problem. Since I’m straying further and further away from really sweet desserts, I find that by providing a richer taste, chickpea flour makes baking less cloyingly sweet. I haven’t tried it on anything other than cookies at the moment though (like cakes, muffins, etc.) so if you have insight into that let me know! On the nutrition side, using chickpea flour is also very good …

Vegan Fen Zheng Rou

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First things first: I love my mom. Why? Aside from all the obvious reasons, she took it upon herself to veganize one of my favourite recipes this weekend. Fen Zheng Rou (Beef) or Fen Zheng Pai Gou (Pork) has always been one of my favourite dishes growing up and I was kind of sad to have to let it go when I became vegan (this is despite the fact that I loved the dish despite the meat). BUT, because my mom is awesome and loves me lots, I introduced her to seitan and she decided to attempt to veganize her age old recipe for me and it turned out better than ever! I can’t tell you enough how much I love this woman.
Considering what I said about “Cooking is like Piracy”, I apparently learned that from my mom. This is all based on me watching her and having to estimate a recipe she now does more by memory and reflex than ever needing to measure things out:

Ingredients 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled
4 small taros, peeled (don't forget to wear gloves or your hands get itchy!) 1 lb of sei…

Seitan in Tomato Mango Sauce

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This recipe makes a really addictive caramelized seitan that’s great with anything from rice to stir-fried veggies or on its own. All the ingredients in this recipe can (and should!) be bought organic if possible. You can always add salt to taste, but I try not to. And yes, I will learn to enhance the photo quality of my food. Ingredients 1 package of seitan (I love the Westsoy Chicken-Style kind)
2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons of mango jam (adjust more or less for sweetness) 2 teaspoon apple cidar vinegar 2 teaspoon of soy sauce (low-sodium is always best!) 1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper sesame oil for frying (you can substitute with canola or olive but pay attention to the effect that will have on taste!) chopped onion (optional)
1. Mix everything except the seitan and the onions in a small bowl to make a sauce. Always taste it to see if it’s to your liking (the finish product gets m
ore sugary and thick so keep that in mind) 2. Lightly oil the bottom of a frying pan over medium-h…

What is Dance?

I don't know who wrote this, but it's become something of a mantra to many in the dance community. After reading it, I understood why right away. I love this poem because it very much incapsulates what dance means to me and just wanted to put that out there.
For Some, dance is not just a pastime,
Its an undeniable fact of living, A blissful slavery of mind, and body and soul. To rise above the ashes of mediocrity is rare, Yet the gift of dance is freely handed out to anyone Who cares to receive it Instantly shattering our daily drudgery. The path to pursue more than the usual More than what is safe and known Is wrought with time-sharpened jagged blades that cut deep, Blocking many from the road to something greater, Beyond the stunted imagination of their peers. Within the veins of the few Passion fills every sinew with sweet unquenchable purpose Calming the fear of those treacherous paths, Through each slice burns and bleeds, Still they take each cut, And wear the scars with pride to signal …

Statement of Purpose

This post and the next few are cross-posts from my old blog on Vox. I switched over to this site in the hopes of increasing my readership, but also because unforunately, only Vox members can post comments on that site. It was a pretty snazzy site though, but not fully suited to my needs! This is from March 4, 2009: Of all the hundreds of things I learned at Powershift ’09 this weekend, this is one of the comments that stuck with me the most: “98% of people who blog just want to be heard.” This seems like a really obvious statement and though I’m sure that the ‘98%’ was just pulled out of the air, it speaks volumes. ‘Why am I starting a blog?’ it made me wonder. What is it that I want from this? For me, it’s not just about being heard, it’s also about listening. I don’t just want to rant, I want to teach, educate, and above all, I want to share. Now more than ever we have access to so much information. We have so much to learn from each other and we can now communicate those things to …

Why Cooking is like Piracy

WARNING: Recipes are like the Pirate Code, they’re just guidelines I find exact proportions in cooking totally overrated. I love the way old medieval recipes were written: they just listed ingredients and then gave you a rough idea of how to assemble them. I admire the confidence that old recipes required that you have in the kitchen, the ‘just wing it’ attitude that compels you to trust your ability as a cook. Consider this awesome fourteenth century recipe for apple pie from The Forme of Cury compiled in 1390 by the master cooks of King Richard III: XXVII For to make Tartys in Applis
“Tak gode Applys and gode Spycis and Figys and resons and Perys and wan they are wel ybrayed colourd with Safron wel and do yt in a cofyn and yt forth to bake wel.”
In other words, mix together apples, pears, raisins, figs and spices—probably cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and saffron—mix and put it in a pieshell, the ‘cofyn’, and bake. That’s it! Seems very low maintenance, doesn’t it? It also implies yo…