20 January 2015

Visiting another podcast

The day before recording my own podcast, I was a guest on the Which Side podcast, with Jordan and Jeremy. They're a couple of activists working towards human and animal rights (whoo!) who host a show where they have a chat to people they want to hang out with. Instead of the bog standard stifling interview format, it's more of a free-flowing conversation. Of course, whenever I'm in the room (virtually or otherwise) the talk turns to food rather quickly.

Here's where you can find the link to the show, or just search for Which Side on the Podcast directory of your choice, and they'll be there.

http://whichsidepodcast.com/dino-sarma-weierman/

Tell them Dino sent you.

18 January 2015

Cooking cheap greens

It's FINALLY hit above the freezing temperature here in New York, so I'm not as bummed out about cooking as I've been; the really cold weather makes it difficult to get up the motivation to do very much at all. To celebrate, I've put up a new podcast episode! Feel free to give it a listen.

05 January 2015

Give the help that someone asked for, or shut up already

I just had the experience of watching a friend of mine post a request from her more computer savvy friends to see if she was getting a decent deal on a computer. She posted a link to the computer. She mentioned that she wanted to do a bit of gaming, and didn't want to switch to a Mac, but would prefer to stick with a PC. However, the computer would be primarily for work. Simple enough, right?

Here's some appropriate responses:

1) Looks good for what you need it for. Get it.
2) Looks good for what you need it for, but I've found a better deal, and here it is.
3) This specific thing that you mentioned is going to run into trouble because of this other thing I've noticed about the specs on the machine you linked. (This isn't the case, because for her needs, the computer she linked was fine. In fact, it was more than fine.)
4) That particular computer/brand/store/warranty has given me trouble in the past.

Guess what responses never got posted? ANY of those. The first comment was a rant about how owning a Mac sucks. Then it went into how if you're going to be playing games, your machine can overheat, so go ahead and buy a fan to cool the thing. Then there was this thing about getting a Solid State Drive and switching out the drive that comes with the computer, because it'll enhance the performance of all the things you need it to do. It can take the boot time from 1 minute down to 25 seconds! WHOO!

Here's the thing. If you can't be of the help that the person asked for, shut up. She didn't want the dissertations on things that don't matter to her. She wanted to know if she was making a huge mistake by purchasing a computer, for her needs, all of which are pretty basic. Unless she's about to head in for disaster, OR you've found a better price, a simple "For what you need, that looks good" is more than enough.

This is why nobody wants to talk to the technically inclined.

10 December 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

DRY INGREDIENTS (measure first, and whisk together)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt (optional; usually, peanut butter has salt, so you can skip this if you want)

WET (microwave for 1 minute)
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (lightly spray your measuring cup with cooking spray OR grease it with oil to make the peanut butter come out easier)
1 TB vanilla extract (if it's the really potent fancy stuff, you can use 1 tsp; I just like a lot of vanilla)
3 TB water OR coconut milk OR juice
1 tsp shortening (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF

Mix together the dry ingredients until combined. Whisk together so that you know all the baking soda is evenly distributed.

Combine the wet ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for a minute. Beat the ingredients around for a bit until they're all combined. Add the dry to the wet, about 1/3 cup at a time. Mix thoroughly.

Drop by 1 1/2 TB spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes on the middle lower part of the oven (not all the way at the bottom, but towards the bottom).

THE COOKIES WILL FALL APART EASILY IF YOU TAKE THEM OFF THE TRAY NOW. Don't take them off the tray until they're cooled.

Yield: 21 cookies. You will need 3 baking trays, because they'll only fit about 7 comfortably on the tray. Let cool on the tray itself for at least 10 minutes. Eat

Based on the recipe written by Blissful Basil, found here: http://blissfulbasil.com/2013/10/06/soft-and-tender-peanut-butter-cookies-vegan-and-gluten-free/

Variations:
Substitute out 2/3 cup of the flour for rolled oats, or ground rolled oats.
Add in 1/3 cup of coconut flour, and remove 1/3 cup of AP flour.
Add in 1 tsp almond extract.
Add in 1/2 cup of crushed roasted unsalted peanuts.


23 November 2014

Thanksgiving

Hi all! Today we're going into the foods you can make at Thanksgiving, whether you take it with you, make it for your own home, or suggest it to others.

Mashed Potatoes
5 lbs potatoes, boiled until tender
2 cups coconut milk (full fat)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until tender. Mash them up slightly, until it's where you want it. Add the coconut milk, a little at a time, until it's as much as you like. Taste for seasoning. Season as desired.

Butternut Squash
Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Place it on a parchment, foil, wax paper, or silicon baking mat lined baking sheet. Set the oven to 350F. Bake for 45 minutes - 2 hours (depending on how long it takes you to remember that you have butternut squash in there. You don't need to preheat the oven.

Brussels Sprouts
1 lb Brussels sprouts
3 TB vegetable oil
3 tsp seasonings of your choice: sage, rosemary, cumin, coriander, fennel seed, garam masala, caraway seed (crushed), thyme (mix the seasonings in whatever combination you want)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Remove the stem ends of the sprouts. Toss in oil, and sprinkle on the seasonings. Toss to combine. Bake on a parchment lined sheet for 45 minutes.

10 November 2014

Storing kale

Today in the podcast, I talk about how to store kale.

15 October 2014

Breading without eggs

Today, we tackle the question of how to get a breading onto a thing without using eggs. Hopefully this helps some of you out.

12 October 2014

Waffle



Gorgeous mornings call for waffles.

Waffles
Serves 3 - 4, depending on how big your waffle iron is. DO NOT MAKE THIS WITHOUT THE RESTING TIME.

SIFT TOGETHER
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 TB sugar

WHISK
1 cup almond milk + 1 TB white vinegar
2 TB chia seeds, or ground flax seed
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil

SAVE FOR LATER
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Sift together the all purpose flour, rice flour, salt, and sugar. Add more sugar if you like a sweeter waffle.

In a bowl, combine almond milk, vinegar, and chia seeds. Whisk well, until the liquid gets frothy. You can use an electric beater, but it'll probably make a mess if you're not careful. Add the oil, and whisk it through.

While whisking constantly, add the dry ingredients to the wet. VERY IMPORTANT: LET SIT FOR 30 MINUTES AT LEAST. The rice flour needs time to hydrate. The chia seeds need time to swell up and stuff. If you're using flax seeds, they need time to hang out too. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

Yes, you can combine all the things, and let it set overnight if you want. If you don't have almond milk, apple juice will do the job. Just cut back on the sugar.

When the batter has finished resting, measure out and sift the baking powder and baking soda over a piece of paper. Sprinkle it evenly onto the surface of the batter. Fold through with a spatula. Spray your waffle iron with oil, or brush it on, or do whatever you do to get the fat onto the waffle iron. Ladle on the batter into your waffle iron.

Mine took like 4 minutes or so. 

08 October 2014

Snacks

Very short one today, because about 1/2 way into the recording, my head started pounding in screaming pain. Apologies. Going to go lie down. I didn't want to deny you the dubious joy of listening to me ramble.

07 October 2014

Soy-free mushroom stir-fry

I'm out of soy sauce. I'm also out of noodles. I have pasta, but not those quick-cooking noodles like you find at the Chinese market. I have ginger, but it's seen better days. I have it soaking in a bowl of water in my fridge. I was in the mood for a stir-fry, but didn't feel like going to the market. I have to be downtown anyway on Thursday, and I'd sooner do it all at once then.

I know that there are those of you who can't (or won't?) eat soy. This is one of those times when I won't be asking you to buy a weird ingredient to substitute the taste of soy sauce, because the mushrooms have a ton of taste on their own. This recipe is important to follow pretty closely. If you increase the amounts, it doesn't work so well.

5 - 7 large white button mushrooms, cut into large chunks (this is important)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (not the kind in the vinegar; if you don't have fresh, use a few shakes of garlic powder)
2 tsp grated ginger (if you don't have fresh, skip it)
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 TB peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 of a small onion, sliced into slivers
1/2 a small carrot, sliced into rounds
1/3 cup water, reserved
2 cups rice
Salt, to taste (IMPORTANT to add salt)

Heat a wide shallow skillet (or wok, preferably) over highest heat. When it gets hot, add the oil, and the mushrooms in rapid succession. Furiously toss the mushrooms around, so that they get evenly coated in oil. Let the mushrooms sizzle and squeak like mad. They will begin to get a very dark brown crust on them. If they don't, your heat is too low, or your pan is too crowded. This only works when the mushrooms have plenty of room to jump around the pan. This initial step will give the flavour for the rest of the dish, so don't skimp on this step.

Add the garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, onion, carrot, and sesame oil (in that order), and toss to cook through. When the pan gets too dry, splash in about 1 - 3 TB of water, to loosen things up a bit. This will not only prevent your food from sticking like mad, but also distribute the mushroomy flavour throughout. Add the rice, and toss through.

Salt to taste, and toss through. Adjust seasoning as needed.

If you have them (I don't) garnish with chopped scallions.

What I love about this version is that you don't have to work hard to get that good taste through the food. I know it's extremely simple in the flavour department, but it tasted pretty awesome. The version I made didn't even have the ginger or the carrots OR the sesame oil. It was just the onion and mushroom with rice (and a bit of cayenne). So tasty.