Tuesday, June 28, 2011

easiest polenta

polenta dinner

If you have a rice cooker with a porridge cycle, you can easily make nice, fluffy polenta which is much tastier than the kind you can buy premade in log form. If you want it to be sliceable and stiff you can make it the day before and let it set up in the fridge.

1C polenta
4C water
salt and pepper to taste
a big pinch of nutritional yeast
a glug or two of olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in your rice cooker, then run the porridge cycle. If you've started well in advance, you can have it go through the cycle twice, stirring it in-between; this will make it extra soft and fluffy, but isn't really necessary. Stir in the olive oil right before serving.

Pictured above is my dinner from last night: polenta with garbanzo bean and potato stew, herby baked tomatoes, and braised dandelion leaves.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

best sauerkraut ever!

sauerkraut i

I'm sorry that I forgot to update you on my seaweed sauerkraut. It was ready a week or two ago and was really good. It was not too seaweedy at all--I could easily have added twice as much seaweed as its flavor was barely perceptible--but was deliciously gingery. When I've eaten it all I'll make it again with more seaweed, or maybe with a more strongly flavored kind like hijiki.

sauerkraut iii

Friday, June 24, 2011

guest post



work treats

Strawberry tartlets

I made the above-pictured strawberry tartlets for a work meeting yesterday, and they were a great success. Lori said they were the best thing she'd ever eaten, and everyone else seemed to like them too. I saved one for Rachael, and she said it was the best use she'd ever seen me put quinoa to.

I got the recipe from an article in the Chronicle about gluten-free desserts. I followed the recipe as written except that I used regular sugar instead of coconut sugar (I think that's the same thing as palm sugar) and a little bit of pomegranate molasses instead of the pomegranate juice I forgot to buy. With my tartlet pans I ended up with seventeen, but if I had used mini cupcake pans as the recipe suggested I bet I would have squeezed out twenty.

Friday, June 10, 2011

sweet or savory mush

savory oats

I have been working on making a dent in my huge container of oats, and have found that my fuzzy logic rice cooker does a really good job of making delicious mush for me, ready whenever I want it. I can put all the ingredients in before I go to bed and tell it to cook them on the porridge cycle, and that I'd like it to be done right at 5:30 when I plan to get out of my bath, and it's done! I tried making savory mush in my proto-crock-pot (an experiment on behalf of my readers who don't have fancy rice cookers)and it worked nearly as well, but stuck to the bottom a little: I think I would add a little extra water in the future.

electric bean pot ii

With the rice cooker, I just put in one part oats to three parts water (1/3C cup oats and 1C water should be about right for a hearty eater), and then various fruity or vegetably additions to suit my anticipated morning mood. For the above-pictured savory mush, I added a couple of slices of kabocha (you don't even have to peel it, as the peel softens sufficiently with cooking), a couple of thin wedges of cabbage, and a big pinch of Tianjin preserved vegetable or nutritional yeast. You can add a tablespoon or so of adzuki beans to the oats if you're using a crockpot; I don't think they would get thoroughly cooked in the rice cooker unless you pre-soaked them. Add a little salt if you're not using the preserved vegetable. I like it served with lots of pepper, but no milk.

For a sweeter version, add whatever fresh or dried fruits you have on hand that appeal to you and seem like they will hold up to being well cooked (not strawberries!). I usually use an apple, quartered and cored; a banana, peeled and quartered; and a handful of raisins. I like to eat this version with milk, mainly because it seems to stay too hot longer than the savory version.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

seaweed sauerkraut

seaweed sauerkraut ingredients

I started the above sauerkraut a week ago, so it should be ready to try in another week. It's made of 2375g white cabbage; 90g peeled, julienned ginger; 270g chiffonaded green onions; 208g rehydrated dulse and wakame and 28g salt. I worried that it wasn't making enough noise (with my fancy sauerkraut crock, it usually makes pretty frequent 'blub' sounds as gasses rise through the water seal), so I peeked yesterday and found that it's already smelling nice and sour. I just hope the seaweed doesn't make it too peculiar.