May 31, 2012

More Sushi... I'm An Addict

I'm addicted to my own sushi.

I know it's probably not the most modest to say that you have an addiction to your own food, but I have to be honest, I make pretty delicious sushi, and I love eating it almost more than anything else I make (With one exception!)

So You might get stuck with various sushi rolls of mine, as I experiment with new flavors. Todays?

Mango Pepper Avocado Roll

Cooked Sushi Rice
An Avocado
A Mango
Some yellow and green Pepper slices
Black Sesame seeds
 A Sheet of nori

Spread the sushi rice over the nori... you know the drill.
Cut up some of the mango into slices, some of the avocado into slices, and the pepper slices. Sprinkle on some black sesame seeds.
Roll er up, and slice.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel a slice of mango, and a slice of avocado to go on top of each roll.
Enjoy your fanciness! 

I think this roll would also work out well with some carrot in the center if you need a bit more crunch to it, and possibly some bamboo shoots, or even different slices of pepper. If you put in a green, red, and yellow pepper slices, you'd have a veritable rainbow of peppery goodness! I just happened to have only a yellow pepper and a green pepper, so here we are. My mango was also pre-cut, so i had to slice it thin with a knife, but it would have looked nicer peeled thinner!

May 22, 2012

Simple Sushi

It's no secret to those that know me that I enjoy eating fancy. I will add garnishes to my foods when I'm sitting alone at home by myself. I always wipe around the edges of my dishes so that there's no spatters before I eat.

It's a little bit of a sickness.

But one of the things I love to eat that makes me feel fanciest of all is Sushi.

When I started trying to make sushi rolls, I was hopelessly terrible. They were loose and fell apart, they had too much rice, or too little rice, they didn't roll right, the fillings fell out... It was very sad. But this was about 6 years ago, and since then I've practiced... not constantly, but at least once a month I'll make a sushi roll, so I like to think I've gotten better.

But the most important thing I've learned is one key thing: Always use the right rice.

Do not use Uncle Bens, minute rice, or anything like that. You need a nice, short grain, sticky rice. (I use Calrose Rice, and you can get that, and rice labled "sushi rice" at most grocery stores) If you have the wrong rice you're doomed for pointlessness.

You can also use Brown rice, for health reasons, but trust me when I say that it won't seal up as well, because it's not sticky.

But, without further ado, today's random roll!

Carrot and BBQ tofu Roll
(Makes 1 roll)
1/2 cup dry sushi rice
3/4 cup water
1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 sheet of nori
black sesame seeds (optional)

1 carrot, peeled into strips
a few slices of tofu, enough to cover the length of a sheet of Nori.
1 tbsp Asian BBQ Sauce (I use San-J Brand. This also tastes great with Teriyaki sauce)

Put your rice and your water in a rice cooker. Cook. When it is done, transfer the rice to a bowl. (If there are any stuck on bits at the bottom of the rice cooker, do NOT transfer those! Just the loose rice)
Using a rice paddle or wooden spoon, add in the rice vinegar, and stir around, flipping the rice over and over to both cool the rice, and mix in the seasonings.
Spread the rice over your nori in a thin, even layer. (I use the paddle, but if you want to use your fingers remember to keep your hands wet, so they don't stick.
Sprinkle the rice with some black sesame seeds if you want to.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix the tofu and Sauce so the tofu is covered. Stick in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
While that's microwaving, lay down a few strips of carrot on one end of the nori. Add the tofu once it's done, and then roll it up! If you aren't sure how to roll sushi, Here is a good illustrated step by step.
Cut into 5 pieces with a sharp knife. Keep in mind that after every cut, you should run a wet cloth along the edge of the knife so it doesn't stick to the rice!
Then, enjoy with some tamari, or more BBQ sauce as a dip if you are big into BBQ. Or just eat without sauce, the choice is yours!

May 20, 2012

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

I have a sandwich thing. My thing is that I love sandwiches.

Not that big of a thing, I know. But when you find out you can no longer eat wheat, regular sandwiches are pretty much the first thing to go. And if you don't want to bake your own bread, for whatever reason, and have to buy store bought gluten free bread, non-grilled sandwiches are then out of the question, because the bread texture can be... iffy to say the least. Usually it's a weird crumbly mess, and it's just downright sad.

So, if you're like me, you move into the realm of paninis, because you can make grilled sammiches, or wraps, or even grill your own veggies quite easily, and they taste pretty good, even with iffy bread.

This weekend I got paid from my babysitting job (Worked 3 consecutive jobs over 2 days, was very tired afterwards!) and I said to my self, "Natalia, you know what you deserve? I good ol grilled sammich stuffed to the rafters with stuff. Not just any stuff. Your favorite stuff."

So I did. Here is that sandwich:
Grilled Veggie and Daiya Sammich

Ingredients (For 2 sandwiches):
4 slices gluten free bread
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced into slices
a few Mushrooms, sliced
fresh basil leaves
A few slices of tomato
Tofu cut into slices. (Marinated or not, it tends to still taste pretty good. I used some BBQ marinated)
A handful of Daiya Cheddar
Veganaise, salt, and pepper- to taste.

Heat up your panini press. If you don't have a panini press, you can make this like a grilled sandwich in a pan, but it's easier with a press. (I think everyone, money able, should get an electric grill press, OR, like my sister got me at a thrift store, a stovetop grill press) I have also heard of people using waffle irons to make grilled sandwiches, but have never tried it myself. So many options!
So spread however much vegannaise you want on one side of each of the bread slices. If you're using an electric press, I've found you don't need to put any margarine or oil on the outside of the bread, but if you're going stovetop you might have to!
Then, layer up your stuff. The order of the layer doesn't matter so much, but I've found that the Daiya is best melted when it's right next to the bread.
Grill until the daiya is melted, and the bread is crispy.

May 15, 2012

A breakfast Fry Up

I don't post many breakfast foods. It's not because I hate breakfast, it's just I don't eat much breakfast foods, besides the occasional waffle or bowl of cereal when I'm running late/out of other food. It's just never really been my thing. I make pasta with peas for breakfast, but I can't do that when people are around... I get weird looks.

But today I made something which is the closest thing to breakfast foods that I make, and it's delicious and very filling!

Breakfast Fry Up
1 Smallish Potato, cut into chunks
1/2 a carrot, thinly sliced
3/4 cup broccoli slaw, or coleslaw mix
3 mushrooms, cut into chunks
a slice of tofu, cut into chunks (it comes to about 1/3 cup tofu)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of Rosemary

Place the potato chunks into the microwave, nuke for a minute or two.
Heat the oil, and add in the mushroom and garlic, cooking until fragrant.
Add in the other vegetables, tofu,  and the potatoes (when they're done in the microwave) and cook for a few minutes.
Salt, Pepper, and Sprinkle in some Rosemary. Cook for about 30 seconds more.
Transfer to a plate, and eat up! :)

May 9, 2012

Simple, Yet Fancy Feeling Cabbage Rolls

I often do make fancy foods, big gourmet dishes that seem elaborate to those I serve them to. On the other hand, I mostly make food like this, Simple and Delicious foods I grew up with, IE Cabbage Rolls.

My Father, being the cook of the house (my mother could only really make 2 things- beef stew and thai food) would cook foods that he liked primarily, because he was the cook. (Inalienable logic there) Due to this, we would often eat things that he'd grown up with, and one of those things were cabbage rolls. These cabbage rolls are different, as his had just rice, peas, and hamburger in them, and mine do not have hamburger, and have more vegetables, but the idea is the same, and they tasted pretty good!

Sorta Fancy Cabbage Rolls 

About 10-12 large cabbage leaves, the tough parts of the spines removed.
3 Cups Brown Rice
1 Jar vegan pasta sauce (I used Garlic Mushroom)
1 cup Peas
1 yellow pepper, diced into small chunks
2 artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, diced.
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Plunge the cabbage, a few leaves at a time, and boil for a few minutes, until cooked.  Set aside to cool.
Heat the oil in the frying pan. Add in the onion, and cook until transluscent. Add in the pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add to a bowl with the artichoke hearts, and toss with some salt and pepper.
Add in the Peas, and 1/3 of the jar of pasta sauce. Mix with the Rice.
Lay out the leaves, and add a few spoonfuls of the rice mixture. Roll up into rolls, and lay into a casserole dish with a lid. Use a dish that about half of the rolls can fit onto one layer. When you have one layer down, cover with half of the remaining sauce. Repeat for the rest of the cabbage leaves. (If there's any mixture left over, just eat it, it's pretty good, haha)
Cover the second layer with the rest of the sauce.
Cover the casserole dish, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and everything is getting nice and cooked.

Then Eat.