Ok soooo...finding the time to keep a blog is HARD! Anyways, we've had some very successful experiments the last few days, and I thought it was time to share.
First off, I did try the marinated veggies with Bragg's and honey instead of salt and sugar - oh MY was it good! Soooooo much better than the other version. We also used a mix of red and white wine vinegar. No oil needed, there was plenty of flavor from the liquid aminos and dried herbs that I used. I would recommend oregano, thyme and parsley - it made for a delicious earthy blend. The best mix of veggies I've found so far is cauliflower, carrots (that have been blanched for a couple minutes), red bell pepper, cucumber and sweet onion.
We also tried a couple new products, and immediately fell in love! We wanted to make some stir-fry, and decided to use a meat substitute called soy curls.
The prep for these little guys is super easy - soak for about ten minutes (we used water with a bit of Bragg's), drain, and toss in the pan! The other new thing we tried were some buckwheat soba noodles. Yes, they were totally scrumptious.
For the rest of the stir-fry, we used a truckload of awesome veggies...
...and a homemade sauce that really made the dish. For the sauce, use one cup of veggie broth (cold to start with), a couple teaspoons of Bragg's, about a tablespoon of arrowroot, and garlic powder, dried ground ginger and cayenne to taste. Use a whisk to give it a good stir and get all the lumps out of the arrowroot, then simmer it down in a little pot for a few minutes until it thickens.
The method for stir-frying without oil is a little different, but not at all difficult, and the results are just as good. I always start out with the onions (and a HOT pan!!), since they have a lot of natural moisture and enough sugars to get some nice caramelization. After you get a bit of color on the onions, deglaze with a dab of veggie stock, and keep adding the veggies in fairly rapid succession, followed by a dab of stock each time - not too much, you don't want it soupy!
Add the soy curls, if you're using them, right around the time you add the mushrooms and peppers. Also for the carrots, I definitely recommend blanching them ahead of time, otherwise they'll be pretty darn crunchy. Once all the goodies are in the pan, add that tasty sauce you made earlier (save a little to toss with the noodles!), a bit of sweet chili sauce, then mix in the green onions and cilantro. If you put the delicate greens in too soon, they'll get mushy and lose that fresh flavor!
Anyways, here's the finished product - it was seriously some of the best stir-fry we've ever had, and the soy curls are the best meat substitute we've tried yet.
Then last night, we decided to make a couple different kinds of hummus (we're on a total chickpea kick at the moment).
First, we did a Mexican-style version with no tahini, lime juice (plenty of it!), cumin, cayenne, garlic and cilantro...seasoned with Bragg's of course. The next version was a little more traditional, with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, kalamata olives, black pepper and cilantro. We would have used fresh basil for that last one, but our basil plant that we brought in for the winter pooped out on us.
Both versions are super yummy, and excellent for sammie spreads or veggie dipping. Another new thing I tried was a black radish - sliced and dipped in the lime-cilantro hummus, it was peppery and awesome!