Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day Ten

I have a couple different experiments to share, both of them using different soy products. The first one was stir-fry with tempeh, and tonight we had tofu noodle soup.

For the stir-fry, I marinated the tempeh in some orange juice and liquid aminos diluted with a little water, and a bit of dried ground ginger, garlic powder and cayenne.

It made it pretty flavorful, but next time, I think I won't dilute the marinade with any water. This was the first time we've cooked with tempeh - I rather liked the texture and flavor, but Benna wasn't overly enthusiastic about it. As he put it, he would be perfectly happy with double the mushrooms and no tempeh! Overall, I thought it turned out pretty well, but will try some different tweaks next time.

For the tofu noodle soup, I used half an onion, three carrots and three stalks of celery, all medium dice - cooked those down a little bit with a dash of veggie stock and added some fresh garlic, dried oregano, thyme, parsley and sage. Then I simmered the veggies and herbs with four cups of homemade veggie stock for about ten minutes, added maybe 1/2 - 3/4 cups whole wheat fusili pasta and half a package of diced firm tofu. Simmered for an extra 12 - 15 minutes, added a bit more water when the noodles plumped up, and seasoned with Bragg's and fresh cracked black pepper.

It was pretty tasty, and I certainly scarfed my portion, but it was still lacking that richness that homemade chicken stock gives this kind of soup. Obviously, you're not gonna get that with veggie stock - especially the oil-free variety - but I haven't given up hope! Next time, I think I'll add a bay leaf during the last 15 minutes or so, and maybe some fresh chopped parsley at the end. If I can find the secret that gives it that little extra zing, this could easily be a mainstay cold-weather recipe.

Last, and far from least, is my FAVORITE treat right now - roasted Brussels sprouts!!! I was craving naughty treats last night (some lovely, greasy potato chips, to be exact), so instead I popped some halved sprouts in the oven, tossed with just a teeny bit of EVOO, a few dashes of Bragg's and black pepper.

Cooked at 375 for about 15 minutes (don't forget to stir them around a bit at least once while they're cooking), they make for a toasty, nutty, crunchy/creamy snack that totally kills nasty cravings, at least for me!

So far, the down side of this diet change is that I'm ALWAYS hungry - at least so far - and there's no easy ready-made snacks to reach for, unless I make sure to make some ahead of time. The up side is, I feel pretty darn fantastic. I have no problems with energy levels anymore, and my stomach hasn't behaved this well in years!! I used to have near-debilitating acid reflux, and that problem is all but gone - without any prescription drugs.

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