Late Melon June 26, 2008Posted by tuimeltje in breakfast.
Late breakfast smoothie.
Today I thought I should really do something with that last part tasteless toad skin melon before it went bad. I’d already decided to make it into a smoothie so I could mix it with some more flavourful things.
No soymilk added today. The melon is pretty watery so it just was’t required.
I’m not a big fan of cold smoothies. I sort knew this already I think, but somehow I didn’t really do anything with it. While freezing is a convenient way of storing bananas for a bit, I prefer to use room temperature ones for making my smoothies.
Next time I’ll let it warm up a bit if I need to use a frozen banana. Provided I remember, of course. It’d be easier for my immersion blender, too.
Apart from the coldness, it was pretty tasty and had a lovely colour. I think I even tasted a faint bit of melon, which was odd since the melon itself didn’t have much flavour on its own.
Soft June 25, 2008Posted by tuimeltje in dinner, non-food veganness, rant.
Tags: chinese supermarket, eta, gluten-free, ponderings, rant
Today kind of sucks on the vegan product front. First I read some disconcerting stuff about palm oil and Earth Balance (see also this post), and while we don’t actually get Earth Balance here, palm oil seems to become more common and is probably found in vegetable margarines here, as well. The one I have refuses to specify which plant fats it uses, but Alpro minarine lists something palm on the package.
Of course, the other options might not be neutral, either.
Then I re-read about Ecover losing it’s vegan logo (Dutch forum, but the first message with most of the relevant info is largely in English) and learn that the owner of Ecover is also rather high up at the company in charge of guarding the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Which, apart from making me want to look into making my own laundry soap and washing-up liquid a bit more seriously (this looks interesting, if I can find properly vegan soap flakes), also has me wondering if Alpro‘s beliefs are little more than a clever marketing ploy making us feel good and slightly smug about using their products. It’s quite possibly better than some alternatives, but that doesn’t automatically make it good, now does it?
I hate this world sometimes.
Anyway, on to the food.
While I had intended to make two different things with the two leftover aubergines, I found them with icky bits today. And after cutting off the icky bits, I didn’t think I’d be able to properly hold them for roasting. So, Bonnie’s baba ganoush suggestion will have to wait until I get me some more auberines. I definitely want to see if I can properly roast them on a candle flame.
Instead, I used what was left to make this PPK recipe I found while looking for peanut soup. I didn’t have a good few of the ingredients and have no clue how much aubergine I used and how to adjust the other ingredients appropriately, so the amounts are probably a bit off.
The missing ingredients were the shallots, the hot chili, the ginger, the ground cayenne pepper, the roasted diced tomatoes (I have a can of diced tomatoes, but didn’t feel like adding the whole thing), the green beans, the lemon juice (I have other plans for that lemon. You just wait), the coriander leaves (I have some frozen, but I thing this requires fresh), and the garnish.
To make up for this, I added part of a pointy red pepper (sweet, not hot), some not-tabasco (which is not particulatly hot, really. Will find new brand should I ever buy more), some kale, a bit of sereh, a tiny bit of kentjur (a ginger-like spice. Never used it before, but found it at the floating Chinese supermarket recently and decided to buy the jar), and your basic black pepper.
I forgot to take an ingredients picture, so you’ll have to just visualise them this time.
While I’m not sure I stuck to the recommended cooking/frying times, I did attempt patience with regards to the simmering and the salting. For some reason that bit of the directions seemed important enough to follow.
It’s nice and comfortably peppery, but somehow I expected something more exciting. It’s kind of like a spicy satay sauce but with bits in. Not too unexpected. Still, again not too strong a peanutty flavour. I should really make me a proper peanutty soup without adding veg. Though I must say, these finely-chopped-kale cubes make for easier eating than the not-so-finely-chopped gai choy. And the aubergine bits are very nice and soft this time. I’ve certainly had different.
The soup is a fair bit runnier than I’d expected. I thought it’d be more a kind of stew rather than a soup. It looks thicker on the picture and it’s the sort of thing that I feel should be thicker. Maybe I’ll let it simmer some more so some of the water will evaporate.
Since the recipe mentions it tastes better the next day, I will refrain from eating the whole thing this evening and leave some to try tomorrow. Of course, after having written this, I want to eat more. Figures.
ETA 26-06-2008: I heated some up this evening and while I’m not sure I can properly compare and tell you whether it’s improved the way I was told it would, I can tell you it was most tasty. It made me feel pleasantly warm, the kind of warm you get after eating slightly spicy or gingery food. That kind of glow radiating out from your stomach. Comfortable.
The peanutty flavour was present, but wasn’t that prominent. Like part of the soup rather than the soup. And while I didn’t quite manage to boil it down the way I’d hoped, it did seem to be a little less fluid.
All in all, it’s a soup I will remember and probably make again some day.
Evaluate June 24, 2008Posted by tuimeltje in food, review.
Tags: gluten-free, project
I’ve been meaning to post this sooner, but it’s been a crazy few days and I’ve not had much time.
It’s time for an evaluation of 13 days of more-or-less gluten-free living. Yay!
All-in-all it was pretty easy, though eating lots of veg for lunch at work helped a lot. A normal Dutch lunch is a few slices of bread, and me not having to worry about thinking up a lunch in addition to a dinner was most convenient.
However, I was probably not quite as strict as someone with coeliac disease would be (certainly not about the work veg, I’m pretty sure half the food there contains shoyu), so it’d probably be a bit more effort if I’d really needed to avoid gluten.
I have tried a few gluten-free snack subs which weren’t bad, but weren’t that great either. The Garbo bread was better than I’d expected, though. Some time ago I tried Garbo’s cinnamon buns and they were a little dense and gummy and didn’t have much flavour beyond sweetly cinnamon.I’ve read the same often goes for gluten-free bread, so was pleasnatly surprised with this loaf. It wasn’t gummy at all and while it was a little different from the bread I’m used to, it wasn’t bad. Certainly not as icky as the thing I once tried at the restaurant where I worked some years ago.
While I probably won’t go totally gluten-free unless a pressing reason to do so ever comes up (I do love seitan), I will probably make eating the stuff an exception rather than a rule. At least when I’m in charge of the food.
I didn’t feel much difference to my general well-being during the project. The only thing I noticed was the bit about the subtle craving and the more (or less, depending on how you frame it) mindless eating, but that really was fairly subtle and kind of odd and I’m not sure what to make of it.
The first gluten-again day I had a quick bread snack at work, and I did get that “want more!” feeling. It was a bit odd. It felt so normal, and not very strong. Just like it’s absolutely the most natural thing to want more and more and more of that totally yummy food. However, when I had bready food later on, I didn’t notice that feeling.
I’m not sure I get that more-for-the-sake-of-just-more feeling for other foods when I’m not actually that peckish. Even with chocolate I can just have one cube and leave the rest for later these days. I enjoy it, and wouldn’t object to more, but unless I should really be having a proper meal, I don’t particularly care if I get more or not.
Basically, further study and more data required.
Now that I’m back to gluten-y food, I’m not really noticing that much of a difference, though a busy few days of little sleep and lots of social is probably not one where I’ll get a good idea of my general well-being.
In short, it was a fun project which got me thinking about my food differently and got me something to further explore.
GF Log – Day 13 June 20, 2008Posted by tuimeltje in food.
Tags: food log, gluten-free, project
Gluten-free food log, day 13
Tomorrow, I’ll gave Oreos. The floating Chinese supermarket was selling the U.S. whey-less version. Yay! Incredibly overpackaged, though. Even more so than those usual snack packs. I wonder if this is that silly pre-packed 100 calorie portion thing that seemed all the rage in the U.S. last Summer.
Normally I have these with some kind of sauce. Tomato ketchup or the like. Unfortunately, both my tomato ketchup and curry gewürz contain some mystery modified starch. The picalilli was kind enough to actually list gluten as an allergen, so that left just mustard. Which wasn’t actually that bad. I like mustard with my potato-y things. It’s my standard condiment at chip shops since it’s pretty much always vegan. It’s also one for which you generally don’t have to pay extra.
Normally I also enjoy some actual veg with my potato-y things, but with me needing to catch a train, I felt in too much of a hurry to make something even though I technically had over an hour.
GF Log – Day 12 June 19, 2008Posted by tuimeltje in food.
Tags: food log, gluten-free, project
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Gluten-free food log, day 12
I think I’ll quit with the gluten-free coming Saturday. It’ll have been about two weeks then. Also, I have a rather full weekend, starting with band stuff, then work, then a work-related party, then back to home for some more band stuff. While gluten-free would be doable during all that with the right preparation, the party promises to have good food and I don’t want to think of anything beyond the veganness of it all.