Monthly Archives: May 2012

Vegenaise – The Vegan Mayonaise

If you miss the mayo being a Vegan then you should try Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart.

Yes, it is Vegan and Gluten free for those of you watch’in your wheat intake but it is still not real healthy to be eating allot of, no dipping your french fries in it. (Baked fries of course)

It is still a fat and we should be very conscientiousness about our fat intake.

Here is the label

Here are the ingredients: (vegan, gluten free, dairy free) Non-GMO Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Filtered Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Non-GMO Soy Protein, Sea Salt, Mustard Flour, Lemon Juice Concentrate. Contains: Soy”

As you can see it is almost completely fat with 90% of the calories coming from fat. They do offer a reduced fat version. I have not tried it as of yet. See Pic and label below.

Here is the label

Here are the ingredients: “(vegan, gluten free, dairy free) Filtered Water, Expeller-Pressed Hi-Oleic Safflower Oil, Tapioca Starch, Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Soy Beans, Olive Oil, Cold-Pressed Flaxseed Oil, Sea Salt, Agave Syrup, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Mustard Flour, Gum Arabic, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum. Contains: Soy”

Ok, now that I have the basics covered I can tell you that the original is a good tasting substitute for mayo. It is smooth and just the right consistency. It comes in 11 different varieties & flavors including but not limited to tartar sauce, horseradish sauce and a pesto vegenaise gourmet sauce. I want to try them all but have had a hard time finding them all in my local stores.

Click here to see all of the varieties offered

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OXO Good Grips Mango Splitter Review

I just love mangoes, they are on the top of my list for my favorite fruits but let me tell you they are not the easiest fruit to prepare. If you have ever tried to get a mango out of its skin and away from its pit then you know what I mean, its a sticky mess. Until now!

Good Grips has come out with a mango splitter that will change your relationship with mangoes.

This little gadget makes thing so much easier. All you need to do is push it through the mango and it separates both sides from the pit.

Then score each half with a knife to make little square cubes in the mango.

Then turn the mango inside out and eat right from the mango or cut them off the skin.

You can pick up a plastic one for around $14.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Or you can splurge and spend a buck more and get the all stainless steel model.

I have the plastic model and have had it for quite a while now. I run mine through the dishwasher and it is holding up just fine. It has the Good Grips handles on it which makes it very easy to hold on to and it is made of a thick hard plastic, that so far has held up just fine.

Be aware the stainless steel blade is very sharp so be careful handling it. This little gadget sure makes enjoying mangoes a lot quicker and less messy. I don’t destroy any more mangoes trying to get the pit out.

Tofu 101 – A Proper Introduction To Tofu

    

When most people hear the word “tofu” they think of words like “mushy”, “slimy” or “tasteless” so they stay completely away from tofu. 

     I’m here to say that, yes, tofu can be all of these things if not prepared right, or used incorrectly in a recipe, but it can also be one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen as well as good for you too. 

So let’s not stay away any longer, let’s get to know a little about tofu.

    First of all tofu is made from soybeans. Soybeans are very versatile and are used to make a huge array of products that are used in cooking. Such things as tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, flour, miso, soy milk and a variety of sauces, one of which is soy sauce. 

     The soybean is the most nutritious of all beans. It is rich in high quality protein, it is one of the few vegetarian foods that contains all eight essential amino acids that can not be made in the body and are vital for the renewal of cells and tissues.

For complete tofu nutritional data click here.

      Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made almost like they make a soft cheese. The beans are boiled in water, then they are mashed and then they are strained to make soy milk. They then take the milk and curdle it with a coagulant. What’s left is curds. They take the curds, drain and press them to make tofu, and there are several different types you can get in the store. Let’s talk a little about the different types.

Firm Tofu                                

     This type of tofu is sold in blocks and can be cut into slices or cubes. Sold as “Firm”, “Medium Firm”, “Extra Firm”. This type is most commonly used in stir-fries, soups, and casseroles. It can also be mashed and used in bakes and burgers. The tasteless bland flavor of firm tofu is improved by marinating, because tofu is like a sponge and easily absorbs flavors and seasonings.

Soft (silken) Tofu       

     This type of tofu is soft with a silky, smooth texture. This type is ideal for use in sauces, dressings, dips and spreads as well as in some soups. It is a great alternative to cream, soft cheese, or yogurt, and can be used to make creamy deserts. It is also called silken.

 

Other Forms of Tofu  

     You can now buy all forms of tofu in your local supermarket. Smoked, marinated, and deep-fried tofu can all be found in health-food stores and Asian stores as well as in most supermarkets. 

     Deep-fried tofu is fairly tasteless, but it has a great texture. While it cooks it puffs out, and under the golden brown crisp coating the tofu is white and soft, it easily absorbs the flavor of other ingredients. It can be used just like firm tofu. I like it best with a peanut sauce over it. 

Tofu also comes in a medium firmness, extra firm and in bean curd skins or strips. I use most often either the firm, extra firm or the silken. 

Buying and Storing Tofu

     All the different types of tofu can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Tofu has a expiration date on the package just like cheese or milk so be sure to buy the freshest. 

     Firm tofu should be kept covered in water, which must be changed regularly. Freezing tofu is not recommended because it alters the texture. 

Preparing Tofu

     You can prepare tofu many different ways. For use in Stir-Fries and dishes of the like, I either bake mine or marinade it and then bake it before I use it. Here is how to bake tofu.

 Baked Tofu         

  Use the firm or extra firm tofu. Cut the tofu block into1/2″ pads then put them on a nonstick baking sheet and bake them at 350 deg. for approx. 2-4 hours until they have a golden brown appearance and a thin casing has in cased the pads, keep an eye on them. Remove and cut into 1/2″ by 1/2″ cubes now use them in your stir-fries. Or you can buy it pre-baked from the store.

     You can first marinade them in any marinade then bake them the same way. Note if the marinade has a lot of sugar in it watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Good luck and have fun!

 Soft (silken) Tofu    

   Add soft tofu to a fruit smoothie to really make it healthy, smooth and creamy. Add it to soups to make it thicker, smoother and creamy. Make a ranch dip with it instead of sour cream. And yes even make a chocolate cream pie with out the cream. Get creative, and again have fun!

 

 Fried Tofu        

  Batter it in your favorite batter or just fry it raw, then dip in your favorite sauce, yummm.

For how to make home made tofu video click here

For how to make home made tofu website click here

Food Documentaries Everyone Should See

There are some great food documentaries out there today and I would like to highlight some of them here. Take in the information you can use from each one and remember being informed is half the battle. Be sure to watch their trailers on each site.

Forks over Knives” The film Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

Got the facts on Milk? Also known as “The Milk Documentary” is an entertaining, award winning feature documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products. Addressing myth, truth and all in-between, the film is a humorous yet shocking exposition that provokes serious thought about this everyday staple.

Processed People” Processed People features insightful interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the “processed people” cycle.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” 100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health.

Food Matters” This is a great movie. It is a collection of interviews with leading Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Scientists, M.D.’s and Medical Journalists you will discover scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.

“PLANEAT” is the story of three men’s life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy. The film features the ground-breaking work of Dr. T Colin Campbell in China exploring the link between diet and disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s use of diet to treat heart disease patients, and Professor Gidon Eshel’s investigations into how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic deadzones. With the help of some innovative farmers and chefs, PLANEAT shows how the problems we face today can be solved, without simply resorting to a diet of lentils and lettuce leaves.

“Vegucated” Part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy, Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time.

Ingredients” At the focal point of this movement, and of this film, are the farmers and chefs who are creating a truly sustainable food system. Their collaborative work has resulted in great tasting food and an explosion of consumer awareness about the benefits of eating local.

Attention being paid to the local food movement comes at a time when the failings of our current industrialized food system are becoming all too clear. For the first time in history, our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than our own. The quality, taste and nutritional value of the food we eat has dropped sharply over the last fifty years. Shipped from ever-greater distances, we have literally lost sight of where our food comes from and in the process we’ve lost a vital connection to our local community and to our health.

Food Inc” In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized    underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.

Food Fight” Food Fight is a fascinating look at how American agriculture police and food and food culture developed in the 20th century, and how the California food movement has created a counter-revolution against big agribusiness.

“Fresh” The underground documentary that became a massive grassroots success, FRESH is the embodiment of the good food movement. FRESH began as a grassroots effort for a grassroots movement, within a month of the launch in April 2009, they received over 20,000 visitors and hundreds of screenings were organized. Today, FRESH is a community of over 100,000 advocates for healthier, more sustainable food, a film that’s used all over the world as a platform to raise awareness and connect people to solutions in their community.

Killer at Large” Killer at Large has been screened on college campuses and used by university professors around the country, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Tufts, and many others. The film features interviews and footage of notable experts and celebrities speaking on the topic of the American obesity epidemic including Former President Bill Clinton, Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, Ralph Nader, Dr. Kelly Brownell, Dr. Marion Nestle, and bestselling authors Michael Pollan and Chef Ann Cooper, among many others.

Super Size Me” Super Size Me is one man’s journey into the world of weight gain, health problems and fast food. It’s an examination of the American way of life and how we are eating ourselves to death. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock unravels the American obesity epidemic by interviewing experts nationwide and by subjecting himself to a ‘McDonald’s only’ diet for thirty days straight. His Sundance award-winning feature is as entertaining as it horrifying as it dives into corporate responsibility, nutritional education, school lunch programs and how we as a nation are eating ourselves to death.

Fast Food Nation” Inspired by the incendiary bestseller that exposed the hidden facts behind America’s fast food industry comes a powerful drama that takes an eye-opening journey into the dark heart of the All-American meal. Richard Linklater’s FAST FOOD NATION traces the birth of an everyday, ordinary burger through a chain of riveting, interlocked human stories – from a hopeful, young immigrant couple who cross the border to work in a perilous meat-packing plant, to a teen clerk who dreams of life beyond the counter; to the corporate marketing whiz who is shocked to discover that his latest burger invention – “The Big One” – is literally full of manure. As the film traverses from pristine barbeque smoke labs to the volatile U.S.-Mexican border, it unveils a provocative portrait of all the yearning, ambition, corruption and hope that lies inside what America is biting into.

King Corn” King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In the film, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm.

The Future Of Food” The Future of Food has been a key tool in the American and international anti-GMO grassroots activist movements and played widely in the environmental and activist circuits since its release in 2004. The film is widely acknowledged for its role in educating voters and the subsequent success of passing Measure H in Mendocino County, California, one of the first local initiatives in the country to ban the planting of GMO crops. Indicative of its popularity, the Future of Food showed to a sold out audience of 1,500 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco in 2004, a benefit for Slow Food, where it was introduced by Alice Waters.

Food Stamped” Exploring the question of whether it’s possible to eat healthfully on government food stamps, filmmaker Yoav Potash and his nutrition educator wife, Shira, do their best to make healthy choices at the market and stay within a dollar-a-meal budget.

Whats On Your Plate”  is a witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.

Do you know of any I have missed? If so please leave me a comment.

New Food Alert – Genuto

New food alert!

A new Vegan desert is out.

Its called Genuto its a vegan takeoff of the Italian desert “gelato”.

I will try to find some and do a food review on it soon.

Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria

Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria

Visit Date: 1/15/12

5500 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 343-1415

If you’re a vegan then this is pizza & Italian food heaven. Everything on the menu is vegan.

This is just a little hole in the wall, really. It does not look like much of a restaurant from the street, frankly a bit scary but don’t let that fool you at all when it comes to the food. The place was clean and the staff was pleasant I tried their pesto pizza which was outstanding. I also ordered their pepperoni pizza. The pepperoni pizza was ok, I did not care for the fake pepperoni though, had a funny flavor. But my wife liked it. (I am not fan of any fake meat substitute in anything I eat so I am a little bias) They also offer some great looking desert items that I saw being served while I was waiting for my pizza pies.

The “Cheese” they use on their pizzas and I am sure other items is the brand name Teese.

I was there on a Sunday and the place was swarming with people. They seem to do a lot of takeout business. There are only a few tables in the restaurant, seating for about 15 or so total in the restaurant.

In my opinion, the two things that make a pizza good are the crust and the sauce. If you get those two right then you have the foundation for a great pizza. Pizza Pi has not only gotten these two right but in my opinion have nailed it and it comes thru in their pizza.

I will have to say that their crust was one of the very best I have ever eaten. They also make their own pesto in house but I am not sure about their red sauce, I would suspect it was made in house as well

The vegan cheeses they use are good and as it has been my experience with vegan cheeses they seem to be a bit more creamer than regular cheeses but still yummy.

They have quite a large menu that includes sandwiches, salads, calzones, desserts and linguine alfredo was advertises on a white board when I was there. All in all the pizzas I ate were very good and I will go there again even though it is a 45 min. drive for me.

Buon appetito!

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