Friday, May 17, 2019

Making Basic Whole Wheat Bread Using a Stand Mixer and a Dehydrator


I am always on the look-out for great videos** that can illustrate a concept or recipe that I am including on my blog.  "Making Basic Whole Wheat Bread" is a current interest of mine.  I have the books.  I have bookmarked the links.  I went out and bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer after having drooled and dreamed about one for a very long time.  I thought that I would start turning out perfect bread loaves (something I have never in my life done) but it was not to be.

This looks like a high maintenance bread recipe, eh?  Stand mixer and dehydrator for raising the dough?  I can see my grandmother chuckle.  She was always able to make more loaves from scratch than I could from with whatever "no fail" recipe I had at hand.  But somehow I know there are others out there who have the fancy equipment and are dreamers like I am.  This bread is for you!


Please watch the video (above) to get all the fine points you will find transcribed below in the recipe.  A video is really worth about 10,000 printed words, right?  After you watch the video you might want to copy and paste and print the following recipe:

RECIPE FOR MAKING BASIC WHOLE WHEAT BREAD USING A STAND MIXER

Set up the Mixer.

INGREDIENTS:

Measure out :
10 C. Fresh-Ground Whole Wheat Flour OR 6 C. Whole Wheat/ 4 C. White Flour (60% Whole Wheat)
1 T. Sea Salt
2 T. Instant Dry Yeast
6 T. White Sugar
5 C. Water at 110 degrees F. (you can barely keep your finger in it for 10 seconds) From the "The Back to Eden Cookbook" there is a suggestion that you use nut milk instead of water to get a tastier bread.

METHOD:

1. Set up the Mixer with the Cookie Mixer (General Mixer)
2. Add 5 C. W/W Flour to bowl
3. Add 1 T. Sea Salt to bowl
4. Add 2 T. Instant Dry Yeast to bowl
5. Add 6 T. White Sugar to the bowl
6. Put on your General Mixer / Cookie Mixer
7. Raise your bowl (Kitchen Aid) or Lower your Mixer (Viking)
8. Mix on LOWEST setting for a minute to get all mixed together
9. Slowly add the 5 C. of 110 degree F. water while the mixer runs on lowest setting
10. After water has all been poured in, let it continue to run for about another minute until mixture is fully incorporated.
11. Begin to add other 5 C. of flour little by little. You can turn up the speed on the mixer when the flour will not be flying all over. You may NOT need all 5 C. of flour.
12. Bread should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl. When you see that the dough is pulling away, stop the mixer and Lower the bowl (Kitchen Aid), Raise the mixer (Viking)
13. Remove the cookie dough mixer.
14. Put in the bread hook and Raise the bowl (Kitchen Aid), Lower the mixer (Viking)
15. The dough hook should pull the dough from sides of the bowl more. You may increase the speed again. .
16. Wait for flour to work itself in before adding any more (and keep your eye on the sides of the bowl)
17. Add small amounts of flour until the pulling away is pretty much complete
18. The magic in the bread happens when it pulls everything off the sides and it sticks unto itself and not to the mixer.
19. When you judge that all the flour is off the sides, stop the machine and flip the bread dough over carefully to see if there is any flour on the bottom of the pot.
20. Run the mixer for another minute or so, adding another tablespoon of flour if you think it is warranted. Whole wheat dough is better a little on the wet side than it is if it is too dry (=bricks or paperweights). Stop the mixer and lower the bowl (Kitchen Aid) or raise the mixer (Viking)
21. Remove dough hook.
22. Pat dough lightly to even out a bit in bowl.
23. Let it rest for about 20 minutes (make yourself some tea?)

RAISING THE DOUGH IN THE DEHYDRATOR

My old Excalibur-- bought on eBay, back when people did that-- makes a good dough raiser.  95 degrees Fahrenheit
You do not need to use the dehydrator-- it is standing in for something people have used for generations called a "proof box".  If you live in a house where lots of bread yeast is in the air, you can just do it old-school, sitting on top of the fridge with a warm damp cloth on top.  Or in a very cool oven (100 degrees F.) I have this idle dehydrator that I am experimenting with.

24. Get the Excalabar Dehydrator ready for the raising.
25. Take out all shelves except for one.
26. Put a flat tray of warm water on the bottom of the dehydrator
27. Fit the dehydrator shelf  just above the flat tray of water
28. Place the bowl of dough with a clean damp tea towel (linen works great) over the dough bowl and engage the setting for the raising.
29. Raise for one half hour (30 minutes) to 1 hour.
30. Preheat baking oven to 410 degrees F.
The dough rose enormously after 30 minutes in the dehydrator!

31. DO NOT PUNCH THE DOUGH DOWN. There will be big air bubbles in the dough and the bread will have holes in it. Put the bowl back on the mixer and using the dough hook, mix down for about a minute and a half. (Really, watch the video a couple of times)
32. If you want a fluffier loaf of bread, you can let it do a rise in the bowl for another 30 minutes in the dehydrator, or you can divide it into loaves/buns at this point and let it rise for about 20 more minutes on the kitchen counter before putting into the oven to bake. If you choose to do the second rising, then preheat your oven to 410 degrees before putting the bread in the dehydrator (and kneading afterwards with dough hook again).
33. Bake bread for about 30 minutes for a small loaf. About 20 minutes for buns. (This recipe made me 3 medium sized loaves)
34. Cool completely on racks before slicing.  If you want a tender crust, pat the crust when you put it on the racks with a sponge dipped in olive oil (this is from the "The Back to Eden Cookbook").       I haven't tried that... yet.

**I am very thankful to the woman who made the video for this recipe.  She appears to have had a blog with the recipe on it, but it no longer exists, so I took the recipe from the video and transcribed it to fit with adjustments as to what I was planning to do.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER BREAD-RELATED ARTICLES:

Bread Baking Tips by Darlene Blaney, PhD Nutritionist

Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe (Healthy Choices Recipe)

Millet-Honey-Nut Bread Recipe by Wyona Hertwig, Master Baker

Multi-Grain Sunflower Seed Mineral Bread Recipe, by Wyona Hertwig, Master Baker

Grandma's Health Bread Recipe (Adventist Cooking School)

Mediterranean Pocket Bread Recipe (Adventist Cooking School)



Sunday, April 21, 2019

Blueberry Nice Cream on Raspberry Chia Pudding

Blueberry Nice Cream on Raspberry Chia Pudding
If you follow the recipes on Organic Granny (you can do that on this site itself, or by joining the group on Facebook called Organic Granny Veggie Recipes) you will know that I have a longstanding relationship with chia seeds.  These high protein, high omega3 tiny seeds just happen to be the base for many of my dessert recipes-- either as a primary content or as a binder-- and some other recipes as well.  I sometimes make up something called Chia Gel-- basically, chia seeds gelled in water-- and keep it on hand in a mason jar in the fridge.  I often use the gel as a base for the puddings.  You can find out more about the chia gel and how to use it HERE.  Find more recipes at the base of this recipe post.

RASPBERRY CHIA PUDDING
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups Organic Chia Gel (make ahead of time, up to 24 hours)
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Raspberry Jam or Jelly (vegan is preferred - or blend and sweeten ripe fresh or frozen berries)
  • 1 Cup Non-dairy Milk (such as Almond, Coconut, Hemp, etc.)
  • 2 T. Maple Syrup or other preferred sweetener (optional)

BLUEBERRY NICE CREAM
INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Very Ripe Organic Bananas, peeled, chunked and frozen in a baggie for 24 hours
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Organic Blueberries
PUT THE PUDDING TOGETHER:
  • Stir together the Chia Gel, the Non-dairy Milk, the Sweetener, and the Jam or blended raspberries.  
  • Spoon into 1/2 pint mason jars (or old-fashioned glasses)
  • Put into fridge again to set for a couple of hours, or during the time you make the Nice Cream
PUTTING THE NICE CREAM & CHIA PUDD TOGETHER: 
  • AT SERVING TIME: Put frozen banana chunks and blueberries together into a high-speed blender like Vitamix, and process until smooth.
  • Scoop a 1/4 of the Nice Cream over each of the 4 chia puddings 
  • Sprinkle a few hemp seeds on each NiceCream as a garnish (optional, but yummy)
  • Serve immediately!
This is a lovely dessert that can be eaten by itself anytime and as breakfast!

OTHER CHIA RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY:


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Recipe for Chickpea Tofu: By Ally


A dear long-time friend has passed along this recipe for Chickpea Tofu for anyone who is sensitive or allergic to Tofu (soy).

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup "Raw" Chickpea Flour
1 1/2 cup Water
Pinch of Turmeric



METHOD:

  1. Dissolve 1/2 cup of Chickpea flour in 1/2 cup of the water.  Add a pinch of Turmeric powder for colour.
  2. Heat remaining cup of water over medium heat.
  3. Add in the Chickpea paste and whisk/stir, scraping sides down.
  4. When the mixture is boiling and thickened, pour into a pan and let it cool.  
  5. Cut into desired shapes after completely cool. 
Ally also states that she often eats it with a Burmese Salad:  Fried Onions and Garlic along with Green Spring Onions, Tamarind Juice, chopped Cilantro and optional Chili pepper and Fish Sauce.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Spinach Patties- Burgers (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This chickpea-spinach patty or burger recipe grew from some consternation with a commercial brand of chickpea-spinach burger that had more than a few ingredients, a few of which I felt could be excluded from a recipe and still have the same flavourful and 'kind' appeal without those ingredients.

 Plus, as an ethical vegan, I was not crazy about the idea that the particular brand is just a side line for a longtime "meat packing company."  While I think it is wonderful that there are an amazing number of vegan "meats" hitting the market, I don't think that I am reduced to buying a product that is likely just a way for this company to capture some of the 'new' revenue coming in with vegan foods, while they continue to support the factory-farming of animals, their "inhumane" slaughter  (is there a humane way to kill a sentient being to eat?) and the ongoing other ethical and morale concerns perpetrated by the meat industries.
The 8th Annual Food Revolution Summit, April 27 - May 5

So, yeah, this recipe was developed.  There are quite a few other vegan chickpea burger recipes online that you might want to google.  Some modified versions of them will likely turn up on here in the near-ish future since I plan to do a series of recipes that are (not exactly) copy-cats of some of the commercial burgers to show that these recipes can be put together without the kinds of ingredients that are often just meant to preserve shelf-life or be more like the solid-bulky texture you got used to with a hamburger, for example.

This recipe uses fabulous aquafaba (or a gel produced from chickpea "juice") as the "eggs" that appear as binders in the non-vegan burger recipes.  I was originally set to use the usual "flaxseed egg" (2 Tbsp. Flaxseeds plus 1/4 cup water) but noticed the chunky gel that I had poured off my home-cooked chickpeas as it sat in the fridge in a mason jar.  I subbed a 1/4 cup of it (picture below) for the flaxseed egg.  And it worked well!  I would suggest that you use the flaxseed gel if you feel less comfortable with using aquafaba.

Here is a close-up of the Aquafaba magic gel.... the thick liquid that came from cooking my chickpeas in the Instant Pot
 The original recipe I was most attracted to had 18 ingredients.  At the time I was "developing" this recipe (or "throwing it together" might be a less pretentious description), my husband and I were quite hungry, having gone past our usual suppertime schedule.  So, while I knew that it might be minimally tastier if I searched for and measured out a bunch of individual spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, ground ginger, etc.) it would work just as well for our not very discerning taste buds if we just used a really good variety of organic Mild Curry Powder that involves all the of the above spices, and then some.  If you have experience with dealing with spices, or have a favourite formula that you love, by all means, use that in this recipe!

I also did a short cut on the 2 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice and the 1 Tbsp. of Garlic Puree because I use a combo frozen cube of Lemon Juice-Garlic every day in our smoothie (yes, it IS potent).  I just tossed a cube of that in-- easy peasy.  I include that in the recipe in case you want to go ahead and try making those cubes yourself, the recipe is HERE.  It really comes in handy for a lot of recipes (as well as for our smoothie, of course heheh).

So, here is a photo of the reduced number of ingredients:

INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN CHICKPEA AND SPINACH PATTIES/BURGERS:

  • 2 Tbsp. Flaxseeds plus 1/4 cup Water OR 1/4 cup thick Aquafaba (Chickpea juice gel)
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper (red, yellow or orange-- green are unripe peppers)
  • 1 tsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp. Red Chili Powder (I used Chipotle)
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Puree and 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice or 1 Garlic-Lemon cube
  • 1 Tbsp. Tomato Puree/paste
  • 14-oz/114 ml can Chickpeas (save the 'juice') OR 1 1/2 - 2 cups of cooked Chickpeas
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Chickpea Flour
DIRECTIONS:

  1. If making a Flaxseed egg, combine the seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Finely slice the onion, and chop the pepper into small cubes.  
  3. Stir-fry the Onion in the Oil over high heat, stirring continuously  Add in the Curry Powder. Stir for 3-5 minutes until golden.
  4. Add in Bell Pepper, Chili, Garlic Puree, Lemon Juice (or cube), and Tomato Puree/Paste.  Stir another 3-5 minutes until soft.
  5. Set aside to cool (briefly)
  6. When cool, add the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until a smooth paste.
  7. To the food processor, add in the Chickpeas, Spinach, Flax egg or Aquafaba gel,  and a pinch of Salt.
  8. Process until mostly smooth, although a rougher texture of Chickpeas is great.  If you think it is too smooth, mash up some more chickpeas and add them in without further processing.
  9. Dump this mixture into a medium-large bowl and mix in the cup of Chickpea Flour.
  10. Stir until it is evenly mixed in.
  11. You can either divide the mass into six equal lumps and fry with in a pan with some oil, or you can turn the oven to 400F, cover a pan with parchment paper, and spoon six burger shapes onto the pan.  Bake for about 15 minutes on each side, more if you are not happy with the texture.
  12. These patties (baked in the oven) resemble pancakes, but are savory and have a very nice texture that is not like a cookie or a pancake...


Here are some other recipes you might also like to try:

How to make ChiaSeed Gel and How To Use It

How to Make Yummy No-Meat Balls (Gluten Free)

Barley Pecan Burger

Mushroom Walnut Burger

Vegetable Burger

The Classic Vegan Roast or Burger

Join  Organic Granny Veggie Recipes Facebook for lots more Transitioning-to-Vegan Recipes

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spelt-Caraway Scones - Vegan Recipe

Today would have been my Irishy Grandma's 115th birthday. She would have loved these.  Happy St. Paddy's Day! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Flax Egg  (1 T (7 g) flaxseed meal + 2 ½ T(37 ml) Water beaten up together in small bowl)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk such as Almond, Hemp or Oat Milk
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup Maple Sy
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Caraway Seed
  • 1/4 C. dried Currants
  • 6 Tbsp room temperature coconut oil (scoopable, not liquid or frozen) (or sun vegan butter)

Icing:
  • 1 c. Icing sugar
  • 2 T milk
  • 1/4 tsp orange zest.  
Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  2. Whisk in bowl: flax egg, non-dairy milk and maple syrup. Set aside.
  3. In another larger bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and sea salt.
  4. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the coconut oil until pea-sized clusters form
  5. Spill in caraway seeds and currants
  6. Add wet ingredients and combine lightly-- do not overwork the dough
  7. On a silicone-sheeted or parchment covered pan, turn out the dough and carefully shape into a 1-inch high circle.
  8. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut 8 equal size pieces. Make about a 1 1/2-inch space between the slices.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges
  10. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, or a little longer to ice
  11. To ice or glaze, blend sugar and nondairy milk and mix until smooth- mix in orange zest
  12. Drizzle or spoon over warm scones

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Maple-Brown Sugar Glazed Tofu - Vegan, GlutenFree


Maple-Brown Sugar Glazed Tofu is a gift to you if you enjoyed ham as a part of your celebrations back in the day and were feverishly looking for a recipe online that gives you back some of that experience.  You will be missing the salt-piercing tongue paralysis of a cured ham, but you will also be missing the very dangerous cholesterol.  Tofu is the way to go if you want to enjoy a piece of "sham" with your Christmas or Thanksgiving.  And for those of you with religious proscriptions, it's CLEAN-- it's not even meat.  So win-win.

Want to know MORE about the health benefits of Tofu? Watch Dr. Michael Greger's videos HERE.



So here we go with the
INGREDIENTS (3 ADULT SERVINGS)

  • 1# Block of Organic, non-GMO, EXTRA FIRM Tofu (bought mine at Costco)
  • 1/2 C. Pure Maple Syrup OR Blackstrap Molasses (Molasses gives a darker glaze)
  • 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
  • 1 T. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (May want to use Cayenne or Chipotle Pepper)


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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Press the tofu for 30-60 minutes-- makes a huge difference to the results
  2. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius
  3. Cut the tofu with a sharp knife to form 2-3 'steaks' (meaning you cut through the sides of the tofu to create 2-3 same-size rectangles as your original block).  Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on each side of the steaks.
  4. With the same sharp knife, score through one side of each steak in a crisscross pattern.  Be careful not to cut through entirely!
  5. Place tofu on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone pad (to avoid use of oils)
  6. Bake at 400F/205C degrees for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
  7. While the Tofu is baking, make the glaze, mixing together Syrup OR Molasses, Mustard, Cinnamon, Ginger and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan on the stove.
  8. Whisk the sauce over medium heat until everything comes together, and then turn the heat to LOW.  Keep whisking for another few minutes until the sauce is smooth and thickening a little. 
  9. Remove sauce from the heat (it will thicken as it cools)
  10. Remove the slightly crispy tofu from the oven and turn the temperature down to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius.
  11. Brush the sides of the Tofu that have not been scored, first, and then turn and brush the scored (cut) sides, making sure that you are generously brushing the tofu so that lots of the sticky goodness sinks into the crevices.
  12. Return to the oven and bake another 5-10 minutes.  Flip over to the sides that have been scored and makes sure that the cuts have received the syrup and are not sealed up (you can lightly re-cut them if so, and spoon on more glaze)
  13. Remove from the oven and rebrush the tops with glaze.  Serve immediately.
(inspired by recipe at Rabbit and Wolves site)

OTHER DELICIOUS BAKED TOFU RECIPES:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

5 Vegan Chinese Dishes

These five delicious vegan -- plant-based, no-animal-products-involved, you-make-yourself-- recipes are probably strike a familiar chord for you and quite possibly their non-plant-based form had a place on your "comfort foods" list before you decided to "go vegan".

Remember Dim Sum?  Well, you can get together with your vegan friends and enjoy that joyous experience again!

恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái) Happiness and Prosperity!

 

1. SEA-VEGGIE ROLLS (or rolled salad)
 Mmmm-- these veggie rolls might not fit into your "Chinese food" box/idea, but it is one wonderful way to capitalize on all the raw greens that could potentially go into the salad course of a vegan Chinese meal, and includes the sea vegetable (nori) that is pretty common in many traditional Chinese and other Asian meals.  Check out the instructions for putting this awesome wrap together at Raw Foods For Truth .  (Go for the recipe, stay to browse all their other salivatory images like this one.)


2. VEGAN WONTON SOUP
Who doesn't love the taste and mouth textures of Wonton Soup?  But are those won ton noodles vegan when they are advertised as "vegetarian"?  Hmm.  How about make everything-- noodles and soup-- from scratch with a simple noodle recipe and a mouth-watering soup?  The soup is impressive, Darling!  Your wontons will be winners!  And all done with such kindness, thanks to the recipe (and images) at Spoons Of Flavor.com

3. SWEET AND SOUR CAULIFLOWER

There are any number of chop-suey-style recipes you can adapt to your vegan feast, but this sweet and sour cauliflower image (and recipe) from Kirbie's Cravings website really caught my eye.

4. VEGAN BATTERED CAULIFLOWER DIPPED IN VEGAN HONEY-SESAME-GARLIC SAUCE

 Happy Chinese New Year, darling!

Doesn't this delightful image (recipe and image from MARY'S TEST KITCHEN website) take you back to those wonderful meals that were more than the backstory to a great romance or family gathering?  And there are other delicious similar recipes at the same great site.  (Caution: There are many alluring images of Honey Garlic Cauliflower recipes online, but most of them include eggs to bake on the sauce-- no, no, darling!  Give those little chickens a chance and eat plant-strong!)

5. DESSERT: VEGAN 'EGG' TART
Here is a great video tutorial on making the yummy 'egg' tart (without any eggs) from East Meets West 

I agree that the pie shells have a sort of scary complexity for those of us who have NEVER been great pastry chefs.  However, if you watch this a few times you will pick up the tips and with a little confidence and the right instruction, you will be able to make this incredibly flakey VEGAN pastry.  Anyone who loved the traditional egg tarts will be sooooo grateful for this addition to your vegan feast! (YT Etiquette: If you do make the tarts, please be sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to enjoy more of this chef's great instructional videos)


However, I also find that fresh lychee fruit can't be beat for the perfect light dessert after a great vegan Chinese meal. 

 
Image credit: Apartment Therapy
If you have any questions or comments, please post below!  If you try any of these recipes and want to post your pictures, I would be happy to do so on this page... just let me know in the Comments section below!

恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái) Happiness and Prosperity!


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies- Vegan, Oil-Free

These delicious chocolate chip cookies have chickpeas in them! And walnuts!  They are very tasty and healthy, with good Omega oils and proteins.  The cookies are soft inside and crunchy on the outside! The chocolate chips are, of course, a bonus!

INGREDIENTS & Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F, 180C or gas mark 4).  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.



2. Put the following together in a medium mixing bowl and stir until combined:
  • 1 1/4 C. (180 g) pastry flour
  • 1 tsp.     (15 g)  baking powder
  • 1 tsp.     (15 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp.  (4 g)  Salt
3. Put the following together into a food processor and blend until smooth:
  • 1 1/2 C. (246 g) cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz), rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 C.    (120 ml) Nondairy Milk
  • 2 tsp. (30 g)   Vanilla or Almond Extract (I used Almond)
  • 1 C. (225 g) packed Brown Sugar


4. Mix in the wet mixture from the food processor with the dry items in the bowl.  Then mix in:

  • 1 C. Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C. Walnut Pieces
5. Place in 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoops on the sheet and into the oven for 15- 17 minutes.  Do NOT over-bake.  Cool and enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2019

The NEW Canada Food Guide: Cultural Dilemma to Life With Less Meat?

The Canada Food Guide was developed during World War II when there were disruptions to the general lifestyle and economy and it was felt that there needed to be some sort of "rules list" to ensure for a healthy populace.  The Depression that followed World War I with crop failures and stock market plunges and job scarcity no doubt had some input into the formation of the 1942 Food Rules.

If you grew up, like I did, in the Prairies in the 50s and 60s, you might not be unfamiliar with the following sort of plate (meatloaf=protein, potatoes and corn=vegetables-- there was likely a slice or two of bread and butter on a side plate, and maybe some canned peas or such, and likely a dessert that contained the necessary dairy and maybe some raisins to represent fruit.  If you were a kid, a glass of milk was generally served at the same meal if your parents were intent on "building your bones".):
Perhaps you see the same plate on your table today.  I am not criticizing (here).  This was pretty much the dictate of the 1942 Food Rules.  If you ate a "hearty" breakfast at home once a week, it likely looked a little like the following:
And again, maybe this is standard weekly fare for you to this day.  Perhaps you are new to Canada and this represents the wonderful benefits of living in this abundantly food-ed country.  I must admit that this picture does make me salivate even though I have not eaten bacon and eggs for quite a while and probably will not again.  Note the glass of orange juice-- in the old Food Rules, juice was a legit substitute for a piece of fruit.  No more.  Nor is milk considered an appropriate beverage in meeting the new guidelines.  Plain old WATER is the suggested beverage in the latest Health Guide.


                   THE MEAT CULTURE
I will assume you have not been living under a log and know all the arguments for eating animal products-- meat, eggs, poultry, fish, dairy, and other animal excretions.

The eating of animal products seems pretty well embedded as one of the bonuses of being a dominant species on this planet.  We have placed ourselves at the "top of the Food Chain" and have piles of rationals and explanations for the eating of other species and the drinking of their milks.

I am pretty sure that there are large components of every language and ethnic group on the planet with a vociferous plan for maintaining their dominant, traditional, social and cultural ties to eating meat.

On the other hand, there is also a growing groundswell of agreement that factory farming, factory fishing, ocean pollution, massive cuts of rain forests for ranching, climate change, and a prodigious ongoing appetite for animal foods is destroying not only the other species on Earth, but are is doing us any health or social benefits, either, but is ,indeed, also contributing to individual and collective human poor health and vitality.  Some of the world's longest-living people eat no or little meat or animal products.  (See the The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest)

What about the Hunter-Gatherer argument, that global indigenous peoples have lived by hunting animals and gathering wild herbs and fruits, and that this lifestyle has afforded both healthfulness and natural balance?  Apart from the vegan argument for the same respect for not eating all/any sentient beings (living creatures who experience sensation and emotion), there is a bit of a skew in seeing that there are in fact enough wild "food" animals for all the people of the world to hunt and eat without the further depleting of entire species, as already happens with the more global open season on sea animals, for example.  Where is the balance?  Read about this indigenous scholar's decision to go vegan and the cultural factors that figured into her choice.

So, yes, meat-eating is heavily upheld by many as a positive, traditional, and therefore culturally inviolate way of life.  On the other hand, like the indigenous scholar above, many peoples with a strong culture and tradition around eating animal products have 'come out' and are embracing a plant-strong lifestyle.  I think the Canadian Food Guide 2019 carries a proactive vision that will be echoed and enlarged by more and more Canadians and global citizens as the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and diet are recognized.  I commit to providing delicious, healthy recipes here that reflect the intent of the Food Guide.  If you are interested in following me on Facebook, I post recipes there about three times a week at Organic Granny Veggie Recipes group.  I like to include a lot of recipes that are similar to the 'meaty' comfort recipes people miss or look for when they transition into a plant strong diet.  I also like to include a Monday Mock Meat recipe, a Tuesday Tofu recipe, and a Wednesday Wellness recipe, all plant-strong, and mostly low fat and often gluten-free.  JOIN US!

Learn How To Set Up A Vegan Diet For Weight Loss, Building Muscle, Healthy Eating, Meal Planning & Vegan Bodybuilding

          THE VEGGIE COUNTER-CULTURE
Vegans are a counter-culture in Canada, and likely in most world ethnic cultures today.  As a long-time Adventist Christian, I have had the opportunity to mix with vegetarians and vegans on a regular weekly basis over the past 25 years, and since my husband was an Adventist prior to that, we have been vegetarian-flexitarian-vegan for probably about 45 years.  By flexitarian I mean to say that we have gone back to meat-eating at various times in our past, but have resolutely returned to a plant-strong diet, and now I believe that we are fixed there because we definitely enjoy vegan food and find the concept of killing and eating animals to be very troubling in a country that is rife with other forms of protein (the main reason that meat-eaters have claimed that they eat meat is because of the protein factor, in my experience).  BUT-- I am still regularly directly and subtly challenged by non-vegans about the inadequacy of my diet and other things, such as how "politically-correct" veganism is, and how they can never see themselves giving up meat for various reasons.  The 2019 Food Guide might appear to be a Vegan cultural switchover to meat-eaters, but so far, the counter-culture is still Vegan.

If you are curious about how/why some meat eaters made the transition, here are some "testimonies" on video by some of prominent vegan physicians, and some recipe books by members of  various ethnic/national/religious groups who recognize the delights of a vegan diet (or, at least, of a vegan recipe that is patterned on their traditional food treats).  Enjoy!

  Dr. Michael Greger talks about his daily public service (videos and blogs at NutritionFacts.org) dedicated to his Grandmother who inspired him to become vegan and a lifestyle physician.  
Dr. Cauldwell Esselstyn, Jr. talks about his work with patients with breast cancer and how he became tired of 'losing' patients regardless of what 'medical interventions' were introduced... the reason he is so passionate about medicine today is because of the science-based evidence that food (plant-strong) can reverse disease.
From a Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) conference:What Dr. Neal Barnard and other vegan doctors eat during the day!

ETHNIC/INTERNATIONAL VEGAN RECIPE BOOKS

Friday, January 18, 2019

5 Recipes for Veggie Chick'n Nuggets

ChickPea Nuggets (recipe #1 Below)
Chicken Nuggets were a huge treat back in the day when they first emerged at the famous fast food joint.  They seem to have continued as a favourite snack, especially for children.  So, how nice for all of us that there is a kinder, healthier, and, I think, tastier vegan/vegetarian alternative.

If you go to Pinterest, you will find that there are MANY veggie versions of chick'n nuggets, with main ingredients ranging from chick peas to jackfruit to pumpkin to jackfruit and several other versatile plants.  Some people seem intent on replicating the original chicken-like texture and flavour in their nuggets, while many of the other recipe creators simply look for new ways to create a savoury chunk of yumminess with the capability of holding together for a dip.

If you have fond memories of the nugget, and/or your child or other loved one has a craving, one of the following recipes will satisfy I am pretty darn sure.  If you are looking for another creative recipe for Meat-free Monday/Meatless Monday, the same is true.

1. ChickPea Nuggets (as in the picture above).  This recipe uses actual chickpeas, canned or home-cooked.  In the picture above, you see that the baked batter on the nugget is maybe a little paler than you would expect-- that is because I used ground Soda Crackers as my coating.  Looks pale, but is a nice light battering and something a lot of folks have on hand.  Otherwise, these nuggets taste not unlike falafal, if you are familiar with the lovely Middle Eastern savory chickpea balls.  Indeed, these particular nuggets make a great insert into wraps with lots of fresh salad greens, some red pepper slices, tomato, and a lovely Lemon-Sesame Dressing.  But they are also super-great as a dippable Nugget.  The original delightful recipe for these ChickPea Nuggets can be found HERE at Vegan Heaven.

2. Cauliflower Chick'n Nuggets
The recipe for these mouth-watering looking morsels can be found HERE at the Healthier Steps site.  They are vegan and gluten-free, so a healthy match for anyone who is looking for those criteria.  What I appreciate about this recipe is that it uses a shorter list of ingredients than many of the nugget recipes.  If you have cauliflower florets and a few other ingredients on hand, you have the makings of a great, quickly-put-together snack!
3. Actual VEGGIE Nuggets
The following video is an example of not being so much hung-up on the "chick'n" part of the nuggets but really digging the little dip-worthy nuggets for themselves.  As you can see in the video, an egg is used in the recipe (the actual recipe is right under the video HERE) but you can sub with a tablespoon or two of chia or flax seed added to the blender/processor, or you can use one of the many egg-substitutes available commercially.  Definitely worth a try!  
4. Tofu Chick'n Popcorn Nuggets


This recipe (shown just above) offers a pretty good take-off on the more common commercial vegan small-sized nuggets, or "popcorn".  The real benefit of using tofu is that it is a high plant protein binder with the same gripping quality as egg would add to your recipe.  Be sure to use ORGANIC, NON-GMO Tofu though.  You don't want to be suffering from the chemicals that go with GMO agro-industrial growing, and the ORGANIC labeling is generally the way to ensure that you don't have a GMO product.  In fact, be sure to buy ORGANIC-grown and NON-GMO in general.  Grow your own if you have the opportunity.  You can find this recipe HERE at the Under A Lemon Tree site.

5. Gourmet No-Chicken Nuggets

This final recipe is definitely the more time-consuming and ingredient-diverse of the nugget recipes listed above, but has a very good response from people who have made and eaten it.  I don't think it is a mistake that the website's name is Connoisseur us Veg-- pretty witty if you say it aloud and think about it.  So, yes, the recipe not only contains chickpeas, but also artichoke heart, red wine vinegar, and liquid smoke.  The nuggets are also both breaded and coated.  I am thinking that these are the nuggets that you serve to an adult dinnah pawtay and not to your kiddos at lunchtime! hehe.  They sure do look luscious and I am sure the gourmet vegan chefs out there are drooling to try these!  Find the recipe HERE.
Gourmet No-Chicken Nuggets (see above)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vegan Baked Beans

Vegan Baked Beans.  

When I was a kid, and oblivious to a lifestyle that didn't include dairy, eggs, and chunks of animal flesh, I absolutely loved Pork 'n' Beans from a can.  My mother was a 'modern' 50s mother-- she didn't waste time with baking bread or canning or such.  There were so many other things to do, more interesting than slaving over a hot stove.  We did have a large electric frying pan that contained some sort of 'goulash' every day at lunch time.  Usually the base item was hamburger (there really are 101 ways to serve hamburger). 


As a young adult university student, and later, as a young wife and mother in the 70s, I came across Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe.  I relished the lovely vegetarian recipes, mostly swimming in cheese or containing eggs-- ovo-lacto vegetarian.  But it was at that time that I let go of the old myths around needing to eat animal products to be healthy.  By and by, over the years, my husband and I committed to veganism for health and ethical reasons.  I am SO happy that I have never had to give up beans, although I guess there are a few "vegetarian"- type diets around that believe that the leptins in beans are a bad thing.  I don't belong to that group of veg-heads.  And I definitely DO NOT miss the little slimy piece of pork in my baked beans.
Bleak and dreary foggy January day-- with no view of the Comox Harbour-- when Baked Beans are really appreciated!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS VEGAN OVEN-BAKED BEAN RECIPE


  • 4 C. of Cooked White Beans-- Great Northern or Navy Beans-- or 2- 15 oz. cans of Beans
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped fine or minced
  • 3 C./711mil Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce (I use the "Simple Organic" brand from Costco)
  • 1/4 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 C. Maple Syrup
  • 2 T. Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 T. Prepared Mustard, your choice
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 Large Bay Leaf
  • Pepper (to taste-- or about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 T. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 C. Water
I could well have done these baked beans up in my Instant Pot in less than half the time, but the truth is that I wanted to use my mother's sweet old (1960s) Ellgreave "Saxony" design bean pot.  I LOVE my Instant Pot, but there is something very soothing about a pottery baking pot.  My mom was a big fan of legume dishes-- she would have welcomed these beans!

METHOD OF PREPARING:
  • Using a large wok or skillet, saute the onions until translucent and then briefly saute the garlic.
  • Add all other ingredients to the wok/skillet and bring to a boil, stirring.  
  • Turn down to low and put a lid on the wok/skillet.  
  • Let the mixture simmer for the next 3 hours, stirring and checking often so that the beans do not burn.  Add a little more water if the mixture is dry.
  • Preheat the oven to 300-350 degrees Farenheit/150-177 degrees Celsius
  • When the beans are soft and the sauce is rich and thick, transfer the pot to the oven.  I put mine in a cake pan to catch any possible overflow (and there was some).
  • Cook for 3 hours in the oven, checking occasionally to stir and see that there is no over-drying and burning.



Organic Granny Reviews "Stop What You Are Doing And Read This" by Carmen Callil et al

Stop What You Are Doing And Read This!Stop What You Are Doing And Read This! by Carmen Callil

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was deeply into a detective-mystery novel when my husband ruptured my thrall (twice!) to suggest that I might want to read this book of essays on the power and joy of reading literature. I was irritated and made rude dismissive gestures.

However...

I ran out of something to read and decided to pick this up.

I apologized to my husband for my unspoken assumptions. This slim and quickly read book contains eleven essays by twelve esteemed writers talking about their individual love stories around reading. It was a little like stepping back into an English Lit class at University nearly 50 years ago, but, really, a great pleasure to have the rich experiences and rewards of books and reading reiterated in a time when the electronic media would sometime make "old school" literature and literary pursuits seem outdated and without value in a changing world. Not so.

Since reading this book my husband has pitched to our younger grandchild (11 years old) that we would like to read to her at least weekly. Online of course, since she lives in another province. She was highly receptive, even thrilled, and suggested that our reading aloud to her would be "soothing", which was not exactly the descriptor we expected, but given her very stressful young life, the word is fitting. She even suggested a couple of her favorite books. Her teen sister has not returned our call yet-- she might be a harder sell.



View all my reviews

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Veggie Pie in a Quinoa Shell - Vegan, Gluten-free, No Oils

This is a delicious and easy-to make recipe, and I vouch that the crust for this veggie pie is absolutely not able to be a disaster (from a person who always fails at pie crusts).


I suggest that you might want to make the following ahead of time:

  • 1 1/2 Cups of White Beans (or you can just opt out and buy a 15.5 oz can)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 Cube of Best Golden Soup Bouillion (or 1/4 Cup of your usual vegetable broth)

     Here is the list of other ingredients that go into this pie:

    • 1/4 Cup NonDairy Milk (unsweetened works best)
    • 2 T. Nutritional Yeast (NOT brewer's yeast or baker's yeast)
    • 1 T. Almond Butter
    • 1 T. Corn Starch
    • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked (ground) Black Pepper
    • 1    small Onion, minced
    • 4 cloves   Garlic, minced
    • 9 ounces Baby Spinach
    • 6 ounces Cremini (brown) Mushrooms, finely sliced
    • 1/2          Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
    • 1/4   Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, soaked in water to rehydrate, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes or other seasoning of choice (optional)
    METHOD:
    1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
    2. Line pie tin with parchment paper OR use a silicone dish (I used a silicone cake dish).  Alternately, if you are not worried about oil, spray lightly with a non-stick cooking spray.
    3. Blend up the white beans and milk in a high speed blender (or in a regular blender until the mixture is totally blended).  Add in the nutritional yeast, almond butter, corn starch, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Blend until totally smooth.
    4. In a medium size bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa with a 1/3 Cup of the above bean mixture until well combined.  
    5. Press the quinoa-bean mix into the bottom and up the sides of the pie tin (or other pan you are using).  
    6. Bake the shell for 8 minutes, and then transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
    7. Heat the Best Gold Soup Bouillion and a couple of tablespoons of water (or 1/4 cup of other broth) over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook to soften.  
    8. Add the minced garlic and the baby spinach to the pan, stirring until the spinach wilts (in about 2 minutes).  
    9. Add in the mushroom slices, bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and 1-2 tablespoons of water or broth to keep the vegetables from sticking (if needed).
    10. Add in your preferred seasoning. Add in the salt and pepper as well.
    11. Cook until the veggies are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. WARNING: the fragrance will be somewhat overwhelming and you will be tempted to "test" the vegetables-- don't. Just kidding.
    12. Combine the rest of the bean mixture (like a custard) with the cooked vegetables and spoon and spread the mixture evenly to the top of the quinoa shell.  
    13. Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil and bake until firm (about 30-40 minutes).
    14. Let cool for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving!
    This pie is a variation of a recipe in the fab book One-Dish Vegan: More than 150 Soul-Satisfying Recipes for Easy and Delicious One-Bowl and One-Plate Dinners that you can order through Amazon by clicking on this link.

    One-Dish Vegan contains chapters for making:

    • Vegan Main-Dish Salads
    • Vegan Stovetop Simmers and Stews
    • Vegan Chili Recipes
    • Vegan Sautes and Stir Fries
    • Vegan Pasta-Plus
    • Vegan Oven to Table: special recipes like this Veggie Pie that can be served up during the most elegant of dinner parties or to your family, of course.
    See more and purchase by clicking on the image below:






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