Cover dried posole with boiling water and let stand for an hour or overnight. Drain and combine with 4 quarts of water with all ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower hear and simmer, covered, until the posole is tender and the kernels have opened up or flowered (like popcorn), about 2 hours. (time varies by brand from 1 1/2 to 3 hours). Season with 2 t. salt about halfway through, then season with salt and pepper to taste when done.
4 T. Organic Rice Bran Oil plus 1 quart of Organic Safflower Oil for frying
1/2 WestSoy Seitan package chopped up
3 T. Tamari
2 c. chopped cabbage
5 large garlic cloves
1 c. chopped onion
1 T. chopped fresh ginger
1 c. chopped bok choy or celery
1 c. mushrooms, chopped (Shitake yum!)
3/4 c. red bell pepper
2 c. bean sprouts
3/4 c. grated carrot
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
8 oz. water chestnuts (crunch factor)
1 T. sesame seeds ( more crunch goodness)
………..Add the stuff you like…this is nirvana not science. Heat the rice bran oil saute what you have picked out using common sense and your own good taste. Scallions, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, sesame seeds should get added later than hardier stuff: cabbage, onions carrots………
When it’s all just short of cooked to perfection (the fryer will finish off the cooking)
Add 3 T. tamari and some chile paste.
Taste it and add what is missing.
Next comes the fun part – wrap the goodness in a spring roll wrapper and fry.
I admit I could be kinder here with my details – but seriously it’s worth it! Roll ‘em, pat ‘em, mark ‘em with a B and throw them in the fryer. Check after a couple of minutes and if they look crispy and ready to eat – then they are!
I always wanted to make sushi – for years – but I never tried because I just assumed it would be hard. Then I saw a Sushi making video by foodie heros – Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero – from Post Punk Kitchen and I realized it was a trick – it was easy and it looked like fun too. Long story short – I made the sushi from Isa and Terry’s book Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook and now sushi is a regular household meal here at our house. I get cravings for it and make it on a regular basis without thinking too hard about it.
Nori Sheet on a Sushi Roller
You do need a sushi roller to make these – so before you get all gung-ho make sure you have a roller – it’s going to be worth it – I promise!
Sushi rollers are cheap and they are sold at most Food Coops, at Whole Foods, at International Markets and if worse comes to worse you could get one online.
The first simple step is to make some rice. I mix 1 cup of sushi rice ( I use Lundberg Akitakomachi ) with 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil, lower heat to low, cover and cook for 2o minutes…then using Isa and Terry’s directions I add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 1 t. sugar and mix. Then you need to let the rice cool to keep from overheating your fingers when you spread the rice on the seaweed sheet.
From this point on – I find I like just adding some simple whole foods I enjoy – rather than following a recipe for the spicy tempeh mix or other variations found in the Veganomicon. You might really like those though so check it – if you want something more exotic.
I always use avocado and cucumber in my rolls and usually some strips of Seitan. Sometimes I add strips of carrot or other raw vegees. If you cut all the inside ingredients in thin strips – the rest of the sushi making experience should be surprisingly easy and also very fun and satisfying.
Spreading the rice on
Lay your bamboo mat down – if there’s rounded side – place that side down. Lay your Nori sheet on the bamboo mat. Usually the seaweed sheets have little perforations for cutting the sushi so place the sheet with the perforation running in the logical direction – vertically. (See top image) I make 2 or 3 rolls from 1 cup of rice. It depends on if you want fewer (2) fat rolls or more (3) small rolls. Divide the rice roughly by the number of rolls you want and then plop the rice on the lower regions of the Nori. Press it on evenly over the bottom 2/3rds of the sheet.
Next – lay out your offerings on the bed of rice, then grab the end of the mat and start rolling it up and over the seaweed the way you see me doing it in the video below: When you have the sushi almost all the way rolled up – wet your fingers and seal that baby with some water. Do it a couple of times to make sure it sticks. Finish rolling and you’re very close to done!
Dipping sauce - soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and hot chile oil - and Wasabi
Oh- there is one other thing – the sauces. My partner does this part – he mixes a little sesame oil and a little chile oil with some soy sauce for dipping and he mixes the Wasabi powder with some warm water to make a paste. Before dipping the Sushi in your dipping sauce add some Wasabi paste. I’m a lightweight. My partner is crazy for the stuff. It will clear your sinuses and then some so watch out. Start slow…. and add more until you reach maximum dosage. Some organic Sushi Ginger strips on the side make it all the better. Enjoy!
Anna Thomas can take partial credit for my becoming a vegetarian. As a teen growing up in San Jose, I didn’t know a single vegetarian and the option to not eat meat hadn’t really occurred to me but the truth is … meat really grossed me out. I slathered huge amounts of ketchup on what I was required to eat and avoided eating it when I could. I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people that just IS vegetarian. There was never a big decision to become a vegetarian or a struggle to withdraw from eating meat. Dropping meat was like finally coming home. It seems to be a trend for vegan, vegetarians and raw foodists to judge other people’s diets, but for me personally what’s important is that people make their food decisions as consciously as possible. There are no right answers that apply to everyone when it comes to diet. Study ancient nutrition systems like Ayurveda or Chinese Nutrition and it’s noted – every constitution has different needs and appropriate desires. Find out what yours are!
When I came across Anna Thomas’s “Vegetarian Epicure” at a big drug store’s closeout sale as a teenager, I bought it along with earrings, shampoos and other things that caught my eye. I still have that book although the binding’s now broken and, truth to be told, many of the recipes have so much butter, cream and other artery clogging ingredients I wouldn’t dream of making them anymore.
Vegetarianism has come along way since the hippy days – and lots of the original cookbook authors like Anna Thomas and Mollie Katzen have continued to put out wonderful, albeit healthier cookbooks.
Love Soup has 160 soup recipes. I’ve tried two and they’ve both been exceptional. Tonight we had “kale and sweet potato soup with cumin and lemon” and “roasted golden beet soup”. The book’s essentially vegan with almost nary a dairy item to be found.
On the busiest, most stressful days, when I most need good nutrition, I’m more likely to eat something quick – like a pre-made Trader Joe’s Indian dinner or some other pre-packaged meal. This Christmas brought me a Slow Cooker which allows me to eat whole, unprocessed food with very little prep time even on a busy day. I add ingredients to the Slow Cooker in the morning while my tea water is boiling, hit “Go” and 8-10 hours later I have something delicious to eat that is completely made out of fresh ingredients.
Whole foods, by the way, is my favorite subject and I am very, very into it for good reasons. I feel dramatically better when I eat unprocessed organic food and since I switched to this diet my health has improved radically. In fact, I first started with the diet when I was very sick – and what the doctors could not do with their prednisone and other wacky chemical cures – my diet did for me. I have been very healthy and mostly happy since I started migrating towards this diet years ago.
My friend and hair cutter, Liz Gingerich, calls this food “real food” and describes it as “Nothing from a jar, box, or wrapper!” That means eating food left in the same state that it arrived on the Earth from the diety or scientific power of your choice (however you explain the miracle that is food!). Foods that have been flash frozen, pre-cooked or have additives, preservatives, stabilizers etc. are not eaten. Those processing methods and additives may make the food last longer or speed up preparation but they also take away alot from the inherent wisdom of untouched foods nutritional patterns. I can’t recommend this diet highly enough whether you are vegetarian or not, especially if you don’t feel that great – tired, sick, depressed etc.
Back to Slow Cookers: slow cooking can help those most likely to eat fast junk food – the busy and stressed – to eat healthy, good tasting food without having to spend time they don’t have preparing it. As an added benefit the slow, low heat cooking of a Slow Cooker helps food retain it’s naturally healthful profile which can be damaged by high heat. I’m happy with my Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker.
The only thing that I wasn’t crazy about – was all the recipes provided were for meat – not interesting for me being a vegetarian. This is not a terribly big deal since any recipe that has a somewhat liquid base should work. I’ve made Cuban Black Beans, Corn Chowder and other soups using my standard recipes.
I also just got the cookbook “Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker” by Robin Robertson. I’m trying my first recipe right now and some very tantalizing smells are coming from the kitchen so it looks promising.