Friday, February 22, 2008

|bulgur stir fry - super yummy|

Who knew that you could make anything besides tabbouleh with bulgur?!? Not me! But then I saw a Weight Watchers core recipe for making stir fry with bulgur, so I decided to give it a try. It was awesome. I, of course, didn't have most of the ingredients they suggested on hand, so I made up my own gig.

BULGUR STIR FRY AVEC WHATEVER IS IN THE FRIDGE:
1) Put 1 cup of dry bulgur and 1 3/4 cups of water in my rice cooker. Pressed the button. (Gotta love the rice cooker).

2) Cooked one scrambled egg very thin (like an omelet with nothing in it) in the skillet and let it cool. Then I rolled it up and sliced it into strips.
3) Heated up my wok really hot with a couple teaspoons of oil. Threw in the various things I had on hand...onions & peppers (from the amazing frozen veggies section at Kroger - so wonderful to have on hand), a handful of edamame, carrots, broccoli slaw, a little frozen corn, mushrooms, and tons of garlic. Cooked that up.

4) Added the egg strips, some baked tofu (recipe courtesy of my friends Sandy and Suzanne - it's below), and the cooked bulgur.


It was truly amazing. The bulgur is even tastier than brown rice. By far. Also, it's much better for you than brown rice. One cup of it is only 2 WW points (151 cals, 1/2 g fat, 8 g fiber). Here's something weird - my spell checker doesn't think bulgur is a word. Odd, huh?

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On a completely unrelated note, I just finished reading
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. It was absolutely one of the funniest books I've read in ages. This woman is about to turn 30 and is feeling a little loser-y because she's a secretary in NYC, so she decides she needs a "project" and sets the goal of cooking all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. The book is more about her craziness than the food, but it's still wildly entertaining.
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BAKED TOFU A LA SANDY & SUZANNE

1) Toss together the following in a glass baking dish: 1/4 c. lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2-3 tablespoons oil, pepper, garlic, rosemary.

2) Press the excess water out of a block of extra firm tofu. If you've never done this before, it's easy...just put the tofu on top of some towels on a plate; put something heavy on top of the tofu for about 30 minutes.

3) Cube the tofu into about 50 little cubes. Toss in the pan with the oil mixture.
4) Bake at 400 for 30-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

This is tasty on stir fry, salads, pitas, by itself, you name it. Mmmm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

|soy cheese - my first time|

This post is dedicated to Marie and Lauren, who apparently actually click on this blog from time to time and, in doing so, encouraged me to actually post something for once. I hope you enjoy your lentil tacos!

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So...yesterday there was a big news story about a massive beef recall. I heard CNN was showing the video all day long. Fortunately, I don't watch CNN, so I didn't see the video. But, after hearing about the story when we were at our "reduce your carbon output/stop global warming class", I came home and had to Google it. I couldn't even watch the videos, because just reading about the treatment of these poor animals made me cry myself to sleep. I wish I was being melodramatic when I say that, but it's actually true.

And these cows were dairy cows at one point in time, so that's how they got so sick and were being killed for really cheap meat. To feed to our children. Or to end up in the garbage at a school cafeteria. You remember those days. By the way, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to www.hsus.org. They're the ones who broke the story.

Anyway, I'm not a huge animal lover or anything. I wear leather. I think it's okay to kill animals and eat them. I became a vegetarian for environmental reasons, not for animal rights reasons. But this, this is just wrong. There's no denying that. And the dairy issue was particularly bothersome because I'm not a vegan, nor do I think I will ever be a vegan. I try to get cage free eggs and buy organic milk and yogurt (though I have my doubts that the giant organic milk companies are that much better).

All of this being said, I had to go to the grocery store this morning. I said a small prayer of confession as I walked past all the raw beef (again, wish I was kidding, but I'm not). And I decided I would try some soy cheese for the first time, just to check it out.

The verdict? Soy cheese is freaking awesome. It is about a thousand times more tasty than fat-free cheese (which is, sadly, what we usually eat in our house). It is SO FREAKING GOOD. I am really pumped about this discovery. I made a grilled cheese for lunch and it was amazing.

So, I'm still not a vegan. And I don't think I will ever be one. And since my husband and I decided last night that moving a dairy cow into our spare bedroom really won't work at this point in our lives, I guess soy cheese is a good option. If it saves one cow from that horrible fate, it's worth the few extra pennies it costs. Plus, it tastes better.