Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sneaky Spices, Tofu Press & Easy Bake Cookies

The Hub's requested Beef Stew for dinner last night.  Beef Stew is one of the easiest things to make.  Just chop the veggies,  put them in a crock pot with meat seasoning and liquid and walk away. :)

So I chopped the veggies - onion, carrots, celery and potato.

 I added the meat...

I went to the pantry to find some seasoning and found this steak seasoning the Hubs uses when grilling.  It smelled like it would work perfectly in stew so I sprinkled some of that on.

 And then I topped it off with some wine.

Set it to low and was done until dinner time!

After adding the lid to the crock pot I walked over to my computer to check my work e-mail and that led me to Facebook.  I'm a fan of Glamour Magazine on Facebook and one of the articles that popped up was labeled with "You already know that trans fats are unhealthy, but did you know that they could do THIS? (Apologies if you're eating breakfast...) "  How can I not click on that?  Basically it said that Trans Fat will shrink your brain.  Ok, not as surprising as I was expecting but at the bottom of the article was this: "(And, I found trans fat lurking in the strangest place!)"

Once again I was compelled to click on it and do you know what I found?

An article about Trans fat in McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning!!!  I've never used it before today but I JUST put that in the stew. What kind of timing is that?!? Granted I just sprinkled a bit in and it's not going to hurt us but I was a little miffed to find out that I need to start checking my SPICES for hidden ingredients. :(

Anyway, the stew "stewed" until about 5:00 when I scooped out some broth and added a bit of arrowroot powder to help thicken it up.  Then I stirred it back in and put the crock pot on "Keep Warm" until I put it into a bowl for the Hubs.

Stir together some broth & arrow root powder (or corn starch)
& poured it back into the stew.

The Hubs enjoyed his with 3 (!!!) previously frozen biscuits
Also on the menu yesterday...
For lunch I roasted some veggies:

Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Zuchinni
And topped them with some Nutritional Yeast and Parmesan Cheese:

And had a side of chips & salsa:

For dinner I didn't want stew.  I wanted to use my new Tofu Press that I got for Christmas.  No longer will I have to press it wrapped in towels between 2 books.  Now I can drop it into this little gizmo and walk away. :)

Tofu Block is in and being pressed
I had also read that you could marinate in it also but I need to look into that further because it did not work. lol!!
Failed attempt at adding a marinade.
Once it was pressed I took it out and sliced it up....

Then I put it into a Hot pan with coconut oil to pan fry both sides....

OK, I have Tofu.  Now what? 

I decided to make myself a salad. :)

For a dressing I mixed a smokey-salty flavor to give the salad a BLT flavor.

Into a container with a lid went:  Liquid Smoke (2 shakes), Tamari (or soy sauce), Rice Vinegar and some Olive Oil.  Then I shook it all up!

And I poured my dressing over a salad of:
Romaine Lettuce
Sweet Pepper
Sunflower Seeds

I devoured the salad.  The dressing's saltiness was perfect!  I did have to share about half my tomato with Kai but I don't mind.  Anytime she wants more fruit or veggies I'm happy.

Speaking of Kai we also made up a batch of cookies in her Easy Bake Oven. :)

I let her come up with the "recipe" for the most part.

Kai's Easy Bake Cookies
We wound up mixing (using the Ninja Food Processor)

1/4 C Oatmeal
1/8 C Sugared Dates (I bought these not knowing they were coated in sugar.  I have NO IDEA why anyone would coat dates in sugar! They're naturally REALLY sweet.)
1/8 C Sweetened Shredded Coconut (I'm not sure when I bought sweetened coconut but it was in our fridge! lol!!)
1/4 t ground flax seed
water to get to a batter consistency

Then we made little cookies and put them on the cookie sheet.

Kai put them into the oven and 14 minutes later we were ready to enjoy our treats.

Batch #1
The problem with the Easy Bake oven...  It makes only 6 tiny cookies at a time.  We wound up making 3 batches.

The best part about the Easy Bake oven...Any thing that goes in it should be safe to eat raw so we can go to town on the "batter" if we're unwilling to wait.  Not that that would happen. :)

Final results?  These cookies ROCKED.  Of course they included a lot of pre-sweetened ingredients but for the most part they were "clean" without any chemical ingredients.  Even the Hubs liked our cookies. :)

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