Sunday, September 30, 2012

I am setting up this blog so I can post during VeganMoFo next month.  My family has been eating a plant-based diet with no added oils for a couple of years now, but, honestly, we only got serious about it this past year.  (We sometimes ate out and the food had oil in it, or dairy.)  No more!  Our family has two adults and three teenage children.  Money is always tight, so the other thing I will be showing is how to make the most of very little money while eating a plant-based diet.
I am not an ethical vegan, but am surprised by how many more choices the entire family is making when we are not eating animal-based products.  Maybe we needed to take that step back to be able to see what is going on.
I hope some of what I post is helpful to other lower-income families; I know that I will be having a great time visiting the other blogs during VeganMoFo.

Purple Ruffled Kale

I really do love kale!  I grew Red Russian Kale in my yard two years ago and it was wonderful—we ate it in everything you can imagine—salads, sauteed, in soups, in burritos, shredded in tacos, just whatever.  I found Purple Ruffled Kale at a local store this summer, Central Market.  Here is a picture of it as I cooked it with green kale underneath.

Tomato Bread

This is a loaf of tomato bread that I made last night using a recipe from VeggieSue.  The original recipe called for soy milk powder and butter but I did not have either of those, so I  just left them out.  I also doubled the recipe.  Here is how I made mine:
1 1/3 cup water
3 T sugar
1 t salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
2 t yeast
1/2 cup oil-free sundried tomatoes
2 T dried basil from my garden
1 t chopped garlic
Throw all of this into a bread maker and set the machine for 2 pounds and light crust.  Enjoy!  We found that this makes a good sandwich bread.
Here is the link to the original recipe at VeggieSue's site.


So by now you may be wondering what’s up with the persimmon thing?  Several years ago when we bought our house, we were happy to see two mature pecan trees on the property.  We also saw a mature persimmon tree.  We had never touched, much less eaten, a persimmon and had no idea what to do with one, never mind an entire tree full of them.  We talked with the neighbors about it, read online, and drove around town looking for another one; turns out we have one of two in our small town.  It also seems that nobody knows how to cook with them.  Fortunately, our next door neighbor, who built his house at the same time ours was built, right after WWII, told us how good they were frozen and eaten like sorbet.  He was kind enough to tell us that our tree was a Hachiya and that we should never eat the persimmons before they resembled round orange sacks of jelly.  Really?  Turns out that was the absolute truth!  We spent the first few years harvesting ripe persimmons and freezing them, thawing on occasion for a sweet treat.  One year I made persimmon-pecan bread—-yummo!  I even tried persimmon-pumpkin pie—-not so good.  We made sure our elderly neighbor got his choice of the persimmons each and every year until he moved.
So this year I was reading online again and came across people discussing drying sliced persimmons and discussing making Hoshi Gaki, a Japanese dried-persimmon.  I was hooked!  We tried drying some sliced and not-quite-ripe specimans several days ago in the food dehydrator.  It is like eating candy!  I love it!  We also have hung several persimmons and are drying them in the Hoshi Gaki method.  I’ll get a picture up in a few days.  The tree is almost ready for a fruit harvest and usually the persimmons are all ripe within a few days, so we will dry what we can in the dehydrator, freeze a few, and hang the rest up to make Hoshi Gaki.

Persimmons in Dehydrator

I really need more dehydrators.  The entire persimmon tree is ripening and I will not have enough space to dry everything!

Persimmon slices in my food dehydrator.  Yummy!

Broken Crock Pot

This morning began with my breaking the lid on my crock pot.  I was pulling my food processor off of the shelf, the cord got tangled with the cord on the crock pot, and it tumbled to the floor top first.  Fortunately, it was made with safety glass and was easy to clean up.  This particular pot had a host of problems, the least of which is that the lowest setting didn't go low enough, so it was difficult to cook anything that required less than 4 hours of cooking.  So I will be hunting at Goodwill for a new one.

Baked Falafel Patty

I started a blog on tumblr last week and now that I am looking at it, am disappointed that the comments section is reliant on a 3rd party and is not built into the program.  So I am going to try doing the same kind of thing here on Blogger.

The picture about is of my lunch a couple of weeks ago.  It is a baked falafel patty with hummus spread on it, then cucumber slices and tomatoes.  Yummy!  I am going to be talking about the plant-based foods that my family eats, showing pictures of some of it, and doing it all on a fairly small budget.

I started a food blog to be a part of Vegan Month of Food.  I am not really vegan, but my food choices fall under that category, so I wanted to see if I could post 20 times about vegan food for the month of October.  I will keep posting on tumblr since my rss feed for that site has been published in conjunction with the Vegan MOFO, but I will put the blog posts up over here, too.  Vegan MOFO is hosted by Post Punk Kitchen as their take-off on NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.  Vegan MOFO participants will be writing all month about vegan cooking.  Fun!