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Sunday, January 3, 2016

‘ELF-VOLUTION’



Right off the bat!! HAPPIEST 2016 FROM THE KINKY ELFERY KITCHEN and BIG Solid! 

This is the year The Elf turns SEVENTY, so we plan on making it a year-long celebration for makin’ it to 70 in the first place, bein’ relatively healthy for an old fartette, and NEVER DREAMIN’ this age would ever be real! So, with that in mind, we want to make sure that we do our best to bring good vegan recipes to you, to share the fun and health of being plant-based and to DO EPIC stuffs.
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Our FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe for bringing in the New Year was a delightful version of one of our favorite snacky foods…hummus. http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/09/black-eyed-pea-hummus.html 
It seems The Elf picked up a bag of black-eyed peas every time she went to the grocery over the past few weeks, so it came as no surprise that we had an abundance of peas to prepare. This hummus is very tasty and we have most certainly enjoyed it. It’s easy to prepare and whips up in no time. In Susan’s instructions for the recipe, she gives the option of including (or not) pecans to be ground into the hummus. Since Big Solid and The Elf watch our fat intake, we opted to not include the pecans. Nevertheless, it was a lovely dip and we have enjoyed it.

 We DID, as usual, include a significant helping of cayenne.

Our FFVK recipe for this week will be the Mushroom and Tempeh Gumbo.
The challenge here will be making the roux WITHOUT oil!! So, keep your fingers crossed that we can pull this one off with a minimal amount of burned flour and expletives. One of the things that Susan did with the instructions/guidance for this recipe that is MUCH APPRECIATED by The Elf is a picture of the flour after its been ‘toasted’. It’s a thoughtful thing to do when some of us always wonder what the color should be. Suggestions like that are helpful…such as giving the reader an idea of just what a MEDIUM onion should be or saying that a sauce should be thick.
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For our New Year’s dinner, we prepared the usual - cabbage, black-eyed peas and a new recipe that we just have to RAVE about – Unpork. The Elf got this REALLY COOL cookbook from The Dees (you know, the pajama Christmas folks) called The Homemade Vegan Pantry (the Art of Making Your Own Staples) by Miyoko Schinner

While browsing through, we spied this recipe for Unpork that is a plant-based version of pork that can be used as pulled pork or other dishes that call for a ‘kinda’ ground pork texture. And, just as the author indicates, the texture derives from the method of mixing the ingredients, primarily the liquids with the vital wheat gluten (obviously NOT a gluten free dish). To be completely honest, The Elf wasn’t sure it would work but thought it worth a try. Were we every HAPPY that we gave it a go. Here’s what the Unpork looked like before it was cooked…and it was actually cooked twice. Once the VWG (Vital Wheat Gluten) is mixed and mingled with the liquid, it gradually turns into this.

Then, we browned it in a deep skillet (we used very little oil)

 Once it browned nicely, we added enough water to cover the unpork and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. After the Unpork was drained and we were ready to finalize our dinner, we returned it to the skillet and browned it a bit more.

 We actually saved the liquid to soak and cook our black-eyed peas

and even had enough left to flavor the cabbage when we sautéed it.

  AND…it was just as good, if not better the next day for leftovers.

 Here is the link to Miyoko Schinner’s site and she also has a Facebook page—we highly recommend a looksee. 
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Big Solid and The Elf decided several years back that we would buy something for US as Christmas gifts and this year it was NEW OVENS!! The Elf has been pretty desirous of new bakin’ equipment ever since the ‘old’ ovens decided to go all wonky on maintaining the temperature—such as, when we would pre-heat to 350, the ‘ready’ beeps would sound and the internal temperature would be 300. SOO!! Here you go!! Presented by ELF-RED, the newest addition to the Kinky Elfery Kitchen.

We have a couple of batches of ‘EPIC’ cookie dough waiting to give this a workout. The top oven is convection and can cook SIX racks of cookies!! Now, the trick will be to be able to time the baking so as not to BURN THEM ALL UP!! The oven has an Automatic setting that will reduce the baking temperature by 25 so all The Elf has to worry about is that pesky timing part.
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And No New Year is complete without Mail Order Annie’s ringing it in herownself. This year, she chose an elegant green sequined gown and some ‘pink-ish hued’ hair along with her favorite Almond Champagne. 


So, as we start this YOTS (Year Of Turnin’ Seventy) we once again thank you for your support. We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email us at jswearen@gmail.com or message us on our Facebook page. And as always, remember to laugh, love, stay (or become) plant-based and read The Elf in the Kitchen's stuffs. OH and DO EPIC!




4 comments:

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    1. Thanks Jo!! It will indeed be a banner year!

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  2. Thanks for all the great ideas, delicious recipes, and your wonderful sense of humor. As I enter my YOTS also, I find that a little chuckle and smile is invaluable.

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    1. Thanks!! We have so much fun with this. We do appreciate your support!!

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