June 8th, 2009

Ann Vole

Conversations in dreams

I find it highly irritating when someone is explaining something I am interested in during a dream but I wake up before the explanation is complete. I suspect my subconscious mind did not have the answer and woke me up before having to supply the answer in the words of the dream character.
Ann Vole

Vegetarian cooking

(re-post of a response to a request for vegetarian cooking ideas)

Using a rice cooker or a slow cooker I make a wide variety of legumes and grains. For legumes, soaking them first and throwing away the water will reduce the chance of them making gas when digested (common problem with beans). Grains and legumes have complementary amounts of various amino acids that make up the proteins so a mixture of the two will produce the perfect balance of the two so you can be satisfied to the equivalent of meat. Check out the Asian foods section of the department store to find many of the legumes and grains not sold much to North American shoppers. I add a little bit of salt to the water and generally find little need for spices when cooking legumes although black pepper seems to go good with all of them. For grains, I like the various barley types and Muesli mixes but to cut down on simple carbohydrates, I have been eating less grains. Other seeds you can cook (that are not listed as grains or legumes) can include buckwheat, flax, and hemp. Adding nuts and oily seeds like sunflower seeds and flax can make drier-tasting grains more tasty as is adding a bit of vegetable oil to the water.

Frozen vegetables are a good way to get "fast food" if you are pressed for time to wait for grains and legumes to cook. I also eat just about anything green found in the store without cooking. Most root vegetables can also be eaten raw or can be fried or baked like potato french fries. I use a machine that makes french-fries out of potatoes (often called a chipper) to make these vegi-sticks to eat raw or fry or bake. Fried turnip chips are especially sweet to the point of being candy-like. I eat most fruit-like veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers... raw like apples and such. Members of the squash family can be cubed and made into a quick soup that can be ready to eat in less then a half an hour.

As for books, your public library should have loads of them but I basically just look at the pictures, buy the foods and give it a try without actually reading instructions. I used to try to buy a new food every day and try to figure out how to prepare it without any instructions. Mostly this resulted in wonderful food but occasionally I had disasters such as exploding egg-plant fruits that I was baking (always poke holes in them first or cube them... the skins get airtight) but a small bit of lost food to failed culinary experiments was still far less then most people's wasted fast food...

Pizza is a great way to get rid of scraps for me... steam a bunch of veggies, throw them on a dough crust provided in pizza kits, add cheese and spices and toast in the oven... it always tastes good.