Oh, how time has flown the last few months. I’ve been behind on logging my cooking projects, largely due to the fact that the sight of food wasn’t very pleasing for the first half of my pregnancy. Now that I’m over that hurdle, I’m raring to eat.
Fried foods are great for a recovering stomach, but I felt I could use something healthier than the usual deep frying method. I first fell in love with hushpuppies when I was eight years old and living in Fort Polk, Louisiana. My dad would order a six-inch high plate of crawfish when we went out to eat. Being a vegetarian in the making, I refused to eat any fish or seafood. I would instead order a tower of hushpuppies and ketchup. I remember always leaving two hushpuppies on the plate, resolving myself to eating every one of them the next time. No hushpuppy should be left behind.
INGREDIENTS: 1) 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal 2) 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 3) 1 teaspoon baking powder 4) 1/2 teaspoon salt 5)1/2 cup finely chopped onion 6) 1/3 cup milk 7) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 8) 2 egg whites, beaten 9) vegetable cooking spray 10) 2 stalks chopped parsley INSTRUCTIONS: Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; make a well in center. In a separate container, combine onions, milk, vegetable oil, and beaten egg whites. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter per hush puppy onto a cooking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately.
Recipe slightly modified from cooks.com.
INGREDIENTS: 1) 1 brick tempeh, sliced into thin triangles 2) 2 cups all purpose flour 3) 1 tablespoon baking powder 4) 1 teaspoon salt 5) 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 6) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 7) 1 cup corn starch 8) 12 oz water mixed with 1/8 teaspoon of yeast and a pinch of sugar (in place of beer)
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat a pan on medium heat with a generous amount of vegetable oil. Place the corn starch on a plate and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Slowly add the water/yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing until batter is smooth. Coat tempeh pieces in the corn starch and then dip the in the batter. Place the coated tempeh in the heated pan and fry until golden brown on each side.
Everyone in the household, vegetarian and carnivore, tried this and thought it was pretty tasty, especially considering the hushpuppies were baked and the “fish” was really tempeh. Next time I may brown the tempeh before coating it in batter to give it a little more complexity, but other than that, this hit the spot. Here’s hoping you can create a healthier version of an old favorite recipe of your own.
Crispy kale is so easy to make and it provides that salty fix I so often need. Kale was only introduced to my diet a few years ago, most likely because I was such a picky eater growing up. I was always a bit underweight as a child, so if my mom found a veggie or food that I actually liked, she never forgot about it. I remember her once bribing me to eat a cookie before I could go out to play. Pure desperation!
In the last 10 years, my taste buds have changed significantly. I can’t name one vegetable that I dislike and since I wasn’t force fed veggies when I was younger, I don’t have traumatic stories about soggy brussel sprouts or stinky asparagus. All of my memories of veggies are fairly pleasant.
My co-worker, a mom of two, told me that kale chips are one of her kids’ favorite snacks, so I thought I’d give it a try. Now I’ve had one more pleasant veggie experience.
Cook books and word-of-mouth used to be the only way to learn about new foods, but it’s great to be able to share a discovery like this so easily on a blog. Here’s hoping easier communication will open the doors to young people eating a variety of foods much sooner in life and creating happy memories of the veggie world.
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Dustin is a big fan of the local restaurants Alinea and Next. The serve very modern and forward thinking dishes that are difficult to replicate. The have released a couple of cookbooks though, so we picked one of their easier recipes to make at home. This dish comes from Next’s Paris: 1906 iBook and was perfect for the cold grey day we were having.
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