Cooking: Salvaging Burnt Beans… LOL

I swear, there are some personality types that never seem to learn. They get distracted and let the beans burn. Because, let’s face it, beans take forever to cook and I mean, who worries about whether you’re going to burn fifty cents worth of beans? I mean… really. My kids are grown and live miles away, but I still worry about them but a pot of beans?

On the other hand, as a vegetarian, beans and legumes are a crucial part of my diet. And I believe they give me stamina. But here’s the deal, you put them on the stove and you forget about them. Yes, I could have set the timer but I didn’t. And when I was upstairs typing away, I heard weird noises coming from down below. Was it the wood stove or was it the rain on the roof? Not a thought to the pot of beans on the kitchen stove, I forgot about those long ago. I didn’t even remember I was cooking them, until I heard the crackling noises of the water being all boiled out and the beans burning. So I dashed down stairs and just like my mother taught me, I picked up the pot (with hot pads) and I stuck the pot in water that was in the sink and I quickly added cold water to the pot. It did the trick. I saved them. And it wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor even the third time I’ve salvaged burnt beans. So I thought it was a valuable bit of kitchen trivia that should be shared.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available herehttp://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

Vegetarianism… the Protein Problem

It’s a complete flip of lifestyle when one becomes a vegetarian. At times, it seems the only protein source available is soy, which gets a bad rap even though new research is debunking some of the myths. Stay tuned, we’ve not heard the final word on soy. So other than soy, how can we obtain the protein we need without overloading on beans and carbs? Nuts. Put nuts in your food. For instance, I’m baking banana nut bread today. I’ll put enough walnuts in it to provide a good dose of protein, enabling me to relax about getting enough protein at dinner; brown rice and vegetables should suffice. If we aren’t completely satisfied, an evening snack of peanut butter on toast with a hot cup of anything will hit the spot. It’s not always easy being a vegetarian but if you incorporate a lot of nuts into your diet, it will make your goal more attainable. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Vegetarian Cooking… Try Something New for Breakfast

Next time you’re putting together a tofu scramble, try using soy flour instead of tofu. One-quarter cup of the dry flour has 10 grams of protein, 10 % of the daily requirement for calcium, 25% for iron, 14% for phosphorus and 30% for magnesium. I find that very impressive for something that is also quite tasty.

In a small cereal bowl, take a couple tablespoons of soy flour and add equal parts water. Mix it well with a fork. Add two raw eggs and mix well. Add a tablespoon of salsa and scramble that in. Cover the bowl with a small plate and microwave it for three-and-a-half minutes. When done, drizzle soy sauce on it. Serve with whole-wheat toast and fresh avocado slices. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

What’s the Taste Difference Between Real Cream Cheese and Fake Cream Cheese Made From Tofu?

What’s the Taste Difference Between Real Cream Cheese and Fake Cream Cheese Made From Tofu? Honestly, when it comes to cheesecake… a big difference. I bought some Tofutti brand cream cheese before Thanksgiving because I wanted to make my award winning (brag, brag) Acorn Cheesecake and I thought it was time I tried making it dairy free. When I got the Tofutti cream cheese home I tasted it and was impressed with the flavor, thinking it would be perfect for the acorn onion dip I make. But it just didn’t cut it flavor wise for the cheesecake. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t have the rich flavor of a real cheesecake. But I do look forward to trying Tofutti cream cheese to make my acorn-onion dip. That’s on the menu for the coming holiday! Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Cooking With Leached Acorns… How Long Do They Need To Cook?

Not very long. It’s about the same amount of time that you would cook raw oats and they don’t need to boil away, just a little simmer for five or ten minutes will do. Be very careful because the acorns like to stick to the pan, so bring the heat up slowly and stir constantly. Remember, the cooking of the acorns comes AFTER they are leached. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to leach the acorns, it’s the shelling that takes a little bit of your time but you can put your feet up and relax while doing it, even listen to music or turn on a movie. Acorns are a wonderful addition to any dish you make, the effort is worth it.

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Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

In the Garden… Time to Glamorize Cabbage

Cabbage may turn up a few noses but I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere in history there was a cult that worshipped the big sphere. Cabbage is so versatile it can be used raw in coleslaw and my favorite use is chopped and used in place of lettuce in a salad. With the addition of avocado and tomato and any other favorite salad additions, it’s tasty and filling. And of course, there’s always stuffed cabbage. The leaves are so large they lend themselves nicely to stuffing. If you want a stuffed pasta dish but you’re on a diet, using cabbage leaves instead of pasta works well. Stuffed cabbage can also take on an Asian flair if filled with fried rice. An Italian dish could be made if you stuffed cabbage leaves with tomato puree, vegetables, tofu, onions, Italian spices and cheese on top, then baked. I’ve had chopped cabbage in many a Mexican restaurant, it mixes well with hot peppers. And then there’s the fermented food called sauerkraut, some people swear by if for their health. Whatever you dream up for your cabbage, you’ll take pleasure in knowing that eating cabbage is reputed to help prevent cancer. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

Paperback:

https://www.createspace.com/4282927

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGO2EA/ref=nrn_si_text

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Poor Jonny's Cover

Winter Garden Update

I thought the cold snaps we’ve been having were going to ruin my lettuce but they seem to love it. There are about five gigantic full-grown heads that have suffered no ill effects and the babies that are coming up are also fine. There is one in the in-between stage and it seems to be destroyed by the cold or too much wet. I planted fava beans at the same time (late summer) and they are tall and healthy. They are companion plants for my lettuce and beets. I believe the fava are protecting and sheltering the lettuce. Even if some of the fava are a couple of feet away from the lettuce, the fava “fix” nitrogen into the soil. Adding to all the green is a clump of bright yellow calendula flowers that love the cold. A welcome splash of cheerful on a dreary winter’s day.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Poor Jonny's Cover

The Beauty In Beans … They Are Nutritious … Easy and Inexpensive

Beans have got to be one of the cheapest foods available. Humans have cultivated them for thousands of years. Some of the beans we plant in our gardens are the same variety the ancients planted in theirs. I don’t doubt that cultures who eat a lot of beans also have nice skin, hair, bones, nails, etc., provided they’re other nutritional needs are met. Beans have the fiber we need, they have protein, no fat, no cholesterol and almost no salt unless added. One quarter cup of dried black beans has nine grams of protein and that can be increased if you eat corn or rice with it.  They’re delicious too. What’s not to like? I’m cooking black bean chili today. I’ll cook up the black beans then add some cumin spice, onions, basil, oregano, a little soy sauce and I’ll add some tomatoes as well. I leave it on the back burner all day and maybe I’ll toss a teaspoon of brown sugar into the pot to bring out the flavor. About an hour before dinner I’ll make some whole grain whole wheat corn bread. My husband will love it and I will too.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Poor Jonny's Cover

 

Vegetarian Nutrition: No Wonder They Say Eat Your Peas!

Frozen peas are great to have in the freezer. For vegetarians, protein is something we are always seeking and it isn’t always easy to come by “quickly”. I read the back of the plastic bag of frozen peas and two-thirds a cup has the following: NO saturated fat, NO transfat, No cholesterol, 4 grams of protein, 35% of daily Vitamin A needs and 25% of our Vitamin C needs. WOW! That’s a lot of helpful vegetable protein and nutrition and two-thirds cup is nothing. So throw frozen peas into your veggie soups, stir fry, fried rice and matzo ball soup. You’ll be glad you did.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Organic Gardens, Butterflies and Fava Beans

Planting fava beans in your garden will attract butterflies and bees that pollinate your other crops and fix nitrogen into your soil. Great for companion planting, fava beans will get a little tall and could shade things but you can always pull them or trim them and as a benefit you can eat them. In temperate climates you can plant them as a winter crop and they will be flowering in the spring.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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