Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Favorite childhood breakfast

I think every family has a few unique food traditions. This was one of my favorite breakfasts when I was a kid. It's simply a bowl of broken up graham crackers with a glass of milk poured over it. If you wait until the last minute to pour your glass of milk over the crackers, you get a great combination of soft and crispy graham crackers.

Graham crackers are made with whole grains. With only 26 g carbohydrate* in a bowl of graham cracker "cereal," this is a great, quick diabetic breakfast.

*includes a glass of unsweetened soy milk

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Trip: NYC

Dewey has always wanted to go to the U.S. Open, so that's why we chose New York for the first part of our trip. This is Safina, the number-one-ranked woman tennis player at the time of the Open. She has a really unusual and graceful serve. It's a little hard to see, but the tennis ball is about level with the umpire's right hand in this photo.

For some reason, my father always takes a photo out the window of his hotel room on vacations, and I've picked up the habit. If you could see through those trees, you would see the Manhattan Whole Foods. The neighborhood we stayed in was heaven for us. We had dessert almost every night. Every restaurant was organic or local or vegetarian or some combination. And it was a close walk to Moo Shoes, an all-vegan shoe store. (I got these.)

This is the only food photo I took during the entire vacation. But that's OK, because I think this was the best thing I ate. A block from our hotel was an appetizing store that has three different flavors of vegan cream cheese. And really, this was the best vegan cream cheese I've ever had. So fluffy! A pumpernickel bagel (pumpernickel bread is good for the blood sugar) with chive tofu cream cheese.

And here I am standing under the sign for Hair, which was wonderful. I love the crazziness of singing about your biggest secrets at the top of your voice, complete with jazz hands.

Not pictured: the Chabad rabbi who talked Dewey into being the tenth in a minyan in the garment district. I sat upstairs in the "women's gallery" (really, the men sat in the basement and we sat behind the banister upstairs) and had a nice conversation with a little kid about Harry Potter.

Coming up, the DC part of our trip.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tofu Scramble

August was a busy month! I got married and took a honeymoon to New York City and Washington, DC. And cleaned out my car! (For a frame of reference, I bought my car in December of 2005 and there was still a sheet of protective paper in my trunk from the car dealership. Underneath piles and piles of stuff.) Now I won't feel so guilty about driving around with all that extra weight in my car.

Vegan red velvet wedding cake! I didn't make the cake or take the photo, but I thought y'all would like to see. We got married at a peacock preserve, and somehow ended up with a peacock theme.

And finally, I have a backlog of food that I cooked in August and didn't get around to posting about. There's a bit of a nostalgic theme to the food. Lots of comfort food and foods I associate with certain people and periods of time. I'll break this up into a few posts.

This was the first tofu scramble I ever ate. Tofu scrambles are a vegan staple. They're eaten for breakfast or brunch just like scrambled eggs, though they're not an imitation of scrambled eggs. They are their own, savory dish. But much like scrambled eggs, they are really quick and simple to cook. And a great opportunity to sneak some vegetables into breakfast.

Most tofu scrambles use nutritional yeast (or "nooch") as a base for their savory umami flavor. The one I make most often is from Vegan with a Vengeance, and also include lots of cumin, thyme, and paprika.

But this is a nostalgic scramble. Think back to college. When I still thought tofu was icky and flavorless (it can be if it's not prepared well!). It was my roommate La's turn to choose what we ate for dinner, and I held back any tofu prejudice I had when I tried this. And I really liked it. Bonus points now because it doesn't have any nooch, which isn't always an easy-to-find ingredient.

Because this is a La recipe, there aren't many amounts written down. Just a list of ingredients and a general method. I've given an approximation for what I used in parentheses, but feel free to channel the spirit of La and use whatever amount seems right to you.

Nooch-less Tofu Scramble

14 ounces tofu (1 block firm or extra-firm tofu)
(oil for stir frying)
onion (1, chopped)
red bell pepper (1, chopped)
garlic (1 clove, chopped)
spinach (1/2 package defrosted frozen spinach or a few handfuls fresh)
onion soup mix (1 packet or 2 tablespoons)

Drain tofu. Break into large chunks and squeeze out excess liquids. Stir fry onion and pepper in oil (about 2 minutes on medium heat). Add garlic (for another 30 seconds). Add spinach and tofu. Add onion soup mix. Stir fry until brown (about 8 minutes).