Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Corn Obsession

With a fast-paced summer school class, we've had little time to cook elegant meals. We've been doing meals that you eat all mixed together (if that makes sense), such as a corn oat-pilaf bowl and wraps. We've noticed that we tend to eat corn sometimes twice in a day in different forms, such as fresh corn, cornmeal, corn cereal (Puffins), cornbread, corn tortilla chips....

We tried Veganomicon's Edamame Corn Salad with fresh corn kernels. It was nice and sweet without any sugar! We've been using fresh corn like mad - summer has such great produce!
Another great corn dish we ate was a corn & oat pilaf meal. We cut off corn kernels off of 3 cobs and microwaved the corn for a few minutes. Then, we processed some corn kernels with unsweetened almond milk to make a "cream corn". After it was creamy, we added black pepper, a little agave, and whole corn kernels (the cream corn recipe was based off of the World's Healthiest Food's recipe).

To go with the corn dish, we cooked some local sunburst squash with diced onion and banana peppers. We also cooked a mix of oat groats and steel cut oats on the stove. Once the corn, squash, and the oat-pilaf were done, we mixed them together to make a creamy and hearty meal! Yummy, creamy, fresh, and easy to eat! The next day we ate it with fresh tomatoes, slightly heated to soften. The combination of oat groats and steel-cut oats gave a nice texture and flavor.

More Veganomicon Delicacies: We made the Cauliflower Hummus recipe to have for lunches throughout the week, and made the Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu recipe for dinner.

The Cauliflower Hummus is sooo good. We modified it slightly, and didn't use lemon, tahini, or parsley, and replaced the chickpeas with butter beans. We cut the cumin in half, because we didn't want it to overpower the cauliflower flavor. It was lighter than regular 100% bean hummus because the cauliflower substituted for some of the beans. We love beans/hummus, but too much fiber can make you full, and the cauliflower helped to lighten it up for a healthy lunch. It was very good with Mary's Gone Crackers and avocado, and the chives and garlic really enhanced the cauliflower nicely. We will be making this repeatedly with different flavors/spices!

The Chili Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu was good, but too time consuming and not enough wow. The recipe says to use 1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup soy/non-dairy milk, but this was too much for just a pound of tofu! We used 2/3 cup each, and we still had a lot leftover. The tofu inside wasn't very flavorful - I think we should have marinated the tofu for a few hours in lime and spices. Next time, we will just follow the curried tofu recipe, marinate the tofu with Mexican spices and lime instead, and then just bake it until chewy, without any cornmeal coating.

What was really good about this dish was that we served it with agave-mustard-lime dressing. It was more like "Would you like a little tofu with your mustard dressing?". We steamed some broccoli, too, which paired nicely with the tofu and dressing. Another side dish we ate with the tofu was cornmeal-crusted tomatoes. We used some of the leftover cornmeal mix and coated sliced tomatoes, then baked it in the oven. It was actually more flavorful than the coated tofu!

For more easy meals, we made mashed sweet potatoes with the skins and used unsweetened almond milk. This was easy to make and so creamy. We served this in a wrap with black beans, nutritional yeast, and sunflower seeds.

Another tasty dish we had was coconut rice. We've never used coconut milk before and decided to try it with long grain Basmati brown rice. We sprinkled some chives and black pepper on top, and served with steamed green beans and curried tofu! Yummy! Of course, we used light coconut milk. Light coconut milk is supposed to taste just as good as full coconut milk but with less fat and saturated fat. Although many sources say that the saturated fat found in coconut is different than saturated fat from animal sources, we feel it is still good to reduce saturated fat consumption when possible.

Cheers to fresh food and healthy delights! Just for fun here are some funny food quotes:
"Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?"
I eat merely to put food out of my mind. ~N.F. Simpson"
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman
- LK Sisters


jessy said...

oh my goodness! all the corn filled dishes look amazing! i especially like the corn & oat pilaf! and the funny quotes made me laugh, too! thanks! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi! It's my first time commenting n your blog and it looks great, guys!

I've bookmarked you so I can continue reading.. btw, that cauliflower hummus has me VERY intrigued ever since I first read about it in Vcon, so thanks for reviewing it! :)

Oh, and your macadamia butter-papaya-banana-acai smoothie sounds SO OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD!!! If I ever happen to have all these ingredients on hand, I'll definitely whip out my blender and make this exotic smoothie!


fruity said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I recommend reading The Omnivore's Dilema; great book, very insightful and thought-provoking.
Your food looks delicious! I love fresh corn, and sadly a local farmer said the price is going to skyrocket :(

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I love the idea of cauliflower hummus.

The Williams Farm salsa is sold exlusively at Whole Foods. If you can find it, you should DEFINITELY buy some, because it's amazing!

Anonymous said...

Yummy looking summer food! I still have to try that Edamame Corn Salad...

Vegan_Noodle said...

I love fresh corn in the summertime.

Oh, and I love your idea of marinating the tofu for the cornmeal crusted recipe, that would make it much more flavorful!

Sarah said...

haha that last quote is funny and so true!

I also found it problematic that the chili-cormeal mix really was way too much, ID have cut the breading down to a fourth of what was said now that I have made it.

And thanks for the support, it is never too late to comment in my book, lol. Ill find a post from 06 in someone's blog and be like oh la la!

I really enjoy researching on factory farming and reading, well not enjoy, but its my biggest passion in the animal rights area. My presentation was mostly at surface since it was only allowed to be 10 mins, but if I could have been on for an hour, Id easily be able to talk for an hour, haha.

Of the books in the photo, I would recommend them all for different reasons or people. Like Skinny Bitch, I always recommend to people who are just starting to think about eating consciously or healthy, cause it brings in the vegan lifestyle slowly, but hauntingly. It has helped me to win over some of my friends. Then Becoming Vegan Im still reading, Im on chapter 4, but it definitely is well worth it if you are in need of more advice on diet, foods, or the health benefits. Im really using it not for myself, but for people who want to attack the vegan lifestyle, as I have all this great wealth of studies and information in one place to show them off.
Slaughterhouse is one of my favorite books to show the true horrors within. But this book took a lot out of me. Took over 6 months to read it, cause it hurt too much. But if you are interested solely on what is going on with factory farms, this book is brilliant. Filled with interviews with workers, inspectors, and her own account of what she saw.
Im currently reading The Ethics of What We Eat, and I adore the set up. Goes through 3 American families (American diet, conscious eaters but busy, and then a vegan lifestyle) and he brings the kitchen table back through to the food source like many other new books are doing, but instead just learning facts on the food sources, obviously it is more pushed in ways of how one over the other is helping animals. He as well visits some farms. Its a good book to help you get a overview of all sides of the realm.

The other books were boring and really only on the economics of farming, lol. But that is my opinion, :)

There are many other books that I want to read, and I have a huge list on amazon wishlists. I think the public can see those?
yup, this list has many cookbooks as well, but the welfare books are on there too.