Friday, April 27, 2007

Bike fuel

I've recently started commuting on bicycle again after a two or three year hiatus. The new commute is 12 miles each way instead of 3, but back then I used to take a 30 mile detour two or three times a week. I've noticed a big change since I was 24, which is that I can't just have a sip of water, go ride 30 miles, and be ready for a nice lunch... Now I actually seem to require some kind of sustenance before I go!

For the most part, I have been making smoothies for my morning fuel (supplemented by a double-shot of espresso a third of the way into the ride). The base is banana, soy yogurt, cashew butter, soy or almond milk, and cocoa powder from Trader Joes. The last two days, I have also thrown in an apple, and ended up with a very thick, pudding-like smoothie which tastes great and keeps me going through the bike ride all the way until lunchtime.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

chocolate tofu pie

I made a chocolate tofu pie the other day to serve at a party on Friday. I started with a store bought graham cracker crust, two bricks of silken tofu, and a bar of baking chocolate. I melted the chocolate and then blended it with the tofu. At that point, it wasn't chocolatey enough, so I added some cocoa powder and kept blending until it was smooth. Then I filled the crust and stuck it in the refrigerator.

It came out tasting great, but it was more pudding-like than I'd hoped. Actually, it'd make a fantastic pudding, but I was trying to make pie. I either need to put something in to thicken it up, or (as a friend suggested) try a different brand of tofu which may have a lower water content.

Also, next time I will go with my original gut (ha ha) instinct and get an extra bar of chocolate, in case the one is not enough for the amount of tofu.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Tonight's adventures: burritos & muffins

First, I made stuff to put in burritos... Leftover brown rice, a rinsed can of pinto beans, salsa, and "sour cream uncheez sauce," which basically consists of cashew butter, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of nutritional yeast. This mixture really hit the spot for me.

Unfortunately, the tortillas were a flat out (ha ha) disaster. I think I got the dough to the right consistency, but the recipe (basically 2 to 1 and a bit masa harina and water) said to roll them out between two sheets of wax paper, and I found it to be nearly impossible to transfer them from the wax paper to the skillet without them falling apart. I got ONE good one, which of course wasn't really ideal for a burrito anyway, because it was too crispy. I might try this again to make gorditas or crispy tacos, but it really didn't work for the burritos, so I guess I will have to get some store-bought flour tortillas to finish the burritos... It's too bad, because I was hoping to share them with a gluten-allergic friend.

I made some muffins, too, partly because I was annoyed at my defeat at the hands of the tortillas. Roughly 2 cups of flour, all purpose, brown rice, and almond, in some reasonable proportion favoring the first two, combined with some cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and soda, all vaguely like a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. I put a banana, some soy yogurt, soy milk, oil, and cashew butter in the blender and pureed it, and then stirred all that in to the batter. Filled the muffin cups and baked for 20 minutes at 400 and they came out quite nice... A little on the dense side, but tasty... I couldn't bring myself to use as much sugar as the recipe called for, so they're not as sweet as they could be, but I think with the banana and the cocoa they have a very good flavor. They stick to the muffin cups a bit too much; I'm not sure what to do about that.

I will probably edit this in the future and put in some links, but for now I'm off to bed. Tomorrow morning I plan to ride my bike at least part of the way to work, for the first time in a long time. It's an awful long and dangerous commute entirely by bike (15 miles each way, give or take) but I am excited about it... I need the exercise, I miss riding, and I will be burning less gasoline.