Wednesday, November 29, 2006
WHAT WE ATE DURING A 3-DAY POWER OUTAGE AND MORE VEGAN BREAKFAST BLOGGING
Me walking down our driveway; photo by Brian Grogan
NOTE: Why does snow cause such havoc in the lower mainland of BC and Vancouver Island? Because we don't get it very often! People aren't used to driving in it, it's often quite heavy and wet and breaks trees, which cut power lines (and there are ALOT of trees!), and cities don't have much snow-removing equipment. BCG
Tamale square from the freezer, reheated. I had experimented with a baked casserole made from real (but vegan) tamale dough with a vegan "chicken" filling sandwiched between. It was okay, but tasted undercooked and "stodgy". I had frozen two leftover pieces in the corn husks that I lined the casserole with, and I steamed them for our lunch on the first day. I had some of the red chile sauce left to serve with it, and I added some melted vegan mozza. The steaming really improved the texture and flavor...yum! I will be playing with this further! UPDATE 2011: The completed recipe is actually in my new book, World Vegan Feast! For "vegan butter", try my new recipe for palm oil-free "Buttah". PS: Our beautiful little cat Tina, in photos below, passed away.
What DH calls a "Boiled Dinner"-- an Eastern Canadian phrase that sounds unappetizing, but is actually "comfort food"! I cook sliced savoy cabbage and julienned carrots in vegan "chicken-style" broth, and serve with steamed potatoes and veggie sausages (in this case, Tofurkey "Keilbasa")-- mustard and vegan butter on the side.
(Oh-oh! The power went off for a minute or two as I was writing this [it's snowing again], and I lost some of it-- I'll keep trying and save more often! Update: It did it once again, but Dh came in and said the Hydro guys were working up on the corner. )
We have had two weeks of intermittent power outages on Denman and Hornby Islands, due to underwater hydro cables being repaired, and wind. But then we had a snow storm and the two islands (and much of BC's Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, which is not used to this sort of thing, and there are never enough snow plows!) lost power for two or more days.
Our poor plum tree!
There were also little local lines down, and that's what happened to us-- a beautiful big old maple tree on our road split in half and fell on the power lines, which were dragging near the ground in the driveway of one of our elderly neighbors. Since there were so many emergencies, we were out of power for 3 days, only getting it back yesterday morning around 8 am. (They did come and cut the tree off the line and make it possible for us to drive on the road.)
It's a bit of an adventure at first, and we were well into the swing of it from the week before, but during those past outages, we got the power back before dark. This time it was different-- it gets dark so early up here (around 5 pm) and gets light so late in the morning, that it gets pretty dreary.
Tina, one of our 3 cats, likes to play in the snow, but now I think she wants us to "turn it off"! UPDATE 2011: Unfortunately, our sweet little Tina succumbed to a fast-acting virus the next winter.
We had the bathtub full of water for washing and flushing the toilet (we do have a back-up outhouse, too);
View of the outhouse from our back deck, taken Nov. 30th
I had containers of drinking water; we have a good wood heater and candles (our one remaining kerosene lantern was acting up), and of course, flashlights (I kept a little one hooked to a belt-loop on my jeans!), and a battery-operated radio. We have a little butane stove and lots of food in the house.
Frying French toast on the butane burner by candlelight.
They plowed our road, so, though we have to walk up and down our quite long driveway to where the car is parked, we can get out and about. So, we have no reason to complain, really, but after 2 days we were having to remind ourselves that we are MUCH better off than most of the world, and to quit whining! (I know you Prairie and eastern Canadians are laughing at us!)
The worst part was the lack of light in the morning and evening. We would light about 6 candles and sit reading at the table, but would get so sleepy that we hit the sheets at about 8:30!
The lonely-looking tire swing beside the forest, viewed from our front deck.
We did eat pretty well, though. The first day I felt like baking! But, of course, no oven. So, I made candy! I hardly ever make candy, but, I was bored! The first thing I made was my "Double Nut Clusters", which I sometimes make for Christmas. DH was in 7th heaven! Here's the recipe:
BRYANNA’S DOUBLE NUT CLUSTERS
Makes about 20 candies
As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a candy-maker. I like easy candy recipes, and you can’t get much easier than this! High in fat, though.
1 cup semi-sweet organic dairy-free chocolate chips (you can use the naturally-sweetened ones)
1/2 cup any nut or seed butter (I used peanut butter because that's all I had, but hazelnut or almond butter is delicious!)
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 cup chopped toasted nuts of choice (I used walnuts)
Combine and melt the chips and nut butter with the maple syrup and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the nuts. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper or parchment on cookie sheets. Refrigerate until firm.
Nutrition (per candy): 127.6 calories; 66% calories from fat; 10.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 2.3mg sodium; 77.9mg potassium; 8.9g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 1.9g sugar; 7.5g net carbs; 2.8g protein; 3.1 points.
On the third day I made these:
BRYANNA'S LOWER-FAT "HOT RODS" (NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE-OATMEAL DROPS)
Makes about 36
This is a recipe my kids used to make-- I lowered the fat and upped the chocolate flavor.
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1/3 cup soy or other nondairy milk
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats)
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
unsweetened finely-grated coconut for coating the "Hot Rods"
Blend in a saucepan the sugar, cocoa and "milk". Bring to a boil, stirring now and then. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly over medium-high heat.
Cooking the mixture over the butane burner.
Stir in the oats, peanut butter, vanilla, coconut, and dates.
Drop by tablespoonfuls on cookie sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper. Let stand until cooled and firm. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
Nutrition (per candy): 56.3 calories; 23% calories from fat; 1.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 4.3mg sodium; 72.3mg potassium; 10.2g carbohydrates; 0.9g fiber; 7.0g sugar; 9.2g net carbs; 1.2g protein; 1.1 points.
Now, for the breakfasts....
One morning we had Shredded Wheat, but another morning I made an apple version of my Orange-Cranberry-Bulgur cereal:
BRYANNA'S APPLE-CINNAMON-BULGUR CEREAL (A Weight Watchers Core Plan recipe)
This is a delicious breakfast cereal with lots of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), and good fats.
1 cup water
1 small apple, organic and unpeeled, cored and chopped
3 Tbs bulgur wheat
1 Tbs oat bran
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 Tbs golden flax seeds, ground
Mix the water, bulgur, oat bran, ginger, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Take off the heat and let sit for a few minutes, covered, if it isn't thick enough for you.
Stir in the flax seed. Serve with your favorite non-dairy milk and a little brown sugar or the sweetener of your choice.
Nutrition (per serving): 191.2 calories; 12% calories from fat; 3.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 257.1mg sodium; 301.3mg potassium; 41.1g carbohydrates; 10.2g fiber; 11.3g sugar; 30.9g net carbs; 5.7g protein; 3.3 points.
Then I made French Toast again, but a different version, and not so low-fat!
BRYANNA'S CRISPY PANKO-COATED VEGAN FRENCH TOAST WITH POACHED APPLES
Panko is a type of Japanese bread crumbs, made from French-type bread and quite flaky. It makes a wonderful crispy coating.
NOTE: For a lower fat recipe (when the power is on!) you can baked the coated slices on dark cookie sheets sprayed with a little oil from a pump-sprayer at 500 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes per side, or til golden on both sides; and poach the apple slices in a few tbs. apple juice instead of brown sugar and vegan butter.
Nutrition for lower-fat version (per serving): 347.8 calories; 8% calories from fat; 3.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 566.1mg sodium; 465.4mg potassium; 67.5g carbohydrates; 13.1g fiber; 23.6g sugar; 54.4g net carbs; 5.7g protein; 6.4 points.
3 small apples,cored and sliced (peel only if the skins are unsightly or sprayed)
1 Tbs vegan butter
1 Tbs brown sugar
4 slices bread (not a heavy bread), hard crusts removed
7/8 cup non-dairy milk
1 Tbs sugar (or maple syrup)
3/4 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg
3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 Tbs vegan butter
a vegan whipped topping
Whisk together the batter ingredients. Soak the bread slices in this mixture in a medium-sized shallow baking pan, coating both sides of the bread thoroughly until all of the mixture is soaked up.
In the meantime, melt the first Tbs. vegan butter in a large nonstick skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the sliced apples and toss, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and poach until they are softened. Stir in the brown sugar and set aside.
Poaching apples by candleight on my butane burner.
Spread the panko (breadcrumbs) in a shallow dish and coat the soaked bread on both sides (add more panko if necessary).
Heat the last 1 Tbs. vegan butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread slices and brown on both sides until golden and crispy.
Serve each serving (2 slices) topped with half of the poached apples, and some whipped topping, too, if you like!
Nutrition (per serving): 473.7 calories; 29% calories from fat; 14.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 688.8mg sodium; 489.2mg potassium; 74.2g carbohydrates; 13.1g fiber; 30.2g sugar; 61.1g net carbs; 5.7g protein; 9.9 points.
PHOTOS FROM NOV. 30TH:
Night snow scene
Tina trying to decide whether to go out or not
Tina makes a decision and exits the "cat door", while Brian rounds the corner to photograph some snow scenes.
Soup cooking on the woodstove