Monday, November 29, 2010


Best Blog Tips
My old 1970's cooking notebook
In this post, I talked about my old cooking notebooks, particularly the one from 1973.  Well, it inspired a hankering for a very simple zucchini recipe that my mother used to make frequently.  It's so simple that it isn't really a recipe!  I didn't make it for years because it requires cheddar cheese and when I first became a vegan there was nothing decent in the vegan cheese department!  Even now, vegan "cheddar" is usually pretty bland.  I think the best one is Sheese.  I didn't have any in the house to make this recipe and was stuck with Tofutti Slices, but it still brought back memories!  Next time I'll use Sheese Strong Cheddar.  (Sheese Smoked Cheddar and Cheshire are actually my preferences, but they don't sell them in our local HF store.)

ANYWAY, TO MAKE THIS, simply take some small zucchini (4-6 inches long), wash, trim, and cut them in half lengthwise, steam them until almost tender, and then lay them out cut-side-up on a cookie sheet.  Slather on some tasty tomato sauce and top with vegan cheese (see remarks above).  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. That's it!  We gobbled this down as kids!  (Yes, it was the 50's and 60's, but  we were California kids with a half-Italian father-- grew up on zucchini and greens!)

I think I'll update this, not only with vegan cheddar, but with roasting the zucchini with a bit of olive oil instead of steaming it-- since you have to turn on the oven anyway.

I've done this for yearsBefore you leave the house in morning, or as you go about your morning business, soak the rice in 2-3 cups of water per cup of dry rice. Soak for 2 hours to overnight.
Before cooking, rinse the rice briefly after pouring off the soaking water. Add 1 1/2 cups fresh water per cup of drained soaked rice. Add a little salt if you like. Cook rice as usual for 15-20 minutes, then turn heat off and let stand, covered for about 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
We got a new stove the other day and I decided to take some pictures of my tiny kitchen.  It works for me, though-- everything I use often is at hand.  (Though we have a big freezer outside and a pantry/closet for alot of our food.  I keep some of the serving dishes and bowls, etc., that I don't use often in the dining area.)



Carin said...

Hi Bryanna:
Your kitchen proves that AMAZING things are possible in small packages.
Although it is small it seems that you have some counter space to work on with easy reach to everything. This gives me some ideas on how reorganize my kitchen.
Thanks for the pictures.

Zoa said...

Your kitchen is *adorable*. I love the colours, and the bright sunlight so absent in my own...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks Carin and Zoa! It isn't always so sunny this time of year! That's why I went for Mediterranean colors-- to brighten up the winter!

Jessica said...

Great tip about the brown rice! I hate that it takes me an hour in the oven :-)

Also, your kitchen is beautiful!

Pat said...

Beautiful stove, Bryanna! And I see your Cousinart Electric Pressure Cooker. I tried to order one from right away but they were sold out and not expecting to stock any more. Any idea where I can order one elsewhere, please?

The amount of snow we received on Salt Spring last week was a shock! Hope we get a break til Christmas. Happy cooking!


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Pat, my husband's grandaughter posted photos from Salt Spring-- you got more than we did. We had about 6 inches.

I found one place you can get the pressure cooker:
Only $9.99 shipping in Canada.
All the best! Bryanna

KitteeBee said...

i love your kitchen pics, bryanna! what model stove did you choose? i am shopping for a gas stove myself.


Heidi said...

I only just recently learned the rice soaking trick, and how it brings out more nutrients too.

LOVE your kitchen, it looks so cozy and well loved. Obviously the kitchen of a true cook! Congrats on the new stove!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

You're right, Heidi, about the nutrients-- I'll add that to the post-- thanks!

Kittee, I just got a Kenmore electric with convection and self-cleaning oven. We can't get natural gas on the island here, and the propane stoves are hard to find and very expensive. Some people have natural gas stoves and get the elements 'crimped' to use propane. But then the heat never goes as high or as low as it does with natural gas. Electric stoves have vastly improved over the years and have nice hot burners that can do a stir-fry well now. I still prefer the coil burners to the flat cooktops-- call me old-fashioned!

Twisted Cinderella said...

Thanks for the rice soaking tip. I don't cook brown rice much because it takes forever to cook. I have lots in the house, I will give it a shot!

Valerie said...

We very recently got a new induction stove. I like it a lot! It cooks by making a magnetic field vibrate at the bottom of the pot, so the cooktop doesn't heat up -- only the pot does. This means that it is more energy-efficient than other types of stove, and also that the cooktop is safer because it doesn't get as hot. It's also easier to clean the stove afterward, since it doesn't get hot enough to burn spills on. And you have instant control over the temperature under the pot -- so if it's boiling over you can press a button and the heat stops almost instantly. (Try *that* on an electric stove!) Also it can boil water Really Fast!!! (The saleslady who sold it to us said that she went to a salesperson training class where they divided the people up into teams to make a spaghetti dinner. She was on the team that got the induction stove. She said her team's dinner was cooked and ready to serve while other teams were still waiting for the water to boil!) I didn't think I liked smooth-topped stoves, but most of my worry was that it would be hot and I wouldn't realize. But this stove doesn't get very hot and it cools down pretty quickly, so a hot stovetop hasn't been a problem. One thing I do dislike is that you need to have pots and pans where a magnet can stick to the bottom. We found that only two of our old pots would work, so we've had to buy a lot of new pots and pans and give away our trusty old ones. That was hard, though at this point we've found new pots that we like. But the old ones were perfectly good, so it was hard to have to give them away.

Anyway, I think I sound like I must be selling induction stoves, but honestly I'm just a satisfied customer.

Anonymous said...

The rice tip is great, and I am thinking of incorporating into my method. I put a small stainless steel bowl in my pressure cooker. I put 1 cup of rice, and 1 1/2 cups of water with salt in the bowl; add boiling water to pot, and then pressure cook for 15 minutes. it is great and doesn't burn. Now, If I soaked the rice all day, I bet pressure cooking would be reduced to 5 minutes. Instant brown rice..
love your kitchen, and wish I had a galley kitchen. I have a very large kitchen, and it is a lot more work than a smaller one. Much more walking to things, etc.
Can't wait for your new book; any idea when?

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

What a pretty kitchen!!!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Gauri!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Valerie, I have friends who have an induction stove and agree with you, but I couldn't afford one, nor could i afford to replace my cookware, I'm afraid, so it wasn't an option.

Unknown said...

I love your kitchen! You always have wonderful recipes! I am relieved that I am not the only one who has limited options when it comes to vegan cheese.

Lucille said...

Thanks for the rice tip, Bryanna! So helpful! I love your new stove and your kitchen. I love those interesting colours. Very uplifting! Thanks also for sharing about that"sheese". Of course being a new vegan, I had never heard of it. I love that recipe you give for the zucchini. I will try it with Daiya. That's all I have for now. I will look into getting that sheese.