Tuesday, May 10, 2011

aiming for osteoporosis

Did you know that osteoporosis is drastically more prevalent in dairy-consuming cultures?  This is just one of the many things I learned from Skinny Bitch that I have found further research to reinforce.  The reason, in a nutshell, is the same reason why our protein-obsessed culture is doomed to weight gain and failing organs, not to mention miles of blocked up arteries.

Looks like we're building a happy post, doesn't it?

Actually, we are.  First, a word from our mascot:

Happy Breakfast

Believe it or not, that was completely unintentional, but as soon as I saw what I'd done, I knew I had to share with someone...who better than you, faithful readers of my nonsense?  So, there's my gleefully anti-Atkins breakfast: carbs with carbs and a little bit of healthy fat.  It was accompanied by a cheerful but muddy mug of green tea spiked with a phenomenal blend of 5 fruit juices, but that didn't really contribute to the happy face, so I left it on the table. 

Ironically, the impetus for my rambling at the beginning of the post was the realization that dinner tonight might have made Dr. Atkins and his Oompa Loompas smile a little with how protein-rich it was.  Granted, there was no animal protein involved, so we were lacking in the atherosclerosis-inducing saturated fat and cholesterol that makes the magic happen, but for the first time in recorded history (to my recollection anyway), I prepared an entree that contained not one, not two, but three (yes, three) forms of protein.


Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage, from the June (2011) issue of Vegetarian Times found its way onto our table and into our bellies tonight.  I cheated a little bit in the interest of time and used canned pinto beans (protein #1) instead of dried.  They provided a bland and creamy foil for the slightly-spicy-always-flavorful Italian-style Tofurky sausages (protein #2) I cut into rounds as the focal point of the dish.  While I was gathering the few ingredients and the brown rice was stinking simmering away on the stovetop, I noticed the butt-end of the tofu leftover from something I made last week and thought to myself, "why not add it to the pot?" (protein #3).

The dish was good but not outstanding, so I want to focus on the two outstanding things that occurred while I was cooking.

First, I recognized the protein-heavy-veggie-light nature of the dish and immediately thought of all the recipes I've skipped over in Vegan Express due solely to the fact that I couldn't see a good reason to make a dish with more than one source of protein.  I may have to revisit that long-neglected chapter for my next menu, because it really wasn't as traumatic as I thought it would be.  That being said, I definitely need a proportionately larger amount of vegetables if multiple proteins will be involved (just FYI, I have the same reaction to "too many" carbs).  I seek balance in my old age.

Second, and probably more memorable, was this unprecedented reaction during the tofu's brief saute.  I'm not sure if it was due to the drained and re-soaked nature of the tofu or what, but about two minutes into what I had intended to be a 5-7 minute saute, with my back to the stove while prepping the garlic, I heard an explosion.

That's right, an explosion.  One loud enough to draw Mister's reaction from the next room and one powerful enough to make me very glad I had thought to cover the pan.  The tofu was popping in a serious way.  It didn't appear to actually blow up, but it made a heck of a lot of noise and was kind of bouncing between the saute pan and its lid - kind of like mustard seeds but much bigger and whiter and squarer.

I still don't know what happened, but it sure sped up the cooking time as I rushed to add other things for the heat to focus on, like green peppers and faux sausages and fire roasted tomatoes.  If I really felt like being random, I could launch into my Ode to Fire Roasted Tomatoes, but instead I'll just inform anyone local that Superfresh is blowing out Hunt's Fire Roasted tomatoes for a buck a can.

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