Tag Archives: vegan

Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes

Ann Arbor Food Gluten Free Buckwheat pancakes

Gluten Free Buckwheat pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes are a great example of a traditional gluten free dish. These light and floffy flappers will have folks wanting more and not missing their wheat flour.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancake Recipe: Makes 6 large pancakes

1 cup of Buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

In a bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup. Combine the buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into the mixture. Stir until mixed.

The batter is on the thick side, but the pancakes come out fluffy

Scoop in about 1/3 of cup of batter onto a hot onstick skillet (if you have one).

Cook on one side until the side look dry and the top starts to bubble. Flip and cook for about another minute.

Butter and serve right away or keep warm in a 300 degree oven.

Serve with butter, maple syrup and fruit and berries.

Vegan Option:

1 cup of Buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup soy buttermilk (squeeze half a small lemon into soy milk, let sit for 30 minutes until in cuddles)
2 Table spoons of apple sauce or pumkin puree (instead of egg)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Serve with veggie margerine, maple syrup and fresh fruit and berries

Follow the same in cooking instructions above

 

Extend the Harvest

Ann Arbor Food End of Year Garden

End of Year Garden: Extend the Harvest

The garden is looking pretty spars for the most part, but not my collards. My Collards are huge, look great and taste great.

I wish I had the foresight to grown my whole green in Collards.

There is a garden concept to extend the Harvest. This does not mean extending the growing season.

To extend the harvest in places like Michigan that means growing winter hearty crops in late summer and early fall like broccoli, cabbage, mustard, kale and collards.

While the plants will slow or stop growing at this point, they stay tasty and fresh into winter. Even with snow on top, these veggies keep going and can be harvested long after the garden is usually packed up for the year.

Ann Arbor Food Collard's and Tofu with garden roasted potatoes

Collard’s and Tofu with garden roasted potatoes

Ann Arbor Food Arugula Flowers

Arugula Flowers

Ann Arbor Food Garden Spider

Garden Spider: It looks scary, but it is a beneficial insect

 

Fall Beet Slaw Recipe

Ann Arbor Food Fall Beet Slaw

Fall Beet Slaw

Fall Beet Slaw: Serves 4

3-4 medium size golden beets peeled
1/2 Diakon radish peeled
3 medium sized carrots peeled
1 inch piece of ginger fine minced (makes about 1 tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon of Tamari (gluten free) or soy sauce (contains wheat)
1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.

Grate in a food processor and mix ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes or longer. Stir to combine. This recipe can be doubled and it taste even better the next day. It is light and gingery and works great with heavier items especially fried food like tempura.

Serve with rice, and grilled tofu, fish, tempura, nori rolls

Ann Arbor Vegan Dining at Jazzie Veggie

Ann Arbor Food

Mum Season: It is officially Fall

Keeping with my Vegan theme for the week, I attended my second Vegan Meetup event in Ann Arbor. It was at Jazzie Veggy on Main Street.

They do a lot of “faux meat items,” which are big hits with the Vegan set. There was “chicken” nuggets, soy sausage, “meat balls” with spaghetti, and more. I am looking to transition out of eating gluten, which means that most of the faux meat is off the menu.

They offered some fun apps of sweet potato fries and Plantain Chips.

We had the Krab cakes, very tasty, the veggie enchiladas and carrot cake.

Ann Arbor Food

Mushroom Sandwich

Ann Arbor Food

“Krab” Cakes: Very Yummy, I must have

Ann Arbor Food

Enchilada w/Spanish Rice

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup at Zingerman’s Road House

Ann Arbor Food

Smoked Potato and Avocado Soup: Tomatillo and Avocado broth w/smoked potatoes

Today was my first day eating completely vegan. I have been looking into going Mostly Vegan for a while and when I found Ann Arbor’s vegan meetup group was hosting an all vegan meal at Zingerman’s Road House, I jumped at the chance.

The meal was great. The soup was rich and satifying. And the beans and rice were excellent, smokey and flavorful with local shiitake mushrooms.

Ann Arbor Vegan Meetup host dinners out once a month to a local restaurant.

Ann Arbor Food

Chef Alex of Zingerman’s Road House visits the Dining Room

Chef Alex came out before the meal and talk to us about the menu offerings. Many items came directly from the restaurant’s garden. You can’t beat that. I can eat like this everyday.

Alex said something that really stood out. He said that he had wanted to cook an all vegan meal for some time, but until now there was never a group large enough to do it.

Most restaurants will not go out on a lim to offer many vegan choices because the number (dinner tickets) are not there to make it worth while.

With that said, chef are a creative lot and many would jump at the chance to challenge themselves to export vegan. Showing up with 60-70 vegan dinners ready to eat might be the best strategy to get a great vegan meal from an award winning chef.

So here is what we had. (Soup or salad, choice of entree and dessert $25)

Ann Arbor Food

Pickled Watermelon Salad w/ arugula

Ann Arbor Food

Roasted Squash-Eggplant Crispy Lasagna w/ roasted tomato gravy (Entree one)

Ann Arbor Food

Quinau Pilau w/Curried Squash Slaw (Entree two)

Ann Arbor Food

Sea Island Peas and Dirty Mushroom Rice (Entree Three)

Ann Arbor Food

Chocolate Beet Cake w/Fresh Berries

Arthritis and Diet

Toasted Sesame Seeds

Short Grain Brown Rice and Electric Steamer

These two picture represent a radical switch in the change in my lifestyle.

Brown rice is the staple food in the Macrobiotic Diet and most on the diet like myself put toasted sesame seeds on their rice.

I talked a bit in the last few posts about going back into macrobiotics and vegan, but besides for weight loss, there is another major reason.

I have arthritis.

It is not official. I still need to see a Rheumatologist and get x-rayed or an MRI, but everything I have read suggests that I have a pretty classic cast for someone my age who also has psoriasis.

I have some on a joint on both hands, which is not too bad. But the real issue is that I now have it on the right side of the bottom of my lower back.

What does this means?

Almost over night I went from being normal functioning person (just out of shape) too not.

It is now hard to walk up stairs, walk fast, I need to be careful getting out of bed, getting up from sitting, getting out of the car and a subtle twist in motion can set it off.

And forget lifting heavy things, jogging or other activities.

It basically sucks. (Maybe I will look back and be grateful, but not today)

I feel like I became a old person over night. This all basically started a week or so ago at least on my back.

As for what to do about it, I am taking glucosamine/chondroitin, which is the standard go to supplement for arthritis and I am also taking fish oil.

The big change is a switch in diet, which is anti-inflammatory like macro/vegan.

This is all in the try and see phase because no one really knows what to do. I a still waiting for a treatment for psoriasis that won’t destroy my immune system in the process (and not even work).

As for medical science, besides for a handful of meds with major side effects (I cannot even take advil because of a reaction and hydrocortisone, which cause sblotting…also bad because it can create edema) I am basically on my own.

This is about the time Dr. House is suppose to come in with his miracle cure after misdiagnosing me at least three other times. He will give me some meds, a shot or IV drip to make me all better.

But that is TV and this is real life.

With that said, there are a bunch of books on arthritis with diet, supplements and exercise with some folks (on amazon book review) stating positive results.

At least that is something.

In the mean time a macro/vegan diet (with some fish) is the course of action.

No matter what, losing the 80-90 pounds I need to will help out my back (I hope) and I need to do this no matter what.

 

 

Mostly Food Communities

I have recently ventured back into my old food stomping grounds of Macrobiotic and Vegan toward being healthier. (See recent post)

Looking back, I started thinking about why I got off the Macro program.

In a previous post, I mention that the Macrobiotic diet was too strict. This was not just strict rules of the food do’s and don’t list.

It was also the strict people on the program.

I recall when I left the Kushi Institute to moved to Ann Arbor. I was teaching Macrobiotic cooking classes at Whole Foods and I had a fan.

This woman came to everyone of my classes, asked tons of questions and approached me during breaks and while I was packing up to talk shop.

Then during my dessert class, I used fruit juice to make a vegan cantan (jello) that was sweetened with agave nectar. Macrobiotics are strict about their sweeteners and agave was not on the list.

She called me on it and that was that. During the class break she left and never returned to another one of my classes.

I had broken the strict rules of Macro and I guess in her eyes I was no longer a part of the tribe.

And this is not an isolated experience. I felt judged and like an outcast for not being a perfect macro eater on many occasions from the community.

I suppose this is common. Vegans may do the same thing if they outed me eating a cheese burger.

The thing is we need community.

When you start a new healthy lifestyle, it is easy to feel like an orphan.

Everyone else is eating pizza and steak and we are the weirdos in the corner eating brown rice and spouts.

Of course, we figure that we will eventually find other people from a smaller tribe of folks who eat and think our new way, but imagine that this new tribe is a tough room with strict rules.

We already broke ties with the majority of folks with our new healthy lifestyle. But say if we also feel left out of the small tribe?

That is how me and Emily felt. Although we embraced the Macro diet (for a time), we had a hard time with the strict people.

I also felt this way when I was on Weight Watchers. The community is more flexible, but week after week, from the lectures, I got the message that the folks who strictly followed the program were where it was at. The rewards were from following the program and the shame/failure was from not.

For me Food is more than nutrition. It is about community and being social.

Food is about life.

This brings me to my “Mostly” Food Community idea.

While I probably could not pass for a Strict Macro or Vegan today , there are many things I have in common with these community, but if they are all-or-nothing then I am shut out (or faking in order to fit in).

So I propose the idea of Mostly Food Communities. These are folks like myself who for the most part follow many of the practices of a food community, but are a little more flexible.

They can bring a vegan/macro dish to a vegan/macro potluck and share food and community, but they are not all-or-nothing folks.

A good example of this is my community garden pot lucks. We have meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans, not to mention all sort of folks with various food allergies and personal food rules.

For the most part the offerings are vegetarian with many vegan items. If you want great veggie dishes good to a community garden potluck.

I tend to bring a vegan dish, but their will always be the guy who brings pork ribs or chicken wings. The difference with my community garden potlucks is that no one walks out in a huff because someone broke their food community rule. They simple don’t eat the wings and opt to hit up the vegan tabouli salad and grilled tofu.

The potluck is a mixed food community with tendency to vegetarian.

As for going to a Strict Food Community event, I would comply with the food rules. I mean, I don’t want to be the guy who brought the pork ribs at a kosher potluck.

With that said, I am going to my first social vegan restaurant dinner on Tuesday with a large vegan community.

I plan to eat an all vegan meal for the event, but if asked I will say that I am mostly macrobiotic/vegan.