Appetite for Reduction Day 3 – Chef’s Sanctuary Salad

So called because ranches just aren’t the best place for cows. Us vegheads much prefer sanctuaries. I decided to make this salad as Seb and I are starting to plan our big summer trip to the US. I’ve never been and I am super excited to be heading to see some old friends, some newer ones, including ones I’ve never met before. My absolute favouritist thing I am excited about is a visit we have planned to Farm Sanctuary in California. We have been supporting FS for a couple of years now and love the work that they do. The place is full of animals which have come from terrible circumstances and these animals can live their lives without any fear of mutilation or slaughter hanging over their heads. We intend to spend a couple of nights in the cottage attached to the sanctuary so we can spend time with the animals, who are ambassadors for the billions that are slaughtered every year.

Anyhoo, back to today’s salad from Appetite for Reduction. It was pretty epic. It had eggplant bacon, roasted cauliflower, lettuce, greens, carrot, onion, radishes, sprouts and cherry tomatoes. The salad was a ‘ranch’ dressing. It’s not pictured as it is all white and gloopy, but it tasted great!

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Doing more with Tofu and Tempeh

So, it is day 7 of the veg challenge and today some participants came over to cook with tofu and tempeh. I think a lot of people are a bit mystified by these products. Most people have only had tofu in stir fries and they aren’t that impressed with it. This session was all about showing how just versatile these amazing products are and how they can be used to create high-protein dishes with lots of flavour and texture and even replace things that you can’t buy here in Jakarta like mayonaise. We made a selection of dishes and people brought side dishes.

Garlic mayonaise
Miso apple tofu
South Western tofu burgers
Tempeh pate
Carrot fries
Autumn tempeh salad

Sunday Cook-Off

Today, a few people from work who had expressed interest in eating more plant-based foods came around my house to cook. The focus was to cook food that could be cooked in bulk and used over a period of a few days (good for after work),was extremely high in nutrients but also low in calories. It also needed to be food that was readily available in Jakarta (no vegan mayonaise for example) and inexpensive and without needing fancy equipment.

With all that in mind I decided on the following dishes, ones that I have tried and tested many times and I knew were fabulous.

Carrot and ginger soup
Scrambled tofu with wilted arugula
Thai style coleslaw
Banana ice cream.

I decided to do the cooking lesson a little bit differently because it was the first time doing it in this space and also it was a bigger group. We just broke off in to pairs, I gave them the recipes and I just sort of drifted giving some advice, but these ladies were awesome! They already had loads of cooking skills. We spent lots of time just chatting especially over a long and lovely lunch and chopping onions! It was so wonderful to share nourishing healthy foods and also introduce a few gadgets and new ingredients to such a wonderfully open-minded group. Marion has kindly posted a lovely entry on her blog about our time together and so did Sam.

This was really the run up to an idea that I have had on my mind over the last few weeks. The idea is to get those people from SWA and JWA who are interested (and anyone else from my network for that matter) to see if they would like to complete a ‘get healthy and  / or lose weight 30 day challenge’ in the new year. It could also be a really good intro for those people who would like to give a vegan diet a try.

I know there are lots of people like me out there who look at the start of the year as a time for making great plans and getting excited about awesome possibilities, and for many, a healthier lifestyle is part of that. My idea is to publicize this through my blog and to see if we can get a group of people who might be interested in sharing their journey through perhaps a FB group and a couple of face 2 face meetups over the course of the month; like a cooking class, shopping trip or a dinner out (with healthy options of course). There would be some pre-requsites reading and watching to do before the ‘course’ would start, which would hopefully serve to inspire them further. Having a group of people doing it together is much easier than doing it by themselves. By sharing my idea with my friends that came by today and listening to what they said about the food made me just think that I should DO IT!

Anyway, I am hoping to put this together in the next week or so. There will be a blog post about it soon!

So, here are some pictures of our little cooking session! Pictures courtesy of Marion and Sam!

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Apple and Miso Tofu with a Pumpkin, Curried Citrus Dressing.

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This was dinner tonight. The tofu (hidden underneath the apple) was baked in a sauce with mirin, miso, soy sauce and other flavourful delights. The green salad is just a mixed green one from a bag and over the top is a pumpkin curried citrus dressing which was very low calorie yet really rich. No added fat in the dressing, infact the whole meal had no added fat in it!

Asian Tofu

I bought myself a grill pan at the weekend and I cooked this up. I pressed and drained the tofu for 10 minutes and then it was just marinated in mirin, garlic, ginger, soy sauce rice vinegar and thrown on the grill pan. The intense heat really dried out the tofu and made it really chewy. I served it with kale salad. MAKE THIS KALE SALAD… It is a total winner.

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