Sunday, April 15, 2012

crispy chips with no oil

I often buy those large packages of corn tortilla circles with no oil. I heat up the oven to 400–450 and put in my baking stone. You could also use a cookie sheet I believe or put them right on the racks. If using a baking stone (your best bet) make sure it gets really hot—leave at the high temp for 10 minutes.

I rinse the tortillas under water, sprinkle with salt, and slice into fourths. I put the slices on the stone and bake until crisp. Watch that they don't burn, cause they'll taste nasty.

Nicely toasted, they are yummy to eat with chili or dip in salsa.

I also use a similar method to make potato chips/crisps.

I slice Russet potatoes thin in my Cuisinart or by hand with a long sharp knife. Put them in a bowl and slather in sea salt and maybe some Mrs. Dash or garlic pepper.

Place them on the baking stone (thoroughly heated to 400–450) in a single layer and cook until they are crispy with a few brown spots. With potatoes, heating the stone is especially important, because otherwise they will stick like glue. I have never tried these on a baking sheet and don't know that they'd do well.

They are a delicious accompaniment to a tempeh sloppy joe or bean burger.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cat up a Tree

Our kitty Blaze got out.

More accurately, I let him out. He has escaped a few times in recent months and since I was staying out anyway and he was staying close, all was well.

So, with beautiful weather Sunday, I let him out and vowed to keep an eye on him, while I played ball with the dogs.

But, Blaze gave me the slip.

Blazer used to go out every day, but, in the process, acquired Feline AIDS. So, the vet advised keeping him inside to avoid exposure to germs and spreading the virus to other cats.

In the meantime, our neighbors have acquired a dog.

Blaze escaped next door and confronted the little terrier. Blaze ran up a tree. And went high. And then higher.

Oh Blaze. A whole community of cat lovers looked up, prayed, and hoped for the best.

Blaze was steadfast in his position, refusing to budge. So it was clear we would have to climb up to retrieve him.

Our neighbors have an industrial-strength extension ladder, but it takes a strong person to lift it into place.

Their son, Brett, was busy caring for a woman he feeds and puts to bed each night. He is the only one among us who could wrangle the ladder into place. He was running late. It was getting dark.

He finally got home and positioned the ladder into place. I am not afraid of heights and was ready to climb up and rescue the cat. Andy, who does hate heights, decided he should be the one to climb up. Blaze is a big cat, after all.

Blaze was rescued. Once inside, he ate a huge meal of cat food and turkey and fell sound asleep.

Life is good.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Plant Strong

Years ago, I read an article written by a doctor who believed that we needed to abandon all meat in our diet. I remember him saying that "even low-fat turkey had way too much fat for the human body to deal with."

Unfortunately I ignored him.

Since then, a friend has died of clogged arteries and another has been hospitalized and had a stent implanted because of them.

Eating a plant-based diet can be hard in this culture. No meat, no dairy, and no oil. Eliminating meat is the easy part. No kidding. Cheese, not so easy. But do you know you can make fake cheese out of cashews, garlic, miso, nutritional yeast, etc.?

Soy milk is a wonderful substitute for dairy in soups, breads, and on cereal.

Vanilla almond milk, which has some sugar, is like a milkshake.

Our friend who had the stent turned us on to this diet, sorta by accident. He visited for a weekend and I was challenged to cook for him. After reading every label in the store to find food I could serve him, the challenge turned into a mission.

Now, several other friends and family members, after hearing me talk at length about its benefits, have adopted a plant-strong diet.

Keep it up. Grow a garden. Do the best you can every day.