Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wish I Was Being the Change...

Okay, so after two weeks I’m thinking it’s time for an update. Tons of stuff has happened. Camp started, got screwed over on a pay check, Max’s veganism has started (follow his journey here) and we’ve cut out (almost entirely) high fructose corn syrup from our diet.
I have a few new recipes to share with you. I was thinking of things to bring for lunch and to have around for dinner and saw my can of chickpeas. So, I drained/rinsed them and then mushed them up in a bowl with some steamed veggies, some Ener*G egg replacer, and some coconut flour. After that I formed them into patties and pan fried them. Quite yummy with a few squirts of mustard, though I think some brown rice would have made them a bit more substantial.
Next I suppose is less of a recipe and more of a good find. To my disdain (though not necessarily surprise) the majority of boxed baking mixes contain HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP on top of most of them already not being vegan friendly. Well, we were at Target poking around the other day and what do we stumble on but $0.79 Target-brand brownie mix. I made it with Ener*G prepared with soy milk rather than water (it gives it a more eggy consistency), halved the oil and added unsweetened applesauce for the amount I took away. As they were baking I noticed they puffed up SUBSTANTIALLY. I’m talking, inch-thick brownies in a 13x9 pan. My first thought was that they would turn out cakey and that made me sad. When all was said and done, however, I am happy to report that THESE ARE THE BEST FREAKING BROWNIES WE HAVE EVER EATEN. No joke. Max even thought so. Now these things were huge, but at the same time still chewy and moist and, well, perfect brownies.
Finally, I’ve been making my own French fries for a while but last night’s batch was surely the best so I thought I’d share my process. First, pick bigger potatoes and depending on the size of your cookie sheet (mine’s pretty freaking big) only bake 2-3 at a time. I peel them and then attempt to make roughly the same size fry with my knife. It’s not an exact science, but I cut them in quarters, and then quarters or thirds again. The resulting size is smaller than steak-fries but bigger than fast food style. Next I put my fries in a bowl, shake some salt on them and let them rest. This helps remove some of the excess water and will make them crispier. I blot up the water with a towel, toss them in some olive oil and spread them out on my baking sheet. Next I shake some seasoned salt, pepper and chili powder and bake in the oven at 375. I’m not entirely sure for how long, but once the bottom seems to be brown (and likely sticking to your cookie sheet) I flip them and then brown the other side. The result is crispy, flavorful, guilt free French fries perfect to serve alongside a veggie burger or dog.
Okay, time for the activist in me to come out, or rather, be lacking in coming out. I feel like I want to do more in my time on this earth…more for kids, for the environment, for fighting disease…anything to show others that there is more to life than just yourself. And yet, I had to miss Hands Across the Sand to work (read about it here), I can’t afford to travel to other countries like Haiti as some of my friends just did…I don’t even have time to train to volunteer at the Miami-Dade animal shelter because of working. My need for money for school has consumed me. Every day I wake up this summer is only to ensure that when I wake up every day the rest of the year I can go to classes I am paying too much money for. That is why if I find I can’t afford to go to school this next year for whatever reason, I’m going to join the Peace Corp for a year before moving to LA. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I know once I try to get my career started it probably won’t happen, so if the money for school doesn’t come through, I’ll take it as a sign. In the meantime, if anyone has any short-term projects they need help on the Miami area, or the NH area starting the end of July, please let me know. I would love to help out.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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