Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nom-worthy tofu scramble

On my days off I like to make breakfast for my family and friends, my go-to breakfast is tofu scramble because it's easy and yummy. I know some of you may be thinking "ewww I hate tofu, it's soooo gross!" Which is what I thought too, until I started cooking it. Chances are, if you've had a bad experience with tofu, the person cooking it either didn't know what they were doing or only knows how to cook it one way. My advice when exploring a unfamiliar territory with food is: use your nose and think outside of the box. Here's my tofu scramble recipe which is so good I've even gotten my friends to eat it and they love it!

What you'll need:
1/4  of a fresh onion
4 mushrooms*
some fresh baby spinach
Organic firm tofu
about 1 tsp Bullion (vegetable, beef, or chicken)**
about a tsp of cumin**
about a tsp of curry powder**
about a tsp of mustard powder**
about a tsp of light sodium soysauce or brags liquid aminos**
a dash of paprika
garlic powder***

* even if you don't like mushrooms, add them, I loathe mushrooms, but they complete this dish and trust me, you wont be able to taste them
** you may need more or less, this is more of a estimated guess because I always eyeball it
*** DO NOT add garlic salt or any other salt, the recipe makes it salty enough and the garlic salt may put it over the edge!

Heat a pan with olive oil on med-low heat
Finely chop onion, mushrooms, and spinach and add them to heated pan to brown

Open tofu and carefully press out excess water with a clean towel or paper towel

once pressed, and veggies are browned, crumble tofu into pan and turn on med heat

Add rest of ingredients and mix

Cook until bottom of tofu is slightly browned but still bouncy
Serve and enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homemade natural body wash (easy and simple)

In this family of many allergies we ran into a problem of sorts: My son (allergic to all milk and egg products from any living creature) ran out of his very expensive organic vegan body wash. Times are tough for us right now and we couldn't really afford a $16 bottle of soap that only lasts maybe 3 weeks so I bought a bar of some organic vegan bar soap that was on sale for $2 at the natural food store (score!) and started researching how to stretch my $2 find. What I found was this article which explained a very simple way to turn an 8oz bar of soap into a whole gallon of body wash! Although the original post used a completely different type of bar soap, I thought I'd wing it and hope for the best. My soap was only 2.75oz but made up for it in the promise of organic, chemical-free cleanliness:

I followed these instructions at first (altering the ratios for my small bar)  but after 12+ hours my soap did not set, quick thinking and a hatred of being wasteful encouraged me to keep at it. "what can I add to thicken this up? You can thicken gravy with cornstarch or flour but those may irritate the skin....." I thought to myself, searching through my cupboards "Bingo!" My eyes had landed upon a box of instant oatmeal and I got to work. I ended up grinding the oatmeal into a fine powder with a old fashioned mortar and pestle and added 3 cups to my pot of watery soap, after bringing it back to a boil I put it on low heat until it started to thicken while occasionally stirring (just like gravy) After it was thick enough I stuck it in the fridge until it was completely cooled then transferred it to a couple spare bottles and voilá! I had one completely full bottle of natual, chemical free, moisturizing body wash that the whole family can use! I used this on my son for bath time tonight and not only did he get squeaky clean (and it has a thick lush lather) but his skin was so soft! Can't wait to use it on myself!