Saturday, February 21, 2009

Skinny Bitch Night

We're vegetarian, have been for over 11 years. My daughter just turned vegan as part of a New Year's resolution. In case you weren't aware, a vegan diet eschews eating any food that came from an animal, no eggs, no cheese and for most vegans not even honey. Now, eating a mostly plant based diet is not only better for you but better for the environment. There are lots of websites out there that will give you more information about that, here's one of my new favorites, this one is also good. With my daughter going vegan that has meant starting over reading labels and trying new recipes.

My mom saw an interview with the two authors of the Skinny Bitches books, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, on TV and decided to buy the books. Unbeknownst to her, the recipe book is filled with all vegan recipes. The book focuses on eating healthy and flavorable foods. Perfect, said my sister. An opportunity for us to try some new recipes and all try to eat healthier. So, she arranged for us to start having Skinny Bitch nights at her house. We all drove out to our favorite health food store, stocked up on necessities and a couple of non necessities and came home, excited to try some new foods. Being an orderly sort of person, my sister set us up to start with the first recipe, which is French Scramble. This recipe comes out of the Skinny Bitch in the Kitch cookbook. This resembles a scrambled egg dish but with tofu, know in veg circles as a tofu scramble.

French Scramble

14 or 16 ounces firm or extra firm tofu, crumbled (use your hands or a fork)

4 oz. vegan jack, cheddar, or American cheese, shredded

3 scallions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T nutritional yeast flakes

1 T tamari or soy sauce

1/2 t turmeric

1/2 t fine sea salt

1/2 t pepper

1/2 T refined coconut oil

1 cup sliced mushrooms (any kind)

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

In a large bowl, combine the tofu, cheese, scallions, garlic, yeast flakes, tamari or soy sauce, turmeric, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time if necessary, and cook until wilted about 1 minute. Stir in the tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes, or until any liquid has evaporated and the mixture is hot. Serve immediately.

We followed the directions exactly except sauteed regular onions because we didn't have any scallions.

The recipe was easy and quick which was two huge pluses. We also had a green salad and corn on the cob to round out the meal.

Most all of us were pleasantly surprised. My sister was excitedly surprised with the outcome and my daughter and husband thought it was great. All in all the taste survey came down to this - 3 of us rated the French Scramble 8 or higher, 2 rated 6-7, and 1 rated it below a 5. Not bad for such a wide varieties of palettes. The vote was to definitely have it again.

This was a fun evening that my sister planned. Not only did we get to try a new recipe, but spent some fun quality time together as a family. We all helped cook and had a lively discussion during dinner (about whether to follow the recipes in order or to pick the ones we wanted to try first. I pointed out that it might take us around 2 years to reach the dessert recipes. Logic prevailed and will be skipping around the book.) I would suggest it as a fun idea to try with your family or friends. If you like the above recipe book, try checking out the Skinny Bitch In the Kitchen at your local library. Or grab any of your favorite cookbooks and give it a go.

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