Sunday, February 28, 2010

Going Veggie!!!!

Well, here is something interesting for you or interesting for me anyway…. I am going Vegetarian for a week, yes a whole week!!  This is actually something I have wanted to try for sometime now and have read numerous articles, magazines and such but just never had the proper motivation.  Well, now I have it.  What is this “motivation” I speak of to give up meat for a week you ask?  Well, surprise of all surprises, it is an Eastern Religions Assignment (of course those of you that know me are very aware that it is not unusually for me to take such extreme steps in the quest for knowledge, I digress).  The purpose of the assignment is to experience the teachings of the Buddha or to at least see if we can apply the teachings to our everyday lives.  Through this blog I will write about my experiences from visiting Temple, which I will do in a few short hours, to eating Tofu and Tempeh for the first time. What is the difference between Tempeh and Tofu you ask?  Let me see if I can sum it up for you, the short answer is – Soy!  Now, if you are anything like me, that answer simply will not satisfy you so here is the long answer.  Tofu is made from soybeans, water, and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through
spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. So popular, in fact, that it is celebrated with its own annual festival and has almost become synonymous with vegetarianism itself. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store.  I have to admit, I am pretty excited.  From what I understand by asking Vegans and Vegetarians alike is that it is a lot like chicken in texture – the extra firm tofu anyway.  I have had Mock Chicken Salad before with Tofu nuggets that was delicious – although it could use the Aliyah twist….
Another popular product is Tempeh.  Tempeh is a fermented food made by the controlled fermentation of cooked soybeans with a Rhizopus mold (tempeh starter). The tempeh fermentation by the Rhizopus mold binds the soybeans into a compact white cake. Tempeh has been a favorite food and staple source of protein in Indonesia for several hundred years.  Tempeh is now rapidly becoming more popular all over the world as people look for ways to increase their intake of soybeans and isoflavones.  Vegetarians and vegans especially find the structure and protein content interesting as well as its versatility and delicious taste. Tempeh has a firm texture and a nutty mushroom flavor. Tempeh can be used in many different ways. Normally tempeh is sliced and fried until the surface is crisp and golden brown or tempeh can be used as an ingredient in soups, spreads, salads and sandwiches.  Mmmmm… mold!!!  Don’t let this deter you from trying it though, don't forget blue cheese is just moldy cheese….
One product that is also popular that I am not trying this week is Seitan, from what I understand this is basically just gluten or flour which somehow takes on the properties of some meats.  I have to be honest it looks way less appetizing than tofu and tempeh but Vegans actually prefer the texture… maybe next week for this one…
Now I have not really gone into the aspects of the teachings of Buddha that I will be trying to follow this week as I will more than likely go into more detail as the week progresses, but…. the others I am wanting to try is Right Speech and Right Mindfulness.  If you would like to learn more and are just so anxious that you can’t wait, check out these websites…The Life of Buddha, Book of Teachings or you can follow my guides for this week The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone and an all time favorite Whole Foods.
Meal Plan
Day 1 Day 2
Skillet Barbecue Tofu in Pita Tempeh Gyro
Raw Slaw Salad
Day 3 Day 4
Southwestern Black Bean Burgers Oven Baked Tofu
Oven Fries Curried Rice Salad
Day 5 Day 6
Bean Tostadas w/ Sofrito Baked Thai Tofu
Salad Sofrito Rice

No comments:

Post a Comment

Past Posts