Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hi, I'm Back!

I feel as though the summer just flew by. How can it be September already?

I did not intend to have a summer vacation from blogging, but I found myself much busier than anticipated. We held five different seminars at the Strengthening Health Institute, where I am co-director and head chef. Denny and I also taught at the Kushi Institute Summer Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching my cooking class and presenting a lecture on “Macro Nouveau” (our new approach). We are also in the process of making some changes at the Strengthening Health Institute. We will be revising some of our existing programs as well as adding numerous new classes. Doing so has been extremely time-consuming, but I think that these new changes will be more than worth our efforts.

Outside of work, I spent a good deal of time with my family and friends. Our family vacationed in the Thimble Islands, staying at the house of a dear friend. We also took a weekend trip to visit family in Virginia. In August, I celebrated a “notable” birthday. Denny even threw me a surprise party. 

The harbor at High Island,  a bit of paradise!

Now that it is September and the season is changing, I am going to get back into the writing groove and will do my very best to post more regularly. You can expect a new post about once each week.

Today I would like to share one my favorites for a “quick and easy meal,” steamed sourdough bread. It is quick, simple, and nourishing. I’ve also included a variety of topping ideas and a recipe for steamed tofu sandwich filling. With school beginning this is a great, easy, healthy lunch solution. 

Tony's outdoor shower overlooking the Long Island Sound

Steamed Sourdough Bread

This is so easy to do and is a life-saver when you are pinched for time and need something nourishing and quick. It is completely satisfying and works for any meal.

You will need a steamer basket and a pot with a cover. Simply put a little water in the pan. Place the basket in the pot. Put the bread in the steamer basket, cover the pot, and turn on the flame to low or medium-low (if your steamer basket is one of the collapsible kinds that fit inside the pot, use a low flame). Steam until you can smell the bread, then remove the bread from the basket. I like to place the slice on top of a bamboo mat to cool; the mat prevents the condensation from making the bread soggy (yuck). Allow the bread to cool a bit before adding your favorite topping.

Here are some of my serving suggestions:
Use a nice spread of nut or seed butter together with sauerkraut
The classic PBJ or substitute tahini or another seed or nut butter for the “P”
Serve with hummus or make a sandwich
If you’re feeling fancy, add some steamed tofu. It is thoroughly satisfying.

Steamed Tofu Sandwich Filling
Take one block of tofu, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices and lightly press with a towel to get rid of excess moisture. 
Captain Isaiah

Oops these are bottoms not toppings!
Make a savory mix of the following ingredients:
4 parts shoyu
1 part mirin
1 part umeboshi vinegar (Optional ingredient)
4 parts water 

*Note: For younger children dilute the
  mixture with extra water to make it
 less salty.

Place all of the liquid ingredients in a saucepan. Add the tofu and simmer
lightly (about 1.5 to 2 minutes) on each side.
Remove the tofu from the pan and allow to cool and drain before assembling your sandwich.

My Favorite Toppings:
Mustard and/or hot sauce
Sauerkraut or pickles
Grated carrot
Sliced cucumbers

*You can also make this sandwich in advance and wrap it up. Refrigerate it and it will
keep for 1 or possibly 2 days.

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