Friday, January 8, 2010

McGuire's Irish Pub

Oi vey, another post about FOOD?!  Um, well, yeah.  Just because McGuire's Irish Pub in Destin is really fun and I love the thousands of dollar bills (yes, I'm told 150 thousand) stapled to the ceiling and walls that patrons can donate and sign.  (Click photos to enlarge.)

At my booth


Bar area

And you can stay vegan if you want:  They have a great bean soup for only 18 cents!  Yep, 18 cents.  They say it's the same bean soup served back in like the 1930's in the Senate for the same price.  (Although the menu stipulates that if soup is the only thing you are ordering, it's price becomes $18.00!  ;))

Tofu Demystified

Ok, lots of people scrunch up their faces when they hear "tofu" and go "yechhh."  But I think most of those people (1) don't know what it is and (2) have never tasted it.  So to take the "yechhh" out of tofu, I'm here to tell you that tofu is to soymilk what cottage cheese is to cow's milk.   

Now, if you hate cottage cheese, you may not like tofu, but tofu has a big advantage over cottage cheese:  It will pick up any flavor you soak it in!  It is wonderful for marinating.  You can even just throw it into soy sauce and stir fry it with veggies.  You can blend up silken tofu with other ingredients and make the best salad dressings or dips!  I even made a chocolate-raspberry pie with silken tofu and it was delicious.  My guests didn't even know it was tofu!

So remember my marinating tofu from a few days ago?  It was the same Asian marinade I used for my first grilled tofu (the time I smoked up my kitchen with the cast iron skillet.) 

Here are the marinade ingredients:
1/2 c. mirin
3 T. tamari (Asian soy sauce)
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. sesame oil
2 tsps. Asian chili sauce
1" chunk of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed

Well, this latest attempt turned out really well.  I sliced the tofu thinner and after marinating it overnight, baked it (instead of using my cast iron skillet to grill it) and it got a nice crispy brown on the outside edges.  Then I cut it up into small chunks.  I took the ginger out of the marinade, added a little water and cornstarch and heated it into a thick sauce.

I steamed broccoli and tossed it in with the tofu chunks and more sauce and it was a really healthy, tasty "Asian-flavored" dish!  The best way I can describe the tofu chunks is "little pieces of chewy flavor."  And if you freeze firm tofu first, then completely thaw it, it is wonderful crumbled into chilis and stews.  Replaces the ground beef nicely!

There you have it:  Tofu Demystified.

Tofu comes in firm, extra firm and silken textures


Marinated and cooked

Cashew-Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Chocolate Mousse Pie

Tofu Chocolate Pie

Tofu Puddings

Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Tofu Eggless Cooking (Brownies)

Food for Thought (Literally!)

As you probably have discovered by now, I do a lot of my news interest reading online in the morning.  Hence, the occasional reprints on my blog.  Just sharing things I find intriguing, deserving of sharing, or entertaining.  Besides, who wants to read my thoughts all the time?!

This arrived in my daily email from PCRM's  21 Day Vegan Kickoff, taking place right now.  But it's about more than food.

A Message from Marilu Henner

Every day, remember these important lessons:

1. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

2. Learn to love the food that loves you.

3. Set up your environment to win.

4. Life is all about progress, not perfection.

5. There’s no such thing as cheating. It’s all about gathering data. Every day is an experiment. But you’re not just in a laboratory; you’re in the laboratory of your life.

6. When you improve the quality of your food, the quantity takes care of itself.

7. Be supplied, not denied.

8. If you can’t hide it, decorate it.

9. Don’t wait for your life to begin.

10. Don’t throw a pity party. Do something nice for someone else.

11. Be resilient. The key to your life is how well you deal with Plan B.

12. The problem is the solution disguised.

13. Listen to what you say, you may mean it.

14. Getting healthy is NOT about measuring, weighing, or counting the fats, grams, calories, carbs, or points of the same old crappy food!

Maybe one or two of these hold particular significance for you in your life right now.  For me, it's #1 and #12.

What a Waste

Is this true?!  It was carried by the Times, so that seems to lend it credibility.  If so, this is absolutely reprehensible given all of those in need!

Cynthia Magnus holds up unworn, destroyed clothing she found in the garbage.
Photo by Suzanne DeChillo/New York Times

H&M and Wal-Mart Destroy and Trash Unsold Goods

by Joanna Douglas, Shine Staff

This week the New York Times reported a disheartening story about two of the largest retail chains. You see, instead of taking unsold items to sample sales or donating them to people in need, H&M and Wal-Mart have been throwing them out in giant trash bags. And in the case that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep or re-sell the items, these companies have gone ahead and slashed up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so they are unwearable.

This unsettling discovery was made by graduate student Cynthia Magnus outside the back entrance of H&M on 35th street in New York City. Just a few doors down, she also found hundreds of Wal-Mart tagged items with holes made in them that were dumped by a contractor. On December 7, she spotted 20 bags of clothing outside of H&M including, "gloves with the fingers cut off, warm socks, cute patent leather Mary Jane school shoes, maybe for fourth graders, with the instep cut up with a scissor, men’s jackets, slashed across the body and the arms. The puffy fiber fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.”

The New York Times points out that one-third of the city's population is poor, which makes this behavior not only wasteful and sad, but downright irresponsible. Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, acted surprised that these items were found, claiming they typically donate all unworn merchandise to charity. When reporters went around the corner from H&M to a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares, spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to us."

After several days of no response from H&M, the company made a statement today, promising to stop destroying the garments at the midtown Manhattan location. They said they will donate the items to charity. H&M spokeswoman Nicole Christie said, "It will not happen again," and that the company would make sure none of the other locations would do so either. Hopefully that's the final word. [NY Times][Huff Post]