Friday, October 31, 2008

Results of OMAC and an accidental gluten-free Cheeze success!

In my last post I had high hopes to make at least 32 meals (for one person) in a one day cooking session. How did it go? Well unexpectedly Life intervened and the one day turned into two days. All in all, I cooked for about 6-7 hours. Wondering how much I spent? At Bulk Barn the total came to $5.13. At the grocery store, I went a bit over and spent $30.27. However, that amount included Rice Milk ($5) that I would have needed to buy in a few days anyway. So I will consider myself on budget!

I made four medium-sized pizzas with homemade wheat crusts (from All Recipes) and pepperoni from Vegan Dad's blog. I also took on a new challenge of creating fake mozzarella cheese, which didn't turn out very good. BUT, there was a good use for it after all--see end of post for details. Instead the replacement I used for cheese was a white bean puree (one of my favorite substitutions for cheese) from The Complete Vegan Kitchen--a great cookbook, by the way.

My pepperoni didn't turn out red, but it was spot on in taste and had a pretty good texture. Since when an Omni I was a pepperoni addict, Vegan Dad saved the day with his recipe. :) You can find the recipe here. Next time I might puree the beans (for the pepperoni) to make a bit more solid roll, but when following the recipe as Vegan Dad instructed, it still makes a nicely sliceable roll. Below is a picture of how my pepperoni looked. As it turns out, one pizza is two meals for me, so 8 meals from the pizzas.

Next was a batch of 'Roast Beef' seitan from Tracy's blog, A Veg*an for Dinner. THIS WAS AMAZING! I really can't rave enough about it. You can find the recipe here. The texture was nearly perfect and the seasonings were great. I couldn't even detect any of that wheaty seitan taste. The only thing I might change is the amount of sage--but hey, that could be my taste buds talking. Below is a picture of the 'Roast' and I believe there are about 8 servings of this in the freezer. I also made an equal amount of whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce to be potentially served alongside the 'Roast Beef'. If you are keeping count, we are up to 16 meals now.

Unfortunately I ended up throwing away about 2 pounds of chicken-style seitan from a previous cooking session. (had hopes of saving it) It just had too strong of a 'wheaty' taste, no matter what I did to fix it. Whenever I took a bite it made me gag. So that wasted about 6 meals. Won't be using that recipe again, but I will be trying Tracy's chicken-style seitan in the near future.

Next was some vegetable/bean wraps. Nothing fancy, just whizzed some kidney beans in the blender with some nooch & rice milk. (think refried beans) Added some mushrooms, spinach, onions and peppers to a saute pan until done to my liking. I spooned some of the bean mixture onto a tortilla, added some veggie mixture and rolled up everything in a whole grain wrap for 11 lunchtime burritos.

While the veggies were cooking for the wraps, I brushed some low-fat, thinly sliced extra-firm tofu with a BBQ/Soy/Hot Sauce mixture on both sides. There may have been some spices in the sauce, but can't remember what. The batch then went in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping once while cooking. These will be added to rice or noodles when in a pinch, or if the craving strikes, on a sandwich. I'll count this as 2 meals, (even though it will probably stretch over 4) since I'll have to make pasta or rice to serve alongside the tofu.

So 29 meals in all. Not bad especially since I wasted about an hour on trying to fix the Chick'n. OMAC usually revolves around one meat (usually bought on sale for a ridiculously low price) served with various starches and possibly a little bit of veggies. Even though this can be applied to Vegan cooking, I am still struggling with a 'game plan'.

The above picture is vegan sour cream to dip the Chik'n for Chik'n Parmesan before breading it, but that wasn't to be once the Chik'n went in the garbage. I used this recipe, but had to replace the vinegar with balsamic (was out of apple cider vinegar). That change made the sour cream darker, but still tasty. I wanted to try Tara's recipe for sour cream here, but forgot where I originally saw the recipe and didn't remember until today. :(

What does this look like? Breadcrumbs? It's actually a pretty amazing Parmezan Cheeze substitute! I've been hesitant to use most of the recipes for Parmezan Cheeze due to the use of nuts in the recipes. I know nuts have the good fat, but when eating pasta sometimes I just want to heap on the cheese! I used this recipe here.

Due to Life handing me some obstacles, I had to freeze the cheese logs overnight. The next day I grated two of the defrosted logs and tested (for meltiness and taste) the cheese on some bread. It was tasteless, almost--you could definitely taste the Tahini. But the texture, it was perfect for Parmezan Cheeze. Added some Nooch, salt and garlic powder and wowee! The Teen Daughter thought this was almost exactly like Parmezan. For those that want to try this odd recipe, I think I added 1/4 cup Nooch, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder to about 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese. Use your own judgement, as the amounts may be a bit off.

This was a long post, I think I'll go rest my fingers for a bit. :)


Georgia said...

OMAC - thats insane - congratulations on getting so many meals. I am sure it will get easier when you get a repertoire of recipes.

The cheese looks good. I will bookmark this post and have a go some time in the future.

Tara said...

Awesome! This is such an inspiring post--I can't believe how much food you cooked and how little money you spent. Way to go!

Lenora said...

Hat's off to you! VERY impressive! Someday I'll be brave enough to attempt something like this :D... for now OMAC is just a dream...