Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Many Way" Satay

The essentials of satay?

Protein + sweet + nut.

Satay The Gourmet-O-Matic tm way?

Protein (generally cooked): chicken, beef, lamb, duck, goose, goat, pork, tofu, tempeh, seitan, fish, seafood, other (horse ?)

Sweet: jelly, jam/preserves, caramel, honey, agave nectar, molasses, corn syrup, candy, marshmallow, etc.

Nut: nut butters - smooth or crunchy and you can add sweet to the nut butter to make life easier (e.g., cashew, peanut, almond) or the nuts themselves (in pieces for the larger nuts) as a topping for even more crunch (cashew, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)

Cover protein with sweet or sweet nut butter combination. Cover sweet and or sweet nut butter combination with nuts.

Or you can make the protein and use the other stuff for dipping.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ready! Set! Sprout!

Save money.

Save time.

Eat fresh.


It is so easy you won't believe it.


Take green lentils or sunflower seeds or mung beans or soy beans or adzuki beans or whatever (do an online search to find out what else you can sprout).

Put 'em in a jar covered with cheesecloth. Fill the jar with your sprouts-to-be only 1/3 of the way.

Soak overnight in twice the amount of water as sprout-to-be.




Repeat rinse and drain in 12 hours.

Repeat again in 12 hours.

Repeat again in 12 hours.

When tails form, taste.

Repeat as many times as you choose until you are ready to "harvest" your sprouts.

Result: fresh "veggies" year 'round.

Sprout volume will generally be 2-3 times the original volume.

A great return on investment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Caramelized Onions - the Set and Forget Way

The naturally occurring sugars in vegetables can be enhanced through slow cooking.

Onions are an excellent candidate for caramelizing.

And they are more than easy to make.

Spray the inside of a slow cooker with a small amount of oil.

Fill with onions.


Set to low.

Go away for a day or so.

Set to high, return sooner.

Come back to beautiful brown onions, sweet and delicious.

Can be stored in the fridge for weeks.

Add to soups, sandwiches, side dishes, main dishes.

You name it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Un-Fried Beans

Why fry then re-fry beans?

Clearly, hummus is not fried.

It can be simply chickpeas, garlic, lemon all ground together.

Add tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne if you choose. (These will increase the caloric content.)

Likewise, you can make a lower Calorie version of refried beans.

Food process pinto beans with salsa and cumin.

The taste will be fresher.

The fat, less.

The Calories, fewer.

You can add-in herbs (e.g., basil, cilantro), heat (e.g., more or different hot peppers), nuts, additional veggies, substitute different salsas (e.g., mango), etc.

And in the summer, there is no need to turn on the stove.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Da Grill


It's grillin' time.

A touch of oil on the veggies and "veggie-like fruits," then go!

Bok Choy
Green Beans

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


'Tis the season for BBQ-ing, fa la la la la la la la la...

Here it is, the basic BBQ marinade:
Herbs - cilantro, basil, mint, etc.
Flavor - garlic, onion, etc.
Acid - citrus juice, coffee, beer, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, etc.

Water to dilute, salt and pepper to taste.
Want to turn it into a BBQ Sauce?
Skip the water and add:

Sweet - honey, molasses, corn syrup, etc.
Vegetable - tomato paste, salsa, etc.
Marinade or sauce - done in minutes, enjoyed for much longer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pigs, No. Blankets, Yes.

An easy alternative to pigs in blankets is to wrap a hot dog or soy dog in a strip of pita, tortilla, chapati, lavash, etc.

Or wrap a seasoned tofu chunk in the same.

Veggies can serve as the wrap, too.

All you need to do is slice an eggplant or zucchini into strips, then soften them by baking, broiling, grilling, pan frying (lightly covered in oil) and filling them with dogs or tofu.

You can marinate the veggies or drizzle flavored vinegar or a salad dressing on top.

Want a different filling?

In a food processor add:
Herb - cilantro, basil, etc.
Nuts - walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, etc.
Salt, pepper to taste
Hot - peppers or pepper sauce
Process until mixed (you can make it smooth or crunchy by altering processing time).

Place some at one end of a bread or veggie strip, then roll.

Cover with a sauce, if you like.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mexicandian, Indiopian, etc.

Gourmet-O-Matic (tm) visitors understand what we are about - creating variety by making logical substitutions to what already works.

Here are a couple more.

There is no reason you cannot mix cuisines - create your own fusions.

As examples:
Mexicandian: make a dish in the style of Indian cooking and instead of mango chutney as a side dish, try mango salsa (Mexican). You will save some Calories and add a different dimension to your meal.

Indiopian: make a dish in the style of Indian cooking and instead of naan as the bread, try injera (Ethiopian).
Give these and others a shot.

All you have to lose are your inhibitions.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Eating your soy does not mean tofu only.

Go straight to the source and do the beans.

Also known as edamame, soybeans are a quick way to add legumes to a meal.

Buy the shelled beans since they generally cost the same as the unshelled ones and there is more to eat.

Here are some ideas:

Soymole - edamame, cumin, fat-free sour cream/tofu, tomatoes, jalapeños (or use prepared salsa) ground together.

Burgers/Loaf - edamame, beans (pinto or black) ground together. Add onions, peppers, hot sauce or peppers. Bake or sauté (burgers). Top with herbs (cilantro or basil), cheese (low-fat, soy, rice) and put in a bun for burgers.

Salads - edamame, dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries, etc.), crunchy veggies (onions, peppers, carrots, celery, cabbage, etc.), meat or meat substitutes. Toss with sour (e.g., vinegar, citrus juice), sweet (e.g., honey, agave). Add an herb (e.g., mint) or leafy green (e.g., watercress, arugula) and nuts. The combinations are endless.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pasta a'Plenty

First, watch the Calories.

Pick 4-6 ingredients from the list and mix.
Pasta - spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, macaroni, rotelle, orzo, orechiette, farfalle, rochetti, any other

Oil (go easy) - olive, nut, herb flavored

Dairy (try low- or no- fat) - Gorgonzola, Parmesan, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt

Herbs/leafy greens - basil, mint, arugula, watercress

Crunch - walnuts, garbanzos, kidney beans, pistachios

Veggies - tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sprouts

Spices/seasoning - crushed red pepper, black pepper, salt (go easy), garlic, onion

Added protein - flavored tofu, tempeh, soybeans, meat

Acid - lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, vinegar


Sunday, January 2, 2011


Acids add an "edge" to foods.

They can be found in fruits, wines, even cheeses.

When a recipe calls for vinegars, there are many type you can use.

Each imparts a different flavor to your meal, making the experience new.

Here are some to consider:
Balsamic Vinegar
Basil-Garlic Vinegar
Berry Vinegars – e.g., Blackberry, Raspberry
Black Currant Vinegar
Cherry Vinegar
Chile Pepper Vinegar
Chive Blossom Vinegar
Cranberry Vinegar
Dill Vinegar
Dill, Garlic and dried red peppers Vinegars
Fig Vinegar
Fruit-Flavored Vinegars, e.g., Orange, Raspberry
Herb Vinegars – e.g., Mint
Hot Pepper Vinegar
Jalapeno-Garlic Vinegar
Lemon Vinegar
Mint Vinegar
Mixed Herb Vinegars – e.g., Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Orange Vinegar
Peach Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Rosemary Vinegar
Strawberry Vinegar
Tarragon and Garlic Vinegar
Tarragon Vinegar
Wine Vinegars, e.g., Pinot Grigio
You can even make flavored vinegars yourself.

Recipes for flavored vinegars can be found here.