Vegan Hot & Sour Soup & The Breadmaker “Aha” Moment

It’s Somer Saturday and I figured 6 days in the raw was plenty. I admit I did end up sneaking a slice a toast, but I will tell you more about that in a minute. Part of my motivation for going raw was that my kids and I got pink eye, a vomiting bug and colds all in one week (maybe it was some insanely mean super virus?)….And my husband was out of town for most of it (lucky him). I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t eaten raw I would have laid in bed most of the week, but instead I was able to function fairly well. Then the icing on the cake, Friday afternoon while playing on the play-set swings in my backyard with my 3 year old, we had a collision of sorts and I ended up nearly putting my tooth through my bottom lip. I shall spare you the gory details, but let you know that I typically handle other people’s injuries amazingly well, I’m like a superhero and always know what to do with a calm and collected manner. However, when it comes to my own blood, especially copious amounts of it, not so much… it’s like kryptonite. I get woozy, and I nearly faint. Anywho….It was this “kick in the head” that motivated me to break the raw fast and eat something warm, comforting and easily slurpable past a fat lip.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

4 C. Vegetable Stock

2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

1 T. miso (I used yellow, pretty sure most varieties will do)

dash or two of cayenne pepper

1 C. shitake mushrooms, slivered

2 T. Cornstarch

1/2 package Mori Nu silken tofu (extra firm) cut into 1/2 inch dice

2 T. finely grated ginger

3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal

3 T. rice vinegar

1 small can bamboo shoots, drained

1 small can water chestnuts, drained

1 t. sesame oil

pinch raw sugar

2 T. wood ear mushrooms (Chinese fungi, if you can’t find them, just omit them)

Method: Add all ingredients to soup pot. Bring to a low boil then let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Great for a swift kick to the head, colds or whatever else ails you.

Now for the Breadmaker “Aha” moment. My friend Emmy at emmycooks.com posted a breadmaker recipe this week. In her post she asked if anyone had a 100% whole wheat breadmaker loaf, and if they would like to share the recipe. Well, as you know I had posted a 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf recipe earlier this week. I decided to scale it down and test it out start to finish in my breadmaker to see how it would fare, on the express function. That’s right folks, 100% whole wheat vegan sandwich loaf in less than an hour flat (58 minutes to be precise). It would take more time, money, stress and gas $$ to drive to the store,  select the loaf, pay for it, and drive home. FOR REALS. Now you know why I had to cheat on my raw food week and have a slice of toast. AMAZING! Here is the scaled down version in case you don’t want to do the math 😉

Breadmaker Express 100% Whole Wheat Vegan Sandwich Loaf

1.5 C. warm water

2 C. whole wheat flour (from hard red winter wheat)

1 C. white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

2 T. agave or pure maple syrup

1.5  heaping t. yeast (each measured and heaped individually)

2 T. vital wheat gluten (great for higher rise, less dense bread)

1.5  t. kosher salt

1.5 t. lecithin (make sure yours is soy based, makes bread soft without the addition of oil)

Method: Dump all ingredients into a bread-maker. Press express function. Walk away. Return in 58 minutes for delicious hot bread. Huzzah!

Why you must make this now

I have been told many a time that I am nuts for “preserving” so much. It’s true. I probably am nuts. But if, after 30 different attempts to make the perfect jam, I come up with this, all the other attempts were worth the effort. And the most beautiful part about this one (except that I don’t have pictures) is that it is a freezer jam recipe and shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes to prepare.

I have virtually no pictures because I still have not yet realized that I should document everything I ever make, even if it tastes like garbage, because on occasion, I will have these breakthrough moments that if documented, will make all the difference. The pictures were taken ex poste facto, I’m sorry to say.
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This is a recipe for pineapple orange rosemary jam. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but that is only because it has rosemary in it. I wouldn’t have thought twice if it was just pineapple orange jam, so then I wouldn’t have made it, and this post wouldn’t exist, and I would not have had my most delicious bowl of yogurt in my life tied only with yesterday’s identical bowl of yogurt.
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Pineapple Orange Rosemary Jam

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 sweet orange (I used a cara cara navel because that’s what I had)
1 1/4 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (thank heaven for food processors)
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
4 sprigs fresh rosemary (and no, I have no idea how much a sprig is)

1. Place sugar in an ovenproof shallow pan and warm in a 250 degree oven for 15 minutes. (Apparently warm sugar dissolves better, which is especially good when using the organic evaporated cane juice that rebels against dissolving)

2. Remove thin outer rind from orange with vegetable peeler and cut into fine strips with scissors or sharp knife; OR zest it how ever you want. Squeeze juice from orange. Place orange rind and juice in a large bowl. Stir in pineapple and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in pectin, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.

4. Insert sprig of rosemary into each jar or plastic container. (And if you’re putting it all into one container, you might not need the full 4 sprigs, but don’t skimp either. The rosemary imparts this gorgeous subtle flavor that improves the whole jam.) Ladle jam into jars or plastic containers to within 1/2 inch of rim. Cover with tight fitting lids. Label jars and let stand at room temperature until set, up to 24 hours.

5. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freezer for longer storage.

Makes 4 cups.