Iknow it's been a long time, and I will explain after I tell you about this new dish I discovered tonight. I saw a link for tofu recipes on my MSN homepage, clicked it, and found a recipe called Spice-Crusted Tofu. It's really simple--tofu dredged in coriander, cumin, and paprika, then sauteed, and then drizzled a sauce of boiling water, lemon juice, and honey. But since I don't use honey, I subbed agave nectar instead. Agave is a little thinner than honey, but just as sweet, and I think the next time I get a cold (right about when it starts getting cold), I might try agave nectar in my hot tea instead of brown rice syrup (which has the texture of honey but is not nearly as sweet). I also didn't have the pine nuts the recipe calls for, but I did have some slivered almonds, and I used those instead. I heated up some leftover pilaf (a box mix from Seeds of Change) and some frozen haricot verts, and as soon as I get done with this, there's a carton of Purely Decadent Pomagranate Chip calling my name.
I guess it's been mid-July since I posted. I turned 39, attended the Taking Action for Animals conference the next week, went out of town to visit my family where we celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday, what else? I've had a bit of a health crisis the past couple of weeks, and I have not felt like cooking anything blogworthy, much less actually blogging. It began with some mild chest pains, so I eventually went to the emergency room, had a bunch of tests, including two EKGs, which all came back normal (thank goodness). They took blood from me three times! They had to take it from my lower left arm after one vein on my outer elbow area did not cooperate, and the bruise has finally faded. Can I just say that being in the hospital sucks out loud and in stereo? After all my tests were done and the docs were saying I could probably go, I waited hours for them to spring me. A doctor had to take the IV needle (pro forma when someone's on a cardiac monitor) from my arm after it was clear I probably wouldn't need it.
A nurse friend says that when patients my age have chest pains, it's usually GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and my internist, who I just started seeing before all this happened, also thinks it might be that. I'll know the results of the last test, an upper GI scan with barium (ick!), for sure on Tuesday. If it isn't, I don't know what I'm going to do.
But I figured it was time to start blogging again, even if what I cook isn't the most exciting stuff on the planet. Heck, I should write about this new line of analogues from Germany called Viana. It's truly awesome stuff. Both Vegan Essentials (www.veganessentials.com) and Pangea (www.veganstore.com) carry the six varieties: Chickin Fillets (delicious! My favorite!), Chickin Nuggets (they're decent--get them for kids), Cowgirl Veggie Steak (needs something with it for flavor), Spicy Veg Kabob, Cevapcici (Yugoslavian sausage), and Veggie Gyros, the latter three I haven't tried yet. They use mostly organic ingredients and ones you can pronounce, too! The stuff is pretty easy to cook; I just toss it in a frypan for about five minutes total, and it's done. It also looks very much like the image on the box, always a good thing.
So if you're looking for a new analogue, check out Viana. Yes, it's kind of expensive, but it's worth every penny.