I was fortunate enough to work with CAMBr in designing some cycling jersey’s to commemorate their 20th anniversary. Originally they were only going to do one jersey but after taking a look at both the designs I submitted they wanted to run them both. I also did a post-ride beer-themed button down shirt as well. The work was pro-bono but I’m happy to support CAMBr.
I spent some time on Saturday morning playing with my new Sony Nex 5T. I wanted to try and get some motion shots of pancho running around at the Dog park with the 50-200mm zoom lens. I don’t know if I’m a fan of the autofocus. I like having the touchscreen to quickly select a point to focus on but for more detailed shots it was tough to get the right focus point. It will take some getting used to. I think I still prefer manual focus with metering in red. The camera has much better picture quality than I’m used to. All of my older photos tend to look overprocessed in an attempt to cover up for poor image quality and the goal with the new camera is to shoot with a more mature, natural style.
I was inspired by a recipe for refried beans using bean flour so I figured I’d try and make some soup out of bean flour. It turned out good. We decided to pour the soup into edible tortilla bowls and serve it with steamed brussel sprouts.
black bean soup from dried beans (enough for about 4 big bowls)
3/4 cup black bean flour (ground dry black beans)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 cups warm water
1 8 oz can mexican tomato sauce (I use el pato)
3 roasted poblano peppers seeded and skinned and stems removed diced fine.
1 tablespoon braggs amino acids
3-4 green onions diced
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
handful of vegan cheese
Grind black beans into a fine powder using a coffee grinder (small batches of beans for about a minute per batch)
bring water to a boil and add dry ingredients and braggs and mix well and low boil for about 10 minutes.
Then add the tomato sauce and peppers and cook for another 10-15 minutes. at the end add in the cilantro and green onions.
pour into bowls (we used baked tortilla bowls)
Add some vegan cheese on top.
add salt or hot sauce to taste if you need some additional seasoning.
We saw this group of bighorn sheep in Waterton Canyon. They are almost always out pretty close to the trail. The males weren’t out though. The males have the wide big horns that wrap around. some of the older females in this group have the shorter thin horns.
The mother seemed interested in checking out my bike.
A food dehydrator is a great investment. You pick one up fairly cheap and there’s so much you can use it for.
Back before I became a vegetarian, I used a dehydrator to make beef jerky quite a bit. After I stopped eating meat I missed the texture and seasonings of beef jerky. I tried quite a few of the vegan jerky products out there and although I enjoyed several of them, they were quite expensive. Even when buying them in bulk I wasn’t able to save much. I figured it couldn’t be that hard to make a jerky substitute at home.
After looking online I was able to combine a few different recipes and cooking methods into what I felt was a pretty good batch of tofu jerky. The method I use here has a similar texture and consistency to the Turtle Island tofurky jurky. The seasonings can be played with quite a bit. I’m not one to get obsessive with measuring spices and I usually just dump in what I guess is a fair amount.
2 blocks of organic sprouted Extra or Super Firm Tofu
1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (or if you don’t have then use low sodium soy sauce)
2/3 cup Water
2 T Liquid Smoke
2 T Black Pepper
2 T Tomato Paste
1 T Garlic Powder
1/2 T Onion Powder
1 T Crushed Red Pepper
1 T Chile Powder
1-2 T Agave nectar (depending on desired sweetness)
Start by draining and pressing the tofu using whatever method you prefer. Once the tofu has been drained you can cut it into strips that are about 1/4 of an inch thick. I find that anything thinner can cause the tofu to get crispy and lose it’s chewy consistency. The photo below shows `1 block of tofu that has been cut. If you like you can cut longer strips. I usually cut long strips and then chop them in half so the jerky is easier to pack in small areas like a pocket or bike jersey.
Once it’s been drained and cut you can combine all of the other ingredients and mix them. Then place the tofu into a pan and pour the wet mixture on top. try and make sure most of the tofu has the wet mixture on top of it. You’re going to let it marinate for about 4-5 hours. It’s a good idea to move the tofu around every hour or so to insure that it’s evenly marinated.
After it’s been marinated you can add the tofu slices to the dehydrator sheets. 2 blocks of tofu should fill up 4 round trays. The slices will shrink down quite a bit after they’ve been dehydrated but it’s best not to have them touching if possible.
Once they’ve been added you can start the dehydrating process. I usually will let them dehydrate for about 8-10 hours at about 135 degrees. I find that anything hotter or longer than that and they start to get too hard and brittle. They will retain a bit of moisture so I usually plan on eating them within a weeks time (if I can keep from eating them that long)