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A sweet and savory cabbage recipe

By Christopher Allan Webber on Sat 24 May 2014

There's plenty of interesting things to talk about lately, and I'll get to them soon. I'm on something I've titled "research-cation" where I'm still kind of working, but it's also kind of like vacation, but really I'm mostly working on doing research for MediaGoblin's future.

In the meanwhile, I'm back in diet mode, basically because the MediaGoblin campaign was hard on my health. But also, the tooling I had in orgmode was never that great, so I've revamped org-diet. I might write a separate post on this... there's a lot of reasons why I did the revamp (it's not in master yet, but in the date-tree branch). I'm now doing daily uploads of my current health status which you can view here (yes, org-diet now is super flexible about generating reports).

I'm not going into details on that in this post, but I did recently just re-make one of my favorite recipes of all time with a number of adjustments. I forgot just how good it is. Anyway, here it is:

Ingredients Calories Quantity Total
head cabbage 290 1 290
tbsp olive oil 119 1 119
Westsoy baked tofu square 90 4 360
medium onion 44 1 44
can kidney beans 385 1 385
apple 71 2 142
tbsp nutritional yeast 25 2 50
tbsp vegetarian bullion 0 1.5 0
tbsp tamari / braggs liquid aminos 0 2 0
tbsp cornstarch 30 1/3 10
clove garlic 4 4 16
Total   8 177

This recipe is cheap, healthy, and most importantly, delicious. It has very few calories (a mere 177 calories... that's nothing!) but tastes pretty amazing. I usually start some rice in the rice cooker before I kick this off… put in two cups and that's a mere 120 calories on top of this. Only 297 calories! Despite that, it's quite filling. (Tasty, too!)

The nutritional yeast is optional, but I like it. You can use whatever bullion you like, but I like the Frontier Natural Products beef-ish tasting vegetarian bullion. Alternately, adding brewers yeast and a bit more salt is great.

You also don't have to use the westsoy baked tofu. You could use any other protein here. A lot of other kinds you have to fry up in advance though, and the westsoy stuff is already done and tastes great and I'm lazy. If you don't have tamari or liquid aminos, just up the bullion.

This makes 8 servings! It usually takes me about 50 minutes to make but I'm slow.

Okay, so! Here's my recipe. You're going to need a large pot, a large cutting board, and a large mixing bowl.

  • Get out a large cutting board and chop up cabbage. You want it in pieces probably, though if you prefer tiny ribbons that's fine. Set aside in mixing bowl.
  • Chop onions and, if you like, a couple cloves of garlic. Chop up the apples into chunks or wedges. Personally I like wedges.
  • Take your large pot, add the olive oil (or whatever oil really) and onion (also garlic if using). Saute that for a few minutes, until it starts to brown. Add apple and saute a bit longer, until the apple starts to brown a little.
  • Add a cup of water and stir around the ingredients for about two minutes.
  • Dump in the cabbage into the pot. It'll seem like a lot and like you'll never be able to stir this thing. (I told you to get a big pot!) Don't worry, it cooks down.
  • Add salt and pepper. Add some more water… I think I usually add about 1 more cup at this point. Stir around the cabbage in and out of the water as best you can for a minute or so. Then cover the pot and let it cook down for five minutes.
  • While the cabbage is cooking, chop the baked tofu into cubes, or tear it apart with your fingers if you get grossed out by cubes of tofu.
  • Return to the pot. The cabbage should be a bit more cooked down now, but not quite there. Add bullion, nutritional yeast, and tamari/liquid aminos. Open the kidney beans and pour the excess liquid right into the pot. Add more salt and pepper if you like. Now stir that stuff. Get that cabbage in and out of the broth!
  • At this point you need to let the cabbage cook down. I usually let it cook down a little bit less than half way. Stir it occasionally.
  • Stir together the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. You're trying to make a small slurry that'll thicken the broth into a kind of gravy.
  • Open the pot and pour the cornstarch in and add the tofu. Time to start stirring again. Stir stir stir!
  • Give it a few minutes and the sauce should thicken. The cabbage should become tender but not totally mushy. When you hit that point, stop cooking.
  • Serve with rice or some kind of grain. I usually put a tablespoon of cheap parmesan cheese on top too, but whatever you like, go for it.

Enjoy!

Leaving 2008 and Entering 2009: Reflections and Projections

By Christopher Allan Webber on Thu 01 January 2009

Well here we are, and 2008 is coming to a close. Sitting here between one year and another... I suppose this is a good time to reflect on things. I haven't talked enough about what I've done the last year, so I guess now is a good time to talk about that as well as what I see happening in this coming year. Not resolutions as much as expectations.

So, 2008 was a busy year... at the end of 2007, I proposed to Morgan, and so 2008 involved a lot of wedding planning (admittedly, more of that burden has been on Morgan's shoulders than on mine). Most of the difficult bits are planned now, and at the end of June 2009, we should be married. That's one thing which I'll be working on at the beginning of 2009... the wedding website. I still haven't gotten to it. I have a due date for the end of January. Well, at least I know what I'll be spending my weekends on during that month.

Speaking of which, I project I'll be leaving the shared hosting world and moving to my own virtual server for this website. Webfaction has been great... it was really refreshing to use a shared hosting service that actually felt like it respected developers. But I feel like my needs have outgrown that, and so I got an account on Linode. Not sure if I'm keeping the webfaction stuff for something else yet or not (I'd better decide soon), but I'm really looking forward to not using a control panel any more and to be able to put up whatever services I want, how I want, from the command line.

This last year I've also begun working on my artwork again, after a long hiatus during the three years in which I was both working fulltime and going to school fulltime. There have been some stills I have been working on, most of which I have not bothered to put up yet (I need to really put up a nice, basic image gallery on here). But the real thing I was hoping to work on in 2009 was a series of animations using the animation engine I developed to propose to Morgan. I still think that's something worth working on, but it slowly became apparent to me that I really should get a better sense of how the rest of the software world thinks about doing animation before I return to working on my engine.

Hence, I've had a renewed interest in Blender; I even actually completed my first actually-good-enough-to-be-considered-a-finished-project still image, titled A Fear of Flight (which I suppose I never really mentioned in my blog... ah well). People seemed to like it, minus the fact that I kind of skipped adding a background. They're right... I really don't know anything about creating backgrounds, just characters. So that's something I'll have to work on.

Probably not a big surprise to say that the next project is actually an animation in Blender. I've decided to created an animated version adapted from a reworking of the intro to SuperTux we had talked about while I was actually still involved in that project. I already had enough of an idea of the story and the characters, and it's short enough of a scene that it should be possible. I've begun planning out the project, and I've already storyboarded it. If my time estimations are right, it should be possible for me to get it done sometime between August and September. The wedding website has to be done first though... meanwhile I am waiting for my copies of Creature Factory and Learn Character Animation Using Blender to arrive. I've benefitted a lot from the other blender training dvds, and I think I'm finally coming to the point where I have enough skills to pull a decent animation off, and I think after watching these I'll be fairly ready.

In addition, last year I started paying a lot more attention to my health. I've recently begun focusing on changing my diet quite a bit, and I've actually come to discover that I am really enjoying the changes that I'm making. Someone asked in the comments of my last post if I am a vegetarian... the answer is no, since I do eat meat still, but increasingly less so. That's both for health reasons as well as responding to some pretty compelling arguments about lowering or eliminating the amount of meat in one's diet. But there have been more adjustments than that... I'm also generally just eating a lot healthier. In the last couple weeks I've been weeding fried food out of my diet, and I gave up drinking soda. But I've been eating and drinking so many other interesting (and healthier) things that I don't really regret it. I look forward to returning to outdoor biking again when spring comes around, too.

Lastly, there's no way I can end this post without mentioning the shift in my employment and programming activities. Since I began using Linux in 2001, it has been a dream of mine to be able to work on a significant free software project as my full time job. I didn't expect that to come true, but in 2008 I came on full time working for the PCF. I came on at an exciting time... Miro's architecture has gone through a major overhaul over these last many months. The new release is coming so close, and now it's clear enough how worth it all that work has been. I look forward to being part of all that advancement in the year to come.

So, a lot has happened, and a lot is on the horizon. Life has been a lot of things lately, but boring is not one of them. I'm anticipating that to be the same with the coming year as well.

Goodbye 2008. Hello 2009.

Mushiki Love

By Christopher Allan Webber on Sat 27 December 2008

Miro 2.0 is shaping up pretty fast, but I'm actually working on the Miro Guide presently. New versions of both should be launching pretty close to each other, if not at the same time. I'm pretty confident in a super-awesome-release. But between that, the holidays, the upcoming wedding, and my efforts to improve my Blender skills, things are pretty busy.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the title of this post. I am going to go on a bit of a random rant.

I've recently been playing with food dehydration, fermentation, pickling, and other forms of food preservation that don't require refrigeration. (No reason other than it's just a really interesting thing to learn about.) In the process of experimenting on how to make my own vegetarian teriyaki jerky using tofu, tempeh, and seitan (the tofu and tempeh turned out to be the most interesting... seitan was a bit too brittle for my taste, though it was the one that looked most like beef jerky) I ended up wandering the aisles of the local asian grocery store to refresh my supply of those ingredients. I ended up impulsively picking up a bamboo steamer (a Mushiki). I didn't know how it worked... I just bought it. It was only 6 bucks. It may have been the best impulsive 6 bucks I ever spent.

I had a pot that it fit perfectly over. I put some water on to boil, chopped up some vegetables, tossed in some extra firm tofu and vegetarian fake duck (really just seasoned, canned Seitan). Put it over the pot to steam for 5 minutes. I was surprised at how fast and effortless it all was. Anyway, put the food into a bowl and poured some teriyaki sauce over top. Mixed it up, dug in.

I was totally astonished at how delicious the vegetables were. I have never enjoyed vegetables so much in all my life. It wasn't a complex meal, it was healthy, and it was totally delicious. And oddly enough, I was full.

The next night I chopped up a banana and an apricot, threw in a raspberry and a cherry, and steamed it all for 5 minutes. I almost fell over. It was the most delicious desert I had ever eaten. No added sugar or anything.. was just fantastic on its own.

Since then I have also steamed and eaten: a leek bun, a red bean bun, and some edamame. All fantastic.

Not really much more to this post than that. I am just astounded that I have never played with this form of cooking until now.