May 14, 2008

Experimenting on My Family

I've been experimenting on my family and I didn't get from any governing agencies. Does that mean some day I'll be hauled before some board and asked to explain my actions? Perhaps. That's a risk I'll just have to take.

So what evil plots and schemes have been hatching in the House of Purple? This time no shock therapy, lobotomies or other painful treatments were tested -- I make no promises for the future. I've been conducting food experiments.

As I mentioned, I've been doing a lot of baking recently. Since what I have been baking can't be called health food by any usual measurement of these things, I decided to see what people around here would say if I altered things just a little. I have determined that nobody seems to notice any changes worth mentioning if a quarter of the flour in a recipe suddenly becomes whole wheat or if as much as a tablespoon of flax seeds show up.

In other experiments, I have been replacing half the called for ground beef in several recipes (Chinese dumplings, tacos and lasagna to be specific) with TVP. My husband is recoiling with horror as he reads this, but in things with some meat, lots of onions, garlic and spices, I really haven't noticed any difference and the children have been scarfing everything down like starving animals. I wouldn't try it in recipes that put the ground beef flavor at the forefront (like a hamburger) but I suspect TVP will be showing up in a pot of chili around here as well as playing again in the things mentioned above.

So why experiment? Why not? I suppose just like in bad experiments where scientists didn't seek permission from subjects, it is interesting to see what one can get away with. How much can you change before it becomes too much. Plus, these were also tests in identifying ways to make our regular foods healthier. It may not do much, but a brownie made with some whole wheat flour and flax seeds is at least a little better for you than one without and adding TVP to a meat dish is going to make it higher in fiber and lower in fat. And besides, it isn't like I've tried to pass these off on the unsuspecting -- yet...


I've been wondering about those black bean brownies too. I hear they are good but just can't quite believe it.

We use TVP a bunch around here, which is less surprising since we're mostly vegetarian. In my experience, you definitely need to have some strong flavors to give it some substance, but it works great. I like that you can keep it dry in the cabinet and use it whenever you need it.

Another sneaky recipe I like is the waffle recipe Meredith posted a while back. They sounded strange, but we love them.

I just noticed that you added me to your blog list. Thanks. :)


Posted by: Jennifer at May 14, 2008 09:43 AM

Hey, Jennifer, that's funny! I think I got that waffle recipe from Jordana.

At the very least she had been making it before me and gave me a lot of advice.

Posted by: Meredith at May 14, 2008 11:09 AM

Thats too funny!

Posted by: Kelsey at May 14, 2008 01:35 PM

Someone call the Rev. Wright! The MAN is performing experiments on The Children (TM)!

Here's a recipe for Nacho Stuffed Shells we make entirely with what I assume is TVP (local brand here is Morningstar Farms "Crumble"). In our case it's less about health than the TVP is dairy & cheese can be added.

Meat is, oddly enough, not dairy.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 15, 2008 06:40 AM

You had me until TVP...I suppose if you don't notice it...nope, just sounds yucky.

Posted by: Michelle at May 18, 2008 10:18 AM