Instant Pot Ribs over spam caulflowered rice

I gave in about a year ago on an instant pot. I know, I'm late to the game but, it certainly is a life changer for me. I've been traveling a whole lot as a consultant over the past 18 months and it didn't leave me much time for cooking (or posting) but I did find the convenience significant. And as a vegan at the beginning of that time there were lots and lots of dishes that the instant pot helped save significant amounts of time. I've since been allowed to return to regular meat eating which opened up a huge catalogue of things to cook. The one dish that I had been eyeing was ribs.

Ok I'm going to be completely up front and honest here. The ribs were only a partial success and I'm going to explain it right now up front. The ribs were incredibly tender but my approach lacked a lot of flavor and that's because of a couple of mistakes.
I should have doubled the amount of salt. I think you lose some of the salt in the cooking process. Either skip the liquid sm…

Vegan Portobello and Porcini Mushroom Stroganoff

One of the difficulties when I first started going with a plant based diet was finding dishes that provided a "satisfying" meal. I could eat a pile of rice, veggies and beans and still feel completely dis-satisfied with what I ate. On the other hand it's easy to fool yourself into thinking being "plant based" means you're free to eat all the oreo cookies you desire without consequence.  I found the keys for me were texture and dietary fat. I saw this recipe in the forks over knives cookbook and it sounded pretty delicious. The dried porcinis had a "beefy" smell and mushrooms tend to have a good mouth chewy texture (I used abalone mushrooms to great textural effect) and the use of a tofu "sour cream" gave the dish a good richness.  So it checked all the boxes for good potential.

Here are the ingredients, pretty simple: shallots, dry white wine, garlic, some eggless pasta (well they say they may have trace amounts of egg but it wasn't…

NIAB: Kimchi (Vegan)

I've always been fascinated by fermentation, the idea of little critters that toil away and magically transform food from one form to something else is somehow magical to me. How did ancient man decide curdled milk could be made into cheese and then later yet the moldy blue cheese is edible and delicous? Or that bubbly fruit juice that sat in a jug a bit too long was worth drinking even if it made you feel a bit dizzy and good? I know a lot of it was a preservation technique but if you were the first to opened up a jar of kimchi or sauerkraut would you think to take a big bite of it?

I've dabbled in various experiment, some successful, some less successful. But I happened to have a whole head of napa cabbage in my fridge and was pondering what to do with it. I floated the idea of turning it into kimchi with my wife and she was quite eager for me to give it a try. Now if you don't know what kimchi is (I'm not sure what rock you've been hiding under) it's a Kore…

Hellos from a man of leisure.

So yes I know it's been a while. After returning from Sydney back to Austin, my wife and I decided we should take time off together and travel. It's a rare thing for both of us to be off and not be constrained by vacation days left.  We've seen some neat places and had some wonderful food. And as much as I have been posting about my trips here, it was far easier to post a few pictures on facebook. Long form posting is a tough thing to keep up with, and I was taking a break to recharge so that meant that this blog too had to take a break. It's hard taking pictures, touching up and choosing what you want to talk about. I am surprised I have been able to manage doing this for 10 years.

Of course as a man of leisure there's much video game playing and lego building, a tough life to be sure, but I accept the responsibilities with great care and seriousness. (Zelda breath of the wild, zomg! you must play. )

I've not been idle this whole time, just not full time. For…

Things I'll miss about Australia Pt 4

I'm telling you the Opera house pictures never get old for me. I'm not sure what it is but everytime I run across one of these I have a smile on my face. Home stretch here folks. These are the last of the pictures that highlight the things I'll miss about living in Sydney. I'm sure there's stuff I've left out. It's been 4 months now since our return and I'll confess that I miss it more and more. It was such a different life. Anyhow onwards and upwards. Apols (that's what they say there) in advance for jumping around but I went on a sweep for the last pictures I might have missed, so it's all over the place.

Ok this is going to sound really really stupid. But that plastic box pictured above is a standard "take away" box. In other words if you order take out or ask for a box to take stuff home (beware some places don't let you) you will get your food in a container like the one above. Sometimes it's black on the bottom, sometime…