Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mango-Banana Smoothie

I freaking love smoothies. I make them a few times a week, especially now that it is officially summer and extraordinarily hot outside. I've been tempted in the past by those smoothie restaurants, and yes, I'll admit to getting them now and again if I'm in a hurry. However, every time I do, I'm disappointed by two things: There are way too many calories in those things, and they're never even half as good as the ones that I make at home with fresh, organic produce.

This smoothie was the perfect post-run snack. It has everything I need to refuel after a strenuous workout, plus its cold and satisfying. I added flax seeds to this, which are super healthy, especially for vegetarians (they contain a lot of nutrients like omega 3's that are primarily found in meat).

From Food pics

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cold Soba Salad

This recipe was definitely a blog win! I adapted it a bit from this, and I was extremely happy with the result. This salad went together really fast, I usually have these ingredients on hand, and it was very, very healthy and flavorful. There's not a whole lot else to say about this, other than two thumbs up!

From Food pics

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Macintosh Apple Chick'n Sandwich

My husband and I recently ate here, and absolutely fell in love. At first glance, the menu was nothing special for a vegetarian; they only had the obligatory veggie burger. When we looked a little more, we realized that everything can be made vegetarian (turns out, one of the owners is a vegetarian)!! So if you are ever in Winston-Salem, I highly suggest checking out Finnigan's Wake.

At lunch, I had the Granny Smith Chicken Sandwich, and they subbed the chicken breast for a Quorn naked Chik'n Cutlet. Of course, I wanted to recreate this sandwich when I returned home, and recreate I did! And I LOVED the result! This will probably be my staple lunch sandwich for quite a while.  The cheddar cheese goes great with the apple slices, and the honey mustard adds the tanginess that every sandwich needs. These cutlets can be a bit dry, so the sauce helps a lot with that, also.

From Food pics

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A note about draining tofu

I thought I'd post a little 'how-to' here, since I'm finding out that a lot of people don't know how to cook tofu properly. Its good to know how to do, since it is such a versatile and delicious ingredient to keep on hand. I usually have an extra block of it in the fridge; it keeps for quite a while.

I buy extra firm, and Publix has even started carrying a lite variety that has fewer calories and less fat. That's what I like to buy, but there are so many brands out there now. Try a few and see what you like. Quick note: Don't try to drain silken tofu. This is the really smooth tofu you find in miso soup. Its great for soups, smoothies, and stuff like that, but its tricky to cook with. If you try to put it in a stir-fry it will just fall apart; but I've baked it before with great results.

When you open the tofu, it should be packed in water. Discard the water and place the tofu on a large plate. Place a smaller plate on top of it (upside down) and put something fairly heavy on top of that. I use a coffee cannister.

From Food pics

Let it sit like that for about 20-30 minutes then discard the excess liquid. Flip the tofu and drain for another 20-30 minutes.

From here the possibilities are endless. I like to marinate mine overnight and bake it (see Baked Pomegranate Tofu. You can sautee it, or even throw it in a deep fryer till golden brown. Good luck, and happy tofu-ing!

Squash loves spinach!!

From Drop Box

Could he be any more cute?

Recipe Improv: Asian Tofu Salad

To recap the Recipe Improv Challenge: I asked 3 friends to name the first non-meat ingredient that came to their minds. The challenge? I have to create a delicious meal using those ingredients. I definitely won this one - this salad was tasty, healthy, incredibly flavorful and packed with protein! (Of course, I am the only judge.) The ingredients I used were avocado, capers, and lemongrass paste.

I got the idea for this salad from a tofu salad that I recently tried, so this was a take off that. It was totally awesome, if I do say so myself. And extremely healthy. I love eating salads, but the problem is that I never feel full afterward. The protein in this salad definitely gets rid of that problem. Give it a try - I think you'll be impressed!!

And now a call for another recipe improv! The first 5 people to list the first VEGAN ingredient that comes to mind will be the winners! (Sorry, but you only win your name mentioned in my blog). So thanks to April and Jess for suggesting these awesome ingredients!

From Food pics

Friday, May 20, 2011


If you attend Florida State University, you are probably aware of the amazing vegetarian lunches served in the Student Life building (previously in the International Student Center). These are colloquially referred to as "Krishna Lunches", because the head chef, Daru, is a Hare Krishna who also runs a local yoga center. And he cooks amazing vegetarian Nepalese/Indian food every day.

Halava is one of his most common desserts, and Daru calls it a "helluva good dessert" (which is a good way to remember it!). Not the most healthy, but when is a dessert actually healthy? When I made it for myself, I reduced the butter and sugar by about 25% each, and it was fine, though not quite as good. Below I've listed "fruit" as an ingredient, and really, you can use anything you want. This time I used about 4 oz of canned pineapple, but I've made it previously with about 1/4 cup blueberry ginger compote, and that was my favorite. You could do chocolate, peanut butter, or just about anything you can think of.

From Food pics

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Falafel-Crusted Tofu and Spinach-Pomegranate Salad

Three words can describe this meal - yummy, easy, and healthy (only two of these words describe the fried version). This tofu and salad would go great with Israeli Cous Cous (check back next week for the recipe) for a wonderful Middle East inspired meal. It also looks pretty fancy, which is good for the cook, because this really didn't take any time to throw together. I used two methods of preparing the tofu - baking and frying. They both have their perks, just depends on what you're into. Obviously, the baked tofu is way healthier, but tasted a little dry (but I bet a tzatziki sauce would be great!) . They were both easy, so try both and see what you like!

From Food pics

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recipe Improv: Bella Burgers with Beet-Slaw

Another recipe improv! This was was definitely more tricky than the last one. Just to recap: The recipe improv is where I ask 5 friends to name the first ingredient that comes to their mind, and I have to make a meal using those 5 ingredients. This time, my ingredients were beets, mushrooms, bacon, cheddar cheese and greek yogurt. There was  a little bit of a problem here, because I didn't specify in the rules that I wouldn't use meat as an ingredient. My friend Seth suggested bacon, but I cheated and used fake bacon (a.k.a. fakin').

I was also having a hard time thinking of something decent to cook with these ingredients. My top two choices were sushi and an omelette, but my friend Alisa suggested the burger. After she suggested it, I couldn't think of anything else! So thanks, Alisa, this was a really good idea. Honestly, I wasn't sure how tasty it was going to be, but it was really good! The sweetness of the beets went well with the saltiness of the cheese and bacon. All in all, I'd call this a win!

Now I need your help again - another call for ingredients! Please keep them all vegetarian this time. Instead of 5 ingredients, I think I'm going to cut it down to 3 and see what that's like. So, the first 3 ingredients named (from 3 different people) will be used. Annnnd...go!

From Food pics

Carrot-raisin-yogurt shake

Every morning, I go running with my good friend and fellow blogger, April. We live in Florida, and its summer, so as you can imagine our runs are pretty grueling. This morning, it was particularly hot and humid. After the run was over, she told me about a shake that she's made that she thought would be a great post-workout snack. This is the kind of shake where you think about it, and you can't imagine that it would be that good. So, after I got home, I really wanted a good, refreshing, healthy post-workout snack, and I decided to give April's shake a try. Holy cow it was good!  April used actual carrots in her shake, but I had carrot juice on hand so I just used that. For extra protein just add some plain or vanilla protein powder. Enjoy!

From Food pics

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fakin'-wrapped tofu dogs

Has anyone else noticed that meat has become a total fad? Like, I went to a girlfriend's house this weekend and saw a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I actually felt the need to ask if there was bacon in them before I ate one! According to Google trends, searching for bacon has definitely gone up in the last couple of years, especially in comparison to other meats. What do you guys think of this meat bandwagon (the meat-wagon)? I'm interested to hear the opinions of meat and non-meat eaters.

From Drop Box

Back to my fakin'-wrapped tofu dogs. They were ok - definitely a novelty food item that I probably won't make again. I'm a fan of the Morningstar Farms "Bacon" (aka Fakin') and their tofu dogs are pretty good, too.

From Food pics

From Food pics

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roasted Beets

Remember The Beets? Oh wee ohhh...killer tofuuuuu...

These roasted beets were so good - they don't even taste like a vegetable! Salty and sweet, they taste like something I would feel guilty eating at a carnival! And they were so easy!


Beets (washed super well)
olive oil
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
(or experiment with spices of your own!)

1) Preheat oven to 400.

2) Slice beets to about 1/8 of an inch thick.

3) Drizzle with olive oil and spices. Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Flip them, add more spices if desired, and bake another 10, or until nice and crispy.

From Food pics

Steamed artichokes

I remember being a little kid and my mom (only once) made steamed artichokes. We sat around the table and pulled off the leaves, and we dipped them in melted butter. Of course, the artichoke was only a vehicle for butter back then (and there is nothing wrong with that!). Now, I'm a little older and a little healthier, and as much as I would love to dip my chokes in some garlic butter, I opted for some hummus instead. Not too shabby, if I do sy so myself. And super easy.

From Food pics

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A (garlicy) hummus among us!

This was knock-your-socks-off and hope-you're not-kissing-anyone-soon garlicy hummus. You might not want to eat this if you have a first date coming up. You can scale down the garlic if you want, its up to you.  Also, I used roasted garlic that I roasted specifically for this recipe. The olive oil that I used in the hummus was the same oil I roasted the garlic in.

1 can chickpeas with 1/2 the juice reserved
1/2 a clove raw garlic
2-3 cloves roasted garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil (garlic infused is best)
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. You might need to periodically scrape the sides down. If its a little too dry for your taste, add water by the tablespoonful.

From Food pics