Favorite Packaged Sauces Part 1

Got your veggies? Got your protein? Are you about to cook with the same seasonings you added last week? Here are just two of my favorite packaged sauces you can find at your local grocery store.

 Favorite Sauces Part 1

I love these two sauces by Saffron Road.  I just lightly stir fry my vegetables (onions, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, snap peas, and asparagus),  and add the sauce.  I find the Lemongrass sauce to be a little lighter on flavor and not as much sauce in proportion to the vegetables as the Tikka Masala, so I add a little vegetable stock, Thai basil and Thai Keffir Lime Leaves to give it a bit more flavor and depth.  The Tikka Masala sauce is fantastic as is and requires no additional seasonings.  Enjoy!

Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce with Vegetables

 Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu

Served with Roasted Tofu

Lemongrass Veggies and Tofu 2

Tikka Masala Sauce with Veggies

Tikka Masala Veggies

Tikka Masala Sauce Veggies with Lentil Brown Rice and Tofu

Tikka Masala Veggies with Tofu

Feed the wellness in you!

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

We survived the Blizzard of 2016!  I’m always ok for welcoming one storm during the winter so hopefully this is where it ends.  Although I prepared to be snowed in a few days I grew tired of the food items I had on hand by day 4.  I needed the ‘curfew’ to be lifted so I can get to the grocery store and be creative.

I often look for recipes that inspire me and luckily I found a winner  Not only did it inspire me but I followed it pretty much word for word in creating it except for two ingredients and some minor changes in the cooking process. This is rare for me. When I say that recipes ‘inspire’ me it is just to give me an idea about creating something from scratch.  Not this time!   I saw the picture of the prepared dish and thought that it looked good, but when I went down the list of ingredients – brown rice, shredded carrots, spinach, broccoli, chickpeas and tofu – I knew it was worth a try.  The only main ingredient I changed was used shredded red cabbage instead of spinach and I’m glad I did.  Not only does it give it more color but it adds to the texture and flavor of the dish.  I think the spinach would be bland and tone the dish down too much.   For the peanut sauce the author used light soy sauce with sesame oil, chili garlic and peanut butter.  I substituted the soy sauce with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and didn’t use any sesame oil.  This sauce is delicious!  Sweet and spicy with a hint of peanut, I can see using this in various ways.

Do yourself a favor and make this REALLY soon!

Feed the wellness in you!

Peanut Tofu Rice Bowl

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2-3

Ingredients

  • Tofu Bowl
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 1 tbl sesame oil
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using canned)
  • salt/pepper
  • 16 oz extra firm cubed tofu, pressed and drained
  • Peanut sauce
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cube tofu and place in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren't using a non-stick baking sheet, lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove from oven and place in a shallow bowl.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, peanut butter) until creamy and smooth. Add ½ of the sauce to the tofu bowl and let marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Toss the broccoli with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until just tender.
  4. Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu, in batches, along with the marinating sauce until crispy and golden browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. To assemble, divide the brown rice among 4 bowls, top each bowl with ¼ cup shredded carrots, ½ cup red cabbage, ¼th broccoli, ¼ cup garbanzo beans and a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Alex Caspero - http://delishknowledge.com/peanut-tofu-buddha-bowl/

https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/peanut-tofu-rice-bowl/

 

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Another week and we’re still waking up to below freezing weather in the North East. It IS winter so we can’t say we didn’t know it was coming, along with the potential snow. Now we are preparing for a blizzard that may dump 18″-20″ of snow – are you ready? (Question is not directed to you folks in Florida, California, the Caribbean, Australia, etc., that are rubbing the warmth in our faces right now!)  I made another pot of soup to have on hand for lunch or dinner while we wait for the possibility of being ‘snowed in’ and the clean up that can take days!

Like my other soups this is chock full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Lest not forget, my soups are always easy to prepare to minimize the impact on time and eliminate the excuses for preparing something healthy.  I always keep my soup base of vegetable stock and fire roasted tomatoes in the pantry, in addition to having lots of beans since this is my main source of protein.  These basics are also inexpensive so stock up.

I paired this with a grilled cheese sandwich made with Ezekiel Bread, 2% cheese and Campari tomatoes.  You still have time to get to the grocery store before the storm hits.  Ready, set, go!

Feed the wellness in you!

Black Eyed Peas and Barley Soup

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup of Pearled Barley
  • 2 lbs of Black Eyed Peas (or you can use 2 - 15 oz cans of Black Eyed Peas)
  • 6-8 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients except for the spinach in a large pot.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil then turn to low for 45 minutes.
  3. Stir only a few times as the black eyed peas easily break up when they are cooked.
  4. Add the spinach and continue on low for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir when wilted to incorporate throughout the soup.
  6. Remove from heat and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/black-eyed-peas-and-barley-soup/

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Another frigid week and another big pot of soup was made! This has all simple, easy to find ingredients that blend well together for a hearty meal.

Very much like my Three Bean Vegan Soup, despite the name there is so much more in this soup.  Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup ingredientsAlongside the Butternut Squash and Lentils and kale (I know everyone is saying that kale is so ‘2015’ but I still love it!), there are black beans and cannellini beans.

This is another soup that packs in the protein, vitamin c, iron and lots of vitamin a from the butternut squash.  Make some warm cornbread to go along with it and you have a satisfied mind, (warm) body and soul.

Feed the wellness in you!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (Better than Bouillon is preferred)
  • 1/2 lb Chopped Kale
  • 1 lb of diced Butternut Squash
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Cannellini Beans
  • 1 - 15 oz can of Black Beans Beans
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Bring your stock to a boil and add the kale. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, stir, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Let cool to desired temperature and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/butternut-squash-and-lentil-soup/

Quick Caribbean Chow Mein

 

Caribbean Chow Mein

I almost feel like I cheat when I prepare this meal…but not quite. I say ‘almost’ because despite the ease to prepare you get so much out of it – protein, vitamins, minerals – it’s a slam dunk for a delicious, nutritious meal.  You may wonder what makes this dish ‘Caribbean’ Chow Mein vs.  Chinese Chow Mein. In my opinion, it’s the heavy influence from Trinidad and Guyana that adds ginger, dark soy, a little hot pepper to the dish.  The noodle used is  an egg noodle and very similar to lo mein so there’s a fine line on how to define this as a Caribbean dish.  What helps with preparing this quickly is that I use all freshly washed, packaged vegetables – a package of stir fry vegetables that has broccoli, carrots, and snow peas, along with packages of Spinach and Brussels sprouts, and lastly extra firm tofu.  However, you can do the same thing with fresh vegetables and perhaps add Bok Choy. The more vegetables you stretch the servings.  You can always use the protein of your choice and still have a wonderful result.

Chow Mein Noodle Package

The noodles used are packaged as ‘West Indian Style’ Chow Mein noodles.  I’m not sure if this make a difference in taste because I’ve never used the Chow Mein noodles by La Choy or equivalent.   I add freshly chopped peppers and onions and within minutes I have this dish full of veggies and protein.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Quick Caribbean Chow Mein

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag of broccoli stir fry vegetables (broccoli, snow peas, carrots)
  • 1 6 oz bag of brussesl sprouts (take off stems and chop into quarters)
  • 1 5 oz bag of Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 boxes Extra Firm cubed tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbl minced ginger
  • 2 Tbl fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbl chopped green peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped yellow peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped red peppers
  • 2 Tbl chopped onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 c Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 c chopped scallion (optional)
  • 1/4 c bean sprouts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Sautee your onions, peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts and sautee for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Broccoli stir fry vegetables; add ginger salt, red pepper and paprika and turn to low for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tofu and half cup of light soy and the dark soy; turn to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and with the heat by stirring it should start to wilt. Remove from heat and cover.
  6. Cook the noodles according to the directions in vegetable stock and drain leaving about 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock.
  7. Fold in the vegetables and stir well. The heat should completely soften the spinach leaves.
  8. Add 1/4 cup of light soy or add to taste.
  9. Toss well and serve.
  10. Top with scallions and bean sprouts (optional)
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quick-caribbean-chow-mein/

Frozen and Prepared Favorites Part 2

Last month I shared a few favorite frozen and prepared foods that help me when I’m pressed for time to prepare a meal.  Here are more favorites that I recommend you keep in mind when you are rushing to the grocery store and want something quick to prepare. Stick to a single serving (although it’s tough!), add a vegetable or salad as a side dish and you’ll have a great meal.

Trader Joe’s Spinach and Kale Pie

Spinach and Kale Pie

This has all the robust flavor and flaky texture of traditional Spanikopita.  If you’re a fan of that Greek dish you would love this.  Neither one of the greens overpowers the other and they did a great job at blending them so you don’t get the toughness of the kale.  Very well done.

Trader Giotto’s Kale, Sweet Potato and Butternut Pizza

Kale, Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash PizzaTrader ‘Giotto’s’ is the Italian product line at Trader Joe’s.  Looks can be deceiving but not in the case of this frozen gem.  Not only is it a very unique combination of ingredients but it tastes like it is freshly made out of a brick oven.  The crust is perfect; great flavor and slightly crisp. The use of pureed sweet potato in place of a traditional sauce is amazing.

Trader Giotto’s Organic Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Broccoli

Organic Pesto Pizza with tomatoes and broccoliAnother slam dunk for a great frozen pizza!  Again, the crust is perfect and it is bursting with just the right amount of pesto flavor.  Simply done with tomatoes and broccoli, this is another one to have ‘on call’ at home!

LaPasta Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli

This is a Costco product and is made in my local area according to the package so I’m not certain whether you can get this at all Costco’s.Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli  However, I’m hopeful that Costco wouldn’t deny others of this wonderful pasta.  This cooks in 3 minutes and is such a wonderful blend of simple flavors.  The description states that the pumpkin is sweet and it really is.  It tastes more like butternut squash than it does pumpkin.  I top with a tomato sauce but I’m sure it’s great with light olive oil and garlic also.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

 

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

When I say simple I really mean SIMPLE! No ‘haute cuisine’ here.  In my quest to incorporate more protein daily in my vegetarian lifestyle I came up with a simple and easy lettuce wrap. It doesn’t have many ingredients nor take a long time to prepare. What’s great about this is you can substitute whatever veggies and protein you may like. This version has broccoli, quinoa, edamame, shitake mushrooms and roasted tofu — but the possibilities are endless.  Talk about a  protein packed dish – all of these ingredients provide a good portion of protein in addition to other vitamins and minerals like iron, fiber and vitamin C.  Another bonus is that you can find most of these items prepared and/or chopped which adds to easy preparation. Tips on preparing roasted tofu can be found in my recipe Curry Tofu and Chickpeas if you cannot find any at your local grocer or salad bar.

Try it as a snack, appetizer or lunch option.

Feed the wellness in you!

Simple Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6

Most grocery stores sell fresh broccoli crowns, shitake mushrooms, and edamame already chopped. At some salad bars you may find cooked quinoa and roasted tofu. This will eliminate most of your prep time.

Ingredients

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1 cup roasted tofu
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, sautee the broccoli crowns in 1 tbl of extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shitake mushrooms, edamame, tofu and sautee another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa, soy sauce
  5. Cook on simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the sweet chili sauce on top.
  7. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Add a few spoonfuls of the veggies on top of two large leaves of romaine lettuce and roll/wrap over the veggie mix to eat.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/simple-veggie-lettuce-wraps/

Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts

In my quick dash in and out of Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I picked up a 10 ounce bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts. I’m a big fan of veggies that are already chopped and washed for me. I’ll admit I often wash them AGAIN but when in a hurry I just keep it moving.  I usually prepare whole Brussels Sprouts but use shaved in my salad mix. I thought I would sauté the shaved sprouts some way but wasn’t sure how.

When I arrived home I saw the simple recipe on the back of the package and the main ingredient for flavor was balsamic vinegar which I always use. I really didn’t have anything crazy imaginative in mind beyond what they described, I needed simple and fast.  Truth be told, I needed my dinner done before the US Open Men’s Final started at 4 pm.  Little did I know there would be a 3 hour rain delay!

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts 2.jpgI ended up using a dash of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and the addition of Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce. It’s a great condiment, and I use it on veggie hotdogs, hamburgers, vegetables and have also used it as a substitute for duck sauce.

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish that is also low in calories, and very high in Vitamins C and K, give this a try.  This recipe also works well with green beans. Stop in your local  Trader Joe’s if you want no chopping and washing, pick up the few ingredients needed and this will be done in less than 15 minutes!

Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of 10 oz shaved Brussels Sprouts (I use the Trader Joe's brand and they always have it)
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Sautee the Brussels sprouts in olive oil on a medium heat for 2 minutes until it starts to wilt.
  2. Add garlic powder, onion powder and balsamic vinegar and stir for another 3 minutes.
  3. Turn to low heat for 5 minutes then add the sweet chili sauce.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/sweet-and-spicy-shaved-brussels-sprouts/

Curried Cabbage and Carrots

Curry Cabbage and Carrots

Several weeks ago I ordered take out from an Indian restaurant and thought that we would have enough left over the next evening for dinner. Have you ever looked at the left overs the next day and wondered what you were thinking the night before?  I was having one of those moments, scrambling to figure out what to prepare to accompany the left overs and pulled out some cabbage from the refrigerator. I had to make it in a way that was in sync with the other Indian food so of course I thought of a curry instead of a lightly seasoned dish.

I really love cabbage.  As a kid I despised it – it was prepared by boiling it, it had an odd smell, and the final result was this unappetizing lump of a mushy substance on my plate.  As an adult I love the variety of cabbages and like most green vegetables it’s a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  I enjoy it raw as well as cooked but only slightly – you don’t have to cook cabbage for more than 5-10 minutes to get it the right texture.  If you don’t already do this, try tossing shredded cabbage in your salad greens to get an extra boost of vitamins and crunch.  It soaks up any dressing you would use very nicely.

Back to the recipe…Since my first hurried attempt weeks ago, I’ve made this dish a few times now and each time I added ingredients until I got it ‘right’.  The first time I was rushing and used what I had on hand which was cabbage with curry, turmeric, cumin, garlic, a dash of cayenne and lemon juice.  I added ingredients the second time to include ginger, onions, and garam masala.  As they say, the third time is a charm because on the third attempt it truly became THE curry dish I would want to share with everyone.  The addition of the sweet carrots with the slightly crunchy cabbage was a great union; there are a lot of spices but they all complement each other yet you can taste them on their own; the black sesame seeds add a nice flavor and color balance; and the lemon juice adds just the right acidity and zest.

I’m not too happy with the picture I have alongside this recipe – I tried taking it a few times and the yellow of the curry and turmeric would not convey as I liked in most of the pictures so this was the best I could do.   I hope my description at least conveys that you should try it and that you will enjoy it!

Feed the wellness in you!

Curried Cabbage and Carrots

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Have all of your ingredients lined up and ready because you have to move fast in order to prevent the dry ingredients from sticking in the pan.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 c red onions
  • 1 tbl chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tbl curry
  • 1 tbl turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper or cayenne
  • 1 tbl black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Saute the carrots, red onions and garlic for 10 minutes on medium heat with 2 tbl of olive oil.
  2. Add your ginger, curry, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and black sesame seeds with another tablespoon of olive oil. Mix quickly and add your shredded cabbage.
  3. Pour the lemon juice on top and stir well so the dry ingredients are integrated into the vegetables.
  4. Add your pepper and continue to mix. Turn to low heat and let cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, stir and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/curried-cabbage-and-carrots/

Toasted Grain Pilaf

 

Toasted Grain Pilaf.jpg

I celebrated my birthday almost two weeks ago and one of my wishes was to have a ‘staycation’ – lay poolside, read a book, and relax.  Once my children are in a body of water and swimming, I don’t hear from them unless they are hungry and when they have a room number to charge to I am out of the equation.  There are only a few hotels in town that provide these options so as I was looking at hotels and their menus (always important for me to make sure they have good vegetarian options or adaptable dishes) I came across a dish named Toasted Grain and Endive Sauté.  The ingredients listed seemed to be quite tasty combined – black rice, farro, cauliflower, baby  bok choy, endive, capers, golden raisins, smoked almonds, sesame oil, lime.  I immediately jotted the ingredients down and was glad that I did since we didn’t eat at this restaurant.

When I returned home I made what I thought would be done with these ingredients as described.  I stuck closely to the ingredients listed except for the black rice which may have been a nice contrast in color for the dish.  I loved the idea of combining cauliflower, endive and bok choy.  Toasted Grain Pilaf Veggies.jpg

Because of the use of grains and the crunch of the almonds it seemed like an interesting spin on rice pilaf to me and not a sauté as the name originally implied, therefore I named my dish aptly, Toasted Grain Pilaf.

I enjoyed what I did with it and it turned out to be a hearty dish that I felt could be eaten alone or as a side dish.  I loved the use of lime and I thought of adding some cilantro and a touch of heat which gave it great flavoring.  Enjoy!

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Toasted Grain Pilaf

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Stock
  • 3/4 cup Farro
  • 2 cups roasted cauliflower
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 endive, chopped
  • 2 tbl capers
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup red onions
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup smoked almonds chopped
  • Sesame Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • 2 -3 limes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook the farro according to the directions in 1.5 - 2 c of vegetable stock. Should be 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool
  2. Roast the cauliflower in olive oil, dash of sea salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder. Takes approximately 30-35 minutes.
  3. Sautee the red onions and minced garlic in 2 tbl of olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the roasted cauliflower, bok choy and endive and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Fold in the farro, capers, and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper; mix well.
  6. Squeeze the juice from the 2 -3 limes into the dish. If they are large limes, use 2.
  7. Mix in the golden raisins and 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. Add salt to taste.
  8. Drizzle sesame seed oil on top.
  9. Sprinkle the smoked almonds on top, the remaining cilantro and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/toasted-grain-pilaf/