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Fish-less Fish Tacos!

6 Jul

Fishless Fish Taco (5)

The first stand alone New York Fashion Week: Men’s is less than a week away and I’ve been trying my absolute skinniest to stay active, eat clean and get get skinny before I leave for New York on Sunday.

Being a vegetarian as well as, eating clean is a daunting task mainly because of time & meal selections. Nine years into the lifestyle I feel like I go it down to a 30-40 minute science in the kitchen.

One of my favorite companies to purchase tasty and filling meat replacement that are oven or microwave ready is Gardein (Gardein + Protein). Yves Potvin Founder and President started the company 25 years ago his vision is to see Gardein™ on menus and dinner plates nationwide – simply as the healthy protein option – as in, you can have the salad with chicken, fish or Gardein™ – we’re committed to producing foods that people just love to eat, are good for you and are light on the planet.

In efforts to not out right starve myself to thin (plan B!) as well as, a supermarket reference I give anyone who is starting out on their own vegetarian journey cold turkey and think meat is the only protein I always initially suggest these products.

That’s why I reached out to the company for some of their treats to show you guys how simple, savory and healthy their products are. They can be incorporated into your favorite meals making them meatless and health beneficial too.

Today, I decided to do Fish-Less Fish Tacos using the fishless filet that I paired with grilled corn on a cob and potato salad.

Ingredients:
1 bag Gardein Golden Fishless Fillets.
1 medium limes, halved.
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt.
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
1/4 teaspoon chili powder.
2 tablespoons avocado oil & Pink Himalayan salt.
Freshly cracked black pepper.
1 bag of Cole slaw.
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced.
1/4 teaspoon of cilantro.
1 tomato sliced.
4 tablespoons of Marie’s coleslaw dressing.
6 hard corn tortillas.
Guacamole & Salsa, for garnish.

Instructions:
1. Place the filet on a grilling rack drizzled in avocado oil and squeeze a lime half over it. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-13 minuets. Add the , and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn the fish in the marinade until evenly coated. Refrigerate and let marinate at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the slaw and warm the tortillas.

2. Combine bag of Cole slaw, Marie’s coleslaw dressing, red onion, garlic salt, cumin, chili powder and cilantro ( I also added some dill from the potato salad) in a large bowl and squeeze a lime half over it. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Refrigerate and let marinate at least 15 minutes.

3. Warm the shell in the oven and set aside while you prepare the fillets.

4. To construct a taco, break up some of the cooked fillets, place it in a warm shell, top it with slaw, tomato slices, guacamole and salsa.

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Pasta Primavera

3 Oct

Pasta-Primavera (1)

Before every diet I like to have a “last supper” so to speak. This could be anything from sugar and geese junk food snacks to a heavy carb & cheese loaded meal. I think the best way to stay on the right track of a new workout program, diet or lifestyle change is to over indulge in the things you are going to cut out of your life. Reason being, once you fill yourself up on something you begin to not crave it anymore giving you a better resistance to temptation.

Which lead me to cook a final meal before I started my “Skinny-Day” month long diet/workout program. The best part about vegetarianism is that even my crappy meals aren’t so bad because I still have to cook them. Tuesday I decided to go out with a bang before my two-a-days and restricted eating times, I made pasta primavera. I tweaked a few things from the original recipe I was taught by my mom. For example, I used sunflower seed oil instead of butter, whole wheat linguine instead of bleached pasta and coconut milk over evaporated milk.

Here’s how I prepared it…

1. Cook linguine as shown on package. Drain & keep warm.
2. Add sunflower seed oil to large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Adding green onion and garlic saute until soften.
3. Add mushrooms and broccoli; cook till tender.
4. Add snow peas, asparagus, bell pepper, milk, tarragon and black pepper; saute until crisp-tender.
5. Add linguine, cheese and toss to coat.

Bon Appétit

Vegetarian Salisbury Steak

22 Aug

Salisbury Steak-less

I’m convinced that this boy is the reason for my weight gain that’s why he’s on the next flight to New York city in a week!I asked him last night what is he going to do when he leave because he’s been eating like a vegetarian king.

If we’re not going out to dinner I’m here preparing quite frankly, edible masterpieces. Granted I have convinced him to go on juice fasts, jogging, yoga classes and workouts with me but that hasn’t stop the lbs for coming back while he’s been getting leaner.

Neither does this dish I made for dinner aid my plight. Because of this I’ve kind of been on a cooking strike and since time is winding down before his departure I know I need to get back to cooking. To keep from cooking the same thing twice or resorting to eating calorie, fat and sugar loaded restaurant food I made an old favorite.

This is a staple in every school cafeteria across America- Salisbury steak. Per usual I put my spin on it by replacing the ground beef with meatless patties, fresh green beans and bowtie macaroni. This was my first time cooking this so my sauce wasn’t as red as I remember it but it tasted amazing!

Here’s what I did.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper.
  2. Dip four Morningstar patties into mix.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off excess olive oil.
  4. In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over patties in skillet. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bon Appétit

Thai Noodle Soup

2 Aug

Thai Rice Noodle Soup

I cook about three times a week. This good habit guarantee clean eating, a small waist and saving money. The only reason for me not to cook is that I’m usually the only one eating. Being the amazing host I am it’s rather nice when I don’t have to cook. The guy I’m seeing is less of a cook and more of a dine out kind of guy. I’ve been complaining to him that every since we’ve started dating I’ve gained weight, last night I challenged him to cook a meal.

I gave him the recipe and we went shopping for the ingredients and this what he came up with- Thai Peanut Rice Noodle Soup. This very spicy and light meal was packed full of flavor and surprisingly hardy. I’m always making fun of his failed attempts in the kitchen, for him to master this I thought I should share with other new and old vegetarians looking for new dishes to make.

Directions.
1. Add mushroom, vegetable stock and curry paste in a saucepan at medium heat for 20 minutes.
2. In another pan stir-fry the corn, scallions, garlic and leaves in peanut oil for 3 minutes.
3. Combine stir-fry mixture to the mushroom & veggie stock saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add noodles and soy sauce to pan and let boil until noodles are done then serve and eat up.

Bon Appetit!

Vegetarian Tostadas

12 Jul

Refried Black Bean & Veggie Tostadas

This recipe is for my followers that frequently ask me what do I eat other than salads and low carb Monster energy drink as a vegetarian. As I see more people jumping on this 28 day vegan/vegetarian diet bandwagon I’m getting bombarded with questions on what to eat. Being a vegetarian isn’t about giving up your taste buds but more so your gut. Others may tell you different things such as environmental/humane reasons.

I love to cook and being a vegetarian for over 8 years it has made my waist smaller and my pockets fatter. Not only do I eat out less, I cook more which in return I save money that way. Another bonus; I get to cut out processed foods along with meat.

Albeit, if you’re under the impression giving up the dead animals means the same for some of your favorite dishes then here’s a perfect recipe to dispel all that. Everyone loves Mexican food! One of my favorite dishes growing was tostada night, mom would let my brother and I chop up the veggies and build our own. So last night while I was entertaining I thought why not have an interactive dinner. Voilà Refried Black Beans & Veggie Tostadas!

Follow these directions and don’t crap it up!

Refried Black Beans: Melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a small saucepan, add the minced garlic, onions and cumin. When continents starts to brown drain canned beans and add to saucepan. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Leave to a simmer until the beans are tender and the liquid has turned into a thick sauce. Mash the beans leaving some texture and cook over a medium heat, 3 or 4 minutes.

Veggie Mix: Chop up squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper and white onion adding it to a pan of 1 tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Cook till tender then add cilantro, cracked black pepper and seasoning salt. Let it simmer and cook down till all the juices are evaporated.

Meatless Crumbles: Open bag in a frying pan, add chopped red pepper, garlic and seasoning salt or fajita salt. Stir-fry for 4 mins.

Bake or fry tortillas, then construct your tostada as desired by adding garden mix lettuce, grated marble cheese, guacamole and salsa.

You’re welcome.

Portobella Mushroom Burger

30 May

Portobello Mushroom Burger  (1)

For me to be in my 8th year of vegetarianism, forever on a diet and afraid of food and its effect on my clothing in general- I eat pretty good. Amongst the many amazing things I am, I’m also a brilliant chef. I’m always proving to people you can lead a healthy life and eat well/better than your average “meateater.”

Last Christmas (yeah that was the last time I remember being hungry) I purchased two vegetarian cookbooks, one being “3 in 1 Vegetarian Cookbook (Favorite Brand Name 3 Books in 1).” Finally putting it to use I was thinspired by the Portobella Mushroom Burger recipe in the sandwiches & wraps section (pg. 224).

Being a fabulous chef like myself is all about putting your own spin it. Instead of the mushroom being the pattie as in the book I made it the buns, opted broiled over stir-fry for cooking the ingredients and I added a few more ingredients than the original recipe.

Here’s what I did…

1. Preheat broiler
2. Cut and slice bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and tomato.
3. Then place along with Amy’s pattie and mushrooms on cookie sheet wrap with foil.
4. Season with sea salt, pepper corn, basil and seasoned salt. Drizzle olive oil over all. Sprinkle sesame seeds on mushrooms.
5. Broil for 4 minutes per side.
6. Combine mayo, garlic and basil in a bowl. *Lemon juice & white vinegar optional*
7. Assemble burgers spreading the mayo mix on the mushroom-buns, then pattie and veggies with a bit of fresh chopped kale.

Serve with pickles and sweet potato fries.

Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

2 May

Eggplant Lettuce Wrap

Every month I put eggplant on my grocery list, and every month I forgot to cook it. Eggplant is one of my favorite things to cook, being a vegetarian I find it to be a brilliant meat replacement as far texture. I’ve use it in fajitas, chili, stew, stir-fry and pasta. Among being delicious in most avatars it  has many benefits such as, improves  blood circulation, lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and  prevent blood clots. As well as, low in calories (35 per cup) rich in nutrients (iron and calcium) and fiber. All of these nutrients are concentrated in the skin of the eggplant, so don’t char, fry or throw it away.

Now that I’m starting a clean diet (as a last stitch effort to cook it before it molds) I came up with a quick, light and easy recipe that scrumptious and healthy- Eggplant Lettuce Wraps.

All you do..

1. Dice eggplant, garlic clove, carrots, black olives and yellow bell pepper, then combine with thinly slice green onion in a frying pan of sesame oil.

2. As ingredients brown add in lemon juice, white vinegar and soy sauce and continue to stir till liquids evaporate.

3 Sprinkle in ginger and red pepper flakes, then plate on washed separated lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

For sauce I did a honey, lemon juice and soy sauce mixture or you could do the sauce from  Stir-Fry  Cauliflower & Mushroom.

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