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Lemongrass Cafe

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you enjoyed yourselves 🙂

Suzie wants one of these

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My day was spent with my mom shopping around for things to put in our new home while my husband was out with my dad and uncles shopping for all the manly stuff. It was so amazing to FINALLY close on Friday after the ordeal we went through to get this place. But now that it is ours, it all seems worth it 🙂 Honestly, everyone warned us it would be brutal, but closing was the easiest thing we had to do!

Anyway, yesterday my mom and I were out and about all morning and finally decided to break for some sustenance before our last stop at the Peddler’s Mall. We decided to stop in at Lemongrass Cafe on Shelbyville Road in Middletown. So many places were closed yesterday that we were kind of relieved not to have to come up with a back up plan for lunch once we saw the open sign 🙂

Since it was a holiday, the place was not crowded at all and we got seated immediately. They also brought us some water, which was nice since it was pretty hot here yesterday. After looking over the menu for a few moments (they have a great vegetarian section and tofu or mock chicken can be substituted in almost any dish) I finally decided on the Spicy eggplant and Tofu, which looked so gorgeous when it came out, I had to take a picture!

The tofu was the perfect texture and the eggplant too! It wasn’t very spicy (unlike the spicy stir fried eggplant from PF Chang’s, which I love) but it was still very tasty. My dish came with white rice which I ate too but on my way out, I noticed a sign that said “we have brown rice now” so I will have to remember that for next time.

My mom isn’t a big fan of spicy foods so I recommended she order a pad thai dish, which she really enjoyed. Her only complaint was that the portion was huge!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this place and I would definitely go back. Maybe I will try something new next time but I would be okay having the same thing again.

Lemongrass Cafe on Urbanspoon

Beloved Seitan

Seitan is one of those foods I didn’t try for the longest time because I wasn’t really sure I needed to. I mean, I already had tofu. Then I tried tempeh and was very impressed. And I had no idea how to cook it.

But when I dined at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World over the summer (one of many times) I decided to finally give this seitan (say-tan, not Satan, haha) a try.

139That’s a vegan seitan parmesan sandwich on cuban bread with roasted potatoes 🙂

I liked it so much that when I went back to Ramsi’s the next time, I tried the Jamaican seitan sandwich, which I posted about back in August.

I can’t really describe seitan, other than to say I find it just as delicious and versatile as tofu and tempeh. But I still have yet to purchase and cook any seitan myself at home. Maybe someday!

Have you ever had seitan? Do you cook with it at home? What are your favorite recipes to use it in?

Mama Pea’s slow cooker BBQ tofu

One of my favorite blogs to read every day is Peas and Thank You. The fabulous “Mama Pea” has some excellent recipes (which are vegan) on her blog along with photos of her two adorable girls and tons of hilarious prose.

A few weeks couple of months ago, I saw her make tofu in the slow cooker. Since I am always looking for new ways to enjoy one of my favorite protein sources, I decided I had to try it myself!

Plus, I have two slow cookers and they don’t get used nearly enough.

I drained and pressed the tofu and then sort of just broke it apart as I placed it into the slow cooker. Then I poured in some of this!

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Then I went to work and let it sit in the slow cooker on “low” for about 9 hours. It’s nice to have dinner cooking for you while you are at work!

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I decided to serve it in a pita pocket as a tofu barbecue sandwich.

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Mama Pea never disappoints me! I loved it. 🙂 The Annie’s maple BBQ sauce is amazing too!

Later in the week, I had it leftover on a salad.

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I might’ve liked it even better the second time.

BBQ Tofu salad

What is your favorite way to cook tofu?

No coffee

I started off the morning with a green monster!

001 This one contained: 1 cup Silk almond milk (vanilla), 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen cherries, and a few handfuls of spinach.

002I also had a leftover pumpkin pancake with almond butter & syrup!

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Mid morning I had two cups of tea and some nuts, which I almost forgot to take a picture of!

004I mentioned on the blog earlier that I was hoping to cut back on coffee this week. Well, I have had NONE today so I guess that is progress?

I did have three cups of herbal tea and it was nice. I had no desire to drink coffee today and if I had done so, it would’ve just been out of habit, which is not how I want things to be.

I want to drink coffee when I really want it and not when I don’t.

For lunch, I tried a new frozen meal that I found at Meijer over the weekend.

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Moo Moo’s “specializes in unique, healthy, flavorful vegetarian and vegan cuisine, providing the health conscious consumer unprocessed, well-balanced, palate-pleasing creations.”

The roasted cashew stir fry was pretty tasty! I will have to try some of their other meals soon. They aren’t cheap so it will be a once in a while kind of thing!

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I also had an orange 🙂

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Later in the afternoon, I had some more tea and yogurt with granola.

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I loved this blueberry yogurt! Gosh, I wish it wasn’t so high in sugar. I could eat it every day otherwise.

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For dinner, I decided to get a little creative with my tofu. I was inspired by Mama Pea’s slow cooker BBQ tofu dish she made recently.

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I didn’t end up using the slow cooker, but I did go the BBQ route! I pressed my tofu and then put it in a baking dish and drizzled this hot stuff on top!

011 The tofu came out pretty good, but that sauce was not lying. It was HOT!

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With the fire in my mouth tofu, I had some pita, a sweet potato with Smart Balance and cinnamon and some steamed broccoli with Smart Balance too.

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I let my dinner settle for about an hour before I headed out for a 3 mile run! There were a few moments where the only thing that kept me going was repeating to myself: wine and strawberries, wine and strawberries…

014After some stretching and a nice hot shower, that is exactly what I had, plus some DCD 😉

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Time to watch “24” with the hubby! I haven’t been too thrilled with it this season but it’s quality time with the man.

Good night!

Guest Post: ToFoo Yung

I am currently enjoying the beautiful state of North Carolina! Since there is not a lot of time to blog, I have another awesome guest post coming your way.

Please welcome Carrie who is not only a vegan and yoga teacher, but an awesome cook as well! Thanks Carrie for sharing this recipe with us, I can’t wait to make it when I get home 🙂

Egg Foo Yung is a typical Chinese American dish that you might find at your local take-out joint.  Basically an omelet filled with veggies, and traditionally deep fried, although many home cooks pan fry their Egg Foo Yung. 

Egg Foo Yung was derived to please Western palates and is based on the more traditional Chinese dish of Fu Yung Egg Slices from Shanghai. 

Egg Foo Yung is one of the few Chinese dishes that does not come cooked in sauce, but rather with a brown sauce or gravy on the side. 

The vegetables in Egg Fu Yung vary greatly but often consist of celery, onions, bamboo shoots, and almost always mung bean sprouts

Different from an omelet, in Egg Fu Yung the vegetables are actually combined with the egg before frying rather than folded in the middle.

A batch of freshly sprouted mung beans is actually what lead to the creation of this vegan version of Egg Foo Yung, or ToFoo Yung, if you will! 

I have a huge batch of mung beans that just came out of the sprouter, and I was looking for ways to use them up.  Salads and stir-fry seemed so boring, then it hit me; Egg Foo Yung!

This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is a great BLD (breakfast, lunch, or dinner).  Serve it with a side of stir fried broccoli and garlic for a complete meal.

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ToFoo Yung
Serves 2

  • ½ block Extra Firm Tofu (pressing is not necessary for this dish)
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup freshly sprouted mung beans
    **bean sprouts are available in the produce section of
    your grocery store if you do not have sprouter.
  • 2 tsp. Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

For Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cup mock chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 3 Tbs. Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbs. agave nectar
  • 1 ½ Tbs corn starch
  • 4 Tbs. cold water

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and set aside.  Begin heating 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet (you want your pan and oil to get screaming hot).  In a large bowl add all Foo Yung ingredients (to cilantro), crumbling tofu over veggies.

Using you hands, squish together tofu and veggies, as if you were making a meatloaf.  Add tofu-veggie mixture to screaming hot skillet, then using a wooden spoon press it around the bottom of the skillet to form a thin layer (like and omelet or a pancake). 

Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until bottom of tofu layer is browned.  Using a large spatula flip tofu mixture over (keeping it together as best possible, and pressing any bits that fell apart back together).  Reduce heat to medium and continue to brown on opposite side.

While second side of tofu is browning, in a small sauce pan add stock, tamari and agave and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, re-stir cornstarch mixture and whisk into broth.  Reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness (should be the consistency of gravy).

Again, using a large spatula plate the ToFoo Yung on a dish, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve sauce on the side to pour over at the table.

I’d like to finish up by thanking Sarah for letting me guest post for her this week and share this exciting recipe with you. (It was my pleasure, isn’t she amazing?!)

If you liked this recipe visit me at The Happy Vegan Yogini for more great vegan recipes.

First day of March

I love the beginning of the week and the month for many reasons, but yesterday was exceptional! I wish I’d posted about it last night but I ended up falling asleep on the couch before 9:00 🙂

I started the day off with a delicious green smoothie. This combo contained: 1 cup plain soymilk, 3 cups of spinach, 1 frozen banana, and a generous tablespoon of peanut butter.

A few weeks ago, Heather shared with me that she has made smoothies in her food processor before and had them turn out okay.

My blender is giving me trouble, so I gave the food processor a shot today.

It took a little bit longer for all the spinach to blend, but it didn’t get stuck and I didn’t have to add water to get it to start blending again. Success!

Mid-morning, I had some black coffee and nuts. Then I went to my Pound for Pound weigh in and got some measurements done too!

Lunch was leftover baked tofu that I made on Sunday night (just sprinkled on garlic powder, curry powder and sesame seeds) with some cauliflower that I roasted in the oven (sprayed with cooking spray, salt and pepper).

Oh yeah and a slice of whole wheat toast 🙂 I think this was even better leftover than it was the night before!

Later in the day, I started to get a sore throat (pretty sure it’s the constantly changing weather), and you know how it is when water just doesn’t feel good? I got the only other option I had (I was too warm to drink tea!).

I’m still doing good only having these once a week. Any more and I just feel “weird” and if I ever drink more than one in a day, my stomach hurts. I really need to just give them up already.

I snacked on some yogurt before my awesome 6-mile run after work!

Then I re-hyrated with some Powerade Zero.

This is definitely not my first choice, since it contains sucralose (aka Splenda), but I suppose it’s better than real Powerade with contains HFCS.

I’m just trying a few different things out to see how they work with my body. I’m definitely going to try coconut water next, per your all’s recommendations!

For dinner, I made Barilla whole grain spaghetti with a garden combination sauce. I added in my own red onion, green & red peppers, plus a Boca vegan burger for some protein.

After my dinner settled, I was doing some house work when the hunger monster struck, also known as my 6 mile run catching up with me! So I ate some of my favorite stuff in the world 😉

One slice of whole wheat toast with PB & chocolate chips.

Then 1/4 cup oatmeal with more PB & chocolate chips. This did the trick. I swear nothing fills my stomach or “sticks to my ribs” quite like oatmeal!

And yes, I stopped eating by 9:00. It helps that I got full and comfortable, then fell asleep on the couch!

How was your Monday? Any goals for the month of March?

My first frittata

For girl’s night potluck this week, I had the main course. I wanted to try a new recipe and I was definitely feeling like a breakfast dish.

Only this time, instead of baked oatmeal, I was feeling more like something savory. I decided to bust out my copy of Vegan Planet and make a frittata!

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I was shocked at how easy this was to make. I decided to use vegetables I already had on hand and thanks to Lindsay, I learned I could substitute corn starch for arrowroot.

In the mix: asparagus, red onion, red and green peppers.

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I was a little unsure about using tofu in a dish like this. I wasn’t sure how it would look or taste.

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When I poured the mixture on top of the veggies, I was getting nervous.

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But when it came out of the oven, it sort of looked like eggs and the consistency was quite similar.

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The only problem was the veggies sort of “fell out” so it got a little messy 😉

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But I have to say, it tasted pretty good. It didn’t taste like eggs, more like baked tofu, but I liked it!

And because the ingredients were so simple and fresh, the calories were pretty low in this dish.

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For dessert, I had some strawberries that were pretty good. I’m so looking forward to Spring and Summer fruits.

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We also enjoyed a bottle of Beringer Pinot Grigio.

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I had a glass with some bread that arrived later (this Meijer fresh baked bread is vegan and totally delicious).

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I also had a cup of Plantation Mint and another piece of bread (and another that went unpictured)!

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Everything was so good and I was really pleased with how my first “frittata” turned out.

I do think I will try it again and I’m also ready to tackle a tofu scramble that sounds really good 🙂

What dish have you made that you were unsure about, but it turned out good?

Motivated

Since today is the first day of the first week of my Pound for Pound Challenge, and one of my goals this week is to journal my food, I figured showing you all what I ate today would be a good thing to do. 🙂

Breakfast this morning was pumpkin chocolate chip oat bran with almond butter.

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After my weigh in, I snacked on some veggies and hummus from a party we had at work this morning.

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For lunch, I had leftover tofu stir fry that I made on Saturday night.

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This batch contained red and green peppers, onion, bean sprouts and mushrooms all sautéed in Buffalo Sauce. The leftovers were awesome!

After lunch, I wanted something sweet so I had some Jasmine green tea with a navel orange. Yay, vitamin C!

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Then my real afternoon snack was apple slices with peanut butter.

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I’m still adjusting to not eating bars during Lent, but I feel like this has been a great challenge so far.

This snack was great and fueled me for a 5-mile treadmill run that I also very much enjoyed 🙂

For dinner, I incorporated a product I hadn’t had in a while.

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According to the box, these are 100% vegan, which is a semi-rarity in Morningstar products, so I grabbed a box since they were on sale and I had a coupon!

I made Barilla whole grain spaghetti and topped it with a sauce containing mixed stir fry veggies and one of these Chik’n patties.

I made enough to have this again for lunch tomorrow 🙂

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It basically took on the flavor of the sauce but I liked the texture well enough too. I have three more so we’ll see!

For my evening snack, I had a piece of toast with almond butter and 1 tsp chocolate chips.

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I so could’ve eaten another one but 9:00 showed up and made me realize I’m not really hungry, just obsessed with this delicious snack.

So I had a cup of tea and now I am winding down and getting ready for bed. I’d say Day One was a huge success!

Giveaway announcement: Go visit Zesty’s site and enter to win a Blog Makeover for free! He does great work and whoever wins is a lucky blogger 🙂

Mucho soy

On Wednesday night, Courtney asked me if I wanted some more tea. Uh, did she see my tea post? Ha, of course!

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I love you, Earl Grey. You are delicious!

Since you’ve already seen my breakfast from yesterday, let’s move on. I snacked on some nuts (and coffee) mid-morning.

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As much as I love tea, I can’t resist a cup of coffee at work 🙂

Since my breakfast was a bit skimpy, I got hungry for lunch rather early. I went ahead and ate my tangerine (loving Vitamin C these days).

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Then eventually broke into my leftover rice and beans!

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I ate a Larabar around 1:00!

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So it’s no surprise that I was starving by the time I was heading to the gym after work. It might just be full of air, but it got the job done.

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Then I rehydrated with some Lifewater!

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Dinner was some baked tofu (garlic powder, chili powder and sesame seeds) with a sweet potato and pita with Smart Balance Light.

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As if I hadn’t had enough soy for the day, I decided to finish off the leftovers of my Tofu Chocolate Pudding from Wednesday night.

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And a cup of Chocolate Cheerios!

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Must’ve been that awesome elliptical workout that worked up such an appetite! I almost went back for more cereal but I realized I wasn’t hungry anymore, but tired.

So I maintained my 9:00 rule, went to bed at 10 and felt just fine 🙂

I used to be “afraid” of eating too much soy, but I’m so glad that I learned that soy in it’s “whole” forms: soybeans, tofu, soymilk, etc. is safe. It is the overly processed soy “products” (like meat substitutes) that can be consumed too much.

I highly recommend this article written by my friend and fellow vegan, Carrie.

What is your take on soy?

Peanutty tofu

Since I am apparently hooked on the tofu stir fry, I decided to try a new version this week (thanks to Mari).

I found this recipe for tofu and vegetable stir fry with peanut sauce on Compassionate Cooks website.

First, I browned the tofu.

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Then I cooked the veggies. I chose onion, mushrooms and half a bag of frozen stir fry mix which contained carrots, green beans, broccoli, red pepper, and mini corn.

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Then I threw it all together back in the skillet. Then I drizzled the peanut sauce on and stirred well.

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All done, on top of some brown rice!

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The peanut sauce was quite tasty, very different from what I’m used to using in my stir fry dishes. I think next time I’d take the author’s suggestion and use red pepper flakes to make it spicier!

I am currently working on this for dessert 🙂

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Hope you’ve had a good night! Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday 🙂