Category: healthy

Typical breakfast on the weekends Omelet with veggies and…

Typical breakfast on the weekends

Omelet with veggies and cheese:
Cooking a good omelet can be challenging when you cook with steel pans instead of non-stick pans (not a fan of Teflon, personally). To keep the eggs from sticking, use a higher heat oil, like avocado, butter, or coconut, and make sure the pan is hot. Don’t use high heat, but let the pan heat up before putting the oil in. One the pan is hot, add your pull and coat the pan. Add your veggies, in this case onion and broccoli, and saute until they are your preferred level of doneness. I like onions well done, so I add them first and get some carmelization.

Once the veggies are done, add some oil, if needed, and then add well-beaten eggs. I use four for the girlfriend and I and cut the omeletin half. Make sure the eggs are beaten to a pretty consistent mixture add it helps them to not stick.

Add the eggs. They should immediately start to sizzle/bubble. If not, your pan isn’t hot enough. Let the eggs sit for a minute or two until the edges look pretty solid. Use a spatula to slide in one edge of the eggs and tilt the pan so the liquid eggs in the middle hit the pan directly. Repeat this as necessary. Once mostly done, you can either flip the eggs, which I do, or just continue cooking until done to your preferred level of doneness. Fold in half, add cheese, and let the cheese melt. Top with hit sauce, ketchup, whatever. Done!

Potato hash browns:
We LOVE crunchy hash browns. We wanted to make them ourselves, so I set out to figure out how. I buy whole potatoes and shred them with a cheese grater. After shredded, I put them in a dish towel (we have one dedicated for this purpose only because the next step stains the towel). Then, my precipitous strength (not really, I’m a cyclist with the legs odd superman and the upper body of pee wee herman…) I squeeze and wring out the potatoes as hard as I can. Get as much water or add you can. Seriously, this is the key step. Once rung out, I drop them into a hot, oiled pan. Again, like the eggs, the pan should be hot and the oil a higher heat oil. The potatoes should sizzle immediately. Using a spatula, I spred the potatoes out over the whole pan and flatten them out using some good pressure to flatten. Fry for a minute or two and add salt and pepper. Flip the potatoes in pieces so that both sides are hitting the heat directly. If you are making a lot, you might need to break up the mass a couple times. Just keep flattening, flipping/scrambling until done to your crispness. We like crunch, so this is a several minute process. Once done, add to your plate and eat. I like ketchup on my potatoes, the girlfriend doesn’t (I know, she’s weird).

Lasagna made with tofu, spinach, onion, and pecans on top.

Lasagna made with tofu, spinach, onion, and pecans on top.

Street food style chickpeas and sprouted mung beans with sweet potato dumplings

Street food style chickpeas and sprouted mung beans with sweet potato dumplings

Street food style chickpeas and sprouted mung beans with sweet potato dumplings Sundays, simple Sundays. It feels good to toss the autumn leaves around our boots; cheeks a little frosty and noses puffing warm mist into the cool air. I composed my boy into the middle of a tree, where the branches heavily parted ways and then took many a picture of his helmet clad, easy-going and shiny hair which…

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Creole spiced wild rice with carrots, edamame bean and tofu

Creole spiced wild rice with carrots, edamame bean and tofu

One of the high-spirited (and what I call) ‘professional mums’ at my boy’s school exhales animated banter full of expletives and honesty in the mornings. I tell her that her dose of reality is like a second breakfast for me.  She comically exudes what most of us are thinking; the temper inducing traffic, the unpalatable lack of child-gratitude for what mum does, the fading of an identity of our…

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Avocado Pickled Beet Egg Toast!This was a simple “what do I have…

Avocado Pickled Beet Egg Toast!

This was a simple “what do I have that I can throw together for breakfast today” kind of meal.  The girlfriend and I (ok, just the girlfriend) made asiago garlic bread and pickled beet eggs this weekend, and I bought a bag of avocados at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

My twisted brain said “screw it, let’s put them together!” so…I did.  This was surprisingly good.

Pickled beet eggs are very easy and can be made many ways.  Basically, clean (and peel if you want) beets, then boil them in a water and vinegar solution.  Different recipes call for different amounts of vinegar (from 1/3 cup to 3 cups, though 3 cups is too much, in my opinion) and some salt and other seasonings if you want.  Boil until soft and fork piercable (depends on size of beets.

Hard boil some eggs (pretty much a no brainer, just boil for 10-15 minutes depending on egg size), then peel and set aside.  Place eggs in a container that has a lid, then add the sliced beets.  Pour the beet boiling water/vinegar mixture over the eggs and beets and let soak overnight.

The bread was from a recipe in “The Breadmaker Gourmet” book that the girlfriend owns, so I don’t know what went in that.

Mash the avocado on the toast, then add beets and eggs, sprinkle some salt and pepper (trust me, it helps cut the sour vinegar if the eggs and beets are vinegar-y) and enjoy!

Spicy Raw Beet Salad!This is a great side to go with just about…

Spicy Raw Beet Salad!

This is a great side to go with just about anything.  It has lots of flavor, and doesn’t take too long to whip up.

Ingredients:

 – Beets – washed, scrubbed and/or peeled

 – Jalapeno

 – Green onion

 – Lime and/or lemon juice

 – Olive oil

 – Salt, pepper, garlic, cumin to taste

 – Greens (if desired – I put it on a bed of greens when I have them, but it is just as good without)

The beets in the above photo are shredded, which you can do for ease of eating, or you can just slice it and eat the beets that way.  I have made this both ways (disclaimer:  the salad above was actually made by my local favorite vegetarian restaurant Crave & Co., but I got the recipe and have made this salad myself a bunch of times) and prefer shredded.  Be careful if shredding, though.  Beet juice is VERY LIKELY to stain EVERYTHING.  Seriously, I have a cutting board and a corningware dish lid that are still purple…

Anyway, shred or chop up the beets to your desired size.  Slice the green onion and dice the jalapeno, and combine with the olive oil, lemon, lime, and seasonings.  Mix well, then serve on the greens or by itself.  Yummy, healthy, and it’ll make you poo and pee purple/pink!  Yay!

Roasted tomato & pepper, chickpea and fennel soup

Roasted tomato & pepper, chickpea and fennel soup

Roasted tomato & pepper, chickpea and fennel soup I’ve become one of those green tea swigging and sloshing mothers; you know the type that inhales some fruit infused concoction in a wooden-chaired, Wi-Fi friendly café with parking spaces and then tackles daily activities of child work and home with many coloured pens, diary updates and sighs. It can’t be healthy. Come to think of it, that…

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Zucchini Pizza BoatsSo, with our CSA this summer, we got lots of…

Zucchini Pizza Boats

So, with our CSA this summer, we got lots of squash and zucchini.  Since I can only eat so much without craving pizza, I decided to make zucchini pizza boats!  In the first picture, you’ll see the zucchini, cut in half, then brushed with olive oil and salted and peppered.

The second picture is the final product with the sauce and cheese added.  As a vegetarian, I didn’t add any meat or anything, but you probably could add pre-cooked meat to this.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (maybe more or less based on size of zucchini) and enjoy!

Pro Tip:  In the future, I will scoop out the seeds to allow for more sauce/cheese.  The way they are here is good, but the overwhelming taste was still zucchini. 

Chickpea “Tuna” SaladBefore swearing off meat, including fish, I…

Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

Before swearing off meat, including fish, I ate a lot of tuna salad.  I found it to be a good protein and calorie source while studying and was good recovery food from cycling, swimming, etc.  I would make up a big batch of it and eat it all week.  Now, as a vegetarian, I substitute chickpeas for the tuna and get the same benefit, plus extra fiber!

Ingredients:

 – Dry chickpeas

 – Celery, chopped

 – Carrot, diced or shredded

 – Onion, diced

 – Greek Yogurt or mayo (I prefer greek yogurt since I don’t like mayo very much)

 – Salt, pepper, paprika

Start withe the chickpeas.  Soak them overnight or at least 6 hours ahead of cooking.  I try to use dry beans as much as possible since they are cheaper, not salted like crazy, and don’t sit in cans, which have linings that are questionable.  Bring the chickpeas to a boil, cover, and simmer for at least an hour.  I usually splash some apple cider vinegar in while they cook to aid digestion, but you can use whole garlic cloves, kombu, a bay leaf,and a few other acids to accomplish the same thing.

After the chickpeas are cooked, cool them down under cold running water.  Chop up your celery, carrot, and onion, and dollop on your yogurt or mayo.  Add in your chickpeas and mash the heck out of them with the back of a fork to mix them all up.  The mashing is important because, otherwise, you just get a weird mixture of whole chickpeas and chopped veggies.  Salt and pepper to taste at this point, too.

Serve on whatever you want (toasted baguette in the picture) and dash some paprika on the top for color and flavor.  You’ll never miss the tuna in this recipe.

Condensed Tempeh Reuben Instructions

Here is all of the text for the Tempeh Reubens in one post for ease of reference:

Prior to giving up meat, my favorite sandwich was the Reuben.  Made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, swiss cheese….yum.

Once I went meat-free (Hi, I’m Brad, I’m a vegetarian, and I’ve been meat free for 2+ years), I missed only two things:  sushi and Reubens.  I have since learned that it’s not really the fish in sushi that I liked, rather I loved the wasabi, soy, seaweed, and other flavors of sushi, so I find that I am just as sated from veggie sushi (sweet potato rolls FTW!) as I was from fish sushi.  (Post of me making sushi to come in the future.  No promises as to how soon, though.)

But still, those Reubens…  I, from time to time, craved a Reuben.  I had tried vegetarian Reubens at a few restaurants before, but never had one that was quite as good as the real thing.  Then, somehow, I stumbled upon a recipe for Vegetarian Tempeh Reubens that flat out blew my mind.

I have, since the first time I made the recipe, modified it to my own tastes a bit more which has made this my favorite recipe, maybe ever.  (Yeah, yeah, I say that a lot.  I’ll keep saying it, I’m sure.)

The next few posts will describe the steps taken to make the perfect Tempeh Reuben.  Tempeh, if you do not know, is a fermented soy bean food that is often used as a meat substitute, but gets a bad rap because it has some seriously good flavor of its own.  (More here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempeh)  Tempeh typically comes in a long, flat patty/cake in the size of a King Sized Hershey’s cholocate bar.  Fun fact, Tempeh was, traditionally, sold wrapped in banana leaves to give it its shape.  I got mine at Trader Joe’s, wrapped in plastic (one of these days I’ll figure out how to eat plastic-free…)

So, to make the tempeh, you have to slice it thinly and then saute it on both sides.  Tempeh browns nicely on its own, but, in the interest of giving these sandwiches some great flavor, that’s not all we’re going to do to them while in the pan.

To saute the tempeh, heat oil over medium in a pan (I like using steel pans, not tephlon coated pans).  I prefer to use sesame oil for this particular recipe, but I’ve used olive, too, and it works just fine.

Once the tempeh is lightly browned on each side, you will add the “secret marinade/sauce.”

This is what your tempeh will look like after adding the sauce.  Sauce ingredients:

– Soy sauce

– Brown sugar

– Garlic powder

– Onion powder

– Sesame oil

The sugar will caramelize and start to burn quickly, so you want to get this stuff in the pan, coat all of the tempeh, and then start getting it out of the pan as soon as it starts to reduce and get sticky.  While removing from the pan, you will want to scrape the bottom with your spatula so that the tempeh has some of this sticky reduction on it.  Trust me – the flavor is awesome once the sandwich is finished.

Set the cooked tempeh aside and get ready for the next step.  Next, you’ll arrange your sandwiches to be toasted in the oven.  Traditionally, (at least I think) Reuben’s are made with rye bread.  I have made this recipe with rye, pumpernickel, and wheat bread.  Just use a good bread (or make your own awesome bread!) and you’ll be fine.

Once your tempeh is golden-brown and has a bit of a crust (from the caramelizing of the brown sugar), get your bread ready on a baking sheet or pizza stone.  I use a preheated pizza stone because it give a very nice crust on the outside of the bread.  Sometimes, I’ll even toast the bread in the oven on both sides before assembling the tempeh and cheese.

The amount of cheese you use is up to you.  I often put a piece of swiss on each piece of bread, but it’s totally up to you.  Bake the un-assembled sandwiches in the oven for 7 or 8 minutes.  You can do more or less, but you want the cheese to be melted.

After the sandwich halves have baked, add sauerkraut and russian dressing to the sandwich.  I love sauerkraut and the dressing I make is pretty awesome, too.  Use a bottled russian or 1000 island dressing if you prefer, but I like to make my own.  

My russian dressing contains all or some of the following:

– Mayo/greek yogurt (whatever I have)

– Hot sauce

– Horseradish

– Pickles/relish

– Paprika/cayenne

– Garlic powder

– Onion powder

– Ketchup

– Whatever else I feel like using, just make it taste good.