Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The title is brief. The food is simple. An old recipe with a new twist. Broccoli "Beef" Stir-fry (this is the old part) with Peanut Sauce (that's the new part).

I recently bought a bag of partially defatted peanut flour at Trader Joe's.

It's been sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be used. I had no idea what to do with it until last nights meal. I was already making Broccoli "Beef", so I thought a peanut sauce could only make it taste better...and I have the bag of peanut flour, what's the worst that could happen??? Ummmmmmmmm, how about I LOVE it and now I want more? It was as simple as taking a 1/4 cup of the flour, mixing it with some soy sauce, chili pepper flakes, vinegar and a little bit of water to thin it out. Make your Broccoli Beef as you normally would (mine is simple...broccoli, onion and Gardein Beef-Less Tips). Cook the broccoli, onions, beef and whatever else you feel like adding. When the broccoli beef is almost done cooking pour the peanut sauce over everything, cover and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir to mix well and serve over rice, garnish with some peanuts for fun. It was really good, the only down side is that I hear Trader Joe's is discontinuing carrying peanut flour. Which means I will have to stock up, and you should run out and buy some too before it's all gone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rise and Shine....

This is not one of my new recipe blogs, this is bonus for all of you...Janet and Elizabeth (HA!), who actually read the blog! I thought I'd just share with you one of my breakfast favorites...Tofu Scramble. The one I'm going to share with you today I call Tofu Rancheros, because it has a little bit of a Mexican flair to it (meaning; it's really good with tortillas, Pico de Gallo and avocado slices). I prefer to make mine with extra firm tofu because I like the texture of it better than the softer versions. I also like to buy organic tofu because then I know they did not use GMO-soybeans. (Want more info on GMO's??? Go here... http://www.saynotogmos.org/)

Next step is to get your frying pan out and saute some onions and bell pepper. I tend to use cooking spray instead of oil to cook with...that's just my preference though, feel free to use some good oil and saute your veggies.

When your onions and bell pepper are cooked till tender and the onions have released their juices, add crumbled tofu. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder and Turmeric. If you don't know anything about Turmeric check out this website... http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html. It's one of those spices that have natural healing qualities, it's almost flavorless and makes everything a bright yellow color (it makes my tofu almost look like eggs!)

After you add the spices, stir everything up so that it gets all mixed together. Then add a couple spoonfuls of Pico de Gallo (without the liquid if possible, otherwise your scramble will be too wet). Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Serve with additional Pico de Gallo, warmed whole grain tortillas, and avocado slices (I didn't have an avocado at home when I made this, it was still good...but it would have been better with the avocado!)

This is just one of the millions of Tofu Scramble recipes out there, I have about 4 different ones that I make on a regular basis. Think of what kinds of things you like in an omelet, those are the items you could also put in a scramble. This is also the best way to try tofu out for the first time. It takes on all the flavors of what you are cooking it with and using extra firm makes the texture egg-like.

I'll be posting my new recipe later on this week, I'm making Spicy Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash...I can hardly wait!

Friday, March 4, 2011

"We're gonna eat at a new restaurant, I can't pronounce the name but you're gonna love it..."

Last night we started our girls Thursday night Bible study back up after a month long break. I usually cook for the girls, but things have been a little crazy lately with my schedule and cooking was the last thing I really wanted to do. Instead we went to a little Vegetarian restaurant in my neighborhood that I have wanted to try for at least a year. The restaurant is run by Hindu's (or at least I think they are Hindu). The food was good and I will be going back again.

Jyoti-Bihanga is on Adams Ave in North Park. It's a little hole in the wall place, that doesn't really do much to draw you in other than it's a vegetarian restaurant. Here's what we ordered....

Hummos Dip (VEGAN)
Our fresh homemade hummos on a bed of lettuce served with cucumbers and grilled organic whole-wheat chapati slices.

Dinner Salad (VEGAN)
Lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and beets with your choice of salad dressing. My dinner came with a side salad, I got it with the Lemon Tahini dressing.

Shiva Wrap
Light and satisfying. Our Curry of the Day with lettuce, carrots, beets, sprouts and sweet apple chutney sauce. Becca got this menu item, she really liked it and said it tasted great!

Turkey Avocado Wrap
One of our favorites. Grilled soy turkey with avocado, cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo-tamari sauce. Toni, who chose not to be photographed, ordered this...she also enjoyed her wrap. (2 for 2!!)

Brahma Burrito
The ultimate vegetarian burrito: a tasty combination of refried black and pinto beans with jack cheese, brown rice, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and a side of sour cream. This was Monica's dinner, she loved it...but it did require a knife and fork after it fell apart. It was huge, so if you're hungry this is the item to get.

Our "not too spicy" Indian curry of the day with brown rice, raita (yogurt, cucumber and spices), sweet apple chutney and organic whole wheat chapati bread. This was my dinner choice, the curry of the day was Saag "Chicken" Curry. It was really, really good...I would definitely order it again!

Apple Pie (VEGAN)
Still the best pie around! Fresh sliced Granny Smith apples with a little brown sugar in a whole wheat crust, baked in an enormous pie pan so the slices are big! I ordered this to go, because I was FULL. I ended up giving it to the girls to give to their mom, she's been sick and I'm pretty sure apple pie cures the flu!!

All around we all enjoyed our meal and will go back again. There are a ton more items I want to try. Here is the link for the website, check it out and then go! http://www.jyotibihanga.com/index.htm . The menu descriptions come from the menu on the website. Until next week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Recipe Reprieve....

I was reminded on Wednesday, as I was sitting at Discount Tire waiting for my new $200 tire (one tire, not multiple tires) to be installed that I hadn't blogged last week. I know I made a new recipe, but hadn't taken any photos of said recipe so I hadn't blogged on it...because that would be boring for you and for me. So instead of a recipe this week I have decided to showcase some of my favorite items from Whole Foods. I am having a not-so-secret love affair with Whole Foods. It's an expensive love affair to say the least, but there is no turning back now. Whole Foods is a vegans paradise...so many options for me, both healthy and not-so-healthy, but vegan none the less!! Here are a few of my favorite items from Whole Foods...some of which can certainly (sometimes) be found at other more traditional grocery stores for less money.

I love Tofurky Deli Slices. I often times have a Tofurky sandwich in the mornings, on really good sourdough bread with some Vegenaise (next product!!). It is so good, the hickory smoked slices are my favorite of the deli slices.

I really like mayonnaise, but since egg and my body don't get along I had to find a substitute. Vegenaise is great, I actually like it better than regular mayonnaise. I like to get the Reduced Fat because it is more calorie friendly, but still tastes great. It's great on sandwiches, or in a potato salad! I love it!

Mother of Pearl...I love Gardein!! This has made being vegan so much easier, and tastier. These meat substitutes are made from whole grains, thus sometimes called "wheat meat". You should give them a try, I especially recommend the Homestyle Beefless Tips....delicious (especially in a stir fry, think Broccoli Beef)

Thought I'd throw a little dessert in here, to sweeten up the blog a bit. These are so amazing and delicious...sometimes it's hard to stop at just one!

I love this pizza, I don't usually get the rice crust though...I get the whole wheat crust. It's good and ONLY 160 calories for the whole pizza. It can be found in the frozen foods section.

I don't get these very often; because Subway is closer, but when I want a more gourmet kinda sandwich I come here. I am NEVER disappointed!!

IT MELTS!!!! Need I say more? If you have any experience with vegan cheeses you know that the melting part is an issue. This cheese melts and it tastes good. It's made out of cassava root instead of soy.

Love this broth, almost as much as.....

this one!! Both are great in soups, rice, sauteing veggies, etc.

Final product of this blog. This stuff is fabulous, I always have a package at home. I use it in tacos, enchiladas, lasagna, shepherd's pie, spaghetti sauce, tamale pie, etc. Try this and I can almost guarantee you will like it!

Thanks for letting me take a break from blogging about my recipes, the next one will be a restaurant review. Until next time!