I saw a recipe pop up for slow cooker Thai chicken the other day and I realized that I had all the ingredients on hand to make a vegetarian (actually vegan!) version. YAY! It looked easy, tasty and I thought I’d give it a go. The results did not disappoint. It truly was easy and it tasted amazing. Final icing on the cake? I was able to put my leftovers to good use by making them into lettuce wraps the next night at dinner!
A couple of things of note… I ate it before I took a picture of it. So, just take my word for it that it looks good too. Also, the 1 Tbsp of saracha in the recipe makes it pretty hot. If you don’t like spicy foods, I’d drop it down to just 1/2 Tbsp. If you’re not a tofu fan, you can also adapt this same recipe to use a Faux Chicken product such as Quorn Chik’n Cutlets or Gardein Chick’n Scallopini.
1 package extra firm Tofu, sliced in 1/2 inch slabs
1/3 cup chopped peanuts, for topping
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for topping
1/2 cup bean sprouts, for topping
8oz Whole wheat pasta
1 cup shredded carrots
Combine PB2 or peanut butter with coconut milk in a medium bowl.
Add in Sriracha (or less), lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and ginger. Stir well to combine.
Coat the tofu with the mixture and place in a slow cooker. Pour half of the remaining mixture into the slow cooker. Retain the other half in the refrigerator for use later.
Cook on high for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or low for 4 – 5ish hours.
Cook and drain the pasta. Heat remaining peanut sauce and carrots in the pasta pot, cooking over medium heat until well combined and carrots are slightly limp. Add the pasta back to the pot and stir well to combine.
Serve tofu over the top of the pasta. Top with chopped peanuts and cilantro.
Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps from the leftovers
Leftover Thai Tofu (recipe above)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, for topping
Leftover bean sprouts, for topping
Leftover cilantro, for topping
Lettuce leaves (iceburg, romaine or green leaf), washed and dried
Cut the leftover tofu into cubes. Heat over medium heat along with carrots and water chestnuts.
When it’s heated through, add green onions and serve with lettuce leaves, bean sprouts and cilantro.
Eat by placing a bit of the tofu mixture into the lettuce leaf, roll it into a wrap and devour!
For years I’ve been creating mushy, crumbly, and – quite honestly – gross tofu stir-frys. As a vegetarian, married to an Asian, you’d think I would have this one mastered. It was embarrassing. Thankfully this story doesn’t end here. My … Continue reading →
When I’m in need of some real ‘comfort’ food – something with sustenance and will make me feel full and satisfied, I almost always turn to this easy, ‘meaty’ recipe for vegetarian lentil loaf (‘meatloaf’) with mashed cauliflower “potatoes”. With its high protein and fiber, combined with low calorie content and tons of flavor, what’s not to like? Even my meat eating husband will make a meal out of this lovely little loaf (thanks, mom, for showing me the recipe!). Serve it up with some steamed green beans and you have the perfect all-American dinner. Plus, it makes great leftovers (a sandwich, maybe?). I even think it might taste better after sitting overnight after the flavors have really mixed. Try it out and enjoy!
Vegetarian Lentil (“Meat”) Loaf
2 cups water
Dash of salt
1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup oats
3/4 cup lowfat cheese (2% cheddar or mixed), shredded
2 egg whites (or 1 egg), lightly beaten
1/2 cup marinara sauce (I usually use Trader Joe’s “traditional” marinara sauce)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp barbecue sauce (I use Trader Joe’s)
2 Tbsp ketchup
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring water and a dash of salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add lentils and simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of the water is evaporated. Drain and lightly mash lentils
Stir in onions, oats and cheese. Add egg, marinara sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Spread mixture into a non-stick or greased loaf pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Mix barbecue sauce and catchup together and spread over the top of the loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until edges look dry, firm and golden brown.
Cool for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of the pan, slice and serve.
Place cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle water over the top and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 5-7 minutes, until very soft.
Drain and use a paper towel to press out access moisture, taking care as the cauliflower will be very hot.
Place cauliflower in a food processor with garlic. Process until lightly pureed. Add sour cream, milk, cream cheese and butter. Continue to process adding additional milk as needed until they reach a desirable consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
There’s just something about a yummy soup on a cold rainy day that just does it for me. I’m always looking for new soup recipes – ones that are choc full of healthy veggies and that are filling. Egg Drop soup has the added benefit of having a ton of protein and is lowfat. It’s also (almost) fully customizable. You can add in whatever you’d like – more or less vegetables; and if you prefer to add some faux meat, you may.
I made it for dinner for my husband and me a few nights ago. We licked the bowl clean – no leftovers. Yumness.
Bring the 4 cups broth, ginger and soy sauce to a full boil. Make a slurry of the remaining 2 Tbsp broth and cornstarch by mixing in a small bowl until combined. Slowly pour into the broth and stir until thickens, slightly – 2 or 3 mins.
Add carrots, corn and tofu to the soup. Boil 5 minutes.
While the broth is at a full boil and while stirring in one direction, slowly pour in the egg whites. The egg will spread and feather.
I have been delaying posting these recipes waiting to take some pictures, but my life is crazy right now so I unfortunately haven’t been able to get to it. In the meantime, I don’t want to keep these AH-MAZ-ING recipes from you, my loyal readers, any longer. These are both really really delicious, almost non-fat (traces of fat from fruits & egg substitute) and right around 100 cals each. How can you go wrong?
Wheat Bran Banana Muffins
4 Bananas, very ripe
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c splenda
1/3 c egg substitute (or egg whites)
3/5 c skim milk, soured with 1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 c whole wheat flour
1 c wheat bran
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (approx)
Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, mash bananas. To bananas, add applesauce, sugar, splenda, egg whites, skim milk with vinegar added to it.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, bran, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir until just combined. Do not over beat.
Divide evenly between 18-24 muffin cups, sprinkle with about 5 chocolate chips each muffin, and bake for 18-22 minutes, until lightly browned and knife inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Mango Coconut Muffins
2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c splenda
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c egg substitute
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c skim milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp coconut flavoring
2 cups diced mango (about 3 mangos)
1 medium banana, mashed
Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray muffin tins with cooking spray (these tend to stick a bit)
In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients (dry ingredients).
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the mango and banana.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just moistened.
Stir in mango and banana. Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
This amazing little muffin is surprisingly moist and light in texture for being nonfat and whole wheat! Even my husband (who doesn’t usually go for muffins all that often) loves these. I found a random recipe online and did a bunch of “doctoring” until I made it my own lightweight version of the muffin. It’s lovely. I highly recommend you go try it asap. And go check out the nutrition stats at the bottom. Shocked? Yep. I was too. Those little numbers (pun intended) make me very happy.
Nonfat Whole Wheat Carrot Craisin Muffins
Prep time: 15 mins
Bake time: 18-20 mins
Makes 12 muffins
I hosted a soup party on New Years Day for some close family and friends. It’s an annual tradition that we missed last year due to some circumstances beyond my control. I was happy to reinstate the tradition. Unfortunately, everyone signed up to bring things other than soup, so the last minute, I figured out that we really didn’t have enough soup to go around. I scrounged up the best tasting soup from things in my closet with some inspiration from a few online recipe searches. Here is what we ended up with. It was warm, spicy and hearty. Perfect for a cool winter day or evening. Even my husband, the carnivore, loved this soup and asked for seconds. He even happily ate it the next day as leftovers. Success!
(Sorry the pic isn’t much better than this; I was in a hurry trying to hostess and barely had time to snap a few shots)
Cajun Black Eyed Pea Soup
Serves approx 16 (you can cut it in half or freeze half if you don’t want so much)
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2/3 cups brown rice
1 tsp cayanne pepper
1 tsp cajun seasoning (such as TexJoy – I had some on hand thanks to my friends from Texas… Just… shhhh… don’t tell anyone it has MSG in it. eep!)
I’ll just go on record and say that this is absolutely AMAZING and DELICIOUS and you might as well double the recipe right off the top because you’ll eat it all and then come back wanting more. I made this for our Christmas morning brunch and it was a hit. I tripled the recipe and came home empty handed. Every single crumb was devoured. I made it a week later for dinner. It worked just as well for either meal!
To top it all off, it’s HEALTHY. (what a nice way to start 2010, no?). The nutritional content on this both surprised and thrilled me and it’s for an entire quarter of the pie! It’s just 192 cals, 4.8g fat (2g sat fat), 10.5g carb, 17.5g protein, 7.8g fiber. Don’t lie. You’re in awe too.
Mediterranean Vegetable-Cheese Pie
Recipe from SELF, April 2005 courtesy of Epicurious. Rancho La Puerta Spa, Tecate, Baja California
Olive-oil cooking spray
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch rounds
1/2 cup diced onion
8 oz (about 8 cups) baby spinach
3 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup nonfat ricotta or fat-free cottage cheese (I couldn’t find nonfat ricotta, so I went with the cottage cheese and couldn’t tell the difference)
1 tbsp feta, crumbled
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil or dill, or 3 tsp dried basil or dill, divided into 2 equal portions (I used fresh basil)
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 1/2 tbsp grated Asiago or Parmesan
1 1/2 tbsp grated lowfat mozzarella
Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray.
Line bottom of plate with potato slices. Cut remaining slices in half and arrange around side of plate. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside. Coat a sauté pan with cooking spray and sauté onion over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach to pan and let wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain excess fluid from onion and spinach mixture. Stir in olives.
In a bowl, beat eggs and egg whites. Stir in ricotta and feta. Add half the basil or dill and set aside. Spoon onion and spinach mixture into pie plate over potatoes. Layer on egg mixture, then slices of tomato. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until egg is set and a knife inserted into pie comes out clean.
Sprinkle grated cheeses evenly over top of pie and top with remaining basil or dill. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut pie into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.
In preparation for a tea party my friend and I were hosting together, I was browsing some blogs and Tastespotting to see what I could find. Tastespotting never disappoints and once again provided me with this gorgeous inspiration. This picture of a zucchini soup caught my eye since it looked like a perfect addition to my tea menu. I followed the link.
My sister made this dish especially for me at a bbq we both recently attended. It is absolutely delicious. She doubled the recipe for some extra flavor, and I thought it was fabulous. She intentionally left out the fact that the topping had tofu in it for the anti-tofu meat eaters in our mix and just said it was “bread crumbs, parm cheese and stuff like that”. They loved it. I’m sure you will too!