Miso Cucumber Noodles with Eggplant and Beyond Meat

As I’ve mentioned, on weeknights I strive to create healthy and easy meals that are also delicious. After a long day at work, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen so that I can eat something healthy for dinner. That’s why I keep several recipes like this in the back of my mind! It’s delicious and healthy but so easy to make.

If you like the sauce, make extra and keep it in the fridge. You can use it as a salad dressing or marinade for another type of vegetable!

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Miso Cucumber Noodles with Eggplant and Beyond Meat

serves one

Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber

1 cup sliced eggplant

1 serving (about 6 strips) grilled Beyond Meat

1 tbsp miso

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp water

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Directions:

Begin by slicing your eggplant. Put a little oil in a pan and add in eggplant. Put a lid on the pan and let cook for about 5 minutes, stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, wash and dry your cucumber. Using a vegetable peeler, make noodles out of the cucumber. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Combine miso, vinegar, ginger, and water to make your sauce. Adjust the amount of water to create the desired thickness. Drizzle a little sauce over your cooking eggplant, and cook for a few more minutes.

Saute the Beyond Meat strips for about 3 minutes on each side. Place eggplant & Beyond meat over your cucumber noodles, drizzle with remaining sauce, and enjoy! A quick, easy, and healthy meal 🙂

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Toast with Chocolate Yogurt Spread

For some reason, I can go a whole month eating the same breakfast every day, only to be suddenly sick of it. This has been true for cereal, oatmeal, bars, you name it.

So, in an effort to avoid breakfast burn out, I’ve been trying to change it up on a more regular basis. I’ve been experimenting – with one catch – it has to be quick and easy.

This morning, rushing to make breakfast before getting out the door, I decided to try making a spread out of Greek yogurt. If you read this blog regularly, you know I LOVE chocolate. So this breakfast was right up my alley.

Bonus – because I used Greek yogurt, it’s full of protein, meaning (hopefully) I’ll be filled till lunch.

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Toast with Chocolate Yogurt Spread

Ingredients:

1 serving plain or vanilla Greek yogurt

1 tbsp cocoa powder (I like dark chocolate)

2 pieces toast of choice

sweetner if desired

Directions:

Mix yogurt, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Toast your bread and spread with yogurt mixture. Easy, healthy, and delicious!

 

Summertime Salmon Salad

I know, it’s been a long time since I posted – Sorry!!

This summer has been crazy – I’ve now been at my new job three weeks and am just getting into the swing of things. I’m planning to back to regular posting asap!

First I have a wonderful and easy summertime salad to share with you. When we made it, we used the grill for the salmon, but it works just as well to fry it quick on the stove. The recipe is so simple but makes use of all the great produce available right now. And in interest of cutting down time in the kitchen and spending more time outdoors, we used store bought dressing to top our salads (my favorite is Newman’s Own Lite Sesame Ginger Dressing) Thanks momma for sharing this wonderful meal with me 🙂

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Summertime Salmon Salad with Goat Cheese

serves two

Ingredients:

2 salmon filets of desired size

1 1/2 cup chopped white mushrooms

1 cup halved cheery tomatoes

1 cup shredded purple cabbage

1 cup chopped cucumbers

1/2 cup goat cheese

4 cups spinach

2 cups arugula

olive oil

salt and pepper

dressing of choice

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Directions:

Preheat your grill and rub salmon filets with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Grill for about ten minutes (5 each side) until the salmon is cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad by chopping all of your veggies. Divide the spinach and arugula between two large plates or bowls and top with veggies. Add goat cheese and top with the cooked salmon.

Dress with your favorite dressing and more salt and pepper if desired. Best enjoyed outdoors 🙂

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Restaurant Review #3: Tao Natural Foods

I have another Minneapolis restaurant to share until I move on to new locations next week! This restaurant is an old favorite made new again by introducing outdoor seating and at your table service.

Tao Natural Foods, located at 2200 Hennepin Avenue, is a small health food store with an attached cafe, which recently expanded to include an evening menu that is served by wait staff (instead of ordering at the counter and waiting for your food).

On their home page, Tao writes “For over 40 years we’ve been quietly chipping away at creating, quite possibly, the best little health food store around. Please come and relax over a great cup of coffee or enjoy a nourishing meal in our cozy cafe. While we are busy preparing your meal, you can browse our supplement shop and grab that cream, pill or herb for what’s been ailing you. If you can’t find what you need in a bottle, no worries, we’ve got specialized health practitioners here too! We offer services ranging from Integrative Health Coaching to Therapeutic Massage, Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine and Reiki. Call today to make an appointment, or just stop in and see all that we have to offer you. Hope to see you soon!” They offer quite the repertoire of options for any of your health needs. 

Usually, after we order our food, we wander the health food store and see what new products they have. On the cafe menu, I’ve been known to order the Warm Garden Salad, “A generous portion of steamed veggies on a bed of mixed baby greens topped with swiss cheese, sunflower seeds and Goddess Dressing!” And I seriously can’t recommend it enough. I usually get it with a side of their Balsamic Dressing, and as a girl who can’t get enough of her veggies, I am always pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the description (a generous portion of steamed veggies). I’ve also enjoyed the homemade Black Bean Veggie Burger, which I also love.

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About two weeks ago I went back with my brother, dad, and grandma to try their new nighttime menu. We started with the Pickled Plate and Warm Medjool Dates. The dates had meat on them, but got rave reviews from my brother. However, they are very rich so it is definitely an appetizer you’d want to share with at least one other person, if not more. The pickled plate was good, but not something I’d go back to Tao for.

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We also tried a few drinks. Jens ordered the Muscle Mania smoothie (banana, peanut butter, hemp protein, maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk) which was delicious, thick, and filling. My dad tried a juice, which was tangy from ginger but very delicious.

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The real stars of the meal were the main dishes. My brother tried the spicy chicken quesadilla on the started menu and liked it. My grandma went with the cheese plate, which includes local cheese, olives, fruit and crackers. She was happy with her meal, and the tastes I stole of local cheese were delicious.

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My dad and I both decided on the The Tao: Macrobiotic Inspired, which is both vegan and gluten free. Our plate came piled with delicious food: ginger-steamed vegetables, brown rice, black beans, fermented cabbage, and grilled tofu on top. The plate was delicious, my only complaint being that there was not enough flavor. This was quickly solved by tamari and soy sauce, and I chowed down happy as a clam.

Although too full for dessert on this particular occasion, I can’t wait to go back and try the Goat Cheese Ice Cream (with strawberries in balsamic reduction) 

Shrimp & Pineapple Kebabs

If you regularly read this blog, you know I love grilling in the summer. There’s a seemingly endless amount of combinations you can grill up and they all are so good. And what better way to get the most out of every nice day than making dinner outside too.

My mom and I prepared this recipe the other night in under 30 minutes, giving us plenty of time to sit outside and enjoy a summer night. If you don’t eat shrimp, try replacing it with tofu or chunks of a veggie burger. Swamp out any of the veggies for something you like better!

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Shrimp & Pineapple Kebabs

serves two

Ingredients:

6 shrimps

1/2 cup chopped pineapple

1 red onion

1/2 yellow pepper

1/2 red pepper

3/4 cup halved purple potatoes

1 cup baby bella mushrooms

skewers

dipping sauce (we chose BBQ but anything would be good)

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Directions:

Begin by cutting all the vegetables, potatoes, and pineapple into kebab-sized pieces. Preheat grill. Build your kebabs by skewering the shrimp, vegetables, potatoes, and pineapple in any order. Brush the grill with a little olive oil and cook the kebabs until browning, about 5 minutes each side.

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Remove and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce!

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Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado

Happy 4th of July!! The 4th is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love sitting out in the sun, by a pool or the lake, with my family and friends. And of course I love the food 🙂 Growing up we always went to my aunt and uncle’s house in the morning for a big brunch, followed by a morning of hanging out by the pool, swimming, and poolside volleyball. In the afternoon we’d head to Lake Minnetonka with the other side of the family. We’d sit and chat on the dock and swim in the lake before grilling up a delicious dinner. The day would end with fireworks we set off and watching big ones all across the lake.

This year I think I’ll make this delicious Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado. It’s easy and delicious and goes well with whatever else you want to grill. It’s also great because you can make the dressing in advance and the the salad ready in no time.

This salad is also great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. In my family we cook seitan and chicken on the grill and then serve them on the side of the salad. Perfect for a mixed group of eaters. I use Upton’s Naturals Seitan, my favorite brand of seitan.

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Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado

serves 4

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for the grill)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 package Upton’s Naturals Traditional Seitan

3 ears corn, shucked

6 cups baby spinach

1 avocado

2 ounces shaved Parmesan

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Directions:

Heat grill. Once it’s hot, brush with a little olive oil.

Prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl (it also works well to put all ingredients in a small jar and shake it well to mix).

Rub a little olive oil and salt and pepper on the corn and grill the corn and seitan for about 4 to 6 minutes. Cut the kernels off and cut the avocado into small cubes.

Assemble the salad by layering the spinach, seitan, corn, and avocado. Pour on dressing, mix well, and top with shaved parmesan. Dig in!

 

Shared on: Healthy Vegan Fridays

Grilled Swordfish with Nectarine-Onion Salsa

As promised, I have a new recipe for you today! One of my favorite part of the summer is al fresco eating, and what better way to enjoy eating outdoors than by cooking outdoors too. Although you can never go wrong with a classic BBQ, there are so many other interesting and fun things you can make on the grill. Like this swordfish with salsa. Not only do you grill the fish, you also grill the salsa toppings before slicing and dicing them.

Vegetarian or Vegan? Or just not into fish? Try this salsa on a grilled veggie burger or Portobello mushroom. It’s so good I used the leftovers to top my side salad (and eat on it’s own). The best part of this meal is you can grill and serve within 30 minutes, so you have more time to relax and enjoy the summer!

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Grilled Swordfish with Nectarine-Onion Salsa

serves two (with extra salsa)

Ingredients:

3 nectarines

1 red onion

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp + 1 tsp white-wine vinegar

1/2  jalapeno chile

1/4 cup fresh mint

salt and pepper

2 swordfish steaks

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Directions:

Preheat grill to medium heat. Quarter nectarines and onion. Place 1 tsp olive oil on a piece of aluminum foil, place nectarines and onion inside and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil around the fruits and place on grill for about 15 minutes or until soft and juicy.

Once cooked, remove nectarines and onion from foil and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Combine mustard, vinegar, and chile in a large bowl. Chop up nectarines and onion and add to the bowl. Mix well, then stir in chopped mint and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Finally, lightly coat both sides of the swordfish steaks with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Top swordfish steaks with the nectarine-onion salsa and serve!

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adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/339161/grilled-swordfish-with-nectarine-onion-s?czone=food%252Fproduce-guide-cnt%252Fsummer-produce-recipes%253Fxsc%253Dsoc_pin_GrilledSwordfishwithNecatrineOnionSalsa&crlt.pid=camp.fn6ST7YIYic3

Recipe Round Up #2

Hello! I’m back in action after a vacation, senior week, and college graduation (!!). I can’t believe college is over but I’m excited to see where life takes me from now on. I’ll still be cooking and eating in Chicago as of now, so I hope you keep following along.

I plan to start posting more frequently again starting with a delicious grilled fish recipe tomorrow. Summer is my favorite season to cook (and grill!) in so I’ve have plenty to share.

In the meantime, here’s a round-up of recipes from around the web that I’ve had my eye on:

First off, I’d like to start my day with this Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding –  I’ve yet to try making Chia pudding but when I do this is first on my list.

Second, I’ve been super into shrimp recently, and would love to make Shrimp Po’ Boy with Mango or Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

shrimp po' boy with spicy mango / loveandlemons.com8e9328a22208f0ef9143d0f94ade9c6e

Third, these Chickpea Sliders with Whipped Feta and Cucumber Slaw look like something I want to whip up this weekend. Who’s coming over? While I’m grilling I’ll try my hand at making my own BBQ sauce via this spicy recipe from Food 52.

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Finally, what’s a week without some delicious dessert. These Caramel Blackberry Brownies look dangerous (in the best way possible).

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I hope everyone is soaking up the summer and enjoying the sun. Check back tomorrow for an amazing grilled swordfish recipe!

Stir Fry with Buffalo Vinaigrette

I recently decided to try textured vegetable protein, something I had never cooked with before. It comes dry, and you prepare it by combining it with water and microwaving it. I love it! It’s such a versatile protein and is fun to use. You’ll be seeing more of it in my recipes coming up! If you don’t feel like trying textured vegetable protein, try any type of crumbled protein instead.

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Stir Fry with Buffalo Vinaigrette

serves two

Ingredients:

5 large carrots

1 cup mushrooms

2 cups broccoli

1 yellow onion

1 cup textured vegetable protein

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp lemon juice

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Directions:

Dice onion and place in heated pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Cook about two minutes. Meanwhile chop carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli, add to pan with onions and cook until veggies are cooked (about 6 more minutes).

Cook the textured vegetable protein according to directions on package. Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients (besides the avocado) in a bowl to make the vinaigrette. Slice the avocado.

Finally, layer the vegetables, textured vegetable protein, and vinaigrette on a plate. Top with avocado and serve.

Sriracha Noodle Soup

Even though it’s getting warmer, I still love soup. It’s such an easy thing to throw on the stove and is customizable to whatever you have in your fridge. For example, this soup was supposed to have sweet potatoes in it, but when I cut into my sweet potato it was rotten – so I adapted and added some different ingredients in.

Soup is also great when you’re cooking with friends. We made this recipe last week while catching up over glasses of wine. All that is really required is chopping and heating, so if you get distracted it’s no big deal 🙂

I want to try this recipe again with the sweet potato that is in the original recipe we adapted this from (http://naturallyella.com/2014/03/20/sweet-potato-sriracha-noodle-soup/) – if you try it, let me know how it tastes! Adjust the sriracha depending on how spicy you like it!

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Sriracha Noodle Soup

serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger

1 carton vegetable broth (about 5 cups)

2 tbsp lime juice

1-2 tbsp sriracha

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

3-4 servings rice noodles

Cilantro + bean sprouts for garnish

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Directions:

In a pit, heat a little oil or cooking spray. Stir in red onion and cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger and stir for about one minute. Add in 4 cups vegetable broth, lime juice, sriracha, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Add the carrots and mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes. Finally add the noodles and put a lid on the pot – cook until soft (about 5-6 minutes).

Serve the soup in bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and bean sprouts and extra lime juice. Add more sriracha on top for an extra kick!

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