Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nuts about Coconut.

I cannot believe I forgot about the most important part of last week's post.

(Quick refresher if you forgot the post was about: burrito bowls).

I forgot about adding the salsa. So I painstakingly made another bowl just to take another picture. But really I made it because it is what I ate for dinner at least 5 times last week.

So good.

Today, we shall switch gears and talk about another of my favorite foods: coconut.

This was my first time using a real coconut. It was quite an adventure.

First, breaking it...

Then grating it...

(Luckily I was able to get my hands on this coconut grater; otherwise, I probably would have just used a knife).

I ended up freezing most of the shredded coconut, but did use a small amount in the following recipe:

Mixed Vegetable Curry

  • vegetables of choice (I used 1 small potato, frozen carrots, broccoli, peas, spinach, and green beans)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil) 
  • 1 green chili
  • 1-2 tomatoes

Blend together the coconut, cilantro, turmeric, green chili, and salt. If the mixture does not blend, add a few spoonfuls of water to facilitate the blending. Set aside.

Pre-cook the potato by rinsing it, piercing a few holes in it with a fork, and microwaving it for 3-5 minutes. Then, in a large pot, heat the coconut oil and add the frozen (or fresh) vegetables, and add the cooked potato last. 

Add the blended coconut mixture.

Mix well and continue cooking until everything has incorporated.

Add more salt/spice if necessary.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Coconutty goodness! But not too overwhelmingly coconutty, for those of you who are not coconut fans. 

So, I completely forgot to mention last week that Trader Joe's finally opened here last weekend, and of course, I went 2 days after the grand opening. And of course, I consumed most of the items I purchased before I could even take my camera out. (Typical). But I did get a few notable items: crispy snap peas (awesome snack!), bags of greens (spinach, romaine, arugula), a 4oz box of basil (for a very reasonable price), and much more. I really did go a bit crazy there, but then again, everyone else was too. The lines were into the aisles! Next time I'm hoping the "smashing s'mores" aren't all gone!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Move Over, Chipotle.

Warning: the following statement may be a shocking one.

Lately, I've been craving a Chipotle burrito bowl. 

I actually would have made the effort to purchase one, but the quickly aging produce in my fridge makes me feel really guilty about eating out. But seriously, those burrito bowls are not only delicious but so satisfyingly hearty. Note: I never include rice in my burrito bowls, so it's basically a gigantic hearty salad. Yum.

Anyway, I decided that for this week's dinners, I would prepare my own burrito bowls (with a side of quesadillas, because I cannot get enough quesadillas in my life). The following is a Tulika-style burrito bowl makeover, and I was pretty happy with the outcome. 

Instead of using tempeh or Morningstar crumbles for additional protein, I thought I'd try something new. My secret ingredient for this bowl was this:

I got this from an Indian store, and I have no idea if it is available anywhere else (potentially an Asian store?), but this was a complete experiment. I boiled a cup of this in 4 cups of water, drained the water, and the texture looked like this:

I added half of the soy to a can of black beans, ~3/4 cup frozen corn, a handful of cilantro, and 1 chopped jalapeno. 

I seasoned this mixture with a teaspoon of low sodium taco seasoning and the juice of half a lemon. Another option for seasoning would be salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, and cumin seeds.

For building the bowl...

First start with a generous helping of greens. I used a combination of spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce.

Add sliced avocado or a spoonful (or two) of guacamole.

Add a few spoonfuls of the bean mixture.

Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and shredded cheese.

Optional: add more taco seasoning, or a salad dressing of choice.

And there you have it, your own burrito bowl. The possibilities for mix-ins are endless! If you come up with something of your own, I'd love to hear your ideas.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mish Mash.

I looked through my camera (and phone) and noticed that there were food pictures from far too long ago that have not been posted on this blog.

Not okay!

And hence, this post shall include a mish mash of various recipes/food in general that I have consumed sometime in the recent past.

Firstly, I am still a huge fan of Vegetarian Times magazine. Every now and then, I look to it for recipe inspiration. I recently made two egg-based recipes which I thoroughly enjoyed, and the best part: the recipes were incredibly easy.

The first one is for a Spanish tortilla. I'd never heard of anything like it, but I will definitely be making it again.

The Spanish tortilla is a mix of mashed white beans, a spicy sauce,

eggs, and parsley.

This is cooked on a skillet a crepe-like item is formed. I topped it with more of the spicy sauce and some roasted red bell peppers. The sauce is a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper.

Another dish I made was called Zucchini Croquettes. But I like to call them Zucchini Pancakes!

But really, they are like zucchini omelettes. I grated zucchini in the Ninja, and whisked it with some eggs, olive oil, and salt/pepper. I ate it alongside some mango salsa.

Speaking of the Ninja, I've been using it so much lately, it is a little out of control.

Hello, hummus!

Today, I made this gazpacho and thanks to the Ninja, it took about 3 seconds to blend. Magic!

Other than obsessing over this blender, I've been bringing back old recipes (as seen from the above gazpacho). I went to the farmer's market last week and saw some lovely spaghetti squashes that were calling my name, and I realized I hadn't used a spaghetti squash in over a year.

I made a zucchini and mushroom tomato sauce and mixed in the spaghetti squash, and topped it with some grated swiss cheese. Fun fact, I am very indifferent towards zucchini...but I just happened to have extra from the zucchini pancakes.

Lastly, I discovered an awesome new restaurant, (almost) all vegetarian and very healthy!

I am so overwhelmed when I look at a menu and I have more than 3 options. I decided on the vegan seaweed club, which included a veggie patty wrapped with seaweed, as well as basil-crusted bean curd. A very interesting twist on a veggie burger which I thoroughly enjoyed! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012


HALT. Alert the media. 

Do you recall that for the past 8 or so months, I have been complaining that I do not own a food processor? And that I'd get one ASAP, but never actually did?

Well. My dreams came true last weekend when I received the best birthday gift ever.

The NINJA!!! 

I really am not a fan of regular blenders. This is because because the types of things I like to make seem to always seem to get stuck at the bottom of the blender and the blending doesn't end up being homogeneous. I like food processors because the container is wider and making, for example, hummus, is much easier. The ninja takes it a step up, and has not only one blade, but 3 blades, so that the top and middle portions of the container get blended as much as the bottom. Additionally, the motor is on the top rather than the bottom, which makes the clean up so much easier, since the motor can detach from the container/blade.  

Can you tell that I am already a huge fan of the Ninja? The first thing I made was black bean hummus. And the blending took about 5 seconds. And in those 5 seconds, I got the creamiest hummus of my life.

For this, I just combined 1 can black beans, 3 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon, a small handful of parsley (not chopped), 1 teaspoon tahini, salt, and pepper. 

I have been coming up with excuses to use this. Mango salsa, almond butter, more hummus... (and something else, but I will be posting that recipe at another time!).

Besides spending quality time with my Ninja, I've been going to Whole Foods a lot lately.

My latest stash included:

I had never tried flax milk, but I definitely enjoyed it. The lemon pepper tempeh was a winner; however, I didn't enjoy the spicy veggie tempeh as much. And of course, I love my coconut butter and kombucha.

But really, I can't get enough kombucha. Probably because the humidity is at 99.99% and it's such a refreshing beverage.

(And I'm really loving the ginger flavor).

Besides that, I have been attending to my workouts as usual. 

(Bright green shorts make working out that much more enjoyable).

The newest addition to my workout schedule has been the Nike Training Club app, which includes tons of timed workouts for cardio, toning, or strength purposes. The app also includes video and sound, with a narration that takes you through the entire 30 or 45 minute workout. The workouts are actually quite tough! I recommend giving it a whirl if you are in a workout rut.

And with that, have a great week!