Game-changing tofu scramble

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Have you ever heard of Kala Namak?

I read about it somewhere on the internet and decided to buy some on Amazon. Basically, it’s a black salt that comes from India, and it smells like eggs.

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It doesn’t smell that strong in the jar, but the smell intensifies when you add it to hot food.

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I crushed mine up in my Magic Bullet, but you could probably use a nut grinder too.

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The other day I made a tofu scramble recipe from Food52 Vegan cookbook. The recipe calls for tahini and Dijon mustard, which adds so much flavor. I will post the recipe below because you have to try it.

Anyway, I added Kala Namak to the scramble and it went from pretty good to amazing! I highly recommend you go find some and add it to anything egg-y that you’re making: omelets, scrambles, egg salad, quiche…!

As promised, the Food52 Tofu Scramble:

Serves 4

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 C diced veggies
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 T tamari (I used regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 14-16oz extra-firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast
  • 3 C baby spinach or other greens (I did kale)
  • 1/4 C minced fresh parsley
  • pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the veggies and saute until tender.
  2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, tamari, mustard, and turmeric. Add to the skillet and stir to combine, then stir in the tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tofu is heated through, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast over the top and stir it in. Add the spinach (or greens) and cook, stirring frequently, until just wilted.
  3. Serve topped with parsley and a few grinds of pepper.

Hope you love it!

My experience with using VeganEgg

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I saw VeganEgg at the grocery store a few weeks ago and was SO curious about it, so I picked one up. I thought it was funny how it came in an egg box considering there probably aren’t egg-shaped balls inside — or maybe there were? I had to know.

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Inside is actually a plastic bag with this yellow powder. I guess they wanted the box to be egg-shaped to help people associate it more closely with real eggs?

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The powder is composed mainly of something called Algal:

“Algal” simply means an ingredient is derived from algae. Whole algal flour and algal protein are plant-based ingredients, produced from native microalgae originally found in the Netherlands. This algal flour and protein naturally contain high levels of healthy lipids, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. These nutrient-dense microalgae also contain all essential amino acids and are a great source of dietary fiber.

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2 tablespoons of the VeganEgg powder + 1/2 cup of water is the equivalent of 1 egg.

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It actually smells like eggs, but with a much stronger egg smell. When I was baking with it, the batter smelled really egg-y and I was worried that the final baked product would still have the egg smell, but it actually went away.

I made pancakes, which turned out well, and I also made mini muffins, which did not cook all the way.

The muffin recipe called for 2 eggs, which meant 1 cup of water + 4 tablespoons of VeganEgg. The volume of liquid in 2 eggs is WAY LESS than 1 cup, so the batter was too liquidy and the muffins never cooked all the way through.

I learned afterward in a forum that you have to actually REDUCE the amount of water if you’re subbing for more than 1 egg.

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I also tried making scrambled eggs as suggested on the box. They didn’t really have a flavor but the texture was quite rubbery. I don’t know if I would eat it again by itself, although it seems like other people have had positive experiences.

Overall I think VeganEgg is a really neat invention and I’m going to continue experimenting with using it in baked goods now that I know what I was doing wrong.

Spaghetti Squash & Sausage Pasta Meal Prep Recipe

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We’re in the midst of ALL-PUMPKIN-EVERYTHING season, so what better time than now to post a recipe using spaghetti squash!

I like preparing squash by microwaving it first to soften it, because I don’t trust myself enough to cut through one without the knife slipping and accidentally stabbing myself.I’m not particularly weak or anything so I don’t know how other people cut through raw squashes.

Serves 4 (if you are really hungry) to 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 package of Italian Field Roast sausages*, sliced into 1-inch coins
  • 2 T pesto
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • vegan cheese (optional topping)

Prepare the “noodles”:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

To make the squash easier to cut through, microwave each one at a time for 5 minutes each, turning them over halfway through.

Let them cool for 10 minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle.

At this point, the squashes should be soft enough that you can cut through them with a knife somewhat easily. If not, microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Cut each squash in half and place on two baking sheets, rind side down. Bake for 50 minutes.

Prepare the sauce:

In the meantime, sautée the sausage in olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add the tomato sauce and pesto, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a light simmer.

Assemble:

Once the squash is done, let them cool for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Take a fork and scrape the flesh of the inside to get the spaghetti and collect in a large bowl. If the squash cooked all the way, you should be able to get everything all the way to the rind.

Mix some of the spaghetti “noodles” with the sauce, top with vegan cheese, and serve.

Stored separately, the sauce and noodles will keep in the fridge for 1 week.

* You could also use a package of vegan ground meat.

Updates & things I’ve cooked lately

Hey guys, so I haven’t done a proper meal prep post in a long time. It’s not because I haven’t been meal prepping, I’ve just been feeling too unmotivated to do the photo shoots with the groceries all laid out, etc.

I bought a really nice digital camera a few months ago and I accidentally pushed it off my desk and the screen cracked. I’m so sad I can’t use it anymore and Best Buy declared it unrepairable — FML! So now all my pics aren’t so great anymore. Also, I don’t want to be a weirdo taking food pics by the window at work and sometimes it’s already dark out when I’m eating dinner and I can’t get good lighting.

I digress. I made some really yummy and interesting things lately.

#1 is this posole. I didn’t know what posole was before this, I just picked the recipe out of Minimalist Baker‘s cookbook because I liked the picture lol. Someone at work asked me what I was eating when I was having this, and I embarrassingly pronounced the word wrong (WHOOPS).

Project Meal Prep | Vegan posole

Anyway, if you didn’t know, posole is a Mexican soup that has hominy in it. (“Posole” actually means “hominy”). Living in California, I always see hominy in the canned goods aisle at the grocery store, but I never cooked with it before. It basically looks like really huge corn kernels, but with a different texture.

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Another thing I’ve always seen but never cooked with is tomatillos, which were called for in this soup. I broiled them until the skin peeled off easily, then pureed them with some poblano peppers. I posted an Instagram story of how I made them, so follow me if you want to see future cooking stories!

The 2nd best thing I made lately was this Thai inspired soup by Laura Vitale. The base is so simple — veggie broth, coconut milk and red curry paste — but the dish is so flavorful and comforting. Soups to me are like a hug from the inside (is that weird to say?!)

Project Meal Prep | Thai noodle soup

I baked bread for the 2nd time ever. This one has a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. It’s so delicious when toasted! I got the recipe from Minimalist Baker again, but I skipped the step of adding seeds and oats and re-kneading.

Project Meal Prep | Semi-whole-wheat bread

And the rest, which I don’t have much to comment on…

Project Meal Prep | Tahini dip
Tahini dip with garlic and lemon
Project Meal Prep | Chocolate chip zucchini muffins
Chocolate chip zucchini muffins
Project Meal Prep | Oatmeal
Oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and raspberries

Time for some random updates.

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Two weekends ago I happened upon a huge animal rescue event in Jack London Square in Oakland. There were dozens of different organizations and animals up for adoption — dogs, cats, rats, and even pigeons!

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I almost flipped out when I saw the pug rescue. I love pugs so much, I just wanted to lay in the middle of the enclosure and let them walk all over and around me. I was also happy to know that there are breed-specific dog rescues, so there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to go to a breeder.

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Last update: I’m going to Vietnam in 9 days! I’ve never been there before, and I’ll be on a backpacking-style trip. I’m so excited and trying to learn some Vietnamese phrases.

If you made it to the end of this post, THANK YOU!

Vegan in LA & Disneyland

LA Roadtrip

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I drove to LA to see Louis CK perform. The show was on Sunday, so we decided to go to Disneyland on the Saturday.

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Roadtrip - popcorn in the car

For the trip there, I packed a bunch of food since we were going to be in the car for about 7 hours and didn’t want to stop to eat dinner. We packed a bunch of wraps with Tofurkey, lettuce, tomato, and Just Mayo, as well as apples, bananas, bars, and popcorn. It was more than enough food!

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I did a little bit of research about vegan food in Disneyland, and I read that there were a lot of options. Wherever we went, I just asked if something could be made vegan, and I found that the staff were very accommodating.

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For breakfast (not pictured), the place we went to just had pancakes and and hash browns. The pancakes were pretty flavorless, so I put jam on top since the syrup they had contained corn syrup.

Disneyland bunless

For lunch I had a veggie burger. The bun wasn’t vegan but they offered to swap it with lettuce instead. It was really tasty but I was actually hungry just an hour later.

Disneyland Redd Rockett's Pizza Port - Forest of Endor pasta

So I shared the Forest of Endor (without cheese) from Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port with my boyfriend. It was actually really tasty.

Disneyland vegan burger

After almost 11 hours of being in the park, we finally had dinner, and I had burger yet again — it was the Vegan Burger from Carnation Cafe. I got fries instead of fruit, which is not the healthy option obviously, but I was hungry!

Disneyland - Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade

Vegan desserts they have are frozen lemonade and this non-dairy soft serve ice cream thing called Dole Whip. If you’re curious what’s in it, here are the ingredients.

Overall this was not a day of healthy eating, but I felt fine, probably from walking and standing for 13 hours. Beggars can’t be choosers, but I did wish I could have eaten something in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

Btw, I was worried they would confiscate outside food, but they didn’t, so you can totally bring your own snacks!

Cafe Gratitude - I Am Nourished

The next day, we went to our AirBnB in Venice Beach, and for brunch we went to Cafe Gratitude. Each item on the menu is named with an adjective, like drip coffee is “Courageous” and when you order, you say what you want by saying “I am…” and then the dish name, eg. “I am courageous”.

The dish above had tempeh, gluten-free french toast, kale, and coconut bacon. It was so good.

Cafe Gratitude - I Am Trusting

My boyfriend ordered the BBQ tempeh scramble (“Trusting”), which came with gluten-free toast and avocado. We shared both dishes.

Cafe Gratitude

For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Tocaya Organica. It’s a vegan-first restaurant, that has non-vegan options as secondary items you can add to your meal.

Tocaya Organica - Plantain chips with guacamole

To start, we had plantain chips (I think they were baked) with guac and pomegranate seeds. I don’t know what they put in the guac but it was like the holy grail of guacs.

Tocaya Organica - Horchata

Tocaya Organica - FAJITA DEL REY

I had horchata and a fajita bowl with soy chorizo, salsa, rice, guac, peppers and onions, some kind of sauce, black beans, and non-dairy cheese. It was delicious but a little too salty.

I highly recommend these two restaurants if you’re ever in LA!

 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Where are you going this summer?

3 different things you can make with just bananas and oatmeal

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Bananas and oatmeal / oat flour are kind of a magical combination.

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I’ve discovered three completely different things you can make with just these two ingredients. But first, let’s talk about the nutritional value of oatmeal. According to Authority Nutrition:

Oats are among the world’s healthiest grains.

They are a good source of many vitamins, minerals and unique plant compounds.

Oats also contain large amounts of unique soluble fibers called beta-glucans, which provide numerous health benefits.

These include lower cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and insulin responses, relieved constipation and improved immune function.

In addition to all this, oats are also very filling, and may reduce appetite and help you eat fewer calories.

You don’t even need any added sugar if your bananas are ripe enough, so your blood sugar won’t spike as much as eating conventional pastries.

Muffins

Ingredients (makes about 5 muffins):

  • 4 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 cups oat flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher, or blend in a food processor.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
  4. Thoroughly grease a muffin tin, or use muffin liners.
  5. Evenly distribute batter into muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Cookies

Ingredients (makes 6 cookies):

  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 1 cup oat flour (ground up oatmeal)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash up the banana with a fork.
  3. Add in the oat flour and mix until well combined.
  4. Optional: Add in dried fruit, nuts, cacao nibs, or anything your heart desires. I added a scoop of pea protein powder, one chopped up date, and some crushed up walnuts.
  5. Put onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until firm.

You can eat these for breakfast!

Pancakes

Ingredients (makes 3 pancakes):

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup of oat flour (ground up oatmeal)
  • A few tablespoons of milk of your choice

Directions:

  1. Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add enough liquid so that it’s not super thick.
  2. Heat up a lightly oiled frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Add spoonfuls of pancake batter into the pan to make 3 pancakes.
  4. Flip when bubbles start to form on the top.

Jazz it up

You can customize these up with whatever you have lying around in your kitchen, like:

  • dried fruit
  • cinnamon
  • protein powder
  • crushed up nuts
  • cacao nibs
  • chocolate chips
  • chia seeds

The world is your oyster!

 

Vegan comfort food at Doomie’s

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A few days ago I was in Toronto and went to a new vegan comfort food restaurant that had just opened, called Doomie’s near Queen and Dufferin. I’d been waiting since before they opened to go because I heard their LA location was really popular. We had to wait 30 minutes to get a table when we got there around 12:30 (they opened a 12:00), which wasn’t bad considering many places in San Francisco require a 2-hour wait.

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When you go downstairs to the bathroom, the walls are covered in comics from Vegan Sidekick.

Ok, onto the food!

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My boyfriend and I started off with Jalapeno poppers, which apparently JUST came on the menu and we were the first people to order it! Whaaaaa! They were delicious.

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For my main, I ordered “chicken” and waffles, which was super decadent and came with a side of sticky fries (which are sweet and I think sticky because of maple syrup) and topped with vegan butter.I’m not sure how I felt about french fries being sweet but the rest of it was really good, although I could only eat half of it.

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My boyfriend ordered the “chicken” sandwich. I had a bite of it and it was delicious. He was full for the rest of the day from just the burger and actually wasn’t hungry enough to eat dinner like 7 hours later.

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I had to order dessert even though I was full, because who knew when I would have the opportunity to be back there again? We got the pumpkin Doomie bits, which are kind of like Tim Bits. If you’ve never been to Tim Hortons, Tim Bits are basically donut holes. They came topped with vanilla ice cream and it was all very yummy. My mouth is watering as I type this.

If you are in Toronto, I highly recommend checking it out. If you like vegan comfort food, I ALSO recommend Hogtown Vegan, which is near Bloor and Ossington and also very delicious!