Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lightened Up Vegan Groundnut Stew

In my quest to lower the calories in some of my favorite dishes, I purchased some PB2 (powdered, low-fat peanut butter).  I have been experimenting and enjoying it immensely.  You see, peanut butter is one of my favorite foods ever!  Don't get me wrong here, I am not giving up peanut butter, but I am replacing it in some of my recipes to lower the calories. 

My groundnut stew is so delicious, but the original recipe is very high in calories.  To make this lightened up version, I used 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil in place of the 1/4 cup of olive oil and replaced the peanut butter with PB2.  I am pleased to say it worked beautifully! I served it with millet that I cooked with turmeric, lemon pepper and cilantro.  

Yum! Both The Boyfriend and I are big fans. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

20 Minute Greek Kale and White Bean Stew

We went to Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend , which was awesome.  The Boyfriend has a friend who has a lake house there and it was a lovely, relaxing time. 

My foot surgery is scheduled for this coming Friday, August 30th, and I'm pretty nervous about it, so it was really nice to get away for the weekend. 

This morning, I made The Boyfriend an omelette with kale, onions, tomatoes, oregano and feta which was the inspiration for my breakfast.  I took out two cups of cooked lima beans out of the freezer and chopped a few ingredients and it came together in 20 minutes.

20 Minute Greek Kale and White Bean Stew
  • cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt/lemon pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup canned, chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked white beans 
  • Parsley, olives and feta for garnish (optional)

  1. In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper for several minutes.
  2. De-glaze with the vinegar, add the kale, tomato, water and beans. Cover and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. Add desired garnished, and check seasoning; adding more salt/lemon pepper to taste. 

My Nutty Goat Cheese, or Tofu Feta would be a great vegan alternative to feta. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vegan: Sriracha Tofu, Daikon, Pickled Jalapeno, and Radish Tacos

I rarely eat traditional breakfast foods.  I crave savory, spicy flavors and this morning, I threw together these awesome tacos in 5 minutes.  I sprayed my cast iron with coconut oil cooking spray and toasted the corn tortillas and re-heated LEFTOVER TOFU over medium heat.  Last night, I created a new Low Fat Vegan Flax - Almond Mayo. (Mayo recipe will be in my upcoming E-book!) ..  I mixed Sriracha in with the mayo and slathered it on the bottom of the tortillas. Then I added spring mix and some Daikon Noodles, the tofu, and topped it with pickled jalapenos (from our garden) and pickled radish.  The flavor was outstanding, low in calories and filled me up for hours.

In case you missed yesterday's post, this is how I make my daikon noodles.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Daikon Noodle Bowl with Sriracha Tofu, Pickled Radish and Snap Peas with Video Tutorial

I adore Daikon!  It is seriously one of the most versatile of veggies! In today's dish, I replaced noodles with Daikon noodles! What a great way to reduce calories and get more veggies into your diet.  While you can totally eat the daikon noodles raw, they are also delicious cooked.

But first, I'm sure many of you are wondering HOW to create Daikon Noodles. This is my favorite tool for the job. A spiralizer! I have tried several different models and this one is the best.  I have had it for 4 years and it has gone to work with me in two restaurants and it's still going strong!

I put together a little video tutorial so you can see how easy it is!  You can also use zucchini, carrots, turnips, beets or any other root vegetable.

See...? Super simple!

So, to create this dish, I followed THESE cooking instructions. I tossed the noodles with some spicy, lowfat peanut sauce, cilantro and sriracha tofu, and pickled turnips. (Low-fat Peanut Sauce recipe will be in my E-book which will FINALLY be released Sept. 24th.)

The Sriracha tofu was just Dry Fried Tofu tossed in a simple sauce of water, sriracha and lemon pepper.  I added around 1/4 cup of water, lemon pepper and Sriracha to taste in the same pan I cooked the tofu (with the tofu) and brought it to a quick simmer for a couple of minutes. I'm sure it seems counterproductive to add water to dry fried tofu, but trust me, this allowed the sauce to really cook into the tofu! I tossed it all together with some snap peas and pickled radish, cilantro and some radish greens from our garden.

Here are some links to more of my favorite Daikon recipes!

Plus a bonus link to my awesome Sesame-Chia Beet Salad using THIS SPIRALIZER!

Monday, August 19, 2013

No Added Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Garlic

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts are so tasty and satisfying and have no added fat; well, I used cooking spray, but not very much! They couldn't be simpler. You can roast almost all vegetables this way.  Feel free to coat with your favorite spice mixtures

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussles Sprouts, cut in half
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Cooking Spray

Pre-heat oven to 400
Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray, toss everything together; spray again, and bake for 20-30 minutes; turning them over half way through the cooking process. 

Here are some links to some roasted veggies! 

VLOG: Frustrated about Weight Gain and Hot Flashes

I need to vent and also, start holding myself more accountable for my weight.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Creative Recycling: Fusion Falafels

I LOVE leftovers!  In fact, some of my best creations ever were born from mixing this or that together and watching how everything magically transforms into something new.  The great thing about leftovers, at least in my kitchen, is that each ingredient is already packed with flavor, so when you combine them, the food has that "cooked all day" taste.  

I don't have an exact recipe for this; in fact, the only reason I ever write recipes, is so YOU can use them.  This is more of a method and I encourage you to experiment! Also, don't put your food in a box of this or that flavor should only go with this or that ingredient.  What you see above came together beautifully and to me, represents fusion flavors at their best! 

I had some leftover Ayeb-Begomen that I froze.  I originally intended to defrosting it and making an Ethiopian "Spanikopita" which I wanted to serve with my Tomato-Onion Chutney.

... but I failed to take into account the amount of liquid the cheese would release while it was thawing and I was worried about the phyllo dough becoming a soggy mess, so I figured I would turn it into something similar to my Baked Falafel

I had around 3 cups of the Ayeb Begomen left.  I pre-heated the oven to 400 and mixed around 1 1/2 cups of chickpea flour along with some of my Ethiopian Spice Mixture and maybe around 1/2 cup of rolled oats.  

I sprayed a cookie sheet with cooking spray and used a small ice cream scoop to portion the balls.

They are quite magnificent!

I baked them for around 45 minutes, turning them over halfway.  While they were baking, I used more leftovers.  I had some Very Lowfat Southwestern Sauce in the fridge.  See, this is what I mean about not being afraid to mix flavors.  I added a bit of Greek Yogurt and some Tahini , along with some lemon juice and a clove of garlic.  I cooked up a quick Chickpea Flatbread for The Boyfriend and chopped up daikon, and cucumber. 

The results: AWESOME! 

The Boyfriends' Lunch

My Lunch

Friday, August 16, 2013

Simple, Overnight Pickled Hot Peppers

We have not had the best of luck with our garden.  This is the first one we have done, and we are dealing with several challenges; most notably, lack of sun and bugs. 

Fortunately, our jalapenos are thriving. so yesterday, I made a quick batch of pickled jalapenos and then someone on facebook mentioned pickled habaneros, which we have on hand, so I pickled some of those too. 

Now, I have a habit of adding everything but the kitchen sink to my recipes, but The Boyfriend wanted to keep it simple, so I used, vinegar and salt. No spices, garlic, onion or even peppercorns! 

Look at these beautiful jalapenos! 

Simple Pickled Peppers
  • around 3 cups hot peppers, chopped into rings
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt (or any salt that does not contain Iodine or caking agents)

  1. Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil
  2. Chop Peppers
  3. Pack the peppers into sterilized glass jars
  4. Pour bring over peppers, put lids on and let the jars cool on the counter. 
  5. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy! 
Pickled Jalapenos

Pickled Habaneros

I enjoyed my super hot habaneros on a a Black Bean Burger for breakfast this morning! 

Yes, they were very, very, spicy! No, I don't recommend "normal" people eat this amount of habaneros!  Did I mention that I once won a hot pepper eating contest against a bunch of marines in a bar?  

Here are some more simple pickle recipes! 

Don't forget, you can save the brine from olives or pickled peppers and even dill pickles!  I made some awesome pickled turnips that I used in my amazing Ethiopian Bread Salad! 

Speaking of pickles, stay tuned for an update on our Nuka Pickles! (Traditional Fermented Japanese Pickle)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sugar Free, Fat Free, Mixed Berry Greek Frozen Yogurt

You CAN eat ice cream for breakfast and feel good about it!
This frozen yogurt is fat and sugar free; basically just yogurt and fruit, sweetened with stevia to taste and thinned with a bit of almond milk.

Mixed Berry Frozen Yogurt

  • 2 cups nonfat, plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • stevia to taste (I used 7 packets)
  • pinch xanthan gum
  • good pinch salt

Mix everything together and our into your ice cream maker. When ice cream is finished, transfer into a bowl and freeze for at least an hour.

Here's a peach version!

and strawberry!

15 Minute Crispy Low Fat Buffalo Tofu; no pressing required!

I just made a batch of this awesome tofu.  I used 7.5 oz of Trader Joes Extra Firm Tofu and Dry Fried it. The GREAT thing about Dry Frying your tofu, is that you don't have to press it.  Let's face it; it's kind of a pain in the ass to do that. I know you're skeptical, but trust me, just this once and come on over the the dark side of Melomeals Shortcuts!

Here is a Tutorial on How To Dry Fry Tofu:

While the tofu was cooking, I made a quick sauce with around 1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce, 1 tbsp garlic powder and 1 tsp of my Chipotle Coconut Butter. (I warmed this up in a small saucepan).  When the tofu was finished, I tossed it in the sauce.

It's that simple and the tofu tastes like was marinating all day and fried!

I will probably have a big cabbage/kale salad with live sauerkraut, cukes, tomatoes and onions.

I also have a lovely sugar free berry frozen yogurt in the freezer I can have for dessert. Stay tuned for more on that!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Scallion - Queso Beer Bread (vegan,whole grain)

I made a pot of Chili today and The Boyfriend, of course, wanted cornbread, but I don't have any cornmeal and really, we have so much food in the house, so going to the store seemed ridiculous.  I remembered we had a couple bottles of beer that someone brought over that we will never drink, so I decided to create a beer bread recipe.

I used some homemade Queso, along with scallions and it came out fantastic!

Scallion - Queso Beer Bread

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur's)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan queso 
  • 12 oz room temperature beer
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375
  2. Sift dry ingredients together (including sugar and salt)
  3. Make a well and whisk in the wet ingredients. 
  4. Scrape into 8 inch loaf pan, sprayed with cooking spray
  5. Bake for 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through
  6. Let bread cool for at least 30 minutes. 
  7. Enjoy!