Not Just Tofu

Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Bennies Lunch Treat

In Restaurant Experience, Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Bennies is my taste bud oasis when I am tired of eating burger and fries.  Bennies is located at 54 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ.  I fortunately work across the street from this jewel.  One day I was searching for lunch  and walked by this little restaurant that I had never been in eventhough I have lived in Englewood most of my life.  So what do I recommend?  I had the falafel sandwich with garlic roast potatoes and slaw without mayonnaise.  It was only $7!  It was so good that I ate the whole thing which could have easily been broken up into 2 smaller meals.  Instead of the sesame sauce that comes with it, I had the yogurt sauce.  So every now and again, I stop by Bennies to give my tastebuds a taste from around the world. 

What is falafel? 

‘Small croquette of mashed chick peas or fava beans seasoned with sesame seeds”


Just Add Beans!

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I crave savory snacks more that sweet snacks.  The other day, I decided to test adding beans to some of my favorite savory snacks.  By adding canned beans, I am able to add fiber to something I love.  I once heard in a sermon that Americans do not eat enough fiber.  We actually only eat 30 to 40% of the daily fiber needed in our daily diet to help regulate our digestion.   Another reason to add beans to your diet is to help reduce how often you snack.  By adding beans to my snacks, I am increasing my fiber intake by 10- 20% and snacking with more lasting results than just carbs alone. 

As a vegetarian, beans are a staple of your diet.  If you are not a big bean lover, adding them to your favorite snacks may be the way to start.  What I really love is that I didn’t have to cook any of the ingredients.  All you will need to complete making these snacks are a cutting board, knife, grater and a mixing bowl.  First I took store bought salsa and added black bean and a couple of other ingredients to make it fresh.  The second recipe I added beans to was bruschetta; the blend of ripe tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese and beans is beautiful.  Using store bought basics will allow you to make these snacks whenever you want, so no craving goes unsatisfied.  So next time your friends come over to chill, whip up a batch of these healthy snacks.

Black Bean Salsa    


  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 can of corn rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of diced Jalepenos (optional)
  • Juice of ½ a lime


  1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Eat


Bruschetta with Cannelini Beans  


  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 can of rinsed Cannelini  Beans
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of diced red onions
  • ½ cup of fresh chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cup of bottled Italian Salad Dressing


  1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and let sit for twenty minutes
  2. Eat with really good crusty bread

P.S.  I took these recipes to work to share with my coworkers, and let’s just say it went fast.

Quick and Easy Fry Rice

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Who doesn’t love Chinese food?  Between the chicken and broccoli or egg rolls, what is there not to like?  As a vegetarian, Chinese influenced recipes will be your go to when you are short on time and loaded with leftovers.  To equip your pantry for these quick meals, you just need to add these shelf stable staples.  Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice noodles and instant rice (brown and rice), frozen peas or soy beans.  The sesame oil and the ginger really give the rice an authentic kick.

My husband rarely eats plain white rice so fry rice is my go to side dish.  It’s quick and easy and it takes 10 minutes to put together.  The great thing about fry rice is that you can add what you like.  Instead of sweet peas, you can add soy beans.  If you are not a vegan, you can add scramble eggs instead of tofu for an extra protein boost.   If you are not an onion lover, swap them with scallions that are milder in flavor and won’t make you cry.  Below is the rice I created with whatever I had in my fridge.

Fried Rice

  • 2 cups of instant rice
  • 3 whole stalks of scallion chopped
  • ¼ cup of shredded carrots chopped
  • 2 small cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon for freshly grated ginger or ½ a tablespoon ginger powder
  • ½ cup of frozen sweet peas (I love sweet peas)
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • ¼ cup of low sodium soy sauce



  1. Deep Frying Pan or Wok
  2. Silicone Spatula
  3. Knife
  4. Cutting Board
  5. Hand Grater



  • 30 seconds – warm oils in frying pan or wok
  • 30 seconds – cook garlic, scallion and ginger until fragrant
  • 1 minute – cook frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 minute – cook rice
  • 30 – add soy sauce and black pepper
  • Cook for 4 minutes on high heat stirring often.

Total of  7.5 minutes

Vegetarian Low Mein

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 at 4:06 am


Delicous Homemade Lo Mein

I crave Chinese food often.  Unfortunately, they fry both meat  and vegetarian dishes in the same wok.  For some cooking everything in the same pot  is not a problem. Alvin and I rather cook Chinese food from home. You can find these ingredients in your grocery store, nospecialty store needed.

  • 1 package of cooked Lo Mein noodles or linguini pasta (white or wheat)
  • stalks of chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 8oz package of button mushrooms
  • ½ a package of soy crumbles
  • 1 frozen package of stir fry vegetable mix
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup of water


  1. Deep frying pan
  2. 2 wooden spoons
  3. Chef knife and cutting board

15 seconds          Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in hot pan

30 seconds          Sautee scallions and garlic (stir often)

1 minute              Add mushrooms and crumbles, cook till soft

3-5 minutes        Add cooked noodles and frozen stir fry mixture

2 -2 minutes       Add soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger and cornstarch mixture

4-5 minutes        Stir Fry and take the pan off the burner so it will stop cooking

 *If you like spicy noodles, try very spicy Siriracha Chile Paste*
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