Not Just Tofu

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Recipe:Creamy Enchiladas

In Recipe on September 28, 2010 at 4:18 am

YUMMY!!!

My love of Mexican food inspired me to create a new recipe of my own.  NOT JUST TOFU does not advocate using of meat substitutes daily because of the high sodium they contain.  I know that using meat substitutes makes it easier for some of you trying to make the transition from herbivore to carnivore, but it is not the best way.  When choosing a substitute, choose those low in sodium.  I also suggest trying to limit your use of meat substitutes to 2 to 3 times a week to reduce your risk for high blood pressure and bloating.  Now with that being said, try this recipe the next time you use mock chicken.  I used Morningstar Chicken Strips to help create the filling for the enchiladas because they are the preferred product in my family. 

Ingredients

  • 1 package of mock Chicken Strips
  • 4 ounces of reduce fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup of Salsa Verde
  • 16 ounces can of petite diced tomatoes, seasoned with jalapenos
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • ½ cup of green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup of grated Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Sliced jalapenos (optional)

Tools

  1. Medium frying pan
  2. Lasagna size baking pan
  3. Medium size mixing bowl
  4. Chopping board
  5. Spoon

Recipe

  • Warm oil in frying pan
  • Sauté chopped green onions and minced garlic for 1 minute
  • Add chicken strips until warmed through
  • Pour in Salsa Verde and ½ cup of diced tomatoes, stir till combined
  • Mix in cream cheese and 1 cup of grated Mexican blend until melted
  • Transfer mixture in the mixing bowl
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Warm tortillas in the microwave between paper towels for 1 minute
  • On the cutting board, spoon the filling over  1/3 of the tortilla and roll
  • Place rolled tortilla in the lasagna pan seam down
  • Once all the tortillas are placed in the pan, top with the remaining can of chopped tomatoes down the center
  • Cover  them with the remaining of the cheese and bake uncovered for 20 minutes
  • Top baked enchiladas with sliced jalapenos (optional)
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Taste Tested

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 3:55 am

While shopping for something to eat late one night, I challenged myself to find something vegetarian to eat from the grocery store.  I am use to seeing Amy’s Organic frozen meals, but I wasn’t excited nor in the mood for that.  It then dawned on me that vegetarians have a challenging time finding quick meals.  This epiphany led me to an experiment; taste test frozen vegetarian meals.

4 STARS

Amy’s Organic frozen meals are not all vegetarian but provide a good variety.  My coworkers like Amy’s and often use them for quick lunches.  After trying a vegetarian Indian dish from Amy’s line, I understood why my coworkers choose this to be their go to meal.  My only problem with the meal I bought is that the rice still had water in it after I warmed it up.  I suggest warming it thoroughly to evaporate the water or use the water to help thin the gravy. 

 

5 STARS

My favorite new product is the line of frozen meals made by Lightlife.  Vegetarians know Lightlife to be the creator of some of their favorite meat substitutes.  Why do I like this product?  Beside it being tasty, it is also figure friendly.  If you are on Weight Watchers, the label shows you the point value of the meal so you can keep within your plan.  While most prepared foods are high in sodium, Lightlife is conscious of it.  I tested the Shanghai Fried Rice which came with the sauce in pouch.  The meal with all the sauce had 22% of my daily servings of sodium, so I opted to drizzle 1/3 of the sauce.  I preferred the rice over Amy’s because it didn’t have any extra water and the vegetables were still crunchy, which is impressive for something coming out of a microwave.  kosher foods don’t focus on vegetarian dishes but offer a few meals that vegetarians should to know about. 

 
 
5 STARS

Tabatchnick kosher foods don’t focus on vegetarian dishes but offer a few meals that vegetarians should to know about.  My favorite is the split pea soup which does not have any meat or stock.  FYI, not everything made without meat is vegetarian.  A lot of times, I find chicken stock or fat in meatless products such as box rice kits and soups.   Tabatchnick also make a vegetarian chili which can comfort even the hungriest meat eater on a cold day.

I am finding knew products and I feel it is my duty to report them to you.  So try some of the vegetarian frozen meals but beware of 3 things.  First, read the labels for animal products in meatless prepared foods.  Secondly, watch out for high sodium which can lead you to high blood pressure.  Lastly, don’t settle for tasteless food.  Vegetarians deserve healthy, honest and delicious food just like those eating meat.

Viva La Farmer’s Market

In Editorial, Event, Products, Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 at 3:36 am

When is the last time you visited your neighborhood Farmer’s Market?  Every Friday for the last 2 months, Englewood has hosted a farmer’s market.  When most people think about the farmer’s market, they think about organic fruits and vegetables from your state farmer.  I have news for you; the market is more than fruits and vegetables.   The farmer’s market offers natural toiletries, artisanal bread, organic honey and much more from local companies that put product over profit.

This past Friday, I visited the farmer’s market and was quietly surprised to see the great variety of produce and products.  I was able to find bell peppers of every color that didn’t look like they hadn’t been through the war.  The pretty mini gourds inspired me to conquer my fear of cooking them.  Even though we are heading into October, farmer’s market offers you a chance to reap the last of the harvest.

Alstede Farms was one of the two farms selling on Friday.  I was also introduced to local vendors that produce natural products.  For instance, Made with Love, bakes organic breads, cookies and cakes.  Made with Love also teaches and host cooking classes for kids that can teach you how to bake organically at home which is great for kids with Celiac disease. 

Mrs. Miller produces natural pickles, jams, jellies and organic honey. Bodhi is small company owned by a fellow Englewood resident, Tom Naso.  Bodhi produces natural soaps, body oils and lip balms.  I bought the best spelling Spearmint soap that has a wrapper that you can plant and watch grow.  After using it for a few days, I can honestly say that I would buy this product again and try others scents in the future. 

October 29th is the last day to shop at Englewood’s farmer’s market.  Take time this week to visit your neighborhood’s market.  Outside of Whole Foods, the farmer’s market is your best chance of finding that unique ingredient to create that gourmet meal.  Don’t miss out on the great organic and natural products that you just can’t find in your local grocery store.

Restaurant Review: Blue Plate Special

In Englewood, Local Eats, Restaurant Experience on September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Last week, my coworkers went out for lunch on Palisade Avenue in Englewood, NJ.  In previous articles, I have mentioned the abundance of vegetarian friendly restaurants in Englewood, NJ and today was no exception.  We chose to go to the franchise Blue Moon Cafe which offers Tex-Mex cuisine.  I went to lunch with a game plan of paying no more than $10 bucks for lunch.  I know you want to know if that is possible? Yes it is.

After looking over their lunch menu, I almost gave up on my budget of $10 but then there it was…the blue plate special. I was able to order a mixed vegetable enchilada with black beans and yellow rice.  The trick to eating at Blue Moon is not to fill up on the salsa and chips before the meal comes.  I love their salsa, it is not too heavy for the chips or too spicy my palette.  Most of the time when you go to a Tex-Mex restaurant you have to be weary if the sides because they can be cooked with lard or chicken stock but Blue Moon’s sides are vegetarian.  In my mixed vegetable enchilada, I expected onions and peppers but I was nicely surprised.  The enchilada had broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms with peppers and onions rolled in a flour tortilla topped with a nicely seasoned sauce and lovely melted cheese that I topped with salsa.  By the time I finished that meal, not having meat was not a concern.  Because the meal is so seasoned, I did not want a sugary drink, I drank water with lemon wedges which was free.  This meal cost me $8 and I contributed a $2 tip. 

Success, I was able to order a filling vegetarian meal for $8.  This just goes to say that a restaurant does not have to be vegetarian to feed a vegetarian.  As I always say, vegetarians always have more options when they eat international.  Blue Moon offers a good variety of  vegetarian alternatives that also include vegetarian chili.   I suggest ordering the sampler which allows  you try 2 or 3 dishes for $13 bucks. 

My Blue Moon is located at 21 East Palisade, Englewood, NJ.  For more locations and information please check out www.bluemoonmexicancafe.com

Announcement: Cooking Class Demonstration

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

NOT JUST TOFU has been visited 1000 TIMES

Due to your AWESOME support,  NOT JUST TOFU will be hosting a free open house cooking  demonstration on Tuesday October 19, 2010.   This FREE event will give you a chance to taste some of the recipes from the blog and watch a cooking demonstration of a new original recipe.  The best bonus is that we will get a chance to meet.  I want to know what you think would help my blog serve you better.  Even though this event is free, space is limited. Register today at notjusttofu@gmail.com or call me at 862-215-1750.

This event will also serve as the kickoff of NOT JUST TOFU monthly cooking demonstrations.  Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, I will be hosting a cooking demonstration from 7:00pm to 8:30pm that will provide an opportunity to:

  • See a recipe cooked live
  • Ask questions about techniques, recipes, where to shop, etc…
  • Meet others interested in vegetarianism
  • Sample vegetarian dishes
  • Plus much more

Thank you again to all my readers.  I hope to meet most of you on October 19th.  For those of you who can’t make it, please continue to read the blog.   

OPEN HOUSE EVENT INFORMATION

When:  Tuesday october 19, 2010

Time: 7:00 – 8:30

Where:  245 Tenafly Road, Englewood, NJ 07631

REGISTER TODAY!!!

First 5 to register will receive a thank you gift.

FORTIFY YOUR MORNINGS

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

What did you eat for breakfast this morning?  Was it your usual eggs and toast or was it oatmeal? If it was either, it was missing a serving of vegetables.  Most Americans, carnivore or herbivore, don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables per day.  The best way to change this habit is by starting your morning with vegetables.  I am not talking potatoes, because potatoes although nutritious are a starch.  My breakfast of Green Eggs and Zucchini Home Fries provide you with 2 servings of vegetables to start your day.  It as appealing to your eyes as it is tasty to your tongue.  Full of Iron, fiber and vitamins, you can’t go wrong.

For those who don’t eat eggs, I morphed Tofu with Wilted Arugula breakfast tacos (posted in August) into a new dish.  I took the tofu filling and its’ toppings and created Tofu with Grit Cakes.  This breakfast already had a serving of vegetables, but it also is full of protein which makes up for the lack of meat that most rely on. 

Green Eggs and Zucchini Home Fries

Ingredients

2 eggs

½ cup of Zucchini, diced

¼ cup of yellow onions, diced

1/4 cup of red bell peppers

½ cup of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon of oil

1 tablespoon of butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Tabasco sauce (optional)

Tools

  • 2 Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Mixing bowl

 

Green Eggs

  • Beat 2 eggs
  • Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat
  • Add eggs and scramble
  • When the eggs are halfway done add the spinach
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Dress with Tabasco sauce

 

ZUCCHINI HOME FRIES

  • Warm the oil in the frying pan
  • Add the onions and cooked till slightly soft
  • Add chopped garlic and cook till aromatic
  • Add the Zucchini to the mixture
  • Season with salt and pepper

 

GRIT CAKES

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of Quick Grits
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of butter for cooking
  • 2 tbsps for frying
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Tools

  1. Medium Sauce Pot
  2. Whisk
  3. Measuring Spoons
  4. Cookie Sheet
  5. Knife
  6. Spatula

 

Recipe

  • Bring the water to a boil
  • Salt the water
  • Whisk in quick grits and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes
  • Add to the mixture the sugar and the 1 tbsp of butter
  • Slowly whisk in the milk and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often (The mixture should be a little stiff)
  • Pour the mixture into a greased cookie sheet
  • Let the mixture cool until stiff to the touch (20 minutes in the fridge)
  • Cut the cooled grits mixture into circle or rectangles
  • Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the frying pan
  • Fry the cut grit shapes in butter until brown and slightly crisp

 Assemble

  1. grit cake
  2.  tofu and arugula
  3. avocado, tomatoes, Feta and hot sauce

BE OPEN MINDED

In Englewood, Franchises, Local Eats, Restaurant Experience on September 13, 2010 at 5:57 am

Curious about Indian food?  Do you think that Indian food is all curries and heat?  I have a solution for your curiosity, Namaskaar.  Namaskaar is a well known Indian restaurant with locations in Soho and Englewood.  The Englewood location at 120 Grand Avenue offers a cozy atmosphere to try new dishes.  How is Namaskaar a solution?  Namaskaar offers a lunch buffet that lets you sample their curries, dahl, naan and rices.  Please keep in mind that the buffet is not only for vegetarians but is vegetarian friendly. The bonus is dessert which is included in your $10 buffet (please try their version of rice pudding).  Namaskaar is also convenient, you don’t have to eat there; the buffet is also to-go.  You can fill a small foil pan with all that will fill and a separate container with your dessert. 

If you can’t make it for lunch, there is always dinner.  I suggested that Alvin and I go out to dinner at Namaskaar for a date night and we were pleasantly surprised to see a section of the menu called “Vegetarian Dinners”.  I fell in love with their Coconut Cauliflower which is cauliflower in coconut sauce infused with Indian spices.  I loved it so much that I am working on a version for NOT JUST TOFU.  Alvin had Kofta Saag Masala, mixed vegetable dumplings cooked in a creamy spinach sauce.  I loved his dish but not as much as mine.    

What some of you may know or not know is that Indian food is very vegetarian friendly. A lot of their dishes are made from vegetables and peas and are not always curried.  Don’t assume that the food is always spicy; there are a multitude of flavors and textures involved in Indian cooking.  The major spice is in Indian cooking is garam masala which is the Indian version of seasoning salt without the salt.  If you add garam masala to your rice or lentils, you can introduce your taste buds to Indian flavors.  McCormick spices make garam masala widely available to the curious cook in the grocery aisle.  I purchased garam masala for myself and have made a multitude of dishes, similar to the channa masala found at www.easy-indian-food.com.  If you feel daring and don’t want to do the work, find a great restaurant near you and get to ordering.  It is nice to give yourself a break from the ordinary, visit Namaskaar for lunch, for dinner or just for dessert.

To find out more about Namaskaar, visit www.namaskaar.com

 

TVP TWO WAYS

In Appetizers, meat substitutes, Recipe, Sandwiches, Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 at 5:48 am

Sometimes life can get really busy and you need a quick bite to eat.  As a vegetarian, you could eat pizza but how many times can you have pizza in one week? Burger King offers a veggie burger which can come in handy.  It also helps to know that it wasn’t cooked on the same grill the meat was cooked on but in a microwave; it is now ideal but it can work.  In need of a healthy, quick and tasty vegetarian snack, I created Sloppy Joe Pockets.  The great thing about this recipe is that it is a double doer.  If you double this recipe, you can use a portion and create my fancy smancy Sloppy Joes with Mozzarella Cheese.  This recipe is healthy, low fat, affordable and most of all delicious. 

Sloppy Joe Pockets

  • ½ cup of Soaked TVP
  • ½ cup of diced bell peppers
  • ¼ cup of diced yellow onions
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced (1 teaspoons jarred)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons of Ketchup
  • ½ Teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of no salt seasoning
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tube of refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oil
  • Flour for rolling the dough

 

Tools

  1. Frying Pan
  2. Wooden Spoon
  3. Rolling Pin
  4. Cookie Sheet

Recipe

  • Warm the oil in the frying pan
  • Add the bell peppers, plum tomato and yellow onion and cook till soft
  • Add the garlic to the vegetable mixture
  • Add the TVP and cook for another 3 minutes
  • Combine the ketchup and the tomato paste with the TVP and vegetables
  • Season the mixture with the onion powder, garlic powder, so salt seasoning, salt and pepper
  • Cook the mixture for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove the pan from the fire and let the mixture cook

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  • Dust the counter and the rolling pin with flour
  • Roll each biscuit out to a circle
  • Fill each biscuit with 1 spoonful with the TVP mixture
  • Close each biscuit by folding it over
  • Use a fork or roll and pinch each one closed
  • Bake pockets for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet

 

Part Two: Better For You Sloppy Joes

 Ingredients 

  • Hot Dog Buns
  • Mixed Green Salad
  • ½ cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup or your favorite bottle marinara sauce
  • Prepare the TVP as instructed above

 Recipe

  • Toast 8 Hot Dog Buns
  • Mix in the Mozzarella Cheese to the warm TVP mixture
  • Warm the TVP mixture until the cheese is melted

 Assemble

  • Fill each hot dog bun with mixed green salad
  • Fill each bun with the warm TVP mixture
  • Top each bun with the warm your marinara sauce

Sorry

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I am sorry that I have not been able to post any new information. I have been sick for the last couple of days and it has prevented me from sharing with you. This Sunday’s edition will be worth the wait. Check in to learn new recipes, new restaurants and products that will help you live healthy.

Thank You,
Sandra

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