Not Just Tofu

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Restaurant: Sushi Anyone?

In Editorial, Restaurant Experience on June 14, 2011 at 12:29 am

Most people don’t think vegetarian when they think Sushi, but sushi is not only raw fish.  If you are a Pescatarian, this may be your go to fast food.  I recently visited Food for Life Sushi and Deli Bar in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.  I was intrigued by their name; Food for Life sounds healthy doesn’t it?  Food for Life is half deli selling the usual variety of sandwiches and salads, half sushi bar serving both raw and cooked sushi. 

Food for Life

As I looked at their menu, I became indecisive because of the options available for vegetarians.  I was pleased to see cooked sushi as an option because a lot of sushi bars only serve fish raw. I don’t eat shellfish and the kitchen was willing to customize their usual rolls without shellfish upon request.  As much of a foodie as I am, I just can’t get my mind around raw fish for some reason. I have been known to try a piece  of  my friend’s tuna roll but do not really find the appeal in raw fish.  Smoked salmon on the other hand is a favorite of mine and they makea roll with it.  Even with my love for lox, I still opted to try an all vegetable roll for only $3.25. 

Most vegetable rolls range from $3.00 to $3.25.  If you want a Philadelphia roll which has smoked salmon and cream cheese, it is only $4.50. On my next visit, I want to try the AAA Roll which has asparagus, avocado and cucumber.  All rolls come in  8 pieces, with the usual condiments of pickled ginger (yum) and wasabi. 

Food for Life is a vegetarian friendly establishment . Not only are the sushi rolls vegetarian friendly, they also have sandwiches, Paninis and wraps too.  To take it over the top they sale fresh juiced carrot juice and smoothies that range from $2.95 to $4.95.  Some of their smoothies include:

  • Caribbean Passion: passion fruit, mango, strawberry, peach, fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Tropical Tango (vegan): banana, mango, strawberry, fresh squeezed orange juice

So next time you are in the neighborhood for fresh, inexpensive sushi or smoothie, check out Food for Life located at 801 Anderson Avenue which is off of Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07624.


Recipe: Tex Mex Beans and Sausage

In Cooking Tips, Recipe on June 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm

After looking through the June edition of Vegetarian Times, I was inspired to try one of their recipes.  Their recipe was Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage but after visiting my local grocery story I realized that I couldn’t make this recipe ingredient for ingredient.  I took their basic recipe and made it grocery store and time friendly.  I swapped dry pinto beans for canned small red beans because I didn’t have the time to cook dry beans.  Instead of using their suggestion of Field Roast Chipotle Sausage, I found Lightlife Smart Sausage chipotle flavor which had less sodium and budget friendly.  The last substitute was the parsley for cilantro since Alvin is not a big cilantro fan.

My Version: Tex Mex Sausage and Beans

 I think that I was successful in creating my version.  My husband said that the dish was very savory, maybe too savory and needed something to offset it.  I served the dish with plain boil potatoes but I imagine that it would go well with rice too.  If Alvin liked cornbread, I would have served it that instead.  I hope you enjoy my version but I encourage you to try the original recipe…if you have the time.

 Recipe: Tex Mex Beans and Sausage
  • 1 can of small red beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 package of chipotle flavored sausage
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  •  1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. Warm oil in a medium saucepan
  2. Fry the sausage links whole, cooking on all sides
  3. Once the sausage are cooked, put to the side for cooling
  4. Cook the onion, garlic and green pepper in the same pan until softened
  5. Season the vegetable mixture with chili powder, ground black pepper and a pinch of salt
  6. Add the can of beans and tomatoes
  7. Bring to a slight simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes
  8. Cut sausage into 1 inch rounds and add to the bean mixture
  9. Cook for another 10 minutes
  10. Mix in most of the parsley and garnish with the remaining.



Their Version: Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage

For the Vegetarian Times version, visit and type in the recipe Charro Beans with Chipotle Sausage

Shopping: Tabatchnik Soup Singles

In Food on June 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Vegetarian Chili

I am always on the lookout for new products that healthy eaters and vegetarians can use quickly.  I may only work 2 or 3 times a week but I usually have to buy lunch.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that Tabatchnik has created Soup Singleswhich are perfectly portioned soups for one in their own bowl.  I purchased 2 packages for $3.00 which is only $1.50 a piece.  Pair the soup with a salad or roll and you have a light lunch that won’t bog you down.  I paired mine with a 300 calorie frozen entrée.  My total calorie count for lunch only equaled 550 calories  I can’t tell you that when I order lunch that it equals 550 calories.  Even when you order a salad, it can easily be 800 calories once you factor in the dressing.

All the soups are not Vegetarian but most of their selections are.  My personal favorite is the Split Pea Soup which is vegetarian.  Second runner must be the Mushroom and Barley which is so savory that you almost forget that you bought it.  These soups have “clean” labels which mean that the ingredients are mostly natural.  Even though the soups range from 20 to 23 percent in sodium it is less than those in cans which range from 25 to 38 percent in sodium. 

Other Vegetarian flavors include: Vegetarian Chili, Balsamic Tomato Rice, Minestrone, Southwest Bean and Vegetable Soup.  So if you are on a budget and want something good to eat or even snack on in the wee hours of the night, remember Tabatchnik Soup Singles.

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