Not Just Tofu

Archive for March, 2015|Monthly archive page

Restaurant Review: Bonefish Grill

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm


It was suppose to be date night but I complicated it by making it the night that we had to hunt down and purchase a birthday gift for a friends.  We had an original plan, then switched to plan B but only followed through with plan C.  Plan C left us hungry but when your husband is a pescetarian your options can become quite limited really fast. Frustrated with pain and the fact that we alternated the plan so many times, I put the responsibility on him to find us a place to eat.  He finally decided on the Bonefish Grill in Paramus, NJ.  You may have seen it if you live in my neck of the woods; it’s the restaurant behind the Paramus Park Mall.  I myself have passed this place a million times never knowing what to expect.

What should you expect? I nice intimate atmosphere, ideal for an casual date night.  Each waiter/waitress wears a chef’s jacket which threw me and Alvin off because at first it looks like the chef is coming to the table directly.  Nevertheless it is a nice presentation.  Our server was really nice, I truly apologize that I can’t pay her a true compliment which would be to mention her by name.  We explained that this was our first time and she made it very easy for us to make some decisions.

The menu is mostly seafood but they have chicken and steak too.  I know that you don’t care about that; you want to know about the fish.  So what did we order?  Every table gets a complimentary load of warm ciabatta bread with oil. First we ordered tuna fish tacos.  The tuna was fresh which I truly appreciate, I just which the sauce had more kick to it.  The salad that comes with it is a spring salad with an awesome balsamic vinaigrette; I wish I could have had more of that.  Alvin and I shared an entree of grilled mahi mahi with signature herb pesto sauce. For an additional $2 we order the cutest personal cast iron pan of macaroni and cheese with shallots and truffle oil; we really enjoyed the mac and cheese. I really enjoyed the asparagus with herb sauce…OMG that was so good.  I ate all of it by myself.

Like anywhere we order fish, the portion was small.  Coming from West Indies, Alvin appreciates the whole fish which includes the head and all.  When eateries come out with a portion that can fit in the palm of your hand and charge $15 and more, it is just a great disappointment. It was a good thing that he wasn’t that hungry.  The fish alone was fresh and OK but the sauce made it something to remember.

To finish the night, I had to order dessert.  Good selection but I had to choose the creme brulee. After we ordered all that, we were pleased with the bill because we have been known to blow our budget on a date night.  I would go back and encourage those who like fish to give it a try.  It’s so hard to find affordable, fresh and delicious fish.  We often find places that serve shrimp but we don’t eat shrimp. People often ask us “you eat fish and not shrimp or shellfish?” My answer is always the same, I choose not to eat bottom dwellers because their job is to clean the ocean.  If I am aiming to feed my body good stuff then why would I eat something that cleans for a living.  It’s like drinking the filtered water and eating the filter, thanks but no thanks.  Back on track, if you are a pescetarian, try Bonefish Grill.




Recipe: Mock Chicken Salad Sandwich

In Food on March 26, 2015 at 9:33 pm

I know it doesn’t feel like it yet but spring is here!  Winter is fighting hard to stay but spring is putting up a fight to come out in the Northeast.  Today it was 60 degrees and cloudy but the sun will come out this weekend even if it only gets to 50 degrees.  This type weather is ideal for sandwiches.  My husband has a dream that one day we will open sandwich shop for all my sandwich creations.  This was one of my best sandwiches and the bonus is that they are vegan.  Please let me know if you like it.




  • 1/4 cup Vegan Mayo (I like Just Mayo)
  • 1 cup of Green Cabbage
  • 1 cup of Red Cabbage
  • 1 Golden Delicious Apple, peeled and julienned
  • 1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of White Cane Sugar
  • pinch of salt & pepper


  • Vegan Chicken Strips
  • 1 tsp of oil
  • 2 tbsp Red Onion, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper, paprika
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • Kaiser Roll


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the slaw and refrigerate
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet
  3. Saute onions and garlic for one minute
  4. Add in vegan chicken strips
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes
  6. Take of heat and let cool
  7. Add mayo and seasoning to cooled mixture
  8. Toss in celery and let chill for 30 minutes


  • Kaiser bun, chicken mixture, slaw

Serve with a pickle, kettle chips and some lemonade

Editorial: A Lucas Update

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm
Lucas age 8

Lucas age 8

It’s been 2 years since Lucas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For those of you who may have just started on this journey or get overwhelmed while on this journey,just know that it gets better.  Lucas has had his ups and his downs which have been scary but nothing to take him back to the hospital.  This little guy is such a trooper and he wants to be so independent and I think that is what has helped us make along our way.

Our first headache and even now our headache is our insurance.  We fight with them constantly to get his diabetes supplies covered. My first bit of advice is don’t give up!  It cost an arm and a leg for the supplies and they should not be the ones that regulate whether or not your child needs a sensor or an extra visit or which pen he should use.  This is where I went wrong  in the beginning; I let the insurance dictate to me what was in the best interest for Lucas instead of bringing in the physicians and their teams.  So much as been accomplished since combining forces with the doctors and nurses than when I fought on my own.

Something else I want to share with you; don’t be ashamed when you’re not perfect! If you are not a nurse or a dietitian, the diabetic lifestyle is overwhelming. Learning to count carbohydrates in everything bit of food is one challenge. Then there is the challenge of monitoring everything they eat, letting not one snack go unaccounted for is nerve wrecking.  Sometimes you forget what you eat much less what they have for breakfast. There are gonna be days with highs and their are gonna be days with lows. I am going to be honest, in the morning rush I would forget to give Lucas insulin before school.  I thank God that I built a good communication system with the school nurse to the point where she can pick up the phone and ask me questions.  God help me when he sick; I can’t stand keytones!  The monitoring, the math, the worrying is enough to make you sick but because of the love you will do whatever it takes. It’s exhausting but I just think of parents who fight harder fights to keep their kid healthy.  Be thankful!

Finally we are on an insulin pump.  Learning how to live with this device is tricky.  We went through alarms in the middle of the night.  There were times when he has pulled out the tubing. The first type of tubing we were using kept giving us keytones, so much so that we almost gave up on the pump.  I couldn’t give up on it because when it worked it worked well. I’m glad that we didn’t give up because now he is better monitored, the math is done by the device so I can’t give him too much insulin and he has independence.  God be praised because he has a chance at a normal life where he doesn’t have to tote around a bunch of stuff.

I didn’t know what to expect from our life once he was diagnosed.  We have a lot and I do mean a lot of challenges but they have made us both stronger.  The family works together to make sure that he is healthy and provided for.  Whether he is at school, scouts or church he is well looked out for.  I have to thank the village that is helping me out because I wouldn’t want to do it on my own.  Lastly, I thank God for Lucas’ most gentle, comedic, patient and independent character that has turned a mountain into a molehill.

Just a few pics from his “normal life”

Last Christmas with Elias

Lunching in the park


Pouting on family vacation

Update: Good Food America

In cooking show, danny boome, Editorial, Good Food America, veria program on March 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Good Food AmericaOne of my last three post referred you to watch Good Food America.  At that time, I was watching Good Food America on a public television network and the show was being hosted by Nathan Lyons.  Since writing the posts, I have been contacted by the show and notified that the host has been changed in their new season.  I hadn’t watched the new season because I didn’t realize that I had the cable network channel Veria.  I am not endorsing Veria, if you don’t have the channel reruns of the program will do.

If you do have Veria, check out host Danny Boome. I first saw Danny as a guest correspondent on “The Chew”. He is knowledgeable about food, impressionable and energetic.  The show still focuses on presenting eateries that focus on farm to table, organic or vegetarian cuisine.  I hope in the future that producers of Good Food America will focus on eateries in the Northeast, especially in the tri-state area. I do remember one episode of a vegetarian restaurant in Asbury Park and one in Hoboken but I know we have more to offer closer to Bergen County. How often are healthy foodies looking for somewhere to eat that cooks meals featured on the program?

So producers of Good Food America and Mr. Danny Boome, please come visit northern New Jersey once we thaw out.  I would love to visit a hidden gem in the area.  Better yet I would love to turn my readers on to a place they could have a fresh food experience outside of  Whole Foods.

Recipe: Crispy Mock Fry Chicken

In comfort food, fried vegetarian food, Recipe on March 5, 2015 at 8:33 pm

WP_20141229_19_58_48_ProI don’t know if you remember that my husband is a vegetarian or that I have a community of friends that are vegetarian. Watching The Ellen Show one day, Chef Robert Martin demonstrated how to make vegan fry chicken. Thank goodness he recorded the recipe on his Youtube channel as The Official Hungry (  So I went out the following weekend and I bought raw cashews for homemade cashew cream, the Gardein Scallopini, spring roll wrappers and the experimentation was on.  I followed the recipe but I knew it could be better. The recipe below has been customized with my tweaks that I think make it taste more like chicken. A chicken eater like myself would know more what chicken taste like than a vegan or vegetarian and I don’t know why but I find that important in translation for mock meats.  Maybe that is why I will never like tempeh; it never taste like any meat I know.

What did I do differently? Instead of cashew cream, I used the coconut milk in a can. West Indians use this type of milk to make rice and peas.  How is this different from the refrigerated version? It is creamier.  I also use this milk in my vegan cooking because it develops a better taste and helps keep cakes moist. Second difference, I season the scallopini patties.  Before molding them into chicken thighs shapes, I season them with seasoning salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder etc because good fry chicken is heavenly seasoned chicken. Lastly, I flour, wet then bread because that is how I would do real fry chicken. All these additional steps are so worth it because you end up with with pieces that look and taste like real chicken; then and only then is a vegan recipe successful.


  • 1 Package of Gardein Scallopini
  • ! tsp of Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • !/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Paprika Powder
  • Spring Roll Wrapper
  • Bowl of Warm Water
  • 1/2 Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 2 Cups of Seasoned Panko Crumbs
  • 1 tsp of Tumeric
  • Pinch of salt

WP_20141229_20_11_24_Pro (2)

  1. Thaw Scallopini patties and mash them together.
  2. Season meat substitute with the first 6 spices on the list, mix well.
  3. Separate the mixture into four(4) equal pieces.
  4. Soak a spring roll wrapper in warm water till soft.
  5. Wrap each piece of mixture in wrapper and set aside (use spring roll method).
  6. Set up a breading station:
    1. flour seasoned with salt and pepper
    2. coconut milk
    3. panko crumbs seasoned with turmeric
  7. Dip into flour, then into coconut milk, finally into panko crumbs.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes so the coating will adhere to the meat mixture.
  9. Heat oil in a deep fryer, or heavy bottom pan.
  10. Fry till brown on both sides and drain on paper towel.

For more of Chef Roberto Martin’s Recipes check out his cookbook:


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