Dec 30, 2010

blue sky cafe

I'm no food critic, but I do know when restaurants are vegetarian friendly or UNfriendly. This brings me to the Blue Sky Cafe off Colfax in the Denver West Village. A few of my dad's coworker's highly recommended this place, so while I was home for Christmas, we went over for a family brunch.
Dad got the breakfast burrito, mom got pancakes and eggs (both with vegetarian sausage), and I got the vegan tofu scramble. Not the best tofu scramble I've ever encountered (the tofu was cubed instead of crumbled & there was some kind of grain mixed inn there too?), but the chili verde on top was delicious. Ooh, great breakfast potatoes too.

All in all, pretty damn good food, but more importantly is the fact that the Blue Sky Cafe is totally diet friendly. Not only for vegetarian and vegan items, but there's all kinds of substitutions available for gluten free, low-fat, and low-carb choices too! I love that. Good food, good options, and above all a GREAT message. This is taken directly from their menu:
"We believe our business practices should reflect our personal values: take care of each other, take care of our environment, offer the freshest food made with love and service from the heart."

Thank you Blue Sky Cafe! TOTALLY recommend! :)

Dec 29, 2010

tofu scramble

So this is the dish my mom goes crazy for. Every time we say, What should we have for dinner? Mom always says A TOFU SCRAMBLE! Yeah she's hooked. I've tried a lot of tofu scrambles out there, but I personally think mine is the best :)

Stuff you need: 1. 1 block firm tofu 2. any vegetables & fun stuff you have laying around the kitchen- veggies, Morningstar sausage, spices, etc.

Start by draining & squeezing your tofu- I usually wrap it in a paper towel and let it sit under something heavy while I do everything else for this recipe. Chop up all your veggies into bite-size pieces. For this particular scramble, we found onions, carrots, zuccini, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, and Morningstar Farms breakfast sausages (which I cooked in the microwave before adding to the scramble).

Pour a little olive oil into your pan and sauté all your fixins from hardest to softest- so onion goes first, so they get nice and soft, followed by carrots, bell pepper, zuccini, and mushrooms. When all your vegetables are starting to get tender, unwrap the tofu and crumble it into the pan. Mix everything thoroughly and make sure all the ingredients are warmed through. Add your tomatoes, cooked breakfast sausage, and cheese if you'd like it for a non-vegan version. Season with garlic salt, pepper, CUMIN♥, tobasco sauce, and anything else to your liking.

Voila! Plate it up and devour! A little salsa is nice on the side, but let me tell you, it's also delicious as is!

Nov 28, 2010

mushroom spinach lasagna

So this one time in college, my roommates had some kind of dinner function to attend. Unfortunately, they decided to excessively day-drink, and when the time came to prepare said meal, they all looked to me (who was not totally sober herself). In a panic, I called my mom and said I'm have to make lasagna! How do I do it?! Mom said that there was no way I could pull off a complicated meal like that in such a short period of time, especially since I had never made lasagna before in my life. Let me tell you. Not only was it DELICIOUS, but it was easy, and ever since then, it has totally become a staple in my household.

Since one of my favorite people in the world was in town today from NYC, I thought it only appropriate to make some veggie lasagna, open up a bottle of wine, and catch up on life. I love this recipe because people always think you went to all this effort to make a fancy meal, when it's actually crazy easy.

Stuff you need: 1. No-boil lasagna noodles 2. Lotsa sauce (always get more than you think you need) 3.Mozzarella or Italian style shredded cheese 3. Ricotta cheese 4. Veggies for the inside

While your oven is preheating, sauté your vegetables, boca crumbles, or whatever else you'd like for filling in a skillet with some olive oil and seasoning- I used mushrooms and fresh spinach for this particular version.

When the filling is browned up and looking good, you can start assembling your lasagna in a nice big casserole dish-
Layer 1: sauce.
Layer 2: noodles
Layer 3: more sauce!
Layer 4: shredded cheese, big plops of ricotta, and all those yummy sautéed veggies

Now rinse wash and repeat. Go back to layer 1 of sauce and keep stacking up everything until your casserole dish is full! On the top most part, just do sauce, noodles, sauce, shredded cheese. Cover with foil, pop in the oven, and in about an hour you have yourself a saucy, cheesy, gooey, TASTY meal.
Now crack open that second bottle of wine and dig in!