Mar 31, 2011

breakfast dilemma & morningstar farms

When I arrived at work this morning, I found my friend Jenna in a breakfast dilemma. She came to work armed with a package of Morningstar Farms bacon, egg and cheese breakfast biscuits when she discovered that one of our coworkers had brought in homemade breakfast burritos for $2, which, I might say, are absolutely delicious. On top of this, she also found out, much to her dismay, that Morningstar Farms is a vegetarian company, and this said "bacon biscuit" contained no real bacon at all- mind you, my friend is an avid carnivore. Thus, Jenna's breakfast dilemma.

This is where I enter. Eat your vegetarian bacon biscuit so it doesn't go to waste, even though I've already had a wee apple for breakfast, just so you can eat a meaty burrito instead? Oh twist my arm.

First and foremost, it's a little high in calories and fat than I'd like in my breakfasts. Usually I stick to oatmeal, fresh fruits, or toast, so this 270 calorie pocket (with 80 fat calories and 8 grams of fat) was not part of my diet. However, it is seriously tasty. Throw aside all caloric numbers and thoughts of the treadmill, and this is a mighty fine breakfast. It nukes quickly in the microwave, the flavors are great, and the biscuit was soft and moist.

I probably won't make a habit of eating these all the time, but if I was forced to eat one again in order to help out a friend, I would have absolutely no problems in doing so :)
This was hands down the best breakfast dilemma I've been part of. Any food crisis that ends with me eating awesome, free, vegetarian food is a.o.k by me.

Mar 28, 2011

quick fix chik'n tacos

Surprisingly enough, tacos aren't usually one of my staple dinners. Tonight, however, I have a bundle of corn tortillas just waiting to be devoured, so I thought I'd stay away from pasta and sandwiches, and go with some faux-chicken tacos! I must say, I don't know why I don't make these more often. Not only were they outrageously quick to make, but they were super tasty too.

Stuff you need: 1. Tortillas- corn or wheat or whatever you have 2. Filling- tonight I found salsa, veggies, and some Boca Original Chik'n Patties

Start by throwing your boca chik'n patty into the toaster oven, skillet, or for those lucky ones out there who have one, your microwave. While you're waiting for your fake-meat to get all defrosted and toasty, chop up whatever veggies and other items you'd like to put in your tacos.

Tonight I found red cabbage, tomatoes, and a little bit of salsa, but there's SO many other things that would be great too- cheese, sour cream, onions, lettuce, soyrizo, black olives? If it's in your kitchen, it will probably taste great in a taco.

When your filling is prepped and your chik'n patty is warmed, slice up that chik'n and throw everything into a couple of tortillas. My 1 patty made 2 tacos, but I could have easily stretched that into 3 :)
It was a quick dinner that totally hit the spot. I've never actually thought about making tacos with chik'n patties of any variety, but I think I may have to try it more often. Mom swears by the Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausages for all her vegetarian taco needs, but for a quick meal after a long day of work, this was great too!

Oh! And on a side note, Robin Robertson (omg my vegan idol) is having a book giveaway over on her blog Vegan Planet. I can't highly recommend her books more. The idea of vegan food terrifies a lot of people, but all of Robin's books are incredibly user-friendly. Post a comment and win her new book! You won't regret it I promise :)

Mar 26, 2011


If your Friday was anything like mine, it probably included excessive amounts of drinking and waffles. Waffles you say? Of course! For those of us who are not up-to-date on our random holidays, yesterday was Vaffeldagen! In Sweden, March 25th started out as a celebration for the virgin annunciation- the day Mary found out she was preggers with baby Jesus. However, Varfrudagen (Our Lady Day) sounded way too close to Vaffeldagen, and it stuck! Thus, March 25th is Waffle Day. Note: this is the only thing I learned from my vikings class in college.

So, yesterday I filled my meals with waffles in various forms. For breakfast, I had whole wheat waffles covered with apples and strawberries- SUPER tasty and healthy. My lunch was an ode to chicken and waffles- a Morningstar Farms chik patty with some more whole wheat waffles and a little stone ground mustard on the side- also delicious.

For all my waffle needs, I usually use Krusteaz wheat and honey pancake mix. You measure it out, add water, stir it up, and throw it in the waffle maker. It's super easy, and the results are always fluffy breakfast perfection.
Even though my waffle streak was broken with a plate of fried pickles and some Mexican food, my first 2 meals were a total success! More importantly, I had way too much fun planning out special recipes in celebration of a fun holiday. I definitely plan to do it more often!

Mar 15, 2011

stir fry & simply asia sauce

Stir fry is one of those go-to , meals that I know I can always fall back on for a quick, healthy, and always delicious dinner. Tonight was that night, however, instead of throwing a little of this and that into the wok, I decided to try one of the stir fry sauces from Simply Asia, and I must say, it turned out pretty good.

Stuff you need: 1. Vegetables 2. Simply Asia stir fry sauce- or your own homemade sauce 3.Rice or noodles- totally optional 4. A splash of canola oil 5. Anything else you'd like to throw in- garlic, ginger, spices, etc.

Start by chopping up all your vegetables. After a quick trip to the store, I found myself with onion, carrots, broccoli, red cabbage, red bell pepper, and some left over mushrooms from the other night. Stir fry tip #1: chop all the ingredients to around the same size so everything cooks evenly. Aren't the colors beautiful?
When all your veggies are prepped, throw a splash of canola oil into your wok and heat it up on high (you can also use a skillet with some olive oil, if you'd rather). If you're adding garlic, ginger, or hot peppers, I would start by throwing those in the wok. If not, then just start cooking up your vegetables! Stir fry tip #2: put the ingredients into the wok from hardest to softest, once again, to help everything cook evenly. I started out with the carrots and worked my way up to the cabbage. When everything is cooked to your preferred tenderness, squeeze in that sauce packet, or start adding various sauces and spices until it tastes just the way you like it.

I used Simply Asia's General Tsao's sauce, and it was pretty good. It had nice flavor, and it made this speedy meal even faster to prepare. Unfortunately, the sodium content is pretty high, so I think that next time I'll stick to making my own concotion. If you're tight on time, these stir fry sauces are a great option, but I definitely wouldn't make a habit out of it.
I heated up a little rice from the weekend, spooned my colorful mixture on top, and dug in! Seriously, I love stir fry. It always makes me feel healthy, and it's a great kitchen sink recipe cause you can throw pretty much anything in it- fresh vegetables, tofu, nuts, pineapple, mango, seitan, frozen vegetables, rice, noodles, you name it. Not only was this a delicious dinner, but the leftovers will be just as good tomorrow for lunch :)

Mar 13, 2011

funfetti cupcakes

It's been far too long since I've made a fun, healthy, creative meal. When work gets busy, and the groceries get sparse, it's always the dinners that fall by the wayside. A person can eat only so much pasta.

Last night I had the pleasure to host a birthday dinner for one of my favorite ladies, Kelly. We ordered in Chinese food, drank far too much wine, and devoured some vegan funfetti cupcakes. That's right. Vegan funfetti. Now, when you buy the funfetti cake mix, the instructions tell you to add oil and eggs, but my friend Christy and I vegatized it!

So here it is, super simple. For every egg that the recipe calls for, replace it with a little over 1/4 cup of applesauce. That's it! The cupcakes turned out super moist, cakey, and delicious. Our frosting skills are seriously lacking, but more importantly, the sweets were tasty.
Making a recipe vegetarian or vegan is actually surprisingly easy. Here is one of my favorite articles on vegan baking substitutes from the Post Punk Kitchen. Vegan baking is great, because your meals will be delicious, and you'll feel good about eating them too! Highly recommend you try it out :)

Mar 1, 2011

lettuce wraps

Driving home tonight, I had a mad craving for Morningstar Farms' sausage patties. Omg if you've never tried them, stop everything you're doing and go buy a box right now. The taste is phenomenal, the texture is dead on,and they're good in everything- quiche, burritos, scrambles, breakfast sandwiches, and now apparently lettuce wraps. I definitely wanted some veggie sausage tonight, but I was in the mood for something light. Enter, lettuce wraps! Kind of like the ones you find at PF Chang's, but way better :)

Stuff you need: 1. Onion 2. Bell Pepper 3. 2 Veggie sausage patties 4. Lettuce- iceberg or romaine, either will do

First and foremost, gently defrost the sausage patties in the microwave, just enough so you can cut them up into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, dice the bell pepper and onion, and throw them into a skillet for a minute or two. When the sausage is ready, add it to the skillet as well, with some garlic salt and any other spice of your choosing.

When the veggies and sausage are warmed through, and spiced to your liking, take a piece of lettuce and spoon some of the mixture into the middle. Continue filling lettuce leaves until you're out of the veggie/sausage mix. Grab. Wrap. Consume.
Voila! That's all there is to it. The entire process took me less than 20 minutes, and the outcome was spectacular. It was exactly what I was craving, but better! Not only does this make a nice light meal, but I'm positive it'll be an awesome appetizer or snack too. Vegetarian lettuce wraps- total success.