Archive for ‘Vegetarian’

August 27, 2013

2013 Miami Spice Vegetarian Guide: The Beaches

by ashley

miami spice

 

It’s that time of the year again! Miami Spice offers three course tasting menus to some of the hottest restaurants in South Florida. There are two categories: Fine Dining and Luxury Dining. Fine dining is $19 for lunch and $33 for dinner. Luxury dining is $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. We have scoured the menus and created this list of restaurants that offer vegetarian options for their Spice menus. This is a huge improvement from prior years, where only one or two restaurants offered vegetarian options. They are listening to us!

 

See our listing of vegetarian and vegan Miami Spice options for 2013 here

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May 7, 2013

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: Shakshuka

by ashley

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: ShakshukaOriginally a Tunisian dish, Shakshuka is now served throughout the middle east and most popularly in Israel. There are many Israeli and Palestinian restaurants that serve Shakshuka, a rich egg and tomato dish which is traditionally a breakfast food (although I eat it just about any time of the day!).

The ingredients are surprisingly simple and despite its popularity through the middle east, it rarely strays from this simple recipe of eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. In order to make it as authentic as possible, you will need a nice cast iron pan to cook and serve it.

The way I like to make Shakshuka is actually quite a bit healthier, as I cut down on the oil by a lot. You can also cut calories and cholesterol by using only egg whites or taking half of the yolks out. Being that I don’t eat it very often, I usually keep a whole egg and just lower the olive oil. It still tastes delicious. I also love that it is traditionally vegetarian, so there are no substitutions necessary to experience the authentic meal. In order to make this vegan, all you would need to do is omit the eggs and substitute a tofu scramble.

Healthy Authentic Vegetarian Palestinian/Israeli Breakfast: Shakshuka

Serves 4

Cast Iron Pan

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup chopped sweet peppers

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon whole cumin

Pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

4 eggs

Heat olive oil in cast iron pan over medium heat. Once the oil has coated the bottom of the pan, add the onions and garlic. Allow to sauté until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add the sweet peppers and mix until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another few minutes until they begin to break up. Add the tomato paste and spices, stir to incorporate. Allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring gently. Once the mixture is fragrant, gently drop the eggs onto the top of the mixture to poach in the juices. Remove from heat and serve in the cast iron pan.

This can be served as is, or more traditionally with white flat bread. Enjoy!

April 30, 2013

SoFla Healthy Vegetarian Meal Delivery: ECO Healthy Meals

by ashley

2nd UPDATE 31st July 2014: I’ve just come off the phone with Eco Healthy and they have confirmed that they are no longer in business.

UPDATE 31st July 2014: Unfortunately ECO Healthy Meals stopped delivering to many areas of South Florida last year and I haven’t been able to try them again. Their prices have also been increased to $24-29 per day for their meal plans, which is now on par with many other meal delivery services. I have written a message to the owner to ask if they expect to start delivering to more areas in South Florida again, I will let you know once I receive a response!

Despite trying several different healthy food delivery services throughout South Florida, I’ve never found anything that impressed me enough to justify the extra cost. I enjoy cooking at home and usually can create meals that please me, and my family, without much effort. However, I would like to continue losing weight (I have kept off the 16lbs I lost originally!) and if a meal service could help with this, I’m all for trying it.

The price is what first drew me to ECO Healthy Meals. They are significantly less expensive than any other meal delivery service (save for greasy home-style cantina delivery services, which, of course, are not healthy). Jessica wanted to give them a try because she has no time for cooking with the new baby boy, and I decided I would try out lunch delivery for calorie reduction. At $9.99 USD per day for lunch it isn’t exactly cheap, but the food is very high quality. Larger packages can be purchased and reduce the price down to $8.49 USD per day.

Here is this week’s lunch menu, for an idea of what they offer. Each week you must choose your lunches, and they do offer omnivorous options, so you have to ensure you choose the vegetarian options. It doesn’t appear that they have an alternative vegetarian choices, so you get what they have mostly. I had a slight issue with menu selection, however the owner, Lionel, resolved this for me within a day.

MONDAY

Tofu, tomato and portobello napoleon with basil cream sauce

Mediterranean farro salad

Kale croquette

Flowerless chocolate cake

TUESDAY

Red wine braised mushrooms

Roasted butternut squash

Spinach salad with honey mustard sauce

Ricotta tart

WEDNESDAY

Baked eggplant with Portuguese sauce

Saffron Idaho potatoes

Tomatoes and onions salad with no oil balsamic vinaigrette

Strawberry cheesecake

THURSDAY

Wild mushrooms stroganoff sauce

Spatzle

Watercress salad with no oil ranch dressing

Fruit merlot

FRIDAY

Sesame crusted soy nuggets with soy reduction

Stir fried rice

Mango slaw salad

White chocolate pudding

I have already tried the tomato and portobello napoleon, which was quite delicious. I really enjoy large pieces of portobello mushroom and these were grilled nicely. Last week was my absolute favorite meal: the vegetable lasagna. I hope they feature this again. Today I had the red wine braised mushrooms, which were nice, but I had hoped it would have been seasoned a bit better. The desserts have been very good, with a few being spectacular (namely the apple muffin from last week and the flowerless chocolate cake). Overall the food is of good quality with a few star dishes, which is a lot more than I can say for other delivery services I’ve tried.

Yaribel, our delivery driver, is so sweet and let us take a look at the Prius ECO Healthy Meals uses. It is a great way to deliver their message of environmental awareness, along with the compostable containers and utensils they provide. This is the first service I’ve seen of its kind in South Florida. Check out their website at http://www.ecohealthymeals.com/

 

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April 29, 2013

ECO Healthy Meals in South Florida

by ashley

www.EcoHealthyMeals.com

Delicious, healthy and one of the most affordable vegetarian meal delivery services in South Florida. They serve a wide area, from Broward to Miami-Dade. Jessica and I have ordered their service (Jess is getting lunch and dinner, me just lunch), and will both be posting a full review very soon!

In the meantime, check out their website at http://www.ecohealthymeals.com/

March 22, 2013

Napa comes to Stamford, Ct

by jem614

Napa PrettyI recently traveled to Stamford for a business conference and was able to try out a couple of new restaurants in the area.  My colleague and I found this beautiful little restaurant, Napa, within the Marriott hotel on Broad Street.  The inside is dimly lit with candles and an entire wall is covered in wines.  The waiters sport jeans though the restaurant feels more elegant.  It brings a “relatable” aspect to the place so it doesn’t feel stuffy.

As you sit down, you are given your menus and an IPad that has their wine menu on it as well as some more information on the restaurant.

We ordered an appetizer of Spaghetti Squash (yes, it’s really an appetizer and it tastes delicious with a hint of basil) as well as a cheese plate that you can choose the type of cheeses.  For $18 you can choose three little squares of cheeses that is served with some jams and bread.  We tried (from their menu):

3. MIDNIGHT MOON, Goat, Holland, (Pinot Noir) Aged goat cheese, the flavor is nutty and
brown-buttery, with prominent caramel notes.
4. MIMOLETTE, Cow, France, (Tempranillo)Firm and oily, vivid orange, nutty with smooth fudgy finish
6. GORGONZOLA (not on their online menu)

I was not a fan of the Gorgonzola as a cheese for bread, I feel it’s better suited for salads but the Midnight Moon and Mimolette was tasty on the bread.

They do have some vegetarian pasta but their actual entrees are completely carnivore.  Thankfully, their appetizers and salads make up for what they lack in entrees.

For more information on your trip to Napa, go to http://www.napaandcompany.com.

February 25, 2013

Romanesco Frittata with Kale and Rainbow Chard

by ashley

Romanesco BroccoliLast week my CSA box had a great surprise: romanesco broccoli! I love the beautiful shape and slightly sweeter taste it has than traditional broccoli or cauliflower. Since I also have ungodly amounts of eggs also from my CSA, I decided that I would make a frittata with the romanesco, kale, rainbow chard and onion. It turned out delicious – and healthy, with just a touch of cheese and pinch of salt for flavor. This would make a wonderful brunch idea, and could easily be made vegan with tofu and almond milk. I will have to post a recipe soon that omits the eggs and dairy, I just had so many to use up this week!

Romanesco Frittata with Kale and Rainbow Chard

1 head romanesco broccoli

½ cup chopped kale

½ cup chopped rainbow chard

½ medium white onion

8 large eggs

½ cup milk

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Optional: ½ cup shredded cheese

Romanesco Frittata: Sauteeing in PanFinely chop onion, kale and rainbow chard. Coarsely chop romanesco broccoli. In a large cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add rainbow chard and kale. Sautee until wilted. Add romanesco broccoli and sauté for about 2 minutes. Take off heat.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, milk and salt. Whisk vigorously until completely combined and mixture begins to bubble. Pour into cast iron pan and mix to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed. Allow to cook over medium heat until egg begins to set.

Transfer to the oven and allow to bake until golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes. Cool and serve either warm or cold. Can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours, or frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a side item.

Romanesco Frittata with Kale and Rainbow Chard

December 19, 2012

Kitchens of India Black Gram Lentils Curry (Dal Bukhara)

by ashley

BlackGramLentilsCurryAffordable, quick, nutritious and delicious – when I need to whip something up fast for lunch, dinner or even a snack, Kitchens of India’s Black Gram Lentils Curry (Dal Bukhara) is one of my favorite options. Even my meat-loving better half loves this as a snack with warm naan.

A 1/2 cup is only 150 calories, and the preparation couldn’t be simpler. Cut the package open, heat in a pan or microwave, and serve with bread or rice. Garlic naan is my favorite combination.

Once opened, store in the refrigerator in a sealed tupperware – I like to take some for lunch the next day.

KitchensofIndia Black Lentils Curry

August 15, 2012

Vegetarian Hors D’oeuvres: Mini Quiches

by ashley

In planning for Jessica’s baby shower, I wanted to make sure that we had a good assortment of foods that would be tasty, easy to make and easy to eat. The first thing that popped into my head were mini quiches – something that I’ve made in my own home for years. They are incredibly adaptable and great to make with kids. You can come up with infinite possibilities for flavors and fillings.

 

I chose to keep mine simple for the baby shower: chives, dill, some onion and cheddar cheese. To make it more simple, I used frozen pastry sheets for the crust. If you are more versed in the kitchen, whipping up a fresh batch of pastry dough would be tastier. I had to make about 100, so I wanted easy 😉

 

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make one batch of 30 mini quiches or 8 larger quiches:

 

2 tbsp finely diced onions

2 tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp dried dill leaves

1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp kosher salt

3 eggs

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1 sheet frozen pastry dough*

 

*Fully defrost pastry sheet overnight in refrigerator.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Grease mini muffin pans (or regular muffin pans, depending on desired quiche size). On a hard, floured surface, roll out the defrosted pastry dough until doubled in size. Using a rolling cutter, or pizza cutter, cut the pastry dough into uniform squares. For mini quiches, the squares should be about 2 inches. For larger quiches, 5 inches. Lightly push the cut pastry squares into the muffin pans.

 

Beat eggs and heavy cream in a bowl, folding in the onions, chives, dill, salt and cheese once fully integrated. Spoon the egg mixture into the muffin tins, filling each pastry square about ¾ of the way. Bake until fluffy golden brown, about 10-15 minutes for mini-quiches or 15-25 minutes for larger quiches. Serve immediately.

 

August 9, 2012

Jessica’s Baby Shower – Cute Vegetarian Appetizer Ideas

by ashley

I can’t believe that Jessica is 33 weeks pregnant. So many things have changed since the beginning of Veg On The Run. We’ve ran a ½ marathon together, we’ve done a bodybuilding challenge, I lost 18 pounds, we’ve done parties, events…so many things, it’s hard to believe they all fit into such a short time span.

When Jessica took me out to dinner in February to tell me the good news, it was the first time in a long time that I cried tears of joy. I’m so happy for her and her husband, she has touched my heart the most of anyone I’ve met here in Miami. So, when it came time to plan her baby shower, I knew that I was going to do my best to make it a special occasion. One of Jessica’s best friends, Nermari, was my sidekick in putting all the festivities together. I love to cook, but I’m not the best decorator. Nermari is a decorating queen. Jessica has an entire board on the Veg On The Run Pinterest page dedicated to the new baby, so Nermari suggested we start there. We scoured the page for hours trying to best match what she likes. We ended up with a Tiffany blue themed party with a splash of orange for contrast. I knew Jessica wanted a pink cake with Tiffany blue frosting. After calling around to several Publix locations, I found that while they wouldn’t do a pink cake, they can do red velvet with blue frosting. They translated my weak request for “a pink cake with Tiffany Blue icing, no flowers and little dots on it”, into a work of art. And it was at least half the price an independent bakery would have charged.

I was in charge of the vegetarian appetizers, choosing to make mini cheddar herb quiches, phyllo mushroom tarts with feta cheese and a watermelon “cornucopia” fruit salad. All were very simple to make (recipes to follow next week), yet looked elegant at the party. We also had tons of candy, used as both edibles and decorations, chocolate cupcakes and several other treats that others brought with them. It was definitely a party to remember, and special thanks to Nermari for teaching me how to put a baby shower together. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

Congratulations Jessica on your first baby, a wonderful little boy. May he be everything you always wished for and more.

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