Posts tagged ‘Food’

May 20, 2016

Gabose & Gabose Pocha

by jem614

Ashley and I checked out a Korean restaurant up in Lauderhill last night.  I should say, two Korean restaurants (with the same owners).  It’s also in the same shopping center: Gabose & Gabose Pocha.

Pocha is a little more modern and young feeling with Korean hip hop and dance music playing.  Thursday night is happy hour for shrubs, a fermented drink with soju and fruit that’s served in a bowl. We had two for one specials after trying a plain bottle of soju.  Ashley and I had the Ginger Shrub that tasted a little spicy, the Pineapple Rosemary that comes with a little jalapeno floating around in it, and the Pineapple Lemongrass.  My favorite was probably the lemongrass since it was really fresh-tasting and just a tad sweet.  All of them were worth travelling a little ways just to try- and the service was excellent.  We got there early and had personalized attention from a very knowledgeable waiter/bartender.

We were also served a complimentary Korean pancake with spicy ketchup and cheese and vegetables inside (it may sound a little odd but I had to hold myself back from eating it all).  I’m totally hooked on Korean food now.  They may have spoiled me though, this is not only one of the best Korean food places in town but all around just a great place to eat.  How will I ever go to another Korean restaurant?

After drinks and appetizers at Pocha, we wandered over to Gabose to have dinner.  We ordered the vegetable Bibimbap which is basically a very hot bowl with veggies, an uncooked egg, rice and hot sauce but it’s served so hot that you mix it all together when it gets to the table and it starts cooking the egg and the rice and makes it all nice and crispy on the sides.  They also bring about 5-6 little bowls of veggies to the table that are different side dishes.  The Bibimbap can also be served with tofu but we decided to just try the vegetable one.

Overall, a really great night out and two places I’ll be returning to when I want something adventurous and fun to eat!  Just be aware that Gabose can get very busy so call ahead or get there early.

You can find them at:

4933 N University Dr Lauderhill, FL 33351

 

4991 N University Dr, Lauderhill, FL 33351

 

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April 25, 2016

greenbar & Kitchen, Fort Lauderdale

by jem614

 

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I’ve driven this strip of Fort Lauderdale going towards A1A hundreds of times and didn’t realize that back inside one of the little strip malls, was a great Plant-based restaurant! I’ve never even heard of them till this past week!

They have this adorable little patio area that is draped in plants and greenery and kind of takes you out of feeling like you’re in the city.  Inside the restaurant it’s very hip and modern and fresh-feeling.  If you’re looking for a great place for just grabbing some lunch or actually want to take someone out for a casual date-night, it’s the place to go (hint hint-go take someone out this weekend).

I ordered the avocado toast because someone had recommended it somewhere and I didn’t want anything too heavy that night.  Four half-slices of toast with tons of avocado and yumminess piled on top.  My son ordered the nuggets of which he ate three and said he didn’t want anymore- no worries! Mommy saved room for that.  He’s a picky eater and has a hard time trying new things.   Literally, we eat three main items at home.  The nuggets weren’t my favorite but they were the typical vegetarian nugget- I expected the flavor, though it did have an interesting spice thrown in there.

He did however, devour that chocolate cupcake you see below and mommy had to slyly take a bite while he wasn’t looking.  Thank goodness they were offering tons of cupcake samples that night.
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On top of the wonderful food options, we were able to listen to a little info session on locally grown foods.  Check them out if you want to learn more about growing your own farm here locally or if you’d like to purchase some of their veggies and plants (just note that growing season in Florida for their veggies is coming to an end for them so now is the time to go before it’s over).  They also sell their own coconut milk.

A great evening all around, so glad I could use this opportunity to check out a new place.  Please let us know if you’ve ever visited and what you had when you were there- inquiring minds want to know what else is good!

For info on greenbar, go to : gb&k
For info on Harpke Family Farm, go to: Harpke Family Farm

December 11, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

by ashley

  Trying to keep your diet in check during the holidays? Want to impress guests with a healthy, delicious and fun vegetarian breakfast alternative? This recipe is ridiculously easy, yet the results will amaze guests who’ve never had avocado egg baskets before.

Avocados are one of nature’s superfoods, full of vitamins and antioxidants it is a perfect detox food. My approach to detoxing is relatively simple, instead of worrying about juicing or expensive supplements, instead fill your detox diet with real foods that are low calorie and nutrient dense. Forgo anything processed or with refined sugars. Of course, the point of the Holiday detox is to work these foods in around your holiday celebrations. Plan your cheat meals wisely, keep the “cheating” to a minimum, but enjoy yourself. You only live once!

Baked Avocado Egg Baskets

Serves 2

One hass avocado

Two eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

Optional: caramelized onions, chives, basil, fresh pico de gallo, etc. for topping once out of the oven

Preheat oven to 400F.

I like to use a muffin tin to bake the avocados as it keeps them in place better. Use the coconut oil to grease two openings in the muffin tin to prevent any egg white spillage from sticking to your pan.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Use a spoon to create a slightly bigger hole in each avocado half to allow an egg to sit in the hole. (I like to eat the extra at this point! You can also reserve for another recipe later in the day, just remember to squeeze some lime or lemon on it to keep it from browning.)

Place the halves onto the muffin tin, skin side down, resting in one of the openings you greased with coconut oil. Carefully crack one egg into each avocado half, trying to avoid spilling the egg white.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the egg white is set but the yolk is still soft.

After removing from the oven, this is where I like to get creative. Work with your own tastes and whatever you have on hand at the time. Top with chopped fresh basil or chives. Add some caramelized onions. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh tomatoes, pico de gallo or salsa. There are so many things that pair nicely with this!

***If you are allergic to latex, talk to your doctor before adding avocado to your diet. People with a serious latex allergy may experience symptoms after eating avocado.

 

December 3, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Publix Edamame Steam-in-Bag

by ashley

 Like most of the country this past week, I ate waaaayyy too much over Thanksgiving. Too many desserts to count – who can say no to ricotta pumpkin cheesecake? I learned I definitely cannot! And so many savory carbs like bread, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, rice and gandules, russian potato salad….ehhh. Needless to say, it’s only the beginning of December and already the holiday pounds are starting to creep up on me. I don’t want it to get out of hand so I’ve decided to start my “new year’s resolution” early – instead of January, why don’t we start in December IN BETWEEN all of the horrible eating that accompanies this time of year? This will be a mini-series of posts as I go along my holiday season natural detox diet. There will be cheat days, of course, on the days that I have a party or family gathering, but I will limit them and also keep portions in check. Everything in moderation!

This time of year is also one of the busiest, meaning that I don’t have a lot of prep time for my healthy meals. I’m looking for quick, cheap and healthy meals and snacks. So far I raided my local Publix who had a sale on their steam-in-bag vegetables. I love edamame, but had actually never made it at home. Typically in restaurants it comes covered in salt or sauces, which are not part of my holiday detox plan, so the Publix brand edamame is a perfect snack or side dish being that the ingredients listed are just: edamame!

Since I’m a glutton, I need these nutrient dense, low calorie options so I can eat large quantities. I ate the ENTIRE BAG as part of my dinner yesterday and it came out to only 275 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, 27.5 carbs and it gave me a whole 12.5 grams of protein. A great way to add bulk to your diet without packing on the calories. It’s super easy to make: pop in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, let sit for a minute or so to cool and then eat. For the holiday detox, make sure not to add any salt or sauce. The more you eat veggies on their own, the more your taste buds will become accustomed to not needing as much salt. Also make sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day. I try to drink about 16 oz an hour, sipping constantly. Your body will adjust to the increase in your water intake after a few days, but the first couple of days you will go to the bathroom a lot more often. This is great for your whole body, giving your skin a great glow and also cleaning out your organs.

You don’t need to do an expensive juice cleanse or detox pills to really clean up your body and your nutrition. Focus on lots of water, cutting back on refined sugar and sodium, as well as eating lots of whole foods. If you’re struggling with flavor, try adding fresh garlic or herbs to your food. Make sure you don’t use any mixed seasonings that have sodium. You’ll want to limit your sodium intake on your “clean” days as much as possible!

May 11, 2015

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake – Ashley’s back!

by ashley

Do you ever just get in a rut? You feel sad, overwhelmed, unable to concentrate on things that you once loved. Daily stresses combine with big stresses and everything that doesn’t involve laying on the couch becomes too much to handle. That’s how I’ve felt for the past six months. Many things happened in my life that just snowballed into this overwhelming feeling of just not wanting to do anything at all. I don’t cross promote, and still won’t, but I do write a couple of other blogs. All of them have had the same theme lately: either incredible sadness or absolutely nothing at all. When I fall into these bouts of depression I tend to write for myself more than anything else, and being a perfectionist, I cannot just throw something on a page and not be proud of it. I wrote a lot of poetry over the past few months, none of which will ever be shared with the public at large, but it helps if you’re suffering from the same feelings.

The point of telling you this is that I haven’t forgotten about you. I have thought a lot about this blog, and Jessica, over the past few months. I just couldn’t force myself to write. It’s foolish, I know, but it is the truth. But I’m here now. And I had a lot of extra plantains that were about to rot in my house – so I decided to make up a recipe for you J

The plantain is a staple in most Latin households. It can be eaten green or yellow, unripened or ripened. Green plantains are used mostly for frying – in my house either for cutting in slices, frying, mashing and then refrying into tostones or patacones (we are a mixed Caribbean/Central American household, so yes we do use both words). I also mash them up into a vegetarian mofongo (the most delicious thing on earth when paired with a robust tomato or vegetable broth – make sure to add some smoked paprika to imitate the flavor that meat imparts on the traditional mofongo). Sweet (also called yellow/ripened/black plantains) can also be sliced and fried into maduros or tajadas, or you can make a pastelon, or plantain “lasagna”, with strips of fried sweet plantains instead of noodles. There are also plantain empanadas (which I have already given you a recipe for here), plantain soup, simple boiled and mashed plantains instead of potatoes – the plantain is a very versatile vegetable.

Well, I could have done any of these things with my blackening plantains, which by the way is the best way to use sweet plantains – when they are almost completely black. But instead of the traditional, I decided I had a craving for banana bread. And of course I didn’t have bananas, only sweet plantains, so I made Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake. It’s very sweet, with a nutty flavor from the flaxseed, and completely vegan. It also can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat flour.

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake

2 very ripe plantains, black almost to the point of rotting

1 cup cane sugar (I like to use Sugar in the Raw)

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ tsp kosher salt

2 tsp vanilla extract (I like to use Madagascar)

2 tsp maple syrup (use pure, real maple syrup, if you can)

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¾ cup water

½ cup almond milk

½ cup melted butter (I used Earth Balance Coconut)

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups whole wheat flour (or a gluten free flour of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350’F.

Start by combining the ground flaxseed with water until incorporated. Set aside. Cut up the plantains into small slices and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the cane sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, flaxseed mixture, almond milk and butter. Mash and mix together until a batter is formed. Add baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Continue mixing until fully incorporated.

Grease your baking pan (I used two small loaf pans) and pour in the batter. Bake until golden brown and set in the middle, about 30 minutes.

July 16, 2014

The Wonders of Ghee and Ladoo/Laddu

by ashley

Ghee and Ladoo/Laddu Ghee is traditionally used in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Sri Lankan cuisine, however versions of it are used throughout the world. It is very similar to clarified butter and made almost in the same way, just cooked a bit longer until the milk solids are browned. While not vegan, the process of making Ghee removes all of the milk solids, so it is a safe alternative to those with milk/lactose allergies. The flavor of your Ghee will depend greatly on the quality of the butter you start with. The best Ghee will come from grass fed cows, best if you can find fresh butter from a local farmer. If you are not near a farming community and live in the United States or Canada, Kerrygold butter is also a great alternative. Make sure you buy the full fat, traditional Kerrygold if you choose that route.

I am most familiar with the traditional uses of Ghee in Indian cooking, which they use to cook rice, dosas, curries and many other popular items. Ghee is also frequently served on the side for dipping in Indian cuisine. Naan, one of my favorite breads in the world, is usually brushed with Ghee while cooking to give it that sweet, buttery flavor.  

Ghee can be used to cook almost anything requiring the use of butter or oil, and when prepared with high quality butter it will contain no trans fats. So while Ghee is 100% fat, many doctors agree it is much healthier than many oils. Trans fats have been shown in laboratory testing to raise the risk of heart disease. Be careful if you choose to purchase pre-made Ghee instead of making your own, as there are many companies that market as “pure Ghee” when in fact they use vegetable oils containing trans fats. When made properly, Ghee is aromatic and nutty, with a hint of sweetness that lends itself to a variety of dishes and cuisines.

 

Making Ghee at Home

What you’ll need:

1lb high quality, full fat, unsalted butter

Large pot

Wooden spoon
Double mesh strainer

Cheesecloth

Large mixing bowl with lip for pouring

Jars for storage (I use mason jars)

 

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter foams and starts to boil. Lower heat to medium low and let simmer, do not stir in this phase. Allow the butter to continue to simmer until the foam disappears and the butter starts to clear. While waiting, place your double mesh strainer over the mixing bowl with the cheesecloth laid over the strainer. You will see the milk solids begin to form, stir gently a few times just to let the milk solids fall to the bottom of the pot.  Keep simmering, stirring occasionally so the milk solids don’t stick. Your Ghee will be finished cooking once the milk solids are a medium golden brown and the butter is finished foaming. Immediately pour the Ghee over the cheesecloth to strain out the milk solids. Some may choose to discard these, others can follow my short recipe below for a delicious treat to make with these. Pour into glass jars for storage. Your Ghee should be a lovely clear gold color, which will solidify as it cools. It is now ready for use!

 

Ladoo (Laddu) – Tasty treats made from leftover milk solids

Ladoo/Laddu

If you do not have a dairy allergy, there is no reason to discard the delicious milk solids that are left over from your homemade Ghee. They are very simple to make and are a great way to enjoy the fruits of your Ghee labor right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you’ll need:

Leftover milk solids from making Ghee (recipe above)

½ cup wheat flour

3 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp Ghee

3 tbsp halved raw, unsalted cashews (optional)

Parchment paper

 

Combine the milk solids, sugar and wheat flour in the same pan you just made Ghee, mix well to fully incorporate and heat over medium low until golden brown. In separate pan, lightly fry the cashews in two tablespoons of Ghee. Add cashews to the wheat mixture and incorporate by hand, adding the remaining tablespoon of Ghee if mixture is not wet enough. Begin hand forming small balls in your hands and set out on parchment. These can be eaten immediately or cooled and eaten at room temperature. Either way, they are delicious!

 

September 19, 2013

Lyfe Kitchen Vegan Whole Grain Pilaf with Sweet & Zesty Vegetable Peperonata

by ashley

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain PilafUpdate 11 Feb 2014: We have had many users point out that this has honey, which most vegans do not eat honey as it is an animal product. I have written a note to Lyfe Kitchen to inform them. Thank you very much to all of our readers who pointed this out! Sorry that it slipped past me!

I had so much energy after eating Lyfe Kitchen’s Whole Grain Pilaf, I had trouble calming down to write a post about it. What drew my eye to this in the freezer section was that it had kale. I’ve never seen a frozen meal with kale, which I love adding to as many of my dishes as possible, so I knew I had to try it. Pilaf of any kind rarely sounds interesting to me, but with the addition of kale, quinoa, red wheat berries, artichokes, zucchini, toasted almonds and many other wholesome ingredients, this is one pilaf I could get excited about. The fact that it has no animal products, making it completely vegan, is another great selling point.

Heating this dish up is not as easy as other frozen meals, but it is worth the effort. I believe they did this to preserve the flavor, as well as ensuring their packaging is as eco-friendly as possible. I have taken step-by-step photos of the process, but the instructions are also clearly marked on the package. You will need a microwave safe plate in order to make this.

Remove the package from the box, place on a microwave safe plate with the seam facing up (so it can release steam while cooking). Cook for 4 ½ minutes. Let stand for 1 minute.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

It will look like this once it’s finished cooking.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Use scissors to cut along the dotted line. I thought my mini hula girl scissors would make the photo a bit more festive.

 Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Carefully slide the entrée onto your plate and enjoy!

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

The lime juice concentrate was slightly overpowering at first, but the more I ate, the more I liked the dish. There are A LOT of ingredients in this dish and it definitely has a lot of flavor, but almost all ingredients are unprocessed foods, with “natural flavor”, potassium chloride and calcium chloride popping out as the only “processed” ingredients that I could see.

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

Lyfe Kitchen Whole Grain Pilaf

I haven’t seen any other Lyfe Kitchen entrées in my grocery store, but I will keep an eye out for more. I was most impressed by the huge jolt of energy I got after eating this. Perhaps it was coincidence or maybe the whole grains? Let me know what you think of the dish!

September 17, 2013

Evol Truffle Parmesan Mac & Cheese: Yes, this comes from a freezer!

by ashley

Evol Truffle Parmesan Mac & CheeseI have a love affair with mac & cheese – it’s embarrassing sometimes. I love all types, but truffle mac & cheese actually was never that enticing to me. I’ve found the cheaper truffle oils to be overpowering and just masking the natural saltiness of a good cheese. Therefore I was even more hesitant to try a frozen meal of truffle mac & cheese. I have been a fan of Evol for a while, so I thought I would at least give it a try. While it is made with wholesome ingredients, this is in no way a light meal. Of course, anyone expecting mac & cheese to be a light meal is a bit crazy. With 480 calories and 25 grams of fat, this is a hefty meal that still needs a salad on the side to be fully satisfying for me. This pairs amazingly with a spinach salad, at least.

If you are unfamiliar with Evol, they are a relatively new brand focusing on wholesome ingredients, compostable bowls and recyclable packaging. They use foods with no rBST hormones and even have gluten free options, although most of those do include meat. They have several vegetarian options that do include gluten, including many different lunch and breakfast burritos, a few different pastas and bean enchiladas. You can check out the full listing here: http://evolfoods.com/products/

The truffle mac & cheese is one of the newer offerings, and I’m quite excited about it. As soon as I opened the microwave, I knew it was going to taste good. A strong aroma of sharp parmesan cheese first wafted out, then the savory smell of black truffles. Cracking the panko breadcrumb crust makes a satisfying crunch, with the creaminess of the cheese and pasta underneath. There are so many flavor layers, it’s amazing they were able to preserve the dish so well in frozen form.

I am truly impressed with this meal – it bodes well for the future of the Evol brand. Here’s hoping for even more delicious vegetarian options!

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August 12, 2013

Vegan Thai-Inspired Shiitake Coconut Curry with Baby Bok Choy

by ashley

Vegan Thai-Inspired Shiitake Coconut Curry with Baby Bok Choy I was inspired by Campbell’s, of all things. Can you believe it? Campbell’s is making some amazing-sounding soups in their “Go” collection. There are a few veggie options that I will be reviewing soon. Unfortunately, their Thai Shiitake Coconut Curry soup also includes chicken, but that’s okay, because I was able to create a healthier version at home. I melded a few recipes that I found online, along with adding baby bok choy that I found at the farmer’s market this weekend. Yummy and healthy, great for this cold that I’m battling still.

Vegan Thai-Inspired Shiitake Coconut Curry with Baby Bok Choy

1 head baby bok choy, separated

Handful of shiitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 small onion, cut in slices

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 springs lemon grass, tied

3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

1 can coconut milk

2 cups vegetable broth

1 lime, juiced

Cilantro for garnish

Sriracha, to taste

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Once smoking, add the shiitake mushrooms and saute until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion, baby bok choy and garlic to the pan. Saute until onions are tender. Add the red curry paste and stir until incorporated. Add the vegetable broth and tied lemon grass. Stir to incorporate and then allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and simmer another 5 minutes. Remove lemon grass and stir in lime juice. Pour over brown or jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro. I also add some sriracha for added heat and flavor, because everything is better with sriracha.

Serves 2-3 when served with rice.

Enjoy!

May 22, 2013

Beyond Meat is now served at Tropical Smoothie Cafe!

by ashley

I just received an exciting e-mail that I thought I’d share with our readers. Beyond Meat, whose products I’ve been anxiously waiting to try, are now available at any Tropical Smoothie Cafe nationwide. I will be visiting Tropical Smoothie Cafe  soon to try their Beyond Meat menu items. Below is the e-mail sent out today from Beyond Meat’s CEO Ethan Brown:

Beyond Meat™’s vision has always been to perfectly replace animal protein with virtually indistinguishable plant protein—delicious and super clean protein, at an affordable price, and on a large scale.

I am personally thrilled when we come across a progressive retailer who has a vision that shares space with our own.  Earlier this year, I had the good fortune to meet up with Mike Rotondo, the CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café, a chain of over 300 locations across the country. Within a matter of minutes, the strength of Mike’s personal and business vision of delighting consumers with healthy food and drink became clear, as did the work that we could do together.

Fast forward a few short months and I’m so pleased to announce that you can now go into any Tropical Smoothie Café across the country and substitute Beyond Meat™ Chicken-Free Strips in any chicken wrap, sandwich, flatbread, or salad for no extra cost.

With a full menu of tasty meals and real-fruit smoothies, Tropical Smoothie Café reflects our belief that eating nutritionally dense foods can and should taste great. With locations in 36 states, Tropical Smoothie is the first national chain to roll out our plant-based chicken line.

I’m passionate about this launch because I believe it represents a milestone for Beyond Meat and the people who believe in our Company and broader mission.  A national chain has now made the seamless switch from animal to plant protein easier, tastier, and more affordable.

It is my hope that we can reward Tropical Smoothie for leaning forward by enthusiastically embracing the chain and spreading the word—together mainstreaming plant protein one yummy sandwich at a time.

Visit a Tropical Smoothie Café today and tell us what you think!

As always, thank you for all your tremendous help and support.

Keep going beyond,

Ethan Brown
Founder and CEO,
Beyond Meat™
www.beyondmeat.com

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