Vegan, gluten-free quinoa corn muffins with cumin, chili powder, garlic, green onions and cilantro.
As readers of this blog know, J and I love our veggies. A meal just doesn’t feel complete without some sort of salad, and most of our meals have at least two, sometimes even three, vegetarian components. However, I’ve never really gone vegan- after all, what’s a girl without her cheese but a raging, freaking lunatic, right? Continue reading →
Wanted to share with you a really delicious, vegetarian taco that I made at home, inspired by ones I had at the uber-healthy-crunchy-granola restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. Although I like their food, I can’t say I’m a fan of the names of dishes. I mean, I feel kind of silly asking the waitress for one order of the “I Am Awesome” with a side of “I Am Gorgeous.” I mean, hello- I already know these things about myself and don’t feel the need to remind everyone. Just kidding. Seriously- it is kind of ridiculous when tacos are called “I Am Transformed.” And for the record, I don’t know how happy the food makes people- last time I was there I saw a very pissed off Jeremy Piven chuck a menu across the counter and storm off after learning Cafe Gratitude doesn’t serve decaf. Guess someone wasn’t feeling very grateful that day. Sheesh.
To be fair, I kind of was transformed after trying the, um, “I Am Transformed”- Two seasonal corn tacos with caramelized butternut squash, black beans, sliced avocado, salsa fresca and cashew nacho cheese. They were slightly sweet from the squash, spicy from the beans and salsa and nutty from the corn tortillas. Since I wanted to eat them again but didn’t feel like spouting off how transformed I was, I thought I’d make them at home.
The process was relatively simple but time consuming: I roasted one butternut squash, scooped out the flesh and whizzed in the food processor with garlic and a bit of cayenne pepper. Made pico de gallo (onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, salt). Opened a can of black beans, rinsed well, then tossed with some salsa verde (my touch!). Piled everything onto my new favorite Ezekiel sprouted corn tortilla, then topped with a bit of crumbled cojita cheese.
They tasted pretty much identical to the ones at Cafe Gratitude- sweet and spicy, creamy and fresh. I’m glad I was able to recreate these, but I have to admit I may still have to pop over to Cafe Gratitude in a pinch- roasting a butternut squash takes time. After all, I can’t be waiting forever to be transformed.
I’m always trying to find ways to make my favorite comfort foods healthier, and now- thanks to the wide variety of higher fiber, lower sugar and generally all around better-for-you alternatives to pasta, breads and other foods, it’s getting a lot easier.
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I’ve been meaning to make Andie’s baked falafel for awhile now, and finally got around to it last weekend. J and I loved them so much, I whipped up a double batch tonight, and took the opportunity to try another idea I’ve been toying with: to use collard greens as the wrap instead of pita or a tortilla. Hmm…
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Whoa…has it really been…THREE MONTHS since my last blog post? Thank goodness Google remembers my password to WordPress for me- it’s been that long, ya’ll. It’s been so long I actually forgot the 6th anniversary- November 11- of this here Tuna Toast blog! I’m a bad blog mom, seriously.
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Posted in healthy cooking, healthy dining, Heidi Swanson, home cooking, Tuna Toast, Tuna Toast anniversary, vegan food, vegan recipes, Vegetarian, Vegetarian cooking
Tagged Healthy cooking, Tuna Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, yams
When I relaunched this blog a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I’ve started catering. I love cooking more than almost anything else and my friends have been telling me for quite some time to just get out there and do it, so I had to listen.
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Did you know it’s currently National Vegetarian Week? If ya didn’t, now ya do, so go out there and eat a carrot or ten!
I do love myself a beautiful piece of rare meat now and again, but I find that I cook vegetarian more often than not even though I’m not consciously planning it. I guess it may have to do with the fact that I don’t really know what I’ll be cooking on any given week and therefore rarely buy meat or fish on my weekend shopping trips and prefer to buy it the day of when I figure out what’s for dinner. Add that to the fact that I’m usually running behind, and it leads to me making our meals out of whatever we have on hand, which is always vegetables and some sort of protein that keeps well for longer periods than fresh meat, like tofu, cheese or beans. Continue reading →
I hate to start off a Sunday afternoon post with a rant, but I just have to get it out. I’m done paying money for bad meals and mediocre food. Just done. It seems I’ve had some bad luck especially when it comes to breakfast or brunch outings (there have been a few dinners as well, darn it!), and I guess it’s partially my fault for trying to tweak a scramble so it’s made with egg whites or to ask for “easy cheese.” Maybe I should just order an omelet the way it is without adjustments. But even as I type that sentence, I’m not totally convinced that trying to eat relatively healthily at a restaurant is reason enough for a bad plate of food. What restaurant these days doesn’t offer a “substitute egg whites” option anyway? They all do, right? Grrrrr….. Continue reading →
It was J’s birthday this past weekend, and although he was on tour in Japan on the actual day, I wanted to make something special for dinner the day he came home so we could celebrate. I went out and bought two beautiful filet mignon and decided to make some gnocchi as a side dish instead of serving plain ol’ potatoes. When I spied a recipe for spinach gundi (pronounced nu-dee) in a new cookbook I’d just purchased, I decided to ditch the potato version altogether and make these ricotta-based dumplings instead.
Well a few things changed and we ended up having four for dinner instead of just J and me; to top it all off, one was a vegetarian. Luckily the gnudi was the perfect thing to serve as a vegetarian entrée, so I simply made extra and served our veggie friend a whole bowl of them while the remaining three of us had some as a side dish to our beef. I’ll post later this week about the rest of the meal, but here’s the gnudi. It’s really easy to make, and would go well with marinara, a gorgonzola sauce….pretty much anything, but I opted to make a forest mushroom cream to coat the fluffy gnudi.
I’d purchased 6 ounces of fresh spinach at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market (which is awesome but so large that it’s almost overwhelming!) and, after blanching it for a few seconds in salted hot water, shocked them in ice water and squeezed the excess moisture until I had 2.5 ounces of spinach.
I combined the spinach with ricotta cheese, which I’d strained overnight in a paper-towel-lined colander,grated parmesan, 2 TBS of egg and flour and kneaded it lightly until it came together.
After dusting my cutting board with rice flour, I just rolled pieces of dough into fat tubes and cut them into 1 1/2 inch pieces. I thought it’d be nice to have large pieces so you could cut and eat each one…a lot of the gnudi I’ve seen tend to be larger than regular gnocchi.
These gnudi took only a couple of minutes in boiling water before they were ready to be tossed in sauce. I found some beautiful chanterelle mushrooms at the farmer’s market so I simply sauteed those in butter and olive oil, tossed in some chopped garlic and thyme, added a splash of cognac and then finished it off with fresh cream and a grating of parmesan cheese.
Considering how last minute our change in plans were, I’d say things worked out pretty well. Our vegetarian friend, who normally isn’t crazy about mushrooms, really loved the dish.
I’ll post on the rest of the meal soon!
Quick Post: Beet Green & Carrot Top Soup
Don’t worry- this soup doesn’t contain one creepy, red headed comedian but instead some healthy, vibrant greens that you might otherwise toss in the garbage. I had a lot of greens left over from the tart I’d made for a vegetarian dinner party, so I figured I’d try them in a soup.
It started just like all of my other soups do: sauté diced onions, carrots and celery, then some minced garlic and thyme. Then I chopped up the beet greens and carrot tops, slightly worried that it would taste too “green” but went with it anyway. After a few minutes I added veggie stock and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes before whipping out my new favorite kitchen tool- the Cuisinart hand blender- and pureed the whole thing. (By the way, I highly recommend getting this if you make pureed soups often like I do. It saves you from having to ladle hot soup into a blender, then pureeing, then putting back into the pot.)
The soup, like the tart, was savory, rich and tasty and I was amazed that beet and carrot tops could create such an amazing soup! Definitely a keeper!
It made a couple of nice lunches- one veggie- served with an avocado, arugula and hummus tartine:
And another with a turkey sandwich on quinoa bread:
Good and good for you!