Try This—Vegetarian Pancit (Filipino Rice Noodles)

“when the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, four. I don’t think I can eat eight.” —Yogi Berra

Now that’s the kind of portion control I can get on board with, especially when it comes to pizza or rice noodles. I went to the Asian supermarket on Saturday and picked up 12 bundles of rice noodles. Rice noodles are a pantry staple in my house. I literally can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Super quick to prepare and the possibilities are endless. I’ve been ODing on Pancit lately, and I just have to share my favorite recipe with you. Pancit (pronounced PUN-SIT) is a Filipino dish that I’ve loved since I was in high school.

When my older sister was at Cornell University, her dorm mate was Filipina and she used to cook the most amazing food. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old, so her dorm mate made all of these traditional Filipino dishes for me with no meat. Did I mention she was super sweet?! Anyway, my absolute favorite has always been Pancit, but up until recently, I’d never tried to make it on my own. Then I found this recipe courtesy of the Veggie Chick, and it’s about as close as you can get to the Pancit I remember. You must try this!!!

Vegetarian Pancit (Filipino Rice Noodles)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 package (15 ounce) extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces and pressed with paper towel to remove all moisture
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 cups chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 head)
  • 2 cups baby broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger)
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt

Directions

  1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl; cover with warm water and let sit. When the noodles are soft, after about 20 minutes, drain and set noodles aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and sauté until browned, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the tofu from the wok. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the wok. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the carrots, cabbage and broccoli. Stir fry until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tamari, ginger, veggie bouillon cube, vegetable broth and sea salt. Stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved. Add the cooked tofu, rice noodles and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serves 8. Best served immediately. Stays fresh in the fridge for 1 day.

Recipe: the Veggie Chick for more plant-based cooking inspiration go here.

Try This— Vegetarian Lebanese Stew

I’d rather spend half an hour rearranging things in the dishwasher to fit in that last mug than spend the 20 seconds it would take to wash it by hand. Are you sure you want to turn me loose on meal planning? Ok. Let’s go! If my dishwasher ambition tells you anything, it’s that I crave efficiency. I like the idea of making a big meal on a Sunday evening and eating the leftovers throughout the week. Cook once, eat all week. I’ve found that when the weather is as cold as it’s been, there’s nothing more satisfying than a piping hot bowl of stew. Served over rice, mashed potatoes, with a side salad, or as a stand alone meal, vegetarian stews are probably the easiest weeknight meal you can make.

In the past, I’ve always just sliced up root vegetables and dumped them in a slow cooker with some pre-made soup (carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, potatoes, and yams, with a butternut squash soup base is my favorite). Totally easy way to make a stew, but after a while it can get a little boring. I decided to play with some Middle Eastern flavors in the stew I made last night and I’m so glad I did! Oregano, mint, and cinnamon take this stew to new heights. It’s hearty, stick-to-your-ribs good, yet still seems fresh and lighter than most stews. You must try this!

Lebanese Vegetarian Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped. You pick the colors. I like green peppers in this stew
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 3 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 26.46 ounce box of Pomi Strained Tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 13 ounces or a generous 1-1/2 cups of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of white wine or a couple of splashes of dry vermouth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • Drizzle of honey or about a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Rub it between your fingers to release the flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
  • A couple of pinches of ground cinnamon
  • Olive oil for cooking and drizzling
  • Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a large dutch oven or an oven safe pot with a lid, saute the onions and bell pepper on medium to medium high heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Once the pepper and onions are soft, add the potatoes, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, wine/vermouth, sugar, dried herbs, spices, bay leaves and more salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn down the heat, simmer, covered for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • After 5 minutes of stove top simmering, place the pot in the oven and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • When the stew is finished cooking, remove bay leaves.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper. Also add a pinch more of dried oregano, mint and cinnamon.
  • Serve with rice or a salad and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Enjoy!

This recipes makes a pretty big pot of stew. If you’re cooking for yourself, you can place the leftovers in mason jars and store for up to a week in the refrigerator, and up to 2 months in the freezer. Bonus: If you’re feeling like you want a pot pie (and really who doesn’t?), this stew makes the perfect filling. Just pour this into your pie pan and bake. Seriously, how easy is that?!

Pro tip: I prefer to use Pomi tomato products because they come in a box instead of a can, and somehow always retain a garden fresh flavor.

recipe adapted from Vintage Kitchen

Food Trends to Watch For in 2018

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Fact: The closest I came to dieting in 2017 was when I deleted some of the food photos from my phone gallery. I’ll admit, when I’m talking about dieting here, I’m almost never talking about weight loss. What I am talking about is the way diet totally effects how we feel.  I’m here to tell you that skinny vegetarians can feel like crap too. Take it from me. I’m also here to tell you that big girls can be amazingly fit. Case in point: this fierce yogi. So, with less of an emphasis on weight, nutrition and health take center stage. This year, we can expect to see some super nutritious additions to last year’s growing list of healthy food trends. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally ready! Seriously, after a steady diet of cake, sweet, sugar, pastry, and cocktail since Halloween, I’m determined to start this new year off right. Let’s take a look!

2018 Food Trends

Whole Foods Predicts…

Whole Foods just released their annual report on food trends, giving us a clue as to what we’ll be seeing a lot of this year. Plant based products, floral flavors, mushrooms (anyone ready for a mushroom coffee?!), airy snacks like jicama crisps, root to stem recipes (zero food waste, hello!), and both Middle Eastern (mmm, Halloumi Burgers) and Filipino cuisine are all set to have a huge impact on 2018.

the dairy aisle gets some help from Sweden

Last year, while I was in Stockholm, I had one of the best lattes ever, y’all. I went to this coffee shop called Snickarbacken7 in the Norrmalm neighborhood. Anybody that knows me knows that me ordering a latte is always a production. Vanilla soy latte, one pump of vanilla and light on the foam. I’m trying to buy coffee, not air bubbles and simple syrup. Does that make me picky? Anyway, Snickarbacken7 didn’t have any soy milk, and I was so over almond milk and coconut milk lattes the second I tried them. The barista offered me an oat milk latte instead. YOOOOOOO!!! Oat milk is absolutely amazing. Creamy, subtly sweet, and easily my new favorite dairy alternative milk. Look for the Swedish company Oatly to hit US shelves in February.

Move over, matcha, Make Room for Moringa.

While matcha has made it’s rounds in everything from lattes to must-have beauty products over the last few years and while it doesn’t show signs of stopping, get ready to see a lot more moringa. Moringa is made from the leaves of the moringa tree, a plant native to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. The leaves are dried and ground into a powder that has a deliciously earthy flavor, not so different from matcha, but with comparable anti-inflammatory properties to turmeric. This year, you’ll see moringa in smoothies, nourishment bowls, health bars, and even lattes. Moringa powder is readily available on amazon making it easy for a home cook to experiment with it’s unique flavor.

The next big thing after Instant Pot

In 2017, our Instagram feeds were flooded with delicious Instant Pot creations. That versatile little kitchen appliance combined the capabilities of a pressure cooker, steamer, slow cooker, and skillet into one convenient device. The Instant Pot gave us healthy meals in a fraction of the time, using a fraction of the energy. What it didn’t give us was fried food. Um. We need fried food. Enter the air fryer. What sets fried food apart is that familiar crunchy texture we all love. What makes it unhealthy is the loads of oil we have to use to get that tasty crunch. The air fryer remedies all of that by evenly circulating air around your temptation of choice, giving you that fried food comfort without all the guilt. These gadgets aren’t exactly new, but more and more companies are joining the trend and offering more affordable options. If you wanna go for broke because fried food is your happy place, you can opt for the pricier, latest version of the Phillips Air Fryer. A more frugal version is yours for under $100 here.

I’m so excited for this year! You guys! 2018! Can you believe it?

Try This— My Favorite 4 Healthy Christmas Brunch Recipes

I’m pretty bad at all those get fit, over-haul-your-diet kind of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided, instead, to end this year on a healthy note. Kind of a tall order considering Christmas cookies and New Year’s drinks, but I’m pretty determined to get a jump on all the healthy promises I make to myself come January 1st. The thing is, I like sweet and yummy. Is that a crime?! I think not. These recipes will have you thinking you’re in the Matrix because they’re so damn good, and so good for you. This is not a dream, Neo, it’s just Christmas brunch. You must try this!

Make Ahead Baked Gingerbread Pecan French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf hearty white bread, sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup brewed gingerbread coffee (see note if you don’t have gingerbread coffee on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Butter a baking dish generously.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, vanilla and spices.
  3. Arrange the bread in the baking dish in a staggered (staircase-like) manner.
  4. Pour the liquid over the top of the bread, fully coating each piece.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  6. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and spoon whatever liquid has not been absorbed over the tops of the bread.
  8. Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is cooked and the tops of the bread are starting to turn golden brown. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end for an even more toasted look.
  9. Remove from the oven, garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm with maple syrup and butter.

Winter Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2-3 medium pears, any variety, cored and sliced
  • 2 ripe persimmons, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, cut into thin ribbons, or torn into pieces

Directions

  1. Place the citrus fruit, pears, and persimmons into a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and set aside.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Working over a bowl set in the bottom of the kitchen sink, hold the pomegranate in your hand, cut-side down. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall from the membranes into the bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Any of the leftover membranes will rise to the top and can easily be separated from the seeds. Drain and sprinkle over the top of the other fruit.
  3. Sprinkle the fresh mint over the top and serve immediately.

Quinoa Granola With Cranberry and Pistachio

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well to remove bitterness and well-drained
  • 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the quinoa, almonds, pistachios,and flax seeds; stir well. Heat the maple syrup and the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for 20 seconds. Stir in the cinnamon, and salt then pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to coat.
  3. Spread the quinoa mixture in a thin layer overthe prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice during the cook time. Add the chopped cranberries during the last 5 minutes of cook time.
  4. Cool completely on the baking sheet, as it cools the granola will harden and begin to clump together. When cooled break up any large pieces of granola into small clusters and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve along side yogurt or with milk

Simple Kale Frittata

Ingredients

  • 8-10 kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 extra large (or 8 large) eggs
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk (non-dairy, unsweetened is fine)
  • a little water
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the kale well, dry and rip into pieces or cut into ribbons.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, 10-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet. Add the diced onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown, about 15 minutes. (You can speed up the process by adding some water to the skillet and letting it evaporate as the onions cook.)
  3. Add the garlic and kale to the pan along with a little water to keep the kale from sticking to the pan. Continue cooking and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add a little more salt and pepper to the eggs. When the kale has wilted and cooked down, remove the pan from the heat and pour the eggs over the kale and rearrange as necessary so everything is evenly distributed in the pan.
  5. Place pan in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
  6. Serve with home fries.

Source: Cafe Johnsonia and Hello Glow

Try This— 6 Avocado Toast Recipes That Are Perfect for Autumn and Winter

Rules are made to be broken. Avocados are totally a summer staple, but who says you can’t enjoy them year round? My love affair with this tasty green fruit kind of begins with avocado toast. I have literally made and devoured every possible avocado toast recipe you can think of. There’s nothing more satisfying, wholesome, and downright delicious.

True, avocado toast gets a lot of hype. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen dressed up as avocado and toast this Halloween, fitness experts swear by the nutritional properties of the mighty avocado, and there’s certainly no shortage of avocado toast recipes floating around the internet. Many of those recipes though are your basic run of the mill take on avocado toast as a Summer treat…salt, pepper, a squirt of lemon juice. Totally delicious, but what if you’re a daredevil, an avocado rebel like me? Say no more, these avocado toast recipes are just what you need. You must try this!!!

1. Autumn Avocado Toast With Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Pears, crumbled gorgonzola, walnuts, honey and cinnamon. Yes. It’s as delicious as it sounds. Find the recipe here.

Autumn Avocado Toast With Pear, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts via Arsenic and Old Place

2. Cornbread Avocado Toast

Sometimes the easiest way to change of your avocado toast is by changing up the toast. Swap out your usual bread for cornbread. You’re welcome. Find the recipe here.

Cornbread Avocado Toast via Arsenic and Old Place

3. Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese With Pesto

For those colder Autumn days when you want to spice things up a bit, this recipe, like your classic grilled cheese, goes great with a bowl of hot soup. Find the recipe here.

Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese With Pesto via Arsenic and Old Place

4. Avocado Toast With Citrus, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese

A little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit tangy, and a lotta bit creamy, avocado paired with orange and pomegranate is a match made in Heaven. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast With Citrus, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese via Arsenic and Old Place

5. Avocado Toast with caramelized sweet onion and grape tomatoes

If you’ve never added onions to your avocado toast, this is the perfect recipe to start with. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast with Caramelized Sweet Onion and Grape Tomatoes via Arsenic and Old Place

6. Avocado Toast With Chili Flakes and Crushed Pistachios

You said you’re a daredevil, right? Don’t be shy about the chili flakes on this one, you won’t be sorry. Find the recipe here.

Avocado Toast With Chili Flakes and Crushed Pistachios via Arsenic and Old Place