I Tried Huel, the Future of Food, and You Should Too

My fight against low energy rages on. I’m pretty sure the key to feeling energized isn’t in the massive amount of coffee I drink (what a wonderful world that would be). The key to getting your groove back is in a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising. We’ve all gotten that memo. When I’m eating right, drinking lots of water, and exercising regularly, my body just feels better, ya know? I am absolutely determined to find that fountain of youth, y’all. As always, ambition gets the best of me, and I go totally extreme in my efforts. So this happened. I spent a long 5 days on a liquid diet, and maybe after you read this you will too. Hear me out.

I should tell you again that I’m not one of those people that lives to eat. I’m more like one of those people that eats to live. The idea of meal replacement shakes doesn’t send me running for the hills, though I tend to avoid them because of all the toxic additives that many of them contain. Then I discovered Huel. Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food that contains all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, essential fats, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients without all the chemical additives. I mean, they bill themselves as the future of food. Lofty claim, right? But hey, it’s vegan, it’s sustainable, it’s cost effective, it’s time saving, and you get a free t-shirt with your first order. So I thought, why not give this stuff a try.

I’m an all or nothing kind of lady. I figured if I was gonna try Huel, I was gonna try Huel, straight up, no chaser. I mixed the powder with nothing but water for the first 3 days and ate nothing else. Seeing is how I’m one of those people that eats to live I figured I wouldn’t miss food all that much. I was wrong. I’m gonna be bluntly honest here. Huel tastes like…well, imagine this: you take food, then you subtract flavor, texture, and go ahead and get rid of all that makes food indulgent or delicious in any way until you’re left with nothing but science. Then you’ve got Huel.

Ok, so I’m totally exaggerating, but if you’re expecting the future of food, think again. I will admit, however, that the taste isn’t offensive at all (it actually has a kind of oat taste to it) and the texture isn’t so bad either, but I did find myself missing food. As for my energy level, to be honest, I felt really good. I haven’t felt hungry at all and I was able to keep up with my daily yoga without feeling overly tired or strained. Full disclosure: I abandoned the whole just water thing after the first 3 days, and opted for breakfast smoothies with Huel. Best decision ever. These smoothies have been down right tasty. You can even cook with Huel, baking it into a healthy cookie recipe, or even a savory stove top dish. The website offers a variety of recipes that include Huel, so there’s that. Anyway, Huel is definitely worth a try. If you’re looking to improve your diet, increase your energy level, maintain a healthy weight, or even drop a few pounds you should give Huel a go.

Check out the video below for a look at a fabulous kitchen, a beautiful man, and some tips on using Huel.

Try This—The Mozzacado: A Next Level Caprese Sandwich

There’s really no way for me to be modest about this, so I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I am a sandwich aficionado. Like seriously a sandwich making guru. There’s really no challenge too great when it comes to making a vegetarian version of a classic sandwich. Still don’t believe me? Try this incredible vegetarian take on a Vietnamese favorite or this amazing vegetarian halloumi burger or any of these. I’ll wait.

Yup. When I’m right, I’m right. But maybe the biggest challenge for a guru like me, is to bring you a knock-your-socks-off recipe for an already vegetarian friendly sandwich. I’m up to the task though. I think I might have a slight advantage here, because who doesn’t love a caprese? Mozzarella. Tomato. Basil. Mmmm. Nuff said. But I, for real, just took my caprese to the next level. Sky high with avocado. Mozzacado! Yaaaaassssss!

This is a super easy recipe, but the payoff is like hitting the lotto. Full disclosure: I ate two of these sandwiches on football Sunday. Whatever. It’s more than a little delicious and it didn’t leave me feeling guilty at all. Fuller disclosure: The second time around, I put that Mozzacado on a panini press. I have transcended. Seriously, if you love sandwiches as much as I do, get your hands on the Cuisinart panini press that I use. Your sandwich game will never be the same. Anyway, the name says it all. The Mozzacado. You must try this!

Mozzacado Caprese Sandwich

Ingredients

makes 2 sandwiches

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small ripe tomato
  • 4 slices whole milk mozzarella, sliced thick
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Lightly toast the bread
  • Smash the pitted avocado with a little salt and pepper
  • Spread a thick layer of smashed avocado on the warm bread
  • Layer the cheese with the basil and tomato over the avocado

Try This—Vegetarian Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread

There isn’t much you can’t do in the kitchen with mason jars. I mean seriously. From oatmeal, to smoothies, to salads, to totally unique lunch ideas that will make you the envy of your hungry coworkers, and even just storing leftovers. Mason jars do it all. Over the weekend, I was craving some comfort food like whoa. Let me clarify. I wanted to chill out and watch the Texans-Patriots game with something hot and delicious. Since Ryan Tongia was unavailable, I decided I’d make some cornbread instead. Such is life.

A while back I saw this recipe for baked chili and cornbread, and I really wanted to see what that’s all about. I’ve been a bit hesitant, because the recipe called for baking in a mason jar. Now I’ve made a lot of things with the help of mason jars, but the scientist in me is always a little bit nervous when putting non-Pyrex glass in the oven. If you’re anything like that, believe me, I completely understand. There are tons of oven baked mason jar recipes floating around the internet, though, so I’m pretty sure I’ve just been paranoid.

Nonetheless, I’ve mostly avoided baking in mason jars, but this weekend three things came into play. First, this sudden craving for Fall season comfort food. Second, the bottomless pit of weekend lazy that I slip further into as the minutes go by, fueled by my couch, a chunky throw, and NFL Sunday Ticket rendering me almost completely incapable of preparing a well thought out meal. Last, but certainly not least, is my insatiable desire to prepare cute little meals that are Instagram worthy and mason jars are perfect for that (admittedly, most of the time they end up looking like Cooking For Bae). So basically, my lazy and my shallow gave me the courage to make this recipe. I present you with… Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread!!! You must try this!

Mason Jar Chili and Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 can Amy’s vegetarian chili
  • Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix (you’ll need eggs, milk, oil to make the batter)

Directions

  • fill the bottom of your mason jar with chili and top with a couple of spoonfuls of batter
  • bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean
  • Enjoy!

If you’re not as lazy as me and want to try your hand at homemade chili and homemade cornbread, try these recipes. Just replace the meat in the recipe with tofu or quinoa to keep it vegetarian.

***For a variation, you can try biscuit batter or pie dough over a hearty stew for a mason jar mini pot pie!

Try This—Jicama!!!

I should probably admit that I’m kind of a picky eater. I’m almost always certain to pass on funny looking veggies I’ve never heard of at the farmer’s market. Seriously, no matter how many rave reviews jackfruit, or whatever, gets on cooking sites, just looking at that thing gives me the shivers. I’m the one at the kitchen table using the prongs of my fork to separate that unidentified ingredient from the rest of the meal, holding it up to the light, crinkling my nose, and asking, “what is this?” I’ll even go so far as to do a ton of research on the superfood du jour, but not even a stellar report card of health benefits can convince me to take the plunge.

Anyway, as with most of the new foods I end up trying, the story starts with a stir fry. I love stir fry. No other meal can trick me into putting fermented whatever-the-hell into a dish I’m about to consume, no questions asked. It is stir fry that got me to try mung bean sprouts, bok choy, water chestnuts and countless varieties of mushrooms. So on my latest run to the Asian food store, I got my hands on jicama.

I’d been hearing a lot of good things about jicama. I decided to just bite my bottom lip and add it to my weekend stir fry.  Omigod! Probably the best decision I’ve made in a long time… My decision to pack tank tops when flying to England was decidedly the worst decision I’ve made recently because cold. Anyway, jicama is the truth, y’all. It’s like a mix between an apple, a russet potato, and a turnip. I mean, who knew? Okay, so maybe I’m a little late to the party, as I’ve seen a ton of recipes floating around Pinterest, but still, better late than never!

For the rundown on jicama, check out these useful infographics below, courtesy of draxe.com, then keep scrolling for some serving suggestions courtesy of thekitchn.

Jicama (HEE—KAH—MAH)

Serving Suggestions

  • First, know that a jicama stick can stand up to a carrot stick any day — excellent on its own, or with a dip or vinaigrette.
  • Jicama makes an excellent salsa — a perfect match for a tortilla chip or to top a taco. Cut jicama into slim sticks, then dice it finely. Combine the jicama with corn or diced tomato, black beans, a little red onion or scallion, minced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Cut jicama into thin strips or matchsticks and make a slaw with shredded red cabbage, carrots, and avocado.
  • Tuck jicama matchsticks into fresh spring rolls.
  • Stir-fry jicama; its flesh stays crisp when cooked briefly, adding a refreshing crunch to any strir-fry. Try it with broccoli, garlic, ginger, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds or cashews.

 

Try This—Halloumi Burgers With Sticky Sriracha Glaze

I finally got back home from a month long vacation to Stockholm and London! I totally missed you guys, but I seriously had an amazing time. London has officially become my second favorite city (you know I gotta represent my hometown NYC). I’m already planning my next vacay with a must have pit stop in the UK.

Anyway, I stayed in Limehouse, an area in East London right next to Jack the Ripper’s old stomping grounds in Whitechapel. I’d never been to London before and I’ve heard horror stories about the food all my life, but when I arrived, I was absolutely famished and exhausted so I had to brave it. I dropped my bags at the air bnb, and walked right out the door to find something to eat. I was staying on Commercial Rd., a giant, super busy street, so I figured that I’d be able to at least find a grocery store. Limehouse is an up and coming neighborhood, so there weren’t as many restaurants as there are in areas like say Bloomsbury. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon this little cafe a few blocks from my place called Sylvia’s Corner that served all kinds of specialty coffee drinks and diner type food. Yes and yes! I was in the mood for a sandwich, so I scanned the menu looking for a veggie burger.

As a vegetarian, I’m always fully prepared to suffer through a soggy, poorly made portobello mushroom sandwich when I’m ordering at a restaurant. I was pretty surprised when I saw that Sylvia’s had a halloumi burger on the menu. Halloumi has been trending for quite some time now in the foodie world. If you don’t know what halloumi is you are truly missing out. Get this, it’s a kind of cheese made from goat’s and sheep milk, that doesn’t melt when you cook it. I know that sounds crazy because like who doesn’t appreciate the perfect gooey of melted cheese? Right?! But hear me out— the reason halloumi is so amazing is precisely because it doesn’t melt like regular cheese. It basically catapults itself into the position of being the very best thing to throw on to a grill or into a frying pan for your vegetarian friends. This halloumi burger at Sylvia’s was transcendent. I mean, I was pretty much full half way through the thing and still, not only did I just have to finish it all, but I seriously considered ordering another one to take home to the air bnb.

Fast forward: as soon as I cleared customs coming back to the States, I was on a mission to recreate those amazing halloumi burgers  (yeah, burgers, plural) that I enjoyed at Sylvia’s. The good news is that you can find halloumi at a ton of stores. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and even Walmart carry it. The even better news is that halloumi is so easy to cook that you’ll be in sandwich heaven in no time. With Labor Day right around the corner, and the final days of perfect bbq and picnic weather fast approaching, drop everything—You must try this!!!

Halloumi Burgers with Sticky sriracha glaze

Ingredients

2 servings

For the Burger

  • about 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 mushroom, sliced
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs or semolina
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 5oz (about half a pack) of Halloumi, cut into slices
  • 2 brioche rolls
  • Cup of lettuce or spinach leaves
  • ½ red onion, peeled and sliced

For the Glaze

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1+1/2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha

Directions

  • To make the sauce: Place all the sauce ingredients into your smallest saucepan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Continue to stir, and cook for another 1-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced down to a runny syrup. Remove from heat allowing the glaze to thicken even more as it cools.
  • Heat some oil in a skillet and fry your mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat.
  • Place the bread crumbs or semolina on a small dish with the a little salt and pepper. Crack the egg into a small dish and whisk lightly with a fork. Dip the halloumi slices into the egg, then coat in the bread crumbs or semolina. Place in the pan and fry on a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  • While the halloumi is frying, assemble your sandwich. Lightly toast the brioche rolls. Add the lettuce and mushroom slices to the rolls. Once the halloumi is cooked, place the slices on top of the mushrooms. Top with red onion (you can saute some with the mushrooms if you prefer) and then drizzle over a little (or a lot!) of the glaze. Enjoy!!!

***this is a variation of a recipe that first appeared on Craftberry Bush