Monday, February 4, 2013

Dare to "Green"

Green isn't my favorite color, but that doesn't mean I'm not attracted to it. It's just so vibrant and... lively! So I decided to make buckwheat soba noodles with zucchini for dinner. It was so quick and easy to whip up, I'm sure I'll be having these often on my busy nights.

-buckwheat soba noodles (I used the pre-made ones that's a single serving. I cut a slit in the package and microwaved it for one minute)
-medium zucchini, sliced
-Season to your taste (I used soy sauce, lemon pepper seasoning, chopped onion seasoning, and green onions for garnish)

Cook your zuchinni on medium high heat. Toss in the noodles when the zucchini is slightly soft. Mix in the seasonings. And voila. That easy! Less than ten minutes on the stove. Add chickpeas or tofu for a protein source. I roasted some chickpeas in the oven, gave it a dash of seasoning, and had it for my appetizer.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Cheesy" Popcorn

No cheese whatsoever! Instead, sprinkle your air-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

My method:

Put two tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag. Fold the opening twice (about 1/2 inch increments). Place in the microwave for about 1 minute and 30-40 seconds. Ta-da! Air-popped popcorn! 

Rice paper to the rescue!

The miracle of rice paper? They can make leftovers appetizing. Thank goodness for that, because I had spaghetti squash, baby carrots, and celery leftover from the week and I needed to get rid of it. However, eating them all week didn't make them anymore appetizing.

Nonetheless, I cut up the celery and carrots threw into a pan to cook, then added the cooked spaghetti squash.

To season, I added 1/2 a tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce and chili paste. Then I used rice paper (Three Ladies Brand is the best, in my opinion) and rolled them up. Although, I do need to work on my rolling/folding skills.

Nevertheless, the rice paper saved me from my leftover slump! Yumm! If you're ever in a rut, I suggest you try it!

My verdict on vegan cookies.

I did my grocery shopping this weekend at Whole Foods and came across this vegan cookie dough.
This has 28 servings at 50 calories per cookie. I'm pretty sure I'll be set this month when it comes to my cookie cravings.
Once I got home, I tried them out right away.
My verdict? They're so damn delicious! Better than the non-vegan doughs I've tried!

Peach-nana and Straw-nana Green Smoothies

Green smoothies! Here's a simple and quick recipe!

1 cup of spinach
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup of frozen sliced peaches OR strawberries
3Tbsp of water (or more to reach the consistency desired)

Blend! Ta-da!

*The first photo is made with strawberries and the second is made from peaches. Excuse my pj's ;]

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Vegan Challenge

February first. A new month. A clean slate. Just what I needed! And I think a new challenge and self-experiment is needed!

As a child, I always associated February with Red. Red for Valentine's Day and red for the Vietnamese New Year. I'm not ashamed to say it, but Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I can see you rolling your eyes as you read this, but hear me out. We all live busy, face-paced lives. How often do you tell your loved ones, that you love them? Yes, it's a commercial holiday, but it also reminds you to appreciate those around you. And sometimes, we need a reminder (even if it's one where the greeting card industry profits).

I grew up in a household where we didn't say we loved each other, and it wasn't because we didn't love each other, we just weren't accustomed to saying it out loud. So when I got home from school on V-day's with a brown paper bag filled with cards that said nice (albeit standard) things, I couldn't help but feel good about myself.

Now flash forward. I'm no longer a child, but a young adult. No more brown paper bags filled with cards. Single or not, I still celebrate Valentine's Day. I send my single mother flowers, my sisters chocolates, and go out to dinner or watch a movie with my friends.

This year, I want to do something different. With the Vietnamese New Year to boost my New Year's Resolutions, I've decided to go Vegan for 28 days. I tried going Vegan two years ago, but it didn't last too long. This time, however, I'm determined to do the 28 days. The way I think of it, I'm resetting my body so that I can learn and go on living a happy and healthy lifestyle with a plant-based diet.
Along the way, I hope to find a balance between my mind and body. And once Valentine's day comes around, I hope to inflict myself with copious amounts of self-love (something we all need, once in awhile) and delicious food!

I'll be using Kriss Carr's Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen and Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet to help me accomplish this. Look forward to my recipe reviews.

Spaghetti Squash with Pad Thai Sauce

I've found another sauce that goes well with spaghetti squash! Pad Thai Sauce! I didn't have the regular ingredients at hand for pad thai, but I did have broccoli and tofu.

It turned out pretty well, that I made it again for my friend Lyly for dinner. Rest assured, it's been Lyly-approved!

Makes 2 servings (but you can easily make it for one due to the simple ratios)

2 cups of broccoli
2 cups of cooked spaghetti squash
2 servings of tofu
3 Tbsp Pad Thai Sauce

Steam broccoli in one pan. Cut tofu into cubes and cook on medium-high until they have browned on all sides. When the broccoli is a vibrant green, set aside.

Once tofu is cooked, add the broccoli, spaghetti squash, and sauce together. Mix well over medium heat. Once the spaghetti squash is warmed up, you're good to go!