Plants never tasted so good.

29.2.12

What I ate Wednesday (week 3)

Posted by Sinfully Nutritious

Making meals the day after a huge grocery shop is so much fun.  You have so many more choices.  Unlike the previous day, before the shop, where you are scrounging ingredients together to try and make a meal.  It makes planning meals for “What I Ate Wednesday” even more fun.

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Let’s begin with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. It was an easy choice, since I stocked up on a ton of fruit and tofu yesterday.  I wanted a fruit salad with vanilla protein tofu topping, aka my “cake batter” topping.  I love to use this as a dessert or topping, especially if I don’t have any soy yogurt. This is creamy, dreamy, thick and totally addictive.  It is what kids would imagine a cloud would taste like!

Stats 1 scoop (about 1/4 cup) of my cake batter topping:  68 calories, 2g fat, 5 carbs, 6 g protein, 18% daily calcium and 12% daily iron.

Check out the recipe on my Recipage.

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Lunch: Tempeh “Crab” Cakes

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Recipe adapted from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. These were out of this world good. The tempeh is an amazing stand in for the crab.  Once you mix in some whole wheat bread crumbs, all the herbs and spices, it becomes a “crab” cake. I love adding some kelp and dulse for fishiness, and some crab seasoning to make it even more of a seafood flavor. I made these patties about 3” and the recipes said it made 10, but mine were a tad bigger, so I got 9.  I served them as suggested,with a spicy remoulade, atop a gorgeous salad.

Stats per crab cake:

116 calories, 6g fat, 11 carbs, 6g protein, 2g fiber.

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Dinner:

Quinoa  Pasta “Mac & Cheese” w/Chicken & Broccoli

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A classic comfort food, mac and cheese is something I know I can make any night of the week, and the whole family will devour it.  I like to pump it up a bit by adding some broccoli, cauliflower and Gardein Chicken for protein. 

I usually make my “mac and cheese” with corn pasta.  When I was at Wegman’s I picked up a box of Quinoa Pasta Shells by Ancient Grains. I like the elbow shaped corn pasta because it is very yellow and tender, it gives you the illusion of mac and cheese before even adding the “cheese”. The quinoa pasta had that same look, so I thought it might be healthier, so I gave it a try.

The meal turned out delicious.  I made a lovely little b├ęchamel with 3 tbsp. earth balance, 3tbsp. flour, some unsweetened almond milk, nutritional yeast, and assorted spices.  It was rich and creamy and coated all the pasta and the veggies.  I was kind of disappointed with the pasta.  It broke apart and the shells were just split or in pieces.  It tasted good, but I much prefer the corn pasta.  On the griddle pan I cooked my Gardein chicken and I steamed the broccoli and cauliflower blend.  I topped the mac and “cheese” with the Chick’n and served. It was a nice filling dinner that made the whole family happy.

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Have a great Wednesday!

Ciao,

Maria

28.2.12

Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes

Posted by Sinfully Nutritious

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Make every morning feel like a weekend when you wake up to these healthy and delicious wheat protein pancakes.  The sweet vanilla flavor from the protein powder not only gives it a boost in nutrients, but in flavor as well.  They don’t even need syrup agave on top, just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  These pancakes really remind me of a carnival funnel cake, minus the fat and grease.  Because the batter is sweet and cooked in a dab of coconut oil, it really has a unique flavor and crisp yet tender texture.

These also take only a few minutes to make.  I top them with fresh fruit and serve with a small smoothie on the side.

Whole Wheat Protein Pancakes 

(makes 12, serves 4)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pancake flour
  • 4 scoops Naturade Vanilla Soy Protein
  • 2 teaspoons egg replacer (replaces 1 egg)
  • 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 16 strawberries (4 per person)
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat griddle.  In a mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, pancake mix and egg replacer.  Whisk to blend, then add almond milk, whisk until everything is wet and batter is smooth.  Allow batter to rest a minute or two.  Chop strawberries and set aside.  Once griddle is hot and batter has rested, add coconut oil, use a brush to coat pan evenly.

Make about 4” rounds on griddle. Reduce heat to med-low.  Cook until bubbles form on top, then flip.  Once all pancakes are made, stack in 3’s topping with 4 chopped strawberries and some powdered sugar.  This is a great breakfast for kids or adults.  A healthy berry smooth on the side makes this a complete breakfast.

Nutritional stats for 3 pancakes with 4 strawberries on top: 234 calories, 5g fat, 37 carbs, 12g protein, 3g fiber, 50% daily calcium, 50% daily iron.

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Add a small basic shake made from 1 scoop Rainbow Light Vanilla Protein Energizer, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 4 ice cubes and 1/4 banana, 1/4 cup mixed berries blended together.  This small shake adds: 144 calories, 15 g protein, 6g fiber! A great way to start your day.

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What did you have for breakfast? Enjoy your day!

Ciao,

Maria

26.2.12

 

 

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I am in love.  Amy’s Quarter Pound Veggie Burger is perfect.  This is another winner from Amy’s. A brand I have grown to love, trust, and be constantly impressed by. Amy’s has given us a huge patty with intense burger flavor and organic ingredients, what more could a vegan girl ask for! 

People ask me all the time, “what is the best veggie burger?”  It is a hard answer considering there are so many.  Some burgers are really veggie patties not meant to imitate a burger, but to be a veggie style sandwich all on it’s own, think Dr. Praeger’s.  Some are trying to mimic the taste and texture of an actual beef burger, like a Gardein burger.  This Amy’s patty is kind of a cross between the two.  It really does have both a burger flavor and a veggie burger texture.  I am happy to say, it is in a class of it’s own. I would rank this #1 on my top ten! Just check out these stats below and see why.

 Quarter Pound Veggie Burger

Ingredients : No Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives (Vegan): Textured soy protein (hexane free), organic onions, organic mushrooms, filtered water, organic soy fiber, wheat gluten, organic bulgur wheat, organic celery, organic tomato puree, organic carrots, organic evaporated cane juice, organic green bell peppers,organic oats, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, sea salt, organic walnuts, organic sweet rice flour, spices, organic potatoes, organic garlic, organic apple cider vinegar, organic blackstrap molasses, grain vinegar, ground mustard seeds, natural hickory smoke, black pepper. Contains wheat, soy and walnuts.

Nutritional Facts

Calories: 210

Calories from Fat: 30

Total Fat: 3.5g

Saturated Fat: 0.5g

Trans Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 600mg

Carbohydrates: 24g

Fiber: 6g

Sugars: 6g

Protein: 20g

Organic: 75%

Calcium: 8% • Iron: 15%

Pretty impressive, right?  Other than being a bit high in sodium, I give these an A+. The size of this burger is perfect for feeding a hungry man, or a ravenous woman!  I like to have mine with the fixings on the bottom, and no bun.  I save myself a lot of extra calories and carbs.  I would rather enjoy them at another meal.  This burger is so outstanding, no bun is necessary to enjoy is fabulousness.  

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Next time you are at the store, pick up a box, you will be happy you did.  These cost me $4.99 for 4, that is only $1.25 for a quarter pound organic burger!  You can enjoy this with a baked potato or homemade fries on the side and a dessert and still be under $2.50 for the whole meal.  Now that is a “happy meal”.

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I hope you enjoyed the review. Thanks for reading!

Ciao,

Maria

25.2.12

Philly “Cheese Steak” Wrap

Posted by Sinfully Nutritious

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Craving a cheese steak, but don’t want the guilt? Try a cheese steak wrap.  Again, one of my favorite wraps makes a lunch appearance.  Flatout Light.  These 90 calorie protein and fiber rich wraps make any “sandwich” healthier.  For my cheese steak wrap I used Gardein Beefless Tips, vegan mozzarella, and some great veggies for an added bonus. Here is the simple recipe. 

“Cheese” “Steak” Wrap (makes 1 wrap)

  • 1 Flat Out Light Wrap
  • 3/4 cup Gardein Beefless Tips
  • 1 Slice Vegan Mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. vegan worchestire sauce
  • 1 tsp. ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup spring mix
  • 1 tsp. vegan mayo
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper spread (optional)

Preheat a skillet, spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Once the skillet is hot, turn heat to medium and add the onions, cook 2 minutes, add the pepper, cook two minutes, then add the mushrooms. While the vegetables are cooking, defrost the Gardein Beefless Tips in the microwave for 30 seconds.  This allows you to chop them up before adding to the skillet.  Once all veggies are about cooked, push them to the side in the skillet, spray the open area with cooking spray, add chopped up Gardein.  Cook the Gardein until it is heated through and begins to brown.  Once it is begging to caramelize, add a 1/2 tsp. of vegan worchestire sauce to just the Gardein.  Stir around to coat.  Then, mix all the veggies and “steak” together.  Turn off heat, break up 1 sliced of vegan mozzarella and place to top of mixture.  Put a lid on the skillet to allow cheese to melt.

Place wrap on plate, spread vegan mayo all around, spread on crushed hot peppers, if using.  Cover the wrap with spring mix all over.  Then sprinkle on tomatoes, all around.  Next, add all contents of your skillet, evenly spread on wrap, leaving 1 inch at end on one side just with spring mix. 

Drizzle  ketchup throughout wrap.  Let cool one minute.  Then, Roll up wrap tight, like a jelly roll, toward the end that has the one inch of spring mix exposed.  Cut in half and serve!

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Believe it or not, this wrap, with all the fixings is only 350 calories! Next time someone asks you, “where do you get your protein, iron or calcium”, refer them to this recipe!

Impressive stats: 350 calories, 11g fat, 29g protein, 14g fiber, 29% daily calcium, 42% daily iron.

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Have a great day!

Ciao,

Maria

24.2.12

Popeye Breakfast Sandwich

Posted by Sinfully Nutritious

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It has been a while since I made this fabulous and filling breakfast.  I had cut back on my breakfast carbs, and I love eating my tofu Florentine with either a whole wheat English muffin or whole wheat bagel thins.

For me, this is a perfect breakfast combination.  It has a good amount of protein, carbs, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals.  I like to make sure I eat high nutrient meals that will help my body, not just feed it.    According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, onions, mushrooms and spinach are all super immunity boosters.  I try to include all of these to start my day with a fighting chance. This recipe does just that.

This is a pretty easy recipe and well worth trying on a weekend.  It will give you tons of energy to start your day.

TOFU FLORENTINE – (for 1 sandwich)

  • 3oz tofu (1 rectangular large slice 1/4” thick)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (more if using fresh)
  • 1/4 small onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup shitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp. low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic Blend
  • 1 tsp. butter spread
  • 1 slice vegan mozzarella
  • 1 whole wheat bagel thin or English muffin
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

In a small pot bring 2 cups water  with 1 tsp. sea salt to a boil.  Heat a large skillet.  Once water is rapidly boiling, gently add the tofu to the water. Reduce heat to medium.  Coat the heated skillet with cooking spray and add the onion slices.  Once the onions begin to soften, add the mushrooms.  Cook 1 minute.  Add the spinach, Mrs. Dash and vegetable broth.  Cook on medium until broth absorbs into the spinach and the spinach is heated through.  Turn off tofu.  Push all veggies in the skillet to the back corner and add 1 tsp. of buttery spread.  Using a strainer, remove tofu from water and add to sprayed skillet.  Season tofu with sea salt and pepper. You can also season with some nutritional yeast and turmeric if you have them.  It will really spike the nutrients.  Cook on low 1 minute.  Toast your bagel. Flip tofu, top with vegan cheese.  Cook one minute, until cheese is melted. Then top with all the veggies and transfer to the bagel.

Stats: 312 calories, 11g fat, 18g protein, 9g fiber, 49% of daily calcium and 26% daily iron.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Ciao,

Maria

22.2.12

What I Ate Wednesday

Posted by Sinfully Nutritious

 

I am trying to keep with participating in What I Ate Wednesday’s. I love that it is a veggie celebrating month.  It gives people a chance to try vegetable inspired meals.  Participating also helps me by getting me to photograph and talk about the type of meals I eat on a regular basis. 

Because WIAW is published on Wednesdays, I chose to use all my Tuesday meals.

Here’s What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday!

Breakfast:

Oatmeal Raisin Overnight Oats

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These overnight oats tasted like an oatmeal raisin cookie.  I soaked 1/2 cup rolled oats in 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk overnight, then in the morning when they were thick and fully absorbed, I added in shredded coconut, raisins, cinnamon, walnuts, 1 tbsp. flax plus granola, chia seeds, and a drizzle of agave.  These oats were so good.  I like oats much more prepared cold overnight than hot in the morning.  I usually eat a savory breakfast, but I am trying to get oats on the menu at least once a week.

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This big bowl of oatmeal with all its topping was:

340 calories, 13g fat, 10g protein, 10g fiber, 60% daily calcium and 13% daily iron

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Post Workout Snack:

Cherry Vanilla Protein Shake

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 scoop cherry protein, and top with strawberries.

Stats: 90 calories, 2g fat, 8g protein, 1g fiber, 60% daily calcium, 16% daily iron.

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Lunch:

Rainbow Asian Slaw with Spicy Baked Tofu

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One of my favorites for a high nutrition lunch.

This rainbow slaw has a base of shredded red cabbage, green and white bok choy, yellow and red peppers, purple onion, green celery cucumber and snap peas, orange carrots, and some romaine for extra crunch.  It really looks like a rainbow when you make it. It’s high in phytonutrients and low in calories.  The huge serving bowl below is 3 big bowl servings. 

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Stats per big bowl with 3oz tofu(1/3 of recipe):

281 calories, 13g fat, 15g protein, 5g fiber, 20% daily calcium and 15% daily iron

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I make a sweet and spicy Asian dressing to go into my slaw.  I mix 3. tbsp. water, 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. sweet mirin, 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, 1 tbs. Braggs Aminos, 1 tsp. agave, 1/4 tsp. chili paste, 2 tsp. ground ginger, and 1 tbsp. peanut butter in a personal blender with a tsp. of Asian seasoning. 

It is so perfectly balanced in flavor.  Spicy soy garlicky ginger with a hint of sweet.  On top of the slaw, I add 3oz. baked tofu in a spicy Caribbean flavor for protein.  This lunch gives me energy and keeps be full.

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Post Afternoon Cardio Snack:

Fruit on the Bottom: Vanilla Protein Tofu Yogurt with Berries and Bananas

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For this great protein rich post workout treat, I combined store bought soy yogurt with tofu and vanilla protein powder and blended them together for a heavenly dessert like treat. 

In a food processor, combine 3 cups plain soy yogurt with 7oz (half block) tofu.   Pulse several times to break up tofu into yogurt. Then turn processor to on position and while it is running slowly add 4 scoops of vanilla protein.  I used Natureade’s Vanilla Soy, it is sweet and makes everything taste like cake batter. Blend until completely smooth.  This makes eight 1/2 cup servings.  Place in a container in the refrigerator to store.  It will stay good for about 5 days.  The protein makes the more watery soy yogurt much thicker like a Greek yogurt.

No need for store bought sugary yogurt.  Put your own high antioxidant “fruit on the bottom”. I defrosted 1/2 cup mixed berries with 1/2 a small banana per serving.  Then stir around and add some nutty wheat germ on top.  This is a perfect mid morning or mid afternoon rejuvenator. And, it will keep you full until your next meal.

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Stats for 1/2 cup protein yogurt with 1/2 berries:

165 calories, 3g fat, 8g protein, 3g fiber, 26% daily calcium and 15% daily iron.

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Onto Dinner.  I promised Mya for days, that we would have Riblets with potatoes and baked beans.  Since I was short on time last night, that is exactly what we had.

I had 1 Morning Star Riblet, 1 baked sweet potato, 2 tbsp. baked beans, and 1 cup steamed cauliflower and broccoli.

Morning Star Riblets are so good.  I have served them to meat lovers who could not believe they were meat-free!

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I have to admit, this meal was very summer reminiscent.  I love making this while we are camping, it is a perfect grill meal.  With some corn on the cob on the side, of course!

The meal above with some earth balance butter on my potato totaled in at:

385 calories, 8g fat, 15g protein, 5g fiber and 21% daily calcium and 15% daily iron.

A great way to finish the day! 

What did you eat Wednesday?  

Join the fun!

 

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