Green Beans, Eggplant, & Beyond Meat in Honey Mustard Sauce

On the average week night I’m pretty tired when it comes time to make dinner. And not only am I tired, I’m hungry too. So I want to make something fast and easy that still tastes good and is healthy. Seems daunting. However, once you have a few go-to recipes, they can come together really fast, changing up ingredients so the dish doesn’t get too boring.

Here is one of my staple dishes – vegetables, fake meat, and sauce. I might throw in some brown rice or another grain as well to round out the meal. the honey mustard sauce on this is so easy to make and tastes awesome, but if you have a store-bought favorite, feel free to use that instead.

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Green Beans, Eggplant, & Beyond Meat in Honey Mustard Sauce

serves one

Ingredients:

a handful green beans

1/2 a large eggplant

About 6 strips grilled Beyond Meat

1 heaping tbsp honey mustard

2 tsp grainy mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

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Directions: Saute Green beans and eggplant in a pan with a little olive oil. Place the lid on the pan so the vegetables simultaneous

ly steam and saute. Meanwhile, make your dressing by mixing the honey mustard, grainy mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Adjust amounts to create desired consistency. Once the veggies have cooked, move them to a plate. Cook Beyond Meat according to directions on the package and add to your plate. Top with your honey mustard dressing and you have a delicious and easy dinner in no time. Enjoy!

Restaurant Review # 4

The next restaurant I have to share with you is the Grateful Deli in Aspen, Colorado, an unassuming and small place that serves some of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Their menu includes a plethora of sandwiches all named after various Grateful Dead songs, as well as the option to build your own in whatever way you see fit.

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On a recent trip to the deli, we tried two different sandwiches. One off of the menu and the other I built on my own.

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Katie ordered the Specialness, which includes turkey, bacon, cheddar, pesto, tomato, red onion, and roasted red pepper mayo on a sub roll.

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IMG_7136I ordered a sandwich I built myself, which included lettuce, tomato, red onion, provolone cheese, and avocado. YUM

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If you’re ever in Aspen, I highly recommend stopping and trying these sandwiches. They’re delicious and the perfect thing to enjoy after a morning of hiking.

Recipe Round-Up #3

Hello, Happy Friday!!!! I hope everyone has fun plans for the weekend :)

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, look no further. Here’s my latest round-up of recipes from around the web I’m dying to try.

It’s the weekend, and what’s better weekend food than burgers and fries? I want to try this Portobello Slider with Spicy Tomato Jam and Jicama Fries!

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And if that doesn’t work out, pizza is always a good choice :) Next on my list is Chickpea Flatbread with New Potatoes and Fresh Basil!

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I would love to make this Burrata with Chipotle Strawberries and Arugula… Wouldn’t it make a fun party apetizer?

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For Sunday brunch I could serve up a batch of these pull-apart blueberry muffins

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And since it’s the weekend, I think a round of these Strawberry Rhubarb Mint Mojitos are a must.

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And who could forget dessert?! I want to try these almond banana fudgsicles or this vegan chocolate taco shake !! There’s nothing like ice cream in the summer.

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Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back with more recipes and restaurant reviews next week :)

Garlic Scape and Seitan Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have to admit, this is my first time using garlic scapes. Until my sister brought them over and suggested we cook with them, I really didn’t even know what they were. But wow, are they good. They make a fun skewer for a seitan satay (and produce less waste than a wooden skewer!) plus the other half of the scape gets chopped up and added into your sauce. Yum!

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Garlic Scape and Seitan Stay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

serves two 

Ingredients:

4 garlic scapes

½ inch piece of fresh ginger

Juice of one lime

About 10 mint leaves

¼ cup soy sauce

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon hot sauce

sesame oil

1 package Upton’s Naturals Seitan 

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Directions:

To make skewers, cut woody ends off of 4 of the scapes. Cut the ends into sharp points and set aside.

Cut the woody pieces off of the scapes and chop them up. Cut your seitan into bite-sized chunks. Skewer the seitan with the garlic scapes (spacing the seitan pieces about 1 inch from one another). Put a little sesame oil in a pan and cook the satays about 3 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, hot sauce, garlic scape chunks, and mint leaves. If your sauce is too thick, add water.

Once the satays are cooked, remove and serve with dipping sauce on the side. Yum! We served them with a side of kale salad (recipe will be posted soon). 

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adapted from: http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2010/06/garlic-scape-beef-satay/

Restaurant Review #3: Tao Natural Foods

I have another Minneapolis restaurant to share until I move on to new locations next week! This restaurant is an old favorite made new again by introducing outdoor seating and at your table service.

Tao Natural Foods, located at 2200 Hennepin Avenue, is a small health food store with an attached cafe, which recently expanded to include an evening menu that is served by wait staff (instead of ordering at the counter and waiting for your food).

On their home page, Tao writes “For over 40 years we’ve been quietly chipping away at creating, quite possibly, the best little health food store around. Please come and relax over a great cup of coffee or enjoy a nourishing meal in our cozy cafe. While we are busy preparing your meal, you can browse our supplement shop and grab that cream, pill or herb for what’s been ailing you. If you can’t find what you need in a bottle, no worries, we’ve got specialized health practitioners here too! We offer services ranging from Integrative Health Coaching to Therapeutic Massage, Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine and Reiki. Call today to make an appointment, or just stop in and see all that we have to offer you. Hope to see you soon!” They offer quite the repertoire of options for any of your health needs. 

Usually, after we order our food, we wander the health food store and see what new products they have. On the cafe menu, I’ve been known to order the Warm Garden Salad, “A generous portion of steamed veggies on a bed of mixed baby greens topped with swiss cheese, sunflower seeds and Goddess Dressing!” And I seriously can’t recommend it enough. I usually get it with a side of their Balsamic Dressing, and as a girl who can’t get enough of her veggies, I am always pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the description (a generous portion of steamed veggies). I’ve also enjoyed the homemade Black Bean Veggie Burger, which I also love.

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About two weeks ago I went back with my brother, dad, and grandma to try their new nighttime menu. We started with the Pickled Plate and Warm Medjool Dates. The dates had meat on them, but got rave reviews from my brother. However, they are very rich so it is definitely an appetizer you’d want to share with at least one other person, if not more. The pickled plate was good, but not something I’d go back to Tao for.

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We also tried a few drinks. Jens ordered the Muscle Mania smoothie (banana, peanut butter, hemp protein, maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk) which was delicious, thick, and filling. My dad tried a juice, which was tangy from ginger but very delicious.

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The real stars of the meal were the main dishes. My brother tried the spicy chicken quesadilla on the started menu and liked it. My grandma went with the cheese plate, which includes local cheese, olives, fruit and crackers. She was happy with her meal, and the tastes I stole of local cheese were delicious.

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My dad and I both decided on the The Tao: Macrobiotic Inspired, which is both vegan and gluten free. Our plate came piled with delicious food: ginger-steamed vegetables, brown rice, black beans, fermented cabbage, and grilled tofu on top. The plate was delicious, my only complaint being that there was not enough flavor. This was quickly solved by tamari and soy sauce, and I chowed down happy as a clam.

Although too full for dessert on this particular occasion, I can’t wait to go back and try the Goat Cheese Ice Cream (with strawberries in balsamic reduction) 

Shrimp & Pineapple Kebabs

If you regularly read this blog, you know I love grilling in the summer. There’s a seemingly endless amount of combinations you can grill up and they all are so good. And what better way to get the most out of every nice day than making dinner outside too.

My mom and I prepared this recipe the other night in under 30 minutes, giving us plenty of time to sit outside and enjoy a summer night. If you don’t eat shrimp, try replacing it with tofu or chunks of a veggie burger. Swamp out any of the veggies for something you like better!

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Shrimp & Pineapple Kebabs

serves two

Ingredients:

6 shrimps

1/2 cup chopped pineapple

1 red onion

1/2 yellow pepper

1/2 red pepper

3/4 cup halved purple potatoes

1 cup baby bella mushrooms

skewers

dipping sauce (we chose BBQ but anything would be good)

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Directions:

Begin by cutting all the vegetables, potatoes, and pineapple into kebab-sized pieces. Preheat grill. Build your kebabs by skewering the shrimp, vegetables, potatoes, and pineapple in any order. Brush the grill with a little olive oil and cook the kebabs until browning, about 5 minutes each side.

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Remove and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce!

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Restaurant Review # 2, World Street Kitchen

Still home in Minneapolis, I decided to head to World Street Kitchen with my older brother. He frequents the restaurant and decided I needed to try their tofu bowl or a burrito.
Boy, was he right. World Street Kitchen was an excellent find. What started as a food truck became a restaurant on Lyndale between 27th and 28th, and I couldn’t be happier the permanent location is close to where I grew up.

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According to the WSK website, their restaurant “features a seasonal menu which utilizes only the highest quality ingredients, presented in a fun way: street style. The cuisine is inspired by the food served in street carts around the world, from Morocco to Vietnam.”

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The restaurant is big and open. You walk in and place your order at the counter, and then decide whether to eat there or get your food to go. We got take-out, but if you order for the restaurant, you get a number and sit down at an open table until your food is ready and brought out to you.
The menu isn’t huge, but there were still plenty of options I was excited to try. We started with the pickle plate appetizer, which featured different pickled vegetables. Although good, I’m not sure I’d order it again. The star of our meal was by far the main course.

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Jens (my brother) ordered the Korean “BBQ” Beef Shorts Ribs Bangkok Burrito. It’s a flour tortilla stuffed with fried rice, “secret sauce,” and cilantro and basil, as well as the beef short ribs.

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I chose the Crispy Marinated Tofu Rice Bowl and was not disappointed. The bowl included steamed rice with a soft boiled egg, charred squash, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese broccoli, topped with peanuts, crunchies, and a “secret sauce.” This dish was SO good. The marinated tofu was excellent, and the egg was cooked perfectly so that when punctured the egg spilled over the veggies and rice. I loved this dish so much I’d have trouble trying something else if I went back (let’s be honest, when I go back).

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The menu features a lot of options to suit every palate, including gluten free and vegan options. the service was also fast and polite, making it a great location to pick up a quick dinner. I highly recommend it!

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Happy Monday!

Good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th and long weekend ! I’m traveling in Colorado until Wednesday so expect regular posting to resume then.

In the meantime, here’s a teaser of the fun minneapolis restaurant I’ll share this week.

 

 

 

Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado

Happy 4th of July!! The 4th is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love sitting out in the sun, by a pool or the lake, with my family and friends. And of course I love the food :) Growing up we always went to my aunt and uncle’s house in the morning for a big brunch, followed by a morning of hanging out by the pool, swimming, and poolside volleyball. In the afternoon we’d head to Lake Minnetonka with the other side of the family. We’d sit and chat on the dock and swim in the lake before grilling up a delicious dinner. The day would end with fireworks we set off and watching big ones all across the lake.

This year I think I’ll make this delicious Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado. It’s easy and delicious and goes well with whatever else you want to grill. It’s also great because you can make the dressing in advance and the the salad ready in no time.

This salad is also great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. In my family we cook seitan and chicken on the grill and then serve them on the side of the salad. Perfect for a mixed group of eaters. I use Upton’s Naturals Seitan, my favorite brand of seitan.

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Grilled Seitan and Corn Salad with Avocado

serves 4

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for the grill)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 package Upton’s Naturals Traditional Seitan

3 ears corn, shucked

6 cups baby spinach

1 avocado

2 ounces shaved Parmesan

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Directions:

Heat grill. Once it’s hot, brush with a little olive oil.

Prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small bowl (it also works well to put all ingredients in a small jar and shake it well to mix).

Rub a little olive oil and salt and pepper on the corn and grill the corn and seitan for about 4 to 6 minutes. Cut the kernels off and cut the avocado into small cubes.

Assemble the salad by layering the spinach, seitan, corn, and avocado. Pour on dressing, mix well, and top with shaved parmesan. Dig in!

 

Shared on: Healthy Vegan Fridays

Restaurant Review #1: Hola Arepa

My food philosophy is all about balance. This means something different for everyone, but for me it means I cook really healthy food for myself, and then have fun when I go out to eat. I love finding new restaurants and trying new foods, and being too concerned with healthy eating makes it less fun. That’s not to say I never chose the healthier options, I just don’t restrict myself.

Because I love restaurants so much, I’m dedicating a new blog feature to restaurant reviews. I’ll share what I loved, if there was anything I didn’t like, and what you can’t miss!

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My first review is of Hola Arepa, a new restaurant in Minneapolis near Eat Street. The concept began with a Food Truck and expanded to include a gorgeous restaurant. They serve Latin cuisine and specialize in the Venezuelan style stuffed arepas.

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Right away, regardless of the food, we knew we were going to have a great dinner. The restaurant is gorgeous and bright and feels like summer. As my brother commented, “it feels like we just got transported to Florida.” While waiting for a table we sat at the bar, which includes a huge open window when the weather’s nice, and ordered a drink. With a lot of fun cocktail options to chose from, we decided on the “Center Court” – pisco, pimm’s, honeydew-chamomile soda, and grapefruit bitters. The friendly bartender brought it out and we loved what we were served – it’s light and refreshing but still has a lot of flavor, perfect for a summer night. Next time I’ll try another of their bottled cocktails or the sangria of the day.

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We were quickly seated and decided on an appetizer – the Shiitake Cachapas: a sweet corn pancake topped with shiitake, huitlacoche, truffle oil, goat cheese, and a soft poached egg. Oh my god. I would go back for this dish alone – it has a strong mushroom flavor layered with sweetness from the pancake, creaminess of the cheese, and the poached egg added the perfect finishing touch.

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For dinner we ordered arepas: Slow-roasted Pork, Fried Egg & Ham, and the Black Bean & Sweet Potato. As a pescatarian, I didn’t try the meat ones, but they got great reviews from my family.

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The Black Bean & Sweet Potato arepa came with tomato, citrus onions, homemade queso-fresco, and green onion aioli. I loved it! The sweet potato was cooked perfectly, the corn cake was phenomenal, and the citrus onions added a unique twist to the arepa.

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Each arepa came with a side of yucca fries and your choice of aioli verde or chimichurri sauce. We all went for the aioli which was a great call. The fries are a twist on french fries, and are big thick slabs of yucca fried up. The whole was phenomenal and none of us had room for dessert (although the women next to us ordered a big homemade ice cream sandwich – next on my list).

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Additionally, Hola Arepas is a great place to go with a diverse group of eaters. Everything on the menu (unless otherwise noted) is gluten-free and plenty can be made vegan. I highly recommend stopping in for a quick lunch, dinner, or drinks at the cool bar.

Check back soon for more restaurant reviews – most will be Chicago restaurants but I’ll throw more in from my hometown, Minneapolis.