Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunch Time Woo's

It’s hard working and being a vegan sometimes…not because of any weird reasons but just because of the hassle that Lunch Time can bring. Living in Texas makes that very hard (Unless you are in Austin; yes we know) considering the only places really around and fast are fast food places.

I always find it odd that I work for a sports and health agency that is devoted to promoting health for people in the community. Sadly very little of this has to do with eating healthy (It’s easier to not see the effect of fast food if your life is devoted to working out and playing sports…sadly the average Joe cannot do that.) and I see more than one bag of Bill Millers and Mc Donald’s a day.

This post is about finding ways to eat at work that are healthy, wallet friendly, and above all else, fast. (An hour lunch break is still a joke to me).

1) My first piece of advice is simple DON’T. Buying lunch is expensive 5 days a week…and I don’t just mean to your health. That wallet starts to look really anorexic if you eat out every day. Brining you lunch is cheaper (Money wise) and safer. When you bring your own lunch you know exactly what’s in it. And sandwiches are not the only lunch option that’s out there! Bring left over grains, pastas, casseroles and assortments of snack and you will be sure to have a different lunch every day of the week!

Above all, for me, brining your lunch saves you time. You don’t have to walk to decide with everyone where you are going all day, walk down to your car, drive where you need to go and then be sure you eat fast enough to do it all in reverse.

2) Sometimes you have one of those days…you know the one. You either wake up late and don’t feel like going to work…so you definitely don’t want to make your lunch. But where to eat? Taco Bell? KFC? Can’t do it.

Option one: Look at menus online of local take out joints. You have better luck finding healthy food at restaurants then at fast food.

Option two: My personal favorite. Find a grocery store…most grocery stores that small sections in them where you can buy premade food. I prefer Central Market. avocado sushi rolls or Chipotle quinoa are my personal favorites.

If you are like me you are more of a snack person anyway. I often buy a pack of raspberries or black berries or strawberries or blueberries (The list can go on and on!) and then go at it for the rest of the day!

So there you have it. Eat, love, live.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegan Pho

Pho is an awesome Vietnamese noodle soup traditionally made with beef. I live for a place in San Antonio called Pho Sure. I highly suggest trying it out as well as trying your own recipes with all different Kinds of Asian veggies. This meatless version, is made with most of the same ingredients but subs out beef for tofu and a ton of veggies!

Serves 4 (Large portions!)

8 ounces dried rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pack of soft tofu cut into squares
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons miso paste
1/2 teaspoon Asian chile paste (or to taste)
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons basil leaves
4 Shitaki mushrooms
water chestnuts


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the rice noodles, and let them sit for 30 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.

Bring the stock or water to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion, ginger, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice.

Place 1/2 cup of the hot liquid into a small bowl. Add the miso paste and stir to blend well. Transfer the blended miso paste into the soup along with the chile paste, if using. Stir in the noodles, tofu and water chestnuts.Do not boil but simmer for several more minutes to.

Divide the soup among individual bowls. Add the bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro (I get mine from my own garden), and basil.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sourdough starter

I am a huge fan of sourdough bread! It is so good. Plus according to a Canadian study in 2008, the fermentation process causes a change in the cooking process leading to less of a spike in blood sugar levels then other white breads and even some whole wheat, by altering the structure of the starch to slow down its digestion (Ref PH.d. Terry Graham).

Sadly, outside of San Francisco it's hard to find a good sourdough...anything. So being me I decided to read up on the making of sourdough and make my own! Here is the recipe for a sourdough starter! This makes enough for one recipe so try it out and see if you like it. If you do you can always double the recipe to have some in your fridge!

1 cup of all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/4 tsp of quick rising yeast
1 cup of warm water

In a non reactive bowl combine the flour and yeast. Stir in warm water. Cover loosely and set aside for twelve hours. It should have a yeasty smell and be bubbly.

After 12 hours uncover, stir and discard half of the mixture. Add in 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Continue doing this every 12 hours for 72 hours. If you want a stronger sourdough flavor feed for another day.

Now you have a starter for sourdough bread, pancakes or any other sourdough recipe you can find!

Pub Style Potato Bites

Also known as Salt & Vinegar Crisps (Potato chips)These are bar/ pub classics! Here I have given them a healthier (And to me tastier!) makeover. Serve this as a munch food at your next party and you'll have people begging you for the recipe!

6 Medium red or Yellow potato's cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbs. Vegetable oil
1 cup of malt vinegar
3 tbs raw sugar

Soak the potato's in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes and then pat dry.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the potato's in oil on a baking sheet and spread them out evenly in a single layer.bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp, turning 2 or 3 times. Remove and season with salt and pepper if you would like.

Mean while bring malt vinegar and sugar to a simmer in sauce pan for 15-20 minutes (Liquid should be reduced by half).

Serve the malt sauce on the side for dipping or drizzle over potato's.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Steele Cut Oats

Steele Cut Oats are one of those amazing foods that everyone should eat. They have 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, with 150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per every one cup serving. Oats are an excellent source of manganese and a good source of phosphorus, thiamin, and magnesium. Plus there is a lot of evidence that everyone has heard that oatmeal can help regulate blood sugar (Almost everyone I know says they are hypoglycemic so maybe everyone should think about this) and lower risks of heart issues.

Amazing and oh so tasty! Plus at 99 cents a pound in the bulk section who can say no?

-2 tablespoons non dairy butter
-1 cup Steele Cut Oats
-1 cup non dairy milk (I like hemp milk to keep it nice and thick, plus its naturally sweet!)
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-3 cups boiling water

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add oats to butter and stir for 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Add 3 cups boiling water to oats in saucepan. Stir and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer gently for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir 1 cup of hemp milk into oatmeal. Continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until most of the milk has been absorbed. Make sure oatmeal is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove oatmeal from heat. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes. While you do this, stir in brown sugar so that it can caramelize. Feel free to add your choice of nuts too! I particularly like eating Walnuts in oatmeal!

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, stir in a little milk and heat on high in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring midway through.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


So for Christmas my parents got me two things that are great for my loving of cooking. The first was a new digital camera. I hate putting up crappy pictures for everyone. The second was on back order and just came in: an Aerogarden. This little three pod garden gives me the ability to grow herbs and veggies all year round with no dirt, no mess and very little effort.

My first project that my mother got me with it was the Salad Package which contains Red Lettuce, Green Lettuce and Butter head Lettuce. It has been three days and I already have little lettuce shoots up and growing. I would recommend it so far but will keep up updated!

On that note I also have strawberries, artichoke, roma tomato,carrots, Bok Choi, basil, cilantro, chives, parsley, oregano, and radish growing conventionally. I would really recommend growing your own veggies and herbs to everyone. I live in an apartment and have been using container gardening so there really is no excuse not to. It is satisfying eating what you grow and gives you a deep respect for not only the food that you are growing but also respect to the farmers and people who grow all of the other food that you eat.

Home Made Guacamole

Nothing is better then home made guacamole. Store bought just has nothing on it! And it is so easy to make!

Not to mention that I am trying to increase the amount of raw food I eat. For those of you that are not familiar with Raw food and the positive effects it can have on your body, raw food is processed much easier and with its maximum amount of nutrients. I would highly recommend watching "Food Matters" for information on both raw food and the way that nutrients can increase health and decrease or elimination chronic disease.

2 large Hass Avocado
4th of red onion (Diced)
Half a jalapeño (Diced)
1 chopped Roma Tomato
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Lemon juice

Puree most of the Alvacodos until smooth in your food processor. Set the rest aside. Add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and blend. Take out the guac and fold in the chucks of avocado and the tomato.

Bam! Home made yummy Guacamole!