Get me more edamame pasta, plz!

Who knew that edamame can be made into pasta and actually taste good? Seapoint Farms makes Variety Bundle: Seapoint Farms Edamame, Spaghetti and Fettuccine, 15 oz total, which is loaded with 24 grams of plant based protein per serving. It’s perfect for vegans and vegetarians that want to still feel sufficed by their carb intake. All you have to do is boil 6-8 cups of water, add some salt, and mix until tender.

I’m such a foodie as you can tell. The spaghetti kept me full for hours, pleasantly surprising for me, and it had the same texture as a whole wheat pasta. You can tell you’re eating healthier immediately with a grainy thicker texture. I kept it simple and added marina sauce for flavor. High in protein and low in carbs, plus you can jazz it up by adding diced tomatoes, broccoli rabe, spinach, seasonings, or any other veggies. Go green, stay lean, and eat edamame. Yes PLZ!

Zucchini Noodles with Broccoli Rabe and Diced Tomatoes

This is a great summer dish and helps you to cut back on the carbs using zucchini noodles. I added broccoli rabe with diced tomatoes for extra flavor. Don’t forget the seasonings like fresh basil and oregano. Dig right in for a high multi-vitamin packed green dish.

Many people may assume that broccoli rabe is difficult to make. It’s a dark green leafy vegetable and a significant staple in the Italian American dishes. Did you know it’s packed with protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, and Magnesium?

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First, I put the broccoli rabe in a pot and then boil it until tender. Meanwhile, set aside a non-stick pan lined with olive oil, crushed pepper, and sliced garlic. You can cook until the garlic is slightly brown. Once broccoli rabe is boiled, place in the pan and continue sauteing for about 5 minutes.

You can also dice tomatoes and throw it in your dish for more flavoring. Add a little bit of sauce too. I usually add salt, pepper, and other Italian seasonings to spice it up. You can either boil or fry the noodles, but I prefer to boil them slightly before mixing them in with the broccoli rabe and tomatoes.

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What you’ll need:

  • Broccoli Rabe (1 head)
  • Tomatoes (1 or 2)
  • Zucchini Noodles (Homemade or Store Bought)
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasonings (Oregano, Basil, Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper)
  • Sauce (Optional)

Get ready for a wholesome meal. You get your greens, your vitamins, and a light meal. Induldge in a guilty-free meal and load up on the “zucch noodles.”

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Southern style cooking

Southern style cooking redefined with more vegetables, beans, and cheese – vegan friendly option of course. I love how southerners invest their time in homemade authentic prepared foods. A few of my favorite vegetarian items are collard greens, beans, cornbread, and of course you can’t forget the biscuits.

I decided to saute broccoli with olive oil and garlic; then add baked beans to the dish with a sprinkle of veggie cheese on top. It’s a light lean meal with just the right amount of protein. For more creations, stay tuned Christa Alexis will be back.

 

DIY 4th of July snacks

It’s that time of the year for grilling, swimming, and don’t forget the patriotic desserts. Make a red, white, and blue fruit kebab that will show you’re true American pride. This Do It Yourself (DIY) snack is healthy and nutritious and totally easy to make!

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Photo Credits Christa Alexis

What you’ll need:

  • Strawberries, Bananas, Blueberries, or Apples
  • Kebab Sticks
  • Patriotic Plates

DIRECTIONS:

Get a pack of kebab sticks. Slice strawberries into thin pieces or just cut off the tops, you can also use apples which can be both for the red and white flag colors.  Red goes first followed by white aka (bananas or apples) each one can be sliced into semi-small pieces.  Finally, add the blueberries and repeat the pattern.

As you can see above, you can slice more or less depending upon what kind of look you want and which fruits you like the most. 

More smoothies, less bloat

Summer time is here and we’ve got you covered with easy smoothie recipes to help you “cool” down. I like to make my smoothies as a breakfast replacement or in between my workouts. It’s totally guilt-free, vegan friendly, and full of plant based protein to keep you looking lean and most importantly feeling good!

Recipe 1: Apple Smoothie

RECIPE:

DIRECTIONS:

Slice an organic apple into pieces. Add to nutri-bullet blender. Then, pour 1 cup of Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk in and 1 scoop of Plant Fusion. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

P.S. Throw some ice in there for a thicker smoothie!

Recipe 2: Banana SunButter Smoothie

RECIPE:

DIRECTIONS:

Add 1 banana and blueberries, strawberries, and spinach if you’d like. Pour 1 cup of unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk, 1 scoop of Plant Fusion protein, and 1 teaspoon of SunButter. You get your daily dose of antioxidants, iron, and blueberries to help with memory improvement. Enjoy!

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Go scrambleless with tofu eggs

I often like to change up my breakfast menu ranging from smoothies, tofu eggs, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, and french toast.  Vegan friendly food has become highly popular and can be found almost everywhere, but there is nothing like cooking your own food from scratch. You can control the seasoning factor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of tofu, firm or medium preferably
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (Califia Farms)
  • Handful of organic spinach (Earth Bound Farm)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Onion seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Tumeric
  • Olive Oil for the pan

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DIRECTIONS:

Open and drain the tofu. Place in a bowl and mash until it’s in smaller chunks. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened Califia Farms almond milk, Earth Bound Farm organic spinach, onion seasoning (or fresh finely chopped onions), salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and pepper. HINT: Turmeric helps to get the yellow scrambled egg color.

Mix thoroughly. Line the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with olive oil. Drizzle it but don’t drown the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes until soften. Get ready to enjoy!

You can put your guilt-free tofu scramble on a whole wheat english muffin with vegan cheese and ketchup, as a side dish with your toast, or even stuffed inside a baked potato.

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Featured a baked potato with tofu scramble with salt and pepper on top. Don’t forget to dip it in ketchup.

 

Brown rice noodles…THAIriffic!

I absolutely love Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food but I could never get my homemade dishes to come out the way it does as the restaurant, until…

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Now, with Thai Kitchen’s brown rice noodles, you can easily make a healthy vegan and vegetarian friendly dish. It comes with 4 individually wrapped noodles per box so you can always make 1 or 2 packs per serving or make them all for family style stir-fry dish.  I decided to make the whole package (I still have leftovers and I have a family of 4) and throw in some frozen veggies broccoli, corn, cauliflower, snow peas, and used Kikkoman’s Stir Fry Sauce and soy sauce for a little extra flavoring.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of frozen veggies
  • 1 box of Thai Brown Rice Noodles
  • 1 jar of Kokkoman’s Stir Fry Sauce
  • 1 jar of Low Sodium Soy Sauce

 

DIRECTIONS:

I’ll break it down for you. First, boil a pot of water and add a pinch of salt (it helps so that the noodles won’t stick together). Then, you can add your noodles, stir continuously until tender for about 3-5 minutes. Be careful because nobody likes overcooked noodles!

As you’re waiting for that, get your veggies ready. I decided to use a frozen bag of assorted veggies including broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and let them defrost while I waited for my noodles to cook. I had leftover corn and sliced that up to throw in as well.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

Once the noodles are fully cooked, drain them thoroughly until all the water is out. Set the noodles aside in a bowl. Then, add 1/2 cup water or less to your skillet, Kikkoman’s stir fry seasoning (you can decide how much you need), and soy sauce to your preference. Wait until it starts to bubble slightly.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

This is my favorite part. Throw them veggies in and get mixing. You can also add salt or any other seasonings that pair well. I stuck to the traditional route.

Cover and let cook until tender 5-7 minutes. You can test it by putting the fork through the veggies to see if they’re done. Keep mixing and once the veggies are ready add the noodles in. Now here comes the easy part, mix for a minute or two, and add more stir-fry sauce if needed. Cool a few minutes and get ready to EAT! Oh yeah, don’t forget to sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

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Photo Credits: Christa Alexis

Watch me stir it up below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A whole grain pasta that leaves you wanting more…what?

Tinkyada  makes gluten-free, wheat free, and non-mushy rice pasta that adds a little health to your meal. Boil water and add your pasta, let cook for 10-12 minutes, and enjoy while hot. Pairs perfectly with tomato sauce, sauteed veggies, or as a lasagna dish.

I tried the ‘Brown Rice Pasta Fettucini’ style and added my own homemade Italian sauce using fresh seasonings like basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. I was reluctant to try a rice pasta since many of them usually come out “mushy” or taste “grainy.” The label clearly stated “Not Mushy” with two bunnies holding the pasta but I wasn’t convinced by it. I have to say the pasta was just right and I would have never guessed it was a whole grain choice. Let’s just say I could eat more than one serving and the taste was impeccable.

There’s millions of pastas and millions of ways to make your pasta different each time. You can view recipes at Tinkyada’s website here.

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http://tinkyada.com/

Front St Trattoria is a veg friendly hit!

Located in the heart of Red Bank, at the corner of West Front street, Front Street Trattoria brings Italy to you with fresh ingredients, spaghetti squash, meatless (eggplant filled) meatballs seasoned with marina sauce, and cauliflower pizza. It’s great for people cutting back on their carbs and serves a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Owners Michael and Valerie were inspired by their trip to Italy and learned what a “trattoria” was a small cafe that served pizza and pasta dishes. Luckily, they did since foodies can now dine at Front Street Trattoria and eat a taste of Italy. With an outside area with dangling lights, a quaint and cozy dining area with trendy modern aspects, or a front street lookout, there is something to please every customer.

I ordered the Meatless Meatballs made with eggplant and portabello mushrooms and substituted the pasta for spaghetti squash served over tomato sauce. The portions are a bit tiny but it was surprisingly filling. Each meal starts with brick oven bread and a side of seasoned olive oil with a touch of spice.

You’ll be certainly coming back for more.

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http://frontsttrattoria.com/

Scrambled, what? Scrambled Tofu!

Looking for an easy way to get your protein. Look no further. We got you covered. All you need is a block of tofu (Trader Joe’s), non-dairy milk, flax seeds (grounded) salt, pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, vegan cheese, and onions. Pairs perfectly with sauteed spinach, Ozery bakery’s morning rounds, and Freida’s organic polenta.

First, put the block of tofu in a bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (I use Califia Farms). Then, add the grounded flax seeds about 1 tablespoon, a dash of salt, pepper, cayenne, and turmeric and two slices of vegan friendly cheese. Chop the onion into small square like pieces, you should use about half of the onion, and then mix it all together.

Heat your pan with drizzled olive oil and then scoop the seasoned tofu into the pan. Mix thoroughly until the onions are translucent and the vegan cheese is fully melted. Getting hungry? You’re almost done. All you have to do now is scoop into your plate.

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Made and photographed by Christa Alexis