Tag Archives: vegetarian

Vegetable Lasagna

10 Apr

Who says lasagnas must be meaty and cheesy? While lasagnas are undoubtedly delicious meaty and cheesy, I wanted to make a healthier option. You know, spring is here, summer is approaching, I know you are also watching your waistline. Don’t lie.

So I roasted some vegetables- onions, zucchini, and eggplant, layer on whole wheat lasagna, top with a little mozzarella, ricotta, and homemade marinara sauce. Of course it tastes delicious. Warm, gooey, a little cheesy but light. With this recipe, I don’t think I want to go back to meaty lasagna if I have to.

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil

salt & pepper

2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

1 medium eggplant, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

Lasagna Pasta

3 cups marinara sauce- homemade or store bought

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1.5 cup ricotta- skim, whole, your choice.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sliced onion, zucchini , and eggplant on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and toss. Once all the veggies are evenly coated, place the sheet into the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

2. In a 9 x 12 baking sheet, layer 1 cup of marinara sauce . Layer a layer of lasagna pasta, then vegetables on top, then dot some ricotta, then a thin layer of mozzarella. Repeat this rotation until all the ingredients run out. It should be enough for 3 thick layers.

3. Bake in the oven with aluminum foil on top for 30 minutes. Take off the top and bake for another 15 minutes, until top is golden brown.

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Enjoy!

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Smoothies!

4 Feb

I noticed that I gain about 3-5 pounds throughout winter every year. It’s cold outside and despite my busy schedule, I still eat constantly and often don’t have the motivation or energy to work out like I do during other seasons of the year. Even when I do work out, I don’t see the results in terms of losing weight. It’s a struggle.

Another problem I’ve been encountering is that I don’t eat enough veggies. This is an all-year round problem.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make smoothies to lose a few pounds, and also to enhance my veggie intake. It’s not extreme. I make a green smoothie for breakfast and have it throughout the morning to keep myself full, I may occasionally have an additional smoothie at night or in the late afternoon when I am hungry for a snack. I have been consuming so much veggies and with working out, I have lost a few pounds!

The smoothie experience has been positive. I go to the local farm/grocery store and buy any veggies/fruit they have, preferably organic. I also bought ground flaxseed to add in extra fiber (be careful though, they add extra calories if you put in too much!). Blend with some almond milk, add a little agave nectar extra sweetness, and the smoothie is done! Veggies that I like to buy are- kale, spinach, mache, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers. In addition, I sometimes also add in frozen blueberries, banana, orange, or whatever fruit I have on hand. The fruits add sweetness so the smoothies are extra yummy!  I even add a few leaves of mint or parsley in the smoothies sometimes to brighten up the taste a bit.

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There really isn’t a recipe for these smoothies. The only problem I can envision people have is getting used to drinking the veggie smoothies. Someone I worked with said to me the other day, “it smells like a garden…” and I thought it was so funny because I absolutely have no problem consuming the green smoothie, but it may be something to get used to for other people who don’t like vegetables.

If you are one of those people who don’t like the smell of vegetables, you can certainly put a scoop of peanut butter or cocoa powder in your smoothie to get a creamier taste. Or if you want to go all fruit, they can’t go wrong either, you can still get good nutrition from an all-natural smoothie.

You see, I am not a nutritionist. I don’t fully know what makes a green smoothie good in terms of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, etc. All I know is that veggies are good for my body, and I feel great after drinking the smoothies. That’s enough for me! I hope to keep this good habit up for a while. You should try it too!

Pesto Flatbread

25 Oct

I wanted to try another flatbread since the Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Flatbread Pizza was a hit! I love pesto, and I love flatbread (less guilty about the calories, duh!).

This one is so simple and fast to make. The tomatoes on top is purely optional. I did a half-and-half combination.

Ingredients:

1/2 serving of pizza dough

5 tbs of pesto, recipe here

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup fresh mozzarella

1/2 tomato, sliced (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Roll out the pizza dough as thin as you can on a pan (pizza pan)

3. Spread pesto on top of the dough.

4. Add on garlic. Just for that little kick.

5. Add in the optional tomatoes

6. Place mozzarella on top!

7. Bake for 1o minutes, and ta-da!

I told you it’s easy! It’s beyond yummy!

Asian Bean Sprout Salad

17 Oct

Looking for a new dish to add to your salad rotation??

How about this Asian bean sprout salad? It’s incredibly easy. By incredibly easy, I mean it only has four ingredients. Yes, four.

It’s so healthy, crunchy, refreshing, and if you like the Asian taste, you would love this dish!

Ingredients:

3 cups mung bean sprout, washed and dried

3 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Direction:

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Add bean sprouts into the dressing. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, and serve!

*If you’d like, you also have the option of steaming the bean sprouts.

naked bean sprouts.

bean sprouts, dressed.

In case you didn’t know, you can find mung bean sprouts at Asian supermarkets.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad

6 Oct

This is kind of a dish that I call, Summer Don’t Go- Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad.

If you live in a year-round sunny and warm region, you’d love this, and I envy you. If you don’t live in a year-round sunny and warm region, you can still try it. If you want to wait for another 10 months to make this dish, I don’t blame you.

This salad is just perfect for a nice picnic outside, or a BBQ. It’s vegetarian friendly, too!

Ingredients:

1 lb orzo pasta

1 yellow squash, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 small eggplant, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 small red onion, diced

4 tbs olive oil, for roasting

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for dressing

lemon juice from one lemon

1 tbs Herbs de Provence

salt & pepper

everyday seasoning

Key players

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place diced vegetables on a pan.

2. Mix vegetables with herbs de provence, olive oil, splash of salt and pepper, and everyday seasoning. Place mixture in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

3. Cook orzo according to the package direction. Drain.

4. Secret ingredient to brighten a dish up-

5. Once the vegetables and orzo are both done, add in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and mix.

Simple, right? Ready to go outside for the barbecue!

Easy Pesto

10 Aug

What’s easy, fast, and comforting?

Pesto!

With penne, with grilled chicken, with fish, with veggies, with chips, or just plain. Pesto is always the winner.

So let’s take a look at how to make the ultimate pesto…

Ingredients:

2 cups basil leaves

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted

2 cloves garlic

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

shredded pecorino romano

Directions:

basil in food processor

Add toasted walnuts

add garlic, salt and pepper

have extra virgin olive oil ready

let the food processor do all the work while drizzling in olive oil

Layer a big scoop of pesto on top of a good hearty bowl of whole wheat penne, add pecorino on top

stir and indulge!

Food Porn- Sufood, Taipei

1 Aug

Met up with some friends at Sufood, a prix fixe vegetarian restaurant for dinner one day. This company is known for its excellent service, colorful and creative food options, and a friendly ambiance.

The prix fixe includes an appetizer, bread, salad, main dish, side dish, dessert, and a drink. Yes, a total of eight courses.

Appetizer- blueberry sauce on wild yam, sweet pepper and lotus root, and a tomato-plum jello.

Rosemary breadsticks with a ranch-like dressing

Fruit salad, assorted fruit with yogurt and fruit jello

soup- purple potato and onion cream soup. This one was delicious.

side dish- fruit scented muesli rice.

main dish- fried rice balls with assorted vegetables and curry sauce on the side. Yes, fried rice balls are delicious.

dessert- sesame and walnut panna cotta. I am not a big panna cotta fan, this was my friend’s order, but the sesame sauce was yums.

my dessert and drink- warm lemon apple pie and chamomile and grapefruit tea. Apple pie was warm with a hint of sourness from the lemon, it was extra satisfying with a good cup of tea.

Pretty good restaurant! We were there for four hours just chatting our lives away, they didn’t even kick us out! The curry rice balls were pretty amazing too, you just can’t go wrong with fried, rice balls, and curry, I guess.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

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