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Elote {Recipe}

My mom gave me a photocopied recipe for “Elote,” which is typically defined as Mexican street-style corn. Sometime served on a stick for easy-eating, elote is corn topped with mayo, cotija cheese, lime, chili powder, or some combination of those ingredients.

It’s as delicious as it sounds. This particular Elote, however, is a play on that street-style. This recipe turns Elote into an addictive dip.

ELOTE

  • 6 ears of corn, husks intact
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp. Cholula brand hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup broth
  • 1/4 cotija cheese, ground or crumbled
  • pure-ground red chile to taste
  • tortilla chips

First, grill the corn (if possible) in the husks. Once they cool, remove the husks and cut the corn off the cobs.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine (I know, it looks gross at this point):

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp. Cholula brand hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup broth

You just want to heat it all up, so once it’s warmed through, remove it from the heat.

Pour it over the corn and add the cotija cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

What I Ate Wednesday #5

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I haven’t done a WIAW in awhile; please comment or send me a message if you like these food posts so I can keep bringing them to you! This is all vegetarian:

WIAW Honolulu cereal

I LOVE this breakfast I came up with: Annie’s chocolate cereal, with almond milk, topped with cacao nibs and a sliced banana. It’s basically [healthy-ish] dessert for breakfast; you’re welcome.

WIAW Honolulu la tour cafe

In between work and errands, I picked up lunch from La Tour Cafe in Aina Haina: avocado toast! It came with a side salad and a very tasty, creamy dressing.

WIAW Honolulu

I stopped home in the afternoon before my evening job and had some coffee and half of a Bouchon Bakery cookie (made by me, from a box mix). It’s kind of like a homemade oreo. I have to say, I wasn’t really a fan (but I still ate the second half later, after dinner, because in any battle against sugar, I am the loser).

WIAW Honolulu healthy bowl dinner

My homemade dinner was healthy and delectable: quinoa mixed with red onion, kale, parmesan cheese and capers, topped with roasted acorn squash and a soft-boiled egg. So good!

What did you eat today?


Cookbook Review: Simply Delicious Vegetarian

zucchini quiche recipe

A couple years ago, I bought the cookbook Simply Delicious Vegetarian by Carla Bardi. It was on sale at Barnes and Noble, and I liked the feel of the book (and flipping through, the recipes seemed easy enough but interesting). This isn’t my favorite cookbook on my [highly-curated] shelf, but it’s a fantastic staple, especially now that I have been eating completely vegetarian.

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

I appreciate that the recipes are things that I would not have thought to make, but are simple and don’t require unusual ingredients.

vegetarian cookbook tomato recipe

Also, each recipe includes, at the top, how many it serves, how long the preparation and cooking will take, and difficulty level.

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

The book is definitely geared toward all English-speakers, including those outside of the US; the recipes include Celsius as well as Metric measurements, in parenthesis, where applicable.

vegetarian tomato potato dish

Even though this book was published in 2008, some of the photos look very old to me. However, the recipes that I’ve tried have all been very good.

zucchini quiche recipe

The 318-page book is organized into the following sections:

  1. Salads
  2. Soups
  3. Savory Pies, Focaccia, & Pizza
  4. Pasta & Gnocchi
  5. Grilled Vegetables
  6. Vegetable Stews & Stir-Fries
  7. Gratin & Casseroles
  8. Fried Vegetables
  9. Beans & Lentils
  10. Rice & Grains
  11. Eggs & Cheese

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

I went on a zucchini-cooking-spree this summer (since I adore summer squash).

zucchini quiche recipe

Zucchini Quiche

This is the recipe on the cover of the book

Serves 4

Preparation: 30 min

Cooking: 55 min

Difficulty: Level 2

  • 8 oz (250 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used phyllo)
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 6 zucchini, with flowers attached
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch arugula, shredded
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

vegetarian cookbook review and zucchini recipes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch pie plate or springform pan.
  2. Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of poppy seeds. Roll out into a thin sheet. Line the prepared pan with the pastry. Cover with a sheet of waxed paper and fill the pie with weights or dried beans. Bake blind for 20 minutes.
  3. Trim the zucchini flowers and cut each one into 3-4 pieces. Slice the zucchini thinly lengthwise. Sauté the zucchini in the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the flowers and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until frothy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, cream, and Parmesan. Mix in the sautéed zucchini and flowers.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle with the remaining poppy seeds.
  6. Bake until golden brown and set, about 25 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

zucchini quiche recipe

Next I want to try making the Green Paella.

zucchini quiche recipe

I also made a delectable zucchini frittata (I made the mistake of adding salt; it didn’t need it with the salty cheese).

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

Zucchini Frittata

Serves 4-6

Preparation: 10 min

Cooking: 15 min

Difficulty: Level 1

  •  1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb (1 kg) zucchini (courgettes), cut into short, thin lengths
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

vegetarian zucchini frittata recipe

  1. Sauté the garlic in the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until pale gold. Add the zucchini and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the egg has almost cooked.
  3. Slide the frittata onto a plate, turn onto another plate, then slide it back into the pan to cook the other side. Cook until golden brown and the egg is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the frittata to a serving dish and serve hot.

Vegetarian Month at Hard Rock Cafe {Honolulu, HI}

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

Today I had a lovely vegetarian lunch with my friend at Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki. We started with some delicious carrot juice and a couple appetizers (not pictured here, but you can see them in the video below). One was a crispy flatbread topped with garlic oil, grilled ratatouille vegetables, shredded Romano and mozzarella cheeses and a drizzle of garlic aioli. YUMMM

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

OMG this house-made patty of cauliflower, garlic, egg, goat cheese, oregano and breadcrumbs, topped with zucchini, squash, Monterey Jack cheese, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli, served on a toasted brioche bun was DELICIOUS. I made a mess eating it, but it was worth it.

vegetarian month at hard rock cafe

I so appreciate it when restaurants (and especially big companies), acknowledge and embrace their vegetarian customers! See the whole Waikiki location’s menu here and enjoy this quick video of our lunch:


Mahina & Suns {Honolulu}

mahina & sons waikiki restaurant review

Mahina & Suns is a trendy new restaurant in Waikiki, aptly located within the equally trendy and new boutique hotel Surfjack (“Hotel & Swimclub”). The restaurant is by local celebrity chef Ed Kenney, who is renowned for focusing on local, organic ingredients, and reinventing classic dishes of Hawaii (many of which tend to be cultural mashups).

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My boyfriend Kiyo and I took my mom to this restaurant per her request, for her birthday. She enjoyed a gin cocktail with her birthday card.

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I can’t remember what else was in my drink, besides cucumber, but it was light and refreshing, and I liked it a lot.

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Instead of bread (an uncommon free starter snack in Hawaii) we were served salted boiled peanuts. This is a classic Hawaii snack, and a very delicious and addictive rendition. We ate all of these, and I even ate the pickled jalapeño.

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We started by sharing “The Naked Cow,” thin crust pizza with Naked Cow Dairy fromage blanc, uncured bacon, and Maui onion (you can add more toppings; we chose green olives, parmesan and arugula. Take note because this is a stellar combination).

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We all really enjoyed the pizza. There aren’t many good pizza options in Hawaii, as I’ve mentioned on the blog before.

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Kiyo ordered chicken; an usual choice for him. He enjoyed the pan-roasted half-bird, served with hapa rice (white and brown mashup), pickled mushrooms and green coriander chutney.

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My mom ordered the avocado tacos, made with shishito, pickled red onion, and smoked yogurt. I felt that it should have said on the menu that the avocados come fried (I’m guessing my mom wouldn’t have ordered them if she’d known, but she didn’t complain).

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I ordered a starter for my main dish: the butter lettuce salad. It didn’t look like much, but it tasted more complete and interesting than it looked. radish, asparagus, sunflower seed, cured egg yolk, topped with avocado dressing.

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After dinner, we walked around the hotel. It’s very cute! I felt like I was in California, at a Hawaii-themed hotel, rather than actually in Hawaii. There aren’t many trendy places here that actually hit their mark.

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I went back recently for lunch, and very much enjoyed the Wild Salad (although it was just slightly overdressed) topped with garlicky tomato toast, and a fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

mahina & suns salad

Mahina & Suns

412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

(808) 924-5810

Sunnyside Pizza {Queens}

Sunnyside Pizza Queens

Whenever I am in NYC, I have to visit Queens. It’s my favorite borough, plus, I have amazing friends who live there. When I was leaving from a quick visit this May, I decided to get a slice of New York pizza on my way to the airport (pizza in Hawaii is pretty disappointing). I chose this place because it was close to the subway.

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I was just early enough to miss the lunch rush. Sunnyside Pizza is small, with just a couple stools for those who want to enjoy their pizza immediately. I was one such person, and the pizza guys talked to me while I ate. That’s what I love about Queens: it’s a real neighborhood, where the pizza guys will talk to you (with heavy New York accents, and in a gruff but friendly way) and ask you where you’re going with a suitcase.

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I know it infuriates some diners, but I ask the staff what to eat when there are too many good options. They recommended a chicken parmesan slice, so I got it. It was amazingly delicious, and I ate the entire, huge slice. If I had been able to save half for later, I would have definitely done that instead, but I knew I would’ve just made a mess. This actually wasn’t quite the classic NYC pizza I was looking for, but I still really enjoyed it.

Sunnyside Pizza

40-01A Queens Blvd. Sunnyside, NY 11104

(718) 433-4040

The Beet Box Cafe {Haleiwa}

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The Beet Box Cafe used to be a small counter where you could order food in the back of a health-food store, on the North Shore of Oahu (in the small, touristy town there called Haleiwa).

beet box cafe haleiwa

I ordered an iced tea for while we waited for our food (you order at the counter, but they bring the food to you at the table. You then have to bring your dishes to a bin, but sometimes they come get the dirty dishes for you. It’s pretty confusing). I love that they added frozen blueberries in with the ice; by the time I finished the beverage, the plump blueberries had absorbed some of the tea, and tasted even better than regular blueberries.

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I hold a special place in my heart for restaurants that serve breakfast all day. The breakfast options here are so good that even Kiyo ordered off the breakfast menu (and he never does!). He got the Mexicali Blues: eggs scrambled with a crunchy, toasted, sprouted-corn tortilla and jalapeño jack cheese topped with homemade salsa, avocado, and sunflower sprouts, and served with brown rice and Brazilian black beans. He opted to add soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo).

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On the recommendation of a friend, I ordered the Zen, a scramble (choice of tofu or egg) of broccoli, onion, carrots and zucchini “seasoned with curry and love,” served with a scoop of brown rice and black beans and topped with avocado and sunflower sprouts. I LOVED this; it’s the kind of plate of food that I will think about and start to crave. I would definitely brave the traffic of Haleiwa to get to this again.

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Although it was a little pricey (more than $12 per plate) we were both very impressed and satisfied with our meal. We each finished our plate of goodness, and felt very full, but managed to avoid the food coma that comes from overeating food that isn’t nutritious.

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We had to save our cinnamon sugar [vegan] donut for later, since we were so full. I wouldn’t choose to eat this again; it was much too moist to be a donut. There wasn’t anything terrible or disgusting about it, but if I’m going to treat myself to dessert, I want something that’s worth the sugar and calories.

The Beet Box Cafe

66-437 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

(808) 637-3000

Egg Shop {New York}

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In May, I visited New York City for a yoga teacher training (more on that to come). After the training ended, I had a day to hang out with one of my best friends, who I was crashing with.

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We started the leisurely day walking from her apartment to Egg Shop, in the Lower East Side, stopping at Mud for coffee on the way.

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Mikayla and I both LOVE eggs, so we were destined to love Egg Shop. I mean, what food isn’t improved with an egg? Mik decided to be all healthy by ordering the appropriately named “Spandex.”

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This beautiful bowl consisted of poached egg, miso quinoa, avocado, pickled carrot, farm greens and gluten-free tamari (tastes like soy sauce). IT WAS SO GOOD. I want to stock all the ingredients for this in my fridge and just make it all the time.

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I had the”Pepper Boy:” soft scramble, gruyere, bell pepper, maple cured bacon , caramelized onion aioli, all in a bell pepper. This can also come served as a panini, but Mikayla had ordered healthily, so I went for my healthier option too. This was very delicious, but I kind of wish I’d had the panini in retrospect. Mostly because the aioli was lost in this pepper-vessel version, although it did add to the overall rich creaminess, of the eggs.

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And because my friend and I are actually fatties at heart, we ordered this delectable biscuit with honey butter to share. Yes, it looks like fried chicken, and tasted like heaven. This is what you’re salty-sweet food fantasies are made of.

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Egg Shop

151 ELIZABETH ST. NEW YORK, NY 10012

(646) 666-0810

What I Ate Wednesday #4

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First WIAW in a long time!

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Breakfast: yummy Kashi cereal with extra cinnamon on top. I eat my cereal and drink my coffee with almond milk. To me, cereal is kind of a treat for breakfast.

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Snack: fresh passion fruit, yum! I love that this fruit is both tangy and sweet.

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Lunch: so, disclosure: this day was awhile ago. To be honest, I can’t remember what this was. It looks like a salad with cheese, peas, avocado… salami? I’m not sure, but it looks yummy!

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Snack: chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, since, as you know by now, I need chocolate almost every day.

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Dinner: For some reason, I ate a snack for dinner this night. Does anyone else enjoy apples with cheddar cheese?

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Dessert: white wine + dark chocolate M&Ms = instant dessert perfection.

I’ve definitely noticed a pattern in my diet: too much sugar (don’t forget, fruit is sugar too). Luckily, I’m currently reading a book called “The Juice Lady’s Sugar Knockout” (review to come) so hopefully I can kick the habit, or at least reduce it, soon.

What did you eat today?


ARVO {Honolulu}

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I recently had lunch with my boyfriend Kiyo in the up-and-coming neighborhood Kaka’ako, nestled between Ala Moana and downtown Honolulu.

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The new restaurant Arvo is similarly nestled, in the right-hand corner of Paiko, a botanical boutique. Paiko is where I would shop were I more settled (both physically and financially) and I wanted to fill my living space with gorgeous, small-batch, artisanal (and pricey) plants, books, stationery, beauty products, etc.

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I absolutely loved our lunch, but Kiyo was less impressed and left still-hungry, even though we shared three items from the Australian-inspired menu. I ordered the lavender latte, which yes, tasted just like lavender. It was beautiful and came out first (you order and pay at the counter, then come up for your food and drink items as they are ready).

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If you’ve ever been to Australia, you know they adore their toast. All the toasts at ARVO are under $7, which is reasonable, and that surprised me. I mean, it’s toast, but considering how expensive everything is in Hawaii, I was expecting it to be ridiculously overpriced.

 

This loaded avocado toast was $6.50. I absolutely loved how they used pretty little flower garnishes (especially since we were sitting in a cafe in a plant store, it felt fitting). The flavors were balanced and it was delicious. I could have easily eaten it all myself.

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Next up: ham and cheese croissant. Nothing special about this, but also no complaints. It was rich, buttery, warm and perfectly simple.

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For dessert, we chose the Nutella toast topped with bananas, the ripest strawberries and coconut flakes. It was perfection; I somehow felt like I was eating something very healthy, even though it was a [satisfying] dessert.  

ARVO Honolulu Kakaako

My one complaint is that they were very slow, but as you can see from this picture, it’s a small operation. They are also a very new cafe, so hopefully they will speed up soon as they work out kinks. They forgot to make one item we ordered (the fruit toast) but when I reminded them (after a 20-minute wait) they were very apologetic and made it for us right away. Had the food been pricier, or had I been in a rush, I would have been very annoyed. But it wasn’t, and I wasn’t, so my mood was unscathed.

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ARVO

Open Monday – Friday 7:30 – 3:00 & Weekends 8:30 – 2:00

Located at 675 Auahi Street (inside Paiko)