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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?


Autumn Baked Tofu Bowl {Recipe with Ips Chips}

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

Recently, and totally randomly, I came up with a winning vegetarian dinner recipe, which I’m not so concisely calling: Autumn Baked Tofu Bowl.

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

It’s rice, topped with baked (faux-fried) tofu, roasted squash, and homemade vegetarian gravy. Imagine Shake n Bake, but way better. This is like the adult, atumn version. If you know me, you know that precision and attention to detail are NOT in my repertoire, especially when it comes to cooking. So here’s the recipe, but be ready to adjust and substitute according to taste. Think of this as your starting point, and then get creative.

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • About an hour of time
  • An oven
  • A baking sheet
  • A cutting board & knife
  • 3 shallow bowls (plus 2-4 individual serving dishes or bowls)
  • coconut oil and/or olive oil
  • 1 squash of choice (I used acorn)
  • 2 small bags chips of choice (I liked using Ips because 1 bag has 6 grams of protein & only 4 grams of fat!)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 cup rice (and whatever you want to cook it in)
  • water
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 small shallots
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • Wine jelly (or, just use a dash of wine. But I highly recommend using the jelly)
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

STEP 1: PREP

  1. Slice your squash, douse it in coconut oil, salt & pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Check regularly, and flip them over once before they’re done (they’re done when they’re soft and you’d want to eat them at that consistency)
  2. Chop up celery (including leaves) and shallots
  3. Crush up 2 small bags of Salt & Pepper chips by Ips Snacks, which are gluten free and non-GMO (they also have a delicious White Cheddar flavor, if you prefer) and dump the crushed chips into a shallow bowl
  4. Place a cup of flour in a shallow bowl
  5. Whisk one egg into a shallow bowl
  6. Press a block of firm tofu, and slice into medium-sized strips (about 12)

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

STEP 2: COOK

  1. Remove the squash from the oven, and turn it down to 325 degrees
  2. Coat each slice of tofu in the flour, then egg wash, then Ips chips
  3. Place these slices one at a time onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Bake in the oven until they begin to crisp up/brown just slightly (I believe it took about 20 minutes)
  5. Cook the rice (this is best done in a rice cooker, which you can then ignore, or on the stove, in which case, remember to pay attention to it)

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

STEP 3: FINISH

  1. Sautee the shallots and celery in olive oil over medium heat. After they brown, add a dash of water.
  2. Add a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard and another of Wine Jelly. Season with salt & pepper (take a taste… add or omit anything you want. I recommend nutritional yeast if it needs an extra punch)
  3. Make a rue by moving everything in the pan to one side, and adding more water. Place 1 tbsp of cornstarch into the water and stir it quickly, keeping it all close together. Once it thickens, mix the entire pan together again. Adjust with more or less water and wine jelly, as needed (it should look like gravy)

cooking with ips chips crispy baked tofu

STEP 4: ENJOY!

  1. Serve the rice in bowls
  2. Top with gravy
  3. Add a few slices of squash (before the tofu, so the gravy doesn’t ruin the crunchy of the tofu)
  4. Top with 2-4 slices of baked tofu

What’s your favorite autumn dinner to make?

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.

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

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.

egg shop nyc

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

Jimmy’s Down the Street, Coeur d’Alene

Jimmy's Down the Street in Coeur d'Alene

Almost exactly one year ago, Kiyo and I ate a ridiculous, massive breakfast at Jimmy’s Down the Street in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was on our two-week road trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We began right on the East Coast, at my grandma’s house in Rhode Island, and ended on an island off Seattle (Kiyo’s hometown of Vashon).

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We’d already been driving for 12 days by the time we arrived in Idaho. We probably could have gotten there in half the time, but we went slowly, visiting friends and family, and camping in Yellowstone. We decided to also camp in Idaho, since we don’t know anyone there.

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Fun fact: we had absolutely zero service the whole time we were in Idaho. We came from Yellowstone, and got a big dinner at Five Guys in a random town on the way to our campsite, which was lovely, close to the surprisingly stunning Lake Coeur d’Alene.

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We pitched our tent and Kiyo built a robust fire in the pit.

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We enjoyed the warmth, watched the mesmerizing flames until they flickered out, and went to bed early.

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Goma Ichi Ramen, Honolulu

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Gomaichi is Japanese noodle shop founded in 1995. There is a rivalry among locals here in Honolulu; people are either loyal to Goma Ichi or Goma Tei. My friends, family and I have always patronized Goma Tei, so one night, a few friends decided to try Goma Ichi and compare.

Goma Ichi Ramen Honolulu

Goma Ichi used more vegetables than Goma Tei, which I appreciated, except that the vegetables seemed to be canned, which means they had almost no flavor. The noodles and broth were tasty, I thought comparable to Goma Tei. These noodles were maybe just ever-so-slightly better, because they were chewy, which I like. In my opinion, the char siu at Goma Ichi wasn’t as big or delicious as it is at Goma Tei.

We didn’t try any of the appetizers, but they looked good, and similar to Goma Tei. Overall, you can’t go wrong at either ramen restaurant. They are both very good! I remain loyal to Goma Tei, but Goma Ichi is almost as good (and I may be biased since I’ve always gone to Goma Tei).

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Goma Ichi 

Open: Monday – Saturday,11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 

Location: 631 Keeaumoku St # A, Honolulu, HI 96814 Phone: (808) 951-6666 

What I Ate Wednesday: Honolulu

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Happy midweek, everyone! Here’s what my Monday looked like:

Wiaw honolulu

Breakfast: a whole, freshly picked mango from the backyard (I eat one almost every day lately) and coffee with my homemade almond milk (tastes SO MUCH BETTER than the store-bought version!) and homemade ice cubes (water, cocoa powder, agave).

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Run: I ran a mile and a half round-trip from my house to the entrance to Diamond Head State Monument.

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Snack #1: I had my first snack at 9 am as I headed out to work: a handful of Kona coffee coated macadamia nuts. These are addictive!

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Lunch: Kiyo and I bought an olive baguette at the farmers’ market this weekend. I put a hunk of blue cheese in part of it and called it a sandwich; simple but delicious. I enjoyed the sandwich with a side of cherries. They might be my favorite fruit, right after mango!

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What I Ate Wednesday: Honolulu

WIAW

Happy WIAW! I have once again started to document days for WIAW, and then forgotten about it by the end of the day. But these are all things I ate within the last week:

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Breakfast: avocado toast, made with Ezekial bread and Cholulah hot sauce.

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Lunch: An acai bowl from Island Vintage Coffee in Waikiki in between teaching and taking yoga classes. My dad and I both love this acai bowl (with extra honey!) and we shared this along with the following sandwich:

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a caprese sandwich with a side salad.

WIAW Honolulu

Dessert: On another day, I bought myself an afternoon treat: one kids’ scoop each of Thai iced tea and Nutella ice cream from a new place in Honolulu (full post about this soon). SO GOOD.

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