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What I Ate Wednesday #5

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wiaw

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.

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

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

Corn & Basil Chowder {Recipe}

Ok, one more summer recipe! This is from the AWESOME vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a Fuck. It’s less than $15, includes so many helpful tips and tricks, and even my boyfriend (who is a meat-loving home cook) says that it’s his favorite cookbook. I will definitely post a full recap of this book soon; but for now, here’s a counterintuitive summer recipe: it’s soup. But corn is sweetest and cheapest at the height of summer, and basil makes the soup feel light, fresh and summery. Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups, so I was excited to try this lighter, vegan version. Here’s the recipe.

thug kitchen corn chowder with basil summer recipe cooking

Corn & Basil Chowder

  • 6 large ears corn, shucked
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium russet (baking) potato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  1. First you want to use a sharp knife to cut the corn off the cobs. It’s easier if you snap the cob in half, stand it on its end in the middle of a large bowl and cut the kernels off from top to bottom. When you’re all done, you should have about 4 cups of kernels. Don’t get lazy and use frozen corn here; that shit will not taste the same. Chop the onion, celery, bell pepper, and potato into bean-size pieces and mince the garlic. Prep work done.
  2. Now grab a large soup pot and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, potato and garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the salt and then three-quarters of the corn kernels and stir. Add the broth and let that son of a bitch simmer until the potato pieces are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. When the potato is soft, turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender and blend until that motherfucker looks nice and creamy and without a bunch of chunks. (You could also pour it into your blender and do it that way; up to you. Just return the blended soup to the pot.) Add the rest of the corn and the lemon juice, and bring it back to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add the basil, and then taste. Add more salt, more lemon juice, more basil, whatever. Serve right away with some more basil on top to make that shit look as legit as it tastes.

 

Vegan African Peanut Stew {Recipe}

I posted the below picture to my Instagram account this weekend, and so many people commented asking for the recipe, that I decided to post it. However, I want to make sure to give proper credit where it’s due: this is not my recipe. I found it on Pinterest, and it’s by the lovely Emily, a Registered Dietician in Portland, Maine. Her blog, Sinful Nutrition, features plenty of recipes, so check her out.

instagram for recipes

Kiyo made Emily’s African Peanut Stew and I absolutely loved it! It’s nutritious, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free, and it freezes and reheats well… so it’s the perfect meal to make for a group, or to prepare for your own Sunday or Monday night dinner, and then eat all week. It’s delicious and filling on its own, or you could serve over a grain (such as rice, quinoa, freekeh etc.). We left out the edamame, added tofu, and used kale instead of spinach. It was so delicious, you guys: creamy, nourishing, so hearty and satisfying, yet light and delicious. I added Trader Joe’s green, herby hot sauce my friend Jenna sent me and it was perfection.

Vegetarian African Peanut Stew

vegetarian african peanut stew


#FollowFriday: @eyechow

Today I am reserving #FollowFriday for some shameless self-promotion: are you following @eyechow on Instagram yet? Recently I have decided to commit to being vegetarian, so on my food account you can find healthy, vegetarian and vegan food; restaurant dishes and reviews from at home in Hawaii and on my travels; recipes; food ideas and inspiration; etc.

 

What else would you like to see on my food account?

eyechow vegetarian food blog on instagram

eyechow on instagram

eyechow on instagram

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