Tag Archives: dinner

Elegant, modern and playful Indian cuisine at All Spice

A few nights ago, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at All Spice Restaurant in San Mateo.

We heard about the restaurant’s opening about 3 months ago from a friend, and given that we LOVE modern twists on Indian food, thought we should give it a try. The chef at All Spice used to be the chef at another one of our favorite Indian Fusion restaurants in the Bay – Sakoon. So we figured we’d be in for a treat at All Spice as well. We were not disappointed!

The service was excellent: each of the waiters were extremely knowledgeable about the dishes and ingredients, and were very friendly and welcoming. Since All Spice had just opened, they didn’t have their wine list completed – and only had non-alcoholic drinks. We started with a Tangerine Soda and a Pomegrate Apple Cider.

Both were excellent! We didn’t miss the alcohol at all. Soon after our drinks came out we were served an Amuse-bouche: a treat from the chef – a cauliflower and mushroom gratin.

We had a hard time deciding on which appetizers to get – everything on the menu looked so good! Eventually we decided on the Indian Bread Fritter “Ma Mere”

It was stuffed with mushrooms, potatoes, and Indian spices, served over stewed chickpeas. It reminded me of a much fancier, elegant version of the samosas you often get in traditional Indian restaurants, and had the perfect blend of spiciness and sweetness. We also ordered the Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup, which was absolutely divine.

It was served with minted spaghetti squash “noodles,” that the soup was then poured over at the table – very cool presentation. The soup itself might have been the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever had. Every bite enveloped my palate with flavor, and the warmth of the soup was a perfect balance to the cold weather outside. If you get a chance to visit All Spice, you MUST order this dish!

Our entrees were equally inventive and satisfying – rounding out the meal perfectly. We ordered the Pumpkin Dosa

Which was basically a crisp rice and lentil crepe, stuffed with a nigella seed-flavored pumpkin and creamy goat cheese filling. It was served with a roasted garlic tomato chutney which provided the perfect sweet balance to the spiciness of the dosa filling. I’ve had a lot of dosas before in my life, and nothing compares to the experience I had at All Spice!

I loved the addition of pumpkin and goat cheese to the filling, stewed with Indian spices. It was a wonderful balance of flavors: rich and delicious. Our last entree was the Khaman Chickpea Flour Pasta, sauteed with mustard seed, curry leaves, baby tomatoes and artichokes.

Again, this dish provided a very modern take on meals that my husband and I ate growing up. I loved the addition of artichokes to this dish, and the chickpea “pasta” just melted in my mouth. After this amazing journey through the menu at All Spice, we were stuffed and had no room for dessert – although the Chili-Mango Bread Pudding with ginger creme anglais was tempting. We’ll definitely be visiting this restaurant again and will be sure to try the desserts next time.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Peanut Butter Sandwich: Reinvented

Who said that peanut butter sandwiches had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? I’m a huge fan of PB&J, probably because I had it almost every day when I was a kid and eating it for lunch has some element of nostalgia for me. And even though I can be a creature of habit a lot of the time, the same three ingredients (which for me are: sprouted wheat bread, almond or peanut butter, and blueberry preserves), can get a tiny bit monotonous. Then I heard about this PB&J sandwich shop in Portland that makes the coolest PB&J sandwiches, and I was inspired to get creative with one of my childhood favorites. So here goes – the peanut butter sandwich: reinvented!

The Ingredients

These were the ingredients I used, but you can obviously experiment with your own. My list included: Sprouted wheat bread, walnuts, sliced bananas, cinnamon, a mix of almond and peanut butter, and honey.

The Directions

Step 1: Spread the peanut & almond butter mixture on both slices of bread, and top one half with sliced bananas

Step 2: Chop 3-4 walnuts, and add on top of the banana slices along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey

Doesn’t that just make you want to take a big bite out of that sandwich? I couldn’t resist taking more than one picture of it.

Step 3: Top with the other slice of bread (that already has peanut/almond butter spread on it), and put into the panini press (or grill in a pan if you don’t have a panini press)

At this time, the nut butters, banana and honey are getting all melty and gooey…

Step 4: Once the top has browned and is slightly crispy, remove from panini press and let cool for 1-2 min.

I love the grill marks!

Step 5: Cut sandwich in half (I always like cutting on the diagonal because I think it looks more fun)

Eat and enjoy!


21 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Tale of Two Lasagnas

Food Bloggers visit other sites quite frequently to support, inspire, comment and learn. A couple months ago, I received a wonderful comment from Sanura of My Life Runs on Food complimenting the style and tone of my blog. I was thrilled to receive her comment, and clicked through to her blog to check it out. What I found was a beautifully written, healthy food blog that seemed really aligned with my philosophy on food. I decided to email her to request a guest post for my site – I thought she’d bring a wonderful and fresh perspective on food and health. After several emails were exchanged, we agreed to collaborate on writing about lasagna. Both of our versions are relatively healthy and they have plenty of vegetables and cheeses. My version is an “Old World” traditional recipe with the classic tomato sauce, and Sanura’s version is a “New World” traditional recipe sans the tomato sauce. To be historically accurate, both tomatoes and squash are ingredients from the “New World.” It’s the techniques and stories that separates our recipes, which makes them endearing and comforting to both of us.

Sanura’s “New World” Traditional Lasagna

The basic traditional lasagna dish we all know consists of pasta, plenty of cheese, and a rich Bolognese sauce. Occasionally, it’ll have a Basil Pesto sauce, too. The richness of the dish makes it the ultimate comfort food we all crave. The ingredients are basically the same, but every household’s technique for preparing the dish varies. The result is usually deliciously satisfying every time it’s served. Who would dare recreate another version with drastically different ingredients? One afternoon, I happened to catch a food show hosted by Tyler Florence. He’s a lucky guy, who travels around the world in search of the origin of classic dishes of popularity. Between Anjali Shah of The Picky Eater: A Healthy Food Blog’s recipe for lasagna, and watching Tyler Florence travel to Italy of which lasagna originates, both provided some inspiration. For a while, I was seriously thinking about breaking from the traditional holiday dishes to making a classic lasagna dish. When I mentioned the idea to the boyfriend, he begins telling me how to make the best lasagna, “It should have at least three types of cheeses…”

“Well, babe…” I thought. Tyler Florence had an Italian guest whose lasagna interpretation was not quite the same as our American classic. His version uses a freshly made basil pesto sauce, layered with freshly made sheets of pasta, blanched green beans and potatoes. Those ingredients on the show demonstrates the time of year the visit took place, in which everyone in the background were relaxing in short sleeves and shorts. My version uses a winter vegetable, acorn squash. I paired it with sauté mushrooms to add more texture. They’re plenty of differences between this freshly made Italian-Inspired and the American version. One, this recipe is not baked. Two, this dish is refreshingly light, but it’s still hearty. Lastly, it’s made sans tomato sauce. It’s a dish best serve at room temperature. With a nice Winter Salad, this Italian-inspired dish is also beautiful as an elegant meal to serve.

The Recipe: Roast Acorn Squash, Sauté Mushrooms, and Basil Pesto Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 Lasagna sheets, cooked and al dente according to the manufacturer’s directions, gently tossed with olive oil
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • Fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Basil Pesto Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Roast Acorn Squash (see recipe below)
  • Sauté Mushrooms (see recipe below)
  • Good quality olive oil

Directions

  1. Gently take one lasagna sheet and visualize it into three sections forming an “S” curve. That is the structure of this lasagna dish.
  2. Smear 4 tablespoons of Basil Pesto Sauce on a plate.
  3. Lay the first third of it on top of the Basil Pesto Sauce on the plate. The excess two-thirds lasagna pasta will hang over the plate’s edge. Gently smear a tablespoon of Basil Pesto Sauce on top of the first third section of the lasagna pasta. Spoon a couple tablespoons of Roast Acorn Squash on top of the Basil Pesto Sauce that was smeared on the first third section of the lasagna pasta. Sprinkle a little basil on top. Fold second third of the lasagna noodle over the Roast Acorn Squash.
  4. Spoon a tablespoon of the Basil Pesto Sauce on top of the second third section of the lasagna pasta. Lightly smear a couple tablespoons of the sauté mushrooms on top of the pesto sauce. Sprinkle a little basil on top. Fold the last third of the lasagna noodle over the mushrooms.
  5. Spoon more Basil Pesto on top of the lasagna. Garnish with basil leaves, fresh black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Repeat to serve more people or for seconds. Enjoy!

Roast Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 Acorn Squash; slice in half horizontally, discard seeds (or toast as a snack), sliced a half inch wide thick
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • A dash of crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • A drizzle of red balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove; minced

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven at 400°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean up.
  3. Toss all ingredients together. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Roast squash for at least one hour, or until it is soft.
  5. Remove from the oven. Let cool before handling. Either use your hands or a paring knife to remove and discard the skin. Roughly chop roast acorn flesh.
  6. Place aside for the lasagna.

Sauté Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 3 to 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion; thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove; minced
  • 1 lb. white button or baby bella mushrooms; cleaned and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup white wine
  • A dash of red balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Over a medium-high temperature, heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the red onions. Sauté until the onions are almost translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, salt and fresh black pepper, and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the mushrooms, wine and a dash of red balsamic vinegar.
  5. When the mushrooms are soft, remove from the pan.
  6. Set aside for the lasagna.

Basil Pesto Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Basil Pesto
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup thick Greek yogurt
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until fully incorporated.
  2. Set aside for the lasagna.

About Sanura Weathers of MyLifeRunsOnFood.com

Since 2009, Sanura Weathers manages and creates sweet, savory, buttery, green and healthy food-related stories and recipes. With 15 years of combined experience in graphic design, social media, and project management, Sanura has a background of working with marketing, publishing, educational, non-profit, financial, and public relation organizations. Writing and managing MyLifeRunsOnFood.com is a project of passion inspiring people to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals using seasonal and fresh ingredients on a busy schedule. Read more about Sanura at MyLifeRunsOnFood.com/aboutme.

Anjali’s “Old World” Traditional Lasagna

One of my husband’s favorite meals is vegetarian lasagna, but we rarely ever ate it for two reasons:

1) It’s usually hard to find at most restaurants. Lasagna will often have a Bolognese sauce–which has meat in it!

2) Any veggie-friendly lasagna is often made with white pasta (no fiber), with egregious amounts of cheese (too much fat and calories), and barely any veggies (that’s just no fun).

So one day, soon after we had gotten married and before I had really learned how to cook, I decided to experiment and create a vegetarian lasagna that was both healthy and flavorful.

To try to recreate the lasagnas we’ve craved in the past, I decided to stick to more of the “traditional” route: using a tomato based sauce and traditional Italian cheeses, and baking it in the oven. I made healthy modifications without losing any of the flavor–e.g. using whole wheat lasagna noodles instead of white and adding more veggies to increase the nutritional value. I was really nervous as I served this meal, as I hadn’t really cooked before and I had no experience creating recipes from scratch. The good news is–it was a HUGE hit. And, I was able to stay true to my healthy mission–a double bonus! This meal has quickly become a favorite at dinner parties and potlucks, and is a great one-dish crowd-pleaser. After I created this dish, I started looking for alternative vegetarian lasagna dishes, and I came across My Life Runs On Food‘s approach to a creative and non-traditional lasagna. I love her take on modernizing and modifying the “old-world” lasagna, and I look forward to trying her dish!

The Recipe: The Healthy “Old-World” Traditional Lasagna

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat lasagna noodles (uncooked)
  • 4 fresh, organic zucchini
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 bag of organic baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Garlic; minced
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • 1-28oz. can of crushed tomatoes (with Italian spices added–like basil, oregano, etc. if you can find that)
  • 1 jar ready-made spaghetti sauce (I like the tomato basil marinara from Trader Joe’s!)
  • Olive oil & cooking spray
  • Fat-free ricotta cheese
  • Low-fat shredded mozzarella
  • Shredded Parmesan or 4 cheese blend (I used this shredded 4 cheese blend from Trader Joe’s that has Parmesan, Asiagio, Mozzarella and Fontina)

Directions – Noodles

  1. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions (leave them al dente)–salt the water, if you like.
  2. Once they’re done, lay them flat on foil and set aside.

Directions – Vegetables

  1. Quarter all 4 zucchini and thinly slice.
  2. Thinly slice one of the red bell peppers (I cut the slices in half so they’re not so long).
  3. Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
  4. Heat about 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat (I might have used a little less–maybe 2-3 tsp), saute the garlic, zucchini, red pepper together.
  5. Add the whole bag of baby spinach at the end (when the zucchini/red pepper are almost done cooking).
  6. Sprinkle oregano and dried basil to taste on top, stir, and let it cook a couple more min.
  7. When the spinach is cooked, turn the heat down to low.

Directions – Sauce

  1. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  2. Dice half a red onion (If it’s a small onion, dice the whole thing).
  3. Dice the other red bell pepper.
  4. Heat 2-3 tsp olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
  5. Saute the red onion, garlic, and red pepper for a few min (until the onion starts turning a little translucent).
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes.
  7. Add dried oregano (I’m not sure how much I put–I basically sprinkled it over the top and stirred it in–maybe 2 tsp.).
  8. Once the sauce is heated through, turn the heat down on low.

Directions – Cheese

  1. Combine 1.5 cups of the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1 cup of the Parmesan (or 4 cheese mixture if you can find that at Trader Joe’s) in a bowl.

Assembly

  1. I used a casserole dish to assemble the lasagna in–and sprayed the bottom of the dish with cooking spray.
  2. Put a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish (I did about half of the pre-made spaghetti sauce and half of the sauce I made myself–I did this for every layer except the top).
  3. Put a layer of the lasagna noodles.
  4. Put another layer of the sauce (1/2 pre-made, 1/2 self made).
  5. Put a layer of the veggies.
  6. Take the cheese mixture, and put little crumbles of the cheese mixture all over the veggie layer (don’t try to spread it out, the little crumbles seemed to work well).
  7. Put another layer of the lasagna noodles.
  8. Layer of sauce (if you have enough use the self made, otherwise add in the pre-made as needed).
  9. Layer of veggies.
  10. Cheese mixture crumbles.
  11. Layer of lasagna noodles.
  12. Layer of sauce (only self made).
  13. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the top.
  14. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
  15. Uncover and bake for 5 min. longer until the cheese has melted.

“The Picky Eater” sends a special thank you to Sanura Weathers of MyLifeRunsOnFood.com, for collaborating on this special feature post. Visit her food blog for additional flavorful recipes for healthy eating. Follow her on Twitter here, and check out her Facebook fan page here!

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Five Different Ways with Veggie Burgers!

One of my favorite cooking experiments is to take a pretty simple/standard (boring) base, and dress it up with a bunch of different ingredients to make it feel fancy, gourmet and restaurant-quality! Last night, my husband and I were craving veggie burgers from our FAVORITE burger place in the Bay Area: Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers.

The unfortunate thing is, we don’t get to go to Barney’s often because it’s a pretty decent drive away from our house. So, I decided to bring Barney’s to us by “dressing up” the standard veggie burgers we buy: Gardenburgers. I actually LOVE Gardenburgers because they have a few different varieties – all with really wholesome and natural ingredients, and they have great nutritional stats: each patty is 100 calories and has 5g fiber and 5g protein. They also provide a great “base” for transforming the homemade veggie burger into something gourmet and delicious – in less than 30 min (which is the best part)!

So last night, I made two of the five versions I’m going to outline in this post – but while I was making them came up with three more ideas I thought I’d share with all of you! I’m going to combine the ingredients/directions in this post because it’s really standard to make (cook the veggie burger patty on the stove, toast the buns, and top with ingredients). It’s really about the variety you can get with these few basic ingredients.

Ingredients I used for my two versions (three additional versions at the bottom of this post)

Burger #1: The Sports Bar Burger: This is the burger I made for my husband.

Ingredients you’ll need: Whole Wheat Burger Buns, Gardenburger patties (original), grilled red onions, jack cheese (or pepperjack is ok too), Barbecue Sauce, Sliced Tomatoes, Baby Spinach or Romaine lettuce (optional)

Grill the burgers over medium heat with some cooking spray

While the burgers are cooking, grill the sliced red onions on medium to medium-low heat with 1 tsp EVOO

Once the patties are done, melt the jack cheese over the patty and the bottom burger bun in the toaster oven

Once the cheese is melted, pull the burger out of the oven and top with grilled onions

Then top with sliced tomatoes and baby spinach or lettuce (the spinach/lettuce is optional)

Spread 1-2 Tbsp of the BBQ Sauce on the other half of the bun, and finish your veggie burger. Enjoy!

Now, onto Burger #2: The Spa Burger: This is the burger I made for myself 🙂

Ingredients you’ll need: Sprouted wheat bread or sprouted wheat burger buns, Gardenburger patty (original), 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Cheese (original/creamy swiss flavor), Sliced red onions, Sliced tomatoes, Baby spinach, Sprouts (I didn’t have these but I think they would taste really good in the burger), Organic Ketchup (optional), Salt & Freshly ground black pepper

Directions are the same as above: Cook the patty according to the package directions – on the stove with cooking spray, Spread 1 wedge laughing cow cheese on on slice of the sprouted wheat bread/bun, top with burger patty, top with red onions, tomatoes, spinach, sprouts, salt & pepper to taste. Serve with Ketchup if you like!

Here it is: the finished Spa Burger

It was sooo tasty, light and delicious! My husband also loved his version – he said it tasted exactly like Barney’s which was a HUGE compliment 🙂 Now – for the fun part. Three other veggie burger variations, with the same base (whole wheat buns, Gardenburger original patty).

Burger #3: The Fiesta Burger: You’ll need — Whole wheat burger buns, Gardenburger original patty, guacamole or sliced avocado, pico de gallo, shredded jack or cheddar cheese, sliced red onions, baby spinach or romaine (shredded). Melt the cheese on the patty while you’re cooking it and top with the rest of the ingredients.

Burger #4: The Mediterranean Burger: You’ll need — Whole wheat burger buns (or you can even use whole wheat pita!), Gardenburger original patty, low fat or fat free feta cheese, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, diced red onions, and hummus (or tahini). Spread the hummus on the burger buns, top with patty, feta and rest of the ingredients.

Burger #5: The Grilled Veggie Pesto Burger: You’ll need — Sprouted wheat burger buns (or regular whole wheat is fine), Gardenburger original patty, 1-2 Tbsp Pesto, swiss cheese, grilled zucchini, grilled red onions, sauteed mushrooms, grilled peppers –You can basically use any combination of grilled veggies that you like. Spread the pesto on the buns, melt the swiss cheese over the patty, and top with grilled veggies.

I can’t wait to try these versions next week – if it goes well we might make one night each week “burger night” as long as I can keep inventing different varieties! What’s your favorite burger & toppings combination?

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Cheesy, Beany, Veggie Quesadillas

After our lazy Saturday of not doing much of anything, I decided to get up off my butt and make something for dinner last night. It helped that the hubby went and did our grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon, and that I was STARVING after 5 hours of dance rehearsals earlier that day. So I decided to make my healthified version of cheese quesadillas.

Doesn’t my healthy version look just like the real thing?? I promise it tastes just like it too! We LOVE quesadillas, but I hate how the restaurant versions are full of fat (from the oil used to cook them + the egregious amounts of cheese added) and minimal nutritional value (barely any fiber, no veggies, etc.). My version takes care of all those problems – with a fiber & protein packed meal that’s sure to satisfy even the most die-hard quesadilla fans!

My four main swaps are: 1) Adding veggies for fiber, anti-oxidants, and great texture. I like peppers, tomatoes, and red onions.

2) Adding black refried beans for extra fiber and protein. I like the Trader Joe’s variety because it only has like 4 ingredients, no oil or extra fat added, and no ingredients you can’t pronounce! I like mixing the beans with some taco seasoning to give it a great, smoky, spicy flavor.

3) Using EVOO cooking spray instead of oil to cook the quesadillas. You get the same crispy texture on the outside without adding all that extra fat!

The Trader Joe’s one is my fav. And my last swap (#4) is using high-fiber tortillas (that still look like the “white” tortillas you get at the restaurant). You can also use sprouted wheat tortillas – which is what I made my quesadilla on. Or even regular whole wheat tortillas. I use the high-fiber white ones because the husband is quite attached to the tortillas of his childhood 🙂

With these swaps you won’t even be able to tell how much healthier these quesadillas are! Each one should have about ~300 calories max (assuming you use 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of beans in each). And they are huge – I can usually only finish about 1.5 of them!

The Ingredients List:

  • Sprouted Wheat or High Fiber / Carb Balance Mission Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • Refried black beans
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red/orange/yellow pepper, diced
  • Salsa (I like pace picante)
  • Guacamole (I like the pre-made kind from Trader Joe’s – tastes super fresh like you made it yourself at home)

Directions:

  1. Heat beans over the stove on medium heat. Add taco seasoning to taste and stir until combined
  2. Heat a large pan over medium to medium-low heat, spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Assemble quesadillas: one layer of beans (use up to 1/4 cup per quesadilla), one layer of cheese, a layer of onions & peppers, and another layer of cheese (don’t use more than 1/4 cup of cheese total per quesadilla)
  4. Grill the quesadillas in the pan until both sides are browned and crispy and the cheese has melted. Top with diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp guac and 2 Tbsp salsa. Enjoy!

Here’s what the assembly looks like

Finished quesadillas, fresh off the stove (I love how all the ingredients just melt together)

Can’t forget about the guac – I told you it looks & tastes like it was homemade!

And dinner is served. Look at all those layers of yummy goodness.


12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday Night Take Out

Have you ever had one of those weekend days when you don’t really feel like doing anything productive? My weekends are normally PACKED with activities – either running errands, or catching up on stuff I slacked on during the week, or going to dance rehearsals, or going out / hanging out with friends. But yesterday (Saturday), I didn’t have any of those things to do! My husband was out of town for a conference during the week, so my only activity was to pick him up from the airport in the afternoon… which took a whole hour…. which left like 15 hours of free time in the day!

It was awesome. We watched TV, relaxed, read, and somehow ended up killing time without even realizing it. Soon, it was 8:45pm – we hadn’t eaten dinner and had no groceries (since neither of us went out to get groceries yesterday either). Which meant that eating out was our best bet if we wanted to have dinner anytime in the next few hours. But we were in our PJs, and not really in the mood to dress up and go “out,” so we decided to get takeout from a small Thai place that we had never tried before (with fingers crossed that it would be a good experience). And I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised! It was probably the best takeout I’ve had in a while – the food tasted like it had literally been made to order, and the restaurant was really open to all of my “healthier” customizations, which I’ll get to in a sec. But first – I have to show you what we ate!

I ordered the Veggie and Tofu Stir Fry with Garlic

The veggies were really fresh, cooked perfectly (so they were still a bit crispy), and I loved how the restaurant didn’t skimp on the amount and variety of the veggies! I also appreciated that they let me substitute soft tofu for fried tofu (a much healthier alternative with the same amount of protein but fewer fat & calories than fried tofu).

My husband’s dish was a Thai Staple: Veggie Pad Thai

So, yes, Pad Thai is not a healthy take out option at all. But this one happened to be very well made and they even added some veggies in with the noodles which I appreciated.

I managed to make my takeout healthier by following a few simple rules when ordering Thai food:

  1. Stick to stir fries that have light sauces (avoid cream sauces or curries if you can)
  2. Substitute soft tofu for fried tofu
  3. Ask for extra veggies if the restaurant will oblige
  4. Ask for less oil (I did that with my takeout dish and the sauce ended up being very flavorful but without those little oil beads you sometimes see floating on top of sauces that have tons of oil in them)

These four simple rules gave me a much lighter but still very flavorful and satisfying dish! All in all, it was a great meal, and we were both really satisfied with our decision to spend Saturday night at home with some good takeout 🙂

*********************************************************************

Now – time for two quick reminders as a bit of a non sequitur:

1) Please vote for me in The Kitchn’s Best Home Cooking Blog contest! Click here to vote for The Picky Eater

2) My giveaway is still open: specialty olive oil +gluten free bread! Click here to Enter

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Spiced Potato and Curried Yogurt Flatbread!

Ok – so for some reason this week I’m really into flatbreads 🙂 I think it’s just because you can make anything you want with them – it’s like customizing your very own personal pizza hehe. This recipe was another one of those “rummage through my fridge and pull something together” dinners. I think my husband was a little skeptical when I pulled out the Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Masala Burgers from our freezer and said I was going to make an Indian “pizza” on naan with them. The good news is – it took less than 30 min to make and turned out to be SUPER tasty and flavorful! And, my husband LOVED it! So here is my recipe for Spiced Potato and Curried Yogurt Flatbread – hope you enjoy it!

The Ingredients

  • Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burgers (you need one patty per flatbread – the great thing about these burgers is that they are mostly made with potatoes and spices – so it tastes like a spiced potato patty instead of a veggie burger!)
  • Trader Joe’s whole wheat Tandoori Naan (Note: you can also use sprouted wheat tortillas for this – which I did for my portion! I gave my husband the Naan though because he likes it better :). But using the sprouted wheat tortilla tastes great too!)
  • Fage 0% Greek Yogurt (I didn’t have 0% in my fridge so I used 2%, but I’d recommend 0% if you can find it!)
  • 1 Roma Tomato, diced
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 Red Onion, diced
  • Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Sauce (optional: I thought we’d end up using this, but the curry yogurt was so good we didn’t need it!)
  • 1 tsp curry powder (I used the one from Trader Joe’s – of course!)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. Cook burgers according to package directions. While they are cooking, heat the naan in a toaster oven.
  2. Create the curry yogurt sauce: Combine the Greek Yogurt, curry powder, cumin, salt and garlic powder – stir until fully combined. Take about 1/3 of the yogurt and put into a separate bowl. Mix that part of the yogurt with a bit of water (1-2 Tbsp) until the sauce has thinned out slightly. After this – you should have two types of yogurt sauce – a thicker version and a thinner version.
  3. Once the burgers are done cooking, chop them up so they will fit on the flatbread.
  4. Spread the thick yogurt sauce on the flatbread. Top with the burger, tomato, onion and romaine. Drizzle the thinned out yogurt sauce on top. Eat and enjoy!

Pictures!

The curry yogurt sauce, before separating into two bowls…

Veggie patties cooking

Flatbread assembly part 1` (yogurt sauce spread, and veggie burger crumbled on top)

Flatbread assembly part 2 (veggies piled on, and thin yogurt sauce drizzled on top)

Ready to eat! YUM!

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized