December. 5th, 2017
Wooop! Finally a new post. (I know, it's been so so long since I've posted recipes! I've been more active via Instagram (#NahMeatNOMS) this year compared to prior years . . . largely due to having traveled so often this year, I've lost my groove with regular writing, BUT ANYWAYS I want to jump into this post right away, I'll catch up with you all as I write more before this year ends ;).
For those of you who have been following me for some time now, MIGHT recall or know I do a yearly November Reset, this is my year 3! The first year I committed myself to a month of Vegetarian life . . . that didn't work out too well. By that I mean, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. Stepping into a Japanese restaurant and turning down sushi was the WEIRDEST experience, I toughed it out and pulled through that month - however since then, year 2 and now year 3 have both been very enjoyable Pescatarian months for me!
I know many of my friends have asked me "What is Pescatarian?!" so just in case you don't know, it is a diet which is largely vegetarian base + seafood (yay! Sushi!). FOR ME, I am known as lacto-ovo pescatarian, meaning I still consume eggs + cheese.
Below I wanted to share some meals I had this past month. I didn't get to cook as much as I would've liked to... however for the days that I was able to be in the kitchen - I spent a long time in there. I explored textures, got acquainted with my oven, played with my new set of Infused Olive Oils and utilized my fav home delivery company (SPUDyyc) + my fav faux meat restaurant (Heart Choices - Thai Vegan House)!
Roasted everythannng! So above + below photos are the common happenings in my kitchen this past month. The nuggets you see are Gardein: Chicken Tenders (super delicious, and has a great texture just like chicken nuggets)! This month I really enjoyed taking my time in exploring taste/textures I could create with my veggies. (+) besides veggies, I consumed a healthy amount of tofu, fish, legumes, faux meat ...and maybe a not so healthy amount of pasta. (ops!)
Here's a brief of what I mostly did with the veggies I received from my SPUD box ~ baked for 350*C for 20mins-45mins
- CARROTS: rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic + olive oil (& sometimes I'd add a touch of paprika + maple syrup) baked at 350*C for 20-30 mins.
- POTATOES: (1): salt/pepper/paprika | (2) Honey Garlic - Korean style | (3) thyme, salt/pepper |
- KALE: sea salt, olive oil ~ keep it simple! - cover and bake for 10 mins along with the rest of the veggies! (I like to uncover the foil for a few mins to give it a roasted flavor. *be mindful to not burn them. I've done this far too many times back in the day.*
- SQUASH (delicata): I have never had this type of squash before so I wasn't really sure what to do with it. After some googling, I found some basic recipes and decided to just toss the ideas all into one. I doused with olive oil, salt/pepper/lemon/shallot/garlic/baby tomatoes/BUTTER and baked it for about 30-40 mins - voila!
- GARLIC: Two words - ROASTED GARLIC = awesomeness. I love the rich taste of roasted garlic, if it's a bit overcooked - it gives texture if it's just right I can mush it into my guacamole, or spread it on crackers. Douse in olive oil, salt, pepper, and bam into the oven till you want them out (without burning them). If you want them spreadable, Olive oil + cover in tin foil before putting into the oven!
Steamed Vermicelli Garlic Shrimp: One super simple, yet delicious shrimp dishes I make is the one photographed above to your right.
- Pack of shrimp with shell on
- (6) Mince garlic cloves (yes I love my garlic)
- One pack of vermicelli (put in hot water to soften)
1) Clean and use scissors to devein shrimp.
2) Put soften vermicelli on a steamable plate, lay shrimp on top, add minced garlic onto the top of shrimp and a pinch a salt.
3) Steam for 4-5 mins on high heat
4) Top with some soy sauce (optional) Serve!
Veggie Korean lunch:
Spaghetti Squash Jap Chae
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 2 Carrots
- 1/2 Onion/shallot
- 1 lb of shredded Oyster Mushroom
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce | 1 tbsp light soy sauce | 1 tsp sesame oil | tbsp sugar or honey | salt to taste | handful of sesame | 1 tsp mirin
1) Cut up veggies however you desire (traditionally it would be julienned, however, I was a tad lazy with my cutting .. :P)
2) 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash. Cut in half, place on a microwaveable plate, cover the squash with olive oil + some water, face down on plate & microwave 10-15 mins till it's cooked and ready to fork out.
3) Pan fry oyster mushroom with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crispy. (Use medium-high heat). These when cooked till crispy taste a lot like chicken! I use this for salad toppings, the texture on top of curries and in this case my vegetarian Jap Chae.
4) Cook all veggies together, add in spaghetti squash, top with oyster mushrooms - Served with a fried egg on top + more sesame!
Honey Garlic Potatoes:
- 3 medium-sized potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 shallot (or half onion)
- 1 tsp sesame oil | 1 tsp soy sauce | 1/2 cup of honey | 1/2 water | 1 tsp sugar
1) Wash/scrub potatoes to remove starch, then cut up potatoes into bite size or slices.
2) Heat up oil, put in onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cook till soften and see-through like.
3) Add in garlic, honey, sugar, soy sauce. Mix and add water if it gets too sticky.
4) Cover with a lid till sauce on potatoes looks well glazed over.
5) Sprinkle with sesame and serve!
- I made some plain white congee with furikake flake
- A side dish of my homemade Anchor (pickled veggies)
Heart Choices - Thai Vegan house:
Goodness where do I even begin with explaining to you all how much I ADORE this restaurant!? They make some of my favorite faux meat in the city. Bold with incredible flavors from Thailand, this place makes vegan taste so good! Check out this blog post for details about them : " click here"
In the above and below photos, I used their frozen faux meats and dressed it up! A few of my favorites are the Kung Pao Chicken (paired with their peanut satay sauce), citrus spareribs, black pepper steak and ginger chicken! Go check them out if you're interested in meat alternatives in Calgary!
Achar: (Pickled veggies)
- 3 baby cucumber
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Shallot
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Sprinkle of chili flakes
1) Slice up all veggies thinly
2) Bring to boil of vinegar, water, chili flakes
3) Pour into mason jar, refrigerate for 2 hours and serve as a side.
A few quick breakfast favourites:
Avocado Egg sandwich:
- 1 avocado
- 2 boiled eggs
- 1 tsp mustard
1) mix and mash all ingredients together, spread over buttered toast.
Quick Avocado eggs benny + banana chocolate hazelnut toast: (Refer to first photo in post!)
- 1 poached egg
- 1 avocado (salt/pepper/parika/ lemon/ olive oil)
- 1 banana
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread by Going Nuts!
1) Make gauc, spread on toast
2) In a microwavable cup add in egg, fill water till it covers egg, + 1/2 tsp of vinegar. Cover cup with dish and microwave at 80% power for 40 seconds. (adjust to your liking of desired yolkiness. I like my medium)
3) Drain poached egg, place on top of gauc toast and sprinkle with salt/pepper/paprika
4) Spread toast with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread + sliced banana's + drizzle honey + sprinkle cinnamon (*optional*)
Shout out to Crossroads Farmer's market (I found my delicious Chocolate Hazelnut spread there!), SPUD YYC for the great box of fresh produce delivered to my door (for those who are curious about them... CLICK here for why you should give them a go, and also use discount code CRCAL-LAMEST for $20 off your first order! (+) for all my friends and family who did their best in adjusting their cravings for my annual Reset Month! <3
WHY DO I DO THIS?!
1) I like to discipline myself and check in with whether I NEED to consume meat or if it's out of true DESIRE.
2) I like resetting my system before major food-filled holiday's roll around (Christmas/New years/CHINESE NEW YEAR!)
3) I get to challenge myself for a solid 30+ days of changing up my habits.
4) The change of what I am allowing myself to eat reconnects me with fresher ingredients and puts me back into a creative space in the kitchen.
Thank you for coming by and joining me on this ridiculously long post!!! I hope it has inspired you in some way to play in the kitchen with meatless options! <3 If you liked this post, or have any form of feedback - please let me know! I haven't shared food-related posts in awhile, so I may be a bit rusty . . .
xo Happy Tuesday everyone!