Friday, March 29, 2013

Peanut Tofu and Avocado Spring Rolls

It's finally feeling like spring! I found it only appropriate to start the season off with spring rolls! Basically, I created two recipes- a broiled peanut tofu, and the spring rolls that it was encased in. These are great for parties, lunch boxes, or just as a quick and healthy snack.

Peanut Tofu and Avocado Spring Rolls
By Caroline Mac

Note: Allow plenty of time to prepare this, as the tofu takes a couple of hours to marinate.

Peanut Tofu:
11 strips of extra-firm tofu, pressed (Strips should be about 1/2 inch thick)
1/4 c crunchy peanut butter
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 t sesame oil
1t lime juice
1/8 t Penzey's Singapore seasoning
Just under 1/4 t stevia
4 drops sriracha hot sauce
1 t water

3/4 avocado, sliced into 11 slices
1 bag Trader Joe's Broccoli slaw (you won't use the whole bag)
11 small shitaki mushrooms, washed and dried
11 spring roll rice wrappers (you can get these in the Asian section of most supermarkets)

Step 1: Mix all ingredients for the peanut tofu together, except for the tofu, until thoroughly blended. Coat each slice of tofu in the sauce, place in an oven-safe dish and allow tofu to marinate for a couple hours.

Step 2: Broil tofu in the oven for approximately 6-8 minutes on each side, or until each side is golden and crispy. Allow to completely cool before making rolls.

Step 3: Prepare first rice wrapper as according to the package. Typically, you soak the wrapper in warm water for a few seconds until it becomes flexible, place it on a towel to dry, and wrap it around your filling.

Step 4: Place one piece of tofu, one mushroom, one slice of avocado, and a small bunch of slaw in the center of the wrapper.

Step 5: Fold over one side of the wrapper, making sure to keep the ingredients compact. Fold in the top and bottom of the wrapper and continue rolling it until the ingredients are securely inside.

Step 6: Repeat this process for the remaining 10 wrappers. Serve with a sauce of your choice. I've had them with both sweet and sour sauce and a peanut sauce. Both tasted great!


Sunday, March 10, 2013


The blog has officially hit over 3000 views! I'm pretty excited. After all, I wasn't even sure if I'd stick with this when I first created it! 

I feel like I should do something epic to commemorate this milestone... Suggestions? 

Once again, thank you to everyone who has checked out my recipes, shared my posts, or contributed to my vegetarian/ vegan knowledge in any way!

Stay healthy and eat god food!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Almost 3000!!!

Nine more views and I hit 3000 you guys!!! Woohoo! Thanks!

Italian-Seasoned Veggie Sauté

I'm always looking for new sources of protein and this week's discovery (though it has been around for a while) was seitan! I had tried a bit of southwestern-style seitan from the Whole Foods salad bar and was immediately hooked. The texture is really great and I discovered that I can buy it in a wide variety of flavors! After proceeding to the refrigerated section of the store, I chose Upton's Naturals Italian-style seitan. Two words: Absolutely delicious. Here's the recipe I chose to incorporate it into!

Italian-Seasoned Spring Sauté
By Caroline Mac
Makes 1 serving

2 oz Italian-style seitan, chopped
1/2 c chick peas
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/3 c sliced white mushrooms
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Handful of mixed leafy greens (I used Trader Joe's Power Greens)
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 t Penzey's Green Goddess dressing seasoning
Lemon pepper to taste
Splash balsamic vinegar

Step 1: Add olive oil celery, carrots, mushrooms, basil, and garlic to a pan and heat over medium-high heat. Saute mixture until garlic becomes fragrant and veggies begin to tenderize.

Step 2: Add chick peas and seitan and continue stirring until everything becomes heated through. Add Greens, seasoning, and balsamic vinegar and saute until greens become wilted and soft.

Serve warm.



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hearty Vegetable Soup

It's a snow day today! That means I can post some of the stuff I've been accumulating!

I haven't made soup from scratch in a very long time. On Sunday, I decided it was time to change that. The result was a hearty (and easy!) soup packed with colorful veggies in a flavorful broth!

Note: This makes a LOT of soup. I won't have to cook at all this week, as a result. I also thought the soup tasted even better after sitting in the fridge overnight, since the flavors had time to come together; so don't be afraid of leftovers!

Hearty Vegetable Soup
By Caroline Mac

4 c low sodium vegetable broth
1 can low sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
10 asparagus spears, chopped
1.5 c broccoli florets, broken into smaller pieces
1 c sliced white mushrooms
1  14-oz can diced, no salt added tomatoes in juice
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t chili powder
1t ground cumin
1 1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t Penzey's Trinidad Lemon Garlic marinade

Step 1: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add all vegetables and garlic and saute until they begin to tenderize and onions turn translucent. This may take a little while, due to the large amount of veggies. 

Step 2: Add chili powder, cumin and basil and stir for another 2-3 minutes. 

Step 3: Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Add salt and Trinidad marinade. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Serve warm! Refrigerate remaining soup for delicious leftovers.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Decadent Sunday Breakfast!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I know I haven't been posting very often, but that's going to change very soon. I have a couple of recipes that are still waiting to be posted and a few that I'm planning for the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out for a yummy veggie soup recipe that I'm going to cook tonight!

The recipe I'm sharing right now was an unplanned, impromptu experiment that ended deliciously. After writing a post on the health benefits of dark chocolate for the Barre Blog, I have been trying to incorporate a little bit of it into my diet. I am by no means a chocolate lover. In fact, up until about a year ago, I could not even tolerate the taste of the mildest of chocolates. However, taste buds change as you get older, and I can now say that I can TOLERATE it. Thus, a tiny square of 70% extra strong dark chocolate each evening is all I need! I'm in no danger of becoming a "chocolate addict" as I still don't remotely crave the universally loved sweet, but I can at least reap the health benefits of this little superfood.

To make the chocolate experience a bit more tasty, I decided to try incorporating it into a healthy, energizing breakfast! Since peanut butter and chocolate is such a classic combination and oatmeal is a classic breakfast food, why not put them all together? The result was a satisfying breakfast that is quick to make and weighs in at around 275 calories with about 10g of protein and only 4 grams of sugar!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
By Caroline Mac

1/4 c quick cooking, steel-cut oats
3/4 c water
1 T crunchy all natural peanut butter (you can use creamy, but I prefer the texture)
1 square of extra strong dark chocolate (I used 1/16 of a bar of Chocolove 70%)
Cinnamon to taste

I didn't think to take a pic until it was almost gone!

Step 1: Bring water to a boil. Add oats, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly.

Step 2: When oatmeal begins to thicken, add cinnamon and peanut butter. Stir until incorporated.

Step 3: When oatmeal has just about reached your desired consistency, add chocolate and stir until it has melted into the oatmeal.

Step 4: Serve warm.


Want to brush up on your dark chocolate knowledge? Check out my "What's Inside" post about cocoa (the main ingredient in chocolate) on the Barre Blog to see why it's actually good to have some in moderation!