Tag Archives: dinner

My delicious adventures in homemade vegan sushi

I’ve been making sushi. No bamboo roll mat needed, no fish, just fresh rice, avocado, sesame seeds, wasabi, seaweed sheets and a lot of love!


These maki rolls are delicious, healthy, affordable, cruelty free and fun to make.

I bought a package of 10 roasted sushi sheets at my supermarket for about two bucks. I bought a bag of my favorite rice, some rice wine vinegar, wasabi, some sesame seeds and the rest is just your fillings.


Don’t put hot rice on your seaweed sheets, wait for it to be room temperature and then spread it on the seaweed sheet with a plastic spoon.


I added some rice wine vinegar to my rice and stirred it in. You leave the top inch with no rice so you can spread some water on it with fingers as you roll up.


You put your fillings in the middle and roll. I got it on my first try but they say it takes practice. So easy, delicious and super healthy!


I discovered how to do this by watching YouTube videos by High Carb Hannah and Cheap Lazy Vegan. Love both those channels!

It’s a great vegan lunch or dinner, and so fun to make! I’ve made these sushi rolls twice now and they were delicious until the last piece! I drink a cold homemade elderflower Italian soda with my vegan sushi.


xxSerena

Vegan meat and potato dinner

I made seitan from scratch the other day. I had watched the documentary called “Cowspiracy” and thought it was so motivating! 

So here’s my recipe for chunky potatoes with meat n onions; vegan style! 

Boil diced potatoes and add spinach: 


I wanted Asian flavours so I added Braggs amino acids (soya sauce), rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar.


I cooked that together covered for about 10 minutes under low heat.


Then I fried my seitan, diced, with diced onions and some all of oil and water. 

The “meat” has a spicy flavor, good meaty consistency and goes well with the potatoes and onions and spinach.

It might not look like much but I’m proud of myself for making it and truly enjoying it! 


I made my meat from scratch! 

Have you ever tried seitan? Do you think you would like it? 

xxSerena 

Asian-style marinated chicken with Chinese rice 

My third chicken marinade is Asian style! This marinade has Sirracha (hot), soya sauce (salt), a dash of fish sauce (ferment), rice wine vinegar (sour), sesame oil (flavour) and sweet chili sauce (sweet)!


Does chicken with rice, which I made using Asian spices.


I diced the chicken and pan fried it until fully cooked in some olive oil.



Was totally delicious! 

xxSerena 

Marinated chicken with potatoes 

In accordance with my marination series I will now announce my second marinade! 

It is garlic herb seasoning and extra virgin olive oil. 


It wasn’t bad. I could definitely taste the marinade because I left it on overnight and it was very garlicky.

This time I decided to boil some diced red potatoes to eat with the chicken.


I decided to cook some diced onions, add the chicken and then eat over the boiled potatoes. I did need to add some mustard and sweet chili sauce for chicken. 

I diced the chicken too: 


Turned out pretty good. In the middle of my cooking, I got a very exciting package from FedEx, delivered priority overnight:


But that’s a tale for another day. Let’s get back to that chicken, shall we?!?


So filling. Totally boring compared with all the yummy stuff out there but it’s lean, helps muscle growth and aids fat loss! 

xxSerena 

Easy classic chili recipe 

Everyone loves chili.

If you’re vegetarian or just want a break, just omit the meat and add chopped fresh peppers, portobello mushrooms, or … What else would go well in a steaming hot bowl of delicious and healthy chili? Leave a comment and let me know!

Note please, this recipe has beans in it so if you are a purist than stay away from this recipe. Don’t look!

Ingredients:

1-1.5 lbs ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 pack chili seasoning mix
1 can passata or diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 can corn

Directions:

  1. Brown beef and onions together. Medium high heat.
  2. Add can and jar of tomato sauce, drained beans, seasoning pack, mushrooms, corn and water.
  3. Simmer for one hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Low heat. Covered.

And voila! This chilli can last the week in the fridge but it probably won’t last that long because it is so delicious. It will get better with time because the flavours will begin to combine and the chili will thicken. Great toppings for this is plain Greek yogurt, sour cream, cheese, chopped green onion or hot sauce.

Calories? This chili has about 250 calories per cup, loads of fibre from the beans and corn, about 22 grams of protein, about 9 grams of fat and about 23 grams of carbohydrate.

Brown beef and onions over medium/high heat for about 10-15 minutes until all beef is cooked. If you wish drain some fat after this step. All photography in this blog by @serenapeace (Instagram)
I used this seasoning packet but you don’t have to! Use a mixture of 1 teaspoon cumin powder, one teaspoon red chili powder, one teaspoon minced garlic and one teaspoon ginger if you like instead! If you want a smoky taste, you can also add liquid smoke or Worcestershire sauce (a teaspoon of each or more to taste!)
Love the simple directions to make chili on the back! Even though this packet said hot and spicy it wasn’t especially hot or spicy but added a great flavor to the chili!
I use one can of diced tomatoes and one jar of spaghetti sauce in my pot of chili. I add water to the jar/can and swish it around to get the last bits of tomato into the chili! Add more beans or different beans if you wish here! I also add one can of canned corn. Notice the face of a murderer in the background since I love to watch Dateline with Keith Morrison as I cook!!
MMMMmmm mushrooms. If you don’t like, add peppers. I like mushrooms!
Canned diced tomatoes work the best in chili for some reason.
First time using a flavor packet; I’m glad I did! Taste was awesome.
After half an hour of cooking. Still not ready but I couldn’t resist a taste at this point.

I topped mine with Greek yogurt but try sour cream or cheese if you wish!

 

 


The chili will thicken as it stands so it would also be delicious over rice or pasta.


Let me know how you like it!

xxSerena

Turkish soup & salad healthy lunch 

This lunch, ordered in, looked so good I had to let’s you guys peek. Sometimes you feel like taking a break from meat, keeping it plant-based and vegetarian. 

Here’s the order: 

  
Lentil soup, which came with bread, and a Mediterranean salad. Here’s what it look like when it arrived: 

  

Turkish food delivery. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Here’s what it look like after unwrapping:

 

Red lentil soup and Mediterranean salad. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Looks so delicious my mouth is watering. Here’s a close-up of the salad:

 

Mediterranean salad. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
What is your favorite soup and salad combo?

xxSerena 

Why are some people eating scuttlebutt and what is it?

Apparently scuttlebutt is in season right now. What is it you ask? It’s a delicious sandwich of course!

  
Here is what one half of the scuttlebutt looks like:

 

One half of scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Not long after it’ll look like a crazy mess in your hands. But from what I have heard, and they are good sources, all is good in scuttlebutt heaven. 

 

Someone is now getting into the scuttlebutt. Photography and eating by Rizwan Alvi
 
In fact, I am surprised I got these pictures at all. You know how it is sometimes – so busy eating don’t have the energy to take a picture.

 

Inhalation of the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
One final picture of messy but delicious scuttlebutt:

 

Polishing off the scuttlebutt. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

 
Have you ever tried scuttlebutt? Have you ever heard of it? Would you like to try one day?

xxSerena 

Stuffed baked portobello mushrooms recipe

I love stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms hold stuffing really well and to be honest I love stuffed fish, stuffed cabbage, stuffed pastry, the list goes on and on. I like something delicious inside  something already delicious! Anyways I’ll stop the ramble before this gets off-topic. Back to my stuffed Portobello mushrooms.

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms ready to enjoy, hot out of the oven. Photography by Serena Alibhai
This recipe makes two stuffed mushrooms. For a dinner of two you can serve this as the main course along with a side of salad, pasta or potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Half teaspoon hemp heart seeds
Half a small red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fry onion with salt and oil for five to 8 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. In a bowl combine yogurt, Parmesan, hemp seeds, salsa and cooked onions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fill portobello mushroom caps. Place a tiny bit of olive oil under each mushroom cap before placing on cookie sheet or foil.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Portobello mushrooms. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed and baked. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Tender, great flavor and delicious. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
They were delicious. And very filling. Check out this link for some nutritional facts for portobello mushrooms:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9170/2

Do you like mushrooms? Have you ever made stuffed mushrooms? How do you make them?

xxSerena

Tomato pimento cheese sandwiches

Post workout can feel that you want to eat big, high protein and high carb. 

Today after my post workout fitness class, I taught a Tred n shred class at the gym, I was craving tomato and cheese sandwiches.

So I bought some bread that was relatively high in protein and fiber:

  
You can use any kind of sliced cheese. I used the pimento cheese that I make. I wrote a blog about it, so check it out. Cheese on both sides of the bread. Tomato in the middle.

   
 The trick to slicing the tomatoes is to do it thinly. And season your tomatoes with salt and pepper:

  
And voilà! A great post workout vegetarian sandwich. Tomato and pimento cheese on whole grain bread.

  
What are some of your favorite vegetarian sandwiches? What is your favorite version of a tomato and cheese sandwich?

xxSerena

Can drinking soup help you lose weight?

Soup and salad seem to be those side foods, don’t they? We don’t take them seriously. They aren’t mains. They’re a ‘by-the-way’ kind of afterthought like that hard roll we may or may not eat. Kind of like previews to the movie. Not totally satiating but more mildly interesting – sometimes good but mostly just watery stuff that needs more salt or pepper.

I’ve been drinking various soups all week and I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying it.

 

Cream of cauliflower soup. Photography by Serena Alibhai

   
Certain soups, however, are high in fat-burning veggies, the broth contains the vitamins and minerals needed to help fight disease and ever notice how much soup can fill you up?

Recent research shows that eating soup can curb appetite, making you feel full faster. It’s also a good way to get in nutrient dense foods, those foods that are high in nutrients per calorie. Much different from simple foods that may be high in sugar, simple carbs like white flour, oil or salt. Those foods are high on immediate flavor but once they satisfy your tongue aren’t doing much for all the complex processes your body needs nutrients to perform.

How can you make a basic delicious vegetable soup?

Start with a base of spices and veggies to set the flavor foundation. So in a large pot cook dry spices or herbs of your choice with diced onion, carrot and celery. The spices I like are dry crushed thyme, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, a small stick of cinnamon, a couple of cloves, a couple of cardamom pods, salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic pepper or herbs de Provence. Then add about two liters of cold filtered water and a vegetable or chicken bullion (stock or flavor) cube.

Then add what veggies you like such as chopped broccoli, diced squash, cauliflower, spinach, etc. Here are some more ideas of what you can add to your nutrient dense healthy vegetable soup:

Powerhouse-Fruits-and-Veggies

The higher the nutrient density score on that list, the higher the nutrients per calorie of food. But everything on that list is super nutrient dense and if you’re eating a grapefruit a day then you’re on your way to increasing nutrient dense healthy foods into your diet! I always remember a conversation I overheard I heard once in a busy ferry station on the way to Staten Island. A very lean and muscular fitness trainer was telling the guys who worked at the snack store about healthy eating habits. I always remember he said “Oh and I do this – Eat a grapefruit every day!” A citrus fruit high in antioxidants and vitamin C, in my opinion, is a great addition to any diet.

I’ve been choosing to add more soup and salad to my diet this week and I notice how much better it makes me feel. It’s less heavy than many of the “main” options, easy to make and I notice how full I get as opposed to when I eat more sugary/doughy foods, which after eating, I feel like still eating!

Do you like soup and salad? What kinds? Would you consider having a soup or salad as a main course at least once a week or do you already eat that way?

xxSerena