Tag Archives: vegetarian

Zucchini lasagna 

Today I found a bag of small beautiful zucchini for one dollar. Don’t ask me how it was done, this was a blessing and I don’t want to jinx it.

I had some staples cheese, tomato sauce, onion, spices and some turkey sausage so I thought… Zucchini lasagna. No pasta just thinly sliced zucchini as noodles. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350° and it was so good. If you want to keep it vegetarian leave out the turkey and add mushrooms, peppers or corn.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 zucchinis, cut the tips off, slice longitudinally
Half a jar tomato sauce.
Three turkey sausages, casings removed.
One onion, diced
Spices: turmeric, Greek seasoning, garlic aoli granules, pinch hot chili flakes, S&P

Directions:

  1. Clean zucchini, cut off ends and slice longitudinally
  2. Diced onion and cook with turkey sausage under medium heat with turmeric, salt, Greek spices for ten minutes. Add tomato sauce & simmer.
  3. Coat bottom of the glass dish with tomato sauce or half a teaspoon olive oil. Lay slices of zucchini, layer the tomatoes sausage onion mixture, cheese and then another layer of zucchini the opposite way from before. Keep stacking and layering. Topped with tomato sauce and cheese on top.

Zucchini lasagna!!! It was so delicious 🤗👌🏼❤️‼️😁

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 

How to make seitan and what is it? 

Seitan is a popular meat substitute that you can make easily in your own kitchen. Why would you want to? Because eating meat is taxing on the environment. 

It’s popular with vegans, delicious, and super high in protein. Basically seitan is vital wheat gluten. So it’s all gluten! And what is gluten? It’s flour with all the starch removed. Gluten free flour? It’s flour with only starch and all the protein removed.

It is very low in fat, about 1.9 g per 100 g serving. It is very high in protein, about 75 g out of 100 g serving.

So it has the same make up as a lean protein except meat protein has L lysine and seitan does not. So it’s not considered a complete protein. But no worries. You can get L lysine from a number of different sources, including plant-based sources. Mung bean sprouts and most fruits and vegetables have lots.

How do you make seitan? 

Ingredients: 

1 cup vital gluten flour

1 cup vegetable broth 

2 tablespoons Herbs and spices 

Directions: 

  1. Mix flour with broth. Add herbs. Knead for two minutes. Dough should be puffy and stringy.
  2. Pull apart into three equal sized pieces and flatten out into round patties.
  3. Bring to boil in vegetable broth and herbs. Turn heat down to lowest setting. Cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Freeze unused cooled portions in broth for up to six months.
  5. Fry seitan in some oil with onions and use in a recipe as you would meat.

See the next blog on how to eat in a recipe! 

xxSerena 

Loving the vegetable pho soup 

It’s filling, gluten free, vegetarian and tastes fresh! It’s vegetable pho and it’s important that you find one that you like. 

Since good authentic pho isn’t easy to make, (often broth takes hours to make and the consistency of noodles can be finicky) I think it is important for you to find a good vegetable broth from a restaurant that you love!

I am so happy to say that I have found one. Other restaurants had broth with too much weird stuff in it, there was salad and cucumbers in my noodle soup, totally unacceptable!

But not this one.


And, did I mention that this restaurant is close to my house?

The broth was clear, delicious and fresh. Vegetables perfectly cooked. Very fresh. And a great selection. I got carrots, onion, broccoli, cabbage, Red peppers, celery … And the noodles were awesome.


Vegetables are nutrient dense foods, this soup filled me up. it was totally satisfying. And the best part? This huge bowl of soup has 300 to 400 cal in total!

What is your favorite dish to order in a Vietnamese restaurant?

xxSerena

3 Day Juice Cleanse: what, why and results!

After a two of decadent vacations in NYC and Montreal, fiancé and I both felt we needed to give our digestive systems a break.

So we had our fill of black-and-white cookies, donuts, ice cream, poutine, Burgers and fries after midnight, donairs, chips, milkshakes, the odd salad here and there, bottles of wine in the park and desserts galore.

But after it was all said and done, summer officially wrapped up, the leaves started turning yellow, we both decided on a three day juice cleanse each.

Perfect way to start the fall season!

I decided to try the three day juice cleanse at Freshii, because I’m Canadian, and there was a convenient location on the way to work.

Here are some things that I had going for me before the juice cleanse that I recommend:

1. I had a partner to do it with. This helps with morale, motivation and understanding for both of you! It’s a great advantage.

2. I did some research about different juice cleanses in my area.

3. I researched what others had gone through on their cleanses.

So I called the Freshii located on the way to work the day before I wanted to pick up my juices. So exciting!

This cleanse is comprised of four juices, which you drink about 2 to 3 hours apart, water in between and then finally a metaboost salad.

Day one:

  • I drank my juice is in the order that I was supposed to. She had each juice numbered. I didn’t like any of the juices so I drink them quickly, rinsed out the glass with filtered water, drink that quickly and just kept peeing the whole day!
  • After my third juice my head started throbbing, I was getting irritated, hungry, a little slow, and experienced a foggy brain.
  • I drank as much water as I could, went shopping with a supportive girlfriend, and ate my first metaboost salad while she ordered a delicious beef udon soup from the food court!
  • She felt bad, but I told her not to! I knew what I was getting into, and I agreed to do this!
  • I really enjoyed the salad. It had field greens, kale, edamame, mango, goat cheese, almonds, carrots and a balsamic vinegrette.
  • I went to sleep fully hydrated but kind of hungry, wondering what I had gotten myself into.
drink juices every 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart in this order: green energy, carrots zinger, mighty detox, then red power. Photography by Serena Alibhai
approximately 600 cal, spinach, kale and field greens, goat cheese, mango, almonds, carrots, edamame, balsamic vinaigrette
Yes I used ALL the dressing! Salad was very good. Also it satisfied my hunger! 


Day two: 

  • I didn’t wake up feeling hungry. That was odd I thought. I sipped some water and waited a little longer to drink my first juice.
  • I was peeing more today. A lot. Like every two hours for sure. Maybe every hour and a half.
  • I continue to supplement my juices with a cool filtered water immediately after.
  • And then the miracle happens. My eyes become clear. I feel happy. There is extra energy in my step. The words come easy. No more brain fog. No more headaches.
  • The juices are tasting better now. Not like day one, where they were gross.
  • I eat the salad that evening with vigor. I love it.
I didn’t enjoy the juices enough to sip. I gulped them down! 
After drinking each juice, I filled up each container with cold filtered water, gave it a swish and drank that too! 


Day three:

  • I was very impressed with the way my waist looked and felt this morning!
  • I’m dreaming about what I’m going to eat tomorrow. I’m imagining vegetables in a clear broth with rice noodles.
  • For the third night in a row, I’ve had very vivid dreams, complex storylines, a lot of color, vibrancy, and I wake up feeling refreshed. My dreams are interesting movies that I even remember after I wake up!
  • At night I dream about cheating. I dream about eating real food. But instead, I drink water.

Final conclusions and realizations: 

  • Again? Yes, I would do this again. My body felt lighter, clean, better than before.
  • Vivid dreams? First, two days after, explained that one of the symptoms of a juice cleanse is a detoxification of the penial gland, deep inside the brain. This results in vivid clear dreams.
  • Weight loss? I lost five pounds, and so did my fiancée, on a different juice cleanse. But I don’t expect to keep that weight loss. What I loved though: I kept two pounds off a week later.
  • Cost? Was it worth it? This juice cleanse cost $80 for three days. Totally worth it. Convenient. Simple. Worked for me.

Feel free to ask questions you guys!!

xxSerena

Fat-burning cabbage vegetable kombu soup 

After a week of eating out, shovelling in the delicious savoury cooked delights that my city has to offer…

 

I decided I need a break.
When I’m serious about it, losing a few pounds and getting back to normal, I make either a mung bean lentil soup or a cabbage-based soup.

I decided to make a cabbage soup with a crown of broccoli, a chopped red onion, two strips of kombu, celery, carrots and some vegetable bouillon. 


I bought the seaweed in dried squares, added it into the soup like an herb bouquet, and then threw it out after it had been in the soup for a few hours.

Are used to to make my batch but I realize now that you only need one because it swells up and expands. The reason for the seaweed is that it adds great benefits to the broth.

The recipe is easy. I started with only a teaspoon of olive oil, chopped small red onion, 10 black peppercorns, about 10 fennel seeds and they cooked that for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then I added the chopped celery and carrot.


Then came the cabbage, broccoli and the water, of which I added enough to fill the pot, probably 8 to 10 cups.


Then I added the combo seaweed and one vegetable flavouring pack, in the form of a gel. 


I simmered the soup for 20 to 25 minutes and then added fresh herbs. I used thyme, sage, Italian parsley and some rosemary.


Drink as much soup as you can, exercise, sleep well, drink lots of water, go for massage and feel better!

xxSerena 

The benefits of eating a green salad every day

Salad greens provide fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain optimal health. 

Think of these simple green leaves as vitamins grown directly from the earth, up through the soil, made for humans and animals to eat.

You can dress it up or go the more plain route… But it is so good for your body if you eat a salad every day.

 

Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
  
 
Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
  
Photography by Serena Alibhai
 
For those of you who prefer more quantitative benefits here is a chart:

  
Do you eat a salad every day? What are your favourite kinds of salads?

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 

Making a cheese and tomato sandwich for work

In my quest for a good work sandwich, I wondered how to make a boring cheese and tomato sandwich more exciting and up to date. How will I make this tomato and cheese sandwich modern?

First, slice the flax bread.

   
 
And then one side gets sun-dried tomato and onion chutney and the other side gets fresh rosemary mayo.

Fresh rosemary Mayo is just ordinary mayo with finely chopped rosemary spread into it.

  
Then we add the layers. Finally sliced tomato. Aged cheddar cheese. Butter lettuce. Fresh basil leaves. Pea sprouts. And cucumber.

 
  
  
  
And then pack the sandwiches up nice and tight! To eat at work the next day.

   
 
What are your favorite sandwiches to make for work?

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