spice up your life sandwich

Today, I wanted a sandwich for lunch. But not just any sandwich, oh no. I wanted a kick in the pants, spicy-savory sandwich! I took a gander at what the fridge had to offer, brainstormed like a lightening bolt, got busy, and not too long after came up with this little beauty. BEHOLD! The Spice Up Your Life Sandwich! Also known as Curry Tempeh Sandwich with Spicy Hummus and Spinach.

Now for the story behind the photo:

I started off making some spicy hummus. I tossed some garbanzo beans, garlic cloves, toasted red hot chili peppers, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, and sea salt into the amazing food processor, and let it do it’s magic. After some minor adjustments (more salt, more lemon juice) the hummus was pretty freaking tasty.

Next was curry tempeh time! Curry tempeh time is fun because it’s quick and easy…and delicious! I sauteed some tempeh slices in curry powder, cracked black pepper, and grapeseed oil until they were nice and brown on both sides.

Now to assemble the sandwich. I toasted a couple slices of quality whole grain bread, slathered the spicy hummus on both sides, laid down the curry tempeh, and followed suit with sliced roma tomatoes, onions, and spinach leaves.

Great success! I got the kick in the pants I was looking for, but it wasn’t overpowering (thanks to the presence of the cool spinach and tomatoes).

Perhaps soon we will get in the habit of measuring when we cook, so that we can share recipes with you! : )

baby arugula, walnut, and roasted beet salad

There has been a crime at the BEST residence, and we need your super sleuth skills to help us find the culprit. The corpse seemed to be cut up and arranged with some baby arugula, toasted walnuts, and tossed carelessly in a lime-sesame oil dressing. We sampled the remains of the beets in their arugula arrangement, and it was all quite tasty!

This is the scene of the crime. It looks like the poor vegetables were butchered here. It seems that their skins were peeled off and then they were sliced up by some sicko with maniacal intentions. Like salad.

We found this photograph on a discarded camera, but can’t seem to identify the assassin. The purp seems to be laughing at us, probably proudly displaying the gruesome remains of its poor victims. Can you help us solve this crime?

happy jef-day! (field trip: andy nguyen)

Hip hip hooray, for Jef-Day! Jef entered his twenty-fourth year of living the dream on the twenty-third of February. And what better way to celebrate his Double Dragon Birthday than to eat some toothsome vegan grub?!

For Birthday-Lunch, I took Jef to Andy Nguyen, our favorite Buddhist-Asian restaurant, only a short walk away from the BEST residence. It’s so zen and peaceful inside, and if you look closely you can find some very monkish appearing folks! The food here is nutritiously delicious, an abundance of vegetables cooked up in ambrosial sauces.

We started off with a huge boat of food, also known as the appetizer sampler. Unfortunately we were so ravenous that we pretty much devoured the whole thing before it dawned on me that we didn’t take a picture of it! The appetizer sampler consisted of fresh spring rolls, fried spring rolls, fried okra, sweet-chili marinated veggies, and some other really delicious and foreign whatchamacallit that I can’t quite explain besides with YUM! This was all accompanied by an array of delectable dipping sauces.

Since we are food monsters, after grubbing on the appetizer sampler, we ordered the Dragon Clay Pot (a mixture of veggies, mushrooms, and tofu in a vegan oyster sauce) and Pad Thai (for some noodle-y fun!).  SCUMPTIOUS! Every time we eat here, I am inspired by how fresh, clean, and flavorful their food is, and this trip was no exception. I tip my hat to you, Andy Nguyen!

Later on, Jef was surprised with a Chocolate Midnight Cake that was baked in our local vegan bakery/restaurant Sugar Plum Vegan. It was so rich and chocolaty, I don’t know why anyone would eat anything else! Ever! We are very blessed to live within walking distance to a vegan bakery… go Midtown! Hooray for Jef-Day!

soy chorizo quesadilla

When my tummy is growling and I am short on time (or patience!) one of my favorite quick-easy-really-friggin-tasty dishes to make is a soy chorizo quesadilla. We get these amazing whole wheat tortillas from the co-op that taste fantastic just by themselves, but even better when sandwiched between them are soy chorizo, scallions, tomatoes, avocado, and arugula! You can get soy chorizo at most grocery stores now, but make sure that you are buying soy products that say they are GMO-free (free of genetically modified organisms) because GMOs are spooky! If you don’t know about these frightening “organisms” yet, do your homework!

This quesadilla takes probably less than five minutes to make, and depending on my degree of hunger (in this case it was third-degree-hunger…pretty high up there on the hunger scale!) I will use one or two tortillas, since the tortillas are pretty dense. In my cast iron skillet on high heat, I lay down one tortilla and then top it with soy chorizo, tomatoes, and scallions. I lay the other tortilla on top and cook one side for a minute or two, and then I carefully flip this monstrous-being-that-is-a-quesadilla and cook the other side for a couple of minutes, just enough to brown the tortilla and heat up the insides.

Next, I take the beast off the heat and add avocado and arugula inside, as well as a nice simple seasoning of sea salt and cracked black pepper. I admire it for a moment, in all of it’s beauty, and then DEVOUR! YUMYUMYUM!

Some nutritional highlights of a couple of ingredients in this quesadilla are:

  • Soy Chorizo (Tofu/Soy): A very good source of protein, which contains all of the essential amino acids that the body needs daily. Not only this, but soy products are high in iron, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, and more! In numerous studies, soybeans have been shown to inhibit and suppress the growth of tumor cells, lower cholesterol, regulate and stabilize estrogen levels, help retain bone mass, boost the immune system, reduce hypertension, and improve digestion. They should be renamed SUPER BEAN!
  • Arugula: Helps to normalize body acids with its high alkalinity and can be used to treat acidosis. Some key nutrients in arugula are fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, etc etc.
  • Whole Wheat: Tasty and a nutritional powerhouse that is high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, folate, magnesium, and manganese.
  • Avocados: Are good for the nerves, fatigue, hypoglycemia, and urinary tract infections. They are high in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin D (who needs sunshine!?!), calcium, sodium, folate, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B3, copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc. They are an good way for vegans to get their healthy monounsaturated fats, and an easy way to make a dish satisfying and delicious.