7 posts categorized "Eats"

12 February 2013

In The Kitchen: Vegetarian Sausage


I came across this video yesterday for Vegetarian Sausage while doing a search for breakfast sausages on Youtube. Doesn't this look exactly like a real sausage? You'll never guess what it is!

Wait for it....

Wait for it...


It's Oatmeal! Can you believe it!

The recipe is really simple and it tastes pretty good too. It did taste a little unfamiliar to me I must say, of course the texture was a little different but the spices aren't familiar to what I'm use to in a sausage. I'll have to play around with different spices until I get something that I like as it relates to having a permanent sausage replacement. The spices I'm about to include below weren't horrible, just as it relates to making something that will mimic meat in a way that I'm use to I think I'll see if I can get that flavor otherwise this will do it just fine for me. Also my goal was to create a vegan sausage but I hadn't had an official meal for the day and didn't feel like trying to wrap my brain around what I could use instead of the egg so I went with the egg. I'll do an updated recipe once I try a veganized version.

Enough of my chatter, here is the recipe:


Makes 4 Large Patties


1 cup uncooked oatmeal
2 eggs  (can use an egg replacer to make these vegan)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 – 3 cups vegetable stock

Mix all ingredients except the vegetable stock and form into four patties. Place canola oil in a frying pan, just slightly more than you'd use to coat the pan. Iif you are using a non-stick pan feel free to use just enough to coat the pan, cook over medium heat.

In a pot large enough to hold your four patties, add your vegetable stock and bring it to a boil, reduce heat, place your patties into the stock and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove patties from the liquid and drain them to remove any excess liquid. Once the patties are drained, re-browning the patties and serve.  If you do not plan on serving these right away. Hold off on re-browning them until you are ready to cook and serve them They will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. 

Be sure to pack your patties tight enough so that they don't fall enough, but not o tight that the liquid isn't able to reach the center of the patty. I packed my patties a little too tightly and had a few dry spots, it didn't take away from the flavor but made it a little dry.

Enjoy and if you like them, let me know in the comments! Also if you'd like a visual step by step, check out the youtube video. The particular vid I'm sharing uses the same technique but added more spices so you may judge which would be most to your liking or do like myself and add the seasonings you'd most associate with meat sausages:




16 January 2013

Eats: Sawatdee

Sawatdee is a Thai Restaurant in Philadelphia that I have come to learn. Now let me say one thing about me is when it comes to restaurants, I am truly a creature of habit. So I've only tried one entree here but I can vouch for all of their soup offerings, I've gotten the vegetarian version of three different kinds and all were good and I've tried there crispy tofu appetizer which was bland but good. I had this particular appetizer at another Thai restaurant and it was bland there also so I believe that's just the nature of it and the sauce is what makes up for the blandness.


Ok so onto the food, as you can see I almost forgot to take the pic to blog this so there is a half eaten spring roll pictured, The soup is the Kaeng-Jeud-Tao-Hoo which is Tofu, Napa cabbage, Shitake mushrooms, celery and scallions all in a clear broth. And I am not able to speak the language so I apologize for not knowing and point to the pic, I figure if I go a few more times I'll be able to actually pronounce what it is I'd like to order.


Next to the soup is Por-Peah_Taud which as I'd mentioned is a spring roll and it actually has a lot of the same ingredients as the soup, very tasty but reminds me more of a thinner egg roll than a spring roll, which is not the impression I typically get when eating a spring roll. And not a bad thing at all.



The main entree is Choo Chee Pla w hich is pan fried tilapia with choo chee curry, coconut milk and baby bok choy.....sooooooooo good! I love this dish I keep trying to think of ways I can make this at home but don't even want to bother because I need it to come out exactly the way this dish does when I visit Sawatdee. It comes with a side of jasmine rice and as you can see the coconut milk sauce looks almost like a soup under the fish yet it doesn't take away from the crisp of the fish at all, all of the flavors combine wonderfully and while I need to see if I can locate a calorie count for this meal, pretty good portion and hip friendly for me. When I eat this meal it usually fills me also to the point that I'm not interested in eating dinner I'll have some fruit or a smoothie or something. I should say when I've had it I think this was only my 3rd time having it but again I say I love it. I think I'll at least try a version of this at home, something with coconut milk and tilapia with the mind frame that it's not going to taste like Sawatdee's, enjoy it for what it does taste like.




I think I'll at least try a version of this at home, something with coconut milk and tilapia with the mind frame that it's not going to taste like Sawatdee's, enjoy it for what it does taste like. Also I haven't asked but I think I'll ask if I could get the fish broiled or pan fried without the breading and see how I like it that way.


And hopefully I can get in there and try something different some day, when I do I'll share an update. No as a matter of fact I need to go with a friend that'll order something different and try their food first, yeah that's the ticket I'll bring a friend next time:)

If ever you're in Philly check this place out oh and before I sign off, all of this food only cost me $9.95! It's a 3 course lunch special



1501 South St.


03 January 2013

My new toy- Ninja Master Prep

So I went to Target on a mission earlier this week to buy my magic bullet and to my dismay, Target was all out!!! I stood in front of the empty self for about a good 10 minutes trying to figure out why the didn't have what I wanted, and how to rectify the situation. Also to look about a good 10 times more to ensure I wasn't overlooking it but nope they were out. All of the time that they lived there, this day they decided to be sold out. Mind you it was after Christmas so I knew exactly why yet this somehow wasn't completely acceptable to me.


I needed to get something then and there that day so that I wouldn't spend the gift card I'd received on something else and end up putting off this purchase any longer than I already have. I looked around and saw the Ninja, at the same price as the Bullet I thought this may work but I wasn't too keep about buying something for the same price without knowing much about it. In the end I got it remembering how good Target's return policy is. Got it home and let it rest until the next day when I'd go grocery shopping. I did a ton of smoothie prep once I got back from the market, I also made chickpea burgers, raw truffles and vegan mayo with my new Ninja (which reminds me, still have to get that vegan post up!) I fell in love on the spot. I wasn't able to make my smoothie until the next day when I had everything frozen and when I got the opportunity to do so I wasn't disappointed.


One thing that I love about the Ninja that I wouldn't have received if I purchased the bullet, are two containers, both with blades. So I have a big container for bigger jobs and a small one for smaller jobs. I can use it as a blender, chopper, and food processor and I can utilize the containers as containers by utilizing the lids that came with the product. NinjaproThen another thing I like about this product is the fact that the blades are removable, which I've found makes for very easy clean up. The power that you see pictured at the top is also removable which allows me to use it on either sized container. And the blades are uber sharp, proven via my first boo boo when I was trying to clean it a little bit too well.


I took this pic from amazon, my Ninja is black but it's the exact same otherwise. Since I was in such a hurry to get this all purchased and do smoothie set up I didn't get any pics of what I did with it. I'll do a post when I do my meal prep for next week. I've never used the Bullet to compare, I wanted to get it because I'd always heard good things about it and I wanted something that would be easy to clean and allow me to do a smoothie a day if I chose to which is why I was disappointed that I couldn't get the Bullet because of all of the extra cups. Yet I'm happy with this purchase and glad they were out of what I really went for that day.


With that said I've already fallen off from what I'm seeking to do. I decided to get it in starting next week, this week is harder because I just got back to work from holiday vacay so I'm doing overtime. Tuesday night, the night I would have utilized to prep for the week I was sick, my guess partially due to the healthier changes and partially due to not getting in enough nutrients with my change. So this weekend I will be sitting down, writing out my exact needs based on the calorie count I've already shared with you guys here and I'll be prepping my meals for the entire week next week. On a good note I've been doing okay portion wise, made some foul choices due to availability but still stayed within a good range of calorie intake. Oh and as I knew it would be, it's difficult doing my smoothie a day in the morning so next week I'm committing to doing one a day at Dinner time. That fits right in with me being tired when I get home anyway but I'll still need to prep in this area for my daughter so I'll get that balance I need as I commit to the changes.


That's all for now folk, as a reminder or for anyone that did not see the post, I'm committing to losing 28 pounds via clean eating and so I needed a new blender to get in a green smoothie a day, a part of what will get me there. I've learned that much of the success of my current 40 pound lost is not begin on that scale, allowing my lifestyle change to truly develop in to a lifestyle. So with that said I'll be weighting myself once a month on the 5th of the month, at least approximately according to my daughter my scale is broken which isn't a bad thing but I'll wait until the 5th to test it to avoid the temptation of getting on in event it is just in need of a new battery as I suspect. And in between time I'll continue posting my progress and what I'm doing here on the blog.


Tata for now!

01 January 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

New year images


I hope that everyone had a blessed/safe celebration last night into today. And my prayers go out to each person reading this that God would keep and direct you throughout this year.


I'm a bit late with this post today as I've been under the weather all day long. As I mentioned in my last post, I don't typically do resolutions but I do find the new year to be the point in time in which my new beginnings begin so to speak and so last week I started drinking a green smoothie a day. It's been feeling so good planning and focusing on healthier eating that I've also jump started eating cleaner. What I'll need to work on, and this also happened last year when I became a vegan, is getting in enough calories. I'll typically eat three meals a day and snack when I feel hungry. Well after my meals it seemed as if hunger just would not subside and it dawned on me that I need to watch out for that again because I'm eating 3 meals of intentionally healthy foods and I say that because I try to eat healthy or balanced for the most part always yet the past couple of days have been nothing but healthy so my body missed some of the calories and fat it needed. Today I just woke up extra late as well, drank a smoothie and tried to figure out what else I'd eat with it. By the time I figured out what I wanted it was too late I was starving and then I don't think I got in enough yesterday so that carried over into today then my body is likely detoxing due to all of the healthy. So long story short I had a lovely migraine today that was quite sleep inducing but I'm thankful because I'm headed in the right direction and getting back to a healthier me. And I've realized, part of my reason for switching to veganism was due to wanting to adapt a  healthier eating plan without having to focus on calories fat etc. And that's with eating a healthy vegan diet in mind. I've learned that I still have to put in that effort in order to get in enough vs when I use to keep count to ensure I wasn't getting in too much.


It's for that reason that I'm not focusing in on losing 28 pounds and doing the meal planning/counting calorie thing. Within the year I've adapted enough that this won't have me feeling deprived, it'll just be the work of doing it. I'm considering planning by the month because it starts off well then ya just get tired of it, I do at least but I'll stick with weekly for now and grow from there:)


I'm excited in the short period I've re-invited green smoothies back into my life daily I'm already noticing the difference. Sickness aside I love how healthy eating benefits kick in rather quickly and I think that'll be the biggest benny for me on this journey.


I did some calculations and if I eat a diet of 1367 calories a day I can lose 2 pounds weekly, that'll allow me to lose yet still stay in a healthy range. If I do this, I'll get to goal by April 5th. This calorie count seems pretty low to me the lowest I've done I think is 1700 BUT I've also lost 40 pound already so that's why I was given the number that I was and so what I'm thinking is aim for this but if I wanted to I could eat 1867 and still lose 1  pound a week. My focus will be more so on not being hungry than trying to lose x amount of pounds but if I can survive off of the 1367 than I will go with that number. Not interested in getting back into diet mode and part of my success from losing this past year is that I wasn't putting in this type of focus so will absolutely seek to balance it all out.


That's it for now folks, I'll be back later in the week to speak on my vegan experience, more on what I'm doing to lose and the Ninja that I brought when Target didn't have the Magic Bullet I went to purchase and I'm so glad they didn't because I love this thing!

Grace & Peace, oh one more thing I don't plan on weighing myself not until about a month so I'll blgo about experience but will have an update on what I've loss thus far let's say around Feb 2nd.


27 December 2012

A Smoothie a day keeps the Dr. Away

Hi Everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas. I still cannot believe it's that time of year already and the day has come and gone and we're headed towards the new year!

Now I'm not typically one for new years resolutions but I've noticed for some odd reason when I "get it together" it's typically done at least to some degree of permanent change, in January. In January 2012 I decided to become a vegan which I'll post a blog with an update on that topic some Magicbullettime next week. My focus for January 2013 is to get back to drinking a smoothie a day, a nice habit I picked up when I became a vegan last year but got out of the habit of when my old individual blender had to be thrown out, well the cup part of it. So I'm on my way to Target shortly to invest in a Magic Bullet. So happy I can do this right now thought I'd have to wait a few weeks but was blessed with a Target gift card so I'm going to make that move.


With my old blender I'd take everything with me to work and get ice from the cafeteria, I think this time around since I'll have the extra cups, I'll set everything up for the week and make my smoothie to take with me then eat something an hour or two after  I get to work.


One of the reasons I'd decided to become a Vegan was for the purpose of losing weight. Figuring if I made a lifestyle change vs trying to focus on what I will or will not eat than I'll be successful and I was right but again I'll speak more on that experience next week. I will just add that I've lost 40 pounds thus far without feeling as though I was trying to lose, and now I feel comfortable with setting a short term goal of losing 28 pounds, that will get me out of the 200 mark. I'm still avoiding the diet mentality/feeling but I am making more conscious efforts so that the weight isn't coming off as slowly as I've been allowing myself to lose it. After losing the 28 I'll then think about rather I'll continue focusing or if I'll get back to eating what I what while making healthy choices. The difference is by me focusing I'll avoid certain foods and ensure I'm only eating x amount of calories and fat. Since my lifestyle change there are things I'll naturally gravitate to that are healthier which again was my goal but there are still plenty of fattening options out there that the old me loves to gravitate to so giving myself the needed balance to get to the end goal.


To make it official, I'm pulling out the old school tracker to keep up with my results, well old school to me, not sure if people are still using it:)



Lastly let me say I didn't lose 40 pounds this year but over several. I'd loss some weight a few years ago but gained most back, kept off about 15 and then loss 25 this year so still not too shabby but as it relates to changing my lifestyle vs dieting I am losing slower. Yet those 25 again was without a concious effort and strickly based off of choices. I've gained small amounts of weight back and just weight myself the other day to see what I'd gained and came to find I'd lost about 8 pounds so this needless to say is working for me and I'll explain what I've been doing next week!


*Sorry about any typos, don't think typepad is catching everything and I have to run, will update any later!!*

19 October 2012

The Brown Betty Cookbook - Reading, Discussion & Signing

I got the opportunity to attend the cookbook signing of one of my favorite cupcake boutiques, Brown Betty. I'm a wee bit slow, I knew I wouldn't be able to purchase the book at the time, but I wasn't really paying attention to the fact that it was a book signing and I would be there without a book. Thankfully being the pros that they are, the mother/daughter owner duo treated me with complete hospitality and made sure I was fed. I was tempted to invite myself over for thanksgiving! I already know the dessert is good and they like to feed folks, sounds like kin to me!


At any rate here are a few pics from the event that I'll let speak for themselves. I got a good blogger 101 lesson, I did not take a pic of the two owners and other activity in the store so I know for next time!!



Beautiful Logo outside of Brown Betty Dessert Boutique




Window decor, love the colors




Family wall, BB is great at adding little details that communicates their brand.




Love t his wall, the artwork was done by Andrea of Fly (flygirls.typepad.com)




Table displaying the cookbook, a feature in Philly Style mag and the woman who motivated the start of this company Grandma (or mom depends on whose talking) Betty.



More display, this cake is a display of the type of work that BB is dishing out.




The goods and the cookbook, the cookies are the one thing on this table I did not try but the cupcakes and cakeballs pictured were yummy!




Now that I realize I truly tasted everything but the cookies I feel greedy LOL. However I can say i t was all good and found a new favorite at BB's the cheesecake brownies.



If you are ever in Philadelphia (or if you already live here) be sure to visit one of Brown Betty's two locations in Northern Liberties or Center City. You can find more information about the business at www.brownbettydesserts.com

12 October 2012

Eats-Federal Donuts

So when I first heard of Federal Donuts, it was a yet to be opened restaurant with a South Philly address. The furthest I get in South Phil typically is South St. So I knew it would be a minute before I tried this spot. Federal Donuts is a restaurant that defines keeping things simple offering only three products, Fried Chicken (Korean Style), Coffee, and Donuts.


When FedNuts (as it's affectionately called) first opened, I was still a meat eater, needless to say now I am not. It's funny when I think about my semi-disappointment based on this fact I remind myself I can eat meat any time I'd like, I just don't want to. And I don't even have an urge to go back to meat eating so much as I do recognize some things that are now going to be missed....nevertheless when I learned FedNuts would be opening a Center City location I was excited to finally have an opportunity to try the donuts.  FednutsWhen I first arrived I admit I had a little bit of 1st time there anxiety. Something about going to a popular place that makes you just want to be able to blend right on in and not look like a goofball basically (oh pride why do you show your face in the most minor areas!). Well got over that quick and had the nice young lady behind the counter help me out. The donuts were in a display under the counter and once I was told what each donut was, I settled with the Butter Pecan.


At first bite I was reminded of reviews that I'd read that warned the donuts were just mildly sweet. Not sure if I like  or dislike that. The pic to your left is covered in the butter pecan goodness so to give a better idea, the style of donut is like the tasty cake box donuts that have a powered, plain, and chocolate option vs that which you'd buy from Krispy Kreme. So I'm thinking I'd like at least the level of sweetness you'd get from a tasty cake plain. Nevertheless the covering of this particular donut made it a perfect balance, if the donut was sweeter I may have been on sugar overload.


Butter Pecan wouldn't be my 1st choice in things I want to eat but it stood out to me when I ordered so I purchased it and was pleased and I believe that a person that goes gaga over some Butter Pecan ice cream for example, would love this donut, if you're mildly a fan of BP you'll enjoy it and of course if you can't stand BP, try something else this isn't for you:).


I'm looking forward to going back and trying other flavors, this was a quick run in after lunch and run back to the office because you're almost out of lunch hour run vs a hmmm let me buy a few donuts so that I can review them on my blog run. So next time I'll have more options to review and I'll take the kid with me so that she can tell you guys about the chicken.