Meatless Monday/Traditional Tuesday – Sautéed Black Eyed Peas and Spinach 

Welcome to Tablespoonsandteaspoons first Meatless Monday post of 2017. As part of this week’s game plan, we will be exploring what is considered lucky New Year’s foods that is also beneficial for one’s health.  To start the year off, we will be working on another 5-ingredient dish that consists of two lucky foods that are also healthy: Black Eyed Peas and spinach. 
Black eyed Peas – are the creamed colored bean with a black speckle on it almost resembling an eyeball. Consumption of this bean is considered good luck according to a Southern food tradition.  For New Years, eating black eyed peas symbolizes coins, which brings in good luck and prosperity for the year. 

Consumption of black eyed peas also has several health benefits including: 

  • Improving digestion and preventing constipation due to its high dietary fiber content
  • May prevent anemia due to its high folate content, which is partly responsible to producing red blood cells
  • May lower blood pressure thus potentially lower the risk of heart disease due to its high potassium, which balances blood pressure. 
  • Helps protect vision and skin due to its high vitamin A content.

Spinach – is a vegetable that are relatives with Swiss chard, kale, .  Eating spinach or any greens on New Year’s is good luck because the green color resembles money. 

Consuming spinach has many healthy properties making it one of the best foods to consume to prevent and potentially treat illnesses. These include:

  • Cancer prevention due to its high antioxidant & anti-carcinogrnic properties, protects the cells from DNA damage and oxidative stress
  • Reduces inflammation associated with heart disease in the long run and due to its high antioxidant content.
  • Reduces cholesterol, improve circulation especially in blood vessels, and reduces blood pressure, 
  • Helps maintain a strong immune system thus reducing inflammation and protects eyes, skin and teeth. 
  • Helps protect against diabetes prior and even during diagnosis due to its protective steroid properties responsible for maintaining blood surgar levels in the body.
  • Preserve and even protect macular degeneration due to its high vitamin A and carotenoids content 
  • Maintain strong bone due to its high vitamin K content, which also helps blood clots and reduces inflammation.
  • Help prevent skin cancer 
  • Its high fiber content helps serves as a detox.
  • Protect and even reduce neurological damage 
  • Contains magnesium which help regulate and control nerves and muscular functions

Given these two lucky and yet very healthy foods, here is a recipe that would be considered lucky while promoting good health. 

Sautéed Black Eyed Peas and Spinach –

Serves at least 2

2 tablespoons of olive oil = 120 cal/tbsp.

1 tablespoons of minced garlic = 15 cal/tbsp.

1/2 red onion sliced = approx. 40 cal/100g

2 cups (32 tbsp.) spinach = 7 cal/16 tbsp. 

1 can (15 oz.) Eden Organic black eyed peas = 90 cal/8 tbsp.

1) Sauté oil, garlic and onion for approximately 5 min. 

2) Add spinach and stir until wilted (approximately 3-4 min).

3) Drain and rinse the canned black eyed peas (dried black eyed peas would be cheaper but due to time, we had to settle with the canned peas). Add them to the mixture. Stir until heated through. 

Ready to serve. 


    Sunday Game Plan – Happy New Year – 2017 Good luck meals 

    Happy New Year 2017! As we approach the one year anniversary of Tablespoonsandteaspoons, this experiential journey was filled with trials and errors, mastering food photography, extensive food and health research and experimenting dishes. 

    As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, we decided to prepare meals utilizing what is considered lucky foods to consume for the New Year. After evaluating the significance of the lucky foods, there were some health benefits in consuming them. 

    This time around we were lucky enough to prepare these meals successfully ahead of time. 

    The lucky foods to consume New Year’s include:

    Black Eyed Peas

    Spinach (Greens)

    Pork

    Udon (buckwheat noodles)

    Lentils

    Below is our successful Game Plan for New Year 2017. 

    In addition to the game plan, we prepared our traditional 13 round fruits, a Filipino tradition because 13 was considered a lucky number. 

    So excited to share our meals for New Years with all of you. 

    Cheers to a happy, healthy, properous and successful 2017! 

    Meatless Monday – Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    Recovering from yesterday’s holiday dinner, today I personally decided to eat my leftover brussel sprouts that were made in bulk using the recipe posted back in March. 

    Keep in mind that there will be a strong odor that is released when roasting brussel sprouts.  Leftover brussel sprouts can be consumed either hot or cold and a salad can be created.  Roasted brussel sprouts go well with other green vegetables such as kale or whole grains such as farro and quinoa.  Brussel sprouts’ versatility offers a wide variety of options as a side dish, main entree light healthy vegan dish or even a snack. 

    Christmas Day Game Plan

    On behalf of Tablespoonsandteaspoons we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Since Christmas is on a Sunday this year, we decided to devise a meatless game plan that is comforting yet luxurious.  This game plan is my contribution to this year’s family holiday dinner.  My cousin and aunt are handling the meat dishes. 

    Anyways, this year’s game plan includes the following: 

    – Roasted Brussel Sprouts 

    – Truffle Mustard Macraroni and Cheese (recipe from Food52)

    – Merlot Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

    We will elaborate on the recipe details during the last week of 2016.  Stay tuned. 

    Happy Thanksgiving 

    On behalf of Tablespoonsandteaspoons we want to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving. So thankful to God, family and supporters for the blessing and opportunity to share this journey with all of you.  

    Working on developing new ideas for the holiday posts coming up. Stay tuned. 

    Flashback Friday – Hair of the Dog 

    Happy Friday! Happy Candy Day! Today I am revisiting an afterwork Friday happy hour experience at the Lower East side sports bar called Hair of the Dog. This bar is part of a chain called NYC Best Bars is known for their happy hours and brunch. Happy Hour is half price of every drink at the bar until 8pm. For brunch they of “BYOC” Bring Your Own Coffee. 

    In addition to the happy hour offer, I had to experience the food. The menu had a great variety of bar food. I was there for a brief birthday party and I had dinner plans after so I only ordered one appetizer and their only dessert item on the menu.  

    For appetizers, I went with the combo of onion rings and Tater Tots ($7), portions were pretty big so it is great for sharing. Both tater tots and onion rings were crisp to perfection; the grease complemented and absorbed the vanilla vodka and ginger ale cocktail I had. 

    The bar menu only had one dessert, which was Deep fried oreos. Given that the other bars that is part of the chain offered Deep fried oreos, I had to order it. After consuming 2 cocktails the fried oreos definitely hit the spot and covered up somega evidence of my alcohol consumption. 

    After looking at this food picture, I did a little research on any healthier options to make these dishes. Below, are three reasons recipes I found online that I would like try: 

    Healthy version of Deep Fried Oreos: Baked “Deep Fried” Oreos

    Tater Tots using sweet potatoes (healthy alternative): Baked Sweet Potato Tater Tots plus Baked Onion Rings

    Stay tuned for updates. Also find me on Instagram (tablespoonsandteaspoons). 

    Throwback Thursday – National Sandwich Day

    Happy Thursday! First I want to congratulate the Chicago Cubs for finally breaking the curse and winning the World Series after 108 years. Anyways back to food it is National Sandwich Day. 

    As I was watching world series history, the commercial for Subway came up with their promotion of buy 1 sub and drink get 1 free sub.  With all due respect to the bargain eats and listing of calories promoted by Subway, I am going to share two different sandwich experiences. 

    Both sandwiches were purchased in the Financial District during lunch both were under $10 and it feels like eating a meal for two. Both sandwiches is a perfect quick meal as you consume protein, vegetables, with or without calcium and carbs in one shot. 

    The first sandwich I had was a vegetarian sandwich from Num Pang, a Cambodian sandwich shop. There are six locations throughout the city. The shop had a great variety of sandwiches along with rice balls and drinks such as watermelon juice and Vietnamese coffee. All their sandwiches consist of freshly made semolina or quinoa baguette with pickled carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and chili mayo.  One of their cheapest sandwiches that appeared to be healthy yet very tasty was their Spicy Organic Tofu ($7.95). The sandwich was freshly made and served warm. The sandwich had a perfect balance of the firm tofu and vegetables, well worth the price.

    Recently I was exploring Eater’s top 60 cheap eats in New York city right now. One of the restaurants listed was Grotto Pizzeria and Restaurant also located in the Financial District. This hole in the wall restaurant has been around since 1985. You have to go down a several stairs. As you enter the place looks like a regular pizza takeout spot where pizzas and sandwiches are separated and ordered separately. The guy behind the counter pointed me in the right direction to the sandwiches. I went with the sandwich suggested by Robert Sistema and Eater, which was the the sausage, broccoli Rabe and mozzarella sandwich. I waited and ate half of this filling sandwich ($9.75 with tax). This sandwich has to be eaten with all its components in it as it had the bitterness of the broccoli Rabe, the saltiness of the sausage and the creaminess of the cheese on a fresh roll. 

    Although I am not a sandwich person, I do enjoy a really good sandwich once in a while especially from Katz, Carnegie or Russ and Daughters. Definitely want one check out other cheap eats listed on the Eater’s top 60 cheap eats. 

    Throwback Thursday – Pizzeria Forno E Trattoria

    Earlier this spring I decided to try a neighborhood spot in Maspeth NY called Pizzeria Forno e Trattoria. I always pass by during my bus ride to Jackson Heights or doing my walk. The restaurant felt cozy and homey. The food looked really good and fresh. I even got overwhelmed with the options that I had to get recommendations from the manager and owner. 

    So my guilty pleasure is cheese, I love cheese so given my cheese craving that day everything ordered had cheese in it. Therefore is what I ordered. 

    Top photo: CREPE DI SPINACI $8.50 Crepe stuffed with ricotta and spinach topped with white four cheese sauce. 

    Overall the dish was to die for the stuffed crepe just melts in my mouth and tasted all five kinds of cheese. It hit the spot. 

    Bottom photo: Half Sopressata and half Quattro Formaggi pizza pie $23.50 

    The pizza pie was freshly made and the pie crust was perfectly thin. I did not feel guilty consuming four different cheeses and the spicy salami. 

    Sunday Game Plan

    It has been awhile since I posted a game plan for meals of the week. For the past two weeks I have been exploring cheap places to eat and new restaurants. Now it is time to get back to business and proceed with my weight loss plan in order to reach my weight goal by the end of the year which is easier said than done at this point. 

     Today’s game plan include recipes for vegetarians, pescatarians, paleo eaters, and gluten free consumers on a budget. This week’s recipes are inspired by Physique57 SolutionThe Food Babe Way and The Pound a Day Diet. 

    In addition to the food consumption I will be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio with strength circuit training. 

    Let the weight loss journey resume. Stay tuned. 

     

    Flashback Friday – Dosas

    Happy Friday! Although it is National Dessert Day, I have been fascinated about the popular Indian street food – Dosa.  When I first saw this dish, I was overwhelmed by the how big it is.  It is mostly served as a meal for a good part of the day.  Personally I have consumed it as an early dinner.

    Dosas also known as Dosai is an ancient Tamil dish.  This gluten free, vegetarian street food dish is made up of rice and lentils.  Therefore, there are health benefits in its consumption.   Dosas are a good source of carbohydrates and protein that will last the whole day.  It is a lengthy process to make dosas and I don’t think that I will be making one anytime soon.  Therefore, I will be leaving this up to the pros.

    Recently, I have had the experience of consuming this vegetarian dish at two places in New York City.   One famous spot world is Saravana Bhavan.  There are two locations in New York City (Manhattan).  This restaurant does not need an introduction because it is well known throughout India; the establishment of this franchise was made a controversial person who is banned from leaving India because he was convicted of murder.  This is to show that as long the food is good it does not matter where it originated from. But if you don’t want to be traumatized,  I visited another spot, which is located in Queens called Hillside Dosa Hutt.  This neighborhood spot is in the heart of the Indian community. The cashier that served us was hospitable and knowledgeable about Dosas.  Hillside Dosa Hutt was recently listed on the Eater list of the top 60 cheap eats places in NYC. 

    Hillside Dosa Hutt – Marsala Dosa $5.50 (Top Left) and Paneer Bhurji Masala Dosa $9.00 (Bottom left) Saravana Bhavan $9.99- Marsala Dosa (Top right)  and Onion Chili Rava Dosa $10.99 (Bottom right)

    Portions of each dosa were huge. I have not been able to finish a whole dosa in one sitting.  If you want more variety then Saravan Bhavan is the place to go, but for a quick meal on a budget then Hillside Dosa Hutt will suffice.