Meatless Monday – Game Plan – Meatless Budget Friendly Dishes Inspired by “Dinner with Georgia O’Keefe”

Two Mondays ago, on March 20, I’ve had the privilege to attend the launch of Assouline’s “Dinner with Georgia O’Keefe” at La Sirena located in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan.  The event was well attended by local TV personalities and celebrities such as Carla Hall from ABC The Chew, Nicky Hilton Rothchild, Timo Weiland, Prosper Assouline, and Alexandre Assouline. 

Artistic and natural images depicting the relationship between art and food were provided by Robyn Lea who was present to sign copies of the book.  Recipes from the cookbook utilizes local and traditional ingredients inspired by the artist’s relationship of food and the New Mexican landscape. 

More importantly I came there to explore and taste the food created by La Sirena’s Michelin starred chef Anthony Sasso. Cocktails were sponsored by VDKA600. 

The food was overall tasty and natural. The recipes provided appear to be user friendly and ingredients are health-friendly and accessible at any supermarket. Unfortunately I was unable to taste everything because of the sacrificial commitment to give up meat for Lent. 

Top: Miss Scarlet “O’Keefe” containing VD600Vodka in Mandarin orange. Bottom: The Tao Margherita

Chilled Gazpacho

Chickpea and Eggplant Casserole with Fresh Basil

Split Pea and Ham appetizer inspired from the Rancho de Abiquiu Split Pea and Ham recipe

Finger food version of the Spaghetti with Pesto Genovese

Steak tartare using ingredients from the Sizzling Bourbon steak with garlic and crushed peppercorn recipe

Pecan Delights

Finger foods inspired by recipes from the book

For the next two weeks, I will be seeking to test out the meatless version of this recipes such as the spaghetti and pesto Genovese and chickpea and eggplant casserole. 

Meatless Monday – Purple Potatoes

Happy Monday! Happy First Day of Spring! It’s almost midnight and its been weeks since my last post.  For the past several weeks I’ve been recovering from a herniated disc where sitting in one position was absolutely painful.  On a brighter note, I’ve been working on mastering several dishes and reading more culinary cookbooks and science research for inspiration.  But…

Back to business.  It’s Meatless Monday and I want to add that since March 1st I’ve given up meat for forty (40) days for Lent.  So for the next several weeks, majority of my posts will be mostly vegetarians and/or vegan.

For today, we will be focusing on one of the healthiest potatoes to consume: The Purple Potato.  One weekend, I went to Fairway with my parents and came across a bag of small purple potatoes for $2.50 so I brought a bag because I heard really good things about them.  During this research journey, I came across this image below from Dr. Axe summarizing the benefits of consuming purple potatoes.

PurplePotatoGraphic

After reading Dr. Axe’s summary on purple potatoes, I did a little investigation on to additional evidence based research within the last five (5) years.  The following confirmed:

  1. Purple potatoes contained high level of anthocyanins, which prevent inflammation and inhibit cancer growth especially breast cancer, gastric cancer and colon adenocarcinoma (Sugata, M, Lin CY, and Shih, YC, 2016).
  2. Another study showed that baked potato extracts have reduced colon cancer stem cell growth along and lowered the number of tumors (Charepalli, et al, 2015)
  3. Anti-microbial potential against Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa especially during consumption (Ombra, MN, 2015).

After the investigation of this native South American crop, I came across a recipe from Chef Aaron Sanchez, who by the way is this year’s honoree for the 12th Annual Taste of Hope.

1 bag of small Peruvian purple potatoes = 70 calories for 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons.

8 tablespoons of olive oil = 120 calories/tablespoon (Pantry)

1 tablespoon of dried oregano = 15 calories/tablespoon

1 tablespoon of minced garlic = 15 calories/tablespoon

Dash of ground black pepper

1 tablespoon of dried cilantro = 5 calories/tablepoon

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Overall taste of the potatoes were good and very flavorful especially with the olive oil, garlic, oregano and cilantro mixture.  Plus all four mixture components carry health benefits as well.  This is a very healthy, filling and budget friendly dish that can be consumed more than once.  Stay tuned for more!

 

 

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. 


    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. 

    Meatless Monday – Red, White & Blue Smoothie

    On behalf on Tablespoons & Teaspoons, we want to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!

    Since it is a holiday and given that today is Monday, I came up with a quick, healthy, low calorie and gluten free patriotic concoction that will commemorate the continuous blending of America’s diversity on birth of America.

    Red, White & Blue Smoothie

    Total calories – 194 calories

    Total cost at Stop & Shop at minimum with a $25 purchase in order to get the blueberries at the cheapest price – $5.55

    RED 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries (approximately 24 calories) –$2.99/lb. Stop & Shop this week.  Health benefits of Strawberry consumption can be seen in a previous Meatless Monday Post.

    WHITE 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk – 30 calories – Silk almond milk is on sale this week at Stop & Shop – 2 for $6.   Health benefits of almond milk consumption include: Low sugar, which provides an option for diabetics.  It also has no cholesterol and low sodium plus contains omega 3 fatty acids, which helps maintain blood pressure & a healthy heart.  One cup provides 10% more calcium than regular milk and more vitamin D, which helps strengthen bone and even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Almond milk also contains vitamin E, which is involved with maintaining healthy skin.  It also has vitamin B especially iron and riboflavin with helps build muscle.  It also has fiber and is lactose free, which helps aid digestion.  Other health benefits include boosting the immune system, preventing cancers, and improving vision.

    BLUE 1 cup of blueberries – 85 calories – on sale for $0.97/pint with a $25 purchase at Stop & Shop this week.  Blueberries, similar to strawberries contain plenty of antioxidants, which prevents cancers, aging, degenerative disease and infections.  They also contain chlorogenic acid which lowers blood sugar levels & control blood-glucose levels in Type II diabetes.  Blueberries is also considered a brain food which helps boost memory and focus.  Research studies also show that blueberry consumption has lowered blood pressure and even reduce heart disease risk.

    1/2 medium banana (sliced) – 55 calories – $0.49/lb at Stop & Shop.  Health benefits of banana consumption include replenishing energy.  It also contains soluble dietary fiber which reduces constipation by helping normal bowel movements.  Bananas also carry antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxantin, carotenes that helps reduce aging.  Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) helps with neuritis and anemia and reduces homocystine levels, which is a contributor to heart disease & stroke.  It also contains vitamin C, which develops resistance again infections.  But most importantly bananas are known for their rich source of potassium, which helps control heart rate & blood pressure.

    Instruction: Combine and blend until smooth.

    20160704_115323

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!! Cheers to good healthy and more budget friendly meals.

    Meatless Monday – 2 courses – 7 ingredients

    Happy Monday! Following my game plan posted yesterday, I created a two course meal that only requires a total of eight ingredients. These two dishes commemorate three monthly food observances:

    National Egg Month
    National Salad Month
    National Strawberry Month

    The first dish requires only two ingredients. It is gluten free and Paleo friendly.

    Banana Pancakes
    1 ripe banana = 110 calories = $0.49/lb. this week at Stop and Shop
    2 eggs = 90 calories/egg

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

     

     

     

     

     

    Second dish requires five ingredients:
    Strawberry Arugula Salad
    1 cup arugula = 6 calories
    6 strawberries sliced = 35 calories = $2.99 a package on sale this week at Stop & Shop
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted = 350 calories
    1 tablespoon spoon extra virgin olive oil = 120 calories
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar = 30 calories

    image

    Meatless Monday – Mung Bean Pudding

    Happy Monday, technically Tuesday.  Well, this week there is no game plan because, I had an accident working out and I am recovering from the aftermath.  Therefore, since this week is Songkran aka Thai New Year, I will dedicate this week to posting healthy Thai recipes and recent places I have eaten at.

    Therefore, the first of two Thai recipes for the week is meatless for Meatless Monday.  This dish is a Thai dessert, which personally can be versatile and be served as a meal.  The meal can be made with two ingredients or up to four ingredients.  The star ingredient of the dish is Mung Bean, a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine and it is very nutritious and detoxifying.

    Health Benefits of Mung Bean Consumption:

    Contain high soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol

    Contain protease inhibitors, which block the copying and reproducing of tumor and cancer cells especially breast cancer

    Contain isoflavones that regulate hormones, estrogen, in particular, which helps women with post-menopause.

    Low glycemic making it diabetic friendly.

    High in protein

    Recently, an article was published at the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggesting the possibility that the extract of mung bean sprouts can serve as a potent antiviral property.  The extract’s potency can economically and effectively fight against the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Herpes Simplex virus −1 (HSV-1).

    Tau Suan – Mung Bean Sweet Dessert/Pudding

    This dish is very easy to make and it cost effective.  Total cost of the dish can range between $5-$10 at most Asian supermarkets.  This dish serves two people.

    8 tablespoons of dried mung beans = 361 calories/2 servings

    2 cups of water = 0 calories

    4 tablespoons tapioca starch  = 84 calories/2 servings (optional)

    4 tablespoons sugar =186 calories/2 servings (optional)

    5 tablespoons coconut milk = 100 calories/2 servings (optional)

    1. Boil beans in water for approximately 20 minutes.
    2. Mix tapioca starch with water, keep stirring so nothing sticks in the bottom of the pan.
    3. Add sugar (optional)
    4. Warm coconut milk but do not heat it all the way (optional).
    5. Pour warm coconut milk to the lentil dish (optional).

    Personally I have made this dish several times, using three ingredients and performing only the first two steps because my father does not eat sweets.  Recently I have made this dish using all the ingredients listed to obtain the sweet and creamy texture.

    Cheers to better health! Off to the next recipe.  Stay tuned.

    Meatless Monday – Sauteed Watercress & Bok Choy

    Happy Monday!! I am starting off the week with another Meatless Monday recipe.  This recipe is right off the Sunday Game Plan list posted yesterday.

    I was introduced to watercress and bok choy at a family style Chinese restaurant when I was a child.  The dish is usually served stir fried with garlic slices and oil.  Last weekend, I went to H Mart, which is Korean owned supermarket in Flushing, NY and saw that watercress and bok choy were on sale so I purchased two bunches of each.

    Watercress (Nasturii herba) is considered one of the healing foods to consume.  Consumption of watercress can have the potential health benefits such as:

    • Serves as an anti-carcinogen.
    • Reverses DNA damage to white blood cells
    • Rich in Vitamin C, which fight off cancer and treat common colds
    • Calcium content helps maintain bone health
    • Rich in folate, which prevents birth defects, depression, stroke, cognitive decline
    • Rich in Vitamin A, which helps maintain ocular health found in beta carotene

    Here is a three ingredient side dish, which is so easy to make ( <5 minutes):

    Saute Watercress:

    2 tablespoons of olive oil – 240 calories

    2 tablespoons of minced garlic ~ 38 calories

    2 bunches of watercress ~ 30 calories

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Bok Choy (Brassica campestris) aka white cabbage originated in China over 5000 years ago.  Consumption of Bok Choy has the following health benefits:

    • Rich in Vitamin C, which fight off cancer and treat common colds
    • Rich in Vitamin A, which helps maintain ocular health found in beta carotene
    • Contains fiber, which aids in digestion
    • Contains calcium and potassium with low sodium, which reduces blood pressure

    Here is a three ingredient side dish, which is so easy to make in less than 10 minutes:

    Saute Bok Choy:

    1 tablespoon of olive oil – 120 calories

    2 cloves sliced garlic  ~ 40 calories

    3 heads of bok choy  ~ 330 calories

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Both vegetable dishes are low in calories and relatively healthy.  Stay tuned for the next post.

    Meatless Monday – Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    It has been over a week since my last post and as promised I am starting the week with another Meatless Monday recipe with a child’s least favorite vegetable: Brussels Sprouts.  Actually I was first introduced to brussels sprouts a few years ago as a frozen vegetable by my dad who would serve it with butter sauce.  Then over the summer I went with a former colleague to La Dama, a Mexican restaurant in the Financial District in NYC where I had a roasted brussels sprouts side dish.  The sprouts were roasted and it had cheese and lime. It was delicious, but unfortunately, they no longer make this side dish.

    Recently, I came across fresh Brussels sprouts on sale two weeks ago at my local supermarket and I decided to purchase a bag.  After researching an easy dish to make with these brussels sprouts, I came across a dish that was posted on Once Upon a Chef where the Brussels Sprouts were roasted and mixed with balsamic vinegar and honey.

    After being culinary inspired, the world of Brussels sprouts were further explored.

    Brussels Sprouts were initially discovered during the 16th century in Belgium.  But more importantly, this cruciferous vegetable has many health benefits:

    • Prevents cancer especially bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
    • Contains vitamin C, which protects cells from cancer and heart disease
    • Maintain healthy gums, teeth and skin
    • Helps with the immune system
    • Contains fiber, which regulates the digestive system, prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol levels and reduces heart disease and stroke.
    • Contains folate, which prevents birth defect development
    • Helps form and maintain DNA

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Two Vinegars and Honey (inspired by Once Upon a Chef)

    There are six ingredients for this dish and the star ingredient is the Brussels Sprouts:

    • 1 package (12 0z) brussels sprouts, halved, stems and ragged outer leaves removed*
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Datu Putu
    • 1 teaspoon honey

    Everything with the exception of the brussels sprouts were in my pantry.  The star ingredient was on sale at my local supermarket for $2.5o.

    20160316_060930

    Six ingredient dish preparation 

    20160316_062503

    Remove outer leaves and cut each piece in half.  Please the sprout onto a large bowl.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    20160316_062606

    Place brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle the brussels sprouts with ground black pepper.  Add two tablespoons of olive oil.  Toss to combine.  

    20160316_062905

    Line baking pan with aluminum foil.  Spray the foiled pan with cooking spray.  Transfer brussels sprouts to a baking pan.  Spread sprouts evenly.  Roast in the oven for approximately twenty minutes.  Turn halfway for even browning.   

    20160316_064924

    Remove pan from the oven and let it cool.  

    20160316_071610

    Transfer brussels sprouts to a bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Datu putu sugar cane vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey.  Mix well to blend.  Serve. 

    The total cost to make this meatless and health friendly dish is an investment of less than $20 and the Brussels sprouts only cost $2.50.  This dish usually serves 2-3 people, but the ingredients used can be applied to make other dishes such as Adobo and salads.

    Meatless Monday – Rad Thai Salad

    It’s Leap Day and for the last several days I have been recovering from the class I took during Union Square Fest at Athleta.  That workout was so intense that I struggled walking up and down the stairs for several days.  Right after the workout, I decided to swing by Sweetgreen.20160224_204541 Sweetgreen uses all their ingredients grown from local and community farms so everything is fresh.  I decided to order the lowest calorie dish (375 calories) called the Rad Thai, derived from the Thai street dish Pad Thai.  This salad consists of organic arugula + organic mesclun, sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil, citrus shrimp, and one round of spicy cashew dressing.  The salad was incredibly filling.  My favorite part of the salad was the citrus shrimp.  The total cost of this salad was $12.85 plus tax.  The price is reasonable given the ingredients used.  I would definitely return and try the Spicy Sabzi.

    For those who do not have access to Sweetgreen or the organic ingredients, this salad can be made on a budget and it can serve more than one person.

    Salad Blend – Arugula & Mesclun or any mixed salad = 2 for $5 at Stop & Shop

    Sprouts – Chinese or Asian Supermarket usually sells for a decent price.

    Shredded Carrots = 3 for $5 at Stop & Shop

    Cabbage – usually the best sale is before St. Patrick’s Day at the price of either $0.19 and $0.29/lb. at Stop and Shop.  Red Cabbage is usually purchased at $0.99/lb. on sale at any supermarket.

    Shrimp – $6.99/lb at Stop and Shop

    Spicy Sunflower Seeds – convenience store e.g. CVS, 7-11, Duane Reade

    Cucumbers – usually purchased $0.99/lb and below.

    Basil – I usually purchase a fresh pack at an Asian supermarket (approx. $2.00/lb)

    Citrus Marinade – orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, sriracha

    Spicy Creamy Cashew Dressing (Derived from “Redeeming the Table”) – Juice of 1 orange, Juice of 1 lime or lemon chopped raw cashews, garlic, sea salt, red chili flakes and Grinds of black pepper

    I have not made this dish personally, but after researching the ingredients, now I want to make this dish.  It would be serve as a great and quick potluck dish too.