Vegan Chilaquiles

 

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I decided to try something different for my vegan tastes. (For those new to the blog, I’m not vegan but I do make a lot of plant-based and vegan dishes because my body likes it).

I really did like this recipe, though I thought the sodium content was a wee bit high for my taste (and I didn’t use that much salt). I did make it a little more spicy than what the recipe called for.

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In terms of chilaquiles, I thought this was a good alternative. I usually eat the beef or chicken with cheese type. This was super easy to make and I highly recommend it even if you’re not vegan.

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To try this recipe, click here.

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What the JackFruit?!

I’ll be very clear – I’m not vegan. I have no desire to become vegan, but I do have a lot of respect of those who are vegan. And I have to admit – vegan food has definitely benefited my health. I’ve lost weight, I have more energy, and I feel better overall. That’s why I keep preparing vegan dishes and sharing with you all what I find or make on my own.

Sounds good? Let’s go!

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Jackfruit is hard to describe because of how versatile it is. You can use it in faux-pulled pork recipes or you could use it as a complement to ice cream (I need to try that version).

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Jackfruit in its ripe form.

The one thing about jackfruit I’ve discovered is how big and meaty it can become – up to a 100 pounds (that’s a lot of faux pulled-pork sandwiches, y’all).

I found the already prepared jackfruit at my local Whole Paycheck, erm…Whole Foods, but I’m sure you can find the same at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and other health food stores. It can come prepared, in cans, or just ripe like the picture above.

I decided to prepare it with grilled bell peppers and just have a bowl. For a vegan meal, it was actually quite filling and one bowl was more than enough. (So for anyone to say vegan food isn’t satisfying probably aren’t eating it or they’re not eating the right dishes.)

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Key thing to a healthier meal: make sure it’s colorful! The more colors, the healthier it is for you!

I personally like jackfruit as another alternative to the wonderful bland and basic flavor of tofu. One can only eat so much tofu before you feel like you’re turning into that spongy food.

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I can’t wait to try other dishes involving jackfruit including the faux pulled pork I keep talking about.

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How do you like your jackfruit?

Oh-So Tempeh

On our quest on eating healthier and cleaner, I’m trying new foods I haven’t even heard of. The risk of being healthier is sometimes taking a plunge into the unknown and trying certain foods and vegetables you wouldn’t dream of eating. Why would you eat something you never heard of?

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Exactly, you wouldn’t. Hell, for the longest time I didn’t. Now I’m a bit older and a bit wiser and well, junk food ain’t doing it for me anymore.

Introducing tempeh.

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One of my friends recently went vegan, and she’s been praising tempeh to the gods. After seeing her enthusiastic posts, I figured why not? Let me try tempeh and see what the hype is.

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Tempeh is pretty much fermented soybeans in a block form. However, the true benefits of tempeh comes in what it’s hiding:

A 3-ounce (84-gram) serving of tempeh contains these nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 162
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Total fat: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 9 milligrams
  • Iron: 12% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 18% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 12% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 21% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 54% of the RDI

RDI= recommended daily intake.

It sounds good but how does this stuff taste?

I decided to try a new recipe located here. We’re not on any kind of diet but we do want to eat better. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, right?

For the recipe, I chose black kale because I never even knew it existed. It’s actually rather pretty:

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It also has some pretty dope anti-cancer benefits.

I de-stemmed it and blanched it out.

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Honestly, I only used one bunch but the next time I’ll use a couple of bunches.

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Look how beautiful that green is!!!! OMG!!!!

I fried the tempeh in coconut oil and added the recipe sauce to it:

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And then I added the black kale:

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Results:

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Yes, it’s not the prettiest picture but that’s beside the point. It tasted great! I highly recommend this recipe!

How do you tempeh?

Vegan Collard Greens

I’m not sure if I posted this recipe before but I have to say when some things are made accidentally, they can sometimes be the best results.

Last Thanksgiving as I was preparing a meal for my family, I decided to make collard greens. I haven’t made collard greens in forever and I legit forgot how much time it takes. Between the washing and soaking (and more washing and soaking), cooking, marinating, the entire process can take up to 5 hours. Sometimes more.

As Maks and I adjust to a healthier lifestyle and incorporate more veggies in our diet, sometimes one has to sacrifice some time to get healthy. Collard greens is traditionally made with either ham hocks or a turkey leg. Sometimes I didn’t have access to either, so I did without and substituted the greens with veggie broth.

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Ingredients:

1 pound of collard greens, thoroughly soaked and washed.

3 cups of veggie broth

1 large onion, chopped.

2 garlic cloves, chopped.

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Seasoning Salt

Pepper


 

Directions:

Soak the collard greens to make sure they are thoroughly washed. I usually soak them in cold water with salt for 30 minutes, drain, rinse, and re-soak. I do this several times, with a minimum of three washes. This is to cut down the bitterness of the greens, but also to kill any residual bugs hiding in the leaves.

In the meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic and put it in a large pot. Pour 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and sautée the onion and garlic. Turn off the fire after a few minutes.

Once the leaves are thoroughly washed to your liking, strip the leaves and cut them into 1-inch, 2-inch strips. Pour them into the pot with the onion and garlic mixture, and add the veggie broth with the additional tablespoon of olive oil.

Cook until boiling, and then let it simmer. The greens should eventually go from bright green to dark money green. This should take a minimum of

Add seasoning salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes as needed.

Total time:

Depending on how much you wash the greens, this could take a minimum of four hours. The actual cooking part takes around 45 minutes. Many people often have the greens soak overnight to cut down on the time spent in the kitchen.

Do you have a recipe for vegan collard greens? How did it turn out?

 

Vegan Restaurant Review – Kitchen Mouse Los Angeles, CA

I decide to switch up the vegan posts a little but venturing outside of my comfort zone and going to a vegan restaurant. I’ve been to vegan restaurants before and I’ve enjoyed them. However, vegan restaurants can often be a hit or miss. Some have their flavoring down to a science and some should pick up a seasoning book, but I digress.

So, I’ve heard a lot about one of the local vegan spots in my neighborhood, Kitchen Mouse. I have to say, for my first (but not only) visit there, I was rather impressed. It feels like someone’s kitchen when you walk inside. There’s a feeling of sitting around the breakfast nook, enjoying coffee or tea, while you breathe in and out in your yoga pants finest.

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See? Cozy.

If you look closely at the picture, to the bottom left is a Serve Yo’ Self station (no, it’s not called that but I nicknamed it). You can get water, condiments for your tea and coffee, and utensils. They have servers to bring out the food.

I have to note, while this picture does make the restaurant seem empty, it was actually quite busy!

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My table was simple – fresh flowers on the table, and just overall yummy coziness. I chose two chocolate chip coconut cookies for dessert and they were delish!

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This picture is sideways for a reason because I couldn’t put the whole platter horizontally without maneuvering myself (too hungry and quite lazy).

But it doesn’t matter because that food was devoured, yo!

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That food was good AF, y’all! Them white people knew how to SEASON! Hallejulah!

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So, let’s walk it back…

Great food: If you’re in the L.A. area, it’s a must try for vegan food. Even if you’re not vegan, you will enjoy the shit out of this. 

Downside – good AF but also expensive AF. Cookies, iced tea, and vegan chilaquiles (with an added $4 for the tofu scramble) came out to be $27, including tip. Yes. My lunch was almost $30. Since I had a lot leftover, my husband ate the rest of it so the price wasn’t too bad.

It’s a definite splurge deal every once in a while and not something feasible to have on a daily (or weekly) basis. However, just because it’s a splurge, it doesn’t mean you should miss out. It’s definitely one of my favorite restaurants now.

If you’ve been to Kitchen Mouse, what did you think?