Tag Archives: eating healthy

Guest Blogger: Veggietorials – Kalbi Style Baked Tofu + Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

12 Sep

Please welcome back the lovely Pacific Islander Kobi and her blog Veggietorials, which is full of beautiful and tasty recipes. I can’t get over how pretty her pictures are and how perfect the lighting is in her photos. You can see her previous contribution to VBU! here, it was a very pretty Cucumber Wakame salad. Do check out her out on all channels: Veggietorials, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. Welcome back Cobi!

So this is how my crazy train of thought arrived at this recipe: I read an article about a photographer that was recreating death row prisoners “last meals”.Which then prompted me to think about what I would want as my final meal. And the no-brainer answer is Kalbi. My K-peeps understand that Kalbi (Korean BBQ) is a taste that’s hard to give up. For me, it’s more about the marinade and less about the meat. Heck, everything will taste better after a swim in this marinade. It’s the perfect balance of savory-salty-sweet. I used the Hey Shuga organic cane syrup and really liked the flavor. Sometimes I blend in some grated Korean pear, but a lot of times I don’t have it and the marinade tastes just as amazing without it.

  • Perfect for portobellas before you pan fry or throw them on the grill
  • Use a reduced sodium soy sauce for the Kalbi marinade and try it on seitan
  • Marinate tempeh overnight and pan fry

The baked tofu will have a deep flavor and chewy texture. I like to slice the baked tofu thin for banh mi style sandwiches. For salads and stir fries, I prefer the tofu cubed up. And for a quick dinner, I enjoy a Kalbi tofu “steak” with pajeon, kimchi, rice and a salad.

Pajeon (Scallion Pancake) is a savory side dish that looks fancy shmancy but is quite easy to make. I use scallions, green onions, chives or other seasonal veggies from my garden. Dip pajeon into kochoojang sauce for a little heat and a spicy kick. This Pajeon recipe was adapted from Maangchi, the internet demi god of Korean cooking. I was surprised that her original recipe was actually vegan♡. When I tried it without the Vegg and baking soda, my pancake was a globby mess even though I used a non-stick pan. The results were perfect once I added baking soda and The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk gave it the flavor of the pajeon my grandma used to make.

Kalbi Style Vegan Baked Tofu & Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: bake fry entree side sandwich snack appetizer dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu Meatless Monday Korean

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Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Baked Tofu

  • 1 block firm or extra firm organic tofu,pressed
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons organic liquid cane sugar syrup or agave nectar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger,minced
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • optional-half Korean pear, grated. When using the pear, place all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

For the scallion pancake

  • 15 thin green onions, cut into 5 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons The Vegg,pre mixed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Instructions

For the Tofu

Drain tofu.Remove excess water with a tofu press or wrap the block of tofu between two kitchen towels and place heavy books on top for about 20 minutes. Slice the tofu block in half so that each piece is about 1 inch thick. This process will allow the marinade to be easily absorbed.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Place the tofu in a rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu in the middle of the sheet and bake for one hour total. Flip the tofu over after 30 minutes to cook and brown evenly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.

For the scallion pancake

Mix together all the pancake ingredients (except the oil and green onions) to create the batter. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over high heat and place half of the scallions in even layer in the pan. Pour just enough batter over the scallions to cover them. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, until the edges start to form bubbles. Flip the pancake, reduce heat to medium high and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Repeat to make another pancake. Serve with kochoojang sauce if you like it spicy.

Please watch the video to master the technique.

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Guest Blogger: Vegan Weight Watchers

11 Jun

As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”, in my opinion, there’s always a blog for whatever your interests are. Emilee, editor of Vegan Weight Watchers proves just that. You can be vegan and be mindful of your weight while on the program. Here she is in her own words, “Editor of the Vegan Weight Watchers blog! I add multiple posts each week specifically written for people using the Weight Watchers program to lose or maintain weight while following a vegan lifestyle. Posts include PointsPlus friendly vegan recipes, product and restaurant reviews, as well as interesting vegan tidbits from around the world and across the web.” Please follow Vegan Weight Watchers on Twitter; please welcome Emilee!

My story:
My journey with Weight Watchers started in June 2009. I lost 25 lbs and became a lifetime member that October. I have since been able to maintain my weight loss while sticking to the Weight Watchers program.

My husband has struggled with gastrointestinal discomfort since we met in 2003. Following an endoscopy, no diagnosis was reached for my husband, and I was shocked when his doctor said he would be on medication indefinitely. After watching several documentaries and doing research online, I proposed trying out a vegan lifestyle (which almost instantly cured his lifelong stomach issues). Due to my experience with the Weight Watchers program, I knew I would have to be careful to stick to my daily PointsPlus values – it is a popular misconception that vegans only eat lettuce and are rail thin. However, I was disappointed about the lack of resources online for fellow Vegan Weight Watchers.

With this blog, I hope to help keep others’ weight loss journeys interesting while sticking to a plant-based vegan lifestyle.

In our family, and amongst our circle of friends, my husband and I are the only people who practice a vegan lifestyle. The question “Where do get your protein from?” comes up on a regular basis so I wanted to share a few low Weight Watchers PointsPlus sources of protein that we incorporate into our diet. Please keep in mind this is a SHORT list of the protein content of select vegan foods — and yes protein does come from sources other than meat and dairy!

To put some context around the numbers below, the average female should be getting between 37-50 grams of protein each day. The average for a male is just a bit higher from between 48-63 grams per day. You can find more information on this here.
As you can see, by eating a variety of vegetables, beans, legumes, grains and nuts it is very easy to meet the daily protein requirement.

vegan weight watchers protein sources

For a more extensive list of plant-based foods that provide protein visit: Protein in the Vegan Diet
Be kind, feel good.
Em

Guest Blogger: V is for Vegetables – Zucchini Boats

8 Jun

As we all know, V is for Vegetables, that is also the title of Vanessa’s blog. Here she is in her own words, “My name is Vanessa and I have lived in Indiana my entire life. However, I have certainly spent plenty of time seeing the world. My journey to veganism actually began in the UK. I was there when Mad Cow Disease was at its worst and I haven’t had a hamburger since. Then slowly other animal products disappeared from my life and now plants are all I have left. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. I’ve grown from being a picky eater who can’t cook to a vegan food blogger. It’s been a fun ride so far and I can’t wait to see what else comes my way.” Please follow Vanessa on Twitter and of course check out her site! Please welcome Vanessa!

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I love using food to display food. Therefore, I love zucchini boats. No need to get dishes out. Once these cool off, you can shovel them right in. Exactly my kind of food. You could really fill these “boats” with anything but I used a tomato and couscous mixture. The addition of a grain in the filling helps add nutritional variety so that I’m not simply scarfing down vegetables. Yes, it’s possible to scarf down vegetables. If you spend enough time around vegans and vegetarians you will witness the ability to devour broccoli like it’s a chocolate raspberry cupcake covered with brownie bits and drizzled with caramel. Yes, broccoli. It’s what’s for dinner and dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous (prepared according to package)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and trim off the stem.

3. Scrape out the insides of the zucchini using a melon baller or a teaspoon. Set the insides aside. On the opposite side of the zucchini half, slice a little skin off lengthwise so that your boat is less likely to tip over. We don’t want any passengers couscous to end up in the Atlantic pan filled with water.

4. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the garlic and onion. Saute for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, carrots and zucchini insides and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Add the prepared couscous to the sauteed mixture and season with salt and pepper.

7. Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes.

8. Fill each hollowed out zucchini half with 1/4 of the sauteed mixture.

9. Place the zucchini halves in a shallow pan filled with 1/4 inch water.

10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Yields 4 servings

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Adapted from: Annies-Eats

Guest Blogger: Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds…

15 Nov

Our next guest blogger Jason Gillett, he is a 39 year old father of three. Both Jason and his wife teach in a Florida school. He is using his blog to chronicle his transformation from carnivore to herbivore. Jason has had amazing results with his health and spirit. His blog title is Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds…while I end world hunger, fix the global economy, and save the polar bears. For brevity sake I did shorten it, but please feel free to visit his site. Please welcome Jason!

Day 30: The Month in Review

This is an exciting milestone day for me in a couple of related ways. To begin with, I am experiencing the end of my first month of living a new vegan lifestyle. That’s 30 days of eating in the complete opposite way that I had been eating for years. At the exact same time, my oldest daughter is having a birthday that allows her to get a learners permit. For driving… a car… on the road with other people. Oh my.

This is not the time for me to go back and recap the 39 years of eating that led up to where I am today. Sure, you would be amused by some anecdotes about the first 18 years of eating with the family. I’d probably regale you with the green pepper in the garden story- it’s a family classic that is retold annually around crackling fireplaces during the holiday season.

This isn’t the time for, nor would I have the courage to admit to, the eating habits from the first 14 years of my ‘adult’ life. There was a lot of McDonald’s food, shame, and poor choices during that period of time. This would be a good place for a Clinton administration joke, but since our main man Bill is the new face of veganism he is untouchable, so I will let the joke slide.

Finally, there is the most recent five years of my life that I will not chronicle for you at this time either. I will avoid telling you about how I alternately lost weight and gained it back in record time thanks to the Atkins diet and the subsequent YIPPIE! I’m off the Atkins diet binge. If I went into any details about that time it would probably focus on the number of overnight hospital stays I had because of infected bowels, diverticulitis, colitis, and kidney stones as a result of living off meat and dairy products almost exclusively. Four.

The reason I won’t waste any precious word space on that 39 year span of time is because this is a day to focus on the successes of the last month. It has been thirty days of plant based, vegan eating and living. Diet colas, processed foods, meat, dairy, and eggs, were replaced with plants. Fruits and vegetables replaced sausage and deli meat.

I have lost 17 pounds in the last 30 days and my clothes sizes seem to have dropped even more dramatically than the scale shows. During the six months before making the change to a vegan life, I had already lost fifty pounds from low carb Atkins dieting. At the beginning of a weight loss cycle the pounds can drop quickly, but after fifty pounds, the fat usually seems more stubborn and harder to lose. When I made the switch to a vegan, plant based lifestyle I began to lose fat faster despite its previously stubborn nature.

I am still taking the same blood pressure meds that were barely keeping my BP in the middle/high zone before the life change. I hope to stop taking them soon because in this one month the numbers have dropped down into the safe zone. I am regularly seeing 128/76. It makes it look like a very healthy stranger is sticking his arm in the BP cuff when I’m not looking. I take my readings in a public place and often feel the urge to call people over and show off. I never clear my numbers before I leave the machine either. I leave them for the next person to envy.

There is a laundry list of other benefits: hundreds of animals didn’t die for me, I saved energy and water buy not eating meat. I improved greenhouse gas emissions and not a single bee lifted a little wing in service to me.

However, I am a think globally and act locally kind of guy. I like to think that I am changing the world- but it is so much more important to me that I am improving my chances to see my fifteen year old daughter and her two younger siblings grow up to be the incredible adults I know they will be. With drivers licenses. Oh my.

Thirty days down, seventy years left to go. Maybe eighty.