Last week I was up late at night watching Diners, Drivers and Dives. They were at a BBQ joint and the sandwich they made sounded awesome. They had used pulled pork but being a vegetarian that was not going to happen. I started of thinking about ways I could re-create this sandwich without using tofu or tempeh while also having that sort of shredded pork feel.

It dawned on me that spaghetti squash shreds in a similar fashion so that would be the base of the sandiwch. The next question I had to answer was how I was going to develop that burnt end crust and my trusty cast iron pan answered that question.  There were no questions when it came to toppings because the slaw I have been making lately goes with everything, as do pickles (any good BBQ has pickles) and sweet potato fries.

Lucky for you it was fantastic and I am sharing the recipe to this ridiculously tasting dish.

 

Published in Snack/Dessert Recipes
Monday, 14 March 2016 19:34

Recipe: The Falafel Waffle

Falafel is one of my favorite foods and anytime I can get my hands on it I am going to take advantage. A couple of weeks ago Karen and I were talking about going to one of our favorite Greek restaurants for falafel but I got the idea that we can just make it at home and not have to use chickpeas to make it but rather garbanzo bean flour.

I had the flour, the parsley, baking soda and garlic so why not make them at home and instead of busting out the oil just using my trusty waffle maker. Then instead of just having falafel waffles we could make them into sandwiches and top it with a tzatziki sauce. My Mediterranean cooking inspiration was on high gear and it was time to get this party started.

Below is the recipe and it is super easy to make. You can use it for #MeatlessMonday or just whenever.

Enjoy and do not forget to #EatUp.

 

Published in Snack/Dessert Recipes
Thursday, 10 March 2016 22:03

#Vegan Recipe: Tempura Avocado Street Tacos

A few weeks ago Karen and I went to a local establishment to have a meal on the patio while the weather was absolutely gorgeous. We have been here plenty of times but this time was different. As we were reading the menu and confirming the appetizer of Hot Chips (fresh made potato chips with a side of habanero ketchup) we saw the item labeled: Tempura Avocado Street Tacos.

Just saying the name made me drool. Karen decided to order it and I went with a taco salad knowing full well that she would not finish the plate and I would get at least one taco. As I had predicted she shared the last taco and I devoured it. Poor taco never stood a chance. A few days after that I decided I was going to replicate the dish.

As we sat down to eat we looked at each other and commented that it looked like the restaurant version. The first bite signified that I had indeed remade the dish BUT BETTER. The key was what I used for my tempura batter. Keep reading the recipe below to find out what that secret ingredient was.

Enjoy and do not forget to #EatUp.

 

Published in Snack/Dessert Recipes

As most of you know I am a Brand Ambassador for FlapJacked and have been for some time now. The reason I continue to work with them is that the product tastes great, and I mean that about the Mix and the Muffins. Beyond that they are great people who support me through all of my endeavors regardless of how stupid they may be.

One of the other main reasons I love the product as much as I do is that you can be very creative with it. From cookies to crepes to cakes of all shapes and sizes. This recipe is for an individual sized cake that you can make in about 10 minutes but comes with all the flavor of a cake that has been labored over for hours.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed eating the results

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Published in Snack/Dessert Recipes
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 18:08

Vegan Recipe: Overcome Illness Stew

The last month has been full speed ahead with racing Ironman Florida (race report here) and then Wild Hare 50 (race report here) two weeks later and registered for Isle Du Bois 52k two weeks post Wild Hare 50 had run my body into the ground. Endurance events take a lot out of you both physically and mentally and your immune system is shot.

I learned this first hand Saturday into Sunday of this past week. I was feeling sluggish on Saturday but managed to do some running around (in the rain) with my wife but by the end of the day it had become full blown - leave me the F alone. I got in bed with a tremendous pain in my face around my sinuses and knew I had a sinus infection. I woke up every 1h20m and had difficulty going back to sleep. When I woke up Sunday I planted myself on the couch and did nothing but neti pot and try to watch football.

The Giants-Redskins game made me not feel any better as that was possibly one of the worst games I can remember watching. Just horrible football. I went to bed Sunday night hoping to sleep through the night but that did not happen until midnight when I got finally got 6 straight hours. When I woke up I felt much better. Less achy in my muscles and less pain in my face. The illness started to turn but not wanting to take any chances I kept up the fluids, vitamin C and when dinner rolled around I wanted nothing but a hearty stew.

I decided on the drive home that the stew would include rice, beans, mushrooms, onions and leafy greens. All of these are high in micro-nutrients but also included complex carbs, protein and healthy fat. I did stop myself from adding additional ingredients as I kept to the keep it simple stupid method.

When I woke up this morning I felt better than I had in the past 48 hours and believe that I am on the other side of the illness. Now the stew is not the only reason because the neti pot is the main helper here but the soup is sure to help battle illness as well as warming you up during these cold winter months. The recipe below is super simple, takes no time and tastes great. Enjoy.

Published in Dinner Recipes
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 20:32

Vegan Recipe: Tempeh Fajita Burrito

Recently I started a burrito kick and it has taken on a life of its own. It is at the point where I am now trying to get #BurritoWednesday trending since it seems that all the other days are taken not to mention the sheer ridiculousness of these hashtags. Also, please do not get me started on National Coffee Day or National Chocolate Day or National Non-GMO Gluten Free Sugar Free Fat Free Peanut Butter Day.

The internet is a wonderful thing to have at our finger tips but some days I have to laugh at how days pick up momentum and thus why I am pushing hard for everybody to join me on #BurritoWednesday. Truth be told I eat a burrito 4-5 times per week because of how convenient they are to make. Take your favorite dish and wrap it up and eat it with one hand. What is better than that? Go ahead and think about it.......I will wait. Told you that you cannot come up with something.

The burrito and the waffle are my all time favorites and maybe I can create a thin waffle to wrap up other foods in and have the first #BurritoWednesday with a #WaffleBurrito.  Stay tuned but until then here is a recipe for a vegan tempeh fajita burrito that is sure to please.

If you decide to make this meal be sure to hashtag it with #BurritoWednesday and let's get this absurd movement rolling along

Published in Dinner Recipes

Back when I was eating meat I could be found at the nearest bar or in my kitchen devouring wings by the dozens.  Yes, dozens. An afternoon watching football could easily consist of 50 wings, beer and an apple pie to finish the day.  When I made the lifestyle decision to become a vegetarian the one thing I missed the most was chicken wings on a Saturday or Sunday in the fall. That went away fairly fast when I began to use tempeh in my homemade buffalo sauce. As time has gone on I decided that anything and everything could get tossed into the buffalo sauce.

This weekend, that is exactly what happened. I started with the thought of using garbanzo beans but soon enough crunchy cauliflower would go well.  Wait, that is not enough let's toss in some Brussels sprouts. Do you have a crunchy texture that stands out? No, you do now in the form of shredded red cabbage.  How can I cut the spice without blue cheese?  How about some fatty avocado. Alright, we got it all so let's start the cooking.

Published in Dinner Recipes
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 13:45

Recipe: Freekeh and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Karen and I have been using Hello Fresh for a few weeks now as a way to make time for each other during hectic work and training schedules. The recipes they provide are terrific and easy to make. The Freekah Sald has become one of our favorites and is one that has been made three times now.

If you are unfamiliar with freekah then I suggest you get familiar with it and this recipe is a great way to use the grain. Freekeh has a slightly smoke and nutty flavor that seems pronounced in this dish. Probably because it is paired with the acidity from a Fuji Apple and the creamy/crunchy fat from the walnuts. Of course, Brussels Sprouts cannot be ignored because well.......Brussels Sprout.

This recipe is great for vegans but also for those carnivores that are trying to follow a Meatless Monday ritual.

 

Published in Dinner Recipes
Monday, 21 September 2015 14:22

Recipe: Deconstructed Pasta Carbonara

Some days getting into the kitchen and chopping, dicing, mincing and everything else that comes with making a meal is relaxing and allows me to exercise my creative gifts. Other days I want to get into and out of the kitchen faster than Andy Potts swim a half-ironman distance of 1.2 miles (which was 24 minutes at the 2015 version of Timberman). The reality is that my weekday evenings are my sanctuary to put my feet up and relax so the long cooking days are Saturday and Sunday. Thursday has also become a day in the kitchen as Karen and I have been cooking together on those days.

But, the last thing I want to do after riding the trainer for an hour and running for 15-30 minutes then showering is to start prepping at 7:30pm. I know a lot of people do meal prep and I am all for it but it does not work for me. I listen to my body and eat what I have a craving for and that has a tendency to change on an hourly basis during training. If I had 5 tuppware containers in my fridge already prepped I know that 3 out of the 5 days I would not eat the food because I just did not want to eat that on that day.

This is where keeping it simple and keeping it easy comes into play. One of my favorite dishes is pasta carbonara (vegetarian without the bacon of course.) The creaminess of the egg along with the crunchy texture of the bread crumbs. Add in garlic (OR COURSE!!!!) and some spice in the form of red pepper flakes and the dish as as easy as it is tasty.

The recipe below is for a pasta carbonara but it removes the technical aspect of getting the eggs into the pan without it turning into a scrambled egg and ruining the dish before you had a chance to taste it.

After you have had the opportunity to make this dish I would appreciate your feedback on the ease, complexity, taste, etc. Thanks.

 

Published in Dinner Recipes
Monday, 14 September 2015 16:20

Recipe: Puerto Rico In A Burrito

I have a tendency to go through waves of eating. By this I mean that I will put my hooks into a certain type of food and not let go for a long time. A lot of the correspondence I have received in the past year has revolved around making waffles. I am still a waffle fiend but as times change and tastes change so do the meals that I prepare.

I also love to make things easy in the kitchen. I do not have a lot of time during the week to create elaborate dishes and so I try to keep my cooking to 30 minutes or so. Sometimes that involves prepping before hand (not often) or making a breakfast meal (happens a lot) or knowing how long it will take to make a dish and not wasting time when I walk through the door from work.

Since my desire for a particular meal can change in a heartbeat knowing what I have in my pantry and fridge is vital to getting into, cooking and out of the kitchen as quick as possible. That is no different with this recipe for Puerto Rico In A Burrito.

Back to putting my hooks into a particular type of meal. Lately, I have loved rolling burritos and putting anything and everything into them. From the simple Cobb Salad Burrito to Buffalo Cauliflower Burrito to this burrito there is nothing easier to eat than a burrito.

As a kid rice and beans was a staple of our diet becaus Puerto Ricans serve it with practically every meal and yes that includes breakfast. When I thought of a rice and beans burrito I also decided that plantains, the way my father loved them, had to get thrown in along with some peppers and onions.

What came out of my kitchen was better than I had imagined. Give this recipe a try and let me know if Puerto Rico In A Burrito is a keeper for your menu.

 

 

Published in Dinner Recipes
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