lentil-walnut meatballs (aka “amazeballs”!)

4 01 2013

lentil meatballs text revised

earlier this year for a date night, the hubby and i walked over the williamsburg bridge (which is pretty close to our apartment) and headed into the lower east side for dinner at the meatball shop.  the concept of this restaurant is that you order whatever kind of meatballs you want (beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and a variety of often-kooky daily specials, like a reuben-sandwich-flavored ball), and then get to choose from a variety of “bases” (mashed potatoes, greens, etc.) and sauces (tomato, pesto, etc.) to build your own dish.  i had the “vegetable meatballs,” and at the time, i was doing the #plantPOWER challenge — so after a long discussion with my server, we agreed that my dish would be prepped without the standard shower of parmesan cheese that normally tops the balls, in order to keep it plant-based.  i should have realized, but did not at the time, that the mixture for the balls also had an animal-based ingredient: eggs.  oopsie.  my #plantPOWER intentions were good and i thought i was covered!  but then i found a new york times article publishing the recipe, and i realized i had gone astray.

last night, in the face of the unbelievably cold weather we’ve been having in NYC, i was in the mood for some plant-based comfort food, and i decided to modify the meatball shop recipe so that it would be completely plant-based.  click through for the modified recipe!

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healthy blog recipe night

7 12 2012

kale salad with butternut white bean patty

last night i had my friend jeannie over for dinner; we planned in advance to cook healthy recipes from some of the blogs i’ve been obsessed with lately.

the butternut & white bean patties are adapted from healthy happy life‘s “toasty pumpkin chickpea fritters” recipe, and the baked apple is pretty faithful to for the love of kale‘s version.  both recipes turned out AMAZING, and it was such a fun night!  (disclosure: two bottles of red wine were also involved.)

click-through for my cooking notes and the nutritional information…

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easy, low-sugar crockpot apple butter

2 10 2012

this past saturday i went apple picking with some friends at stuart’s fruit farm… i get apples as part of my CSA share every other saturday, so even though i eat an apple almost every day for my mid-morning snack, they are starting to stockpile up in my fridge. i still wanted to take part in the apple picking fun, so i resolved to find a recipe that would use up most of my haul and keep for a while. apple butter is perfect — it’s kind of like a super-reduced apple sauce, so you get highly concentrated apple flavor, but without the volume of the apples you start with. stored properly, it keeps for over a year. this batch made 12 1/2-cup jelly jars’ worth, so i will be giving some out to friends and family, and storing some in the pantry. it’s great on toasted raisin bread, and i plan on using it to top pancakes and waffles as well. i could also see it being delicious in greek yogurt, or being a great dip for a banana, or even being incorporated into other baked goods (swirled in a cheesecake, maybe?). my super-simple recipe is below!

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eggplant & kale nooch bowl

21 09 2012

as some of you may know, i’ve been attempting to shift to a more plant-based diet.  i’m not ready to commit to being vegan (and not sure if i ever will be!), but i had already pretty much limited my animal-based food intake to fish and dairy, and have now found that further reducing the amount of dairy in my diet gives me less digestive issues and higher energy.  exploring vegan pantry staples has been a fun exercise for me — for example, nutritional yeast (nicknamed “nooch”) is a go-to product, but was totally new to me.  this simple dinner satisfied my craving for earthy, umami flavors and hearty (almost “meaty”) textures, but was entirely plant-based… filling, but surprisingly light.  cooking method after the jump.

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ZICO & perfect fit “coco-butter monkey cups”

31 08 2012

this week i’m participating in tone it up’s “beach week” — a week of scheduled workouts and slim-down meals designed to make the most of the last few days of summer.  karena and katrina have teamed up with ZICO to host an exciting contest; the best recipe incorporating chocolate ZICO and perfect fit protein powder wins a 3-month supply of both of those products!

i legitemately use perfect fit almost every day, and ZICO is one of my favorite special treats… so, needless to say, i got really excited about this contest.  the result of my frantic brainstorming was these “coco-butter monkey cups” — they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.  recipe and details below!

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grilled eggplant quinoa salad

30 08 2012

another day, another quinoa salad, right?!  lately i feel like i have been obsessed with quinoa… but in all seriousness, it’s so tasty, and so good for you compared to other rice-y/grain-y options!

a while back, i received a few bottles of chile olive oil because of my participation in an HGEats twitter chat.  although i have significantly reduced the amount of oils i use in my cooking, there is always room for some good “healthy” fat, and i knew i wanted to save these samples for something special.  this past weekend, my parents came over for a combined birthday brunch (my mom’s birthday and mine are just five days apart!), and i whipped up this salad with veg from my CSA share.  it’s TIU-approved and is actually quite versatile — delicious with the veggies still warm from the grill, still delicious chilled in the fridge the next day.  click through for the recipe and olive oil review.

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birthday blackberry ginger cupcakes

29 08 2012

i have two non-bento posts lined up for this week… i hope my regular bento readers don’t mind!

this first post is a review of two new products that i received courtesy samples: wholesome chow vanilla cake mix and tropical traditions coconut oil.  i am happy to say i loved both, and can tell you this only after putting them to good use in a true test… the cupcakes for my own birthday party!  i made a vanilla cupcake with chunks of crystallized ginger, filled with homemade blackberry jam, and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting.  these were a delicious combination of flavors, and while not low-calorie, certainly more healthful than typical store-bought cupcakes which contain processed flours and “bad” fats.

recipe and reviews below!

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