Thai Cabbage Salad

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Sometimes as I gaze into my huge (sometimes cluttered) fridge looking for something to eat, I ask myself questions to jump-start my brain to help me figure out what I am going to make to feed my constantly rumbling tummy (anyone else suffer from Stomachus Rumblingous Constantous? Okay, good!).

My internal dialogue usually goes like this…

Hmmm, cabbage… do you like cabbage? (yes)

Do you feel like turning on the stove? (no)

So, you like to eat cabbage raw? (yep!)

What tastes good with raw cabbage? (carrots and cucumber!)

Do you love Thai food? (yes)

Do you have all the fixin’s for Thai peanut sauce? (ummmm, is that even a question?)

How about you make Thai Cabbage Salad? (*lightbulb moment*)

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So that is how I came about making this Thai Cabbage Salad over the weekend!

 

Thai Cabbage Salad starts with… cabbage. I found this beautiful red cabbage at the farmer’s market and had to buy it, but green cabbage or a mix of both can be used too! It’s all about your preferences – but if you think that both colors of cabbage taste the same (like me), I would suggest buying the red cabbage… it adds a big oomph of color in the final product.

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Also note that I cut the cabbage into big strips, which make this more like a “salad”. If you want to shred your cabbage, it’ll be more like a “slaw” (which isn’t a bad thing at all!).

On top of the cabbage, I piled lots of other veggies in different colors and textures.

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Crunchy carrots cut into match sticks (if you are going the “shred” route with the cabbage, I suggest you shred the carrots too!), yellow bell pepper sliced into thin strips, finely chopped cucumber half-moons, and some thawed shelled edamame (fresh soybeans – probably my favorite addition). The edamame provide a good amount of protein (a half cup of edamame provides 8gm of protein!), so this is a great dish for vegetarians and vegans.

Then all that’s left is to add in the delicious peanut dressing.

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If you have a mini-food processor or a good blender, it comes together in a minute. Peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, honey, lime juice, and siracha come together and provide a deliciously light dressing that enhances the flavor of the veggies. Yummy!

All that’s left is to toss it together.

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And serve it alongside your favorite grilled meats (like this Thai-marinated grilled chicken).

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I hope you enjoy this easy salad, kiddos!

Your cabbage obsessed friend,

C

Thai Cabbage Slaw

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

For the salad:

½ a medium head of red cabbage, sliced thinly (or shredded)

2 medium-sized carrots, cut into thin match-sticks (or shredded)

1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

¼ large seedless (English) cucumber, halved and sliced into thin half-moons

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon grated ginger

½ teaspoon of siracha – can add more or less depending on how spicy you like things

Juice of one medium-sized lime

Water

 

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, and edamame.
  2. In a mini-food processor or in a strong blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except for the water. Blend to combine. Add in the water (between 1-2 tablespoons) to reach the consistency you want (I like my dressing a little on the thin side, but you can make it as thick as you want!).
  3. Pour half of the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine. Add more dressing if the salad seems too dry.

Serve immediately with your summertime grilled favorites – Enjoy!

 

Note: You can double the dressing recipe and reduce the amount of water you use if you like a thicker “coleslaw-style” dressing coating on your salad.

 

Nutritional Information (1 serving):

112 calories Ÿ• 15gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 4gm fiber Ÿ• 6gm protein Ÿ• 4gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 192mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 2mg iron •Ÿ 64mg calcium

Hummus, Eggplant, Lettuce, and Tomato (H.E.L.T.) Sandwiches

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I love sandwiches.

Totally love them.

They are one of the true blank canvases of cooking – grab two (or more!) pieces of carbohydrate and throw anything (or everything) in between them. The possibilities and combinations are truly endless…

But every once in a while, the sandwich can stump you. Does the bread need to be toasted? Pickles, lettuce, and tomato, or none at all? Italian meats, roasted veggies, or both? Sometimes the endless possibilities end up being too overwhelming and you end up making yourself a PB&J and calling it a day.

So, as I stood in front of my fridge a few days ago, I seemed like I was destined to be making the old childhood standby for lunch. Until my eyes fell on the container of homemade white bean hummus, the tub of leftover grilled eggplant, a head of romaine lettuce, and the pint of grape tomatoes… and the H.E.L.T. was born!

H.E.L.T. (Hummus, Eggplant, Lettuce, and Tomato) sandwiches are my play on the traditional B.L.T. – while hummus and eggplant are not a true replacement for bacon, it is a great vegan alternative that hits similar (smoky) flavor notes.

It all starts with toasting the whole wheat sourdough bread…

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I was lazy and toasted it in a frying pan, but a toaster works too! When the bread is golden brown on both sides, I removed it from the skillet and set it aside.

I then heated up the grilled eggplant.

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I didn’t want to put any more color on the surface, but just wanted to heat it through and make the outside crisp again. The grilled eggplant is nice and smoky, which simulates the smokiness of the bacon in the original sandwich… plus, swapping the eggplant for the bacon saves you 70 calories (yay!).

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Then I gathered the hummus, tomatoes, and lettuce and we were ready to build the H.E.L.T.s!

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I spread about a tablespoon of hummus on each slice of bread.

Then I laid two slices of grilled eggplant on one side of the sandwich.

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And the sliced grape tomatoes on the other side. You can totally use a couple of big slices of tomato instead, but I actually like the grape tomatoes – you get one piece of tomato per bite (and the sandwich doesn’t slide apart!).

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Then place on a big piece (or two) of romaine lettuce.

All that’s left is to pop one side of the sandwich on the other and slice in half.

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Yum! I love all the layers, textures, and colors of this sandwich – bright, smoky, sweet, crunchy, and smooth.

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A delicious alternative to the traditional B.L.T.!

So, guys, what’s your favorite sandwich?

Your sandwich makin’ friend,

C

Hummus, Eggplant, Lettuce, and Tomato (H.E.L.T.) Sandwich

  • Servings: 1 sandwich
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 slices whole wheat sourdough bread

2-3 tablespoons white bean hummus, homemade or store-bought

2 slices grilled eggplant

4-5 grape tomatoes, halved (or 1-2 big tomato slices)

2 pieces of romaine lettuce

 

Steps:

Toast the bread until golden brown on both sides. Place the toasted bread on a board and spread one side of each slice with the hummus (1 to 1½ tablespoons of hummus each). On one slice of bread, place on the grilled eggplant slices. On the other slice, place on the tomato slices and then the lettuce. Place one slice of bread on the other and cut the sandwich diagonally.

Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Information (1 sandwich):

323 calories Ÿ• 55gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 11gm fiber •Ÿ 15gm protein Ÿ• 6gm fat •Ÿ 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 495mg sodium Ÿ• 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 3.5mg iron Ÿ• 137mg calcium

Grilled Eggplant

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Hey, everyone! How are you?

Are you loving summer as much as I am right now?

This summer has been glorious food-wise and I have been taking HUGE advantage of the town’s farmer’s market each weekend. It not only serves as a good study break (T-minus 3 weeks until the big RD exam!), but also a great source of meal inspiration throughout the week.

I walked away this past weekend with a bunch of beets, a ginormous head of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, my beloved whole wheat sourdough bread…

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…and probably the most beautiful eggplant that I have ever seen in my life. It was screaming “BUY ME”, so I grabbed it and decided right then and there that I was going to grill it (the farmer who was bagging up my purchases agreed with me).

So that’s what I did.

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I sliced up the most beautiful eggplant ever into thick rings (about ¾ of an inch thick) and then laid the slices in a colander and salted them with some kosher salt (about 1½ teaspoons for a medium-sized eggplant). This helps bring out the excess liquid in the eggplant and it also helps draw out the bitterness that eggplants are known for. After letting the eggplant sit for about 45 minutes, I gently rinsed off the salt and patted the eggplant dry. This method can be used not only for grilled eggplant, but eggplant that you are going to pan-saute, fry, or roast!

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Then I sprinkled on some olive oil, some more kosher salt, ground black pepper, and some fresh thyme leaves (totally optional).

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Yummy!

All that was left was to pop these babies on a hot grill and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.

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Just what grilled eggplant should be – charred and smoky on the outside and soft on the inside! And no bitter taste, so this is a great veggie side dish to serve to your more veggie-adverse family members.

They were delicious as a side for grilled steak and absolutely amazing as the star in this sandwich I whipped up with the leftovers (more on that later this week!).

Hope you are having a great week, kiddos!

Your eggplant lovin’ friend,

C

Grilled Eggplant

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 medium-sized eggplant

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½ + 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Leaves from 3-4 springs of thyme (optional)

 

Steps:

1. Slice the eggplant into ¾-inch slices (approximately 8-10 slices per eggplant). Lay the slices in a colander in a sink (or over a bowl) and salt the slices with 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Set the eggplant slices aside for 45 minutes to draw out the excess liquid and bitterness. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and pat it dry.

2. Coat the eggplant slices with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, the black pepper, and the thyme leaves. Place the slices on a pre-heated grill (I heat my gas grill on medium-high heat) and cook the slices for 4-5 minutes per side or until they become slightly charred and have good grill marks.

Serve the eggplant alongside your favorite main dishes or use as an addition to sandwiches, salads, or pasta!

 

Nutritional Information (1 serving):

66 calories • 8.5gm carbohydrates •ŸŸ 4gm fiber •Ÿ 1.5gm protein Ÿ• 3.5gm fat Ÿ• 0.5gm saturated fat Ÿ• 480mg sodium Ÿ• 0mg cholesterol •Ÿ 0.5mg iron Ÿ• 17mg calcium

Hummus and Vegetable Sandwiches

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Hi there! How are you? How’s life?

Are you enjoying the spring weather as much as I am?

With the days getting warmer and the produce section at the grocery store filling with delicious things, all I want to do it buy it all and cook! My recent food purchases were one beautiful (and perfectly ripe) tomato and a tub of mixed baby greens with herbs in it (did anyone else know that this existed? Where has this been all my life?!).

With some leftover (and slightly stale) ciabatta bread in the pantry and some white bean hummus in the fridge, an easy vegan sandwich popped into my mind.

Hummus and Vegetable Sandwiches!

It starts with slicing up that beautiful ripe tomato.

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And stopping to eat a couple slices before realizing if you keep eating it, you’ll have a tomato-less sandwich. And who wants a tomato-less sandwich?

Then cut a thick piece of whole wheat ciabatta bread and slice in half.

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Spread a good amount of hummus on the bread – I only did one side here, but spreading it on both sides would definitely be better!

Then layer on some of the baby greens with the herbs.

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Fresh and green… just like springtime!

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Then layer on some tomato slices.

Pop the lid on the sandwich.

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And slice in half.

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I love looking at all the layers – the nutty brown of the ciabatta, the white of the hummus, the greens and purples of the lettuce, and the bright red of the tomato.

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A easy lunch that celebrates the changing seasons.

Enjoy, kiddos!

Your sandwich makin’ friend,

C

Hummus and Vegetable Sandwich

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1-3” piece slice of whole wheat ciabatta bread, sliced in half

3 tablespoons of white bean hummus, homemade or store-bought

½ cup mixed baby greens – if you can find the one with herbs in it, try it out!

2-3 tomato slices

 

Steps:

Lay both halves of the ciabatta on a cutting board and spread hummus over both halves (1½ tablespoons on each half). On one half, layer on the mixed greens and tomato slices. Top with the other half of the ciabatta, hummus side down. Slice in half and serve with a side salad or raw veggies.

Enjoy!

White Bean Hummus

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1-15oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained

3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely – more or less depending on your taste

1½ tablespoons of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

½ – ¾ cup of good olive oil

Hot sauce of your choice

 

Steps:

1. Add rinsed, drained white beans, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, ½ cup of olive oil, and as much hot sauce as your heart desires.

2. Puree – add more olive oil (up to another ¼ cup) until you reach the consistency you want.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning – add salt, pepper, and extra hot sauce.

4. Serve with pita chips, raw veggies, or use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps!

Moustokouloura

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Happy Thursday, everyone! How’s your week been going?

Today is Holy Thursday, which means that we are three-quarters through Orthodox Holy Week – I cannot believe how quickly time has passed! It has been a whirlwind of clinical rotations, paper writing, and watching my mom whip up spectacular vegan dinners and one amazing vegan dessert that satisfies my late-night-paper-writing sweet tooth. With three days left until Easter, I’m sharing my parent’s adaptation on my Thea Goldie’s moustokouloura.

Thea Goldie was my godmother’s mother – I met her briefly when I was little so I don’t have any concrete memories of her. According to my mother, Thea Goldie was a feisty woman who could cook and bake like no body else… this cookie recipe is a testament to those baking skills.

It starts out with combining sugar and vegetable oil in the bowl of your stand mixer.

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Then comes the “mousto” part of the moustokouloura…

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WINE! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, wine. Mousto is the leftover residue of the grapes after they are crushed to make wine – since we don’t have any leftover grape bits, wine is a great (and easy) substitute. Crack open a bottle of your favorite red wine and pour some into the mixer (and maybe pour some for yourself!). We use a basic pinot noir but a merlot will work too! Just a word of warning – wine makes the color of the cookies… interesting. I’ll talk more about it in a minute, but if you are expecting totally brown cookies, you’re in for a surprise.

All that’s left is to combine the dry ingredients – flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

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And gently mix them into the wet ingredients.

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Toss in some walnuts for crunch, mix, and you’re ready to go!

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Form into two logs. Score the logs by making several shallow cuts ½-inch apart in the top of each log – this will help with ease of cutting later. Chill them for an hour and then stick them in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the tops of the cookies are set.

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Yummy! Let them cool completely before proceeding.

As you can see in this photo, the wine turns the cookies blue-green! They are perfectly fine to eat – they just look a little different!

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Then cut the logs into pieces (like biscotti!) and lay them on a baking sheet flat-side down. Bake the cookies again for 12 minutes, flipping the cookies over halfway through the baking process.

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All that’s left is to dig in!

Enjoy these Lenten, vegan treats, everyone!

Your friend,

C

Moustokouloura

  • Servings: approximately 30-40 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup red wine

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup oat bran

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts

 

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine oil and sugar and mix to combine.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  4. Form the dough into two equal logs, score the top of the logs ½-inch apart and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Bake the logs in a preheated, 350° for 30 minutes. Let the logs cool completely.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into pieces on the score marks. Lay the cookies flat-side down and bake in a 350° oven for 12 minutes, flipping the cookies over halfway through.

Serve with your morning coffee or as a midnight snack – enjoy!

Split Pea Soup

I have Spring Fever.

All I want is green grass, trees with green buds, and flowers with big green leaves. Green, green, and more green.

Which means that I was absolutely delighted when I came home from rotation tonight and seeing that my mom was in the process of whipping up a big pot of BRIGHT GREEN split pea soup… which she proceeded to inform me was also vegan (yay for Vegetarianism 3.0)!

It all starts with a large stock pot filled with one pound of green split peas, chopped onion, celery, garlic powder, oregano, pepper, bay leaf, and water.

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Just toss in some potatoes cut into thick medallions.

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And simmer the veggies and split peas uncovered for 1½ hours.

After the soup has simmered, add in a whole bunch of carrots.

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Continue to simmer the soup for 2-2½ hours until the soup becomes thick and perfectly green!

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Hello, split pea soup! All that’s left is to stir in 2-3 tablespoons of chopped, fresh dill. Green, fresh, and a great complement to the earthy split peas.

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Spring fever cured… at least for now!

Your spring obsessed friend,

C

Split Pea Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1-1lb bag of green split peas

1 large onion, chopped

1 pound celery, sliced into half-moons

3 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½–inch rings

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 quarts water

1 pound carrots, sliced into thick rings

2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

 

Steps:

  1. In a large soup pot, add in split peas, onion, celery, potatoes, garlic powder, dried oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 1½ hours.
  2. Add in carrots, stir to combine, and continue to simmer uncovered for 2-2½ hours until the soup becomes thick and green. Stir in the fresh dill and serve alongside crusty bread.

Enjoy!