Saturday, August 2, 2014

5-Ingredient Asian Slaw with Peanut Dressing

I'm all about making things fully from scratch. I love when I know every ingredient that goes into the food I'm eating. Since we moved to New York I've gone on a cooking/baking spree and have been making homemade everything: bagels, granola, granola bars, almond milk, black bean brownies, pizza name it. 

But we all have those days when we need something quick, easy and semi-homemade. I've always loved Trader Joe's and it killed me that I didn't have one nearby when we lived in Orlando. (One actually open up 20 minutes from our apartment in Orlando the week we moved to New York! Go figure!) Every time I'd visit my family in Virginia or Brett's parents in Nashville I'd want to make a trip to Trader Joe's. They have amazing nut butters, Medjool dates and raw nuts that I like to stock up on when I get the chance.

My mother-in-law was always so thoughtful and would buy certain things when we were coming into town. She was also the one that shared with me this amazingly simple coleslaw recipe. It only requires 5 ingredients, but you can easily jazz it up by adding diced tomatoes, mandarine oranges or cashew halves if you want. The main dressing is Trader Joe's Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette and it makes anything you put it on taste amazing.

I know that not everyone lives by a Trader Joe's, but for those of you who do, this recipe is a great go-to recipe for really busy days. If you don't live by a Trader Joe's, I'm sure you could use another kind of peanut dressing. You can also check out my Indonesian Peanut Sauce!

Asian Slaw with Peanut Dressing
(Serves 6)

  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage*
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 12 oz. bag frozen edamame, cooked
  • 3/4 cup Trader Joe's Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette
  • Optional: Diced tomatos, mandarine oranges, cashew halves
  1. Combine the shredded cabbage, carrot, cooked edamame and any optional ingredients in a large bowl. 
  2. Drizzle the peanut dressing overtop and stir well to coat all the veggies. 
  3. Let the slaw sit in the fridge for 1/2 hour if possible to allow the flavors to meld.
Notes: You can do any ratio of shredded cabbage and carrot that you like. Just have it equal about 6 cups.

Eat Consciously,


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Simple Ratatouille

It's hard to believe we haven't even been in our new apartment for a week! Just today a week ago Brett and I were driving up from Florida and stayed the night at my parents house. It was such a blessing to get part of a day with them before jumping into life in New York City. We packed a lot into that short day too. We napped, loaded up more furniture into our Uhaul and had a mini birthday celebration for my niece and sister-in-law at my brother's house. Gosh, I love my family!

My parents were so generous to us too. They too are preparing to move so they gave Brett and me a futon, coffee table, side table and a kitchen aid mixer! They also sent us out the door with beautiful squash and zucchini from their garden. 

Ever since watching the movie Ratatouille I've wanted to try making ratatouille. It always intimidated me though. So many colors and layers and I figured if it's made up of mostly vegetables, there has to be some intense process to make it taste so good. Wrong.

Ratatouille isn't hard at all and it's so fun to wow people with how pretty it looks when you pull it out of the oven. Since my parents gave us squash and zucchini before we left--and since I already had a jar of tomato paste, olive oil and homemade vegan parmesan in my kitchen--all I had to pick up at the store was an onion, eggplant, red pepper and garlic. Then I just had to thinly slice the veggies, layer them over some tomato paste and seasoning, and drizzle olive oil on top. Done and Done. 

(Serves 4)

  • 1 can tomato past (6 oz.)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or two pinches dried thyme)
  • Optional: Vegan Parmesan Cheese for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare your vegetables by thinly slicing them in circular disks
  3. Spread the tomato past on the bottom of a 10x10-inch baking dish, or a dish similar in size.
  4. Sprinkle on the onion, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Add the water and stir well to combine.
  5. Arrange alternating slices of the vegetables in the pan by starting on the outside and working your way towards the center until you fill the entire dish. 
  6. Drizzle the top with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and more salt and pepper.
  7. Cover the vegetables by cutting out a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the baking dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes until all your vegetables are tender.
  8. Garnish with Vegan Parmesan Cheese and serve warm!

 Notes: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days.

Sorry for the poor lighting in these pictures!

Eat Consciously,


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WIAW: The First Week in Our New Apartment

I love New York! We haven't even been here a week, but so far Brett and I are having a great time exploring different parts of the city and getting settled into our new apartment, which we couldn't be happier with. It's located right on the edge of Jackson Heights, a subway stop is literally right across the street, and there's tons of natural lighting from the wall to wall windows in our family room. Also, there is the best international food mart right across the street that has a wide variety of produce, cheap sushi and so many ingredients I've never seen or used before. The inspiration is endless and I've been cooking/baking up a storm since we moved in.  So today I'll share with you a day of eats and some of the different things I've been creating in my new kitchen!

Breakfast has mainly been different types of oatmeal. I've cooked rolled oats on the stove and made a few batches of muesli using steal cut oats. Brett is even starting to eat more oatmeal in an effort to cut back on sugar! We did have one special breakfast when I made Vegan Nutella Stuffed French Toast. I used homemade nutella and also prepared a strawberry syrup to top everything off. I'll share the recipe soon because it was amazing!

Oatmeal cooked with chia seeds and topped with banana, peanut butter and sunflower seeds.
Photo from my Instagram.

Lunches have been leftovers from the first meal I made when we got into town. I made a big batch of Asian Coleslaw Salad and it's been lasting us for days. We've been wrapping it up in spring rolls too which gives us some variety. 

Asian Coleslaw Salad with Edamame and Peanut Dressing
(Recipe coming soon!)

Snacks have been veggies and hummus (Sriracha Hummus!) and lots of different fruits. When we were in China we found our new favorite way to "eat" watermelon: blended! It's so refreshing and one of Brett's new favorite drinks.

Sriracha Hummus

Fresh Watermelon Juice!

Dinners have been quite varied. Last night we actually did a progressive dinner with 23 of our new friends and I was in charge of the main course! I made Massaman Curry over brown rice and Chapati (traditional Indian flatbread). Everyone said it was delicious, so I'd call that a success!

Massaman Curry with Sweet Potatoes

Chapati (You can find the recipe here!)

Another dinner we've been eating a lot of is Ratatouille topped with Vegan Parmesan Cheese. I'll be sharing the recipe tomorrow. It turned out amazing and was so easy to make!

Do you enjoy cooking or is it a chore?

What is your typical go-to breakfast?

That's all for now! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. If you need some inspiration for meals this week, check out Jenn's blog Peas and Crayons.

Eat Consciously,