Monday, February 25, 2008

Sloppy Joes!

On this cold and rainy day I decided that I wanted some good old fashioned comfort food! You know like mom used to make when you were little and couldn't go outside because it was raining or snowing. While this didn't happen much to me in California growing up the few instances that it did rain no one dared to leave the house so my mom would just cook all day while we watched movies, or searched for snails outside (because they would only come out when it was raining and my brother and I love messing with them.) Anyways back to the point.. my favorite rainy day foods were anything that was messy and fun to eat like sloppy joes! 

Being a vegetarian who likes to keep things on the low cal side of life I wanted something that would taste just as good but without animals or tons of calories! So I came across this awesome recipe and tried it out! All I can say is it's better than mom used to make!! And it's better than those gross Manwich things you see in the store that come straight from a can. Call me crazy but any meat like product that comes out of a can scares me and well grosses me out. So I made this for my roommate and she loved it! You can make it as messy or neat as you want and it will give you something great to munch on while you watch the snow, or rain, or wintry mix as they like to call it here in Boston. And please don't let the picture scare you...I know it looks a little weird but it tastes amazing!! Try it for yourself!

Serves 4
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2-1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 kaiser rolls

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, and garlic: saute until tender. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, tomato paste, vinegar, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in kidney beans, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Cut a 1/4 inch slice off the top of each kaiser roll; set aside. Hollow out the center of each roll, leaving about 1/2 inch thick shells; reserve the inside of rolls for other uses.
  • Spoon bean mixture evenly into rolls and replace tops. Serve immediately.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 205, Total Fat: 3.9, Sodium: 580mg, Total Carbs: 35g, Dietary Fiber: 6.2g, Protein: 7.8g

Now that you have everything you need go ahead and pop in that movie and relax! I suggest a light hearted movie, Martian Child was pretty cute...but you have to be ready for a corny ending! Other than that it is pretty good! 

Happy eating!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bok Choy with Chinese Mushrooms

This recipe is very tasty! I found it in my favorite cooking magazine Vegetarian Times. If you are in the mood for Chinese food but don't want all the calories trying cooking this up for a special someone. It's fast, easy, and delicious!!

Serves 2
8 dried Chinese black mushrooms
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 lb. baby bok choy (about 4 bunches), halved
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 cup)

  • Combine mushrooms and broth in pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and soak 30 minutes to soften. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Add soy sauce to soaking liquid, and set aside.
  • Remove and discard mushroom stems. Cut caps into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bok choy, cut side down, and cook 1 minute.
  • Add reserved mushroom liquid, mushrooms, garlic and sugar, and cover. Simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle bell pepper on top, and cook 5 minutes more, or until bok choy and peppers are tender.
  • Remove lid, increase heat to high, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until all liquid has evaporated. Serve hot.

Calories: 166, Protein:6g, Total fat: 8g, Carbs: 24g, Sodium: 432mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 8g

With only 166 calories this meal is satisfying without all of the calories. It only took me about 15 minutes to cook it after the 30 minutes of soaking. You can use that 30 minutes to do something nice for yourself....maybe a nice relaxing bubble bath, or enjoying your favorite sitcom! I enjoy those little moments to myself because they are very rare and far between! So grab your fork and dig in!

Monday, February 18, 2008

40 Calorie Noodles?

I was as skeptical as the next person when I heard about a package of noodles where the whole 8 ounce package was only 40 calories with 4 grams of fiber in all. I decided to go down to my local Korean market and try them out. I was please to see the package was only $1.50 so I knew even if this mysterious noodle turned out to be horrible I had wasted less than what I spend on a cup of coffee.

They come in a watery substance that made me a little nervous but I drained and rinsed then microwaved them for one minute and prepared myself. That whole minute in the microwave was a little nerve racking. I was wondering if I had just stumbled onto the best noodle ever and if I had why had I never heard of this before?

The noodles are done......I get out my yummy store bought pasta sauce and prepare for a journey into the unknown. The first bite came with some hesitation but after that first bite I was hooked!!!

These noodles tasted no different than any wheat based noodle I had ever eaten. Though yes they might have tasted a little different if you had eaten them without anything on them (which I tried and would not recommend) but I was shocked.

The noodles are made out of tofu which is why they only have 3 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of fat. There is even a little protein in there but 1 gram is not that great. For $1.50 I found a new amazing discovery. I didn't feel guilty for eating the whole package because it was only 40 calories total! I would recommend checking out their website for a little more information and possibly to purchase if you don't have any Asian markets around. The shipping is a little much because they have to stay refrigerated but if you love pastas, soups, or even salads with a noodles but hate how high in calories they can be I would highly suggest taking a look.

The next time you are in the mood for pasta you should try these noodles with your favorite store-bought pasta sauce and lots of veggies. I love sautéing zucchini, asparagus, and mushrooms in a little olive oil with some garlic then adding the sauce in to heat it up. You will have an amazing meal with these new noodles for fewer than 150 calories!

If you have tried these noodles as well let me know what you think!

For more information about these amazing tofu noodles go to:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What I'm All About

Hi! I am very excited to be starting this blog! It's going to be all about low-calorie vegetarian recipes. I became a vegetarian last year and realized there is a lot to do with vegetarian foods but a lot of it is high in calories and very time consuming to prepare. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen but not all day. So I am going to be dedicated to finding the best recipes I can and helping you understand more about how to cook and enjoy animal friendly foods! Happy Eating!