Meal Idea: Plant-based Szechuan Beefless Strips with Pan-fried Padrons, Squash Noodles and Fried Brown Rice

This meal is something you can easily make for dinner because it doesn’t involve much prep. Thankfully, there are plenty of plant-based alternative meats available to choose from.

My favorite Asian beef alternative is  Gardein’s Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips . The texture of these beefless strips reminds me of a crispy sweet and sour pork like you get at Chinese takeout places.

I cooked the strips per the instructions and sprinkled some flax seed on top for extra protein and Omegas. The sauce Gardein uses to flavor the beefless strips is amazing! I wish they would bottle that stuff up because I would buy a whole bottle of it. It tastes like a sweet, soy stir-fry sauce.

Recently, I bought a Veggetti Spiralizer for like $10, and I’ll be honest because of this gadget I have become addicted to spiralizing vegetables, mostly zucchini or yellow squash. The Vegetti makes some real fun thick and thin veggie noodles.

To make the noodles, I used organic Zephyr squash which is one of my favorite squashes because of its fun yellow and green stripes. Use any of your favorite squash like zucchini or yellow squash. No need to cook the noodles because they actually taste better raw.

I love Padron peppers! Definitely try them if you haven’t. Padrons are a Spanish pepper and only about 3″ long. They have an earthy, sweet, nutty flavor and are mild 99% of the time. Occassionaly though, a couple in the bunch will be hot. It’s like playing roulette. In all the years I’ve eaten this pepper, only twice have I gotten a hot one.

If Padron peppers are not in season or available in your area, try other sweet peppers like Shishito or Jimmy Nardello.

Quickly pan sear a handful of chopped Padron peppers with olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder and pinch of sea salt.

Mix the cooked padrons in with the raw Zoodles and some chopped red onion.

The fried rice is simply pan-fried pre-cooked brown Jasmine rice with organic carrots, corn, edamame, and a little soy sauce for flavor.

Product Review: Plant-based Tuna Ahimi Nigiri and Roll from Ocean Hugger Foods At Whole Foods Market

In September, I was excited to hear about this new plant-based tuna called Ahimi made by Ocean Hugger Foods featured in USA Today that Whole Foods Market was selling in nigiri and a roll. Buzzfeed also posted a video about this vegan tuna sushi feeding it to unsuspecting people in the office.

I was in NYC to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center and found the Ahimi nigiri and roll at the Bryant Park Whole Foods on 42nd St and 6th Avenue so I bought a pack because hello vegan sushi!


One word review: WOW.

What blew my away the most is that this Ahimi is made from tomatoes. Who knew tomatoes could have a fatty-like texture so close to tuna fish with a vibrant red color that is spot on. I took a close up shot above so you could get a better view of the surface texture. Just looking at it most would never guess that was tomato. From the Ocean Hugger website:

“Made from just five natural ingredients, Ahimi™ is free of mercury, PCBs, and other toxic chemicals. It’s also vegan, safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and people with compromised immune systems.”

With Ahimi, you will never get a fishy flavor nor any worms or bacteria that can come with raw fish, and the best part is that the fish can stay in the ocean. The website does not list nutritional info because I am curious about the protein content as well as the fat and cholesterol.

Here is a quick peek video of the Ahimi up close so you can see it in action.


I liked the Ahimi best in the roll. If you served plant-based tuna this roll to your average meat-eaters, they would never know the difference. The Ahimi wouldn’t fool sushi aficionados but I think they might be impressed with the texture for a plant-based option. I would be curious to hear what Japanese sushi chefs think of this Ahimi.

I would love to see Ocean Hugger Foods do a spicy tuna so you could make spicy tuna rolls, my favorite.


Definitely try the Ahimi nigiri and rolls out if you can, and let me know what you think. Ocean Hugger Foods is heading in a great direction!


If You Need Help Choosing a Turkey Meat Alternative

If you are doing your first plant-based Thanksgiving, let’s give you a standing round of applauds! *cheers*

Here is a good video if you decided to go with a turkey meat alternative but have no idea which brand to get because hello there are too many choices. Yay! There was a time when Tofurkey was it. Thankfully, you now have many choices and the turkey-less meats are getting better.


The top brands are Tofurkey, Field Roast, and Gardein. Not in the video, Trader Joe’s also has a Turkey-less roast with gravy. Enjoy!

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