Product Review: Hodo Soy Sesame Yuba Noodles

Hodo Soy became famous when Chipotle chose them to make their special recipe Sofritas option. Hodo Soy has an incredible line of ready-to-eat products they sell in retail.

One of my favorites is the Hodo Sesame Yuba Noodles which is organic and gluten-free.

 

 

What exactly is Yuba you ask?


From Hodo Soy’s website, here is more details on how Hodo makes Yuba, and here in a nutshell is what Yuba is.

“Yuba is a delicacy.   Fresh Yuba, or in Japanese, Nama Yuba, is a category of fresh “tofu skin” harvested from rich and creamy soymilk.  Hodo is the only maker of fresh, organic, non-GMO, fresh yuba in the US marketplace.

A delicacy made from only soybeans and water, yuba is the thin veil that forms on the surface of soymilk as the cream and protein rise to the surface.”

You can see in the photo of my Ginger Sesame dish above the strips of Yuba among the brown rice noodles. I like the texture of the Yuba noodles which feel like flattened firm tofu with a little spring to it. The Yuba takes on the flavor you add to it.

The Yuba strips are basically a new way to experience eating tofu and it’s fun!

The recipe for the meal pictured here is in our app.

Plant-based Version of Classic IKEA Cafeteria Meatballs, Gravy, and Mashed Potatoes

One of the most popular dishes in the cafeteria at IKEA here in the U.S, is the meatballs, gravy, and mashed potatoes. When I ate meat, and visited IKEA, I would often get this dish because it’s my favorite and really embodies the IKEA experience for me.

When IKEA debuted their 100% plant-based Vegetable Balls which I reviewed here, my local IKEA offered the Vegetable Balls in the cafeteria for a limited time as a special. So GOOD!

You can buy the frozen Vegetable Balls and make the famous dish at home. This is how I usually make my plant-based version of this IKEA favorite.

Vegetable Balls:

I pan fry the balls in some avocado oil until they are a nice looking brown.

Asparagus:

For the asparagus, I did a simple roast. Massage the asparagus spears with some olive oil, and season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 7 minutes so they are cooked but still a little crunchy. To add some zest, squeeze some lemon juice on the asparagus after you take them out of the oven.

Mashed Potatoes:

I make my mashed potatoes using 1 large organic russet potato chopped and boiled for about 15 minutes, Earth Balance Soy-free Buttery Spread, sea salt, and a plant-based milk. The milks I use often are either Milkadamia Original Macadamia Milk, or Living Harvest Tempt Original Coconut Hempmilk. Both have a neutral flavor that doesn’t give the potatoes a milk taste to it like soy or almond milk can.

Put the boiled potato, 1 tbsp of the Buttery Spread, 2 tbsp of the plant-based milk, and a couple shakes of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes until they are nice and creamy. Add more salt to taste if you need or a little more milk for smoother mashed potatoes.

Gravy:

The gravy is from a packet of Simply Organic Vegetarian Brown Gravy. I sautéed some chopped cremini mushrooms and chopped shallots in a little bit of the Earth Balance Soy-free Buttery Spread until softened and then added them to the brown gravy. I like chunky gravy.

Enjoy!

Easy Farmers Market Vegetable Packed Flatbreads

 

Here’s a fun way to eat your veggies – flatbread! What you top your flatbread with is also another opportunity to go to the farmer’s market and get creative with what is in season. During summer, cherry heirloom tomatoes are a MUST I tell you because these beauties are packed with flavor and fun colors like these here.

 

Organic-heirloom-cherry-tomatoes

 

Here are some other summer vegetable ideas for toppings:

Shishito or Padron peppers

 

Shishito-Peppers

 

Organic summer squash. There are so many varieties. Have fun picking one.

 

Organic-squash-table

 

Squash blossoms. So pretty!

 

Squash Blossoms

Figs and sweet yellow peppers

 

Figs-Peppers-Tomatoes

 

See. The possibilities are endless for your pizza toppings. In fact, make it a party, invite friends over and make several flatbreads with different toppings.

This flatbread is so simple and fast to make. Here are the ingredients:

  • One piece of Naan or Pita bread (Naan looks more like traditional flatbread versus Pita, but most Pita is dairy and egg free. You can buy pre-made Naan too. Most in-store Naan is vegetarian containing ghee or here’s a recipe for vegan Naan from Vegan Richa)
  • 2 tbsps of pesto sauce (pre-made or I included  my easy pesto recipe below)
  • A choice of your favorite vegetable fixings. Get creative! In the flatbread I made above, it contains artichokes, black olives, mushrooms, chopped cherry tomatoes and red onions plus fresh herbs!
  • Your favorite fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil or oregano
  • Olive oil

 

Basket of Fresh Herbs

 

 

Veggie Flatbread Slices

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 or get your grill going if you want to do the BBQ thing.
  • Layer the pesto sauce onto a piece of Naan.
  • Put your vegetable toppings into a small bowl and massage them with a little olive oil. The oil coating will help the veggies soften nicely while baking.
  • Spread the vegetable toppings onto your Naan. Toss some of the fresh herb on top.
  • Bake flatbread in the oven on a baking sheet, pizza stone or toss on the grill for 6-8 minutes depending on how crunchy you want your crust. Broil the top of your flatbread for 90 seconds just for a nice little top browning.

 

Fresh-basil-squash

 

Here is my recipe for creamy pesto sauce.

  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or macademia nuts
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients together and blend until you have a nice creamy pesto sauce.

You can add some shaved parmesan or manchego to your pesto sauce but it really does not need cheese so you can keep the flatbread vegan.

Product Review: Cherryvale Farms Blueberry Muffin Mix

 

Rejoice! A boxed blueberry muffin mix that is 100% plant-based and makes incredible moist and sweet muffins. No dry, bland flavor here at all.

I’m no baker and do not have the patience to make muffins from scratch so boxed stuff is fine with me as long as it meets my food requirements. This Cherryvale Farms Blueberry muffin mix is truly awesome. This mix is Non-GMO Project verified and 100% plant-based.

For my muffins here, I got some big juicy organic blueberries at Costco. What is unique about this muffin mix is that it just makes the batter for the muffins and comes with no fruit so there aren’t any dehydrated blueberry bits in it which is why the front of the box says, “Everything but the blueberries.”

So, that means you can make any fruit flavored muffins like strawberry, cherry, or peach. How fun!

 

 

The mix calls for butter. I used Earth Balance​ soy-free buttery spread in my muffins to make my muffins plant-based, and they were GOOD! I love using big blueberries versus the smaller ones because the bigger berries kinda explode during baking and make the muffin even moister.

My meat-loving parents enjoyed the muffins so much that there were only 2 left by the end of the day. They had no idea these muffins were vegan.

It’s just GOOD muffins. 🙂

Product Review: IKEA Vegetable Balls

Here in the U.S, one of the most popular dishes in the IKEA cafeteria is their meatballs with gravy and mashed potatoes. So, it was exciting when IKEA started selling frozen Vegetable Balls that are not only vegan, but also soy-free and gluten-free.

These vegballs are GOOD! They are pretty meaty and I was impressed how the ball stays together without using any eggs.  You will recognize all the ingredients used to make these vegballs. There is nothing artificial in them.

I made my own plant-based meal version of the cafe meatballs, gravy and mashed potatoes with some asparagus at home using the Vegetable Balls, and it was fantastic.

 

 

I made the gravy using a packet of Simply Organic Vegetarian Brown Gravy which is 100% plant-based, and added some chopped cremini mushrooms to my gravy. Pacific Foods also makes an Organic Vegan Mushroom Gravy.

The IKEA Vegetable Balls are also great with spaghetti and as an appetizer. The IKEA website also has some beautiful examples of dishes to make with the vegballs. I’ve never seen vegetable balls looks so gourmet.

 

Protein Snack: No Bake Oatmeal Hemp Cookie Bites

 

These cookie bites are one of my favorite snacks because they are easy to make and are loaded with plant-based protein. In fact, there is about 43g of protein in this whole recipe. Besides protein, the hemp seeds add a punch of Omega 3 and 6. These power cookie bites are great for post workout snacking.




Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen 1″ balls):

  • 1-1/4 cup organic dry oats
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of organic nut butter (use your favorite: peanut, almond, walnut, cashew)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp hemp seed
  • 5 tbsp organic honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all the ingredients together. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. Take the bowl out of the fridge and create 1″ balls.

Store the balls in an airtight container until all the balls have been eaten.

Yum!

Easy Staple Meal: Maple Black Beans and Brown Jasmine Rice

 

An easy staple, everyday type meal packed with protein and fiber especially on the days when you don’t feel like cooking much is organic maple black beans with brown Jasmine rice. We have some ying/yang action going on here.

This dish is easy to make and you can add extras on top like roasted squash, green beans, chard, or collard greens. You name it! I added chopped yellow tomato with avocado and some pea shoots with red chili flakes for some heat baby!

Here’s how I usually cook my black beans.

  • Start with a 15oz can of organic black beans.
  • In a small pot on medium heat, heat one tbsp of olive oil and sauté two chopped cloves of garlic with a 1/4 chopped small onion until they are soft.
  • Throw in the black beans and a little salt to taste.
  • Add in 1 tbsp organic maple syrup to add a hint of sweet to the beans and cook everything together for about two minutes. To add some smoky flavor, add a few shakes of paprika.




Here’s how I usually cook my rice, or sometimes I’ll get pre-cooked rice at the Whole Foods hot food bar.

When I make my rice, I add in a little quinoa to add some fun texture and more protein. I like Jasmine brown rice more than regular short grain brown rice because Jasmine is a longer grain and it’s texture is less chewy than it’s shorter grain cousin.

Besides black beans, you can make this dish using pinto beans, adzuki beans, black eyed peas, or any one of your favorite legumes.

What is your favorite bean?

Roasted Honey Sriracha Cauliflower

 

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to eat cauliflower because it’s so tasty and so easy to make. Plus, this cauliflower goes well as a side with almost any dish.

I used your typical white cauliflower for this recipe, but have some fun and try it using Romanesco also known as Roman cauliflower. I love the spiral, fractal look of Romanesco.

 

 




Ingredients:

  • Half a head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp honey (to make vegan use agave nectar)

Let’s start cooking:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Make sauce by combining olive oil, Sriracha sauce, and honey in a small bowl and mix well together.
  • Put the cauliflower florets in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and hand massage the sauce in with the florets to get them all nicely coated.
  • Place coated cauliflower on a baking sheet.
  • Roast for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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