Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Discoveries at NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

A few weeks ago I attended the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival. Although I always enjoy attending these types of events, more than the event itself it was an opportunity to get together with two of my blogger friends, Usha and Pavani. We ended up turning it into a foodie day. After going through the bottom floor of displays and attending a few of the cooking demos, we headed over to Chelsea Market and a the NYC Cake & Bake Shop. Since Pavani lives in New Jersey and doesn't come to the city often, she wanted to check out these places I am always talking about. We ended the day with dinner at Hummus & Pita Company.

We tasted lots of samples and here are a few of my favorites. Vegetarian or not, there was a lot of delicious goodies to be had by all.

I am a meat eater, so I rarely go for fake meat like seitan unless it is for a client. For me, I prefer to just eat meat itself. Many of these have a lot of grain in them so if I eat it with rice, I feel like I am eating rice with rice. There is a gluten free version made by Gardein and I absolutely loved it. As a meat eater, I can tell you unless someone told me, I would not have known the difference. This is a great product for Vegetarian converts who miss the flavor of meat. Obviously with less fat than meat, this is a great substitute even if you aren't Vegetarian.

Next was the Jyoti line of products. In addition to fresh products like rice and beans for cooking, they also produce canned products. Even if you don't trust my opinion, my two Indian blogger friends really enjoyed the canned food samples and thought they tasted as good as home made. The sambar was especially delicious!

My favorite snack food were these Keenwah Puffs - a healthier alternative to Potato Chips. My favorite was the Sweet Chili.

Coming in at a close second was Palm Frites. These flavored chips made from dried coconut is another healthier snack food alternative. With the different flavors, there is one to please everyone. My fave was the BBQ.

...and finally, I have saved the best for last. Try this coconut peanut butter and you will never go back to regular peanut butter again. I was the only weird child eating peanut butter and coconut sandwiches as a child because my Mom loved them so that is what she made for us. With her Caribbean background, coconut seemed a more natural pairing to her than jam. Earth Balance figured out how well this pairing works and this product was the first one I have been able to find since attending the Food Festival. I used it in a banana bread recipe and OMG - the best banana bread I have ever made!!!

If you're looking for some great Vegetarian products on the market, these are a few I recommend!

Chef Mireille

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Caribbean Almond Spaghetti

Throughout the Caribbbean, spaghetti is a much beloved side dish, albeit with our own interpretation. Whether you are in the Dutch, French, Spanish or British Caribbean, the preparation is similar, albeit with slight adaptations. Our spaghetti is not served with a lot of sauce, but merely coated with the sauce because for us, spaghetti is a side dish, not a course on its own. Spaghetti will most often be served with fried or stewed meats.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ham & Asparagus Quinoa Breakfast Pilaf - #HealthyBreakfast

Ham & Asparagus Quinoa Pilaf

Here in America, breakfast is a sweet affair. Sweetened oatmeal or cream of wheat, pancakes or waffles served with syrup, muffins, scones, sweetened yogurt, etc. We have an obsession with sugar. We are the sweetest country in the world, consuming approximately 390 lbs. of sugar last year, according to the USDA. I'm guilty of contributing to the sugar obsession and many mornings after breakfast I feel like I've just had dessert instead of breakfast and feel guilty for starting the day with so much sugar.

Almost every other country in the world starts the day with nutrient filled savory foods, except maybe the Phillipines where starting the day with puto or champorado isn't unusual.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Double Blueberry Bran Muffins

This recipe was inspired from one I saw in my muffin book bible, a book with 750 muffin recipes. However, I made a number of changes including the switch from all purpose flour to whole wheat pastry flour. This is a low sugar high fiber muffin that can be enjoyed just as easily for breakfast as a healthy sweet treat.

Using both blueberry puree and whole blueberries, you really get double the blueberry flavor in these!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spiced Overnight Sourdough Waffles for #InternationalWaffleDay

Belgian Waffles

Coming up next week on Wednesday, the world of food bloggers will be celebrating International Waffle Day. I wanted to post this recipe early so you can have everything all ready and prepared to celebrate on the day itself. It takes just a little prep the night before and then you can whip up these delicious waffles in short order on Wednesday.

Since I have hopped onto the Sourdough train, I am always looking for ways to use my sourdough discard. I avoid throwing away any type of food product at all costs and yet I must use it up, unless I want my starter to start exploding out of the refrigerator.

While American waffles are more cake like in texture, traditional Belgian waffles are really supposed to be closer to a bread like texture and are made with yeast, as demonstrated in my Belgian Waffle recipe here. Using the delicious tang of sourdough, these waffles more closely resemble the European original.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sourdough Potato Bread

Potato Bread

I have recently hopped onto the sourdough train and love baking all my breads sourdough now and even instant foods like pancakes and waffles. If you missed my post about my sourdough journey and how I created my starter, do check out my post here.

I am now feeding Pavani (my sourdough starter's name) every week and making all sorts of delicious breads with the lovely tang of sourdough. I promise you once you go sourdough, you won't want to go back. After you feed your starter this weekend, try this bread for a delicious treat.

No matter what you put in between two slices of this delicious bread, you will have the perfect sandwich.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pain Patate - Haitian Sweet Potato Pudding

Sweet Potato Pudding, Batata Pudding
This is a very classical Haitian dessert. I previously did this as a guest post on Kalyani's blog. However, I have since made a few minor changes to the recipe and also wanted to post an updated version with better pictures.

Using very little sugar, this dessert capitalizes on the natural sweetness of banana and batata with abundant use of spices. The spices create such an amazing flavor that people won't even notice the sugar missing in this barely sweet dessert. With its low sugar content, it's a Diabetic friendly dessert.

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