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#grocerystoreobsessionjuly11

photo 3Take a good look at this picture.

**SCROLLING DOWN = SPOILER ALERT** ūüôā

Take a good look at this picture. What do you see?

At first glance, it looks like breaded chicken cutlets, with broccoli and pasta.

As I have written in previous posts, sometimes I like to get my protein in other ways than meat.

Yes, there is pasta (Kroger Private Selection Gigli pasta), an easy butter sauce I made using Country Crock with calcium,  and broccoli (Green Giant Seasoned Steamers РTuscan Broccoli), and shaved Parmesan cheese (which is from Kraft already pre-shaved).

This meal was made in about a 1/2 hour, using a combination of microwave and stove action.

But what looks like chicken cutlets, is not in fact, chicken.

It’s my latest grocery store obsession:

photo 1Meatless chick’n scallopini cutlets, lightly seasoned, by gardein.

I found this a few weeks back in the meatless frozen section in Kroger, and was very intrigued, especially at the fact that it says the protein is garden grown.

I also love the listing of the essentials: calories, protein, cholesterol, etc. on the FRONT.

Wondering what’s inside this masterpiece of “chicken” you see in the above pictures? Here’s the ingredient list from its website:

gardein chick‚Äôn: water, soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed/canola oil, organic ancient grain flour (kamut¬ģ, amaranth, millet, quinoa), natural flavors (from plant sources), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, sea salt, potato starch, organic cane sugar, onion powder, vinegar, garlic powder, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, extractives of paprika and turmeric. rub: dehydrated vegetable (red bell pepper, garlic, onion), spices, organic cane sugar, salt. *non-genetically engineered soy and wheat.

You’re getting your soy in there yes, so a.k.a. some tofu-like qualities. But tofu, you do NOT taste in this, in fact this was one of the first meatless items besides meatless chicken tenders/nuggets where it actually had a similar texture to chicken (now not 100 % obviously, but similar). I’m impressed to see there’s quinoa in this as well, along with pea protein, carrot and beetroot fiber. I don’t know about you, but this product alone has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for QUICK meal ideas (and you know I love eating out of CONVENIENCE!).

And here’s how you cook it:

-Put some of your favorite cooking oil (I’ve used olive oil or vegetable oil) in a frying pan.

-Heat stove to medium high heat

-Cook by itself or in the picture up top, I cooked mine dredged in flour, and some herbs/spices (lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc)

-Saute on each side for about 2-3 minutes

photo 2

And voila!

The picture you see at the top of this post.

Now this may not be for everyone, I understand. I’m no vegetarian, but I do consider myself a vegivore from time to time.

But this find is exciting. And as you peruse Gardein’s website, you’ll find not only meatless chicken, but beef, fish filets and even holiday meals!

Bam. Easy, quick meal ideas.

**SIDENOTE: Another meatless #grocerystoreobsession I have right now, not pictured (because I ate them all!) are Kroger Simple Truth Meatless Chicken Tenders. Heat them up in the oven for 20 minutes and boom. Chicken minus the chicken. Delicious.

MEATLESS MONDAY: Corn, corn, corn!

Corn, corn, corn. Photo credit: http://www.etftrends.com

Happy Monday!

I’m kicking off the week with an ode to corn.

Earlier Sunday afternoon I took a drive through the countryside here in Ohio. Music blasting, I’m driving through this almost tunnel like road lined with beautiful trees. The road winds around, and all of a sudden I’m driving through open space. Gorgeous open fields. Of corn.

So much green around me, I took it all in.

Which tonight got me thinking about the corn itself. Those golden yellow kernels, the butter, the little corn on the cob holders, and the little dishes you put the corn in. I flash back to my days in Connecticut, going to Stew Leonard’s with my family and picking out corn on the cob with them to have at dinner. We’d come home, and I’d always help out with shucking the cobs of their exterior green coats, and boiling all the cobs in a big pot of water, then eating it with just some butter on it, no salt or pepper or anything. The perfect summer food. Love. It.

I flash back to one point in time when my aunt (a wonderful chef), did something a little different with the corn one year at our house.  She made this chili lime butter and dipped the cooked corn on the cob in it,  rolled it in Parmesan cheese, then put it on a wooden skewer.

It was incredible. I’d never had anything like it. Since then, my dad and I still do the Parmesan cheese thing with the corn (but instead of chili lime butter, we melts butter with chives).

I love popcorn, I love corn on the cob, but I remember that chili lime butter Parmesan dipped corn being so cool. It was fun. To have corn in that different, more dressed up way.

But when it stands on its own, how does it benefit our health?

Here’s what whfoods.com has to say (I picked out a few noteworthy items):

  • It’s a good source of vitamin C.

  • Its good sources of fiber and protein help stabilize the passing of food through our digestive tracts; that helps make it easier to avoid sudden spikes/drops in our blood sugar.

Bottom line: corn IS good for our health.¬† But you don’t have to just eat it plain, up to you. It certainly has enough power to stand on its own, but there are so many different options with corn you can try!

Below are some fun recipes I came across for cooking with corn this summer! Happy eating.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/07/how-to-make-mexican-street-corn-elotes.html?ref=pop_serious_eats

http://www.marthastewart.com/356647/corn-salad

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/coconut-shrimp-corn-chowder-10000001167280/index.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/corn-fritters-recipe/index.html

How do you like your corn? On the cob, off the cob, popcorn, fritters, soup, dessert? Join the conversation below!

LONG ISLAND — NATIONAL PIZZA MONTH – Vegetable Personal Pizza at Miller Place Pastaria

Have you ever had an “a-ha!” moment? That moment when you’re doing something (or eating something), where everything just clicks and you want to burst out and say “A-ha!”

This happened to me while eating pizza with my dad this afternoon.

One thing I’ll tell you about myself and my family: we have a lot of places we frequent in our area where we live. Is it the same for you all, where there is that group of familiar neighborhood restaurants you head to because they are just that amazing?

One place my family and I go to often is Miller Place Pastaria.

Not only does the pastaria have amazing Italian pasta dishes and entrees, but it also has fondue (which is very popular), amazing seafood dishes (salmon francese!), and of course, pizza.

This morning dad told me he was craving a vegetable pizza from the pastaria, so we immediately hopped in the car and headed over to the pastaria. We were greeted by the owner / chef, Charles Zein, who showed us our table.

We decided on splitting a personal sized veggie pizza, as the only other option was an 18″ large, which to us was way too big for two people.

This pizza was worth our wait:

Never have I tasted a vegetable pizza with vegetables tasting so…fresh…not salty…not processed or preserved. It was the perfect size for two, we each had three tiny slices that filled us right up. The broccoli was soft and texturally mixed well with the sweet red onions, tangy and sweet green peppers, and the meaty mushrooms. The sauce was sweet, tangy and flavorful, not too tart and not too sweet.

It was the crust and dough gave me the “A-ha!” moment, though.

The dough was so light, yet had a very slight crisp on the bottom at the same time. The crust was light with a slight crisp too, but it was particularly sweeter than most doughs I had. I actually thought of zeppole’s when I ate it. But I liked it.

“A-ha.”

Besides the pizza, the pastaria has a very warm, inviting atmosphere with the golden yellow hue on the walls, the gorgeous paintings and the soft classics playing on the speakers overhead. There are specials there almost everyday, including prix fixe Early Bird menus, Two-For-Tuesdays and different pizza specials throughout the week. Not to mention the amazing, friendly staff!

If you’re around the MP area, Miller Place Pastaria is a must try.

343 Route 25A

Miller Place, N.Y. 11764

1 631.928.4467

http://www.mppastaria.com

http://www.facebook.com/MillerPlacePastaria

SYRACUSE — $20 or Less: Two Ships Passing in the Night — Darwin

DARWIN. 211 N. Clinton St. Syracuse

HOURS: 9 a.m.  to 3 p.m., Monday thru Friday.

http://www.darwinonclinton.com

(315) 373-0484

Attention vegetarians (and non-vegetarians, too!)!!!

There is an amazing $8 sandwich at Darwin for you to try out the next time you’re looking for a great sandwich for lunch.

It’s name? Two Ships Passing in the Night.

Here’s what its’ website says about the sandwich:

TWO SHIPS PASSING IN THE NIGHT ($8)
Get it…¬† “No MEAT!”¬† You can thank Dave for that one.¬† Vegetarians have had a hit or miss experience at DARWIN.¬† We’ve been working on that.¬† We haven’t had a strictly vegetarian options until now.¬† We’ve decided to do our version of the “French Smuggler.”¬† A¬†popular veggie sandwich that consists of fresh, soft mozz, marinated portabello mushrooms, frizzled red onion,¬†a thick slice of parmesan crusted tomato, fresh¬†spinach and basil¬†stacked on Pasta’s stretch and finished with our homemade creamy balsamic.¬† Vegetarians…¬† We hope it was worth the wait.¬† Non-vegetarians…¬† You’ll love it too..

This sandwich packs a punch of delicious flavors: the thick slice of mozzarella is the true “meat” of the sandwich alongside the juicy portabello mushrooms. The frizzled red onions bring a sweet crunch, with the fresh spinach and basil bringing the strong green flavors. The balsamic brings the entire sandwich together with its sweet yet tangy flavors.

Here’s me showing what the sandwich looks like:

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