Tag Archives: vegetarian

Homemade Gyoza, Recipe

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Gyoza. Dumplings. Pot Stickers. What ever you want to call them I am obsessed. For years I relied on gyoza, broccoli and rice as my go to quick weeknight dinner. Filling, healthy and easy. Well, easy when you have an amazing Japanese grocery store down the street that sells frozen gyoza for cheap. Not so easy when said grocery store closes and the American supermarket variety just don’t stack up. So whats a girl to do but learn to make her own, from scratch, by the dozen and freeze them?

After having made homemade ravioli this didn’t seem very intimidating to me as the concept is pretty similar.

For the wrappers, you can find them in most supermarkets in the produce section (by the refrigerated salad dressings) but I made my own from La Fuji Mama’s recipe. I was having a hell of a time rolling out the little circles so I actually ended up rolling out (with my pasta machine) a thin sheet of the gyoza dough and then cutting out circles with a biscuit /cookie cutter, as she suggested. A little nontraditional but it worked really well for me! Fuji Mama has great step by step photos that I can’t reproduce so check out her site for the recipe!

Now for the filling, I used this recipe found on the Darling Baker’s website. I omitted the water chestnuts though as I wasn’t particularly interested in them. Delicious.

Shrimp Filling for Gyoza
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Once you have made your gyoza with the filling of your choice you can pan fry or steam them. I prefer the pan fried method of course…

Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

I love the gyoza dipping sauce from Whole Foods but any will work (or make your own)!

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Veggie Galaxy, Central Sq

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Where: Veggie Galaxy – 450 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
When: May, 2012

After seeing Veggie Galaxy reviewed on one of Boston’s food shows and having heard that they serve breakfast all day long I was eager to get down there and try them out.

Veggie Galaxy is all vegetarian food although everyone I know who has gone there has assured me that us meatatarians won’t miss the meat at all. Alright, bring it.

I like the atmosphere at Veggie Galaxy, its laid back and old school dineresque. (I was very tempted to write “old skool” just then) They have an open kitchen, hightops and a lot of chrome. All good with me.

We decided to split two of their burgers: 1) The Harvard Square Tarragon Basil Pesto Burger which comes with red cabbage slaw, and sweet corn mash. We got this one with the mushroom chickpea burger patty. 2) The Kendall Square Burger which comes with roasted red pepper puree, beer battered onion rings, roasted garlic mayo, and baby arugula. We got this one with the Chipotle black bean burger patty. They were both very different and very good. I did want fries instead of salad but they said they couldn’t do substitutions which I was confused by. In retrospect I could have gotten a side of fries but didn’t think about it.

I started with the Harvard Square Tarragon Basil Pesto Burger as it seemed a little milder in flavors. It was very good with the sweetness of the mash and earthiness of the mushroom patty. The burger patty could have been a little firmer for my likely but the flavor was very good.

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The Kendall Square Burger was a little more gluttonous than the first, with deep fried onion rings right on top – yes. The roasted garlic mayo was one of my favorite parts (you know I love my aiolis).  I think we both may have preferred this burger patty to the first.

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For dessert we split the Sweet Potato Carrot Cake, which is made in-house. The flavors were good but the cake wasn’t very moist. Its likely from having been refrigerated but it just was cold and dry. Not memorable.

Overall, I liked it. I wasn’t knocked off my high booth but it was all good (minus the cake). The service was great and burgers were worth coming back for. I’d recommend it for groups, breakfast, and dinner with friends. Its far from romantic but who needs that all the time anyways, right?

How did Veggie Galaxy measure up? 3 Spoons!

Veggie Galaxy on Urbanspoon

Green Monster Smoothie, Recipe

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Its Monday and you ate like crap all weekend. What do you do now? Make a Green Monster Smoothie! Ok, it doesn’t reverse all the weekend damage you’ve done but it sure makes me feel like I’m doing my body some good.

I don’t know about you guys but I definitely have weeks where it seems as though I have eaten every meal out and consumed more bottles of wine than any one person should. I have a few go-to “recovery” meals I try to stick to after a period like this to try to avoid packing on the lbs. This one, although hard to call a meal, is now a part of that rotation.

I wasn’t sure about this smoothie when I first read through the ingredients list but decided to give it a whirl and, boy, am I glad I did. I was afraid I wouldn’t feel full or satisfied with just this but having had a healthy, filling lunch this did the trick for dinner. I even skipped my usual oreos and milk dessert without feeling deprived.

I’d love to take this into work for lunch some days if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep it tasting like a smoothie hours later!

 

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Green Monster Spinach Smoothie
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
3 cups baby spinach

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1. Nutritional stats: 350 calories, 10g fiber, 21g protein

Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples, Recipe

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I only recently discovered how delicious salads, with homemade dressing, can be so was happy to serve one up as a starter for my recent dinner party. The entree, Fish Mollee, was on the heavier side so wanted something light but not boring. I also wanted to sneak some fruit in there as I’ve been lacking in my fruit intake lately. Enter Mixes Baby Greens with Cranberries, Apples, and Goat Cheese with Maple Dressing. It was easy (especially as you can make the dressing earlier and refrigerate until ready to use), quick, and delicious.

The dressing is quite garlicky, be warned, but it actually offsets the sweetness of the cranberries apples, and maple really nicely. By the end of the salad I couldn’t taste the garlic anymore but I am sure that’s just because my whole mouth tasted like it. I’d definitely make this again whether for a party or as a quick weekday dinner.

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Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T maple syrup
Kosher salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thin strips
1 T fresh lemon juice
8 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Make the maple dressing: Whisk together the oil, garlic, vinegar and maple syrup until well combined. Add kosher salt to taste. (I usually need 3-4 generous pinches, tasting after each addition.)

2. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

3. In a large bowl, combine the baby greens, apples, cranberries and half the pecans. Toss the greens with maple dressing to taste and divide among serving dishes. Top each dish with remaining pecans and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6

Life Alive, Central Sq

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Where: Life Alive – 764 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA
When: Februar, 2012

I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about Life Alive since it opened so was thrilled when an old friend and colleague, Jackie, moved back to town and suggested it to Daniela and I. The plan was lunch but since we pinned down a date I had booked a flight for a mini holiday so we moved it to brunch.

Daniela and I got there a few minutes before Jackie did so we grabbed a table and started scooping out the menu. We didn’t recognize a lot of the sauces so had a hard time distinguishing what was what and hence were no closer to a decision when Jackie arrived. After a few minutes of catching up we re-focused on the menu until we had our choices.

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I got the The Green Goddess: “Our Ginger Nama Shoyu Sauce enhanced by flax oil and garlic, empowering avocado (seasonal), broccoli, dark greens, and tofu. All are served over short-grain brown rice.” I got mine in a salad format (instead of a wrap). It was really filling and full of healthy and earthy ingredients with a zesty tangyness from the dressing. It felt really healthy, like I was doing a really nice thing for my body. It was also very garlicky. Don’t get me wrong, I love garlic but I just couldn’t get over how garlicky it was (I think I must have said “Wow, this is garlicky!” six times). It must have had 12 cloves of garlic in it. I felt bad for whoever was sitting next to me on my 3 hour flight. Yikes!

20120229-165757.jpgDaniela got the The Adventurer: “Our Sesame Ginger Nama Sauce combines with a colorful mix of corn, beets, broccoli, dark greens, shredded cheddar, tofu & tamari
almonds over quinoa & short grain brown rice.” This was recommended by one of the staff members when she asked for a suggestion. He said this is their most popular item on their menu.

20120229-165746.jpgJackie got The Explorer: “Our scrumdelyishus homemade lowfat Red Lentil Hummus, paired with sesame crunches, sundried tomatoes, cucumber, corn, spring mix and a sprinkle of shredded carrots and beets all traveling together with our fantastic honey wasabi vinaigrette. A dreamy destination!” What a description!

Both Daniela and Jackie said they liked their wraps a lot and both took half home as they were so filling (I ate all of mine, ahem).

Overall, I think Life Alive is a great bite place. They don’t have table service so the feel is very casual, more like a cafe, but comfortable. I think its a great alternative to grabbing a burrito or something a little less healthy when you need a quick lunch. I’d definitely go back when I want to grab a quick healthy, filling bite.

How did Life Alive measure up? 3.75 Spoons!

Life Alive on Urbanspoon