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Applesauce Recipe – Easy Homemade Method

Tom Basics, Desserts, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian 0 Comments

Homemade applesauce, although sort of resembles the store-bought stuff, blows it away with the soft texture and wonderful sweetness. Sometimes the simple things are worth making at home.

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Applesauce is another homemade item that you probably think: “Shoot, that probably requires some tools I don’t have…” Actually… all you need is a peeler, knife, pot and smasher. Boom applesauce! It’s so stinkin easy that you will likely pull it right into your set of GO TO recipes.

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The apples used in this recipe were of the variety “On Sale.” Yes, that is a variety most likely found at your grocery store. They may have been Fuji apples, but I forgot. I have made this easy applesauce recipe out of quite a few varieties of apples thus far and have not found a bad one. Some end up a little more tart than others, but absolutely edible. If it’s slightly tart, just give it a few days in the fridge and voilà it becomes sweeter.

Let’s Cook!


Applesauce Recipe for Best Chunky Applesauce!

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Green Beans Stir Fry with Tempeh – Vegan Dinner!

Tom Adventure Eating, Dinner, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian 0 Comments

Stir fry this and stir fry that… You can basically stir fry anything!  This is a great combo (Green Beans, Carrots and Tempeh) for a meat-less option that will still keep ya full past dessert.

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The unassuming fermented soybeans (tempeh) wear a meaty disguise to this veggie party with an amazing ability to soak up the dark soy sauce flavors. Add a pile of fresh crunchy green beans, a few carrots, with plenty of garlic and ginger for a bright and satisfyingly hearty ethnic taste.

Your co-workers may even ask: “What type of meat is that in your super delicious looking stir fry left overs??”

And no Bob, you can’t have any my stir fry…

Speaking of left overs, this is one of our staples for a pre-cooked, packaged meal and frozen meal. We have embarked on many stir fry cooking sprees of over 20 pounds on a Sunday afternoon.  Then we split up the loot into 1 pound FoodSaver vacuum sealed bags, the perfect single serve healthy lunch or dinner for a guy on the go. Reheating is a breeze and the flavors / textures remain pretty darn good even after a few weeks!

As of this writing, I have eaten our packaged stir fry in 15 states and at 35,000 feet somewhere over Russia… Have stir fry, will travel.

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Let’s Cook!


Green Beans Stir Fry with Tempeh

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Coconut Macaroons Recipe – Lynnette Astaire

Tom Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Party Food, Recipe, Snacks, Vegan, Video 0 Comments


Lynnette Astaire’s Coconut Macaroon Recipe


Let’s face it when you get hungry, you gotta eat something… And you can’t just bake a chicken or make a fresh kale salad every time the HUNGER strikes! These coconut macaroons sweet, filling and store well for at least a week. That is if you can resist eating them all at once…

Recipe Inspiration: Lynnette Astaire – LiveLynnette.com

lynnette astaire featured on Eat with Tom chicago food blogFor this post we’ve brought in the lifestyle expert and healthy food queen Lynnette Astaire to help us out with a healthy snack recipe. She is a true health fanatic and loves to share her tips and tricks for a great life on her site www.livelynnette.com. The content is raw, real and super funny! Her recent Beyonce 7/11 parody video had me cracking up as her and a friend lip-sync the song on the beach in Mexico.

This recipe was inspired by one of Lynnette’s favorite snacks from Whole Foods. The only problem was, she loved them so much that the pre-packaged price tag was eating a hole in her pocket. With a bit of ingredient list research and a few Google searches, voila Coconut Macaroons on the CHEAP!!

This recipe includes almond flour (or meal) to keep it gluten free and gives it nice nutty flavor.  This is a new ingredient for me, but it is a fun one!  Angela the Baker first introduced almond meal to me with the Peach Crumble recipe where she combined it with ground up quinoa for a tasty grain-free topping.

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Step-by-Step Coconut Macaroons Recipe Instructions

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broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconut

Asian Inspired Broccolini Recipe, Edamame, Coconut

Tom Adventure Eating, Dinner, Grain-Free, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables 1 Comment

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Broccolini Recipe with Edamame, Coconut and Kaffir Lime Leaves


Fresh and light with tons of lime and coconut. Take a ride around the world with this tropical vegetable dish. The Kaffir Lime leaves give an amazing aroma of lime throughout the dish without citrusy bitterness. Finished with heaping handful of cilantro for an ultimate fresh taste.

Over the Christmas break, I was back at home perusing cookbooks and found “Plenty More” by the uber famous Yotam Ottolenghi. At first glance I was thoroughly impressed by the images, but felt the ingredients may be too obscure for most.  I still grabbed the book and loaded it up for some airplane reading on the way back from Missouri to the Chicago Arctic.

Recipe Inspiration – Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi (pg.62)

While squished into an airplane seat and thumbing through the book, I found myself quite excited about a number of Yotam’s recipes. They seem to have an un-abashed other world flair to them. Due to his British tongue, a number of ingredients that sound exotic turn out to be easily attainable. For example, “haricots verts” actually are just simple green beans…

Ok, so beans are haricots verts, but when do I find curry leaves, and fresh ones to be exact? Well I haven’t yet… But I did find fresh Kaffir Lime leaves at an asian grocery store for real cheap. So I tossed ’em in! Although I am sure it’s a very different flavor from the original recipe, the aroma and flavor infusion from the leaves is worth a quick trip to the market.

Another substitution I made for this recipe was young coconut meat for grated mature hard coconut. Until preparing this dish I had never hacked into a fresh coconut in the kitchen. Recalling my childhood, we might have had one that I smashed with a hammer in the driveway, but that’s about it. My girlfriend loves coconut water and has many fond memories of drinking them along the roadside in Singapore. She assured me, “just cut here and here and the top will come right off.”

broccolini recipe plenty more edamame green beans coconutI sort of believed her, but I still wore my cut resistant gloves. I dug up an old knife and began gently hacking away at the top point. It’s easy to cut through the white flesh, but then there is a woody center that does take a bit more whacking. Then suddenly the coconut water begins to leak out and whoohoo! Just like finding water in the dessert. Take a look down below for images of how-to break into the young coconut, it is definitely easier than I would have imagined. AND the coconut is totally worth it in this veggie dish for a hint of sweetness and richness.

This recipe was the my first foray into “Plenty More” and it actually turned out real tasty! Either every recipe in this book is pretty good, or I just got lucky. Regardless, I am motivated to translate more British English to discover the world according to Yotam.


Yotam Otteolenghi’s Plenty More Recipe Adaptation for Broccolini and Edamame Salad Step by Step Images

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beet juice recipe benefits

Carrot Orange Beets Ginger and Turmeric Juice (COBGT Juice)

Tom Juice, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian 1 Comment

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Beet Juice Recipe to Boost Your Nutrition Intake and Brighten Your Day!


Bold color and big nutrition. This juice is loaded with some richly colored roots, kicked up with ginger and turmeric and then smoothed out with some oranges. It turns out super red, but don’t let that fool you, it doesn’t taste as earthy (like dirt) as you might imagine a beet juice blend.

beet juice recipe cleanse ideas
With the eternal question of juicing or smoothing, I choose both. I have not gone down the juice cleanse road, although I have heard some amazing things from friends. I look to juicing to complement my diet by getting a concentrated dose of nutrients, QUICK. This allows me to get some of the goodness from greens, roots, and fruits that I likely would not have eaten raw.

When picking out the ingredients for this juice, I go the bulk root produce section. If you go with the less pretty, but organic versions (i.e. bulk beets) you can get this elixir done on a budget. Turmeric can be a little trickier to find, but seems to be at most of the Whole Foods in Chicago. If you cannot get your hands on it, just go for the ginger, it will still be a treat.

carrot juice recipe with orange beet ginger turmeric

Recipe Inspiration – Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well

Squeezing all of those whole foods into a smooth juice does come with a hit of sugar, so be prepared. I tend to do my best thinking and work when I am not spiked on sugar, so I like to enjoy my juice with meals to blunt the sugar rush. You will definitely still feel a jolt of nutrients and energy any way you enjoy this powerhouse blend.

Lynette Astaire, an interesting personality in the health, fitness and fashion scene, whom I met in Chicago, has been chronicling a 21 day fast on YouTube. It’s quite informative and entertaining, definitely worth checking out. Sooner or later, I will be pulling Lynnette in for a collaboration on Eat with Tom, stay tuned!

 


Juice Recipe with Beets, Orange Turmeric, and Ginger Step by Step Images

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Peach Quinoa Crumble (Vegan, Gluten-Free) – Healthy Dessert Recipe Ideas

Angela Desserts, Easy Impress, Recipe, Vegan 2 Comments

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Peach Quinoa Crumble – Healthy Dessert Recipes


**Guest Post from Angela the Baker**

Toasted and ground quinoa combined with almond meal elevates this simple peach crumble to gourmet status.  Almonds and peaches are a winning combination as close cousins on the family tree (pun fully intended.) These blushing ladies I got are so amazingly sweet, it only takes a little boost from some jam and maple syrup to reach that perfectly balanced nature of  home-style  fresh fruit crumble.  Missouri has so many wonderful small production farms and orchards.  When I saw these peaches from Hilltop Farm, I melted with joy!  This is seriously healthy comfort food any way you slice (or scoop) it.  Bonus, it’s vegan!

For the topping I toast and grind the quinoa to create the awesome texture everybody loves.   The sweet nutty flavor that develops compliments the almond meal and oats, enhancing the simple nature of the grain. Bound by some coconut oil and seasoned only with a pinch of salt and some sugar, the stuff is snack crack!

toasted quinoa crumble with peaches healthy desserts

The recipe will yield a bit of extra topping, never fear, try it on top of some fresh fruit (or homemade yogurt) and you will be in heaven.  When I first became aware of quinoa, I didn’t give it much thought, but a fascinating conversation with a friend and a few minutes on wiki got me really excited. As a pseudo-cereal, it is a complete protein, and chalk full of important minerals that some people struggle to include in their diets like magnesium, calcium and iron; with plenty of fiber and essential amino-acids this underutilized grain deserves its super-food title.

I hear a lot of requests for vegan and/or gluten-free desserts, and before recently, I would have just passed it off.  But the more I explore the better I feel about adapting my favorites. I personally have no need or major concern for following any specific diet plan, no big allergies to contend with or any other situation, but I have come to love cooking this way.  You can really wow some people after they’ve tried this crumble by telling them it’s true nature.  The smells that come from it while it’s baking should be bottled and sold.

As Tom would say,
“Let’s cook!”


Peach Quinoa Crumble – Healthy Dessert Recipe

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avocado recipe eat with tom chicago food blog

Limey Avocado and Grape Tomato Side Dish from Lemonade LA

Tom Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Lunch, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian 1 Comment

Amazing avocado recipe - vegan meals - chicago food blog


Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes


Large chunks of avocados spiked with a zesty lime vinaigrette, smiles are guaranteed.  This dish is a great side or main player for a veggie based lunch.  The good fats in the avocados will keep both your brain and stomach happy all afternoon.  No h-Anger excuses!

(h-Anger defined: the annoyed and dangerous mindset that causes you to turn into a ravenous beast until you get junk food or another meal.  No, coffee does not fix this condition.  See additional details on the Urban Dictionary.)

I  traveled and worked in downtown Los Angeles for many weeks last year.  Of all the meals I ate throughout the city, my favorites primarily all came from this quick serve modern cafeteria restaurant on the basement level of the office building.

Best Food blog recipes for lunch gourmet vegetable side dish chi

Recipe Inspiration – The Lemonade Cookbook


This mecca of lunch greatness, called Lemonade, seems to exist only in California and the Middle East (go figure…) at this point.  This dish falls into their ‘marketplace portions’ category, consisting of relatively healthy, mostly veggie based, and super flavorful dishes.  I was so excited to find such a truly filling and healthy option for lunch on the road that I ate there nearly everyday.  Oh yeah, and on travel days I would eat it twice… oops.  If you are flying Delta through LAX, you can find it right there in the terminal.

Since I am such an avid fan, of course I had to buy the cookbook.  So now that my days traveling to L.A. are over, I am working through the recipes and plan to share a few more of my favorites in future posts.  Got a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket? Pick up the The Lemonade Cookbook on Amazon.


Avocado Recipe with Limey Dressing and Grape Tomatoes

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Eat Healthy - Raw Meal recipes - Ideas for Dinner

Massaged Kale Salad with Sunflower Seeds and Dried Cranberries

Tom Dinner, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian 2 Comments

Eat Healthy - Raw Meal recipes - Ideas for Dinner

Turn that super chewy and tough raw kale into a tender treat with a simple massage.  The other secret weapons of this recipe are  sunflower seeds and mustard which transform these greens into a savory and satisfying dish.

The idea of massaging kale is bound to cause a raised eyebrow from anyone not familiar with the glorious result.  The process is so simple, I am still dumbfounded why the technique has not taken hold on a larger scale.

Don’t be surprised if you too are amazed by the transformation as the kale dramatically reduces in volume and becomes luxuriously soft.  To the untrained eye, it will even appear to have been cooked.

Try adding different dried fruits or toasted nuts to liven up the flavors even more.  Pine nuts are also amazing, but kinda expensive these days.

For the longest time, I was not into raw curly kale, because it took too much work just to choke it down.    Turns out, the kale just needs a relaxing massage.  This recipe is super easy and worth the quick forearm workout.  Your significant other will surely let you practice the massage techniques on them…

Let’s Cook!


Massaged Kale with Cranberries Recipe Step by Step Images

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