Mango Jicama Lettuce Wraps

Despite my carb-centric tendencies, every so often I can handle a bread or grain-free meal, especially if it’s something as fresh and crisp as these Mango Jicama Lettuce Wraps.

The filling is simple – ground turkey, chicken or even those strange soy crumble things (more on those later) mixed with aromatics and Asian flavors. But it’s the mango jicama slaw that really makes the dish pop. The sweet, cool, crunchy flavors are offset by the warm, savory protein filling, and all of it is wrapped in fresh, crisp butter lettuce leaves.

Now, about the filling. For a while I’ve been curious about those frozen soy crumbles and decided this was a good opportunity to give them a try. While not offensive in flavor or texture, next time I’ll definitely stick to lean ground turkey or chicken which, to me at least, tastes much more natural.

Here’s the recipe for Mango Jicama Lettuce Wraps:

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Almost-Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Ground Turkey, Mushrooms & Spinach

Almost Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Ground Turkey, Mushrooms & Spinach

Almost-Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Ground Turkey, Mushrooms & Spinach

It’s a very strange day when I crave something creamy. Maybe it’s because I can feel winter barreling at me like a runaway train, or maybe it’s because of all those delicious looking cream-based soups in the sandwich shop I always walk past but can’t eat because, well, because they’re cream. Either way, tonight I wanted to be a part of the lucky dairy-eating-and-don’t-have-to-think-twice-about-it club.

Almost cream sauce pasta02 Almost cream sauce pasta03 Almost cream sauce pasta04

So, as sort of a compromise between my drooling tastebuds and sense of self-preservation I made a lightened cream-like pasta sauce in which I mixed a slew of other healthy ingredients, making for an extremely well-balanced meal: extra-lean ground turkey, mushrooms, spinach, leeks, garlic and whole wheat spaghetti.

This isn’t an thick and oozy cream sauce, but rather one that just coats the noodles and ground turkey, creating delicious savory flavors and a clean mouthfeel.

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And for the heck of it, I took out some of the filling just before adding the soy creamer which I used to stuff a buttercup squash and bake. That experiment is dinner tomorrow… I’ll let you know how it is.

Here’s the recipe:

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Mint Chocolate Chip Soy Ice Cream: Full-Fat Version

Soy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

As you’ve probably figured out by now, the only type of ice cream I indulge in is the dairy-free kind. Until recently, my options were limited with mostly disgusting options. Basically, it was the Tofutti Cutie Mint Chocolate Chip or nothing. But then I discovered the great dessert store Just Indulge and realized soy is making a comeback, or a firstback as the case may be. They have a lot of varieties of soy ice cream (mint chip, espresso, strawberry, etc.), all of which are delicious. But it’s not the easiest to get, mainly because parking in that neighborhood can be frustrating (sorry Marci, it’s true) and the ice cream is pricey.

So, as anyone with a fairly new ice cream maker would do, I made my own. I started with a basic vanilla recipe I found all over the Internet (I’m not sure where it originated, but Google “soy ice cream recipe” and you’ll get it) and made a few minor adjustments, as I’m prone to do. Rather than sticking with traditional vanilla which I’ve always found exceedingly boring, I went with my favorite – you guessed it: mint chocolate chip.

This was great – an ice cream that even my dairy-loving, soy-condemning family would love. And one that I could actually enjoy with them. Read more of this >>

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Wild Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Soup

About two weeks ago I purchased a variety of mushrooms from River Valley Ranch at the Farmer’s Market. Well, those beautiful shitake, portabella and oyster mushrooms have been sitting in the refrigerator slowly decomposing. So today I decided to put them to good use and turn the mushrooms into a tasty, seasonal soup. As you can see in the photo, I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture until I was already halfway through! Read more of this >>

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“Just Indulge” in Soy Ice Cream

A rare thing happened to me today: I had an ice cream craving. This almost never happens – I’m lactose intolerant and honestly haven’t enjoyed or wanted ice cream through most of my adult life. But I was working in a hot, steamy kitchen today with little ventilation and high levels of humidity outside, and something about that triggered this unusual craving.

The solution: soy ice cream from Just Indulge, a new sweet-treats place at the corner North & Wood in Bucktown/Wicker Park. Read more of this >>

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