Tofu Pad Ka Prow

Tofu Pad Ka Prow

One of our favorite things to do is recreate our favorite dishes, but turn them vegetarian / vegan. Pad Ka Prow or holy basil stir fry is usually made with ground pork or chicken, but we decided to substitute the meat for tofu and wow, we were not disappointed! Eating less meat can be daunting at first, but once you realize that there are so many ways to still eat your favorite dishes you’ll see that the possibilities are endless.

Recipe inspired by: The Woks of Life (but made vegetarian)

Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm tofu (drained and broken into pieces to imitate ground meat)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 1/2 cup (packed) Thai holy basil
  • 1-2 fresh Thai chilis (thinly sliced, deseeded for less spice)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (sub for vegetarian fish sauce if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce (sub for vegetarian oyster sauce if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth or water

Instructions:

  1. In a wok or large pan over medium heat add the oil, onion, and garlic, and fry for 3-4 min until fragrant. Add the thai chilis and cook for another minute. Increase heat to high and add the tofu pieces. Pan fry until all moisture from tofu is gone and they start to crisp up (could take as long as 10 min.)
  2. Add the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce to the mixture. Stir-fry for another minute and then add the water or broth to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring until the liquid is evaporated and then add the basil. Mix well until all basil is wilted. Serve over rice, add a fried egg on top (optional) and enjoy! 🙂

Let us know if you tried this recipe and how it turned out on our Instagram.

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Wonton Happiness Salad (inspired by Souplantation)

Souplantation has always been one of my favorite places to eat. Even though they basically just serve soup, salad, and lots of carbs, something about it was just so good and I have so many fond memories there. Since they didn’t have Souplantation in Hawaii, my family and I would always make a trip there whenever we would visit the states. Once I moved to Los Angeles, of course I became a club veg member so I could receive all the coupons and special offers. I ate there at least once a month, always looking forward to their new menu items and of course always sneaking an extra blueberry muffin in my purse on my way out 😉

When I found out Souplantation was permanently closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was devastated. The thought of never having the tuna tarragon pasta or those fat noodles in the chicken noodle soup ever again broke my heart. My friends and I were all equally distraught so we decided to recreate some of the dishes at home for a (social distancing) potluck. I was in charge of creating the famous Asian Wonton Happiness salad which I put my own healthy twists on, of course, and surprisingly it turned out so good! Dare I say possibly better than the original? I wouldn’t go that far but I have been craving it for lunch every day since which definitely says something.

This salad is basically a Chinese chicken salad (I added chicken but Souplantation’s version doesn’t have chicken) but what makes it so good is the sesame ginger dressing and the air fried wonton chips. All the yumminess of fried wonton strips without all the oil / deep frying for less guilt! I hope you guys give this recipe a try and pay homage to the great salad and soup buffet that we all love and will miss greatly. Enjoy 🙂

Recipe: (makes about 6 servings)

  1. Ingredients:
    • 4 cups romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces
    • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
    • 1 cup carrots, shredded
    • 4-5 store-bought wonton wrappers (for air fryer version) OR can buy pre-made wonton strips
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
    • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
    • 2 chicken breasts (optional)
    • optional toppings / ingredients:
      • sliced almonds
      • avocado
    • Dressing:
      • 2 tbsp avocado oil
      • 1/4 cup Rice vinegar
      • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
      • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
      • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
      • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce OR see below for healthier alternative
        1. Healthier hoisin sauce (makes 1/4 cup)
          • 1/8 cup light soy sauce (or tamari / coconut aminos for gluten free)
          • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (read ingredients, should just be made of peanuts)
          • 1 tbsp honey
          • 1 tsp rice vinegar
          • 1 tsp sesame oil
          • 1/2 tsp miso paste
          • 1 clove garlic, grated
  2. Instructions:
    1. For chicken:
      1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
      2. Once boiling, add chicken breasts in and cook on medium high heat for 20-25 minutes.
      3. Once time is up, place chicken in cold water immediately to stop cooking and let sit for about 5 minutes, until cooled.
      4. Pat chicken dry and place in large bowl. Use two forks to shred the chicken into small bite size pieces.
    2. For dressing:
      1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
    3. For air fryer wonton strips:
      1. Take about 6-8 wonton wrappers from package, keeping them stacked together. Cut entire square into 16 pieces so each strip is about 1 1/2” x 1/2”
      2. Separate all strips from each other and place into a bowl (it’s okay if some are still stuck together, they will separate in the air fryer.)
      3. spray a little avocado oil (option to omit oil, it will still work.) Mix well until all strips are evenly coated.
      4. Place strips in air fryer basket and set air fryer to 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
      5. Once done, let cool
    4. For salad:
      1. Place all salad ingredients except avocado, if using.
      2. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss well to combine (start with a little dressing and add more as needed by preference)
      3. Top with avocado (if using) and serve immediately!
Plant Power: Plant-Based Protein

Plant Power: Plant-Based Protein

In 1992, the USDA introduced the food pyramid guide in addition to the HealthyEating Plate as an example of what all Americans should base their diets on. With meat as one of the main sources for the protein food group, and meat being considered a scarce item in most cultures, our society has become obsessed with including it into every meal. Don’t get us wrong, protein is still important, but most Americans actually eat more protein than necessary. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average amount of protein a person needs per day is 0.8g per lb you weigh. For example, if you are 5’7 and weigh 135lb, you only need 51g of protein a day. An average American male, however, consumes 100g a day which is well over recommendation.

What is more important for your body than protein intake is fiber, which can be found in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Without fiber, our digestive system isn’t able to absorb nutrients properly or pass food through your body. The best part about plant-based proteins is you are obtaining both protein and fiber into your diet with every bite!

Some recipe ideas / tips for incorporating plant-based proteins: 

  • Beans / Legumes: 
  • Soybean products: 
  • Nuts / Seeds: 
    • Add nuts / seeds to your salads for added protein, healthy fats, and an added crunch
    • Hemp seeds: add to salads, smoothies, oatmeal, desserts, or even use it make desserts like these Dark Chocolate Hemp Energy Bites by Minimalist Baker
    • Chia Seeds: add to your oatmeal, smoothies, or make a delicious chia seed pudding
  • Grains: 
  • Other: 
    • Nutritional Yeast: sprinkle this on any meal to give it a cheesy flavor without the dairy and with tons of added nutrients like vitamin B12
    • Spirulina: 
  • Vegetables: Add veggies to ALL of your meals! The best part of vegetables is that they’re low in calories so you can eat as much you want. We like to fill our plates with at least 50% vegetables. This should be the star of your meals, not the protein, regardless if that protein is plant-based or not! As long as you focus on eating tons of veggies in every meal, you don’t have to worry that you’re not getting enough protein. 

You don’t have to completely cut out meat from your life but eating less can only do more good than harm. Start by taking small steps and trying to incorporate plant-based protein sources 1-2x per week. Notice how your body feels after eating less meat, and adjust accordingly! Like we always say, everyone’s body is different so do what feels best for you. If you make any of the recipes we linked don’t forget to tag us on social media! See you guys next month for more healthy tips and tricks to improve your health and become your best self. 

Healthy Holiday Feastivities

Healthy Holiday Feastivities

The holiday season is a very special time filled with family, friends, and an abundance of food, but it also has the potential to negatively impact your health goals. We sometimes tend to use Thanksgiving day as an excuse to eat as much and as unhealthy as we possibly can, resulting in feeling sluggish for days after and sometimes knocking us off our health game until the new year. We’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be this way! You can still enjoy the holiday festivities and your favorite foods by being cognizant of how you spend this day as well as what you’re eating to avoid feeling lethargic. Below are some of our tips on how you can balance a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying yourself during this time that only happens once a year. You deserve to enjoy your most beloved foods free of stress and without wreaking havoc on your body. 

Thanksgiving Day Game Plan:

  1. Get your workout done in the morning, before the madness begins. We suggest doing at least 30 minutes of activity to get your blood pumping. As a result, you’ll feel rejuvenated and inspired to make better eating decisions throughout the rest of the day. 
  2. If you know you’re going to eat a very heavy dinner, try to eat something lighter and nutritious for breakfast / lunch. Opt for a smoothie loaded with greens, fruits, and superfoods or a salad full of leafy greens that are full of fiber to help you digest all the heavier food you will be eating later on. Try not to starve yourself before the big feast or you’ll find yourself making unconscious eating choices out of hunger.  
  3. Find out the menu beforehand to ensure there are healthier options present, especially vegetables. If not, offer to bring your own healthy dish. You can guarantee someone at the event will appreciate you bringing a lighter option to balance out the heavier items on the table. If you are bringing a dessert, opt for something that is refined-sugar free. (See recipes below.) 
  4. Reach for a glass of red wine instead of a sugary cocktail. 
  5. After dinner, go on a walk outside with your family / friends. Not only will walking help you digest everything you consumed, but it is also a great bonding experience. 

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes: 
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS, SQUASH, PECANS AND CRANBERRIES by Simple Veganista 
STUFFED MUSHROOM CUPS by Skinny Ms
If you want to make this vegan, Bryn recommends substituting the cheese for ½ cup soaked cashews, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. 
FALL HARVEST SALAD with Half Baked Harvest
CAULIFLOWER MASHED POTATOES by A Sweet Pea Chef
VEGAN COFFEE CAKE by Big Man’s World
CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE by Chocolate Covered Katie
APPLE CRISP by Well Plated

THANK YOU! 
As Thanksgiving is a time to practice gratitude, we wanted to take this time to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you for subscribing to this newsletter and joining this community! To us, your readership means you are interested in taking charge of your health to become your best self even through these trying, difficult times. We are fortunate to have this outlet where we can share our knowledge to help someone out there. Wherever you are reading this, we wish you, your family, and loved ones, a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season. This year may have been rough, but knowing we’re all in this together makes it a little easier 🙂