August 9, 2011

Potato, Corn and Bean Salad

Matt and I are headed to Myrtle Beach tomorrow. We can't wait to get out of Kentucky and take a few days off from work to relax. Before I leave, I want to post this awesome recipe I tried from Appetite for Reduction. So far, this cookbook's recipes have been awesome. I did quit the vegan diet going into the 3rd week. I feel like I learned some things I didn't know before, that my body was slightly different, and that it's not for me. It was definitely a gastronomical adventure for the time it lasted.

This recipe can be eaten as a meal or served as a side. I ate two huge bowls after I made it and then another the next day and by then I was tired of it. I am not a fan of leftovers. I modified this recipe slightly, I didn't use the blue potatoes because my grocery store didn't have them so I used yukon baby golds. I also used fresh corn but canned or frozen could be subbed in. If you don't like it too spicy, don't use any of the seeds in the peppers.


  • 3 TB red wine vinegar

  • 2 canned chipotles, seeded and mashed into a paste

  • 2 TB adobo sauce from chipotle can

  • 1 tsp light agave nectar (or honey)

  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil

  • 2 TB water

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp garlic, finely grated


  • 3 ears corn, shucked

  • 2 pounds baby potatoes

  • 16 ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed

  • 2 TB red onion, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Steam the corn for 5 minutes and then steam the potatoes until just soft enough when pierced with a fork. When the corn has cooled, cut the kernels from the cob. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Put the corn, potatoes, onion and beans in a mixing bowl and pour the dressing on top. Fold the dressing into the salad then top with the cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.

Vietnamese Brown Noodle Salad

I threw this salad together one night and then ate it for lunch the next day. I would not add the lettuce until right before you eat so it doesn't get soggy. I was impatient and put it in the night before and it was still good. I also marinated the tofu for a few hours before I sauteed it. I did not use mint as directed and know that this would have made this taste more Vietnamese and less Thai but that's up to you which country you want to pretend to be in when you eat this. I like to think about Vietnam since I haven't been there before but was so close a few years ago.


  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 TB agave nector (or honey)
  • 3 TB chili garlic sauce
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • 12 ounces fresh tofu
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) package thin brown rice noodles
  • 1 medium-size cucumber, in thinly sliced half-moons
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces string beans, slices into 1-inch pieces (optional)
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • ¼ cup peanuts, chopped really well

Mix all of the ingredients for the dressing, then set aside. Slice the tofu into eight equal pieces widthwise. Place in a single layer on a large plate and pour 6 TB of the dressing over the slices. Add 2 TB more of soy sauce if desired. Let marinate for as long as you are filling to wait, flipping occasionally while you prepare everything else.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside to drain while you finish prepping everything else.

Mix the vegetables, greens, and the mint leaves into the noodles with your fingers, then mix the dressing. Refrigerate while you are preparing the rest. Now grill the tofu. Preheat the grill over medium high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and grill the tofu on both sides for 4 minutes. If there is any marinate left pour into the noodles as well. Divvy out portions of the noodle salad and top with the tofu and chopped peanuts.

This recipe is from: Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Windy Corner Market

When my roommate moved back to Lexington , a friend of hers compiled a list of restaurants in Lexington that we put go and try. We decided to go to at least one a month until we tried them all. Unfortunately due to our different schedules we haven't been able to visit many. Since I've been on this vegan diet (which I'm terribly failing, by the way) I found one of the recommended places served many different tofu dishes. The place is called Windy Corner Market. It is way out Bryan Station Road off of New Circle. The drive is beautiful, you pass horse farms and quaint homes on acres of land. There's nothing better than riding through the Kentucky countryside with the windows down. I checked the menu online, printed one out and throughly read it top to bottom. I have a fascination with menus. I want to read every single detail, especially when it's a local spot. Windy Corner Market prides itself on serving local Kentucky products. They are open 7 days a week starting with breakfast.

As Matt and I pulled up to the parking lot, we could see a crowd hovered inside by the main entrance and a full parking lot. My mind was stuck somewhere between "this place must be good" and "we may have to wait awhile"..but Matt pushed me along the lavender fragranced walkway to the entrance and we weaved around the line to the back. The dining room was bustling full of people, some couples, friends eating, large tables of families. I was very comforting . Ordering is done at a front counter and then you sit down and your food is brought out by waitresses. I picked the Tofu Boy for Topher. This Po Boy has "crispy fried tofu in Black Jack Barbeque Sauce stacked with Earth Crunchy Slaw, tomatoes, pickles, and a special sauce." It came on a brioche roll which was fresh and delicious and some potato chips for just $6.95. It was awesome! I wished the tofu had been marinated for more flavor but it was fried perfectly and still delicious. The slaw was killer and so was the BBQ sauce. It was messy but worth it and completely filled me up. I can't wait to try their other dishes. I eyed some fried fish on a woman's plate that I'd like to sink my teeth into next time.

Matt decided on the Bourbon Deluxe hamburger. A 1/3 pound patty, griddled with bourbon and worcestershire with bacon, Black Jack Barbeque sauce, and Bourbon Beer Cheese. He ordered fries as well which we shared and his meal was $7.95. As soon as I saw his burger my eyes got huge and I started thinking about how that might taste. Well, I can't write a good restaurant review without trying out ALL the dishes, so I had a bite of the burger. Oh my gracious! It was a good burger. The beef and bacon were both locally farmed. We washed down our meals with soda for $1.50 each.

This visit and experience was wonderful and I would recommend Windy Corner Market to anyone. Their menu has everything from fried banana peppers, BBQ baskets, fried fish, salads, and sandwiches and even ice cream. I didn't even get to partake in the desserts. They have a small dessert case at the counter as well and I swear a piece of carrot cake was the size of my head. Plus, they also serve alcohol for all of your drinkers. I hope you try it and I hope you tell me all about it. I'm going back for their Shrimp and Grits special on a Tuesday night! I hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you Matt for being such a wonderful partner on my culinary adventures.

August 3, 2011

Over Halfway There - Week Three of Vegan

Day 17: I’m on the upside of being finished. I have learned a lot along the way. I have ventured into new foods that I would have never tried and I’ve learned some things about my body.

I am ga-ga over Light Life soy bologna. It is so delicious and also fat free. It tastes just like bologna and I have been a big bologna lover since I was a little girl. And my fake bologna sandwich wouldn’t be complete without mayo. Lindsay brought home Follow Your Heart Veganaise with Grapeseed oil. Can I go ga-ga over this too? A sandwich isn’t complete with this creamy mixture and although I try to stay clear of the full fat brands, the veganaise blows Hellman’s out of the water. Grapeseed oil is one of the few natural foods known to raise HDL, the "good" cholesterol. You can’t go wrong with that.

Lindsay gets to bring home lots of free samples and out of date products from Whole Foods and then I get to try them out. One of the condiments listed in many vegetarian and vegan cookbooks talk about nutritional yeast and amino acids. Both of these are made by Bragg’s which is a very old heath product company. Go to their website if you want to check it out. You can sign up for a free sample bag of so you can try their products. Nutritional yeast contains B-12 which is a great supplement for vegan dieters. Their liquid aminos takes like soy sauce but a little sweeter, I think.

Over the weekend, Matt and I went to Louisville and I already knew that I wouldn’t’ be able to follow a strict vegan diet because we would be dining out and eating at our friend’s house. It’s so hard when you don’t have the resources. But regardless, I realized that when I do eat normally, I eat too much and feel too full. When I am eating vegan, I could eat all day long and not get that stuffed feeling.