Tag Archives: Soy Chorizo

Friday Favorites

From time to time I like to share things I’m really loving at the moment. If you hang out with me in person, you’ll likely hear me refer to these things as “my jam.” I guess it isn’t as bad as calling them epic? I don’t know. But anyway, here are the things (completely unrelated) that I am currently enjoying.

PicMonkey Collage

Jack Rogers Sandals

I’ve had my eyes on these sandals for awhile, but never knew the brand, or where to get them. My sister (who is very fashionable, but is picky) refers to these sandals as “preppy Southerner shoes,” and while I am neither of those things, I liked them. So when I saw that RueLaLa had them on sale, I figured I’d grab myself a pair, because I’m not really willing to spend more than $100 on sandals.

You can typically find me wearing flip flops or basic (read: cheap) sandals in the summer, so these were a nice change of pace. The construction of the shoe is serious, and its obvious that you get what you pay for. I bought them in white so I could wear them with pretty much anything (and they have a little sparkle!), but I love a lot of the colors they offer.

Local CSA – “Fresh Box”

This is my second year participating in the “Fresh Box” program with a local fresh foods grocer, Alan’s Orchard, and my love for it grows each week. I really love getting a fresh box of produce every weekend and figuring out my meals for the upcoming week based on what I have. The grocery stores by me don’t always have the freshest produce, so it’s nice to know that I’m getting something that is from a local farm. My only complaint is that things can be really dirty (which I would expect considering they literally pick it out of the ground, and bring it to the store!), so it takes some extra time to wash things. If you have a CSA program near you, I definitely recommend checking it out!

Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo

This stuff is the bomb.com. Seriously. (Yes, I’m aware of what I just said). I actually tried this for the first time before becoming a vegetarian, and was really impressed with the flavors and texture… so naturally once I became a  vegetarian I continued buying it (it’s actually vegan!). While I’ve only had real chorizo a few times so I don’t think I can compare the two fairly, I can say that regardless of it’s close proximity to real chorizo taste, it’s awesome as it’s own product. I’ve used it in burritos, casseroles, grilled cheeses, omelets… the list goes on and on! I’ve found that both vegetarians and carnivores really enjoy it, so if there’s a Trader Joe’s near you, I definitely suggest giving it a try.

Nathan “Power Shower” After-Run Wipes

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I sweat a lot. So naturally I’m drenched after each summer run (whether it’s a speed workout or an easy run). So if I don’t have the opportunity to shower right away, having a wipe available is a great “get me a few extra hours” option. These wipes were particularly handy last weekend when I “ran” a color run with a bunch of my college friends. I wound up using two wipes, but was able to get all of the powder and color off of me, and I didn’t feel grimy and gross.

As  I was using them I noticed that there was a little soapy film, which I appreciated, since I definitely needed something substantial to get all the color gunk off of me. I just wish they came in bigger packages – I’m almost through the package I bought not too long ago!

How To Be A Heartbreaker, by Marina & The Diamonds

I don’t remember how or why I happened upon this song, but it’s been constantly stuck in my head since. I play it while I’m sitting at my desk at work, if I’m cleaning around the house, and even though I don’t listen to music while I run, this would be a perfect workout song too.

Hope everyone has  a great first official weekend of summer! Any big plans?

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Filed under Life, Vegetarian/Vegan

Enough For Me & You

Whenever I make a recipe that provides enough for leftovers, my appreciation for the recipe doubles. Why, you may ask? Because it gives me either a delicious option for lunch the next day, or even better, a night off in the kitchen! A lot of recipes I make suggest that they are at least 4 servings, but I rarely find myself with leftovers (between the two of us in the house). So, whenever there’s a huge casserole or Dutch oven meal on the week’s menu, I can count on that providing me some type of leftover; whether it’s enough for one or two people is another story.

As always, I try to make sure that my meals are as balanced as possible; vegetables, protein, healthy fats… you know the drill. Since I take medication daily, my gastroenterologist likes for me to have blood work every so often just to make sure the medicine isn’t affecting anything negatively. I actually just had some routine blood work last week, and they mailed me a copy of the results. I’m happy to report that pretty much everything was within the “normal” range! I’ve got plenty of blood protein, calcium, and all the other goodies that people often swear vegetarians don’t get enough of. So even though my gut doesn’t work properly, my blood is in good shape! At least I know I’m doing something right.

But now that we’ve talked about my blood, let’s get back to food… I’m currently trying to ramp up my mileage (only a little) and intensity (a little more) for a half marathon in April. I’m actually running two half marathons in April – the RU Unite Half Marathon that I’ve run the last 3 years (and was my first!), and then a week later the Nike Women’s Half. I’m hoping to PR at the first, and then enjoy the second. I would love to run a 1:45 (or faster, of course), and I think it’s possible since I had to walk a few minutes due to a side cramp last year and finished in 1:47. As always, running has seriously increased my appetite, which is huge to begin with. So, when I found a big ‘ole strata recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, I knew I had to make it.

I had to make some changes to the recipe, most notably because one of the main ingredients was sausage. I’ve been completely obsessed with soy chorizo the past few months, so I knew that would be a perfect replacement. I’ve had the soy chorizo from both Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop, and they are both equally delicious, and easy to use in anything from a burrito to an omelet. This particular recipe includes things I love; spicy chorizo, eggs, bread (yay carbs!), cheese, and a solid dose of leafy greens. It’s perfect to whip together before work and then cook when you get home, make the night before having brunch, or do all at once (since it really doesn’t take that long). I love the versatility of stratas, and this recipe is no different!

ChorizoChard

Vegetarian Chorizo & Chard Strata adapted from Martha Stewart
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 package of Soy Chorizo (or 1lb. of regular chorizo)
1 tbsp olive oil*
1 small onion, diced (can be yellow, white, Spanish)
1 bunch of Chard (Swiss or red), roughly chopped
1 baguette (day old is best), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of smoked Gruyere or Gouda cheese
7 eggs
2 1/2 cups of milk (any dairy or non-flavored and unsweetened non-dairy kind will do)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium sauté pan, cook the chorizo and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. *If you are using real chorizo, you do not need to add the oil – you can use the fat from the meat.
4. Next add in the chard, salt, and pepper, and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 5 minutes. 
5. In a 9×11 greased baking dish, layer half the chorizo, followed by the chard and onion mixture, then sliced baguette. Follow with another layer of chorizo and then chard. 
6. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour over the casserole dish, doing your best to distribute evenly. Top with cheese. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but can go up to overnight. 
7. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving! 

Do you have any favorite dishes you make that always give you leftovers?

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Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

A Love Affair

I’m lucky enough to live only about 30 minutes away from my parents, so I’m able to stop by and visit a few times a month. They happen to live in a town that’s full of yummy restaurants, specialty shops, and grocery stores, so it’s only natural that I try to take advantage of that as much as possible. There is one place, though, that seems to have a magnetic pull, and I can’t bear to leave without making a pit-stop – Trader Joe’s! Naturally I went this past weekend when I was visiting for Mother’s Day.

The store is always packed, and parking can be a nightmare. That would typically keep me away from a store, but I’m never disappointed with what I find once inside. There are some things I grab every single time I go, whether or not I’m actually in need of them. I’m a big fan of tempeh and tofu, and theirs is always reasonably priced. I can get a block of 7 grain tempeh for under $2, and it’s usually double at most grocery stores near me. They also have really delicious soy chorizo and sausage-less sausage. Non-meat and meat eaters alike should be impressed with their substitutes!

I also almost always pick up some quick lunch options, and can never pass up some Indian Fare. Paired with a tortilla or naan, all you need to do is heat up the pouch in the microwave for about a minute or two, and lunch is served! It’s also really great over rice. They have a bunch of different kinds – some with chickpeas, lentils, paneer, spinach… you name it, they’ve got it. I have one in my lunchbox for today.

There are a lot of other “staples” I pick-up from Trader Joe’s each time I visit, but the most decadent and far from necessary treat is their Cookie Butter. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know I’m obsessed. I had it for the first time in the winter, and was immediately hooked. There was a brief period after I had it for the first time where it was on hiatus at the store (I think they underestimated it’s popularity), so as soon as it was back in stock I grabbed multiple jars. Now that it’s regularly in stock I make sure to grab just one jar. If you’ve never had it before and there’s a Trader Joes anywhere near you (or you have someone that can mail it to you), I HIGHLY suggest getting it. But, be forewarned – it’s addicting!

So there you have it  – my love affair with Trader Joe’s. I’m sure if I lived closer to a Whole Foods that would be an equal affair as well (it’s just a little too far, but I get excited any time I do have the opportunity to go). I have quite a few trips to Westfield planned for the next few weeks, so Trader Joes will definitely be seeing me more, and I don’t think my bank account is going to like it!

Do you have any favorite groceries, or particular grocery items? 

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Filed under Food Blogging, Vegetarian/Vegan